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I feel like the corrupting power of the throne is what really killed her, and not the giant fucking dagger in her chest that you put there. They prod your sleeping body with their horrible little people hands, run their claws through your hair, hold your fingers with their o. I feel so unbearably smug right now.


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If you guys could donate or even just reblog to get more eyes on his story, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Books By Andrew Moczulski.

More Information. Anything else? Provide feedback about this page. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. The people with the least power, time to join a union? Yep, I signed up again last week. First time in maybe 20 years. My employer wants us to work unpaid or no time in lieu on a weekend and after hours. Does anybody ever investigate these church-based organisations and not-for-profits?

They nag away at us to give more and be nice with each other but do they practice what they preach? Next time you donate, ask them how many donated dollars are spent geting them out of unfair dismissal actions and other bullying that they caused themselves through their arrogance. Who'll watch the watchers? The problem is that if retailing is not competitive, lots will close their doors. Less choice for consumers, less jobs. When I see some of the comments here, saying that retailers should just suck it up, I think they miss the point.

People have to realize that commercial operations have to be commercially viable. The choice might be not whether we have a high or low paying job, but whether we have a job. And do you really think it would be in peoples best interest if companies like Harvey Norman closed? If Harvey closed his doors then others would take his place. People will still need fridges, TVs and the latest gadgets.

Perhaps the people who open new small businesses will be the same people Harvey drove out of business when he decided to manipulate the free market with his Ponzi scheme. You know those family stores where they value good employees as an integral part of the business and see them as an asset instead of an "unskilled" drag on profits. Considering most large retail is owned by the duopoly anyway it really doesnt matter!

This is a problem that has been caused by Liberal and Labor policy decisions over the past 30 or so years So good to see a reminder of how HN really works! I see that Mr Harvey finally acknowledges that he puts unskilled staff into his stores. Notice that Harvey deliberately hones in on the word, "unskilled"? So that's how he values and sees his staff, who are trying to make a buck for him? Why don't you train your staff properly and give them the skills, Mr. Harvey, then they'll earn their wages and their penalty rates for working on the weekends that you and the other greedy retailers pushed for?

I think the point is more that we no longer want to pay for expensive stores, real estate and people to sell us stuff. I am happier to buy on the internet, I have never liked the shopping centre experience. In short, I have no need for retail staff at all. Penalty rates are to compensate workers when they work shifts of an unsocial nature, for example, on weekends when many people might otherwise spend time with family and friends.

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Frankly if workers at Myer do not care about customer service, then perhaps the CEO needs to have a bit of a think about why that might be. Poor working conditions? Supervisors with no people skills? Already low wages with the constant threat of the removal of penalty rates? Very few customer service people in Myer are employed by Myer. Many are actually product representatives.

They'll help with their products but not their competitors. But who needs customer service when your making lots of money and achieve continual growth?! That is correct. There appears to be very few 'store' staff on the floor in Myer these days. Why then the fuss over paying so few people a little extra? The problem with the argument with lower wages for workers from the political right is that it completely ignores the fact that workers are consumers.

Look at the US, low wages and significant off-shoring of labour. The result? The other fault with the argument is the assumption that the plebs will meekly accept working on weekends without any incentive. Employers could find themselves short of labour, or alternatively employing the dregs, who in turn will provide awful customer service although how much worse it can get is anyone's guess.

Actually, there's a slightly different problem, which you're missing. I've got a relative who owns a small business. He has to be open on weekends and holidays because he makes his profit margin with weekend sales. However, he can't afford to pay the penalty rates except in very peak season, so he works all the weekends himself. That means that he doesn't get time with his kids, and it means that his employees don't earn any money at all on weekends.

If the rates were more realistic, or based on a 40hour work week, his employees would be earning more than they do now because they'd be getting those weekend hours in. And maybe some schoolkid who could only work weekends would be earning pocket money. As it is, no one is benefitting - not the employer, not the regular employers, and not a potential casual employee who won't be hired because the system has priced him out of the labour market. Weekend rates are above weekday rates for a reason.

