Our Patch

Electrify the garden

Oct 24th, 2019 | By

Labour Weekend traditionally marks the time for spring cleaning the garden.

That may also be time to service the garden power tools; lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and line trimmers.

Early adopters of new technology will probably already have a range of cordless electric or battery powered equipment.



Strikes hit the hot spot

Oct 19th, 2019 | By

Never mind if we got to yawning at the mention of ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’. After decades of denial and dallying we now get to call it a ‘climate crisis’ and an ‘existential threat’.

With more hui than do-ey, chain-dragging by the previous Government, lots of lip service, greenwashing by some, small positive steps by many, and outright opposition by others, the situation has only continued to get worse.

Well-informed and caring young people, and adults of all ages and from all walks of life, aren’t standing for it any more.



Freeware to the rescue

Oct 17th, 2019 | By

It occurred to me today that the number of additional pieces of software I use in Windows is quite staggering.

I rarely, if ever, use the built-in Windows apps (asides from maybe Calculator), as there’s almost always something better in the freeware world.

For those of you who don’t know, ‘freeware’ means free software, of which there is a ton on the Windows platform.



Tidy up your digital mind

Sep 26th, 2019 | By

It surprises me how people with very tidy homes can often have quite disorganised computers.

One would think that the same principle would apply to both situations, but some people are, I think, less experienced at organising their digital lives than their real ones.

However organisation inside a computer has the same benefits as organisation in a home or business:



Toe toe the line on pampas

Sep 1st, 2019 | By

Here in our fertile lush region everything grows like a weed, including the weeds.

As you would expect in a warm temperate part of the world, we have a huge variety of pest plants.

There are the classic creepers and stranglers like jasmine, honeysuckle and convolvulus that choke the plants that we’re trying to grow, and the dreaded privet trees with their ghastly flowers making us ill.



A climate for change

Aug 22nd, 2019 | By

The people have spoken. A June Ipsos poll found that climate change was an issue of personal importance to 79 per cent of Kiwis (up from 72 per cent a year ago).

Fully 69 per cent of us have become more concerned over the past few years (up from 60 per cent).

More than two-thirds of Kiwis are prepared to act to reduce climate change impacts. Yet, surprisingly, only about half know what steps they should take. Here are a few suggestions.



Pitfalls in online ads

Aug 21st, 2019 | By

One of the problems of the internet is how difficult it is to advertise online.

So much of the web is funded by advertising that it’s hard to get away from it – unless you install an ad-blocker. So you might think, well, I’ll take advantage of that in my business, but unfortunately it’s not overly simple.

Unlike a regular newspaper or billboard, where you put the ad up and then you’re done, online advertising is much more complicated.



Choosing a garden winner

Jul 22nd, 2019 | By

Choosing the right plants for your gully or garden is a challenge.

Not only are we spoiled for choice with thousands of species to choose from but it’s not unknown for a plant to thrive in one corner of your garden and sulk in another.

Even expert gardeners often rely on trial and error for best results.



The word on email programs

Jul 18th, 2019 | By

What constitutes a good email program?

Well, partially that it’s not made by Microsoft, for starters. I know a lot of people use Outlook, and I’m not against it, necessarily, but there are so many problems associated with that program I’d need an entire chapter of a book just to explain them.



Children have fun playing sports and don’t need to satisfy adults’ ambitions

Jul 10th, 2019 | By

Playing sports has clear social, physical and mental health benefits for children. But evidence shows that youth sports in Western societies have become increasingly controlled and regulated by adults, which takes the fun out for many children.

Participation rates by adolescents have been declining and recent statistics released by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) show a 60% surge in sports injuries for children in the 10 to 14 age group over the past decade in New Zealand.