Self-service gets our enterprise for a bargain

You may call me a peevish old man, but these self-service supermarket checkouts give me the pip. I only encounter them when venturing out of the village, as our service-oriented IGA does not as yet have automated check-outs. Not so a certain Brisbane supermarket which, around 5pm, seems to have nobody staffing its numerous checkouts and only one person ‘helping’ people scan their own groceries. I usually ignore the self-service corner and will wait an…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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Odd socks stamp out mental health stigma

My choice to wear a matchless pair of socks today was a deliberate tribute to Mental Health Week. Odd Socks Day is just one of the many events sponsored through October to remind us that one in five Australians suffer a mental health disorder in any 12-month period. I’d never heard of Odd Socks Day, but spotted a flyer in a café somewhere and tucked it away for future reference. It’s a national anti-stigma mental…

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Keeping the Toowoomba carnival afloat

So there we were at the unaccustomed early hour of 7am in Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba, trying to catch Macca’s eye to say, “Mate, we’re here.” Ian McNamara,* the host of Australia all Over, who sometimes plays music by our band, The Goodwills, had invited us to attend his second OB (outside broadcast) of the year. Laurel Bank Park was pretty as a picture, thanks to a big team of gardeners and a decision by…

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