Category Archives: Thoughts

Jesus Water

Hi,

I am writing to complain.

You have called your product “WaterDrops” when in fact you should have named them “JesusDrops” because they actually turn water into Wine.

Well OK maybe not Wine, but they give water some flavour and taste and that’s pretty much a miracle. The fact you have 12 flavours does, in my opinion, count as 12 different miracles and therefore I conclude that all of you should in fact be indoctrinated as Saints.

Writing to the Pope to express this opinion is in fact the next thing to do, after sending this email.

Summary: Water Drops are great, I love them. Bravo.

Tim

Dearest Tim,

It is true, in the beginning God made heaven and earth. And the earth was without flavour, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the drinks industry then the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and God said, Let there be VitalZing WaterDrops: and there was VitalZing WaterDrops.

The true ingredients of VitalZing WaterDrops are forbidden fruits from the Garden of Eden, holy water (which can actually magically be turned into red wine by our man upstairs), and 3 hail Mary’s mixed by a Virgin Mary who is world renowned for creating something incredible from nothing

I’d like to leave you with this final thought.
John 3:16 (slightly altered) “For God so loved WaterDrops, that he gave them to his one and only Son, and whoever believes in them shall not perish but have eternal awesomeness.

Amen

PS Thank you so much for making my day with your email. It’s hilarious!

New ParkMate Options

From: ParkMate
Sent: Friday, 28 September 2018 12:20 PM
To: tim@muppetz.com
Subject: Host Park has launched and check out the newly added features in ParkMate. Be sure to update on 02/10/18

NEW PARKMATE
FEATURES AVAILABLE FROM 02/10/18 UPDATE
Have you ever paid for parking with the wrong rego….

perhaps selected the same product twice….

or had a transaction declined resulting in an invalid parking session?

If you’ve ever had to contact us for a refund request, we’ve felt your pain so have made some key changes to help reduce the need for refund requests.

Active Rego Change
If you have multiple vehicle registrations loaded to your ParkMate account and accidentally start a parking session with the wrong rego, you now have 15 minutes to change to the correct rego. You can change rego by selecting your current session and then adding your correct registration.

Duplicate Products
We have removed the possibility of purchasing duplicate parking sessions. No longer will you be able to accidentally purchase the same parking product, therefore only paying for the session you use!

Multiple Payment Options
You now have the ability to load multiple credit or debit cards against your ParkMate account. You can simply switch between payment options on the confirmation screen – just in case one of your cards is running a little low on funds.


Hi!

Thank you for your email.

Some options I would like to see:

  1. The app hears when you get a parking ticket and automatically transcribes all the swear words into a nice email and sends it to the owner of the parking space.
  2. A sister app called “ParkEnemy” where you can buy someone else’s ticket off them in real time (at an inflated price to make it less likely to happen, and they don’t know it’s happened), thus ensuring that person gets a ticket.  Used when you see some idiot in their BMW taking up 2 spaces, or you just want to see your workmate crying at their desk.
  3. Upgrade of all parking metres to say things like “Hey you’re looking mighty fine today Tim” as you walk past them.  If you have just paid $20 or more for a park it’s even more complementary “Those glasses really suit you Tim, have you lost weight?” etc.
  4. The app detects when you’re riding a bicycle and sends abusive text messages to your friends “Look at me being all high and mighty riding a bike, I should be in a car like normal people, who am I, Lance Armstrong??”

I have more ideas if you’d like to hear them.

Kind Regards,

Tim Harman

ETA Thick Cut Peri-Peri Hot

Hello,

I am just writing to express my appreciation for your Nandos Peri-Peri Hot Thick Cut chips.

As a 41 year old man, there are not many times I use the expression “These are bangin'” but I think in this case it is warranted that, upon tasting these chips I exclaimed to myself in the car “Damn, these are some bangin’ chips”

I don’t know what I enjoy more, the delicious spicy flavour they impart, or the fact that I know should my 3yo son try and sneak one of “Daddy’s Chips” when he knows I’m not looking, he’ll start screaming and never do it again.

Probably the flavour, now I think about it, but the “will-never-eat-my-chips-again” son is a close second.

Anyway I thought I should just write and let you know these chips are bangin’. Oh sorry there I go again.

Bang on,

Tim

 

Hi

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and providing us with feedback on our product.

We are delighted to hear that our products meet your expectations.

We will pass your comments on to our Quality and Marketing team for their review and we hope you continue to enjoy our fine products.

SubwayNZ’s Social Media Drought

Sent:

Hello,

Whilst I am aware the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to a corporate such as yourself, I feel this request is important enough to warrant an exception and I will ring up the Ombudsman if one isn’t granted.

My very reasonable request is as follows:

Why doesn’t the @subwaynz Twitter account tweet anymore?

I welcome a reply at your earliest convenience.

Yours in a love of random meat products slapped between two bits of bread then drowned in sauces and cheese,

Tim H

Received:

Hi Tim,

Thank you for getting in touch,

We are flattered to see you have missed us, we are currently reviewing all Social media platforms. We should be back soon.

