I've been asked by a reader, who signs himself ''Graham
of no fixed abode'' to help spread the word about a new safety
feature on our roads that he's quite excited about.
He writes: ''Hi Dave. Early Monday morning travelling from
the north over the motorway was made a lot safer as the new
frost lights on the centre line were operating, emitting an
electric blue light. When returning over the motorway in the
evening they were again on. They are a great innovation.
''My concern is how many motorists know about these lights.
Mentioning it in your column would certainly get the message
Glad to be of service, Graham. These lights (pictured) are
known as ''PATeye'' markers and, as we mentioned in our news
columns a couple of weeks ago, they are being trialled by the
New Zealand Transport Agency as a new ice warning system in
When the ground temperature drops to a certain level, the
blue LED lights start flashing.
According to the website of the developers, Solar Bright, of
Christchurch the PATeye ''can charge itself during daylight
hours whilst still functioning, and draws its charge from car
headlights during the night''.
As we reported, NZTA Otago-Southland state highways manager
Ian Duncan said the trial would look at the effect the
markers have on driver behaviour and depending on how it
goes, the PATeyes might be rolled out elsewhere around the
Other trials will be held on State Highway 1 at the Taieri
River Bridge, SH8 at the Manuka Gorge, and SH1 just north of
•On a much different subject, Dave, a Dunedin reader,
rang to express his disapproval of Dignity Funeral Services'
advertisement offering a ''free measure and quote'', as part
of a ''casket open day'' this Saturday.
Dave, who will be 86 in September, said he doesn't think the
wording, or the use of a tape measure, was appropriate and
says other people he has talked to about it agreed with him.
So, I rang Dignity's funeral director/manager Gary Wybrow
with this feedback and he explained the company felt the
advertising was ''quite modern and quirky'' and was designed
to ''develop some interest''.
While he accepted it was a subject some people might not like
to talk about, Dignity had not set out to offend anyone with
its different approach.
•Elsewhere on today's page you can keep up with
progress on our poll to find the best cup of coffee in the
South. But here's a couple of related comments from readers,
which you may, or may not, agree with.
Jock Allison says while he is not part of the ''religious
coffee culture'', he does have some pet hates about drinking
cups of tea in cafes.
These are:(a) Cups too thick (often as bad as the old railway
cups), and mop up most of the heat, hence hot tea or coffee
isn't a feature.(b) Cups have a small hole in the handle, so
large fingers can't fit to get a decent grip.(c) Teapots, in
so many restaurant are hopelessly dribbly, all over the table
- is this part of what the experience is supposed to be?Chris
London, of Milton, offered these thoughts: ''I'm not a lover
of what I call `frothy coffee' so I can't comment on which is
the best . . . but a few years ago most cafes served `Kona'
coffee which was basically filter coffee served with cold
milk, often with free refills.
I used to quite enjoy this but it seems to have disappeared
completely. ''Surely I can't be the only person who can't
stand coffee with hot frothy milk.
I have tried on a number of occasions to be served black
coffee with cold milk to add to it, but it's usually much too
strong and seems very hard to understand for the barristas. I
now have to make do with tea.''
•Some more feedback on suet, this time from Trevor
Norton, of Hampden, who says it's a vital ingredient in one
of his favourite meals, steak and kidney pudding (''apart
from tripe and onions, there is no better fare to have on
Unable to buy packaged suet, he went to his butcher, who
responded ''no problem'', went to a freezer, whipped out a
great chunk of fat and handed it over with the instruction to
grate it and ''hey presto, suet.''
Trevor says being the good bloke he is, the butcher would not
accept payment for it - ''S and K is now back on the menu!''