Friday, October 30, 2015

Dead Giveaway

A father put his young daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers which ended by saying, "God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma and goodbye Grandpa.”

The father asked, 'Why did you say good-bye Grandpa?' The little girl said, "I don't know daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do."

The next day grandpa died. The father thought it was a strange coincidence. A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers, "God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy and goodbye Grandma."

The next day the grandmother died. The father was now feeling uneasy about the whole thing as you could imagine.

Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed the dad heard her say, "God bless Mommy and goodbye Daddy."

He practically went into shock. He couldn't sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous all day as he watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be okay. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound. Finally midnight arrived; he breathed a sigh of relief and went home.

When he got home his wife said, "I've never seen you work so late. What's the matter?" He said, "I don't want to talk about it, I just had the worst day of my life."

She said, "You think you had a bad day? You'll never believe what happened to me. This morning the mailman dropped dead on our porch!"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Retail Discounting The Modern Way

When I was in retail some years ago, profit margins were not that generous so you didn't have to reduce the price that much before you were losing money on that item. Goods were sourced from Western nations with high wages so that limited how much of a markup you could add.

Now things are different. Globalisation means buying from low wage countries. The importer brings in goods at a ridiculously low price but then adds a whopping margin. Then when goods are discounted, good profit can still be made. Let's look at some modern techniques of selling more, gaining plenty of profit and making the customer think he/she got a bargain.

The 'buy one get the second one half price'.

If an item costs $10 to get into the country and then it costs the shop say $25, it is sold for retail $100. They get a 300% mark up. The shop could offer the second item at half price and the customer gleefully pays just $150 for two of them. The store paid $50 for both items so the margin drops to 200%.

The reality: Did the customer really want two of them? Sometimes no. Had the store simply ran a standard 25% discount and the customer bought one for a $75 purchase, the retailer still made 200% margin, but sold just one. With the discount, profit then was halved from $100 to $50. So more goods are sold and therefore more profit is made by the 'buy one get the other half price' deal. No wonder such offers are popular for reatilers.

The 'buy one get another free' TV advertisement.

There has to be an enormous mark up to make this work. They decide to sell it on the TV instead of retailing it. It costs $10 to import and the retail price is inflated to $150 and a second is offered free. The customer gleefully pays just $150 for two of them. The import price is a total of $20 for two so the margin is 650%.

The reality: As the purchaser pays for p&p, then there is only the TV advertising cost to add on. If the goods are returned for a refund, then the purchaser still pays the p&p to return it. Few can be bothered with that anyway, so the sale is a pretty sure bet. The price is way beyond what it cost and the seller is in clover.

Summary: Globalisation is really good. The poor worker far away is on $2 per day. The customer pays pretty much what it would be sold at if made locally. The customer ends up with two of something they in most cases only wanted one of. The margins for the business goes through the roof. It seems commerce is the winner, the only winner.

PS. The figures used here are indictative only. The point is how these systems work and whether they are in your best interest to use such schemes. Only you can decide that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In Praise Of Technology - Pizza Delivery GPS Apps

Some people feel technology is taking over. However, I think it time I redressed the balance and spoke out in favour of how much technological advances, and even enhance our lives. Take the new and exciting pizza delivery GPS app. There are benefits to the pizza company with this, but I will focus on the benefits to the end consumer.

When you order a pizza, the estimated delivery time is given. However, it is only an estimate so you wait anxiously. Not only are there hunger pangs to deal with, it's also the anticipation. A car door slams outside and you run to the front door only to find it was the neighbour arriving home late. Dejected, you slump back into the easy chair, your carefully honed stomach fat rippling on impact and exacerbating the feeling of emptiness in the stomach.
Hang on, help is on its way, I'll be there as fast as I can

How things have changed! Now all you have to do is activate the app and watch the impending arrival of that gastronomic delight, following the route the driver takes to get to your home in real-time. If a car door slams outside, you are not fooled. The stress level remains muted and under control, because you know the pizza is a full two blocks away.

When the car pulls up, you are already heading for the door, wiping away anticipatory saliva from the sides of your mouth with the money secure in your clenched fist. Dinner delivered, you sit down and savour each delectably tasting morsel, the nostrils full of aromas and the serviette dealing to greasy lips and fingers.

How much better we are for technology that let's us know not only where our gourmet pizza is but also when it will arrive. There is enough stress in this world as it is, so anything that reduces that has got to be a good thing, right? Now I wonder if technology could be used to help feed everyone in the world. Now that would be quite a feat....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

There Are Robbers & There Are Robbers

Robbers entered a bank in and one of them shouted: "Don't move! The money belongs to the bank. Your lives belong to you.” Immediately all the people in the bank laid on the floor quietly and without panic.

This is an example of how the correct wording of a sentence can make everyone change their view of the world. 

While running from the bank the youngest robber (who had a college degree) said to the oldest robber (who had barely finished elementary school): "Hey, maybe we should count how much we stole?"

The older man replied: "Don’t be stupid. It's a lot of money so let's wait for the news on TV to find out how much money was taken from the bank."

