Random Rants

So it's time to put this somewhere that someone who can fix it, might actually read it.

How can the update be AFTER the current time 'today' ??
Obviously 'today' is not being measured in 'local time' despite this:

Some of facebook's recent changes are damned frustrating for the poor lil' user whos perspective doesn't seem to mean much!

But who can blame them?

Death threats against kids. Bikes stolen. Track and facilities trashed.

Papakura living up to its South-Auckland reputation.

Very sad to hear, as I actually raced at Papakura at least once, I think...

I feel bad for the kids, parents, and the people behind PBMX. The little mongrels guilty of this sort of crap are probably just a drop in the bucket, however.

Liz and I were discussing school options in our area (wow, really are turning into parental units!!) and it's timely that this article should come to my attention. Sigh!!! Watching carefully to try to figure out what we'll be arranging for our kid(s)...

In case you've been hiding under a copyright rock - This clip, taken from , is definately worth a watch. Seems like an appropriate time to once-again plug the excellent work that the Creative Freedom Foundation are doing in getting the message out there in a coherent fashion.

© kiwiright from fyminc on Vimeo.

I don't know about you but I really don't know that being taken to court for taking photos in a tourist spot is really a risk I see as in any way reasonable. And yet that day may well be coming.

Today alone we get to learn about the Drunk Driver who manages to skipo being charged with manslaughter (despite killing someone) and we follow that up with Convicted double murderer Graeme Burton being found guilty of attempting to murder a fellow inmate.

So we have a woman who unintentionally caused the death of another motorist by way of stupidity (ala, drunk driving) who gets away without being charged with manslaughter (but hangon; the definition of manslaughter is unintentionally causing death, right?) - and we have a guy who's already been done for 2 counts of murder and is certifiable (murders a guy, gets put in prison, is let out on parole, murders another and injures several, is put back in prison...)

If the point of having harsh penalties is to deter; if the point of imposing prison sentences is to remove a risk from society and to work to rehabilitate a prisoner... why are we being screwed over?

- The old woman should be charged with what she is (allegedly - not yet proven) guilty of; manslaughter! The Jury and the Judge should be the ones to determine the scale/scope of punishment!
- Burton should be hung. He's obviously not rehabilitatable so why should society have to wear the cost (and risk) of his ongoing imprisonment?

I've never been a strong advocate for the death penalty - but i've always been a fan of practicality, and of punishment-fitting-the-crime. More and more I see media coverage discussing how people guilty of the most aggrivated, malicious things get away with light sentences due to the vagarities of our legal system.

And it depresses me further.

http://velofille.com/2009/11/04/bikes-vs-cars-road-rules/ isn't actually that badly written.

A shame the dicks we encountered on the road last weekend in Wellington weren't paying attention... when they crossed into opposing traffic to navigate around a stoppage (caused by road works) and were actually sitting in a right-turn center-median that I intended to use to turn right.... my toot resulted in a raised finger response.

Times like this I wish I had a dash-mount camera to name-and-shame. Coz cyclists like that (and there were actually about 3 of them) give decent cyclists a bad name. :(

As of Today (November 1), it is illegal to use a handheld cellphone whilst driving..

Even in gridlock. Even at the traffic lights. Except in an emergency.

The article above makes some fair points... handsfree kits alone are not going to solve the problem. Infact I would go sofar to say, they may well make the situation worse in the longer term, as drivers are infact _less_ prepared (through inexperience).

The irony is that whilst I have a bluetooth headset for one of my phones, i'm not allowed to use _that_ because I don't have a cradle for my phone. (Going to look for one today, as it happens).

What i've said all along is that it's not the phone use, its the stupidity of the drivers who let themselves be distracted. It doesn't matter whether that distraction is a phone (common indeed) or a car stereo (even more common, though it could be argued, distracting for briefer periods in time) or a noisy child (ask any busy mummy).

