Random Rants

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As previously blogged our company (the one Liz and I operate privately) has received unsolicited advertising from 'Pieroth Wines NZ' at least once before. They gain our details via the Companies Office Register.

This has been further validated; Last week Liz updated our details with the Companies Office now we've relocated to Auckland.
It didn't take long to receive more junk from Pieroth, addressed to 'Dear Lover of Fine Wines' at our registered address.

DO NOT EVER TRADE WITH PIEROTH WINES! This sort of harrassment-style direct marketing is rude and obnoxious. I'm not a wine lover, no matter how many times you try to suck me in with your faux-manners!

Most of my previous rant on this subject remains entirely valid. It's postal direct marketing, so it doesn't fall under the UEM Act... It could potentially be argued that using the Companies Register for purposes other than for which it is provided, is in breach of its terms of use. Yeah, that'll stand up to scruitiny... ??

Are people stupid enough to actually respond to these mailouts with enough frequency to make the cost of doing them worth the grief?

Why do I have to live with the fact there's absolutely no way to protect myself from this sorta crap?

How can we claim to be fans of equal rights and equal opportunities when so many dads get shafted?. An insane situation - C'mon Government, fix it!! (I know Dads who're paying child support, in some cases the terms are reasonable but in others, utterly not!!)

Seriously pisses me off when I read stuff like this, which it appears the government is not paying any attention to whatsoever.

I don't usually rant about the Government, but this annoys me no end.

After yesterdays news that motor vehicle registrations would be going up substantially - particularly for motorcyclists, utilities, light vans and so on - I can't say i'm also surprised to hear that Fuel Prices are also going up thanks to the Emmissions Trading Scheme.

And yet a part of me is still shocked. I wonder if the Government realises that when the net result is negative, the taxpayer is no better off?

Yes we've had tax cuts. But we've had taxes move to other places, and in the end, are we truly better off?

But wait, there's more. The Prime Minister is quoted as follows:

"But Mr Key said taxpayers would still be ahead as wage increases were expected to outstrip overall inflation."

Wait. Government is now promising folks pay rises?

As a former government employee, I can tell you right now that I havn't seen an inflation-related wage increase since early 2006. And i'm under no illusions as to whether these are promised at all, to be honest. I'm more likely to negotiate a salary increase by way of performance, than to see any sort of committment around adjustments due to inflation!

The article linked above seems to be noticing a similar trend, as the reporter notes: "Households and businesses also face other rising costs in the form of October's GST increase, and higher ACC levies and vehicle registration fees.". Yet the above quote from Mr Key is a direct response to this.

What planet are you on, PM? When it comes down to it, consumers are hurting because of increased cost-of-living all over the place. Don't be under any illusions that a reshuffle of _how_ the money is collected is going to in any way improve the situation for joe-public, especially when you're taking on new, taxpayer-funded initiatives like ETS. I don't disagree with the need to start taking the cost of managing our environment into consideration - but lets be realistic, please! This is going to hurt a lot of people, and no amount of pulling-the-wool is going to change it.

Went noseying for lunch on Saturday when I was in the Wairau Valley on the North Shore.

Came across an 'open 7 days' bakery. *cough*

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Now... last time I checked... 7 days literally meant... Monday to Sunday... and yet we can see that (at the time of signwriting last update) this joint was most definately closed on Sundays. At some stage more recently they've obviously taken to closing on Saturdays as well (thus the paper covering the signwriting, instead of getting it properly done).

So our '6 days' bakery is actually only open '5 days'. Good grief, mate. stupidmuch? How about fixing your signwriting up so that it actually portrays your services accurately, instead of making you look awful .. well.. silly?

... but I never realised quite how fractured their political parties are.

Came across this excellent explanation of exactly how this transpired. (Thanks to @1littlebird for retweeting it).

Illuminating!

Welcome to the 21st Century, our Aussie friends! :) Just remember, we've had two female Prime Ministers in New Zealand and we're still here =)

In response to The Edge Radio Station's 'Hug a Ginga Day' promotion for this Friday one Father in Christchurch was quite vocal in his protests - supporting his two red-haired kids who get heckles enough as it is, he says.

CloseUp@7 picked it up on behalf of TVNZ and interviewed Dom Harvey (The Edge DJ) along with the Father concerned, and his kids, and a Social Psychologist.

