SuperBike

Volto e-bike review

After researching the available electric bikes in New Zealand, I concluded that the best bang for the buck is the range of 3 e-bikes from Volto in Tauranga. A 10 minute test drive on one of Pete Wilcox’s bikes at Rockgas Wanganui‘s e-bike agency left me smitten.

The Volto bikes are manufactured in China, but designed by New Zealanders for our conditions.

TDE_blue_web1200
The Volto Falcon e-bike

Safety first

Contrary to my expectation, I feel safer on the e-bike in city traffic than I do on my conventional bike. The extra acceleration available, especially from a standstill, makes it easier to keep up with the flow in busy city traffic; you’re not being shunted to the side of the road and made vulnerable to negligent car drivers who’re dying to open their doors in your face, or to suddenly back out of an angled parking space because they didn’t see you coming. Or maybe because they did.   :o)

At stop signs and traffic lights, the same applies; I’m less vulnerable because I can accelerate as easily as a car, again, avoiding being shunted to the side of the road.

The bike

The Volto (mine’s a Falcon) has 3 power levels; I haven’t found it necessary to go beyond level 1, even on steepish hills. Higher levels give you more boost on the flat, but when you’re putting in extra effort on a steep hill you get maximum assistance even on level 1. My perception: hills are flattened by a factor of about five; head winds are forever vanquished.

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Evernote

Top choice for note taking software

Evernote logo

If you have random data scattered around your computer, a digital scrapbook of clippings, recipes, scanned receipts, reference data, web clippings… stuff that you squirrel away because maybe you’ll need it one day then Evernote is your friend.

I’ve been testing a number of other similar programs but, bang for buck, Evernote is still my #1 choice.

It’s come into a bit of flack recently because the company have changed the rules for the free version, and changed the pricing structure. We’ll cover that later in this post.

Evernote makes filing and quickly retrieving your data easy. Your notes, files and images are saved to your computers’ hard drives and simultaneously to Evernote’s own servers. Its main raison d’etre is quick and easy location of those data. You have the advantages of online storage, instant powerful search capability, and automatic synchronization between your computers, tablets, and smartphones and between them and the cloud.
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Big Oil is holding us to ransom, right?

Wrong

It’s Big Pharma and the Banksters.

Big Oil well

The average earnings as a percentage of turnover by oil companies over recent years is around 5%.

The average earnings as a percentage of turnover by the banks and the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals is around 20% !

So if you’re in need of $100,000 annual treatments for treatment for breast cancer, or if you’re an African with AIDS earning $1 a day, I hope you’ll be pleased that the drug manufacturers are doing so well.

The latest figures I’ve found courtesy of the BBC:
profit margins

If all else fails guys, RTFM

Read The F**king Manual!Red Peak cartoon

The New Zealand Flag Consideration Panel are an august and varied bunch of highly respected and accomplished Kiwis from a wide range of backgrounds.

12 people on a committee is probably 8 or 9 too many to come up with a good outcome, but you’d expect a good decision anyway from smart people given clear guidelines.

Except!

They totally ignored their mandate. The makeup of most of the final 40 selection, and all of the final four, didn’t meet the criteria they’d been given. Those criteria were clear, in line with the advice of vexillologists, and borne out by many other successful national flags.

Like most people, I didn’t appreciate the vast difference between a static 2 dimensional corporate type logo and a 3 dimensional flag moving dynamically in the breeze. I listened to people who understood the task and now I get it. Not so the $640 a day Eminent and August Persons Group. They didn’t get it and they still don’t. Nor does tunnel visioned Prime Minister John Key.

Decide for yourself:

A dearth of decency

Keep calm and avoid selfish peopleWhat is it with people?

A while back I gave one of my favourite places, Whanganui’s Red Eye Café, a miss because some inconsiderate idiot had parked precisely dead centre between two car parks taking up both and leaving no space for my little Freelander. I headed down the road for Oggie’s Café instead.

On the way I passed a man pushing a beat up van in the opposite direction. I stopped a hundred metres up the road and walked back to lend a hand. “May I help?” said I.

He looked at me dead-faced and said “No.”

Nothing more. No thank you; it’s OK; or kiss my backside. Just a flat expressionless “No.”

“You’re welcome.” I said, and trudged back up the road in a less enthusiatic frame of mind.

Perhaps for the first time in human history, the Good Old Days really did have something going for them. No wonder we have selfish and venal politicians and up-themselves media celebrities. The ubiquitous screen is corroding our ability to communicate and relate to people face-to-face; and it’s giving us Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and the Kardashians.

The incidents I talked about above are becoming common. It’s going to get worse. From the cradle we’re encouraging our children to sink into the digital world, more and more they’re communicating electronically and learning how to behave from mainly toxic and obnoxious media.

There will be unhappy consequences.

ignorance

 

 

Death of capitalism; bring it on

Capitalism is nourished by growth. Without growth it cannot survive. It’s a function of the debt-based monetary system which requires growth to cover future interest commitments.

We cannot easily address climate change without threatening the capitalist system’s very existence. It could be done, but the status quo has its head up its backside and won’t acknowledge the extent of the problem.

Eventually things will change, the sooner that happens the better for your children.