This is an example of how life experience is more important than a degree. 

After the robbery, the manager of the bank said to his accountant: "Let's call the police and tell them how much has been stolen."

"Wait”, said the Accountant, "before we do that, let's add that money we took for ourselves over the past few months and also add in any other problems and just say that it was stolen as part of today’s robbery."

This is an example of taking advantage of an opportunity. 

The following day it was reported in the news that the bank was robbed of $3 million. The robbers then counted the money, but they found only $1 million so they started to grumble. "We risked our lives for $1 million, while someone in the bank robbed two million dollars?"

This is an example of how corporate robbery is more discreet and that it pays better too.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Road Accident...Please Hurry!

A man phoned an ambulance because his mate's been hit by a car.

Man: 'Get an ambulance here quick, please. My mate's bleeding from his nose and ears and I think both his legs are broken.'

Operator: 'What is your location sir?'

Man: 'Outside number 28 Eucalyptus Street .'

Operator: 'How do you spell that sir?'

Silence.... (heavy breathing) and after a minute.

Operator: 'Are you there sir?'

More heavy breathing and another minute later.

Operator: 'Sir, can you hear me?'

Man: 'Yes, sorry about that... I couldn't spell eucalyptus, so I just dragged him round to number 3 Oak Street .'

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Routeburn Track Early 1980's - Part 2

In the second part of the series, the pictures trace the route down into the Routeburn Valley, the track to Glenorchy and the waiting transport back to Queenstown.

Looking down the valley and the roof of the hut can be seen 

The hut in the background and myself in the brown

Making our way down to the valley

The Routeburn Valley at valley level

The river following the last of the trail to Glenorchy

For part 1: please click here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Routeburn Track Early 1980's - Part 1

In my younger days, I did the famous Milford track and immediately after the Routeburn Track. I have to say I preferred the latter for beauty. These are some pics I have taken off slides of the Routeburn so the quality isn't brilliant, but sufficient.

Overlooking the Holyford River 

Lake McKenzie

Looking back on same lake

The Mount Cook Lily by the track

The Harris Saddle 

For part 2: please click here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fond Memories Of A Caring Mother

My mother is very elderly but the last few months she has deteriorated quickly. It's time's like this that we reflect on life, its brevity and the futility of it ending. Death has no meaning, but life does. Of course, having the hope of future life has meaning but without that prospect, life would have an overwhelming feeling of futility. The resurrection on the other hand has meaning and provides comfort.

I recall with appreciation the love and protection my mother provided. I must have been about three or four and I was told never to cross the busy road near our then home in South Australia. The children I was with all went over that busy stretch of tarmac and I just followed, thinking nothing of it.

I recall playing on a pile of small stones used in road works when I heard a "Raymond!" I looked across the road and saw my distressed and angry mother. It was only then I remembered I wasn't supposed to be there. She told me to wait and came steaming across the road. I thought I was in for a spanking but when she reached my, she gave me the biggest hug I ever got. It was a hug of relief. I remember hearing her under her breath saying two or three times "Thank you God". She then said I had been very naughty and wasn't to do that again and carried me home.

Such love you feel, especially when you are young, is priceless. It gives a sense of security and being wanted. How can you ever repay your parents for what they gave you? I realise not everyone had a good start in life with parents there for them, and I am genuinely sorry for that. No child should ever feel abandoned or unloved. However, if you had caring parents, what a gift.

P.S. My mother past away in October, 2016, in her 91st year.

Me on a piece of playground equipment, with my brother and mother.
Notice her hand holding me, making sure I didn't fall off. I was about two. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hippo Defecation

I saw this video and found out it is not that unusual. The hippopotamus does do this as a search on the Internet will verify. Some say it was the origin of a saying to do with a fan and something hitting said fan. I think they jest.

Just click here to see what I mean.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I notice that the tattoo has become mainstream. When I was young, it seemed that sailors had them but not people generally. They were often done in areas that were not visible because of the stigma. That negative perception would still be the case in certain areas of society but music performers and sports stars are often covered with them.

I don't get why you would do this
to yourself. 
However, in the business world they are taboo. Why? I know when I go into a shop or any professional situation I would feel negative if someone had visible tattoos. The same would be true if a person was inappropriately dressed, had body piercing or used coarse language.

Skin is such a beautiful thing and it looks delightful just as it is. Graffiti on a wall is unsightly yet it even goes beyond that. It also shows disrespect. A tattoo gives me the same feeling. It is unsightly and I feel the person cheapens themselves by having one. Body piercings on young people put me off too.

Some may view it as art and I have put it under that category on this blog. Graffiti is art to some but most would call it vandalism. In some ways I view tattoos as vanadalism too, against the beautiful body. The human body is wonderful and skin is beautiful. I want it the way it was when I was born. I cannot enhance it, only denigrate it.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Work Safe : Part 2

Plain ridiculous

It may seem a solution to a problem..but

There is so much that can go wrong here

As long as no one drops anything

Friday, October 2, 2015

Common Sense Safety

Who floated this crazy idea?

Cutting edge technology

Planking gone mad

Why not get on the stomach?