Archive for August, 2012

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For Less Than One Medal …..

28 August 2012

Returning to the subject of the cost of the Olympics, is anyone able to tell me why on every street corner in Sydney there is a Paralympics Fundraiser?

While I may not be a lover of sport, I do believe that if we can spend over $300 million on the Olympics, then the Australian tax payer can stump up the full cost of sending the Paralympics sportsmen and women to London.   Apparently they have to raise $7.8 million themselves.  Why?

I’m quite sure if you did a straw poll of Australians on the subject, they would support the spending of public funds on this.  Some money comes from Federal and State Governments but not the full amount.  Why not? 

Why on earth should the Paralympics contestants have to beg for money and rely on the generosity of the Australian public?  It’s demeaning, makes them into charity cases, and is a situation we don’t inflict on our able-bodied sports people. 

I pointed out before that each medal at the Olympic Games cost the Australian taxpayer about $10 million.  For less than the cost of one medal gained there, we can give the Paralympians the full amount required and send them on their way to London with our good wishes, and their self-respect intact.

 

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YES – It was Wrongful Trading.

26 August 2012

In case you’ve lost the plot on the KAL/ACM/CMS saga, I’ll briefly remind you that KAL Media was the company, sole Director Kerrie Allman, which went into liquidation in June 2011 (superseded by ACM, which was then superseded by CMS, the current “business”).

The liquidator of KAL has issued a report which shows the debts of this company in excess of 250,000 pounds.  He also states that as he found a “prima-facie case of wrongful trading” he has passed the matter to the Insolvency Service (they’re the UK Government department which deals with the disqualification of directors). 

I’m just hoping that the Administrators and subsequent liquidators of All Craft Media will do the same because, although Kerrie wasn’t the Director (her husband was), she ACTED as though she were a Director which is all they’re really concerned about. 

I know this isn’t much consolation to the large number of people who lost money but if it results in proper action being taken to stop this woman, it may go some way in helping. 

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Increase Your Vocabulary

24 August 2012

The Sydney Morning Herald this week has been inviting readers to submit new words that they’ve invented by merging two existing words.

My favourite so far is “testiculate” – which means to wave ones arms around while talking complete bollocks.

I can’t wait to use that (and if past experience is anything to go by, I expect to get an early opportunity).

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A Question Of Funds

19 August 2012

So the Olympic Games have come and gone without a word being mentioned here.  If you’ve read my blog more than once, you’ll probably know that sport and I are not happy bedfellows.  As usual I didn’t watch one event, except for those I couldn’t avoid because they made the normal news bulletins.

At times like this, because I’m a dual citizen (Australian/British), I’m often asked which team I support.  The answer is very easy.  I don’t support either of them. 

HOWEVER, I’m very sorry that Australian didn’t win more gold medals, as the result of this will be a demand for more funds from the Australian tax payer.  Apparently, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia has spent over $310 million in the last four years on the training of these sportsmen and women (and Britain spent $390m in the same period).  In Australia’s case this means that every medal (of every hue) has cost us about $10 million. 

Of course I have no objection to public money being spent on sport, any more than I object to its being spent on libraries, museums and art galleries.  Provide the sports-loving public with playing fields and swimming pools.  But don’t invest very hefty sums of money in the elite of the sporting world while selling off school playing-fields and parks to property developers.  And don’t invest it at the cost of the arts and sciences which have an equal right to public funds.  

Why do we still continue with the notion that the calibre of a country can be judged by the number of medals won?  This was the thinking of the Eastern bloc countries.  Did we all rush to move to East Germany because we were in awe of their gymnasts and thought it must be a wonderful country to live?  No, of course not.  The number of medals won is pretty much in direct proportion to the amount of money a country is willing to spend, with a few notable exceptions where an athlete possesses such amazing natural skills that s/he rises above the meagre training facilities and lack of sponsorship.

I’m much more impressed that Australia has a disproportionate number of Nobel Prize winners.  And I’m NOT impressed that the Queensland Premier, on his election earlier this year, abolished the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, saving $225,000 (which equates to 2.25% of an Olympic medal.) 

Strange priorities.    

