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

29 December, 2009

Chillax

Some time ago on a holiday we were sat at dinner opposite a family with two youngish children. After the meal the father said to the children, " come on now it's time to go and do some chill out". Oh please NO! How can you turn something like chilling out into an activity that you have to go and do. That defeats the whole object of it.

I was reminded of it when I received a text today, after declining an invite to a social gathering, saying "no problems go chillax". For goodness sake, have the morons who think it is clever to use management speak invaded relaxation too.

There is no way that I will go chillax, it is a preposterous word with no place in the language of normal people.

White Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, as the song goes.
Millions of Christmas cards are sent showing idyllic scenes with snow covered churches, fields and old cottages or Robins sitting on snow covered branches. Isn't it lovely all white and clean.

Then the week before Christmas the UK is hit by a few centimeters of snow, you would think the world was about to end. Everyone starts complaining, schools shut, roads become blocked with crashed cars, rail and air transport systems grind to a halt.

I am dreaming of a White Christmas, so long as it only falls on Christmas morning, after all the essential workers have got in and melts before they need to change shifts.

As more snow is predicted for the North of England and the Met office issues another warning of winter weather perhaps they would like to check the calender, oh look its December in the UK!

27 December, 2009

Increased Airport Security - AGAIN

Yet again someone decided to blow himself up on a plane, why these people can't stop at home with a can of petrol and a zippo I really don't know.

And, so again "the President" of the USA has ordered increased security at all airports.
OK right, yawn. There are so many problems with that "order" the first being that it is a total waste of time.
I have just been in and out of the county by air and other than taking my kit off there was not much that didn't get searched. As usual I walked through the arch and it went bleep so got the full rub down. Let me assure you the guy searching wasn't shy on where he put his hands either.

The bomber this time apparently moulded explosives to the shape of his body and hid it in his underpants. (sounds like a load of balls to me)

There is one solution, I dare to mentions it at the risk of the power crazed idiots who now run the world actually thinking it a great idea.
Every passenger will have to fly naked, yup, and before you think "Cor yeah, cool views", remember that you could still be sat next to the 25stone 5ft2in woman from Manchester who would normally be in her tracksuit bottoms and lager stained T-shirt. Prior to take off everyone will have a full body x-ray, then to be escorted onto the plane and strapped into their seat by a nude security guard, so that they can not possibly pass you anything.

The seat belt check will be more fun for the flight crew, I have it on good authority it is already know as "the crotch check" and in future it will be more obvious who is well hung and who has just got PETN stuck to their penis.

16 December, 2009

Silent Night- Holy Night (Never trust on-line translators!)

Over the Christmas period I shall be singing just one carol, it will be silent night, the thing is it will be sung in German and in the company of Germans and Austrians so I thought I would brush up on the German version as there are a few bits that you have to fit the German cleverly into the tune.

Because I had very little to do at the time I thought I would cut and paste the German version into an on-line translator, even I didn't expect the result to be quite so funny.

Try singing the output of the translator next time you sing Silent Night: -

Satisfies night, holy night, Everything sleeps; lonely is awake
High-holy pair only trusted. Holder boy in the curly hair,
Sleep in more heavenly rest! Sleep in more heavenly rest!

Satisfies night, holy night, Herdsmen only kundgemacht
By the angels Halleluja,
It sounds loud from a distance and near:
There Christian, the rescuer is! There Christian, the rescuer is!

Satisfies night, holy night,
God son, o as laughs Lieb' from your divine mouth,
There the saving Stund' strikes us;.
Christian, in your birth! Christian, in your birth!

04 December, 2009

"Climategate" - Global Cooling

So there we have it, scientist have been fudging the data for years to keep themselves in jobs and provide fodder for the multi billion pound businesses that have sprung up around global warming also allowing governments to have jollies with champers and big dinners at conference after conference to discussing global warming when all along it is most likely that the climate has been cooling for some time.

And what do those who still believe CO2 is warming the planet have to say now, well one was simply demanding that the people who hacked the computers with the truth hidden on be found and prosecuted for the serious crimes they have committed. Yeah OK.

Various professors and others who's jobs will likely evaporate if the truth comes out are saying anything to make it seem that the hackers have lied about what they have found, but having spent some time looking at the data it does seem to be pretty conclusive, we have been being led down the garden path for some time.

I am not one to say I told you so, but hey I did, its all a scam but even if truth prevails I doubt we will see our CO2 based car tax and others refunded anytime soon.

03 December, 2009

Waste Food

The latest "save the planet" idea of the local council is a waste food collection. If it follows a nearby council it will now purchase thousands of plastic boxes for us all to put the slops in. But hold on, what is waste food, I don't have any?

Supermarkets waste food by the tonne simply because they don't give a stuff about how much they throw away so long as they have covered the profits on what they have sold, but do people really have enough waste food for a collection. I guess some do.

I have seen a little of the TV program where families are throwing away 40-50% of the food they buy, but for goodness sake don't collect it from them, prosecute them for being idiots or make a new law against wasting food. Lets face it with over 300o new laws in the last 10 years another one won't matter will it.

The only waste food we have is meat bones, and the rag and bone man (or woman) went long ago.

Some one has worked out:-
We throw away:
860,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables and salads
870,000 tonnes of drink
500,000 tonnes of fresh fruit
680,000 tonnes of bakery
660,000 tonnes of home made and pre-prepared meals
290,000 tonnes of meat and fish
530,000 tonnes of diary and eggs
190,000 tonnes of cakes and dessertse
67,000 tonnes of confectionery and snacks
An average £480 a year for every household of 2 people and £680 for a family.

That is totally bonkers, and that is an average, so there must be a lot of people like me who don't throw food away thus some are throwing away even more. Crazy!

I look forward to my plastic box, it will come in handy for something I am sure. That is of course if they don't decide to prosecute people who don't put it out each week.

02 December, 2009

Boy with his finger in the dyke (2009)

I thought it was about time that the well known story by Mary Dodge of the little boy, Hans Brinker, who saved the town by putting his finger in the dyke was updated to the modern day so here goes:

It was a lovely autumn afternoon as Hans Brinker headed off to take fresh cakes that his mother had baked to his blind friend Jansen. Jansen loved visits from Hans, not many people visited the old man these days, with the fear of pedophiles rife old men living on their own, even blind ones, were considered too much of a risk to let children near.

On his way home Hans was walking by the dyke when he heard the sound of running water, that's funny he thought where is that coming from. He look around and found a small hole in the dyke with water spraying out. All children in Holland know how important it is to keep the water out of the town so Hans grabbed his mobile and phoned the police, who in turn contacted the council who then contacted the sub-contractor who sent an email back to the town council.

The following morning the town council opened the email and referred it to the department dealing with dykes who said that it was not a gender issue so forwarded it to the engineers.
This was major, they knew a hole in the dyke was serious so they called in a number of professors who together with super computers began to produce mathematical models of how the hole might look after 1 day, 1 month, 1 year and 10 years.

The professors presented their findings to the people of the town by a series of leaked emails to the press saying how the hole in the dyke could mean the town would be flooded in less than a year and explaining in detail how in the worst case the entire country could be flooded.

The professors were given a grant, began touring the area giving presentations, making videos such as "an inconvenient leak" and building a new dyke change institute.

Meanwhile the day after finding the hole Hans Brinke had told his father who being a builder had mixed up some cement and filled the hole. The professors knew nothing about this and continued to work with their computers predicting, forecasting and scaring people until one afternoon a professor was out for a walk when he noticed Hans standing with a friend and pointing at the dyke, "look" he heard him say, "that's where my dad filled the hole I found".

The professor pondered then headed back to his office and began another run of his model.

