Wrong timing – updated

September 22, 2010

Dear Mr Dunne

About a year ago you were on Backbenchers patting yourself on the back over the extension to daylight saving.

I didn’t have a chance to contradict you and to be honest I was beginning to think it was time I admitted defeat on this issue.

However, this week’s weather has renewed my commitment to the campaign to delay the date the clocks go forward.

When daylight saving was first introduced it started at the end of October. That wasn’t too hard to adjust to because by then we’re getting about 14 hours of daylight.

Then someone decided that if some daylight saving time was good more would be better and the change in time moved to early October. That was harder to take but still some people thought that wasn’t enough. You agreed with them and moved the start of daylight saving back to the last weekend of September.

That’s just a few days after the spring equinox so we’re only getting a little more than 12 hours of daylight. Moving sunset from 6ish to 7ish in the evening means sunrise moves from 6ish to 7ish in the morning.

That extra hour at the end of the day coincides with dinner time for most people so isn’t much use and the extra hour of darkness at the start of the day seriously inconveniences people who have to start work early.

Even that mightn’t be so bad if it was summer, but this week has shown us it’s not even spring. It’s still winter. Our temperatures didn’t even make it to double figures yesterday and the forecast for the next few days doesn’t give much hope of an improvement.

Regardless of whether the sun sets at 6ish or 7ish, it’s far too cold to be outside during the evening.

Please, check the Astronomical Society’s table of sunrise and sunset times. You’ll see that taking the start of daylight saving back to the end of October makes a huge difference. If the clocks change this weekend sunrise in Dunedin won’t be until 7.17, that’s not a lot earlier than winter, but if the change is delayed by a month the sun will rise at the much more civilised time of 6.22.

We’ve given the extension to daylight saving a fair go and it hasn’t got any better.

Please Mr Dunne, admit you got the timing wrong. It was an idea which sounded okay in theory but simply doesn’t work in practice.

You lengthened the period of daylight saving, it’s time to shorten it again so that the change to summer time comes in summer, or at least spring, and not winter.

Yours in hope,

UPDATE: Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! agrees September is too early. He’s suggesting we go back to the first weekend in October. I reckon that’s still too early, but it would be better than what we’ve got now.


Sometime’s a cigar is only a cigar

May 14, 2010

An MP who had been upset by something John Key had done was at a meeting with him.

The Prime Minister, knowing he wasn’t in his MP’s good books, made a self-depreciating joke about it.

It was exactly the sort of joke he made about not being welcome at a Tuhoe dinner.

Part of his charm is his ability to laugh at himself and I’ve heard him make similar, self depreciating jokes several times.

I am certain that was all he was doing in this instance.

Not everyone sees it that way.

Over at Tumeke! Bomber and Tim think he was referring to cannibalism.  Deborah thinks it was ignorant and offensive.

On the other hand Kiwiblog says his own sense of humour is one reason he’d never be an MP;  Keeping Stock thinks people should lighten up and  was inspired to make a contribution to New Zealand Music Month. Something Should Go Here thinks it was a good joke.

Macdoctor thinks it was a clever but that would mean John was being deliberately offensive and I’m sure he wasn’t.

It was a joke, directed at himself and while I can see how some people might find offensive meaning in it I have no doubt that wasn’t his intent.

Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar but people will always be able to make something else of it.


Where do you go for numbers?

April 11, 2010

Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! has been weighing up the Yellow Pages and reckons they’re getting smaller because of the recession.

That may have something to do with it but I suspect increased use of the internet has also contributed to less advertising in phone books.

I use a web search more and more. It’s usually faster, more up to date, the writing is bigger and the right way up.

It may be several years since someone had the not very bright idea of putting the yellow pages upside down in the phone book but it still irritates me that I have to turn the book upside down and back to front to get a number.


ClustrMaps

March 6, 2010

It’s a year since I discovered ClustrMaps which records visitor locations and numbers.

An email last night advised me that the record for the past 12 months is being archived and a fresh map started.

If this didn’t happen the map would turn into a giant red blob.

For the record, here’s where visitors have come from in the last year:

UPDATE: on the subject of visitors Something Should Go Here has the February blog stats. His vary quite markedly from the sitemeter rankings at Open Parachute and Tim Selwyn’s blogosphere rankings at Tumeke!


Stat time of the month

October 9, 2009

It’s stat time of the month again when Tim Selwyn of Tumeke! calls for blog stats for the Blogosphere Rankings.

