I aint eva shopping in a supermarket evr, evr agin

…not because of it being a public space etc in these weird times but because I’ve been on a mission to find stuff to be delivered so I can minimise supermarket visits and I have just found the most amazing stuff being made in nz.

I used to really lament how little cool cheese etc, for example, I could find in nz… and I used to be proud of the quality of food in nz supermarkets..hold my tongue!!!! there is so much better stuff available from small businesses around the country…here is some of the amazing stuff I have found over the last day or so:

https://foodbox.co.nz/ – I ordered a box per week. The first box I got the produce was unbelievably good. Then they got rushed and slimmed down their offerings to deal with the demand. Quality has also suffered a little. Never mind, sticking with them. After all this is done and whenever I’m in NZ I’m just going to order boxes from them. The food really is very good, much higher quality than the supermarkets.

https://www.countrytrading.co – found them looking for butter. The great irony is that there is some rule now somewhere that stuff you can readily get in a supermarket is considered ‘non-essential’. So, businesses selling foody stuff that isΒ  available in the supermarket can’t sell online during alert level 4… gah! .. which means in a country that makes copious amounts of milk and butter you can’t get any butter or milk online but you can get EVERYTHING else online…the net effect being you have to go to the supermarket just for these things…so dumb. So..short story long, I brought stuff from these folks so I can make my own butter…I’m sure its just a jar, but their stuff looks just so good and they are also trying to support local growers who no longer have a market since all the local farmers markets are closing down…

http://wairiribuffalo.nz – amazing! they have their own Italian buffalos! In Canterbury! and they make heir own real buffalo mozzarella. I ordered some stuff and got a note – unfortunately they don’t deliver to the north island at this time. I guess with the planes and ferries at low steam they can’t guarantee the products will arrive fresh..darn..as soon as alert 4 is lifted im buying their cheese and yogurt..hey look amazing.

https://ecowarehouse.nz – good for hippie toilet paper and they deliver πŸ™‚

https://www.whitestonecheese.com/ – oirdered a tonne of cheese

https://refillnation.co.nz/ – so good. Only place I could find dried (not canned) chickpeas and its all organic. Also, it seems like flour is not available from many places – even the large supermarkets are sold out. The amazing thing about refillnation is that their online checkout is only available 6-7pm each day! hah! nu zelun..so funny.

https://www.thecrueltyfreeshop.co.nz – some good looking nut butter available.

The rest look good but didn’t order anything except some stuff from Sabato which looks amazing but pretty expensive.









hint- want hand sanitizer? Get it from these folks- https://www.aoteanz.com

Open Source Video Conferencing Options

I think over the years I’ve used almost every open source audio / video platform out there. So, for conferencing here are my top of mind choices after years of just tinkering around with stuff (I used to consult on these things). Some pointers with some anecdata experience stuff. Keeping it simple.

First, surprise, surprise zoom, the proprietary video conf app has some security issues… no shit. https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/01/28/new-zoom-roulette-security-warning-your-video-calls-at-risk-from-hackers-heres-what-you-do/

The point is, don’t trust proprietary apps. Unless you can see the source code you just don’t know what is going on. However, as far as I know there are no secure multi-user video conf systems. Point to point, as far as I can tell can be secure if you use Signal, but for the rest it reflects the relatively embryonic state of open source video chat. I’m assuming its about to get a heap better… anyho…some solutions and my read on them. First, don’t expect multi user video chat of any kind to be secure.


https://jitsi.org/ – Open Source. Now owned by 8×8. Jitsi feels a lot like it was modeled after Google Hangouts. So, I’ve tried installing this and I’ve tried the Jitsi server provided at https://meet.jit.si/

IMHO the Jitsi free link is usable for group meetings but it has proven, as has our self install, to be a little unreliable. We used it for many years (self hosted and the free version) but I got a little frustrated. So, I recommend the service 8×8 provides. Now, I cannot guarantee they do not spy on you. I have no idea, but its based on Jitsi, which is open source, and it is WAY more reliable than pure Jitsi. I don’t know what they have done but the 8×8 free implementation ‘just works’…

Big Blue Button


I have used this a lot. We also installed it and tried our own self hosted version. It was very difficult to set up and I found the interface clunky.

It offers some cool features though, and as far as I can see they have done quite a lot of development recently including the maturity of an HTML5 interface.

Its a chunky app but well worth checking out …it also has collaborative white boards etc



Good open source point to point secure app. All the folks I know say it can be trusted. Signal is sometimes funky when making call connections so you need to be a little patient at times. However, it works pretty well in general. Also some people forget a few things about signal so as a reminder:

  1. Only secure for signal to signal calls…you need the people you call to install signal
  2. supports video on phone/tablets
  3. it now has desktop clients which sync with your phone (desktop doesnt support live video/audio)
  4. you need a mobile number to register signal with

… i use 8×8 and Signal. They work. Signal for text and one to one calls. I use 8×8 for video one to ones and group video chat.