Drivers who are distracted by anything are a danger on the roads. I've said before and i'll say it again now; when I use my cellphone and drive (as I have done, and expect i'll continue to do in on way or the other), my phone concentration suffers. My driving, much less so - because i'm fully aware that the road is the thing that requires my attention first and foremost.

And yes, I have pulled over to concentrate on an important call. And, interestingly enough, i've never had an incident as a result of being distracted by a phone.

On the other hand, I have seen some absolutely stupid driving by people distracted (usually and most obviously by phones, but not always) and it is the distraction that is the problem. So what is needed, is appropriate punishment for those whos distraction is obvious.

Not sure how that'd be done. And the cellphone ban may well improve things. But I do expect we'll see more people flouting the law (how often will they infact be caught?), more people getting pinged for it, and less productivity on the part of those who genuinely need to be communicated with on the move.

More heading for the Nanny State situation.... why must we regulate which should be commonsense in the first place?!

As of Today (November 1), it is illegal to use a handheld cellphone whilst driving..

Even in gridlock. Even at the traffic lights. Except in an emergency.

The article above makes some fair points... handsfree kits alone are not going to solve the problem. Infact I would go sofar to say, they may well make the situation worse in the longer term, as drivers are infact _less_ prepared (through inexperience).

The irony is that whilst I have a bluetooth headset for one of my phones, i'm not allowed to use _that_ because I don't have a cradle for my phone. (Going to look for one today, as it happens).

What i've said all along is that it's not the phone use, its the stupidity of the drivers who let themselves be distracted. It doesn't matter whether that distraction is a phone (common indeed) or a car stereo (even more common, though it could be argued, distracting for briefer periods in time) or a noisy child (ask any busy mummy).

Drivers who are distracted by anything are a danger on the roads. I've said before and i'll say it again now; when I use my cellphone and drive (as I have done, and expect i'll continue to do in on way or the other), my phone concentration suffers. My driving, much less so - because i'm fully aware that the road is the thing that requires my attention first and foremost.

And yes, I have pulled over to concentrate on an important call. And, interestingly enough, i've never had an incident as a result of being distracted by a phone.

On the other hand, I have seen some absolutely stupid driving by people distracted (usually and most obviously by phones, but not always) and it is the distraction that is the problem. So what is needed, is appropriate punishment for those whos distraction is obvious.

Not sure how that'd be done. And the cellphone ban may well improve things. But I do expect we'll see more people flouting the law (how often will they infact be caught?), more people getting pinged for it, and less productivity on the part of those who genuinely need to be communicated with on the move.

More heading for the Nanny State situation.... why must we regulate which should be commonsense in the first place?!

Found this video via a Tweet from @HuttNZ and nearly responded on Youtube; however that'd be a little too much like feeding the crazy ones, so here's my thoughts...

The former General Motors factory in Trnetham has least two legitimate uses... a movie set, and as office space for the NZDF Joint Logistics and Support Organisation. Supporting Links:

http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/corporate/jlso/about/default.htm

http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/corporate/jlso/contacts/default.htm

http://www.wakahuia.co.nz/?p=12116 (Text of an article which I think I originally read in the Upper Hutt Leader).

Funny the conclusions some people can come to?

The headline is 'Texting Lights Fuse on Teen Party'.

It should say 'Alcohol lights fuse on Teen Party'. Or maybe the headline is right, but the focus is wrong; if Texting lit the fuse, Alcohol was the explosive!

"With the arrival of extra staff and police dogs, a skirmish line was formed to disperse the crowd which comprised of mostly intoxicated 14 to 16-year-old youths."

Why're unsupervised 14-to-16-year-olds being allowed to get drunk and cause such a mess that additional police in riot gear are required?! And that Police are getting pelted with bottles?

Sorry but the problem there wasn't the Texting - which is where attention was drawn by the headline. It was in the Alcohol, and the fact that commonsense goes out the window when too much of it is consumed. Add in the fact that we're talking about Teenagers with limited sense of moral (and physical) responsibility and you've got your powder keg.

Man I feel old!! But seriously!

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