Life, The Universe and Small Things all covered in one friendly blog.
Remember DON'T PANIC! .

14 March, 2007

Red Mothers Nose Easter Bank Holday Thingy

Just about every day is something day and it is no longer about celebrating anything, pure and simple its about buying.
I was doing the weekly shop in well knows supermarket this week (I won't name them because they are not paying me to) when the peace of the early morning was wrecked....This Friday is Red Nose day and to help you prepare for it was have red noses, red hair spray, red heaven knows what, also we have half price Easter Eggs in case you forget you need to eat more chocolate.....and don't forget mothers day this Sunday ......
Its a shop and you expect adverts, so after my ears stopped bleeding from the disco style customer address system I picked myself up and continued shopping. Four minutes later ..... This Friday is red nose day ........... no stop please, you just told me that and besides its unlikely that even the old man who infuriated me each week snapping pieces off of the broccoli has forgotten in four minutes. Customers braced themselves against the shaking shelves, as the voice boomed that we all need some red hairspray, and so it continued, every four minutes the brainwashing to buy red things, chocolate eggs and something for mother.
Oh yes, mothers day, (sorry mum I don't do retail days as you know) the day that just about everything on the planet is a "perfect gift" and I'm in the isle with the ladies products, I dare not look, they must be on a double whammy, lets face it something for your mother and also involving - Blue - Oh no that's just in the adverts.

13 March, 2007

Is that Your Mobile Ringing

I will do my best, but excuse me if I rush off, I might get a call and obviously if I do then no matter what I'll have to go. I know I am talking to you but if the phone rings it would be so rude to keep someone waiting and it could be my voice mail, I'm sure I missed a call earlier. Oh you, well your not important if the phone rings.

Mobiles rule peoples lives, everyone is doing it, the Postman stood on the doorstep for 5 minutes the other morning chattering away, on a building site a Brickie sat on the scaffold chatting, and even the Dustman (I know, I can't call them that now but, whatever) had a phone on his belt. Whenever you have someone working for you just notice how often they use the mobile phone, especially if your paying them by the hour.
At the Gym notices advise "no mobiles phones" but this does not deter the the phone addict, mobile clutched to their ear as they try to work the machine one handed. Even in the changing room (a little scary with so many people with video phones) people chatter away at full volume in nothing but a towel giving away their life forgetting 10 people are hearing their every word. " what, never, she didn't , well I though she would say no, you don't say, I thought she is married". Then there is the mobile user who has a phone to make them look important, shouting management speak and acronyms for 20 minutes, all the time everyone else is just praying the prats phone rings to prove they are not even on a call.

The priceless comment, as the phone user shouted her way into the gym was " no, what, sorry I haven't been listening to you for the last couple of minutes, I just got to the gym" Brilliant!

In a world where everything is given a cost I got out my calculator, the one on my mobile, and calculated that if each worker used their phone for just 10 minutes a day, during work time, and assuming everyone was only on the minimum wage, and that they didn't work overtime to compensate the employer and didn't use it while taking a pee or in the usual coffee break (you get the picture) that time on the mobile equates to £13billion pounds of lost productivity a year. Give or take.

12 March, 2007

I'm Greener than you! A Political Panto review.

Usually by this time of year the Panto season is over but it seems one or two are still running.

"I'm The Greenest" has just opened in Westminster to cool reviews and a rather lack lustre set.

Its a weak line up, the Ugly Sister is played by Gordon Brown and the slimy evil Count in the form or David Cameron, (look behind you David, a chav with his hands in his pants is taking over the stage).
The widow is played by Tony Blair, who from the onset you just know will not make it to the last act, and while mad scientists are running about singing "feeling hot ,hot, hot" no one really knows if they are part of the panto or just invading the stage.
The script is lacking in punch and the plot revolves around who is going to save the human race from the evil CO2 and become king of Greenisgood Land.

