Harvey Norman Carindale are useless fuckers

So, the situation with my couches continues.  In January 2011, a friend’s house flooded -along with half of his suburb – and he lost all his possessions.  While many of our friends rallied around to help with the clean up effort, me and my lack of physical capacity for such things, decided to donate to the cause – some couches for them to use until they got back on their feet.  It was a 10 year old corner suite, but in very good condition and I loved that couch.  Obviously this meant, we found ourselves purchasing new ones… a little sooner than we would have liked, but we were happy to help.

And what a cluster fuck that has turned out to be… our old couch was fantastic, these new ones have been dreadful.  They came with eight cushions, which almost immediately began to fray and have threads pull on them in an unsightly manner –  I ended up putting half of them away in the cupboard so I could pull them out when we had guests and they would look nice and not bedraggled.  Then one of the arms of one of the sofas seemed to collapse in on itself and the rest of them have became soggy.  Then, the final straw, which set this process in motion, a broken beam protruding from UNDER one of the sofas, resulting in a collapse under the seat.  Additionally, we had noticed, that that the fabric had been pilling somewhat, so I purchased some nice throw rugs to put on the seats to protect the fabric.  However, over time this does not seem to have helped, and the threadbare/pilled sections now have torn and ripped threads in them.  It seems we have bought couches that are probably meant to be purely decorative… as Harvey Norman have told us that the fabric is not covered under the warranty we purchased if you are OLD OR FAT.  Yes, you read that right.  Read on to see how the saga is playing out… this is the latest in a string of emails, tweets and attempts to contact Hardly Normal head office to have this issue resolved.  🙁

“Dear Jenni Franz,

I am following up on the couch warranty claim that I put in process with you on 27th of April. A representative from Action Upholstery did come and see the couches in question on 8th May, and I feel that more than two weeks is sufficiently long enough for a course of action to be undertaken, or at the very least for your department to have advised me on what is to occur.

To recap, the sofas were purchased at Harvey Norman Carindale for $2,847.00 (Invoice no: 698515), on 30/07/2011 and were delivered in September of 2011. One of the sofas has a beam that has collapsed from underneath it, and has an arm which has likewise suffered a loss of structural integrity. Additionally all four arms of both sofas have become ‘spongy’ and feel as though the sofa arms are going to sink in. Further the fabric on the seats, and to a lesser extent the arms and backs of the sofas are ripped and torn even though they couches have been in use for only 3 years and 8 months and have a 5 year fabric warranty.

You have assured me the structural failure of the frame of the sofas is covered under warranty, however you previously advised that that the fabric will NOT likely be covered. According to your previous email, if the users of the couches are considered ‘elderly or larger sized’ and therefore not agile enough to use the couches in an appropriate manner – then the fabric warranty will be considered VOID, due to persons of this type, ‘shuffling forward in the seat to get out of it’ causing pilling and subsequent tearing and ripping of the fabric. It seems the expected lifespan for this fabric is considerably less than the warranty your company was prepared to sell it with – but particularly if users are considered OLD or FAT. I was aghast at your preparedness to even think this of your customers, let alone put it in writing, as below – and your representative from Action Upholstery was likewise nonplussed at this assertion.

Further, the upholsterer agreed that a consumer should be able to reasonably expect that a fabric, used under normal wear and tear conditions, should reasonably be expected to outlive the warranty period with which it was sold. At no time during the sales process and subsequent purchase transaction, did anyone from your sales team advise that this fabric was not considered dependable for regular domestic use, nor was any indication given that it was not sturdy enough for persons who might arbitrarily be considered OLD or FAT! I am astounded that you would treat your customers in such an ill-considered discriminatory manner.

This entire situation is completely unacceptable. From the lack of communication during this warranty claim process, to your refusal to pass on the name of the manufacturer of these items – I am fairly confident that had I bought a vacuum cleaner at Harvey Norman – you would want nothing to do with the warranty process at all and would be fobbing me off to a manufacturer with all haste.

I have previously lodged my concerns with Harvey Norman Head Office an was advised that the Franchisee and a Regional Manager would be in contact with me regarding this matter – however since those assurances took place at the end of April and I have heard nothing from ANYONE at Harvey Norman, either locally or regionally, I now have as little faith in those assertions as I have in your own store’s customer service capacity.

Please be advised that my expectations are as follows: that these couches will be collected within the week, that the structural damage on each couch will be rectified, that the couches will be recovered in a fabric that is more durable for regular domestic use which might reasonably be expected to last five years regardless of whether OLD, INFIRM or OVERWEIGHT persons might be using the products. Alternatively, I would be amenable to them to being returned for a full refund of the original purchase price as I am completely appalled at this situation and the diffident treatment I have received thus far.

if this situation is not completely resolved in the next four weeks to my satisfaction, I will be taking this matter further on advice that I have already taken from the ACCC.


