Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bunnings and Mitre Ten--a tale of two big boys.

In the last few weeks I have purchased items from both Bunnings and Mitre Ten. My tale is not about the products themselves but about the add-on delivery costs. That most definitely provided a shocking comparison.
Bunnings prides itself re its claims in its adverts that it is very competitive with its prices. I brought a large, good quality Gazebo and arranged for delivery for the next day. I went away having made an arrangement to meet someone to assemble it for me. The cost of delivery was $73 and that was for a very short distance. I was a bit perplexed at this price, but assumes that it would mean that two people wold be needed as the item was quits heavy.
The Gazebo did not arrive at the appointed time but the man who was going to assemble it did. He waited and we rang to find lout that Bunnings had stuffed up the delivery. They were apologetic and promised it for the next day. I arrived home early the next day the delivery truck came with just one person to unload it. I was not going to help---he realized that by looking at me---lol. So even though I offered to help, he placed the long boxed Gazebo where I asked. The assembly person did his job the next day and I put the large cost of delivery down to experience.
A week later I purchased an outdoor table and four chairs from Mitre Ten. The delivery cost (yes for a lighter item) but quite a lot further from my home was only $28. It arrived when promised.
I am left with a lingering doubt about the service re delivery, both from the timing (or lack of it) and the price. How can Bunnings justify the huge difference in price? I shall be much more forward next time I get something delivered form Bunnings. If they can’t come to the party then I shall not complete the deal. I shall go to Mitre Ten instead. Oh, by the way--- the price for the Gazebo was identical, wherever I brought it, that weekend.

China--Where are the women in your Politbureau?

The large news networks were there live in Beijing, to show the world the new leaders of China. The Politbureau led by the Leader of the Communist Party were introduced to a dutiful People’s (one Party) assembly. We can be sure that there will be little tolerance for the real people of China being able show any disapproval of the leaders and his Politbureau.
The Communist ideal is one the purports to portray that all people are equal and should receive according to their needs. The Communist Party’s rise to power was supposed to represent a new beginning for women in society and while it is true that there are many powerful women in Chinese business circles, the same cannot be said about the position of women in the Communist Party. If the Party truly believed in the principal of equal representation, then where the hell are the women in the Politbureau? Yes you guessed it--- there are none. So much for the brave new world!
I have admired much of what the party has achieved for many in Chinese society but I cannot say that this latest omission is but a serious throwback to the bad old days when women held little real power. I hope the new momentum rising from the masses will address this latest display of ‘steady as she goes boys, as long as we retain the power of men.’

Smoking on our beaches may be banned.

There is talk about banning smoking on our beaches. How that would be enforced is an issue in itself but as a non-smoker I strongly agree with the idea, but I do have a few reservations about banning smoking on all beaches. There are the more obvious examples here smoking should be banned and enforcement in the form of fines used to make it stick. The inner city beaches and some other popular resorts spring to mind.
The smokers who leave their stinky residue (I didn’t want to use the word butts for obvious reasons!) on the beaches have caused this proposed for new rule. They have no one but themselves to blame. How many times have you seen smokers causally throwing away their butts on the beach, then lighting up another one. No doubt they will say that they ‘never do that.’ Yeah right!
 I do not want to stop people enjoying the beaches of New Zealand, but it is timely that we consider this new move. I would reluctantly say that we could allow smoking on beaches that are less visited and I know by saying this that will incur the wrath of those at the extreme end of the debate or of ‘greenies.’
Let’s have some balance in this and see what happens. Of course, if balance was shown by those who chuck away their butts, we may not have arrived at this point at all. Mind you, there is the question of the ‘example’ public smoking provides. I am not such a wowser that I would go to that extreme. Smoking has to remain a ‘well informed choice.’ Or we will have to enter into more arguments about alcohol consumption and perhaps the use of other legal substances. Damn, this is mucking around with my head--- it’s far too early for a tipple or two.

Taking the piss out of Talk Back Radio!

I am sure many of you have listened to talk back radio from time to time. Some of you may even be ‘addicted,’ in the loose sense of the word. How many of you have been driving home and some twit comes on and you feel like stopping the car, because you are so frustrated with their ‘ignorance?’ Of course you probably do not ring in and challenge the point of view that they are espousing; you just swear either silently or quite vociferously as you continue your journey.
It is not only the listeners who make you mad; it is also the hosts who seem to be playing with their listeners. This may or may not be true, depending on where you stand on the whole Talk Back radio industry. You may see it as ‘entertainment and the sole purpose of the radio station is to raise money or you may see it as a platform that extends the idea of free speech.
‘Talk To Me,’ my latest book takes a swing at the industry and I cast myself as a talk back host. I also bring in my crazy Jack Russell and together we have the adventure of her short life. I was inspired to write this book through a cast away comment that I made a year or so ago, when I was walking my dog with a group of fellow dog walkers. We were passing some flax bushes and I said—‘wouldn’t it be weird if our dogs found a body in those bushes?’
Of course my friends are used to me making crazy comments and not much other than a few laughs resulted. Well, I went ahead and from then ‘Talk To Me’ became a reality--- not the body of course, but the book. If you want laugh or maybe something else for your holiday reading then get to me on my website and buy it, or go to your local library and request it (along with my other two books, Coastal Yarns,’ and ‘Roskill.’)
Use either my website,  or email me direct at

Diabetes---more than just a silent killer!

There is a growing awareness that diabetes is a ticking time bomb for New Zealand. The figures publicized yesterday that claimed up to 50% of middle age may have Type Two Diabetes, be pre-diabetic or don’t even know they have the disease is extremely worrying. For the latter it is particularly disturbing that they have not accessed heath support in order to manage this insidious disease.
That the Government has cut some preventative programmes is also a huge concern and one that is extremely short sighted. How can they justify cutting now and then causing future governments to be lumbered with the skyrocketing cost of managing those who have gone on to develop the disease? The desire to balance budgets now seems to be the driving force behind this shallow policy. Can they not see that spending now on preventing the disease and managing those better how have it, is far more cost effective than waiting for the massive ramifications for our nation’s health costs in the very near future?
Can they not see the obvious? Do they not see that their ‘head in the sand’ attitude is going to affect all New Zealanders because the money needed for dialysis and other treatment regimens is going to strip resources from other problem areas of our health system.
It is time to look beyond the three year election cycle and become more responsible Mr Key and your gang of short-sighted minions. Face up to this massive storm on the horizon or go down in history as the Government that missed an opportunity to make a real difference. I doubt that they are going to listen to the clarion calls that will fill the pages of our newspapers and screens of our computers. My voice will be one of many to be ignored by this Government. Come on Labour and other parties. Get yourselves organized and put aside selfish points scoring and deal with the issue at least from an opposition point of view. ‘What are you going to do?!’