Netflix Recommendations- Getting Organised with the Home Edit

No Marie Kondo here, but you do have Clea and Joanna from the ‘Home Edit’!

Off the back of the successes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Netflix has introduced a follow-up home organisation program called ‘Getting Organised with the Home Edit’!

“Does it spark joy for you?” Now, how many times have you asked yourself that question in 2019? But in 2020, the new catch  phrase which you’ll be asking yourself will be:

“Is there a storage container for that?”

Clea and Joanna are  two ladies from Nashville Tennessee who  are the founders of the ‘Home Edit’, a home organisation business who advises and helps their clients better organise their belongings in their limited home spaces.

But after catching the eye of celebrities  via  Instagram who also have clutter around, just  like you and me- Clea and Joanna are now the latest global sensations who  have sparked off a new surge to de-clutter and get our homes in order.

Each of the 8 episodes, Clea and Joanna (with a team of minions) sweep into 2 homes, assessing the ‘damage’, before shooing out the home-owner so they could get to work organising and de-cluttering their client’s home. If the notion of watching cleaners clean someone else’s home doesn’t sound entertaining for you? Think again! As one of the two households, featured in  each episode are always a celebrity, a  household name like Reese Witherspoon or Eva Longoria- both featured in season 1, while if you can’t relate to the rich and famous, then the other client is always a regular person like me or you. Who are struggling to keep all their stuff within its own swim lanes. 

Through the first season, they edit (not toss out) wardrobes, kitchens, garages, kids bedrooms, play areas, studies etc. Covering off enough rooms, so that we  have enough examples to go away and  undertake our own edits (VO +M, E). And what you’ll find yourself doing, is organising all of your things by their colour, placing all your nick-nacks into plastic storage containers, and/or labelling everything, right down to one time use plastic bags! Now there must be a few companies out there who have the ‘Home Edit’ to  thank for  a sudden spike in their sales e.g. Home, Ikea, Big W etc.

If you want to be  inspired to better organise your crib, or you simply  binge everything on Netflix, then check out the Home Edit HERE!

Podcast recommendations- NFL 2020

Football is back baby!

It has been the longest break between drinks for the National Football League (NFL), a full 220 days since the Chiefs lifted the Lombardi trophy! But the gladiators of the modern era are back baby, and here are 5 ways you can enjoy the 2020 season from Down under:

Podcast- Around the NFL   

These boys never stop, grinding all year round even during the quiet NFL off-season. But Dan, Gregg, Chris and Mark do their best work during Sept-Feb. For the complete round-up of every match-up in 2020- subscribe to Around the NFL! On Tuesday you’ll get all the breaking news for the upcoming week; on Thursday you’ll get analysis on each of the 16 upcoming match-ups; and on Sunday evening (Monday afternoon our time) you’ll get a concise re-cap of the suite of Sunday’s games. So if you only have time for one NFL program in your life? Go with ATN, as you won’t miss a beat with the Hero’s!

Podcast- NFL Live

If you prefer the more conventional ‘Sports’ news’ take on NFL, then subscribe to ESPN’s flagship NFL program- NFL Live! With more weekly shows than you probably have time for, the rotating panel of Analysts (made-up of both ex-players and Journalists) discuss, argue, and put forth their hot takes on what’s going on in football. The NFL Live program has gone through a recent make-over, bringing on a younger and diverse panel, so hopefully it’ll appeal to a wider audience now!

Podcast- the Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny  

And if you still haven’t gotten enough of football talk, then there is ‘The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny’, a weekly pod where Mina chats with one of her many friends about football. It’s like eves dropping on two people just shooting-the-shit about their favourite sport. And although there are many so called ‘Football Analysts’ out there, creating content from their basements, but Mina’s show is by-far the best! And now that Mina is a part of the ESPN NFL Live panel, this has given her added gravitas. But it’s not like she needed it anyway, as her show was already a powerhouse, if the calibre of her guests were anything to go by. So for football talk and some laughs, check Mina out!

TV- 7Mate      

And when it comes to actually watching the games? If you’re able to wake-up early enough, you can watch 2 live free-to-air games every week on 7Mate! For viewers on the East coast, kick-off is at 3am, and oh…. 1am for West coast viewers. Ouch! But if you can’t wake-up that early on a Monday morning for the first match, there is always the second game which starts at a more reasonable time of 6.30am (soon to be even more reasonable after daylight savings ticks-over). And now that more of us are working from home, you might even be able to squeeze in a couple of quarters, or even watch the entire game before your first meeting of the day? Woohoo!