So pray remember, if any of you are going to purchase anything from Harvey Norman that they have the worst possible post-sale customer service in the business.  The ACCC told me they hear problems about them ALL the time and are constantly trying to advise customers of what to do – however it would seem many customers don’t have the time, inclination or wherewithal to see complaints through.  Well, HN have picked a fight with the wrong girl… I have nothing BUT time, motivation and the wherewithal to turn this into a complete social media shit fight. and as you all know, once I have the bit between my teeth – I never give up.

Oh and do feel free to retweet this ridiculous tale – no one should be discriminated against like this (especially seeing the representatives in question have never seen us, nor have they seen the immaculate state of my OCD like home!)
I would strongly recommend people avoid shopping at Harvey Norman at all costs!


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From the Chef: Oysters Kilpatrick

Had an unnatural urge for Oysters Kilpatrick yesterday, probably something to do with going to the local tavern for dinner recently and seeing them on the menu, but not being even remotely prepared to pay $26 a dozen, for what was inevitably bound to be disappointing Oysters Kilpatrick.

Yes.  Disappointing.  You see, once upon a time I dated a lovely young man whose father was a chef and that there was a family who know’d how to make fantastic Oysters Kilpatrick… and every single time I have ever ordered in a restaurant (I don’t care how swanky the place is or how nice their flatware) they’re just plain disappointing somehow.  So, I’m stuck making them myself.  Which I do every year or so to the Corrie family secret recipe…

Here’s what you’re going to need:

Two dozen Coffin Bay or Sydney Rock oysters – the bigger the better!
Shortcut BACON – lots of it.
BBQ sauce – you can be as fussy or as dodgy with this as you want.
Tomato ketchup – fuck off that nasty tomato sauce stuff though.
Worcestershire sauce – the older the better.
Cream of Horseradish – this is the secret ingredient (don’t tell anyone!).

Here’s what you’ve gotta do:

Step 1:
Take your shortcut bacon and trim any extra fat off it – because we don’t need the extra heart attack to go with our high fructose BBQ sauce.  Slice it up fine, until it looks almost shredded and then throw a couple of rough cuts to make the pieces about an inch long. Chuck that shit in a mixing bowl.

Step 2:
Pour a generous amount of BBQ sauce onto the bacony goodness.  Poor an almost equally portion of ketchup stuff in too.  Splash in some Wussy sauce, and add a glob of Cream of Horseradish… yeah, sorry about that.  I have absolutely no idea how much of what goes in where, I just make it based on what it looks like.  Taste a dab, if it’s not tangy enough – add more Horseradish; if it’s too tangy – add more BBQ sauce.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

IMG_5127Step 3:
Carefully arrange your gorgeous looking oysters into an oven tray leaning them up against each other so the bacony goodness topping doesn’t run all over the place – seriously, I meant it when I said size matters!  The bigger the better!

Step 4:
Drop a small dollop of saucy bacon topping onto each oyster – be mindful of the fact that this stuff will spread and your oyster will runneth over, so don’t put too much on each oyster.

Step 5:
Chuck the tray in the oven and cook ’em.  Maybe 20 minutes, maybe 25minutes in a moderate oven, depending on how dry you like them – if you like the runny juices in the bottom of your oyster shells… turn it up to 220C and cook them for less time.  If you prefer your oysters to be sitting in something still similar to the consistency of sauce then 180C for a bit longer.  Cook them until the peaks turn ever so slightly charred looking and the sauce looks like Rotorua darling! (ie: like boiling mud!)

Step 6:
Pull them out, allow them to rest a little (seriously, actually do this – or you’ll burn your damn hand or something when transferring them to a plate or whatever and it’ll allow the sauce to ‘set’ a little), then put them on a bed of fancy rock salt to look all pretty – or failing that, set the whole damn oven tray on the table with some bread and hook in.


Ta-da! All gone!

Capricorn with something something rising.

I entered my name (or a version thereof) and date and place of birth, into a ‘free astrology chart‘ website for shits and giggles… and this is what it spat out in milliseconds.   I don’t know whether to be impressed or alarmed!

astrological chart

Rising Sign is in 19 Degrees Scorpio
You tend to be quiet, reserved, secretive and, at times, quite difficult to understand. Others notice your deep emotions and feelings and wonder how to draw you out. Stubborn and tough, you fight for any position you believe in. You are very resourceful and formidable when you become angered or upset about something. You enjoy living life at the cutting edge – for you life must be experienced intensely and totally. Quite courageous, you are willing to take calculated risks. Easily hurt by others, you often strike back with bitter sarcasm. Sensitive and curious, you are concerned with the deeper mysteries of human psychology. Once you have become interested in any subject, you pursue it with total fanaticism.

