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28 June 2011
Women: Menstruation to Marae

Written by: Almighty Buck

Alasdair Thompson of the Employers Manufacturers Association said the unsayable: the "nigger" for those with one eye to the "glass cieling". He said the unthinkable: women are less productive because once a month women have an "illness".

It was a dumb, probably statistically accurate but not a politically correct thing to say.

Thank God women that have periods, without that or us they couldn't get pregnant.

But what about Marae that don't let women speak, or Marae that make women sit behind men: what about the way Islam treats women... hmmmm?

Do you think maybe it has more to do with him being a "right-wing tory bastard"?

Methinks it does: Teacup, meet storm...

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27 June 2011
An event to adore

Written by: Pereta

Aventador (16K)

Presenting Lambo's latest humble little shopping basket - in one of my favourite colours too: *ahem* Maclaren Orange. Profligate, hedonistic, & naughty-but-nice too?

Our horse-drawn dial-up only afforded limited viewing of the beast, apparently named after a fighting bull famed for its tenacity. The still shot angles I could see - without waiting 20 years or so for the full download - showed yet another version of 'Countach revisited', slightly rounded. Other angles present a beast with a purposeful stance, but a mildly incongruous, chubby, little insectile smile. I'll have to wait 'til Jeeves brings mine back from the 'shop before I can check it again 'in the flesh'.

FYI: it's an Italian supercar, but its built properly, by Volkswagen Audi Group. Like most products from those meticulous sharks, mine rarely has much that needs fixing, so its only in the 'shop for it's gold-plated servicing. Oh, & to have mud flaps, a tow bar, a 'monsoon' & a roof rack fitted. I want mine to be a bit different from the rest, & even more practical than it already is.

For some reason the technicians were most reluctant to fit the extras I wanted. Bless them, they relented in the end. I was most comforted by the nice Service Manager's assurance that nobody would have another one like mine - ever. I was worried about a vein bulging in his forehead as he agreed to the additions though. Perhaps he's got stress in his personal life or something.

Getting back to how the Aventador looks again, a mate came around for a gander at mine before Jeeves left for town. My mate obviously sees the 'insect in it' too: 'I think it has a sort of brooding quality...'. At this I found my wannabe-mysterious-macho male ego starting to shine. He seemed to take forever to finish with: '...nah, overall my first reaction to the look, the colour and the lighting is that it reminded me of a cockroach. Low, flat, curved, & armoured.'

Hmm, not quite what I wanted to hear, but now I think on it, I can see what he means. But love is ultimately blind of course. The boy in me, whom idolised a yellow matchbox car Countach as a kid, will live happily with such a... brooding pest.

Personality B:

The [mostly sober] adult in me knows I could only live with the Aventador if:

* someone else was paying for it
* someone else was paying for the upkeep - & fuel... & if,
* we had another few hundred worlds to rape & plunder the resources of

& even then I couldn't have one in good conscience. Yep, it looks good in an slightly retro-meets-agro-bug kind of way, but it also represents so much of what is wrong in a global society going through resources like we're... a swarm of ravenous insects.

Actually, my mate's almost verabtim comments I wove into the 'Personality A' story were right I reckon; it does look like a brooding cockroach - & it's ugly.

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18 June 2011
Trick me Trademe

Written by: Freckles

sofa (84K)
Stunning Art Deco all-weather sofa

Hi Group, my name's Freckles and I have a Trademe problem...

If you've ever been suckered into buying something you don't want on Trademe, you're not the only person, because I have too. The first step to overcoming a problem is talking about it so here it is:

Firstly there's this: you buy your goods based on an online picture, however because most sellers are amateur photographers at best, their snap-shot doesn't always tell you the whole story. This is a trap for newbies who are used to purchasing from retail stores where the photos are professionally taken and they have to adhere to the Consumers' Guarantees Act which keeps them basically honest. Consciously or not, without the proper resolution, lighting or perspective the item being sold might be vastly different from how it appears in real life. For example I brought a pottery jug off Trademe, which looked good in the photo but in reality it was nothing like it appeared, leaving me feeling cheated and out of pocket. The photo was taken from an angle which hid the true shape of the jug from view. Obviously made by an amateur, photographed by an amateur and ultimately brought by an amateur too.

Secondly, while attempting to be idiosyncratic yet familiar, the description is more often than not inaccurate, incomplete or ineffectual. Most Trademe sellers want their products to sell so they try to 'enhance' their otherwise lacking descriptions by making them sound more special or exotic. A week ago I learnt the hard way by wasting time trawling through listings, that many items are routinely described as being 'Art Deco', when the only thing 'Art Deco' about them is that description! For instance, a 'Stunning Art Deco Lounge Suite' turned out to be a bog-standard seventies couch. I'm not sure why sellers do this, possibly either to cash in on the popularity of Art Deco or to get their items listed on the most viewed pages in the hope that they will sell. More often than not it is probably just plain ignorance of what Art Deco actually is. But having said that, by searching through the rubbish heap you might occasionally find a beautiful gem.

Thirdly, the temptation for a newbie to Trademe is to bid on an item long before the auction closes and to get into a bidding war with another bidder which ultimately increases the end price for whoever wins. The desire to win for the sake of winning can end-up with you paying a premium for a piece of crap.

My main point is that there are always traders on Trademe trying to find the latest superlative to describe the item they are selling, which ranges from sweat-shop junk to genuine antiques.

I guess at the end of the day it's buyer beware.

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