Radio- Free Sports Radio

And the best option of all in my opinion at least, is to listen to the games live! There’s nothing like hearing radio announcers call every snap and describe every tackle, to a non-viewing audience. And I find hearing the American adverts a bit of a novelty as well! I think ‘Free Sports Radio’ is still in its infancy, as week 1 was a bit of a disaster as the radio stations they provided links to, weren’t actually broadcasting the games. Oh, fail! But week 2, they seemed to have ironed out the bugs, so I was able to listen to an entire game live, and absolutely free! In your face Tunein radio! So if you want choice! Free Sports Radio is the best! With more than a handful of stations to choose from, all broadcasting the same game- so you can choose to listen to the calls from either team’s perspective. And although they don’t have an app yet, however listening to games on their browser is a synch, both on a laptop or smart phone.

I hope you’ll make the most of these 5 FREE methods to keep up with your favourite sport, hit us up in the feedback section below if you’ve found these suggestions helpful? Yeah?

Netflix recommendations- Cobra Kai

It’s surprisingly good! Kiai! Mash people up.  

Ask yourself, how many things from the 80s were actually good? Not many things right? The fashion was bad, the cars were boxy, the music was meh, and the hairstyles were the absolute worse! But admittedly there were a number of iconic film franchises in the 80s- Rambo, Rocky, Indiana Jones, Back to the future all come to mind. And Karate Kid with Mr Miyagi, ‘wax on wax off’, and that freakin’ crane stance kick……. Deserves an honourable mention when thinking back to 80s films.

So admittedly I was intrigued when I first noticed ‘Cobra Kai’ pop-up on my Netflix recommendations- “Awww, Netflix how did you know that Martial arts is my thang!”

The premise behind Cobra Kai is that 34 years has passed since the days of the Karate kid. The bully Johnny Lawrence i.e. the star pupal of the first iteration of Cobra Kai dojo is now a 50 year old unemployed loser, while Daniel Larusso is a successful businessman with a loving wife and kids- both men pretty much living out all the stereotypical things your parents tell you when you’re growing up i.e. if you slack off as a kid, you’ll grow up to be a bum, or vice-versa if you work hard, everything in your adult life will be perfect ……….

In the present both men have long since left their pyjama kiai days behind them, but due to a number of unexpected events which unfold throughout episodes 1-5, that lead both men to reprise their interest in the way of the open fist. And like all Americanised Martial arts films, after a short build-up and an intense training montage- there’s a tournament and an eventual predictable outcome (was it actually predictable?).

But what made Cobra Kai intriguing which got me particularly excited in the second half of the series was that Cobra Kai flipped the script on the usual American teenage action drama. I.e. The villain from the 80s Karate Kid was now the main protagonist and could be described as the ‘good guy’. Whilst Daniel Larusso the geeky goody Two-Shoes from the 80s, could now be described as the ‘bad guy’ this time around, being vindictive and unable to let the past go. While the next generation of ‘Karate kids’, the nerds and the misfits become the dirty Cobra Kai students, like their 1980 predecessors. While the delinquent petty criminal character of Robby Keene, takes on the Daniel Larusso role from old- right down to sustaining an injury in the crucial moments of the ‘All Valley under 18s tournament’.

The series leverages flashbacks from the original Karate kid film to further link the two stories together, while the series stays very present and captures quite well the generational gap between parents and their kids. While the producers and story-tellers have not shied away from depicting how the 21st century US really is, right down to some pretty non-PC moments. However they balance this out by showing some glimpses in how an ideal USA might look-like, being more inclusive, tolerant and accepting- adding in morals to the story.

From my point of view, I can’t believe that the original actors who played Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) are the same actors who are playing these roles all these years on. And you know, when a child actor becomes an adult, they’re usually a bit weird? Yeah, you know what I mean? Like they still sound like their old child selves, or that you find it hard to accept that they’re all grown up now. But for both Ralph and William, they’ve aged well. Not to say that they still look youthful, but they’ve aged well into their adult selves. So much so that I wasn’t completely sure if they were the same actors? And they’re actually quite good actors, considering that they haven’t done much acting since Karate kid and being tight casted as ‘That Karate kid guy’, and that ‘Ass-hole bully guy from Karate kid’. So for this single fact alone, Cobra Kai was worth watching if you were a fan of the original movie.

And I have to admit, each time they had a fight scene or when they depicted training from inside the CK dojo, in lines kicking, punching and kiai away! I have to admit, I experienced a surge of adrenaline course through my vanes which def sped up my spin-cycle efforts (oh yeah, I watched the entire 10 part series, during my lunch-time spin-cycle sessions). Those Karate scenes so emotive, that I’m currently considering taking up Karate, even though I’m an old geezer!  