Sun is in 19 Degrees Capricorn.
Extremely serious and mature, you are capable of accepting responsibilities and do so willingly. Others expect you to be dutiful as a matter of course. You tend to get angry when people get rewards after not having worked anywhere near as hard as you. You are goal-oriented and an achiever by nature – you’re a hard worker and are justifiably proud of the tangible results of your efforts. You tend to have “tunnel-vision” – this allows you to block out extraneous matters that might distract others and to concentrate totally on the matter at hand. As such, you are the ideal one to manage or administrate any ongoing project and to be practical and efficient at it. You are not a fast worker, but you are quite thorough. You are known for being totally persistent, tenacious and tireless in reaching your goals.

Moon is in 11 Degrees Scorpio.
Your feelings are very intense, never superficial. You tend to be either very angry or very sad or completely and totally happy. Your moods are deep, extreme and not always completely understood by yourself or by those with whom you have to deal. Emotionally, you tend to live at the cutting edge of life, pushing your reactions to the ultimate extremes, even if the results are dangerous or upsetting. You are easily suspicious – you require a great deal of emotional reassurance. A good detective, you are very curious about deep and mysterious things, especially human nature and motivations. Be careful not to be ruthless, tactless or too overly frank or you will meet with much resistance from others.

Mercury is in 28 Degrees Sagittarius.
Your mind is very curious and inquisitive, always seeking information on a wide variety of topics. The broader the subject matter (philosophy, science, religion, metaphysics), the more it will appeal to you. You prefer to deal with abstractions — the small but important details associated with any subject tend to slip your grasp. You are known for being blunt, honest and truthful.

Venus is in 22 Degrees Aquarius.
You are a friendly and outgoing individual, but close relationships are difficult for you to maintain due to your fear that they will cause you to lose your freedom. You attract friends and associates who are exciting, different and sometimes a bit odd. You are popular with others and enjoy working within a group toward group goals.

Mars is in 09 Degrees Aries.
You are very independent and self-assertive, and you have lots of physical energy. You are not satisfied unless you can be the first to do something. As such, you are more comfortable in leadership positions than you are as an underling. When you are challenged by anyone for anything, you delight in the competitive process and will fight long and hard for your beliefs. You are bold and courageous but rarely act without thinking. At times, in your zeal to get ahead, you can be are tactless and offensive – learn that cooperation with others can often bring you nearer to your goals quicker because of the support you will get.

Jupiter is in 24 Degrees Sagittarius.
You have a very strong sense of ethics and morality. You are widely read and may also be widely traveled because you are sincerely interested in expanding your knowledge of the world about you. At times, you have an annoying tendency to be self-righteous and preachy about your belief system. You are usually quite idealistic and you demand the right to be able to explore the entire world of experiences yourself. Remember to grant others the similar right – be tolerant, not dogmatic.

Saturn is in 29 Degrees Taurus.
Complete freedom of choice makes you ill at ease. You must have a firm, ordered, secure foundation in your life in order to feel comfortable. You do not adapt easily and tend to fear the new and untried. You constantly fear that you do not have enough (love, property, material things, etc.) and this makes you tend toward being selfish, withdrawn or stingy. If you try to surround yourself with supportive people in your environment, you will become more emotionally self-supporting.

Uranus is in 18 Degrees Libra.
You, as well as your entire peer group, have a very free, unstable and unconventional approach to relationships and emotional commitments. You will be attracted to experiments in marriage and shared lifestyles. Personal freedom is more important to you than entangling emotional bonds. In the realm of art and aesthetics, you are attracted to the bizarre, shocking and unusual.

Neptune is in 04 Degrees Sagittarius.
You, and your entire generation, are heavily involved in investigating and idealizing foreign and exotic intellectual systems and religious philosophies. The most extreme ideals will be pursued with gusto. You will be at the forefront of humanitarian attempts to improve the lot of those who are in need of assistance. You will be comfortable with the concept of the “global village.”

Pluto is in 02 Degrees Libra.
For your entire generation, this is a time of radical changes in society’s attitude toward marriage and interpersonal relationships. There is a general fear and awe at the power inherent in making emotional or contractual commitments – they will not be entered into lightly.

