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Posted In General by haltse Sunday November 19, 2017

Moved hosts after many years.

1/2 the price, hopefully not x 2 the issues:)

T.A.N.S.T.A.A.G.L. There ain’t no such thing as a ghostpepper lunch .

Posted In General,reality by haltse Wednesday December 16, 2015

This week I’ve been Jacked around by blazin chicken and  friend-zoned by Wendy ghost pepper fries.  You could be mistaken, or a bloody-fool,  in thinking that you’re about to get a rush of heat that comes close to a vindaloo or Thai-hot curry.  I continue to live in hope though it appears heat is the new bacon of the fast-food world and is more a marketing niche than an attempt to placate the hotheads amongst us.

There is an upside though. A nation full of people that  think they have experienced the heat of a ghost pepper have yet to experience  the heat of a ghost pepper:) So this Christmas season I suggest you rustle up something truly memorable for them out of the most there’s so many of them but I’ve always had great service from Extreme Foods and   most years I get this Box of heat which  is a random selection of their products and probably will melt their faces, rear-ends and driveways 🙂

Time to come back

Posted In Arizona,Asides by haltse Monday April 27, 2015

I have never been a good writer,  so much so that prior co-workers/ forum participants have labelled my writing , and indeed my speaking style as a kind of ” haltsese”. I fear that’s never going to change , I have more books on grammar than , well let’s be honest most people don’t seem to have books on anything,let alone grammar, but I fear I fall into the same category as Otto from A fish called Wanda…

Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

New interests, new job, same old bullshit:)

My new site Time to Win Me the watch contest site

Posted In Arizona,Sites of interest,Social Media by Haltse Monday April 9, 2012


Long Time no see. I’ve been busy over at Time to Win ME  which is my watch contest aggregation site.  I try to find at least one watch, watch related or prize being offered by a watch company and then post it to the site,Twitter and Facebook.  Even if you’re not into watches it’s not a bad way to fill out your Christmas gift bag for those that do.

Time to Win Me

Till next Time.

Element Follow up

Posted In General by haltse Wednesday August 31, 2011

We’re pretty much up shit creek with the Element. The insurance co had no real interest in pursuing our claim and have labelled it 100% our fault. They can 100% get bent and I will not be renewing with them after two crappy experiences with Allstate.House insurance was good but the Auto section were perfunctory didn’t remotely give the idea that we’re not considered to blame and while I don’t mind them thinking it, try not to let us know, k?

So we have a report from the codes saying the AVS / ABS failed to connect but they said it was post crash, we say bs it’s pre , and the cause. All I think we can do is wait for more people to suffer this and then join in the bashing.

As I have said this was the second Honda certified car we had that wasn’t deserving of the title. Honda were ZERO help. They really don’t care about how the owner views them and that’s the last car from them , the last motorbike from them and the last product that contains one of their engines. So they don’t care they know they lost a customer already so why invest in keeping us happy ?

My New blog. A Time to Win me.

Posted In watches by haltse Wednesday August 31, 2011

Do you like to watch? Er I mean a watch?

I’m on a mission to make wrists more interesting by aggregating  watch contests and giveaways.  E.G., the prize is either a watch, a watch related accessory or is being given away by a Watch brand.

Here you go  www.timetowin.me 

If you could be so kind as to Like our Facebook  page, follow our tweets and best of all enter the contests.

Does a post with biscuits show up

Posted In General by Monday August 29, 2011

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Element update. stuck in the middle with you. Catch 22 , if the honda has a recall we can look, if it doesn’t it can’t be faulty ( Allstate’s logic)

Posted In Arizona,Bad CS,Honda Element by Haltse Thursday August 4, 2011

Exhaust remidies for time-being with Honda cust care.   They say that they won’t comment on it, send a person to look or in general car unless the insurance company  claims the part is defective.  The dealer, Arrowhead Honda thinks the same which leaves me in the “good hands” of Allstate.

Allstate so far have proven to be useless. E.G they say that with0ut a recall on 09 there’s no reported brake issues.  Despite the fact I am a paying customer of theirs for years   we’re not, apparently, capable of reporting a dead braking system without warning.  Ergo they won’t investigate which was the case of our last phone call.

We’ve lost a lot of money , or will via the deductibe and increased rates, the car is now a salvage,  the car will lose money when we sell it. We have  failed to get anything remotely like the peace-of-mind that buying a low-milage certified vehicle.

an 09 Honda element may not stop when you want it to. Another certified failure.

Posted In Arizona,Honda Element by Haltse Sunday July 31, 2011

Seems like I didn’t learn my lesson.  A certified car is not a guarantee of a functioning car but of their promise to fix it after the fault shows.  Previously I bought a Honda Civic that was certified  which I had issues with as reported here     After that the car was fine so it came to pass that we bought another Honda, an 09 Element,with the same certification.

That’s nice if you get a chance to take it back to the dealer.

A couple of months old and our Honda Element suffered  a catastrophic brake failure  that resulted in an accident. No warning lights,  just a heavy pedal  on brake once, braked again, got really hard then on the next attempt  to the floor , no brakes and  we now have a sad element and  a sad owner of a CRV that  was the resting place for the Element.  Car hadn’t been back for a service since buying it , e.g., under 2000 miles.