Why does your relative deserve time with his kids when he doesn't want to compensate others for missing out on time with theirs? Well said, PI! The big problem with the majority of small business owners is that they have small minds and even smaller hearts who want to employ people with big minds and even bigger hearts. Then your friend is in the wrong business. Didn't he prepare a business plan before he started up? Um, actually the only losers here are the employees Business owners will simply respond to the situation as best as they can ie. So what you should really be directing your "too bad, tough luck" attitude towards is the workers.

As in, "too bad, you don't get paid". Didn't your friend prepare a business plan? Well I bet he did, but thing like the carbon tax, high aus dollar, higher rates of super, more red and green tape, have all made previously successful businesses borderline. Exactly frangipani He misses his family time when he works on weekends. That's why people don't want to work weekends without a little compensation. The problem is that business think the only way to compete is low cost.

I avoid major retailers because they do not understand customer service. I eat at small independent restaurants not chains because I generally get better food and better service, usually with a higher bill, but money well spent. Following the US model of bigger is better is where business is failing.

They forget that many consumers want quality product with quality service, also known as value for money. Frangipani, so it's bad for your relative to miss out on time with his kids despite being paid for it, but it's OK for others to miss out on time with their kids even if they're not paid for it? Sounds very elitist to me. If weekends weren't profitable, your relative wouldn't be working on them. So for aged care workers, we just need to get some school kids working in nursing home for pocket money, or maybe some backpackers?

More "work for the dole" positions and DSP recipients is on the cards in many industries. The point which all of you seem to have missed is that, were the weekend rates more reasonable, everyone would have some time with families on weekends and everyone would have more money in their pockets. Oh, and my relative doesn't pay himself penalty rates for weekends. I think, actually, it's pretty hypocritical of people to expect to go out to restaurants in the evening and to go shopping on weekends, and then complain about Australian prices.

But you're all complaining about Australian costs and Australian inefficiency compared to offshore, when those offshore companies aren't paying those sorts of penalties. If you really believed in penalty rates, you'd be prepared to buy only in Australia and pay a surcharge for anything you bought or consumed after 5 PM or on a weekend. Except your example only applies to retail, which a Ditched Australian manufacturing for overseas manufacturing reducing themselves to unnecessary middlemen.

The consumer now has the same options that Gerry Harvey has. What's good for the goose Don't like it? Tear up the free trade agreements, let overseas prices skyrocket and shutdown our international competitiveness for exports. Retail is to a point becoming an outdated business model in the first place. Frangipani at , penalty rates do of course distort the market.

However, that doesn't answer the question of why he's in the business if it's so hard to make a living. How long have we had penalty rates in Australia? If he went into the business before we had penalty rates, he's been running it for quite a while and why is it a problem now? Additionally, it's been a while since I've been served by someone in a restaurant with an Australian accent, even at the more expensive Sydney restaurants.

Hi frangipani, When I have employed people, I generally did not employ them on weekends. It cost me too much. I've had builders pressuring me to bring my crew in but they never wanted to pay for it. I would often work. I didn't bleat about it, because bluntly, it was my business not that of my workers and I was still making money. Your relative is free to leave their business if they so wish. I've worked hours that would make your eyes bleed, but it was my free choice to do so.

I don't know of one of our Asian neighbors that pays anything but the same wage for a weeks work regardless of when it is worked. Sometimes they pay extra for a public holiday but mostly for a week's work people receive a week's pay irrespective of when or where it is worked. The dole makes it harder in Australia for people who want casual workers and few other countries in our region have it. Also the tax file number TFN has been a disaster for this type of thing. I wonder if the extra revenue from the TFN introduced by Keating is lost to extra dole payments and allowances and pensions.

If people didn't have to pay so much tax on a second job they might be more willing to work for less. And work at more jobs. It would be impossible to dismantle the TFN now, but might this be to blame for the outrageous prices and poor service that Australians are subjected to? More picking on the most vunerable in our society to avoid looking at the fundamentals causing our economic woes, caused by the monetary system, big banks and the increasing gap between rich and poor. You are taxed on your total income, 10 jobs, two jobs or one job, at the end of the year your income is totalling, and your tax calculated.

