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Some resolutions

A bit late, but some things I plan to do this year:

Teach my kids chess

Try to declutter the house

Get Jeremy into his own bedroom

Get all of us more exercise

Write a computer game (even a simple one) to get more enthused again about programming

Replace the TV with something shiny, flat, and digital — DONE!

Have a more regular bedtime

Plan a Proper Holiday

Not let any gift vouchers expire

Have a birthday party to make up for my lack of a 40th

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “Some resolutions”

very admirable list. You’re ahead of most people (like me) who haven’t even got around to writing a list!

I’ve had it with gift vouchers and I refuse to buy them now if they have expiry dates. There is no justifiable reason for an expiry date on a voucher. The trader already has your money and you can buy less with it with each passing month as the value of money drops, so why not allow the voucher to work forever? Why not? Because the voucher is designed to bring in some revenue without the trader having to hand over any goods or services.

Vouchers to use in shops, I’ve never had expire on me, but twice I’ve had cinema vouchers expire. When you get them you may not particularly want to see any movie showing at the time, so they have to be tucked away for later… and out of sight, out of mind.


I tried to make the same argument to a shop owner once when he pointed out that the ownership had changed hands since the (recent) expiry date. It’s not really fair that he has to honour vouchers that put money in the previous owners pockets. An expiry date at least minimises this.

I think a 12 month expiry date is fair, but I wouldn’t be happy if I got something with a date shorter than this.

The expiry date is actually mostly for the formality of being able, at some point, to take the value of unused vouchers out of their contingent liabilities. Many retailers (particularly the Coles group, which is amongst the biggest of them) will actually honour vouchers after their expiry date, even well after, but because they’re technically not obliged to it allows them to no longer keep them on their books as contingent liabilities.

I successfully used a long expired voucher at Dymocks a few months ago – they re-activated it, no questions asked.

Daniel, kill two with one stone. I’m organising a trip overseas with a whole lot of friends who have also turned 40 and their families. Celebrate on a beach somewhere!

How far did you teach them chess? The moves and rules, or the fantastically complicated opening strategies etc? As one that plays chess at a noob level (mentally working out a few moves ahead) I’m curious about taking it further.

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