Random Rants

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Warning: Once you incorporate a company and provide your details to the Companies Registry, you're doomed to receive unsolicited junk mail on a periodic basis.

I won't go into the electronic kind; the Companies office don't require you to provide electronic contact means (though when the forms are submitted, contact numbers are provided...) What i'm talking about here is plain old unsolicited postal junk.

Today we received a windowed envelope with our street address (per the companies office) in the window. Above that was no name; instead it was addressed to 'Dear Lover of Fine Wines'.

Enclosed was a self-addressed envelope (with 'Affix Stamp Here'; obviously they're not interested in supplying postage!), a glossy brochure advertising the firm 'Pieroth Wines (NZ) Limited' with an address at North Harbour Industrial Estate (Auckland); and a 'Consumer Survey' which then asks 'Are your name and address printed correctly?' Please check, so you are sure to receive your Thank-you-gift and the free 6 bottle International Wine Sampling without any delay.' To the right are three boxes with contact detail options and a title 'Details of Interested Friends!'

On the reverse is the survey, which starts with 'Your support is very important. With the help of your answers we may better adapt to the friends of Premium Wines and improve our services in future'. Goes on to ask questions for demographics and a bunch of wine preferences. It then asks for contact phone numbers (home and work) in order to arrange for the free gift and 6 bottle wine tasting.'

What's the bet that the free gift isn't 6 bottles of wine!

This is the 'please forward this to all your friends!' of the 20th century.

It's funny, when you keep a relatively close eye on the places your details are filed, and on your buying habits, you can get a good idea for all the dirty, dirty tactics out there.

... sadly NZers aren't that much different to these UK based examples...!

Shades of Queen St, Customs St.... or Courtenay Place. Less the Snow, perhaps, but it still gets damn cold and you'll rarely see these sorts wearing much more than pictured... madness...

A lengthy article on Bisphenol-A - or BPA - in the New Zealand Herald.

Glad to see this issue make the news - as for anyone who uses bottles to feed babies, it's been known about for a long time.

I encourage folks to read the article and understand exactly what's going on - and what the risks are. I, for one, am glad that our new son Ben is going to be exclusively BPA (but only because the brand of Bottle we have the most success with, Nuk, offer Glass, or very recently, BPA-free plastic). Laura was less fortunate as our choices were slimmer (and we were less educated).

Given the choice I think i'll happily elect for BPA-free anything. The problem is, of course, the lack of choice - and the fact that information is just not 'out there'.

I have serious issue with this extract from the above article:

As for getting advice about the issues involved, it isn't straightforward. Plunket, for example, carries no information about BPA-free bottles on its website. When mothers ask, it refers them to NZFSA.

Surely, Plunket, New Zealands most well known and well regarded early childcare support facility, should be the ones most firmly in the know with regards to this important issue?

Having lived in Upper Hutt for a couple of years now, we've been trying to do the majority of our shopping in the local - instead of travelling 15-20 minutes to Lower Hutt and dealing with the larger volumes of, well, everything.

Generally Countdown has been our supermarket of choice for a while, with Lower Hutt serving us well enough while we were down there and Upper Hutt being the most convenient for various reasons.

However for the last several months we've noticed that we can get the majority of our shop done at Upper Hutt - but we're always scooting around the corner to Woolworths for odd things - an ongoing frustration!

Today was case in point; we hit the supermarket around 4.30pm. Talk about frustrating!

Bread, anyone?

It's the new version of idiots who can't read maps, trying.

Seriously why do folks throw their commonsense out the window because some gadget tells them to???

And in America, it's also being fought.

A far cry from the canned response I got from the BSA and PrimeTV about the volume of their advertising a coupla years ago!!

No doubt you've heard about the Attempted Bombing of a US Airliner on Christmas Day and heard in the news all sorts of interesting things; that Al Qaeda have claimed responsibility; that an explosive known as PETN (same stuff the 'shoe bomber' attempted to use) was being carried in the Nigerian Bombers' Underpants; that the bomber was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian educated in England; that his own Father reported him to the US Embassy in Nigeria due to his increasingly extremist religious views.

You'll also then likely be aware that the response from the TSA in the initial stages was well blogged, and generally ridiculed by the general public (read the responses). Some of the restrictions included additional security checks on all passengers destined to the US, re-screens and more detailed screens on luggage; inability to use in-flight-entertainment in the last hour of the flight; disabling the 'flight view' so passengers can't see where they are; not allowed to use electronic equipment, or even read books, during the last hour (including landing but also in the leadup).

Talk about respond after the horse has bolted?!

Warning. Rant follows.

Many will be aware of the case of the woman who handed her keys over to the Police to prevent her from driving drunk - and in response, the cops doing her for DUI.

Interestingly though, the Police did not witness the accused driving drunk.
In fact her story points to the fact that she consumed alcohol whilst stationary, and then handed her keys over.

If the Police didn't witness the offending, how can they do her for the offence? Or is this too simplistic?

Definately found some aspects of this story familiar; 3-4 years ago my salary put me in exactly the same place. Earning a shade too much, or not enough, but with Overtime too much.

The story about claiming Working-for-Families is especially true to my own experience; The overtime I accumulated over the course of the 18 months or so we were claiming it, caused me to wind up having to give alot of the money back! Essentially it cost me, to claim that allowance.

I have a soft spot for their situation, though i'm also envious that they were ablve to get a mortgage (even a secured one), and could make the observation that HP'ing their appliances all-at-once may not have been smart. We HP'd a fridge, but when we needed a Dryer at the same time, we grabbed a cheap one off Trademe (which has been working very well for the last 2 years).

I suppose that's nitpicking, as I dont know their situation; but being forced to live on (in effect) $33/week is rediculous.

Even now, though, our household income after tax is not a lot more than they're on. Probably enough to make a difference, though.

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