N. Node is in 05 Degrees Aquarius.
As long as someone else (or a group or organization) appeals to your intellectual sensibilities, you’ll try to ally yourself with them in some way. You may find that you always seem to get involved with many wide-ranging groups – so much so that you find it difficult to fit them all into your busy schedule. Your many friends and acquaintances provide you with needed stimulation. You’re loyal and fair-minded – you try to spend time equally with all your friends, never concentrating on just one or two for any length of time. Although probably quite conservative yourself, you’re attracted to those who are a bit offbeat or eccentric – you enjoy watching their minds work.

Another day another Ministerial to the Minister of Police

Another day passes and more ineptitude becomes apparent from Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing Branch.   CAN THEY GET NOTHING RIGHT?!?!  I have decided that I want my son to take up shooting with me, which actually means very little.  He doesn’t have to be licensed to come shooting, he doesn’t have to undergo safety induction training and he doesn’t have to jump through voluminous hoops of untold amounts of legal bullshit and paperwork.  However, as a responsible sporting shooter, it is my preference that my son does attend safety inductions, and does become a responsible member of the sporting shooters community and to me, that means doing the inductions and getting him licensed… I believe this has several benefits, it builds into young shooters a sense of belong and community, as well as reinforces the importance of responsible firearms ownership and management, which can only put them in good stead for the future. Yes, I know.  I am so idealistic it is making me sick.  The path to hell is paved with good intentions, so why the hell am I surprised that Weapons Licensing Branch is pissing me off yet again!  Months and months of delays… precipitating yet another fucking long winded ministerial to try and get some movement on the damn thing.  I have included a copy of it here for anyone who might want to replicate parts of it for their own complaints – which I am certain the various MPs are receiving in bulk at the moment: Attn:  Steve Minikin MP & Jack Dempsey MP CC:  Manager Weapons Licensing Branch

Dear Messrs Minikin and Dempsey
I would write to say that I have recently gone through the process of assisting my son apply for a Category A/B Firearms license so that he may start to compete in Junior division target shooting competitions – but seeing that 104 DAYS, (of which, 74 were business days) have passed since his application was lodged via QPS Weapons Licensing Branch’s supposedly streamlined online application process, one can hardly characterise this as recent!
On February 22nd my son completed the compulsory safety induction course.  On February 23rd, he was awarded his Statement of Attainment for same.  On February 27th, his application was lodged online with Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing Branch along with all necessary documents and the fee of $155.25 was paid at this time.  Some ten weeks later on May 18th I called to check on the progress of this application and was informed it had been received, but had yet not even been assigned to an Authorizing Officer.  Finally on May 22nd, we were informed by email that the case had been assigned to an Authorizing Officer and that we were required to present ID at Wynnum Police Station to verify my son’s identification.  This was duly completed the next working day.  At this time I also completed an Eligibility to Join a Registered Pistol Club Form with QPS WLB, also for my son, so that he may start the process of joining the Belmont Pistol Club and participate in pistol competitions as well.
Two days ago, June 10, the Eligibility to Join a Registered Pistol Club Authority Letter arrived in the mail, after barely 7 days had passed, while yet we continue to wait on his Category A/B Firearms License.  The Pistol Club Authority is a NO FEE service and was processed in a matter of days while the Cat A/B licence is still no where to be seen.  This application has now taken in excess of 100 days to process, in spite of my having to pay $155.25 for it to be processed and issued.  This delay is completely unacceptable.  It is obvious that the administrative unit processing new firearms license applications is completely over run with an enormous backlog of work – anecdotal evidence from my fellow shooters suggests that some license are taking up to NINE MONTHS to be processed – while the less common applications, are being processed in very reasonable time frames.  Are there units of staff at QPS WLB sitting around doing nothing, waiting for special applications to arrive while their colleagues in new firearms license application units are run off their feet and swamped by months long backlogs?  If so, this is patently ridiculous.
I find it deplorable that QPS can charge a (not inconsiderable) fee for processing a license application and then not attend to these applications in a reasonable timeframe – as indeed, they are required to do so under the legislation.  There is no way the Department of Transport would ever be allowed to operate like this – lodge a license application, pay your fee, then wait up to nine months to receive the document you paid for.  Is it the Department’s preference that people go about their activities without the requisite licences?  If there is to be a fee for service process, then clients should be able to expect a level of service that is commensurate with the fees being paid, and the timeframes outlined in the legislation governing the issuing of Firearms Licenses.
Unfortunately this is NOT a new problem, nor is it a new experience for the shooters of Queensland.  I waited in excess of three months for my own Category A/B license in 2009, (excuses at that time claimed that a new computer system was holding up processing times), additionally I was forced to wait a further three months when applying for a Category H license in 2011 (excuses this time blamed inner city flooding for processing delays).  Expectations of ANY new applications being attended to, and processed in a timely fashion are at an all time low within Queensland’s shooting community and sentiment towards QPS WLB is increasingly disgruntled and hostile.
The Queensland LNP Government came into power on a promise of cutting red tape for firearms owners and to date, we have seen nothing but waiting times and processing times continue to worsen.  I respectfully request that my son’s application (details below) be looked into, reviewed and an explanation be provided as to what has caused these unwarranted delays.  Additionally, myself and the responsible firearms owners of Queensland deserve to know what is being done to rectify this ridiculous situation, as it is obviously not a new problem.  We have seen the LNP Government process legislative changes overnight on issues that are high on their political agenda – so telling us these things take time is just not good enough.
…  absolutely no fucking regards, signed ME.
I have a feeling this will make absolutely no difference whatsoever.  But on the off chance I actually get the written response that I have requested, I will be sure to post it here.  Grrr.  Who needs this constant aggravation???
PS:  I always feel the need to distance my disgust for the administrative clusterfuck that is Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing Branch from my respect and admiration for the QPS Officers who are on the ground putting themselves at risk to keep our communities safe.  Hate your bosses, love your work.
cops queensland police service