The interview was a whole bunch of Fail. I've just attempted to submit this to their website comment list:
Sainsbury failed to keep control of the Interview. The 'concerned Dad' doesn't seem to 'get it'. All those attacking Dom Harvey need to get a grip.
The Edge is taking a light hearted view of the 'discrimination' that red-heads are all familiar with and deal with all the time - esp in school. Why not turn a negative around and make it positive? Mountain. Out. Of. Molehill.
CloseUp@7 didn't exactly score itself another fan tonight. /me back to Campbell Live...

Wonder if it'll get past their censor :-)

Seriously though, I see this as fully turning a negative (general crap that Redheads cop is really not all that fair) around and making it a positive. If we're going to single them out, lets make it for positive reasons, not negative ones.

Fact is, folks are going to discriminate. Instead of trying to focus on futilte attempts to stop it, why not simply provide an avenue to turn the whole thing 180 degrees?

Good intentioned as the Dad above was, he didn't help his case tonight, especially when he wouldn't let Mark Sainsbury get a word in edgewise. He was still ranting as they cut to commercial...

And I thought my previous entry was bad...

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Yes, that's a set of dashed-yellow-lines he's parked on. Yes, that's Rego >6 MONTHS out of date.

Carjam shows the warrant of fitness is similarly out of date.

Why don't folks like this learn their lesson - or get caught?

(I deliberately ignored the Holden around the corner which was only a few days out rego-wise, then came across this one parked just a few cars from me on Waring Taylor St, Wellington CBD...)

Crap like this annoys me. I seem to be seeing a heck of a lot of expired regos parked up on city streets!

This taken this week, somewhere in Wellington...

Stuff are on the ball with the news that most of us were probably expecting anyway.

In short:

* Driving Age Minimum 15 -> 16; (in the end, a move of questionable value)

* "Requiring novice drivers to have 120 hours' supervised practice before driving alone" (I for one want to know how 'novice' is defined and how on earth this'll be managed/scaled/audited);

* Introducing a zero drink-drive limit for drivers under 20; (how it should be)

* Better education; (HELL YES!)

* An investigation into vehicle power restrictions. (requires very careful implementation.)

"A second package to address alcohol and drug impaired drivers would go to Cabinet next month. It included compulsory alcohol interlock devices and a zero limit for repeat drink driving offenders." Sounds good to me.

Important point to flag: "He said Cabinet would consider changes to the give way rule later in the year and public input would be sought. "

So the right turn rule for which NZ is notorious, is to be changed - but not immediately and there will be consultation which is of course, horrendously important.

So whilst I can imagine there'll be uproar in some circles, i'm in wait-and-see mode. Most of the above changes actually seem quite logical. I'm not entirely convinced that the change to the driving age will be a big benefit (the problems with driver inexperience are just that, inexperience... age is a limited factor and infact starting younger probably improves your experience levels?!) but the drinking law change is a given (existing limits so low as to not be worth risking anyway) and of course, improved education for those working through the drivers licensing schema is an excellent move. Kiwi drivers are notoriously poorly educated on a world scale.

Let the knee-jerking begin??

As heads roll, there's outrage amongst Telecom XT Customers - but there's similar frustration from a strong minority of folks who don't see why folks are letting themselves become so vulnerable in the first place.

We have the slant being taken, that the XT outage is serious enough to cause risk to life and property due to the inability to call 111. The example given is a kid who was bashed at a Mall in Christchurch and how folks couldn't call for help...

- What, no other cellphone networks were available amongst the folks in the neighbourhood? At the moment we have XT and CDMA (both Telecom, but seperate), plus Vodafone, and 2 Degrees. Seriously, noone around had a non-XT handset?
- What, no landlines handy? You were in the urban area of one of NZ's main cities and you couldnt find a payphone or a building with a landline?

Another point; Noone's noting the fact that Cellphones were never sold as 100% reliable in the first place. There will be coverage failures from 'time to time'. (Admitted, XT's woes are pretty unreasonable if you're throwing money at them and theyre broken more than is 'reasonable').

For those complaining they're losing business; why don't you have a plan-B? Landlines? Cellphones on other networks? A backup plan could simply be an old handset on another network with a prepay connection. I still have my 027 CDMA Prepay for this reason, despite having been a Vodafone customer for ~11 years.

And with number portability, there really is little excuse for the final point; vote with your feet applies!! If the network you're a customer of is not cutting the mustard, change to a better one. Ultimately that is the way to demonstrate your satisfaction (or not) - it's the way that businesses listen (with their wallets).

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