So if you’re like me, who grew-up in the 80s and the Karate kid was an iconic film for you, and taking a trip down memory lane back through the 80s is a welcomed thing? Then please check out Cobra Kai, it’s a lot better than you think.

Product recommendations- When considering the purchase of a Performance vehicle

Breaking the code behind Motor manufacturer’s recommended retail price!

It must be nice, it must be nice, if you’re in the financial position to be considering the purchase of a new Performance vehicle in this current recessionary climate. Or perhaps you’re just like me, always day-dreaming of the next Performance vehicle, but when it comes down to it, you rarely go through with it- as who has the cash these days? But you can always dream? Can’t you?

So being a motoring enthusiast, price conscious by nature, and a data analyst by trade- I’ve developed a formula which might have cracked the code behind why motoring companies price their products the way that they do. And knowing this secret, can potentially help you identify the most ‘bang for your buck’ Performance vehicle the next time you’re in the market for one. Thus helping your hard earned cash go further, or should I say, go faster!?

Sure, before you make any big ticket item purchase, you do your research. You read/watch reviews from so called ‘Motoring professionals’ and for cars of course, you take them on test drives. However motoring reviews are based on other people’s personal opinions, and test drives come down to what the vehicle makes you feel when you’re sat behind the wheel- as of course, if you do have the cash, it’s hard to say no to a Porsche if you’ve ever had the privilege to drive one. But what about a soulless binary method of comparing simular products to each other? What if we left this emotional decision to maths?  

I’ve dubbed this formula the ‘Bang for your buck’ equation- how much car/performance are you actually getting for your cash? The formula is as follows:

(Recommended Purchase Price divided by the Vehicle’s Kilowatts of power) divided by the Vehicle’s Torque) multiplied by the Vehicle’s 0-100Km Time equals The Bang for your buck value. 

I.e. ($ / K) / Tq) x T = V

And the lower the bang for your buck value is, the more bang you’re getting for your buck! Pretty simple really. Let me give you an example, so you can see the formula in action!

The two rivals in the Hyper hatch segment, is Mercedes Benz’s A45 AMG S pocket rocket, and Audi’s RS3 beast of a hatchback.

If we place the vehicles through the Bang for your buck equation, we learn that:

A45 AMG S ($93,600 / 310Kw) / 500nm) x 3.9secs 0-100Km Time = 2.4

RS3 ($83,800 / 294Kw) / 480nm) x 4.1Secs 0-100Km Time = 2.4

Although the A45’s power on paper seems to have an obvious advantage over the RS3, however you will be paying a premium for that extra push-in-your-back when accelerating off the lights. So when it comes down to it, the two vehicles are neck and neck with an identical 2.4 Bang for your buck value. So your end decision might be, do you prefer 4 interlacing rings, or the three-pronged star? Or do you prefer more power and speed, or do you like to save almost $10K in cash?

Ok, perhaps the Hyper hatch example was not the best example in how the equation can help you in these decisions, as in this first example it’ll come down to your own personal preference to break the deadlock.  However this example illustrates why I believe I’ve broken the code behind how Motor manufacturers price their Performance vehicles. I say this Because we have two vehicles which on paper have obvious differences in both power and  speed, however both companies have priced their products accordingly- placing a fair value on what you’re getting for your money, hence the identical bang for your buck (BfYB) values. If you want more power, then you’ll have to pay for it. And if you don’t need all that grunt, then you’ll pay 10 grand less for it. Both vehicles just as worthy and value for money as each other- according to our formula.

But now let’s try a better example, in proving the worthiness of our formula.

What’s more ‘Bang for your buck’? A proper M vehicle? Or is an M-light sufficient?

BMW M2 Competition ($109,900 / 302Kw) / 550nm) x 4.2Secs 0-100Km Time = 2.8

BMW M240i ($81,900

/ 250Kw) / 500) x 4.6Secs 0-100Km Time = 3.0

So according to our formula, although the proper M vehicle is more than $25K more expensive than the M-light, it is still the more Bang for your buck vehicle with a lower BfYB value of 2.8, as aposed to a BfYB value of 3.0. So if you were honestly tossing up between the two, go with the M2 Comp! Push back the purchase of the new vehicle for 6-12 months, use that time to save up the extra cash, and then go all out on the more expensive but more value for money vehicle! And this is another reasoning why we believe Motor manufacturer’s are aware of this formula, as in the majority of cases the top tier vehicle in a range, is almost always the more bang for your buck vehicle in their sporty line-up. It makes sense right? They want you to pay more, so they need to give you more! This holds true when comparing Audi RS and Audi S, Merc’s AMG63 and AMG43, Porsche’s Carrera and Carrera S, and the raging Camaro ZL1 with the Camaro SS- the $162K ZL1 is still more bang for your buck than the 50% cheaper Camaro SS, which also makes the ZL1 the most Bang for your buck vehicle on offer atm, with a BfYB value of 1.4.