Kind regards

R

Customer Service Team

Street Snack Chilli Con Carne and Rice

Street Snack

A gritty, urban meal.

Hi,

Love this product. Very tasty, chuck a bit of hot sauce on, Bob’s Ya Uncle. Can’t go wrong.

However I am confused about the product terminology. It claims to be a “Street Snack” but I am unsure what this is in reference to.

Attempts to heat/cook the product on “the street” would fail as it requires a microwave. I have not tried it, but no doubt using a BBQ, Open Fire or other “street” type heating methods would result in the plastic container melting.

Interpreting it as the product having some form of street credibility also fall down on further investigation, as most people whom I consider to be “hip”, “with it” and/or “street smart” have not heard of this product. It is possible of course I am not cool enough or know the right kind of people, but I am fairly certain that this product is not known “on the street” and thus have ruled out this meaning as well.

Therefore I am stuck: What does Street Snack mean?

No doubt I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to make this enquiry so perhaps future packets produced could have a little “Street Snack(*)” and then a little bit of tiny writing down the bottom you almost have to go cross-eyed to read, that explains what exactly this text means.

I thank you for your time today and look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards,
Tim Harman

(*) Also it never crossed my mind that you might mean the product is made from “the street” as the street is mostly made of concrete and rocks, and this product does not appear to contain anything like that.

Date: 09.11.2017

Dear Mr Harman,

Thank you for your recent e-mail, we appreciate you taking your time to contact SunRice regarding this matter.

This SunRice range was inspired by the varieties of street food available around the world and so we named the product according as a “Street Snack”.

We trust you will continue to use and enjoy our quality SunRice products with every confidence.

Yours sincerely,

Liza
Consumer Relations

Panasonic DMR-HWT260GN

Review: Panasonic DMR-HWT260

This is my review of the Panasonic DMR-HWT260.  When I went to buy one, there weren’t any reviews so I hope this might fill a gap if you’re looking to buy one. Keep in mind when reading this that I’ve already bought one, and people who own something are much less likely to point out flaws in something that they’ve made the decision to buy.

I must also point out that this is the New Zealand model, not the Australian one.  Features like FreeviewPlus and a number of other settings are New Zealand specific.  If you read the instructions you’ll get a feel for the differences, none of them are major.  Also I expect (but can’t confirm) that most of the features/comments here will apply to the Panasonic DMR-PWT560 as well, it’s the same looking device except with built-in Blu-Ray and a smaller (500Gb) recording capacity.

Summary

This is a great PVR.  I bought this to replace our MySky HDI box and the interface is very similar. It has a simple way to navigate around a grid of current and upcoming programs and it’s easy to select one and either record a single episode or “series-link” to record all the episodes.

It works well, is fast at all it’s primary functions (more on speed later) and the image quality is clear.

Overall Verdict: Excellent.

Unboxing

People who do “unboxings” are stupid and annoying.  If you really want to see someone taking an object out of a box you need to seriously examine your life choices. (Yes, I am nearly 40.)

Features

  • Record two shows at once using its built in Tuners
  • Can record to an external HDD as well as the internal 1TB one.
  • Play back media from a local DLNA server, or USB drives.
  • Built in Wifi, with a Wired option as well
  • Selection of Internet Apps, including Netflix, Quikflix, TuneIn Radio, Youtube
  • Undocumented “Chromecast” abilities.

Review Details

This review was done with v1.00 of the firmware.  There haven’t been an updates or patches since we’ve had the box, but we’ve only had it 3 weeks.  I’m approaching this review from the point of view of comparing it to MySky HDi which we’ve had for a number of years – I suspect that’s why a lot of people will be looking at a PVR like this.

Good Things

  1. Records TV just fine.
  2. Nice clear picture, HD quality is excellent.
  3. User interface is pretty good!  It’s easy to see what’s coming up, easy to schedule something to be recorded and the “keyword” feature looks quite good, with the below caveat about how annoying not having a proper keyboard is.
  4. Built in WiFi works well, though I’ve since connected it to the wired network.  I’m a firm believer if something can be plugged in vs WiFi it should be!
  5. Lots of options to compress recordings (as they’re being recorded, or after the fact) to save Disc space.  Though a 1TB will probably take a little while to fill up!
  6. DLNA playback is great, we have a big media library on a server and the ability to play pretty much anything from it is handy.  Want to watch a movie? A few clicks (in fact a couple too many for my liking) and it’s on.
  7. It has built in “Chromecast” support for some apps.  I can be watching something on Youtube on my Android phone then “Cast it” to the Panasonic.  The Youtube app loads up and the video in question plays.  Very handy. Note: This is not screen mirroring, this is the Android phone telling the Panasonic “Load your Youtube app up and start playing this clip” – This seems to be an undocumented feature (it’s not the same as Miracast)
  8. The Netflix app works well.  Again as above you can select the movie on your Android phone and then “cast it” onto the Panasonic.  If you have an Apple TV or some other “better” dedicated Netflix box then I think you’ll find you use that rather than the Panasonic, but if you haven’t got a Netflix device already then this works fantastically.
  9. The remote control has the ability to also function as your TV’s remote control, so you can turn on/off the TV and change its inputs & volume using a single remote.
  10. It’s quite small and lightweight.