PS:  And I’m sure there are more knitters in this country than people who play competitive sport (including the Prime Minister).  Public funding for us, please. 

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THREE HUNDRED GRAMS OF WOOL (I Don’t Get It)

10 August 2012

Since my last post on this subject, a number of others have joined in the Ravelry thread pointing out the inadequacies of Kylie’s business model.  She responded by saying that she’s truly dreadful at customer service.  A strange comment – and it made me wonder why she thought this was a suitable career choice.  She also claimed that she wasn’t “in business”  – another strange comment from a woman who has been promoting her “business” for a number of years, and holds an ABN (Australian Business Number).  I posted once.

Today I’ve received a Private Message on Ravelry telling me that she’s refunded my money and I’m barred from the group.  I’m not sure why I’ve been picked out for special treatment here (if I have – I don’t know presently of anyone else who’s been barred).  But I can now go and spend my cash with a reputable “business” elsewhere. 

Her PM to me was entitled “I get it” – another oddity, because that’s the major problem.  She just doesn’t.

 

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THREE HUNDRED GRAMS OF WOOL

6 August 2012

Last September I got involved in a project run by an Australian indy-dyer, Kylie Gusset (Ms.Gusset).  She had the great idea of purchasing a ton of cormo wool direct from the farmer and having it processed in Australia.  If you’re not in Australia, you may not know that nearly all our wool goes overseas (mainly to China) to be processed and that Australian Cormo is not readily available here.

So she set up a Pozible account (like CrowdFunder) where she asked people to pledge money towards this enterprise.  Depending on what we’d pledged, we’d receive a “gift” – in my case 3 x 100g of spun yarn.  She had to raise $33,000 for this and exceeded her target.  In other words, we were pre-buying the yarn (and tops, for the spinners among us) and anything left she’d be able to sell on the open market.

This is a large endeavour and we all knew that we’d have to wait a while for our purchases.  Tops started to be sent out in January/February and in March she received the undyed spun yarn for those who wanted that, or to be dyed, for the rest of us.  In May, I was asked to choose which colourway I’d prefer.  I did that but as I was going away for 5 weeks, asked if she’d hold onto the yarn until I returned.  This was refused on the grounds that it had to be sent out “immediately”.  So I gave her a friend’s address and was assured “it will be waiting for you on your return”.

I think you can guess the rest.  I was away for 5 weeks and have been back for 6.  No yarn, no explanation.

And I’m not alone I gather from the PMs I’ve received on Ravelry (where I’ve raised the issue in her group – in the Ton of Wool Q&A section, which seemed appropriate).  Some are still waiting for their tops, some for the dyed yarn.  But a number are still waiting and getting nowhere with their queries.  Questions asked in her group are often deleted.  I’ve been “ordered” to delete my post, she’s threatening to report me to Ravelry for being in breach of their Guidelines**, and if I post again, she’ll block me from the group.  Overkill? 

I think the final straw was to see that she was selling it at the Bendigo Show recently so now we have to read about happy shoppers who’ve got their beautiful yarn (and I believe it really is lovely) and have already used it while those of us who funded this project are still waiting.

What is such a shame is that what should have been a wonderful marketing opportunity for her business has resulted in a large number of knitters saying that they’ll never deal with her again.  She had loads of good publicity from this but instead of capitalising on it, has wasted it. It was a huge undertaking, I’m fully aware of that, but if she weren’t up to the job, she really shouldn’t have taken it on. But as she did, she could at least be polite and business-like, not threatening, with her customers who are still waiting.

I’ll let you know when I get my wool. 

**  Ravelry Guideline:  “Ravelry is not customer service! If you have negative feedback about a business to share, share it with the owner first. When posting reviews that contain negative feedback, remember that you are talking about somebody’s livelihood. “

This is to stop people from posting all over Ravelry unsubstantiated claims about bad service INSTEAD OF contacting the owner of the business.  The group I posted in IS the owner of the business.  I posted my concerns nowhere else in Ravelry.  And it wasn’t “negative feedback” – it was a simple, polite request for delivery information, similar to asking in a group run by a knitting magazine what date I could expect my next subscriber copy.  

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