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Nostalgia For Your Ears


Acquisitions has been around in some way, shape or form for around 30 years so it stands to reason we've got some old bits & pieces kicking around. I found an old copy of Aussie House & Garden magazine (from June 1985) in our break room recently and, while flicking through it, I had to laugh at this article about hi-fi sound and, in particular, the 'recent' appearance of compact discs on the market.

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'Compact disc players, which some feel will eventually replace the old-fashioned turntable...' What?! Who are these people? How could anyone think anything could replace the old fashioned turn-table? Fools.

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'Compact discs will probably not replace conventional records in our lifetime...' Ah, it's comforting to know that compact discs (or as I like to call them - C.D.'s **grins smugly**) won't be replacing records anytime soon. I'm happy to know I can continue to enjoy WHAM's 'Last Christmas' with the scratch through the middle of the first chorus for many years to come.

Just quietly, how old was the writer of this article when they wrote 'Compact discs will probably not replace conventional records in our lifetime...' 90?

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This home entertainment set-up (above) was so state-of-the-art in 1985 that it's actually my current home entertainment set-up today. Don't be jealous though as you are more than welcome to come around and marvel at it. I'll even describe all the features to you at length and then, when I think I've impressed you enough, I might 'wow' you even more by playing you one of my new C.D.'s!

Anyway, all seriousness aside, if it's any comfort to you you'll be pleased to know that apart from this old gem the majority of our reading material around the head office break room consists of supplier catalogues featuring up-to-the-minute, contemporary gift and home ware items and that's just the way we like it.
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A Bundle of Christmas Calm at Head Office


While our sales staff are busy helping fine folk find the perfect gift for Christmas and wrapping gifts up nicely...

While our merchandisers are busy trying to make sure our stores are presented beautifully and ensure we've got enough product on display to satisfy our discerning clientele...

While our warehouse teams are processing stock at super-human speed in an attempt to get it to the stores before they need it...

While our buyers are struggling to order enough product to keep our busy stores stocked up...

While our head office team work tirelessly behind the scenes doing amazing things with numbers...

And while your friendly, neighbourhood online guy is trying to ignore the mountain of other tasks he has to do to write this...

While all of this is going on our CEO (Canine Executive Officer), George, lounges comfortably in the break room and calmly observes the seasonal madness. When asked for a comment about all the goings on he managed a kind of groaning stretch thing that he does and licked his lips. I think what he meant was make sure you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and an awesome time with family and friends because when all is said and done, that's what the season is really all about.

Nicely put George, I couldn't have said it better myself. Now go and help one of the stores, they need someone to help gift wrap.

Xmas George

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Whiskey Stones by Teroforma

Whiskey Stones

These cool sandstone Whiskey Stones are a hot item for the person that likes their dram chilled but undiluted.

About Whiskey Stones:

• They are milled in Vermont at the oldest soapstone workshop in America.
• They are a simple and elegant solution to an age-old problem – how to chill your whiskey (or other spirits) without diluting it's perfectly balanced flavours.
• Soapstone is technically softer than glass, so it won’t inadvertently scratch your favourite tumbler
• Soapstone is highly resistant to changes in ambient temperature, so you can be sure that your whisky will chill down and stay chilled
• Soapstone is non-porous and inert, so it won’t trap flavour or odour and cannot react with household solvents

How to Use Whiskey Stones:

• Rinse and dry the stones before their first use.
• Store in your freezer in the muslin pouch for at least 4 hours between uses.
• Add 3 stones to 90ml (around two shots) of your favourite spirit. It need not be whiskey and works just fine with any liquid (but NOT with any volume of liquid - see 'Questions from Customers' below).
• Let stand for 5 minutes swirling occasionally.
• Enjoy your chilled drink.

Genuine Customer Queries to Teroforma about Whiskey Stones:

I put a half dozen whisky stones in a 32oz glass of coke but they aren’t having any effect. Are they defective? Why don’t they work in coke?
It’s not the type of drink that matters, it’s the size. Better yet, it’s the volume. Look at the way that ice works: it floats and melts. Since heat rises and cold falls, the melting near-frozen water from the ice “falls” through a drink of any size, cooling as it goes. Sure, you are left with a diluted drink, but there is no denying that ice is the tops when it comes to making things cold. Since Whisky Stones are made of stone, they are not capable of either floating or melting. As you would expect, they sink to the bottom of the glass. They are excellent at cooling the liquid around and below them, but are not at all effective at cooling the liquid above them. Thus, it is best to use the stones with smaller volume drinks (about 1-1.5 stones per ounce) and to fill the glass only up to the height of one stone. Coincidentally, the height of one stone (about 7/8”) is right around the 2-3oz classic “dram” in a normal diameter drinking glass.

I have been drinking whisky with ice all my life and I like it that way. Why would I want to put rocks in my drink?
First of all, if you’re buying it, you can drink it however you want. We aren’t saying anyone is wrong, but we know how the flavors in whisky (and any other cask-aged spirit) work and can tell you that drinking a dram at near freezing temperatures only to then let it muddle in a bunch of imprecisely added ice-water is not the best way to enjoy your favorite single malt. As any whisky connoisseur will confirm, tasting notes for single malt scotch are prepared from both neat and watered tastings. The neat tasting is for the concentrated essence of the spirit. The watered tasting introduces dilution, yes, but very precise dilution meant to do one thing – interact with the oils that have leached into the liquid from the cask in which it was aged. Great care is taken by distillers in selecting the kind of cask in which their spirits will age – bourbon, sherry, port, rum are all common and convey very important flavor to the spirit. After all, when whisky enters its cask, it is clear. If the cask has such a profound impact on the color, imagine what it does to the flavor. These flavor properties are conveyed largely by the wood oils in the cask itself. By using ice, you effectively congeal the oils that carry so much of the character of the whisky, thereby “shutting down” the flavor. While tasters do not mind water, they recoil in horror at the idea of ice for precisely this reason. Whisky Stones allow you to cool gently without diluting. Add water if you want, but add it from a pitcher (or noggin) not in cube form.

Stones in my drink? My dentist won’t like that.
Yes, they are stones for your drink. No, we don’t recommend tipping your glass up and tapping the bottom like you do to get the last chunk of ice on a summer day. There is no disclaimer long enough to replace common sense, but we take heart from the fact that to date we have not had a single reported injury by whisky stones.

Can I heat whisky stones to keep my coffee or tea warm?
Actually, yes. That is entirely possible and, before electrical refrigeration or baseboard heating, the most famous use of soapstone was as a bed-warmer. We do not highlight the material’s ability to retain heat as well as cold because, well, you can imagine the risk in a place as lawsuit-happy as the USA. But between you and me, we have used them that way among the Teroforma team for ages and they work great. Just watch yourself – hot rocks are unforgiving things. 
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Lookin' Good Richmond!

Richmond Apron

Recently we updated the colour of our aprons to make our staff more visible and inject a bit of fun. The colour might not be to everyone's taste but it looks like they are embracing it in our Richmond store.

Jontee, who has come on board to help with the Christmas rush in Richmond, clearly figured he might as well make the most of the fresh new colour and have a bit of fun with it. He wear's it well don't you think?

Kimsharee (our Richmond manager) had this to say about the colour (with tongue firmly in cheek):
'Are you guys serious? We thought the high viz was only for Christchurch ;-)
With Love,
'The Glow Worms of Richmond'
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