Everyone on the same taxable income pays the same tax ignoring offsets, etc. Work more, and you earn more, you get more take home pay the more you work again, barring welfare reductions as your employment income rises to replace your welfare cheque. I have to admit, blaming TFNs for the situation is a new one, you'd seem to prefer people to just evade tax, it seems, and bludge?

Look at the PIGS to see where tax evasion as a national sport ends up. Hint, it's rather bad for for the entire country. That's the sort of politically correct, unimaginative nonesense that might have led to the problems experienced by millions of Australians in just making ends meet I must be thankful I don't live in an 'unlucky' country. The TFN was introduced by Keating to stop people using a 'bodgie' name to get a second income. The champion of the working man has screwed him.

The TFN has increased social security payments and created ever more bureaucrats. And if there was anything left it might have gone to pay some of the billions of dollars that Mabo has cost the taxpayer I think some of you need to talk to any small businessman. They've all taken a hit with the GFC, lowered consumer confidence, and of course the rush to internet purchasing.

A business model that worked a few years ago isn't going to cut it today. Sometimes it has to do with rents not in my friend's case but very often it has to do with consumer spending habits. So, businesses adapt, they find new ways to attract customers, they streamline, they find new suppliers overseas to replace the expensive local ones. Do you not see where this is going? My friend is employing fewer staff for fewer hours; he's doing more buying offshore himself, and less from Australian manufacturers, so now his traditional suppliers under pressure and reducing staff as well; and a lot of the less well-run businesses in his town are going under.

That's a lot of existing jobs disappearing, and potential jobs never coming into existence. Young folk can't get jobs because the openings aren't there any more. Older folk are losing jobs because their companies can't compete. The people who are employed enjoy the benefits of penalty rates - for now - but the inflexibility of the labour market means that there are going to be fewer people enjoying any kind of rates at all because the jobs aren't there.

And in the meantime, consumers who are all in favour of penalty rates and living wages continue to undercut small local businesses by shopping offshore so they don't have to pay the price of penalty rates and living wages. The result is going to be: fewer local small businesses, and more Gerry Harveys who benefit from economies of scale. Remember that the next time you order your dinner over the internet.

Don't expect to hear the voice of reason on this web site. Envy and abuse is all you will get here. For some reason the unbiased ABC seems to attract them. I am guessing your friend employed people on weekends before Gillard rewarded the unions? Meaning that people were happy to work for the money paid? I am seeing small businesses close down everywhere in Tasmania. The penalty rates and the power rises some due to the carbon tax were the last straw.

I know a few small business owners who employ workers cash in hand,enabling the workers to lie to centrelink. It's a big problem.

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Did you notice every year before the carbon tax electricity prices went up? Stupid people blaming anything but themselves for their position. All the cash in handers need is a disgruntled employee to dob them in and ATO will smack them with so many fines and back taxes they will live the rest of their lives paying off the ATO. Not a smart move. Lacking in your argument and Brookes and Norman Nice leg up for all those struggling small business and retail and hospitality But then So this "cost of doing business in Australia" includes the cost of dealing with the locally based Corporate Sector.

The fastest growing sector in local Australian Economy What the hell are these people doing and where exactly is the dividend in all this activity? Ethical small business we all appreciate contribute to healthy neighbourhoods. No-one disputes this. Ethical Small Business without organised representation will remain as easy beats incapable of competing with the Big Corporate Bosses who have outdone themselves in raising the "cost of doing business in Australia" to satisfy their own shareholders. The Wage Case concerning penalty Rates for hospitality workers And let us inform the nurses and coppers and fire fighter and aged care sector staff and the security guards etc In the Land of the Free Washington State are also attempting to juggle with what is fair or perhaps left chewing their own tail with regards the WalMart Case.

Take a look at that And local small businesses Regards anyway Robert. I'm sorry?


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What GFC? Isn't that just a weak excuse from the worst government we've ever had? Bizbob - well, let's see. He's paying himself more than he pays his employees. Of course, he's working twice the hours, and taking much more responsibility. They're selling stuff; he's managing the books, the PR, doing stock control, dealing with suppliers, making sure his bills are paid, managing inventory, filling out reams of documents for the ATO, and so on.