Qld Police Weapons Licensing – Still suck.

Yep, that’s right, Queensland Police Service, Weapons Licensing Branch are fucking us around – YET AGAIN!

When I applied for my Cat A/B licence… it was the implementation of a new computer system that was allegedly holding up processing.
When I applied for my Cat H licences… it was the 2011 floods that supposedly affected QPS offices that was blamed for excessive processing times.
When I applied for a PTA for my first Cat H acquisition… it was a backlog of applications that was stated to be the problem.
When I applied for a PTA for my second Cat H acquisition… it was lost paperwork that was claimed to be at fault for everything taking forever.

Now I’ve applied for a Cat A/B licence for my son, and I’m told that delays already at over 11 weeks, are the result of ‘an inordinate volume of new applications, so don’t bother even calling us until it has been more than 12 weeks since you lodged your application’.  Application was lodged on FEBRUARY 28th… I made a call on MAY 19th, and was told it wasn’t even assigned to an Authorising Officer yet…  And it’s now JUNE 3rd and there’s still no fucking sign of it.

WeaponsLicensingOnline footerOh, and this was a fricken online application.  That means the new streamlined computerised system that was holding us all up, five years ago, is STILL holding us up!  Their damn website is covered in logos that say ‘Save Time – Apply Online’.  What a joke.  Save what fucking time?  It’s taking just as long, if not longer than it did when we had to lodge in person at a police station – not to mention the fact that part way through the process, you lot are going to request that we attend a Police Station (of your choosing) to provide proof of ID to an authorised officer at some point anyway… so where exactly is the benefit in using the online application system?

Now, I might be wrong, but Weapons Licensing are required to attend to applications in a timeframe that is deemed ‘as soon as is practicable’ after any mandatory 28 day waiting periods.  I don’t know about y’all, but 12 weeks does not seem a practical or equitable wait period for any government FEE FOR SERVICE process.  Because of course the buggers have had my money since February 28th for a service not yet rendered.  Now it doesn’t matter so much for a Cat A/B… but if I’ve joined a pistol club, that is a quarter of my yearly membership fee (and importantly my range fees!) used up by the time I get my licence and can go down the range, and practice shoot independently, as a licensed shooter – and that is seriously FUCKED.

I should not have to resort to writing indignant letters to the Minister for Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Police Service Commissioner, the Director of Queensland Police Service Administrative Branch, the Manager of Weapons Licensing Branch and the designated Authorizing Officer just to have a simple licence application processed, and one that I have bloody well paid for, at that. (That is the exact list of people to ‘cc’ into your complaint if you want to see some immediate action, btw – all email addresses readily available with a big of digging around the QPS website.)

I continue to be gobsmacked at the complete lack of efficacy and accountability demonstrated by the obviously inept managerial and administrative staff running Queensland’s Weapons Licensing Branch.  I mean, how friggin’ hard is it to train extra staff to do what is essentially data processing and run background checks through QPS’s own databases?  How bloody bad does it have to get before they actually recruit and put on some extra staff to process this alleged ‘high volume of applications’?  FFS,  I’ll fucking go work for them if they need it – by all accounts, it sounds like the sort of admin grunt work a trained monkey could do.

But in the meantime, here I wait with absolutely no patience whatsoever for Queensland Police Service’s Weapons Licensing Branch to finally GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER!