Category Archives: Writings

Netflix Tax

The NZ ‘Netflix Tax’ starts in October 2016.
Here is my submission from Sept 2015.

Submission on GST Cross-Border Services, Intangibles and Goods

I am not an accountant, economist or employed in the financial sector. The following is a result of dealing with purchasing eBooks online for the last 5-6 years.

The report omits to mention that the European version of digital tax exempts suppliers using manual processes. The rules apply to “automated digital services” – that’s anything downloadable or used online, unless it’s custom-made. This mechanism would exclude small, specialized services from the tax regime. Our system should be consistent with the European system.

That the proposal only applies to “automated digital services”.

The euro tax has no minimum exemption, tax is collected from the first dollar earned from digital services. Adoption of this by New Zealand is likely to have the unintended consequence of digital suppliers in other countries (especially the USA) using the geographical indicators to block services to New Zealand. Small operators may not have the expertise or inclination to offer services to NZ and simply block commerce to New Zealanders.

That a minimum threshold of at least 10,000 NZD be adopted to ensure small operators do not abandon services to NZ.

New Zealand could be moved to Europe, in the Atlantic just west of Portugal and Morocco. In the right place, Cooks Strait could act as a toll-gate on shipping from the Mediterranean. Wellington would be a popular stop-off for sailors and Aucklanders could holiday in Spain and France. Unfortunately it may prove too warm for people of Scottish heritage who could migrate to Antartica. But more importantly, we would be nowhere near Australia.

If Geo-forming the planet to move NZ is too difficult, we could join the Euro MOSS as a virtual partner. It their system is so great, then another country of 4.5 million shouldn’t be a problem.

Rate This

I like to categorize, index and rate things.
From books, movies and music to shows and experiences.
(It’s the collector gene)

For books I use a 5 star system:

1 –  Not Finished
2  – Finished, Not Very Good
3 – Average
4 – Best for the Author
5 – Best of the Genre

Music in jRiver (Media Center Software) has a similar system:

1  – Track is in wrong Genre
2  – I Don’t like this
3 – Good song for this Artist
4 – Best for the Artist
5 – Best in the Genre

But how to implement this on my WordPress site ?
There is not an obvious way to do this.
But Elitist Book Reviews (also using WordPress) has come to the rescue.
Their system uses the tags:
Books We Like
Booke We Hate
Books We Love

So I’m going back through the posts and adding the take
I  Like
I Hate it
I Love it

But I’m only going to apply it to things a reader of this site could purchase. So no tagging of the local (show and theatre) and time limited things.


RU Healthy

Are You Healthy ?

Top 10 signs you need to go on a diet

1. When you wake up, the first thing you think of is “what’s for dinner?”
2. When you sit down, your ass spreads to cover the full width of the chair.
3. You have breasts and you’re a man.
4. That nice swishing sound when you walk is actually the inside of your legs rubbing together.
5. You threw out your Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazines and subscribed to Cuisine.
6. Someone gave you a card that read I’m in shape, round is a shape?
7. When you look down, you can’t see your feet without leaning forward.
8. People hide behind you at parties.
9. Staff at your local takeaway already have your order ready when you arrive.
10. People keep giving advice on dieting.

Hunting Kakapo

Due to the imminent danger of extinction of the kakapo a group was recently organized to hunt the South Island for kakapo.

Because of the lack of success on previous occasions it was decided that if a range of people from different occupations were used, their different approaches to the same problem would bring better results than before. Sadly this was not so, the reasons for this are as follows.

The mathematicians threw out everything that did not resemble a kakapo, and caught whatever was left.

Professors attempted to prove the existence of at least one kakapo, and left the detection and capture to their graduate students.

Computer programmers used the following algorithm :
1. Go to Invercargill
2. Work northward by traversing east and west
3. During each traverse
Catch each animal seen
Compare to a known kakapo
Stop when match is found
Experienced programmers placed a kakapo at Nelson to ensure that the algorithm would end. Assembly programmers hunted in their hands and knees.

Engineers caught all flightless birds at random, and stopping when one of them was within 15% of the estimated weight of a kakapo.

Economists don’t hunt kakapo, but believe that if paid enough, they will hunt themselves.

Statisticians hunt the fist bird they see n times an call it a kakapo.

Consultants don’t hunt kakapo, but can be hired by the hour to advise those who do.

Politicians don’t hunt kakapo, but will share the kakapo with the people who voted for them (except West Coasters).

Lawyers don’t hunt kakapo, they just argued about who owned the droppings.

Software lawyers claimed they owned all the kakapo in New Zealand based on the look and feel of one bird dropping.

Senior managers set hunting policies on the assumption that kakapo were just green kiwi’s.

Inspectors spent all their time looking for mistakes everyone else made when packing the landrovers.

Sales people spent the time selling kakapo to McDonalds as a kangaroo substitute.

Software salesmen caught rabbits, painted them green and sold them as desktop kakapo.

All the Aucklanders that went got lost.
No Kakapo were found.

Sit on it

Where do you sit ?

(the following observations based on attending too many lectures)

Ever wonder why a lecture room, auditorium or any place of gathering only seats a small proportion of the total allocated ?

This is because of the different types of people that inhabit such environments. First you have the quick thinking and smart (OK, anyone like me) individual. These turn up on time and head straight for the middle of the row, they wait and observe the other participants arriving.

Next comes the slower ones. They will need to choose a row and enter from one end, carefully deciding how close to sit to the clever buggers who got there first.

Some will rush up and take a seat next to those already sitting. If they are mildly annoying they will say hello and then stare vacantly ahead for the remaining time until the event commences. If they want to be really annoying they will inquire about the weather, why others are present and may even expose their uninformed views on the subject matter for the evening. They may chatter until the commencement of proceedings. Such people are rarely invited back.

Now here come some more, but this time they may not like those already seated. They will choose a seat some distance from those seated, perhaps four to five away. And for extra protection a bag (or whatever they have) will be placed between them and the idiot further along the row. But they have to be careful not to sit too far to the end, as they may encounter the worst individuals of all.

The most common spacing will be with one seat between people. This is throwback to childhood when schoolchildren were instructed to stand at least one arms length apart. A measurement of the distances between people will confirm that some practices persist into adulthood.

Now the worst of all, the person who sits at the end of the row. This obnoxious individual is obviously unaware of problems they cause to others. Everyone else has to squeeze pass them to get to a seat somewhere in the middle. If you are trying to pass, be sure to carry a bag or case and gently smack them in the face as you pass.

Now everyone has arrived and seating is complete. But here comes the speaker/lecturer. Some of these may attempt to break the seating formation. “OK, everyone. Don’t sit at the back. Come on down, there are plenty of seats at the front. Come on now, I won’t bite. I just want us to all get cosy today”. Under no circumstances should you move. People have already spent good time and effort in acquiring their seats. They are not going to move. So just cross your arms, lean back in your chair and give them a look of “Buggered if I’m going to move”. Eventually any efforts to get you to move will be unsuccessful. You can stay where you are.

So now we have it, a few in the middle, the idiots on the end some more scattered in the remaining seats. This formation can be seen in as a graphical representation of the bell shaped curve of intelligence. The intelligent ones in the middle, with those of lesser intelligence on the extremity of each row. And everyone wondering “Why did I come here ?”.

So, Where Do You Sit ?

NB 28/11/2003


Why I don’t go skiing

Skiing isn’t a good idea. You need to be rich, flash and stupid. Let me explain.

First you will need to go shopping. Start with lots of money, you will be needing everything you can lay your hands on.

Now find a ski shop. These are only open in the winter. During the summer months they are usually used by some obscure charity organization selling hand crafted walnuts from Bolivia.

First you will need skis. These are 2m long planks. You may think they are for conveying you gently down a slope. This is not true. They are levers, inevitably your body will not be traveling in the same direction as the skis. Because high tech materials comprising wood and plastic are stronger then flesh and bone, injuries to sensitive parts are inevitable.

Expect injuries due to broken legs, sprained ankles and twisted knees to persist into old age. To protect your legs from protruding rocks, and wind blown snow you will need trousers.

These come in two styles :

The first is a skin tight, body hugging (show every curve) type. You should only consider purchasing these if someone (apart from spouse or family member) considers that you have sexy legs.

If you have sexy legs and breasts you should consider the full body suit. This body enhancing multicolored condom will ensure a quick response should you receive an injury.

The second style is the retro eighties styled baggy trousers. These tents will provide you with an accompanying wind song as you plunge over a cliff to your death. They will also provide men with camouflage should they have an involuntary response to the type one body suit.

You will need torso protection. Here the color is important. You will require something with sufficient color so you can hide in a tow queue. But not too bright or the keas will mistake you for a shiny object to either attack or take back to the nest as a plaything for the chicks.

Eye protection is a must. Again there are two choices.

The first is the dark glasses. These are available in a range of prices to match your social status. Expect to pay more for these than you did for your prescription glasses.

The second type is goggles. These can provide full face protection and camouflage. Especially useful when it’s your turn to clean up the mess at the end of the day.

You will also need pointed steel sticks, with a depth gauge in the end. This is used to prod others in the backside if they get in the way. The depth gauge is to ensure you don’t rupture any bowels. To make things even more dangerous, you will require two.

Now that you have spent several thousands, you have completed most of the spending. Soon you will be expected to spend only hundreds of dollars per day.

At about 11pm the night before your big day, expect your drunk friends to phone reminding you to be up early for the 7am start. They will inevitably arrive about 8am, after some of the company have forgotten to pack sufficient alcohol for the day.

If you are going to Mt Hutt be warned. When scaling the mountain the driver will remark at every bend “It’s about here that the strong winds will blow us over the side to the rocks below”.

If you are fat, expect to be asked to sit on the bonnet to provide traction for the final near vertical climb to the car park.

If you have been spending the first hour of your journey bragging about your gym work-out routine, be expected to push the car. If you have been comparing yourself to Hercules, be expected to lift the car while the chains are fitted.

It is a good idea to inquire of your friends if they have experience fitting chains to the correct wheels. If they hesitate only slightly, give them up for those who know what they are doing.

When you finally arrive you will require tow tickets. The queue should be about 50m long, but don’t worry, this is deliberate. You will need the practice at waiting when you get to the tow queue.

Now for the fun part of your day, getting up that white hunk of rock. The gray things on the snow are not fallen, fashion free skiers. They are rocks. You have arrived either early in the season before the snow maker has been repaired, or late when the snow is beginning to melt, and your family is spending their time at the beach. Remember that in New Zealand the ski fields are covered in tussock during summer.

Your method of getting to the top may vary. If your tow ticket was very cheap, expect to grab a hold of the farm tractor before it leaves.

A club ski field may have a rope tow. Don’t try grabbing the rope with your hand, that’s what a nutcracker is for (and don’t attempt to crack any nuts with it). After a day you will begin to develop upper body muscles. By the second day the pain should subside and you can start skiing properly.

The better ski field will have a “T” bar. This giant hook is for you. Just snuggle up closely to that geriatric old fart trying to reclaim his youth and wait.

When the hook hits you three thing can happen –
1. You could be taken safely to the top, but that is unlikely.
2. You could lurch forward, tangling your skis with your partner and falling in a heap in the path of the next pair of skiers.
3. Or you could sit down (a common error of the uninitiated). This will find you on your bum, sitting on your skis, sliding backwards into the tow queue. The sticks of those waiting should stop you. Just hope that they don’t use them in a horizontal manner, with the depth gauges removed.

Once you have mastered the art of rising gently to the top of the hill and tumbling down again you can call yourself a skier. By about 2pm you will get bored with all this and join your friends in the public bar. Don’t worry about your driver not drinking, this is a kiwi custom. Anyway it’s all downhill to home, you will make it home eventually.

When you finally get home (the same day unless you have stopped at a hotel on the way) you can relax.

Now reflect that it would have been better to stay in bed on a winters day and read.

And that’s why I don’t go skiing (anymore).

Nigel Baker

New Zealand Sea Shore Shanty

(to the tune of ” What should we do with a drunken sailor)

What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
Early in this century

Hey, man Iwi should own it
Hey, man Iwi should own it
Hey, man Iwi should own it
Then sell it off to Seaworld

What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
Early in this century

Hey, dude the government should own it
Hey, dude the government should own it
Hey, dude the government should own it
And run it like a railway

What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
What should we do with New Zealand seashore
Early in this century

(repeat until 2004)

(written in 2003!)

A Strange Story

We were exploring a strange world when we came to the edge of the land.

On the beach we found two strange partners. There was a large walrus, and a tall skinny chap with a stack of tools.

We sat on a rock to watch what they were doing. Then we noticed that along the beach strolled a line of oysters. “That’s strange” said Roger, “must be that caterpillar I ate”.

The oysters cried, “But wait a bit, before we have our chat, for some of us are out of breath, and all of us are fat”.

As we watched the walrus was devouring each oyster as it approached him. He ate until he was stuffed full. Then he lay down on the beach for a snooze.

The walrus lay between the sea and the rocks, blocking the way along the beach.

But the oysters just kept coming, they crawled over the sleeping walrus to the carpenter. Each oyster he carefully picked up and opened with a special tool. After eating the oyster, he examined the inside of the shell, them put it on one of the several piles behind him. As he worked, we could just hear him as he sung a tune.

Instruction, Division, Divide
Without my cocaine, I’ll never get high

Instruction, Division, Divide
This bit’s not high, so why am I

Instruction, Division, Divide
I’ll never get by, without my multiply

The walrus just belched. After some time he rolled over, stood up and resumed eating the oysters.

The carpenter became very agitated. “I’m late, I’m late. I must keep these in order for that little MIS. Get out of my way, I’ve work to do”.

But the walrus just ignored him. He was much bigger than the carpenter, and could use his size to block him from the row of oysters. The carpenter tried to push the walrus out of the way, he tried to get around him, but he didn’t want to get his feet wet. After some time he got tired any lay down for a sleep.

When the walrus finished the carpenter woke and resumed taking the oysters.

We went up to the pair and asked why they fought over the oysters. The walrus said “I need them to keep me alive, it’s all I can eat”. The carpenter said “I’ve work to do, a contract to fill, I’m paid by the shells that I keep.”

So we laid down on the beach and thought of many things , of bits and fats and things. Most of us just went to sleep.

Suddenly Steve jumped up “I KNOW” he shouted.

He asked the walrus, “why can’t you lie in the surf, you could get a suntan, keep cool in the water and eat”.

The walrus grumbled “But the carpenter will get all the oysters. And besides, the sea is boiling hot”. “It’s not hot, not java boiling hot” Steve splashed in the sea, to the amazement of the carpenter and the walrus. “And the carpenter won’t get your lot, he’s got no bleedin’ pot”.

So the walrus reluctantly lumbered into the surf and waited for the oysters. The line of oysters moved towards the walrus, he was big and black and all they could see.

At first the surf washed the oysters up onto the beach to the carpenter. But as the sea retreated, the line of oysters came up the walrus and he could continue eating them. They came infrequently, so he didn’t need to stuff himself, then have a sleep.

The carpenter could open the oysters, examine their contents and keep up with his work.

We stood and watched until the carpenter became engrossed in his work. He continued singing his songs..

Overflow, Carry, Extend
My flip flop friends are zero in the end

Link and Alocate
More registers, I just ate

Move here and Move here
Swap there and Swap there

“Hmm” wondered Steve as we left, “I wonder what would happen if they each had a line of oysters”.

New Cars

Top 10 Features on the Automobiles for the American Market

1.    Quick release Wheels
2.     Rear-vision Mirror Lipstick Holders
3.    Cycle friendly Doors
4.     Instead of an Airbag – Secret Drug Compartment
5.    Machinegun
6.    Durable lead paint finish
7.    Soft asbestos seat covers
8.    Pizza Tray
9.    Heated Hamburger Slot
10.    Beer Can holder