The cost of a bra baffles me

28 03 2009

Back in October when I was in Sydney for a conference, I decided to purchase a new bra. It cost AU$99, which is way more than I expected. For several years now I’ve helped out the US economy by buying bras and underwear at factory outlet stores like Jockey and L’Eggs Hanes…

Yesterday I went into a L’Eggs Hanes outlet store in Carlsbad, California. Not only did they have some bra styles that fitted, they also had a HUGE  range of styles and sizes — a much bigger range than you see in Australia. And the prices were pretty darned reasonable — US$30 recommended retail, reduced to US$20 at the outlet store PLUS a ‘buy two get one free’ offer. I bought 4 and got 6 all for US$86 (including tax). Converted, that’s AU$124 for SIX. And I paid AU$99 for ONE in Sydney.

You’ve got to wonder why. The brands were the same, they’re all manufactured outside the US and Australia in places like Indonesia, China, etc. So how can the Americans sell bras at a reasonable price (even the US$30 recommended retail only converts to AU$43, less than half the price I paid in October) yet in Australia we pay an exhorbitant amount for the same piece of cloth likely manufactured in a country geographically closer to us?

Impressed with my laptop bag

28 03 2009

I must say I’m impressed with the laptop bag I made. When I was going through security at Perth and Melbourne airports, it made it really simple to take the laptop out. And on the flight from Melbourne to LA, I just slid the bag out with the laptop and the bits and pieces, put it into the seat pocket in front of me until I needed to use it, and it was all ready and waiting for me without having to deal with the heavy roll-on laptop case in the overhead locker.

So it’s ‘fit for purpose’, works exactly as I wanted it to, and will get quite a bit of use in the coming years, I expect!

Celebrity spotting 2

28 03 2009

I drove down to Carlsbad today to do some shopping stimulate the US economy at the outlet mall there. I took Pacific Coast Highway from Corona Del Mar to Dana Point as I hadn’t been on that bit before. Pretty drive. And pretty enough to do it again on the return journey.

Laguna Beach was busy coming back — it was a 75F+ day in Southern California today, with clear blue skies, and quite a few people  were braving the beach. I saw a few bikini tops and board shorts walk by while sitting in the slow traffic (for West Aussies, think of Marine Parade in Cottesloe, multiple it by 4 lanes of traffic, and 10+ times as long… in the middle of summer).

Anyhow, while I was coming into Laguna Beach on the return journey one of those BIG American chopper motorbikes went by in the opposite direction… and I realised who was riding it. I’m pretty sure it was the father (Paul?) from the TV ‘reality’ series American Chopper! The one with the big white moustache. His bike looked really cool, but it looked a sod of a thing to ride with those handlebars up so high. If it wasn’t him, whoever it was was doing a darn good impersonation.

The interview

28 03 2009

One of the things planned for the time I was in California was an interview conducted by my friend Whitney from Connecticut. Whitney had suggested me as a potential subject for an “After Hours” column in the STC’s Intercom, and to put her money where her mouth was, she also offered to ‘interview’ me about my quilting.  We did that yesterday afternoon — and it’s interesting how much in common quilting has with technical writing. Who’d have thought? 😉 When/if the article gets published, you’ll be able to read all about the connections…