In September at Homepaddock:

Sitemeter recorded 13,478 unique visitors. Stat Counter more generously recorded 15, 117 unique visitors.

 There were 238 posts which received a total of 497 comments.

The four most commented on posts were: 33 on Coal to fertiliser plant for Southland? on 25.9; 17 on Kiwirail must pay its way on 30.9;   16 on Greenpeace has wrong target for wrong reasons on 17.9 and 12 each on  Last cab has the mana and the power on  15.9 and The honourable member on 29.9.

The top 10 referring blogs were:

nominister.blogspot.com 1,580
asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com 924
kiwiblog.co.nz/blogroll 340
nzconservative.blogspot.com 273
kismetfarm.blogspot.com 169
keepingstock.blogspot.com 138
pmofnz.blogspot.com 126
lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com 75
macdoctor.co.nz 70
roarprawn.blogspot.com 69

Thank you for popping in and an electronic bunch of daffodils to all who left a comment.

Sitemeter

homepaddock
This Year’s Visits and Page Views by Month

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

The graph from StatCounter doesn’t want to copy but here are the figures:

Page Loads                 Unique Visitors                                            First Time Visitors                           Returning Visitors
Total 21,862 15,117 8,918 6,199
Average 729 504 297 207

Stat time of the month

August 10, 2009

Tim Selwyn has posted the NZ Blogospehre top-20 for June.

Scrubone has the Half Done stats for July.

Open Parachute has done the NZ blog ranks for July too, with a change in methodology which puts his rankings more in line with the other two.

Being out of the country for all of July with a couple of weeks with no access to a computer had an impact on visitor numbers to Homepaddock. It also showed a relationship between the number of posts and number of visitors.

I’d expected fewer posts to result in fewer return visits but it appears to also have led to fewer unique visits too.

homepaddock
This Year’s Visits and Page Views by Month

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

However, while being in the top 20 is flattering, I’m very aware of that quantity deosn’t equal quality.

To stop myself taking too much from my place in the rankings, I note that spam outweighs real comments by about 10 to 1.

If that doesn’t work I look at some of the frequently used search terms which lead people to Homepaddock. They suggest people arrive by accident while  hoping for some very strange things which they definitely won’t find here.


Halfdone blog rankings

December 2, 2008

Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later has compiled the Half Done November blog stats the top 20 of which are:

HD Rank Blog Last Tumeke Rank Alexa Alexa NZ Authority HD Score
1 Kiwiblog #1 62615 99 252 2
2 Whale Oil Beef Hooked #7 134113 276 93 40
3 The Standard #2 199522 268 111 48
4 Public Address #3 216349 794 174 99
5 Not PC #6 239877 538 95 136
6 No Minister #4 237322 433 64 161
7 Policy Blog: Chris Trotter & Matthew Hooton #10 202188 717 60 242
8 The Hive #5 241742 602 54 269
9 New Zealand Conservative #23 359340 557 52 385
10 Homepaddock #17 358477 763 68 402
11 Tumeke! #12 436170 807 73 482
12 Dim Post #13 355942 544 39 496
13 Cactus Kate #14 347784 806 46 609
14 New Zeal #16 414241 4467 215 861
15 Poneke’s Weblog #18 527522 1575 86 966
16 Roar Prawn #11 386652 861 32 1040
17 The Inquiring Mind #15 438737 1262 50 1107
18 Frogblog #8 94021 208 118 1326
19 Something should go here, maybe later. #34 811342 1529 66 1880
20 No Right Turn #9 907936 3070 129 2161

The blogosphere had some comings and goings in November – Roarprawn took a holiday, but has returned; Matthew Hooton and Chris Trotter left Policyblog but the latter moved to Bowalley Road, Anti-Dismal and The Hive closed and there have been two newcomers: Dear John and The Bull Pen.

I suspect Homepaddock’s 10th spot on the Half Done rankings is a lot higher than the Tumeke! rankings which Tim Selwyn is compiling now because I’ve noticed a fall in visitors and comments since the election.

Apropos of that in November:

* I wrote 226 posts.

* Received 14,414 visitors, including the most on any one day (1,160 on November 4th because of a post about the Melbourne Cup photo finish which must have shown up  high on Google searches).

* Had 378 comments, the most on a single post was 14 on November 10 about the blue wash being bad for democracy.


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