The low cost of food in the US

20 10 2014

I spotted these food prices in some US grocery store catalogues. They are all much cheaper than prices in Australia for similar items.

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As a comparison,  $2 per pound of chicken breasts would be equivalent to about $5 per kilogram,  which would be about $6 Australian  (AUD).  The cheapest I can buy chicken breasts for its about $8 AUD,  and is often $12 AUD per kg; same for pork. Avocados where I live are cheap if they are $1.70 AUD each,  and are often $3.40 each. And I don’t think I’ve ever been able to get peppers (capsicum) for that sort of  price.

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But this one is the biggie! I pay $160 AUD per month just for cable TV (and not 200 HD channels either,  and not even cable – instead satellite that drops out in bad weather),  another $130/month for internet and phone and definitely not 60 Mbps (the maximum where I live is 24 Mbps,  but the reality is more like 15), and another $70/month for mobile phone. That’s some $360/month for what this US company is advertising at $30 / month.  No,  I know nothing about this company,  its services,  or its reliability,  but I wonder why we pay 10x what the US pays for similar services? Those Australian prices seem like a rip-off to me!





Let’s go to the pond!

20 10 2014

On the family farm,  which my cousin now owns,  is this great secluded pond that he had dug out of a swale in among the corn fields. It’s very private and unless you were in a plane going overhead,  or had been invited to a bonfire/BBQ or summer party there, you’d have no idea it existed.  There’s a diving board,  a dock,  a fire pit,  even a sandy beach,  and I believe there are bass and possibly turtles living in the pond,  which in parts is 30 feet deep. Because it hasn’t been used much recently (summer is long gone),  the sand is peppered with deer tracks.

As it was such a nice day,  my aunt and I took the ‘jitney’ through the corn fields to the pond and I took some pictures (no surprises there  ;-) ).

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Stunning afternoon and frosty morning

19 10 2014

The light late yesterday in rural Michigan where I’m staying was just stunning. And overnight there was frost everywhere,  all glistening in the early morning sunlight. Perfect for taking photos ;-)

I’ll try to forget about locking myself out of the house for an hour until everyone else got up. Yes, it was cold!! Like only 34F when I came inside an hour later…

Here are some of the photos I took.

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I’d forgotten how beautiful Fall is

18 10 2014

We don’t get autumn/fall colours in much of Australia,  though I did experience the wonder of their brilliance when I lived in Ontario,  Canada many years ago. I’d forgotten how stunning they were.

Yesterday I drove from Grand Rapids,  Michigan east on I-96, exiting at Lowell,  then driving east along M-21 towards St John’s. The trees along that route were in full colour and were just magnificent. The corn was ready to harvest, and there were pumpkin stands too, as well as quite a bit of decoration on houses and in yards for Halloween.

Here are a few of the photos I took.

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I’d forgotten how beautiful Fall is

18 10 2014

We don’t get autumn/fall colours in much of Australia,  though I did experience the wonder of their brilliance when I lived in Ontario,  Canada many years ago. I’d forgotten how stunning they were.

Yesterday I drove from Grand Rapids,  Michigan east on I-96, exiting at Lowell,  then driving east along M-21 towards St John’s. The trees along that route were in full colour and were just magnificent. The corn was ready to harvest, and there were pumpkin stands too! As well as quite a bit of decoration on houses and in yards for Halloween.

Here are a few of the photos I took.

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Gondola ride

15 10 2014

I’m not a fan of gondolas, cable cars, aerial tramways, or whatever you want to call any vehicle suspended over ground by a single flimsy-looking cable. But I’m getting better at overcoming my fear, and so with three supportive friends, I rode on the Gondola just out of Christchurch, NZ to the top of the mountain. It was a glorious day and the views from the top were just stunning.

Here are a few of the many photos I took.

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Quirky touristy things

15 10 2014

Seen in the tourist shop at the top of the Gondola ride in Christchurch,  New Zealand,  or at the beginning of the ride.

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Pretty much nothing is south of NZ!








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