Bad Things

The followings things are things about the device that have annoyed me to some degree:

  1. Pausing or Rewinding Live TV takes a few seconds, during which time you think nothing is happening.  It’s very slow and is a very confusing thing!  And then when you’ve paused it, you’re now in this new “mode” where certain limitations apply.  This means you often get the message “You must return to Live TV to do X/Y/Z”.  Which is easy enough, you just press stop.  But compared to the seamlessness of SkyTV’s MySky box, it’s quite clunky.
  2. Entering text into fields to login (Like TVNZ’s Freeview service or the “keyword” PVR feature) is a pain in the butt.  It’d be nice if there was a way to pair a Bluetooth Keyboard with the device, or plug one in.  But it doesn’t support that (Note: I have not tried plugging a USB Keyboard in)
  3. You can’t keep watching something using the DLNA service when a program is being recorded.  This means it’ll “kick you out” of a DLNA session to start a timed recording.  Annoying when the kids are watching Peppa Pig but something I want recorded comes on.  Seeing as the box states “Watch Netflix while recording Live TV!” I find this limitation bizarre and hope it can be removed in a Firmware Update.
  4. The Internet/Net applications are pretty slow to start. You’ll press the TVNZ On Demand button and wait ~5 seconds or something to happen.  This is to be expected really, the box doesn’t sell itself majorly on its Internet features, apart from Netflix.  But some indication it’s received your input and is doing something would be nice.
  5. Freeview Plus pops up a slide out menu every time you change channel to one supported by Freeview Plus.  This is useful maybe the first 3 times and from then on just pisses you off.  No way to turn it off without disabling Freeview Plus (entirely) in the settings, which thankfully is a setting.  The Freeview Plus menu/guide is also confusing for people: Is this the same guide? What does “starring” something do, does that mean it records it (Answer: No).  It’s basically a second, differently laid out, guide.  Very confusing.  Apparently all Freeview Plus enabled boxes are like this though.
  6. Sometimes the “Exit” button is confusing.  Do you press Exit? Or the Return arrow? Or do you press stop?  Depending on what function you’re in, it can have different consequences.  To stop watching something in DLNA and return to the Media Menu, you have to press stop.  Otherwise you exit out of the DLNA service back to Tuner.
  7. No volume control on the Panasonic remote.  Yes, I know having separate volume controls is silly (people end up turning the sound RIGHT UP on the amp and then using the input box’s volume control) but it’s a handy feature, saving you having to have multiple remotes to control things.  This is especially annoying for us as we don’t use the TV’s volume for the sound, we have a dedicated amplifier.
  8. Occasional 1 second picture flicker (goes black then comes back), like a HDMI negotiation issue.  Sometimes happens a few times in a 10 minute interval, sometimes we can go all night and not see one.  2 other people who own this have reported it as well.  Only seems to happen when viewing Live TV, haven’t seen it with DLNA or when using menus etc.  Someone has suggested turning off the FreeviewPlus feature also fixes the issue, but I haven’t confirmed this yet.

Some of the items in “Bad Things” (especially point 8) could easily be addressed in future firmware updates and I hope they are.  It’s a great box with a few minor niggles, none of which really get in the way.

Final Thoughts

It has a hilarious little “app store” built in where you can download a tiny smattering of extra media applications, most of which look terrible.  It has a clunky web browser built in, given the feedback above about no keyboard you can imagine how fun it is to use.  That said, it does render things very well.  But why would you?

It’d be nice to have a way to quickly jump to the DLNA server folder that you use all the time, at the moment it’s ~7 button presses to get there every time.  A favourites menu would be god here.  There’s a lot of places where a little bit more thought could have been put into how people are really going to use this device.  Some settings are tucked away in the main settings, while some are accessed by pressing the “Option” button while watching TV. The core functions are great and are well thought out, it’s all the add-on bits that are a little bit rougher around the edges.

Overall a really good box that works well.  There’s certainly some areas for improvement, but none of them I’d consider defects, just things that can annoy you a bit.  There are cheaper boxes on the market that have the same capabilities (Especially the DishTV aerialBox T2200) but it they seem to be plagued with major firmware issues.

Read the comments

Always Read The Comments

I think the “Never read the comments” mentality is so dumb.  Why wouldn’t you read the comments?  It shows how people out there, in the community, in the wide-world, are really thinking.  I’m not saying you have to agree with the comments.  They’re no doubt horrid, vile and some of them I’m sure are disgusting and not worth reading.

But really, read the damn comments, don’t be so high and mighty. You don’t have to change your mind, but at least learn what others are thinking, even if you disagree.

Mosquitoes

The new office has a lot of mozzies. Heaps of them. They’re everywhere. I went nuts downstairs with a can of spray before, nuked about 20 of the little bastards. That plus the “pidgeon problem” makes for an interesting new office.

Fucking Mosquito

Fucking Mosquito

Still better than the old one though. Now we have aircon and a decent layout. And a landlord who is isn’t so crazy as to park a moving truck in. On purpose. When we’re moving out.

Nutter.