I don't know a small businessman that isn't up to here with the burden of paperwork imposed by the government, never mind penalty rates.

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A lot of these people, like my friend, are simply going to walk away from their businesses one of these days. It just isn't worth the stress. And when he goes, six or seven jobs go with him. He has my sympathy Frangipani. If he works on a mall the terms of his lease may well require him to open on weekends.

It is surprising to see so many responders who think he should subsidise their weekend shopping habits. Presumably their next post will be to complain about service levels and prices. The money for nothing crowd. Take what from his workers? The regulated high rate of wages for weekend work have priced the workers out of the market - they get nothing.

Students who can only work on weekends and after hours, tough luck, no work for you. Unfortunately compromise seems to be illegal. Westfield are very tough landlords. The only reason for signing a lease with them is that they get through traffic I presume. You'd want to be very careful with your sums before you signed up with them. While they can ensure a flow of new tenants they can maintain high rents I suppose. You didn't just catch your mate on a bad day Shareholders don't often get to negotiate Westfield rents. I presume they bas their investment decisions on what income they think can be sustained.

If they think the rents are unsustainable they should sell out I suppose. James of course the plebs will meekly accept crappy working conditions they meekly accepted this government. I've said this before, Brenda, that the new generation of voters won't remember the Howard years of WorkChoices because working conditions had improved so much over the last 6 years. The relentless negative tactics of the Coalition convinced these new voters that things were much more dire than they really were. That showed big time with Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos' contradictory comments about the true state of the economy on election night!!

Agreed James Another option for people who can't get a job paying decent wages is to turn to crime. For example, selling drugs, stealing, scamming people. Is it any coincidence that our crime rate is growing lock step with our working poor? Seriously, if we don't have enough respect for people to ensure everyone who works gets a basic living wage, then we don't deserve any better than to be beaten, robbed and scammed.

And we should be extending that to the least well off workers overseas as well. The best way to ensure a good life for oneself is to ensure a good life for everyone. Our grandparents understood this and that is how they built "The Lucky Country". It wasn't luck. It was community. Employers want their labour for no cost: The plain simple fact is retail in Australia is now competing with internet shopping and each other.

Businesses continue to go under and employees end up with nothing and unless we learn to live within our means expect more. That's a bit cynical, Steve. I know plenty of people who are willing to do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. The problem is, for many struggling small businesses they just can't afford to pay penalty rates on weekends. They could easily get students and schoolkids who would welcome the chance to earn a bit of money, even at non-penalty rates.

Instead, the business doesn't open and nobody gets any rates. Who wins there? However, we all know that greedy large corporations would take advantage of every possible way to reduce their costs. I would hate to see us become like the US, with their system, or the UK, with their zero hours contracts, so what is the answer? I can't offer a solution. I just think it's more complex than all employers greedy and bad, all employees downtrodden and disadvantaged.

Or a son, daughter or sibling even if not a breadwinner. People, individuals and families both, benefit from time spent NOT working, from the personal interactions and the decompression from the working week. Consuming less is a benefit - not a problem unless you're a merchant. So you don't have the latest flatscreen TV? You can live without and the Joneses have more stuff than you do.

So what? If you're right on the edge of survival and very, very few really ARE then dig up the lawn and plant veges, put a planter box on the balcony and grow silver beet, or basil or both. It's good exercise, it's productive and it's "cerebral detoxification" from the working life. Do you want more meat? Raise three chooks or buy two rabbits. Take the time for yourself and spite the people shopkeepers who only see you as fodder for their own enterprises, whether as low-paid employees of consumers to be milked dry.

Merchants have been around for at least 10, years. They're not essential. Don't let them fool you into thinking they are. Merchants aren't essential? Umm, well, unless you live out in the country on your own farm, have a horse-drawn plough, no refrigeration or power, no books or tvs or telephones, spin your own wool and make your own pottery and tools, they're pretty damn essential. Some of their goods may not be essential but damned if I'm going to give up merchandise like pots and pans, teacups and bananas.