We looked at a total of 140 Performance vehicles released in 2019-2020, and our findings have been interesting to say the least.

We learnt that, although heaps of people purchase a Mazda MX5 for its economic fun factor, however from a Bang for your buck point of view, it is actually the second least Bang for your buck vehicle- with an embarrassingly high total of 10.3. Ouch!

While the most bang for your buck exotic vehicle on sale, is the Mercedes Benz AMG GT- at a very impressive 2.7, for a vehicle which is north of $350K!

While these days everyone wants a SUV, so if you still want some Performance with your utility vehicle, then the most bang for your buck SUV is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Core at a Value++ 2.1.

And the most Bang for your buck Performance vehicle under $45K, is the Ford Focus ST with a respectable BfYB value of 3.0.

Of course, when considering a Performance vehicle it’s not all about the power, and it’s not all about how much you’ll be paying for it. But it’s also about how a vehicle handles, how it looks & feels, and how desirable a vehicle is- all of these factors playing a part in your decision making process. However if you just want another metric to help you decide, then test out the Bang for your buck formula! A vehicle’s price, kilowatts, torque and 0-100Km times can all be found from Redbook.com.au  You never know, this simple equation may just help you make a difficult decision……Um, easier? Or perhaps talk you off the ledge from making an unwise financial decision. For example, after using the equation, I’ll never consider purchasing a Porsche ever again! No matter how it might make me ‘feel’ when seated inside of it.

If you find this formula helpful, please leave us a comment? We’d appreciate that.

Notes:

What makes the Bang for your buck value needle move by 0.1? This occurs when the price of a vehicle increases or decreases by $5K; when a vehicle’s power increases or decreases by 10 Kilowatts; when a vehicle’s torque increases or decreases by 25nm; or when a vehicle’s 0-100Km sprint time increases or decreases by 0.1 Sec.

And obviously the Bang for your buck equation will be blown out of the water if you’re purchasing second hand or ex-demonstrator, and/or if you take into consideration a vehicle’s potential for an after-market ECU tune.

Shredded Potato and Pork Mince Bowl Recipe

Flavours of a potato bake minus the lengthy cooking time!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 Large potatoes

1 Large brown onion

6 Cloves garlic

500g Pork mince

1 Cup cooking cream

Spices of you’re choosing

Rice to serve

Directions:

Step 1: Cook rice with your preferred method.

Step 2: Peel potatoes, and with the peeler shred potato into thin strips. Dice onions into small pieces and crush garlic.

Step 3: In a hot wok add cooking oil and fry onions and garlic for 5 minutes until it starts to soften. Then add potato shreds and stir fry for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Add pork mince to the mixture, and stir fry for a further 5 minutes, before adding cooking cream to the wok. Add a sprinkle of spices (whatever you have around the house e.g. Cumin, Cajun, Paprika, etc.). Bring the cream to a boil and turn down and allow simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Step 5: Divide rice into 4 bowls and serve potato and pork mince mixture over rice.

Product Recommendation- iPhone SE 2nd Generation

A poor man’s iPhone?

Haha, very funny. Keep laughing guys……… I tried to be a good sport and take it, as my mates ribbed me about my new iPhone SE 2nd Generation. The comments which were made which garnered all the laughs was “Oh, the iPhone SE, isn’t that a second hand refurbished iPhone 8 from Bangladesh?”

Yes, outwardly I was laughing with them, sure my new phone wasn’t a $1500+ flagship phone, but inwardly I was thinking “it’s no second hand refurb either!” I usually tell people that it’s the most advanced software and internals, but in an older phone’s body- that’s all. And I’ve been sprucing this line for years now, as my new SE is my second SE.

Even as recent as a month ago, I honestly believed that I was going to hang onto my iPhone SE 1st Generation for as long as I could. And tell you the truth, I honestly stressed out thinking about the day when it would finally fail like all tech eventually do, and what would I do then? As I loved my old SE, because it was small and compact- the very last of the small body phones. It fitted in my pocket so well, that you hardly notice that it’s there! And because I’m blind, I didn’t need a fancy big screen, and having a small surface area had its advantages as well, as all the icons were in close proximity so I wasn’t always blindly searching around for stuff on my phone.

However the scenario which made me think- ‘perhaps I need a larger screen’, was when my wife complained of eye-strain from watching ‘Terrace House’ on my tiny 4 inch monitor (SE 1st Gen used the old iPhone 5 body). And the second contributing factor which pushed me over the edge to purchase a new phone, was the fact that my 4 year old SE’s battery life was real bad- so bad that if I used it at all, I’d had to charge it twice a day to ensure that it would last the evening, and then last through to 8am the next morning. Not exactly all that mobile, for a mobile phone?

So over a 4 week period I first convinced myself in, then convinced myself out, and eventually talked myself back into taking the plunge and purchasing a new phone- and these are my thoughts after week 1.

The pros of the phone, may also be its cons?

I purchased the base of the base model, SE 64GB in  black with no further accessories nor cases- setting me back a miserly $749 (there are 128GB and 256GB options).

The set-up of the new phone was more than simple! With your two devices in hand, you can elect to send your existing phone’s data and settings over to your new phone, what’s required from you is to simply tap a few commands and then you allow your old phone and new phone to get acquainted. It felt like a ‘handover’ session between an outgoing and on-boarding staff member, the two phones just sit side by side for a couple of hours, exchanging content (and probably gossiping about you in the process). And after a snooze on my part, my new phone literally looked and handled like my old phone did- right down to being able to pick-up part-way where I’d left all of my podcasts, audiobooks and videos. Saying that it was unbelievable- is an understatement!

However the downside of this obvious pro and seamless transition, was that the ‘new phone experience’ was taken away from me? So much so that after less than 2 hours of getting a new phone, the sense of having something new was already gone? If that makes any sense? In the past, the new phone experience was all about learning the new functions, adapting to something completely foreign, configuring and customising the settings to your preferences, choosing a ring tone and homepage, transferring phone numbers (ok, perhaps I don’t miss that part), deciding which apps and photos to keep or not etc. But this day long ordeal (and sometimes multiple-day long ordeal) was completely taken away from me, that by the end of the first day I had by in large forgotten that I was still meant to feel excited about having a shiny new phone. Not to mention, if you were previously struggling with having available storage space with your old phone? Even after a new phone, you’ll still have this same problem, as everything from your old device has migrated over to your new (unless you’d purchased a phone with double or triple the existing storage space- which I had not).

But I have to admit, at first when I purchased the new SE, I had planned to still use my old SE due to its compact size. As my old phone wasn’t ‘dead’ yet, just poor battery life, I had imagined to use it when going out- perhaps keeping my sim in the old and actually just using it as a phone- yes, you know, for making and receiving calls? While the new phone would be used around the home on WIFI, like a mini, mini tablet. But all thoughts of maintaining dual devices left, as soon as I found how sleek and nice the SE 2nd Generation is to hold. Its super smooth with its dual sided glass case, it’s nicely weighted, and although it’s made out of glass it feels super sturdy. So much so, that I hadn’t planned on using a protective case- however my wife happened to had an unused iPhone 6 case, which we were surprised to find that it fitted perfectly.  And even with the case, it still feels super sleek and thin! **Note: Probably not using a case is unadvisable, as the back facing camera lens protrudes and caseless living might result in scratching up your 12 megapixel camera. And although the screen is larger, the actual phone doesn’t feel all that large in the end. 

The improvements on the original SE I’ve found, have been the sound quality, now that the in-phone speakers are in stereo. The Bluetooth connection is more reliable. The processor is definitely quicker. And the haptic feedback and the strength of the vibrations are solid and a welcomed addition (although it first annoyed me, vibrating and clicking each time I interacted with the phone).

The feature which I’ve loved the most, has been the simple fact that it still has a fingerprint reader- my wife would now actually prefer my smaller sized phone, than her iPhone 10, just because the SE can still unlock the phone with only a single touch! And having 13 hours of video playback, and probably 2 days’ worth of battery if I’m a light user that day- that is definitely a plus+!

So the latest software and internals, inside the body of an iPhone 8 for a bargain basement price (in mobile phone terms that is), I’m laughing! Not at all, do I feel like I’m the povo who can’t afford a ‘real’ phone.

So if you’re thinking of replacing your old phone and perhaps you’re not looking forward to forking out $1000+ in this current climate? Check out the iPhone SE 2nd Generation, click HERE for a side-by-side comparison between the SE 2nd Gen, iPhone 8, and iPhone SE 1st Gen.