So who is the statue at the top, that's Hans a statue was erected to him in 1950 to please the tourists who thought the story was true and expected to see something about it.

30 November, 2009

Turn That Phone Off!

As you fill your car with petrol you will probably spot a sign similar to the one on the left, indicating that we must not use our mobiles on the forecourt of the petrol station. It is one of those notices that every petrol station seems to have but if you ask them why I bet they don't know.

A friend of mine had a new car with something really strange about the petrol cap that the previous owner had fitted and she made the mistake of calling up from the forecourt to ask how to open it. The woman assistant came flying out of the office yelling and shouting at her to put the phone away, but for what reason.

There has never in the history of petrol or mobile phones been an explosion on a petrol forecourt caused by a mobile phone, no there hasn't, and why should there be.

There is the technical ramblings on the Internet that the electro static can build up on you and discharge as you fill the tank etc, but there is a huge problem with the "a spark can blow up the petrol station" theory. Any car with a poor HT (high tension) lead, you know the one that makes that lovely light display when you open the engine cover in the dark, thousands of sparks flying all over the place, would be a far greater risk than something from a mobile.

Interestingly if there is any risk of exploding when you fill up it is more likely to be for women with nylon nickers, yes, apparently women are less likely to touch the car body when they get out of the car and the first time they earth the static built up is when they touch the petrol nozzle into the tank.

So us men are ok and if your a woman, the next time someone comes rushing out to tell you off for using your mobile simply smile and say "Its OK I've taken my panties off in the car".

27 November, 2009

Do you want a carrier bag ............

Since the Carpetright fiasco I am always a little wary of mentioning store names in a blog, but as most other places are more grown up than Carpetright, and lets face it no other shop is trying to sell us goods by scaring the heck out of people with snakes, spiders and god knows what else crawling over their products, I think I will risk it.

In a branch of Wilkinson's as I got to the till the very pleasant lady said "do you want a bag", "no thanks", then she went on "postage stamps, mobile phone top ups", "OK stop" I don't need a bag stamps or anything other than what I have put in front of you thank you. "You must get fed up if you have to say that to every customer" I asked and she told me that if she doesn't ask she would be disciplined. No way, seriously?

But this could get out of hand, what if some manger decides that none of us remember anything we go into the store for, the next time I get to the till might be:-
"do you need a bag, postage stamps, mobile phone top ups, sugar, tea, deodorant,toothpaste, matches, dishwasher tablets,shower gel, ....................................toilet rolls, christmas lights, pens, pencils, lawn food, bird food, mouse traps, light switch, fire lighters, saucepans, oven gloves, children's toys, paint, wool, sour cream ........................................................................... wet wipes, dental floss, ............................tea towel, air freshener .......................................... "etc. etc.

Won't it be great if it does happen, then when she gets to the end of the list Ill say, now there was something, what was it.

999 - Tell me the Postcode or you don't get an ambulance!

It is amazing the lengths that people will go to to reduce the number of reported road accidents in the UK, the latest seems beyond belief.

A friend of mine was walking along The Mall in London when he witnessed a cyclist get hit by a car in front of him. As people went to help he did the most obvious thing, took out his mobile phone and dialed 999.
He asked for ambulance and police and was then totally stumped when the operator said "whats the post code there". "Um, I have no idea, its The Mall London, you know the red road that goes to Buckingham Palace" , "well I need the post code", "I don't have it how would I know it" "well without it I can't do anything". This went on for several minutes until he gave up as no-one around knew the postcode so he hung up, to be rung back a few moments later asking if everything was OK because he had been cut off on and emergency call.

For F..... sake, this is unbelievable isn't it, there he was with a cyclist laying beside a taxi and the dum twit operator wanted the post code, how would any of us know the post code of a road we are walking along, why would we.

If it had been me I would have been tempted to say either ER2 2ER or "I am a terrorist with a rucksack of explosive in The Mall and I am walking towards the Palace" I bet they would have sent some police then.

22 November, 2009

Save the newt, kill the humans

I was at a nature reserve I often go to and several things occurred to me.

It is relaxing and interesting watching wildlife and birds but there are groups of people who go to the hides who I really wish I could understand.
I say groups but I am not exactly sure what the difference is between the two other than a member of one group was slagging off the other last week. The groups I am referring to are the serious bird watchers and the twitchers. (I thought they were one and the same but I am obviously wrong)

Why do they do it, how do they find it so interesting, and why can't I understand it are just some questions that spring to mind as I see someone with a note book and £3000 of spotter scope who tells me he has been there since 8am and its now around 3pm.

By all means be interested in birds but when I hear people having an orgasm because there is a lesser spotted dingle fisher flying over I just don't get it. I would love to get so carried away but I am just as happy watching the bird over there, the one with the long beak and the brown bit that just caught something.

I was in a hide the other day and someone asked me "have you seen the sandpiper", nope sorry and if it was pecking my left ear I wouldn't know it was a sandpiper, perhaps I should, but I don't and maybe that's wrong, or maybe they are, who knows.

It has now become a standing joke between and the other half, "have you seen the sandpaper [sic]" said in a fake posh accent, now describes anyone who is a little too into bird watching.

I have wandered off track of the title so let me get back onto it. The nature reserve joins onto a firing range where today the army were busy blasting the heck out of something with machine guns. It just seemed wrong to be in an area where if you trod on a newt you would be barred for life and yet 1000m away people were training hard to kill humans.

21 November, 2009

Environmental damage can be great!

I have been on a short break on the Norfolk Broads, November is definitely the time to go because most people don't go there this time of year and instead of being like the M25 on water you can cruise along, at a top speed of 5mph (exactly like the M25), but you don't see anyone else for hours at a time.

I doubt there are many people who would want to fill in the Norfolk Broads but that is exactly what should be done, isn't it , because the broads were created by environmental "damage" on a huge scale.

If you grab yourself a shovel today and start to dig out peat someone comes along and tells you you are trashing the planet and makes you stop. Lets face it if you buy Irish moss peat for the garden these days you are made to feel like the worst eco-terrorist ever.

The Norfolk Broads were created by people digging peat for heating for about 500 years beginning in the 9th century. Then around the 1400s the sea level began to rise and the broads were flooded.
Which in itself is interesting, because unless I read the wrong books the 1400s were not that well know for Range Rovers, long haul flights and gas turbine generators, the things we are told will cause the sea level to rise.

My point is this, 1200 years ago people did what some today call destruction of the environment yet the result was that nature recovered to produce a fantastic habitat for millions of creatures and a scene so wonderful that thousands of tourists head for it each year.

Next time someone moans at you for buying peat for the tomatoes just say "Norfolk broads".

13 November, 2009

BANNG

Have you ever noticed that some people get carried away with their titles.
I used to have a job where every so often Captain Plunket would phone up, he always introduced himself as "Captain Plunket here" although the (late) gentleman had left the army many years ago he still insisted on being called Captain.

And so it is with people who feel insecure with themselves, they need some kind of title to bolster their ego. There is a gentleman living nearby who used to be a professor, now he is retired and meddling in things he is still being written about as professor Blowers OBE etc.

The trouble with this kind of person is that the easily led go "oh gosh a professor he must know what he is talking about", in the same way as they used to go "oh gosh a bank manager he must be trustworthy". In the case in point the professor is meddling in the decision to build a new and much needed nuclear power station and has set up a group called BANNG, hence the title of this entry.

Many people nearby are falling for the ramblings of the professor who was once a government advisor so should hardly be trusted with anything important, and he is busy "proving " all kinds of rubbish about how this and that will happen if they build a power station. Did I mention there was one there before and somehow we all survived.

Me, I have never been swayed by titles and am sure the most knowledgeable people in the word are just Mr, Mrs or Miss . Professor is a job title and connected to a place of learning or study and I remember well the saying that as someone becomes an expert in a field they learn more and more about less and less, until they eventually know everything about nothing.

Me, I know nothing about everything, but give me something to write about and Ill find an opinion.

04 November, 2009

Let the poor save the planet!

I don't believe humans are totally responsible for global warming, and the more I hear from those scientists who risk disagreeing with the government view the more I am convinced that the planet will warm up no matter how much CO2 I am responsible for.

But just for a moment assume I believe all the hogwash about CO2, am I the only person who has realised that it is only the poor who are being required to cut CO2 and save the planet. The rich just don't give a stuff.

Even the super rich who are joining the CO2 band waggon preach one thing then jet off in their private jets (no air passenger tax or CO2 offsetting there) to mansions with heated pools.

While Mr poor takes advantage of the scrappage scheme to buy a new 1.25cc fiesta, it is a low car tax, low CO2 and all he can afford, Mr Rich is buying his new Range Rover for his wife to take the brats 1 mile to school "safely", car tax is no problem to him, his bonus is more than Mr Poor will earn in 5 years.

Mr Poor has put a solar panel on his roof, it cost him a fortune so he took out a loan, in 25years he will have saved his money back.
Mr Rich has a new pad for his helicopter.
Mr Poor books a family cycling holiday in Norfolk because it is a very low carbon holiday while Mr Rich is flying his private jet to Spain where he will join his boat and burn 800litres of diesel an hour for 2 weeks.

Mr Poor has turned his heating down to save money and produce less carbon, Mr Rich has built a new swimming pool, heated by gas.

And so it goes. If you believe what we are told endlessly about CO2, you have to wonder why it doesn't apply the the rich. Dont you ?

Post Script - Point proved again today, the flumps who just won £45 million immediately took a trip on a boat, booked a long haul holiday and plan to buy a top of the range "sporty Range Rover"

Come on you poor people, cut the CO2 will you !

03 November, 2009

Christmas Trees

Straight to the point on this entry, why do people buy black Christmas trees?

In a shop, where most of the ground floor is Santas that will drive you crazy within 3 minutes, reindeer that look as if they were made by a 5 year old and other Christmas trash, they have more black Christmas trees than green ones.

A little bit of research and it seems that in past years black trees have become trendy for some reason.

I might be mistaken, but before shops took over Christmas as the celebration of retail spending and a way to balance the sales figures before the new year, Christmas was a celebration of the birth of Christ. Yes I know that it was actually another celebration that was adopted by Christians, but that is a debate for another time.
What I want to know is why would you, even if you're celebrating retail therapy rather than Christ, go out and buy a black tree.

If you run an undertakers perhaps, or are trying to produce a scene for a forest fire you might want a black tree but there is nothing in the least joyful looking about it, in fact if someone were to place one in my house I would find it just a little creepy.

At least if the long summer drought has killed off all the real spruce trees this year they can still be sold, all they need is a quick run over with a blow torch and instantly sellable, which isn't a word but Ill refer you to an earlier post on language.

26 October, 2009

The Tale of the Useless Gardener

Several years ago the parks department appointed a gardener to run the village park. The gardener had no qualifications in horticulture but he told the people he was really good and would make their park the best in the country.

Because they trusted the parks department the people paid him well knowing they were investing in a park for the future, they left him to decide what plants to buy and where to plant them. All summer long he planted many many tropical plants from far and wide making the village look fantastic.

Several people in the village were concerned that he was planting so many tropical plants and spending so much money, they thought that the plants would die in the winter. But the gardener told them he knew what he was doing and that everything was completely OK.

The parks department collected a huge Christmas bonus for the gardener from the people of the village for making the gardens look so good.
Then winter arrived, the plants at first seemed to be OK, but one by one they began to turn brown and die until there was nothing but dead rotting plants in all the gardens

The gardener saw the plants and said "no matter give me more money and I will go and buy more plants". Some of the people thought this was wrong but Mr Brown the head of the parks department said it was OK and gave the gardener a huge sum of money from the village funds to buy new plants.

Spring arrived and the gardener re-planted all the gardens with tropical plants and the village looked wonderful, but then a late frost killed every one of the new plants. The villagers were furious with the gardener for what he had done. But Mr Brown said it was not his fault and gave him more money.

The gardener replanted all the tropical plants and all summer the gardens looked splendid but the villagers were not pleased, they knew what would happen as soon as winter arrived.

Christmas came around again and the people said that the gardener should not get a bonus because he had done a terrible job and cost them a fortune. But the parks department said that if they didn't give the gardener a good bonus he would leave and go to another parks department. The people of the village were delighted at the though of the gardener going, they knew he was a rubbish gardener and was doing a terrible job.

But the parks department took the money from the people of the village and paid the gardener a huge Christmas bonus so that he would not leave.

Based on a true story ? - You can bank on it.

23 October, 2009

Nick Griffin - BNP - Question time

I thought I would share my observations and comments on the leader of the BNP who appeared on BBC Question Time last night.

That's it, that's all the time I can be bothered to spend on him.

22 October, 2009

Womb transplants - What the heck for?

The scientists, doctors or someone today has announced that womb transplants have come a step closer.
You may disagree but what the heck are they doing. If I had my way IVF would be banned along with any other types of fertility treatment. The world is over-populated and only just able to sustain the number of humans that we have at the moment, so why do we need to help another group of women have babies.

Again you may think what an awful person I am to make such a suggestion, but truly we need to stop helping people have babies and leave it to the will of God who can and can not have a child.

There is no earthly reason to help create more babies than are naturally conceived, and if you are a woman who wants a child and can't have one then tough. Think of it as your way of helping the planet.
If nothing is done to slow the expansion of the population then it will only be a few generations before starvation hits big time as countries stop exporting food and seas become empty of fish.


21 October, 2009

Persil - What is the point of it?

The heading is Persil but it could just as easily be Aerial or any other of the multitude of powders and liquids that are on the shelves. The reason I say Persil is because that happens to be the one that is by my washer at the moment, but they are equally as useless.

Let me justify that, at the weekend I enjoyed a takeaway meal, unfortunately so did my t-shirt upon which I dropped just one piece of rice with sauce. The next morning together with the rest of the washing in went my shirt. A nice long wash at 60degC, I don't ever do 40deg especially if it has one of those stupid "think environment wash at 30" labels, the necessary amount of Persil added plus water softener and the washer left to do its thing.

A little over an hour later I unloaded the washer and you guessed it the greasy rice mark is still there. Yet how come on the TV ads the clothes go in covered in everything and the next minute there they are all glowing white again.
I suggest that there is a trick of TV, the soiled clothes go in the bin and new ones find their way to the washing line.

I have yet to find a washing powder or liquid that removes any actual dirt from clothes, everyone knows this is the case too because they are happy to buy Vanish or Shout or some other chemical that will get clothes clean to add to the already overprices washing chemicals. And you guessed it these chemicals don't work either.

The washing chemical market is worth billions of pounds and for 30 or more years the TV has been telling us that this or that washes whiter, brighter or whatever so we all waste money on them in the misguided belief that the adverts are true and they will remove stains from our clothes.

Washing powders and liquids must be the longest running con in the history of retail. On holiday the washer only had these "eco" balls to wash with, they have been proved to be no better that washing with water alone, yet surprisingly I thought the clothes came out just as clean and fresh as when I wash with Persil.

So, Eco balls wash as well as Persil, and they wash as well as water alone. Ill leave you to draw your own conclusions on that.

19 October, 2009

Climate protest & other Points from the news

Climate change protesters

The great unwashed drongos were out over the weekend again, this time they were in Nottingham trying to "shut down a coal fired power station".

Who do these people think they are and why are they not treated as terrorists and shot, or, I have another idea that might wake these low-life up to reality.

Let them into the power station to turn off the generators, then tell them they can all go home but to remember the journey home, in the VW camper smelling of cats, might take longer than usual because there are no traffic lights working and if they need petrol they are out of luck because the petrol stations can't pump and the service stations are all shut.

When they get home to their squats proud of their days work they can't have a cupa tea because the power is off, can't cook, cant buy food can't use the phone or mobile, cant go on the computer, can't use the toilets because the sewage treatment is out of action and oh there isn't any water either or gas.

So come on all you climate change dim-witts, with your mates stopping any new nuclear power stations being built or trying to turn off the gas ones, how exactly do you think you are going to live now.

Security undresses you at the airport

The latest security scanner to be trialed at Manchester airport strips you off so the security staff can see through your clothing.
How exciting for them, they can apparently see how well hung the guys are and if the woman with the big, you know whats, is using a wonder bra or had implants.

Within days of saying it is not a breach of our rights for someone to be using a device to see through our clothes someone has stopped them scanning anyone under the age of 18 because its an offence to make an indecent picture of a child.

Hold on, "make a picture" I thought they were just looking for explosives and knives I didn't realise that if I walked through my image would be posted on www,airportsecuritywanksite.com
or some such place.

Two other things come to mind, if it is OK to scan someone who is 18yrs old then why is it wrong to scan someone who is say 17yrs and 363 days, and secondly isn't there just a chance that a terrorist might be under 18 or heaven forbid get their under 18yo offspring to carry the weapon through.

If its OK to subject me to being virtually nude as I walk past security in the interest of safety then it should apply to everyone regardless of age, or no one at all.

Everyday we get closer to the science fiction that used to scare us, and everyday we let it happen.

14 October, 2009

MPs' Expenses - They still don't understand

Funny how views of a person can change over just one thing they say. I had thought that Anne Widdecombe was one of the more sensible of the loonies in power, until she opened her mouth about expenses this week.

Anne raved that "if any other employer had changed the rules" on expenses after you had claimed them and "stuck fastidiously to the rules" then the employer would be up before a tribunal.

Sorry Anne, you and the rest of your mates have really still not got it have you.
I defy you to find any other employer in the world who would pay you expenses to clean your moat, buy a £15k bookshelf, pay to furnish a second home, build a duck house, pay for your usual daily expenses of living twice and still give you a huge salary.

If any other employer paid expenses for all these things to all their staff they would be bankrupt and out of business, or if you claimed them you would be out of a job at the least and the way some of you lot have fiddled your claims, possibly in prison.

Can you believe that some MPs are thinking of taking the case to the High Court, I guess they are not worried about how much that will cost, it will just go on expenses.

11 October, 2009

Debt Collectors - Pay what you don't owe or else!

Have you ever wondered where the saying "crime doesn't pay" comes from when crime quite obviously does pay very well.

Three years ago we were victims of identity theft and had £10k worth of fraud done on one of our credit cards. To this day we are sure that a call centre sold details because the fraudsters knew everything, and other people with the same credit card company had similar experiences. Still as the police were not interested and after a lot of hassle we got the money refunded we thought the matter was dead and gone.

Until this week. Imagine my shock when opening a letter from a phone company I have never had any contract with to be told that they had sold my debt to a debt collector and a letter from the debt collector saying pay us in 10 days or we will send the boys round. I could not grab the phone fast enough.

The debt collecting agency were, as most probably are, totally obnoxious taking the line that you owe us money and you will pay us unless you can prove otherwise.
I told them that I had never had a phone with these people and had never even visited the part of the UK where I was supposed to have lived. Then I realised that there was no point talking with them. They had put some kind of black mark against our credit rating, were demanding money that I did not owe and were threatening me but I had no redress at all. What kind of country do we now live in.

Luckily we still had the paperwork from the credit card fraud and looking through it I found an entry with a phone company, so not only had they bought a phone they had obviously set up the payments against our card and so as soon as the card had been stopped the debt began to grow.

I phoned the gangsters, oops debt collectors, again and tried to give them details of the credit card investigation but they were not interested, telling me that they didn't believe me and anyone could tell them a story like that. Well yes they could, but taking the logic he was giving me they can, and probably do, pick anyone at random and demand money, because how do you prove you don't owe something.
It is funny that they apparently have "access to information to trace us" to our home address but not to establish that we never lived where the phone was sent.

So crime does pay and the innocent get threatened and hounded.

But if Mr debt collector calls at the door I hope he has good medical insurance. I don't know why but I think he might need it.

04 October, 2009

Biodegradable

I was at Hyde Hall in Essex the other day, if you are into RHS places and have the chance it is worth a visit, and after wandering around the gardens we headed for the cafe.

The new visitors centre is a wonderful building of lots of wood and supposed to be all Eco and sustainable, although they have a metal roof which is probably not very "Eco". Inside they serve everything in or on paper plates, with forks and spoons made of some kind of re-cycled plastic.

After munching my way through a panini and cupa tea I headed for the "recycling point" and as I sorted my various articles one of the managers there began to enthuse about how the plates and cups bio-degraded in just 80 days, "just 80 days that's really good isn't it". When I am chucking out paper plates and plastic forks when the most Eco solution would be china and metal heading to washing up I can't get excited about degradable in 80 days.
"Surely re-usable cups glasses and forks would be far better" I replied, "the kitchens don't have a dish washer" un well that's not very well planned is it, doesn't she know how much energy and bleach etc is used in making paper products.
Its like Eco re-usable shopping bags, made from fibres of a plant but they forget to tell you that the rain forest is now being cut down even faster to grow the plants for the fibres. Yes really it is.

She went on about her 80 days, "and where is it bi-degraded is it on a compost heap and then used on the gardens here" I asked. "I don't know" was her feeble reply.

So there we have it, biodegradable crockery that degrades in 80 days, and if I guess right that will be in landfill somewhere, not very "Eco" after all is it.

03 October, 2009

Gordon Brown

Would you buy a used car off of this man, or trust him near small children.


It's not just me, this is a scary picture, isn't it ?

Thank you - for driving safely

I have written about road signs before, the crazy explosion of flashing speed limits signs, but the more I drive the more I see how overcrowded our roads are with useless signs.

One that seems totally pointless is the "thank you for driving safely" or "please drive safely" through our village. I love that I have been able to find the image that heads this blog entry. What is the point, do the people who ask for these signs actually think they make a difference to the speed or manner of driving. Why would they, all they do is take your mind of the road for longer than a place name alone, as you can not help yourself reading the whole sign.

Why don't we see "please drive like a total twit through our town" signs, maybe with "sponsored by Claims Direct" or "sponsored by community speedwatch". And while we are about it I have a couple more suggestions "thank you for not crashing on this motorway" or "thank you for not rubbernecking this crash and causing a 20 mile tailback". No, that would be silly, yet someone agrees to the existing signs thinking they are not in the least silly and will actually have some effect on motorists.

Who is actually saying thank you to me as I drive past these signs, is it the local people, the council, the highway authority, or more likely the company making a killing manufacturing the sign.
We are often thanked by inanimate objects, computer screens, automatic payment devices and a multitude of do this don't do that notices, what is the point, to my mind a thank you is something that one person expresses to another not something that can be conveyed to anyone who reads it, and certainly not from an electrical device.

Which brings me to a sales assistant who was instructed by her manager not to say thank you to customers, "It says thank you on the till receipt" she was told.

Well that's the lot for this time - thank you.

28 September, 2009

Techno Kids.

Talking to a neighbour at the weekend he told me that as a reward to his son, for something, he is buying him a playstation 3. They have a playstation 2 but a playstation 3 will do whatever a playstation 2 does but better, or was that faster or in more colours or something.

What is it about technology that gets people so hooked that as soon as a new Xplaymultibox3LCD comes out they have to buy it even though they have just bought the Xplaymulti2LCD.

When computers first became the thing to have at home, as a toy, there was the ZX80 then things like the BBC computer, Commodore64 and so on. We were quite happy spending an evening typing in lines of Basic code from a computer magazine then delighting in trying to run it, changing the mistakes, re-checking it and eventually playing a game as simple as say battleships against the computer. It was excellent fun to us then so why would a child today if told to type the code first be so put off with the idea. Why was something so much fun not even be considered today.

People have not changed but technology has. I feel a little, I don't quite know what it is , annoyed or confused or something along that ilk that today any child can turn on his computer and instantly have access to the entire world but he knows nothing about computers.
I spent hours with a modified ZX80 hooked into my 2metres amateur radio kit desperately trying to get radio teletype to word and establish a contact with someone in the USA. I spent just as long writing Basic programs to make the computer do really quite pointless things but learning the fundamentals of how a computer works, how programing had to be structured etc and how a computer calculated decisions.

Do children today even know what Basic as a programming language is, have they the slightest idea how their Xbox works. Does it even matter, are we better people for having to learn computers from the start.
It goes deeper than computers it is now part of life that children and young people have to have the latest flashiest fastest gizmo as soon as it comes out even if they have a gizmo that does exactly the same thing already.

It may be progress but what progress is it, is happiness really just about the latest games machine or would my neighbour be better off rewarding his son with something less transient and less material.

I don't know the answers but there must also be a problem on the horizon in the future. Many of us played about writing computer code yet today children only play about with computers with no knowledge of its code.

Who will be the creative forces of the future when everything is switch on and play today, how long will it be before children will be taken from the maternity ward and plugged straight into a computer, how long until The Matrix comes true?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix

23 September, 2009

Broadband Tax

You could not make this up, the latest daft idea by the twits running the country is to tax everyone who has a landline broadband. As soon as they can pass the legislation we are all going to have to pay £6 a year broadband tax so that broadband can be made available to everyone. Well it is starting at £6 but like road tax I am sure that within a year or two it will be linked to your broadband speed or the size of your hard-drive and be around £100 a year at least.
Also like road tax you can guess that it won't be used for its intended purpose and will go to ensure the bonuses of some banker or BT executive.

Which brings me to another point on this broadband tax, did I miss something have BT, Virgin and the rest all been nationalised? If not then why the dickens is the tax payer going to give money to private companies yet again.

While they are at it why doesn't the government re-introduce window tax, maybe even extend it to include the windows in you car , that should raise a few bob.

OK rant nearly over, I would write more but it will probably take 5mins to upload this, it is 8pm and at this time of night my 8Mb broadband, that costs me £17.50, runs slower than an old modem (no really it does). Still when its £18 a month I am sure it will be much faster.

Right where did I put those details on wireless broadband.

18 September, 2009

Eats, Shoots and what the hell!

There is a book that sold millions of copies by a woman named Lynne Truss which professes to tell us all how to use punctuation. At the time it came out I thought what a good idea and nearly bought a copy but today I am rather pleased that I didn't waste my money.
I have never been very good with the rules of english writing and if you tell me that I have split an infinative I will find you a plaster and I don't have a clue what a prepositoion is, but I could probably google it if I cared.

My views on all this proper and correct writing stuff changed today when I listened to a pod cast by my hero of English language Stephen Fry on, funnily enough, language.
Stephen, to my mind, was the last person to be saying that punctuation and grammar doesn't matter. I doubt there are many English speaking people as eloquent as him but I always thought that he would be one of the first to complain if I ended a sentence with a, whatever it is that you must not end one with.

When you think about it, what does it matter if you have a comma in the right place or an apostrophe misplaced as long as you write something that is worth while and can be understood by the reader.

My reason for telling you this is that I won't be spending so long worrying about my punctuation and correct use of words in my blog in future.
It will have another advantage, for me anyway, I will be able to write blogs at the same time as drinking wine. Which as it happens has just been passed to me so I will close on this entry.

If you decide you have a free half hour you might wish to listen to the pod cast which is in typical Fry style an enthralling listen and covers a lot more on language that I have touched upon here. I would be pleased to read your views by way of comments to this blog. Or should that be will be pleased, whatever.

http://www.stephenfry.com/2008/12/22/series-2-episode-3-language/

02 September, 2009

Thanks for the plastic bags - Please stop!

For some reason sending out plastic bags has become the latest craze where I live, save the children, heart foundation, save the something else , protect the lesser spotted nutter, stop cancer you name it they are all sending me plastic bags.
What do they want from me in these bags, my clothes.

Some people might have unwanted clothes, but not me, other than underpants I haven't bought many clothes since my last trip to New York 8 years ago. I am not an avid follower of fashion and don't believe in throwing clothes away just because someone tells me they are "so last years colour". Having received 8 bags in a month I don't think I would have anything left by now anyway.

It would not be so bad if these bags were actually for a charity, but as a lot of them are run by con artists and nothing to do with any genuine good cause I wonder why they are not subject to the "10p a bag mate" syndrome that some of the supermarkets bug me with.

If I was a little more organised I could take the bags with me for my shopping but as I have said before a plastic bag won't save the planet.
So charity bags go straight to landfill along with my unwanted underpants, well they can have them if they really want.

30 August, 2009

Stop the broadband pirates. Yeah OK.

The twit now running the country, lord Meddlesome, (yes he is) has decided to do something about pirates. Obviously he won't be given a huge sum of money by the industry to do this will he, and he insists he is doing what is right.

The pirates he is launching an attack upon are those who download music off of the internet without paying for it. He has the solution, block the broadband access of anyone who continues to download after being told off.

A big problem Meddlingson has overlooked, not everyone in the UK lives on their own and has a dedicated broadband connection that only they use.
Perhaps a family of four with son and daughter still at home share the broadband. Both the "children" are over 18 and the son is downloading loads of music, dad has asked him to stop but he wont. So along comes Meddlinggit and cuts off the whole family.

Problem solved, well for an hour while the son goes out and buys a pay as you go dongle.
The same will no doubt happen with anyone who is cut off of a landline broadband, they will head to the shop and buy a wireless one.

So how will the great clean up proposed by Meddlingtwit work. Probably the same way as everything done by the labour government, hype and headlines but no real action.
It was revealed this week that one in 5 young people are driving on the road uninsured and don't care about being caught so will the risk of having to go wireless on the web really deter anyone.

You do have to wonder why his priority is preserving the profits of the music industry. Don't you?

27 August, 2009

Don't always buy whats on offer !

I caught the end of a TV program yesterday, I have no idea what it was called but it was telling people to buy only the food they need and not to throw half of everything away. In the end they cut a families food bill from something like £22k a year down to £10k.

I have no idea how people can waste 50% of their food but apparently it is a common problem, I guess some people are born stupid, me?, I just learned it over the years.

Making the most of your money while shopping is not just about buying the food you actually need, rather than one for you one for the rubbish bin it is also about seeing our way through the maze of cons and misleading displays in the supermarket.

I shop in Sainsbury's, I tried Tesco just not me, Asda way too chav and Waitrose is only for people with too much money, so I go once a week to Sansbury's. They are the master of shelf cons and while I felt sure I had written about this before I can't find it so here goes (again).

Sainsbury's has many ways to catch you out but I will only cover a few. The most simple is the price per Kg and price per 100g. On the same shelf they have several brands, the most expensive will be prices say 57p per 100g and then next to it a cheaper item in bigger bottle/packet/tin so higher item price but actually £3.75 per kg. Its obvious that the £3.75 is the best value but how many people fall for the trick.

This week apples were a good con, last week a bag of 1Kg of apples was £1.48, this week a bag of apples was shown as "now only £1", but wandering to the scales I found that the bag was also "now only" 800g so any thought of saving 48p is gone and you are actually saving just 18p.
At this time of year forget apples at Sainsbury's head off to a local orchard farm shop.

Their next ploy is the "ONLY £1" for the packed meat, yes it might be only £1 but its price by weight is far higher than other similar meats right next to it.

Their most sneaky pricing con at the moment is in the wine section where there are loads of signs for 50/o off, I can't show it here but they have the signs printed so that an eye scanning the shelves reads it as 50% off, by the way they set the % sign. Otherwise who would care that there is 20p off a bottle of wine when others are half price or less.

Although good food may cost less at Sainsbury's if you read the shelf carefully you can save even more, every little helps!
( Please be aware that other supermarkets are available, some store may charge for your visit, cars parked for more than 4 hours will be charged £70, all customers shop at their own risk, no responsibility will be taken by the store for children left in locked cars or pets seated in the shopping trolley.)

18 August, 2009

Don't take the piss!

While in a certain DIY store, oh what the heck I'll name it and hope they are not as childish as Carpetright staff, while in Homebase today I needed to take a pee so sought out the customer lav.
The men's had an "out of order" sign on the door so I reached for the handle of the disabled to hear the little lady who was mopping the corridor yell at me "that's disabled people only".

Yipes, I didn't realise that cleaners doubled up as the toilet police these days. I turned and replied to her. "you are joking aren't you, the men's is out of order so what do you expect me to do" , "Sainsburys is across the road", was her amazing reply. "yes and I am shopping here" .
If it was not for the fact that the lady was obviously a cleaner because a lot of other occupations would have been beyond her capability, I could have happily engaged her in a discussion on how much disabled one has to be to use a homebase disabled toilet, is a slight limp enough, or do you have to have lost a leg maybe, do you have to be in a wheelchair or would they accept crutches. Still as I was, how shall I say, not predisposed to talking too long before I used the facilities I didn't engage her any more than necessary.

"Well as long as I leave them clean does is really matter what toilet I use" , "are you really busting" she asked, one question too far so I opened the disabled and did the necessary.
To have left it clean would have required a few bottles of bleach and a sponge so I left it as I found it.

The cleaners attitude may have scared off other people, who would no doubt have been rushing away to "sainsburys" or the nearest bush, but it raises an interesting issue. Just because some one does not look disabled why has she the right to decide they should not be allowed to use a disabled toilet. There are many conditions where a person might wish to use a disabled toilet simply because there is access to a secluded wash basin, no don't worry I am not about to go into more detail.

Still next time I am in Homebase and need to take a pee maybe I should pop upstairs, they have a whole selection of toilets in the bathroom department.

12 August, 2009

Sexting

Apparently police and child protection agencies are "increasingly concerned" about the number of children who are sexting. What the heck is sexting, well its when you send a mobile phone naked picture or video of yourself, or an intimate part of yourself, to someone. Some survey or another has found that 1 in 4 11 to 18 year olds has received a sext. Um, did I lead a sheltered life, was it just me or when we were kids didn't we just swap picture cards of cars, planes, sportsmen etc.

The article I read went on at length about how the child online exploit agency and the police are worrying, doing this or that, warning, protecting and generally fussing.
Something occurred to me, there was no mention of parents responsibility.
If you have an 11 year old child, and for some obscure reason buy him or her a mobile phone with the capability to send and receive pictures, (why would you) wouldn't you keep an eye on what they are doing, wouldn't you check who they are texting, who they are phoning and especially who they are sending pictures or videos to. And if you don't take just that small bit of interest in your child shouldn't the child protection agency be asking you questions pronto.

I maybe behind the times, I realise that soon a mobile phone will be seen as an acceptable christening gift as long as it is the latest model so perhaps I should chill out a bit on matters such as these.

In fact, yes to show that I can be modern and liberal in my thinking I will join in with all the young people of the world but I will go one step further, instead of a picture of me without any clothes on, here is a picture of my clothes without any me. Enjoy!

02 August, 2009

Points from the news.

Fear will be spreading in the corridors of Westminster again as the Swine flu pandemic loses its front page appeal MP's can become targets once more. Some of the things coming out of that place are positively insane.
One of the latest crackpot ideas is to send graduates on glorified holidays at taxpayers expense, these "gap years" will, they say, help the graduates become more employable and complete holes in their CVs. The sceptics in the country, count me in, see it as a way of keeping them off the dole figures which are already heading skyward. Still at least a lot of young people who have spent the last 4 yrs pissed out out of their heads won't have to worry about sobering up for at another year. I just wish I was "under 24" the criteria for joining this new government holiday scheme.

Moving rapidly on, people in fuel poverty can look forward to a nice government hand out, with new heating systems and environmental projects set to be paid for for them. I wonder if these poor people in fuel poverty are the same ones I see, unwashed t-shirts covering huge beer guts, as they queue for "40 B & H please luv" as I pay for my paper. Has no one told them that £40 a week is £160 a month on cigs, far more than I pay on gas an electricity even in the coldest winters. Fuel poverty, yeah right, these people need a lesson on money management not a government hand out.

And so to the final point in this instalment of ramblings, the next prime minister of the UK David Cameron, who as I am sure you will have also read, dropped himself into some trouble on the radio recently, while talking about Twitter he said "too much Twitter makes you a twat". Seems a quite reasonable comment to me and in actual fact the regulators had not received a single complaint by the time I read about it. David, presumably at the suggestion of his advisers decided to apologise, which simply highlighted the problem in my view, but here is my point, if David has to say sorry for saying twat, shouldn't Gordon say sorry for being one.

24 July, 2009

Swine Flu Help Line

Thank goodness for our government, what would we do without them.
Every newspaper, radio and TV news, gossiping queue in the co-op and gaggle of parents outside the school gates is talking about swine flu. I defy you to find anyone who does not know all about it, yet yesterday the government launched a call centre staffed by 1500 people to give help and advice. Could this be the start of the end for GPs in the UK. Why would we need them if you can be safely diagnosed by a call centre, which no doubt in time can be outsources to India.

If you phone the help line this is what you might hear :-

Click, Hello, welcome to the government swine flu help line provided to you free by your government, which cares about you. Calls are free from most land lines although some operators may charge. Calls from mobiles will be charged at you contracted rate and may cost a considerable amount, something your government is trying to change for you.
While every effort is made to deal with your call promptly there may be times when the volume of calls will necessitate a short wait, please be aware that this wait would be longer under a government run by David Cameron.

In order that we can route your call to the appropriate person please select from the following list.
PRESS 1 if you would like to speak to one of our totally untrained advisor who can read to you from a hastily prepared script.
PRESS 2 if you think that you have swine flue and would like to be sent a prescription for an anti-viral that will not make you better but has side effects that will take your mind off of the flu.
PRESS 3 if you phoned this line for something to do.

PRESS 4 if you phoned this line just because you saw the number in The Sun or Daily Mail.
PRESS 5 for everything else.

After your selection you may get :-

Thank you, all our advisors are busy dealing with other people at the moment but as your government cares about your welfare all callers will be answered in sequence, you are caller number five thousand nine hundred and three. We know your call is important to you, your government has trained over 1500 staff to read to you from their screen and you will be connected to one of these otherwise unemployable people as soon as possible.
(long pause)

We are sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience, if you would like to listen to the calming voice of Gordon Brown telling you not to worry about swine flue, rather than Eine kleine Nachtmusik please press 1 now.

(long pause)

Sorry for the continued delay, you are now caller five thousand nine hundred and four, your call will be answered as soon as possible.

Of course there is another option, if you think you have the flu, go to bed, drink plenty of water, take paracetamol and if you experiece difficulty breathing call an ambulance. There you go, free advice and you didn't even have to wait for it.


22 July, 2009

Swine Flu

Yes, yes , OK I get the message, a lot of people are getting the flu and it can be nasty, now for the love of sanity give it a break will you.

Am I the only one who thinks that we have heard enough, you either catch it or you don't, there is not a lot you can do about it; no really there isn't.
A couple of weekends ago I thought I had it, crikey did I feel grog, then a few days later, right as rain. I think its unlikely that is what I had, I mean it was over way too fast but should I phone someone, fill in a web page or something so they can correct the statistics.
Every day they tell us how many people have it, but they might be wrong, what if I am not counted and I did have it, or if I am counted and I didn't have it, that would totally mess up the news. Its such a worry.

I am not the only one worrying, some people are taking it to extremes. I was shopping and saw a woman who every time she touched a shop door or anything, out came the "no water needed" hand cleaner. Walking out of the car park it was fling the door open then grab the hand spray. I might be wrong but I predict a huge rise in dermatitis and other hand skin complaints this autumn. So many people are using it that the whole shelf in Tesco was empty and a notice "no more until 27/7". Yes I know, its good to wash your hands, but after every contact with anything seems a little OTT

At least this week we have found out why there is so much swine flu news, have you heard, swine flu is going to cause the UK economy to shrink by 4.6% .

So there you have it, nothing at all to do with my good mate Gordon at no.10 or even the other twit at no. 11, well that's a relief.

17 July, 2009

Global Warming, Yeah Whatever !

A couple of months ago some bright sparks told us to paint our houses white or die of heat stroke in a long hot summer, didn't they?

I am glad that advice came from the Department of Health, so I knew that being a government department the advice was useless.

It's 17th July, torrential rain is hitting the conservatory roof and its 15.5 deg. outside. I am well pleased that I didn't spend money on white paint, I am also sure that the talk of global warming is total twaddle.

Lets get real. The experts can not forecast 3 months ahead, so why would anyone trust them on anything further off.
There is something else that has occurred to me. Scientists say that the world is warmer now than it was 100yrs ago. But, how do they know. I can tell you that it is 15.4 deg. outside because of a very accurate electronic thermometer, but 100 years back there were no digital thermometers and taking the temperature was considerably less accurate.

If they were talking of a jump in temperature of say 5 deg maybe we could trust old records, but we are not. We are talking of 0.7deg, apparently. Hold on, we are taking average temperatures here too. (Since I started writing this blog the temperature has dropped 0.3 deg.) So it is not possible to compare the average temperatures of 100 years ago, or even 10 years ago unless you take them at exactly the same time and location for every reading. Even a few minutes will make a difference.

How has global warming become the new religion, why did anyone take notice of someone who failed to become president just because he made a film. Which, by-the-way, is one of the most boring contrived films ever made, and unless you are bored flying long haul somewhere I would not bother watching.

The temperature is now another 0.1deg lower, conclusive proof that the earth is getting colder, (which it actually has in the last 3 years) and with just this data from today I can tell you that if things continue at this rate by Friday week it will be minus 317deg in my back garden.

OK, so maybe my methods are not completely accurate on this , but I was right not to paint the house white, wasn't I!

11 July, 2009

Thank God for scientists!

There are times that I read something and wonder why on earth they need to do that. This week was one of those times.

With all the problems in the world, the illness that needs to be cured, the CO2 to be cut and the planet to be saved, scientists have done the equivalent of finding a way to make clover for my lawn in a lab. They have, presumably, spent millions of pounds on this man made breakthrough and can now solve a very real problem.

The problem, like the lack of weeds in my lawn, does not exist but they have taken delight in telling the world that they have produces artificial sperm in the lab. (I think that is the first time I have ever typed "sperm")

This breakthrough is wrong on so many levels. Why do these clever people feel the need to play God in this matter. Is there actually a shortage of sperm that requires it to be made in a lab.

I have the Monty Python song in my head now "every sperm is sacred" rejoicing in the the fact that a certain religion does not waste it, but there are a few hundred million other men enjoying themselves not caring about waste I am sure.

I don't understand the science but they seem to need a human embryo to produce the artificial sperm, Um, doesn't that mean they need sperm in the first place.

Of course there could be another explanation how sperm came to be on the scientists bench, think Clinton and Lewinsky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8

09 July, 2009

Nature Notes

Have all the nature experts left the UK and started reporting via the Internet to unmanned labs. What else could explain why they seem to be getting a lot of things wrong.

According to these experts swifts are scarce this year and it is caused by both global warming and a lack of nest sites; because all the old barns have been converted to nice energy efficient hermetically sealed homes.

I wish someone would tell the swifts, because as I sit in my garden I look up and see a sky positively full of them, a hundred maybe, the jet fighters of the bird world performing aerobatics catching bugs.

It is not only at my home in Essex that this is happening, on holiday in the Peak District we were buzzed by hundreds of swift skimming the air over the dam, swerving at the last second to avoid us as their wings whizzed past our ears. They are positively abundant this year, where are the experts looking.

And another thing, butterflies are apparently scarce too, not here they are not. I walked along a footpath yesterday and all manner of butterflies were taking off in front of me flitting to the side and landing back behind.

Perhaps the explanation for the experts mistakes is to do with funding. Maybe unless they publish all manner of bad things related to "global warming" they won't get any government grants.

Anyone who speaks out against the Emperors new clothes CO2 theory is already seen as an heretic and obviously hell bent on the destruction of the planet, I guess the nature lobby have fallen in line too.

26 June, 2009

The world is run for Drongoes.

The world is now run to cater for drongoes, people who need to be told everything.
Even the BBC had joined in and every time a presenter says something he has to explain for the drongoes. For example, they say "you can call us on 0500288291" then Say "calls from landlines will be charged at your standard bla bla bla , calls from mobile may......" yes OK we know you told us that 20 times in the last hour. If they mention a publication it is immediately followed by "other so and so publications are available" and it goes on.

Is this for the drongoes who think the paper shop only sells the Daily Mail, if so why do they have to subject the rest of us to the same. Drongoes are probably still trying to work out how to tune the radio in anyway.

There are notices for the drongoes too, mind the hot water tap is hot, mind the stairs they are , well stairs , mind the hot coffee and even mind the edge of the cliff.
Stop telling people these things, if they want to fall off the edge of a cliff let them, if they are too stupid to know not to who needs them on the planet anyway.

What adds to my annoyance with all these warning is when the notice is written by a drongo.
In Sainsburys they have a notice on some metal railing where boxes are stored, it says "Due to health and safety don't climb on these rails". That is not a proper sentence, what does it even mean.

My final rant about catering for drongos has to be "pear cider". It is apparently the new trend with a company called Brothers advertising it (other pear ciders are not available).
No No No, cider is made from apple juice, what they are selling is perry, a word that has been around for years and until recently was even included in the licencing acts.
But they are advertising to drongos who think perry is a 1980s style of T-shirt so they call it pear cider. What next, grape whiskey?

The question is, if they are too stupid to know what perry is, is it safe to let them drink alcohol anyway.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=drongo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drongo

16 June, 2009

Banking Rip Off

There is no point having savings in a bank, the interest rate is so low you might as well put it under the bed where you know it is safe.
But hold on, I have spotted an advert for a well known bank, (I won't name it as my in box has only just recovered from the abuse and obscenities I received from Carpet-right staff when I said they were crap, which kind of confirmed my point) but lets just call them Sand-and-air bank. They are offering a whopping 6% on money in a current account for one year, OK you have to be over 50 to take this account out but 6% is massive at the moment.

Lets read on, um, I see yes, you get 6% only on the first £2500 you have in the account, and there is the small matter of a £10 per month fee.

So let me get this right, 6% of £2500 is £150 interest, less the fee of £120, which you don't pay on most current accounts, leaves £30 interest less tax.
If my maths is correct that is an interest rate of 1.2% which if you forget to close the account after the year you lose in 3 months with the fee. Not such a good choice after all.

I guess that the Sand-and-air bank hope people over 50 don't read the small print.
Maybe in Spain reading glasses are not readily available. Oops has that given the bank away.

14 June, 2009

Points From The News

Gordon Brown goes on, and on, and on.......

It is a strange world at the moment, one country is building nuclear bombs another is starving, one country has been invaded to boot out their dictator and then there is the UK and Gordon Brown.
Last week millions of people voted and showed that they think that Gordon could not manage the local Spar, yet this week the one eyed Scottish idiot is still there. What is more he has appointed Alan Sugar to advice the government. Sugar a man who made his money being a bully and walking all over anyone who got in his way. In other words a man exactly like Gordon.
Gordon has also appointed Mandleson to the government, but hold on isn't this guy a crook and someone who has not been elected to government by anyone in England, in other words a man exactly like Gordon.

Lets poison the water supply

There is a little known plan by some in government to poison all our water supply. Its is not even illegal but they want to make it illegal for water companies not to add the poison. That's just crazy you may think, I agree.

The plan is to put fluoride in all drinking water, fluoride the poison that if drunk can cause all kinds of serious problems. The reason for doing this is to help the teeth of children from poor families. Well that's OK then, lets poison 60million people to look after a few who can not be bothered to brush their teeth.

In some areas they already add fluoride, in one such area before they started adding it they held a survey in which 74% of 10,000 people said they didn't want it.

Oh well that's democracy for you.

25 May, 2009

What a load of SH*T

We have just driven home on a stretch of road where rich people live. How do I know that they are rich people, well actually it is because of horse manure. Yes that's right, they must be rich because they have horses. As you drive along this stretch of road they are all selling bags of horse shit but at different prices. The lowest at the moment seems to be 20p a bag "please return bags".

You have to wonder who it was that thought it a reasonable idea to actually ask people for money to take away their horses shit for them. And who was the first idiot to agree to pay for it, thereby setting a precedence and making it OK.

Why should I pay to do someone the enormous favour of taking a load of unwanted crap off their hands, can you imagine ever doing it for other kinds of the same. Maybe I could save money on the water rates and get rid of the toilet, crap in a bag sit it by the front gate with a little sign and ask others to take it off my hands for £1. YUCK ! OK no , sorry very bad image there.

Yet some how it has become OK to have sacks of horse muck sitting on the front of your very expensive house.

Hold on though, horse muck is not the most expensive poo you can buy, I have a box of organic fertiliser in the shed, its actually chicken crap, it smells so bad that I can't use it on the garden this time of year for fear that someone will call the council thinking the drains are blocked. This crap was about £2 for a box, so weight for weight that is far more than the 20p a sack of horse poo.

Although I guess you need a lot more chickens to get a bag of poo than you need horses for a sack load I still think that the compost heaps at the top of the garden will provide all the organic matter I need for the vegtables.
I really don't know why I bought the chicken poo, anyone need a box, if so let me know and Ill mail it to you.

12 May, 2009

It's OK, Panic Over!

Thank goodness it arrived I had been worried for days thinking that maybe mine was lost or perhaps we had been forgotten. I was ready to phone friends and ask them if they had received it yet, but now I don't have to worry any more.

I heard the letter box go and, as I have done for days, hurried to the door, yes oh yes its here. I am saved. The long awaited has arrived and now I can relax. The panic is over and all the answers are here, I now have all I need to survive.

I have to read it carefully and understand all that it tells me so I put the kettle on to make coffee, then I will sit down and read every word.
As the kettle begins to warm up I open it up and begin to read, before the kettle reaches boiling I have finished it. But hold on, this is not what I expected, it doesn't tell me anything, it might as well be a blank piece of paper, every thing on it has already been said a hundred times on the TV, radio and in the papers. There must be more, this must be a mistake.

But no, there is nothing more to it. The government information leaflet on swine flue turns out to be as much use as a chocolate T-pot.

10 May, 2009

DNA - A little bit Innocent

The way laws are written is often confusing, sending you to pages of information just to complete one sentence with entries such as "subject to section 5 sub-section 4a of regulations 3 the meaning of [term] shall be taken as ....." and so on.

It is written like this so that lawyers, barristers and the like can make a lot of money from clients who simply don't have time to read 20 books to understand if it is ok to do some small act.

Recently an E.U. court has told the UK that it is unlawful to keep the DNA of people who are not convicted of a crime. But rather than do as they are told and remove the DNA the government has come up with an intriguing solution:-

Get arrested for a minor offence and found innocent and your DNA will be destroyed after 6 years. Get arrested for a serious offence and found innocent then your DNA will be held for 12 years before it is destroyed.

Hold on. If you are innocent you are innocent there are no degrees of it. Should we now expect court verdicts along the lines of, "your honour we find the defendant a little bit innocent of murder and a lot innocent of manslaughter and completely innocent of any thefts".

Those in favour of the new scheme say that people who are arrested for an offence, and found innocent, are more likely to commit another one. Hold on they didn't commit the first offence, remember that's what innocent means.

The usual drongos were on the radio saying "if you have done nothing wrong then you have nothing to fear". Yet despite what some would have us think DNA from crime scenes is not totally reliable. Perfect DNA is seldom found so a DNA trace could result in a 1 -1000 hit rate. This means if everyone in the UK was on the database there could be 60000 suspects for a single DNA sample left at any particular scene. So you stand a 1 in a 1000 chance of being wrongfully arrested.

Now tell me there is nothing to worry about.

30 April, 2009

Flu Pandemic

"Mortuaries and emergency services are to be put on alert and told to prepare for up to three-quarters of a million deaths from a flu pandemic." "Emergency planners have begun to look for sites for special mortuaries, each capable of storing 1,000 bodies"

That's scary stuff, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was today's headlines. But no, this is a headline story from March 2005, the last time we were all going to die a horrible death, that time from bird flu.

It is very confusing with the WHO doctors (Dr. WHO?) trying to whip up panic, and today the threat level is 5, no, I have no idea what that means to us either.
The government is even thinking of stopping some sporting and music events. Something isn't right.

I don't believe we are being told the whole truth, is this another government way to hide a new piece of big brother legislation while everyone is looking the other way, or is it really serious. Do we panic or not, where is Corporal Jones when you need him.

At my Gym its almost impossible not to see the TV screens and Sky news are loving it, every few seconds the "Breaking News" is scrolling across "Mrs Miggins was heard to cough and maybe all the customers of her pie shop are now infected" and the like.
One thing that stands out on all the news reports is the lemmings wearing face masks. I really want to spread the word that if you put your right finger in your left ear and walk about saying iggle you won't catch flu. People would do it, because for no rational reason they are all buying and wearing face masks.

There is so much to write about this flu PANDEMIC, why are people calling it swine flu when no pigs have it, but ill finish this blog entry with one more point that confuses me.

We are told to make sure we wash our hands properly, but we are also told that the virus can live for two hours on surfaces, the problem is this, I wash my hands, turn on the taps, lots of soap, good wash, rinse, then oh, um, the taps on, but I and hundreds of other have touched that before washing hour hands. I'm stuck. Do I turn off the tap and re-contaminate my hands or leave it running. It makes little difference if I am in a public toilet thought, because after all my careful hand washing I now have to touch the toilet door handle anyway.

As I said before, its all very confusing. I called the swine flu help line for advice, but all I got was crackling.