After searching this topic we’ve seen a lot of traffic on  Google  re Accords and the prior year Elements failing in the same way. There’s no recall for 09, unless our car isn’t  really an 09 which would explain why a similar condition would happen to us .  09 Odyssey’s are not exempt from brake-failures  too. Odd that Toyota took so much bashing last year over  what amounted to nothing.

We’re at the start of this process but regardless of what  the dealer/ Honda say this < 2000 mile since certification vehicle was not fit for it’s intended use.


Posted In General by Thursday July 14, 2011

We came to replace the Mini which was a fun car to drive and own for the most part. After you get rid of the run-flats it’s propensity to chew tires isn’t as expensive as it once was. Got a pretty decent trade in price on it too. We didn’t buy another Mini re the  treatment we received documented in this ,Minimum CS , and other posts as a result of a loss re the car not working in the way the manual said it would.  Way to go Mini and BMW bought something else x 2 that directly compete in your class.

Apparently no one wants to sell me their otter art. Wholesale annoyance.

Posted In Bad CS,General by Haltse Monday May 2, 2011

Over the past three weeks I have been trying to get my Otterman Empire store  stocked. Primarily I’m looking for American, hand made  wherever possible art , any medium,any type of otter .  To date only one of the US  companies approached  re wholesale prices have contacted me, they  received  an order and then have failed to get back to me with final shipping cost/ ship date.

I.E.,  I have nothing new in stock.









A little video item

Posted In General by Wednesday April 13, 2011

Test post

Arizona otter of the day.

Posted In General by Wednesday February 16, 2011


Originally uploaded by mariancall.

Ah Dobh and the original “otter” This otter was stolen from the cinema in Phoenix after he forgot it and wasn’t there on the way back. Yeah I know they pay the cleaning staff little but, hey , bastards

This was his first concert , in a backyard in the Phoenix heat, with Marian Call which is about as good as any first concert memory you’re going to have.

Where the Mini key saga rests today.

Posted In General by Monday January 31, 2011
I have been quiet blogwise for quite some time but I followed up on my personal blog  re Mini’s manual being incorrect and their reluctance to do anything about it.   I wonder if Small Claims court for the loss of the remote is even possible? 

Mini Cooper kept mum. So what if our manual is incorrect. no keys for you

And then 
End of the year Mini Bash or how to lose a sale by pissing off a customer.

End of the year Mini Bash or how to lose a sale by pissing off a customer.

Posted In Bad CS,Family by Haltse Wednesday December 29, 2010

Dear Mini,

I’m following up on an incident we had with our Mini Cooper S this month and the manner in which it was handled.

While you have the records in the customer service system I will briefly go over the issue. My wife left her key atop a gas pump and drove off. The car gave no warning and 20 miles later it was unable to start ,finally realizing that it didn’t have a key.

The manual states that it will not start without the key being inside it. The dealer, the phone line and the manager this was eventually escalated too all accept that the car starts with the key outside the car. The Mini helpline email address was not helpful (incident 1-1641681520) and referred us to the dealer. The dealer had referred us to Mini so I called.

The first helpline operator I spoke with suggested I read the manual. I did, again, and it says, in unambiguous terms ,that this shouldn’t happen.

He didn’t meet my expectations of customer service ,having run helplines of this nature I’m pretty critical, then again being made to feel like it’s my fault for not knowing how the car operates does that to me. Maybe you can pull the tape and listen?


I called back, had a productive E.G., the antithesis of my first contact and  I was passed onto Anthony. I relayed my concerns that what is apparently a commonly known fact at Mini wasn’t passed on to the owners. The car starts with the transponder several feet away contrary to the manual. He correctly asked what I wanted from this process. I wanted Mini to consider replacing the key or providing it at cost due to what I consider a serious flaw in the implementation of the comfort access feature. The car gave no audible or visual warning that the key wasn’t within range as she drove off.

Anthony got back to us within a couple of days to tell us that Mini would not consider a free key or any consideration re this incident. I thanked him for trying and noted that it seemed very strange and puzzling that a good faith offer from Mini allowing me to buy a key at cost was unavailable to me. To be turned from advocate to adversary over what I see as your product failing to work as described is frustrating. Yes my wife made a mistake but it’s one that should not have been possible had the car functioned per the manual. This was during the day thankfully but it could have been so much worse than losing the $300 for the new key.

I thought that maybe Mini semi-believed it’s motoring family shtick but came away feeling very much chastened by Mini N Scottsdale and the initial phone call to the mini hotline for daring to have a problem with the car. Tack on your poor email response and I have to say that I’ve been underwhelmed by your public facing service.

How does it harm Mini to help us? I know that we liked the Mini so much I sold a great car I really liked to get it. I planned on selling our second one when the Countryman was released but now that’s very unlikely to occur. I’d still like to talk about this because I am curious as to why a key safety feature of your vehicle would deviate so far from the manual’s description.


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