Doing this right now. Bought some tools on the weekend to build myself a mini farm in the backyard. Looking to use some intelligence with water and electrical efficiency. Not sure about livestock but plants are on the agenda. I have slogged away for 35 years and did not really get anywhere other then an average income. Time for me to partially opt out. I have decided some of my efforts are better put into the square metres of dirt out the back. That's fair enough. But I bet you're grateful there was a merchant around to sell you the tools, and you didn't have to forge them yourself on a backyard anvil.

I think one needs some perspective. It goes way back to Socrates who argued its good to have skills and tools providing you use them. He also provided a corollary; a shed full of useless junk serves no purpose and probably diminishes the contentment level of the individual. So yes, I am glad there was a merchant to get my stuff from. Also, if everyone took my attitude, there would be a tenth of the merchants as there currently is and maybe the level of depression might be lower as people might find a greater degree of happiness in their daily life.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe filling houses with useless junk and being exploited at work is the answer. Maybe Socrates is dead wrong. There's a lot of useless junk, no question. That's not the fault of the merchant, though, but of the buyer. Myself, while I'm not actually growing my own veggies or milking my own cow, I try to keep my consumer urges within limits. Something comes into my house, something leaves husbands not included in this. I don't buy the latest gadget or widget or hoohaw just because it's there, but I do appreciate the ease of getting things I actually do want ie books or music or need ie the dog's anti-tick medication.

I do have to do something about my shoes, though Remember The Globalisation dream we were all told about, where we would all be working shorter days in the week and shorter weeks in the year, it was all to be utopia, which turned out to be a mirage. It really smelt like a con act, as normal we fell for it. Presumably you enjoy the cheaper goods and products across almost anything you can name, in rela terms, compared to 20 tears ago.

Yes they are cheaper and nastier and fill up the rubbish tips quicker, and they are out of date after 6 months use. What about the shorter working week? It is now essential both husband wife have to work otherwise they are near enough the poverty line, which was not the case of 20 years ago. The whole point of globalization was to open markets for expoitation by capital investors to increase thier market ownership. It worked. The GFC happened because they caught themselves up in the unregulated US Housing loans market with money that existed nowhere except cyberspace.

Having monetary currencies actually backed by a resource like the world did beforre Nixon wrecked the gold standard would solve many problems. The non-equitable distribution of wealth within the Globalization model is the problem. Everything gabbled about here is just bitching about the symptoms. Is Solon doing anything at the moment, this country could use an impartial proffesional to instigate real reform, both democratic and economically. That is somewhat of a generalisation don't you think.

Perhaps employers are trying to get workers for the lowest possible wage, but usually most workers will work tirelessly in the expectation that their boss will see their good work and pay a decent wage. In my experience, there is more take on the employer side. And being Tony and Joe of course they'll find a way to boost profits at the cost of the sales staff. Once more thousands of Australians will sacrifice their hard won conditions to help boost the comfort levels of the people for whom they work - Myers corporate shareholders.

I thought myers stopped employing people years ago. I know the last 2 times I've tried to buy something from them I've ended up walking out because there were no staff to be seen. The truth please unions under labor in the early nineties began trading workers hard won conditions such as penalty rates and shift allowances for aggregate wage increases until the cupboard was bare and now there is nothing left to trade. I think you misunderstand the aggregate wage concept. For years penalty rates such as shift loadings, annual leave loading and other penalty rates were under attack from employers.

The way unions countered the progressive loss of penalty payments was to negotiate aggregate wages which simply put means incorporating those allowances as a percentage of the hourly rate. The new hourly rate represented, over a year, about the same income so it worked out equal for the employee as well as the employer. The employer benefited also because it meant lower admin costs but the employees benefited a bit more because the new higher hourly rate was used for all purposes, including superannuation calculations, annual leave payments, long service leave and etc.

It also meant that when Workchoices came on the scene there were no penalties or allowances that could be stolen away. Those workers whose unions negotiated aggregate wages into collective enterprise agreements did not suffer as much as others with non union agreements or workers who were forced onto individual contracts. It was not a perfect system and some workers did suffer but not as much as those in non unionised workplaces. Check the facts. All through Howards workchoices era and as it is now union negotiated EBA's paid much better than non union agreements.

