Review Aldi Lumina Ice Cream Maker

A few days ago a local current affairs program had a story about the chemicals and artificial junk which goes into commercial ice cream.  I have known about this for a while and have not bought much ice cream because of the issue. Of course there is the natural gourmet variety available, but it’s usually prohibitively expensive so I haven’t bothered to buy any at all.

Well… given that it’s summer here the odd ice cream treat is very welcome. So I thought I’d give making my own a go. Aldi had an ice cream maker on sale last week so I bought one. It is the kind which has a inner bowl (double walled and filled with some kind of liquid) which needs to be frozen for 8 (per the instructions) to 12 hours before use. So when I got it home straight in the freezer it went. I checked out the recipes in the accompanying instruction booklet and decided to try the lemon sorbet. I made up the lemon sorbet mix per the recipe and left it in the refrigerator while the bowl was in the freezer. At 1.30 in the morning I attempted to make the sorbet.

Aldi Ice Cream maker

It was a total failure. Absolutely no freezing of the sorbet mix at all. So, I placed the freezer bowl back in the freezer and tried again at around 11.30 the next morning. Same result, no freezing at all.

So I hit Google and tried to find a solution. The only answer seems to be the bowl wasn’t cold enough. So I checked the setting on my freezer and made it the coldest possible. I waited another 10 hours and tried again. Same result, NO freezing of the sorbet mix. Very disappointing. I gave up and just froze the sorbet mix in a container in the freezer.

I really wanted to make my own ice cream so I tried again with another recipe – this time for ice cream. I made up the ice cream mix per the recipe, chilled it in the freezer this time, and of course the freezer bowl was still in the freezer (on coldest setting). So hours later, I tried again. The ice cream mix was actually starting to set before I placed it in the ice cream maker bowl so I thought this time would be successful, but NO, I was wrong. The mixing process actually liquified it more (considering there was some setting from being placed in the freezer). So TOTAL FAILURE.

I called the support number and got a call back from their technical people, who could not offer any additional tips. So I took up their suggestion that I return the product and get my money back, which is exactly what I did. I’d be very surprised if Aldi does get a stream of people returning the unit. I’m not sure what the problem was. Wrong type of liquid in the double walled bowl? Not enough liquid? I don’t know, but I’m very disappointed as I wanted to be able to make my own ice cream and it’s not as if I didn’t try.

Google Panda – Pandalicious or Not?

Is Google being evil?

The scenario – you have been writing a blog since 2007 (, you have tried to provide lots of free content, and of course in the process you’d like to make a little money.  That seems reasonable right?  After all, no money = no blog = no free information.  Plus factor in the learning curve anyone goes through when first learning about putting up a website and creating content. Believe me, if you don’t have any passion for the project you’ll never continue providing free content – that’s why there are thousands of defunct blogs out there. Sometimes, it seems to me, that Google expects people to be Uber experts at everything.  I’m not a big corporation, and the only actual training I’ve had in this complicated process has been trial and error and simply just doing it.  They say it’s all about taking action, there’s no doubt I’ve done that, and learned a whole lot along the way.  I think I’ve fulfilled my side of the bargain pretty well, but Google seems to demand “perfection”.  I have no problem providing a “good user experience”, but I wouldn’t mind some consideration in having a “good blogger experience”.  Oh well, back to the learning curve!

What in the name of Google is a Panda
Original Infographic @ What in the name of Google is a “Panda” / Provided by cognitiveSEO

My Ikea Shopping Experience

A couple of weeks ago Ikea in Australia delivered their new catalogue to most  people in Australia.  I needed to solve some storage problems so I thoroughly looked over it’s pages.  I found a couple of well priced cabinets which fitted the space.

So off we went to Ikea.  The first challenge was finding the store. We hadn’t been to the location before, so we followed their directions…  Mmm. The driving directions were correct but not explanatory enough. After turning right (three lane road) the left turn is almost immediate, so if you’re not positioned correctly you miss the turn – which we did. This forced us to drive about 5km out of of way to get back to the store.  Anyway, we eventually did find the shopping centre, parked the car and found the store. We found the products we were interested in, noted down the pick up location, then got a trolley and went to the pick up area and found our (big) boxes and wheeled them to the check out area. They have self-serve check outs as well, so if you choose you can perform the whole Ikea shopping experience without interacting with anyone.  Whether you think that’s a good idea is up to you, but it does work.

It would have been helpful to know which car park level was the best to allow easy access from the store, however the elevator was large enough to accommodate the boxes. Overall we had a good experience.

My suggestions for the best shopping experience would be:-

* Shop from the catalog and online to figure out what you want to buy, otherwise strolling around the (very large) store will take you all day.
* Carefully check the measurements of your space and the products you want.
* Before you leave home check stock availability online.
* Check Google Earth for the store location so you can work out the best way to get there.