How I select birthday gifts for people

With my final year in high school and the HSC coming up, I decided I needed to clear my brain of all the loose thoughts that exist inside. So, here is the perfect place to write them all down. I’d really love some input to these, because I think there are some interesting topics out there.

Over the last year, (while I still had a job), I gave many birthday gifts out to people. Some were interesting, some were plain, but there was a common way that I picked these. I have only just worked it out now, so here goes.

First, I think of some characteristics for a particular person. Usually these are in the form of single words that describe them. They might be interesting facts about that person, say, their favourite colour. From this I generate one word or phrase on which to base my gift on.

Second, using the known characteristics and that word or phrase, I go out to the wide world and pick my gift to that person. This is where all the usual factors in selecting gifts come in, i.e. cost, size, nature, etc… Then comes the waiting time to that person’s birthday.

Third, I give the gift to the person and observe their reaction.

Let me demonstrate with an example.

Name: PS (Name changed for security)
Descriptors: Favourite colour green, light, smart, wants to be lazy after HSC, quiet…
One word or phrase: Inspiration
Gift idea: Something from a design studio, voucher

I won’t kill the surprise for this person by revealing what the gift is, but I hope you get the general idea of how I go about selecting gifts!

Chocolate Cafés in Sydney

Updated: Max Brenner review

Over the past few holidays, I have tried several chocolate cafés in Sydney. There are three that I have been to. Now, if you don’t mind, here is the boring bit about how I reviewed each of them.

The product that I reviewed from each café is a take-away iced milk chocolate. Each café gets rated out of 5 on three things: Service, Food and Value. Food is how good the drink is.

So, here goes.
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2008 New Year’s Resolutions: Resolved?

In the dying embers of 2008, it’s time to evaluate whether my New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs) were fulfilled. So, here goes.

Now remember, I usually don’t make NYRs simply because I don’t get round to them much.

1. Blog/write more. Well, I’ve kept up this blog, and my other social networks. I could have done more but, owing to how busy I am, I think I’ve done pretty well. Yes!

2. Earn/save more money. In July, I quit my computer shop job to focus on the HSC. I’ve already bought all the stuff I want, so now is the time to save. Also ties in the financial crisis in recent times. Yes!

3. Build my social profile. Over the past year, I’ve said to myself that you need to gain respect. I think I’ve done that quite a bit this year. I’ve improved communications with others and have been a bit more flexible with outings. Yes.

4. Get out more. Not really. I’ve only done walking and lawn bowls. No.

5. Do well at school. Sort of. Next year is the HSC. Every bit will count towards that mark. ?

So 3 out of 5 NYRs successful. Not bad for someone like me who doesn’t like to set NYRs. You’ll have to see tomorrow whether I will set them for 2009.

After Europe

Apologies for the lack of posts for a month. I blame the Europe tour for that.

Yes, that’s right. I have just come back from a 20 day tour of Europe and the UK with the Barker Choir and Orchestra. I could write on for ages, but I think that it is best captured in photos. Below is the set of photos from my flickr page.

There are more photos to come; I still have not fully uploaded the best images.

There will be a new Chat soon to recount the last month or so. Thanks so much for supporting and reading!

The Chat 2

Here is The Chat for November.


I talk about a range of issues and other things. Please tell someone about the podcast!

This past week

Last Wednesday, this was celebrated:

It was so good to see friends being friends. A lot of work had gone into pulling off a big celebration for the two people. I helped out in the celebrations, handing out party poppers, which was fun.

Nothing else needs to be said.

Next week, tests and assessments. Go well in them everyone!

A reminder…

Just a small reminder, if you want to subscribe to my podcast via iTunes or other podcatcher, here is the link to do so.

All the posts with podcasts will be tagged ‘podcast’ and will appear on this feed.


A little chat…

Well, the title does not say it all. To reduce the amount of writing I have to do, I have recorded a podcast instead.


It has been two years since I’ve done this. So therefore, I’m a bit shaky, but it will do. I talk about the last few weeks, its news, and what is ahead.


Is there anyone who is capable of decoding dreams? I have a couple of weird ones that still remain unsolved…

It is very hard…

It is very hard to constantly produce content on the web. Writing blogs, updating flickr and the microblogs is something that needs effort and thinking through.

Tomorrow (30 Sep), I will be at Centennial Park chilling out for a day. There the creative juices will flow (hopefully) and there will be some stuff on flickr.

It’s the school holidays now.