It's something to think about in the coming Abbott industrial era. Join a union now. You will need professional experienced EBA negotiators in your corner and can have no better protection to be part of collective when it comes to negotiation under whatever changes Abbott brings to the new employer friendly IR scene. TrvorN: I understand perfectly how it worked and that's why I opposed aggregate wages and hours.

You forget stand alone penalty such as extended shift allowance cannot be separated from the aggregate and real penalty pay is lost with real overtime worked being absorbed in a manipulation of the aggregated hours in quiet times. Unions conned again. I accept what you say. Over time that additional money adds up and you don't have to negotiate new penalties when you are negotiating productivity or CPI increases. For years employers tried to keep penalties off the bargaining table and in some industries they wound up either disappearing them or shrinking them so much that they became irrelevant.

But yeah, there were some downsides with trying to aggregate OT hrs into the equasion because tallying up the overtime accurately and in advance was somewhat a guessing game. I keep telling people who work under there conditions that if they constantly work 50 or even 60 hrs weeks without trying to negotiate a higer salary that they are dudding themselves and their bosses are laughing all the way to the bank.

I tell them to try this simple test. It sends a sober message but I don't know how many actually adjust the hrs of work to match their pay rates or go to their bosses and tell them to stop the rippoffs. Always good fun to bash the shareholders except most of them are ordinary Aussie workers.

The majority of shares in major Australian companies are held by worker's super funds. Ordinary workers need these companies to succeed to provide jobs and decent super payouts.

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Modern "progressives" need some education in the ways of the world instead of dreaming up schemes that invariably wind up making life miserable for the workers We really do need a reformed Labor Party that can get back to representing the workers; we have nothing at present. I note that all Labor can concern themselves with at present is another round of navel gazing as they pick between Albo and Shorto; as though either were Labor men. Then we can talk about penalty rates. Golden handshakes and bonuses for running companies in to the ground?

Did golden handshakes and parachutes have the intended effect? Switzerland is cracking down on both. I think Germany is following. Not all past measures were created equally. And constraining the run-away train that is executive renumeration is quite a different proposition to, say, the glass steagall act.

I'm not saying we should move forward. Just removing them without putting something else in place to stop the rot is unwise. Penalty rates may be part of the equation, however the responsiveness of Australian suppliers in general is a much bigger issue. When I can get the same product from a reputable international store, delivered faster and cheaper than attempting to place an order in Australia, almost without fail, then Australia's retailers have a serious problem.

The cost of intercepting all the mail items, and issuing an invoice to the purchaser me, you, the general public to pay the tax will be phenomenal. If the LNP is trying to return to old fashioned values and based on some of their policies, they are heading back in time, such as the NBN , then the old fashioned value of working during the normal week, and not working on the weekends unless there are penalty rates, is something the LNP should embrace.

Perhaps the LNP is getting modern. Many countries world wide don't view working a Tuesday any different than working a Sunday. Especially in Asia. And if you wish to go back in time - it was very normal to work Saturday mornings - on same rates as weekdays. Tuesday is the same as sunday? Tell that to the executive who works monday to friday. Aren't you trying to have it both ways? No, I want a system that is more flexible about defining working hours. There are plenty of people - students and the like - who would love to work an evening or weekend job but can't get one because it's too expensive to hire them at penalty rates.

How is that to anyone's advantage? I'm glad that you picked up the contradiction there - that is LNP philosophy for you. Conserve the past, except where we can possibly reduce conditions for the employees. The problem Australia has is that it does none of the retail side well. Firstly, the stories themselves are original and fun.

The take on the ghosts feeding on fear and getting more dangerous , various nature spirits, werewolves, demons et al is original and interesting with some immensely fun twists. Or his very original take on killing zombies. What also works are the characters. Eric and Lydia. He can afford to be a little silly. But all of this is shown rather than told, through both his erratic behaviour and showing the experiences that we would expect to lead Eric to this state.

Does it work? Sometimes I think it falls flat. Eric goes from being hilariously eccentric to a desperate clown who is trying too hard. It gets too contrived, too convoluted, too childish to work and the suspension of disbelief shatters.