In Act 2 Gordon and David sling CO2 pies at each other and tell everyone that they have a new ray T.A.X gun that will suck up all the bad CO2 and save the world. The Dame, entered proclaiming that CO2 was good and Gordon and David tried hard to get the audience to Boo her which just resulted in a hushed silence.
What was really needed was a big flash and some magic at this point, but there was not so much as a puffs of smoke or a genie, as the mad scientist have taken the pyrotechnics away for emissions testing.

The final scene left the audience wondering why they had paid for tickets as the Ugly sister was all set to become King of Greenisgood Land but no one knew why.

Oh, hell, sorry, what a mess , I seem to have turn on Today in Parliament rather than the panto I am supposed to review. Give me a minute and Ill re-write it.

09 March, 2007

All those with a Knighthood sign here.

There is a big fuss at the moment over "Cash for Honours" in the UK.
It suggests that by sending the Labour Party a few quid you can become a Knight or some similar tittle best suited to an era long gone.
Its all rather silly really, titles such as this or that of the British Empire, what exactly are you becoming, there is no British Empire.
Although, I think I see a way of these knighthoods actually being of some use to the country.
We are busy fighting wars in various places and, unless my history teacher was wrong, Knights go off to war and fight for Queen and country, or go on great crusades.
We don't even have to pay them because it would be just plain silly to give them their money back.
So come on Lord Coe and the rest of you, off to Afghanistan on a crusade and do something useful with your Knighthood.
There, that will put a stop to cash for honours!

Carbon Trading. YOU WHAT?

I watched the channel 4 program last night, telling me that the latest craze over global warming, being caused by CO2, is a load of hot air. But surely no, how can we have got as far as setting up carbon trading when it is all a lot of hype.

Ford are ready to re-released their gas bag cars, this time to collect the exhaust gasses, for the individual motorists carbon trading, and I am bagging up my heating exhaust to swap it for a flight to Portugal next Christmas. Now I am told the deal won't work and there is no point in trading my carbon.

I had my doubts about this all along of course, last year someone I know was paid to run a disused factory boilers in order to generate carbon pollution. The scheme meant that they could then turn the boiler back off and sell the pollution they didn't make. Its a good system, they made about a million pounds from it.
Can I believe this channel 4 revelation, can it be that it is all a scam to introduce air taxes, insurance premium offsetting and carbon footprint assessors in order to make money.
Yes of course it can and probably is. People are making a lot of money and it has created a lot of jobs.
But if you think I am wrong, send £20 to me and Ill offset the pollution you caused running your computer to read this blog. No honest I will, really!

07 March, 2007

I'm published in "The Times" you know.

If anyone out there is actually reading this blog (not you Mark ) then thank you very much!
I mean that because there are millions, probably billions, of blogs on the web and if you have read mine, especially if its a return visit, then it makes me feel that I have done something worth while.
As the first entry said I didn't really understand blogs when I started but this one now is becoming a mish-mash of grumbles as well as observations.
Last week I picked up the paper and was shocked to see there on the front page a glaring mistake. No it can't be, I read this paper because I trust it and I know it tells me the news. But last Tuesday it got it wrong. The news they printed was not correct and I lost all faith in The Times to be the paper to trust.
Trusty laptop at the ready, I wrote a long email to the Editor explaining the error of their ways and low and behold on Thursday my letter was published. There was no sorry from the Editor for shaking my trust in the paper but I take it that by publishing my letter that he meant to say it.
So now when you read my blog at least you know you can trust my comments because they have been published in The Times. :-)

New Improved!

I have already admitted to be in the 40 somethings so it is permissible for me to say that I remember TV ads from the early 1970s.
Although these days as soon as the ads come on we reach for the mute button on the remote, ads are more much fun when you play guess the product, but I do occasionally hear them and wonder what is new in the world of advertised products.
Take one product, Head and Shoulders, in the 70's this was new and improved, now over 20 years later its still new and improved. Setting aside my concern that if something is new can it also be improved, I have to wonder at what crap we were being sold in the 70's if for every six months since the product has had to be reformulated. Back then Head and Shoulders cured dandruff and left hair clean, now it cures dandruff and leaves hair clean but there must be more to it because now its new.
Hair and washing products seem to be the most revamped and reformulated products in the world; New VO5, new Vanish, new Finish,New Domestosser, New advert.
Today we have dish washer powder that protect the glass, cleans the plates, removes dandruff, and kills 99% of all known germs yet leaves you hair feeling so soft that you can see the whiteness.
Next time they tell me its new improved I think ill demand proof.

03 March, 2007

Hey can you turn it up any louder?

I long ago joined the ranks of the "Grumpy Old". And that was confirmed in the early hours of this morning when I was awoken by the bass of some idiots car sound system.
Obviously arriving home not giving a dam that they were waking half the estate at 3am, probably of the opinion that they had every right to blast the world with their tuneless noise at whatever time they want.
People who drive everywhere with the same track of noise at full volume don't ever think of anyone but them selves. Much of the younger generation live in a state of permanent noise.
How strange it must be going about with a group of people you never talk to, they meet up, get into a car with noise at full volume, drive to a pub or club that has the noise at a similar level then head home at 3am with the same noise in the car. They never get to talk to each other and the evenings total conversation must be along the lines of a yelled "you having another lager?"
According to a recent survey Chelmsford is the 35th noisiest city in the UK, although whoever did the survey got that wrong because Chelmsford is not a city, its no wonder when we have a generation of people who think unless your ears bleed the music isn't loud enough.

01 March, 2007

Essex Police - Not Fit for Purpose.

The Essex Police are very good at saying how wonderfully well they are doing at tackling crime and making "Essex Safer". Its all smoke and mirrors.
In the last week I have twice had the need to phone them and so far, to use statistics that they love, they have a 100% failure rate. I had the misfortune to call them to report a serious crime, but I might as well have been reporting a missing sparrow. To be blunt they could not give a sod and didn't take the report.
The most amazing thing I guess is that I actually bothered to try to report the crime, after all another person I know tried to report a theft a few weeks ago to be told "how do I know you didn't do it yourself". That reply can work for any offence you try to report so its pretty clever.

But here it becomes even cleverer, if they refuse to record crimes reported to them, or at least make it so amazingly difficult to report them, recorded crime falls.
My second call to them involved me calling the local station, being transferred to the main control room, being transferred back to the local station, holding the line for 10 minutes before being cut off.
Another friend called them to a disturbance in the early hours of the morning outside her house, the police attended and proceeded to have an argument with the very drunk person involved who told the officers to F### O## , the police officers said to the drunk "we have better things to do than argue with you" and actually did F O leaving my friend to call for a neighbour to help remove the drunk from her doorstep.
So that's 4 incidents and still 100% failure rate.
You can't get better than that!

No More Mr Nice Guy.

Somethings annoy me more than others, maybe these things are trivial, but it was clamping down on the trivial things that gave the Mayor of New York a way to conquer the major problems.
One of these trivial incidents happened to me yesterday. I was walking along the road and was confronted by a car parked on the pavement, unfortunately not an unusual occurrence around here, by the side of the car was a woman and a man. The car was blocking three quarters of the pavement and the woman opened the car door therefore completely blocking the path. As I walked onto the road to get around the car I said to the woman "Ill walk on the road then shall I". Bearing in mind that neither of us had met each other before and she was the one in the wrong she turned to me and replied "Ignorant git why can't you use the other pavement". Well, quite obviously because I am going this way and actually you are the one parked on the pavement.
What struck me about her bad attitude is how did she know that I would not turn around and punch her in the face or walk back and slam her door closed on her so I could get past. In this world where unprovoked violence is in the news every day how come she was so sure she can call a complete stranger an ignorant git without any reprisals. Am I that obviously a 6ft tall softie.
There she was, some kind of site surveyor in her yellow plastic safety helmet, full of her own misguided sense of importance committing an offence calling people names.
I really hope we meet again next time I walk past, we need to have another word - no more Mr Nice guy.