Saturday, 26 July 2008

The coach, the ex-sprinter and the ovoid

It is said that when Martin Johnson took the field at Stadium Australia on 22nd November 203, he gathered the team around him and simply said 'Let's do it'. Such a short phrase summed up the years of hard work, the beating the antipodean nations in their back yards and the winning numerous Six Nations matches were culminating on the big prize.

Almost two hours later, the big man was lifting the William Webb Ellis Trophy.

Now Mr Johnson is no fool and you know, as manager of the full England Rugby XV, that the future if the team is in the best possible hands, but is it?

It is rumored that Dwain Chambers is now to assist the backs and forwards of the national team. Why?

One of the current players said"I was looking to do some sprint training this summer and when the opportunity came to train with Britain's fastest man at a local track, it was a no-brainer."

Actually. the 'no brainer' is that with working with Britain's most high profile drug cheating sportsman, English rugby and the national team will constantly be under suspicion particularly if they regain the position of number one team in the world. Is Martin Johnson fully aware of the ramifications?

It is time that he used a short phrase to Dwain.

Two words and the second one is off.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Members of Parliment

Not content with exorbitant expenses, second homes funded by us the taxpayer, the 'John Lewis' list, the awarding of their own pay rises and 76 days of holiday over the Summer, it appears that we are funding the drinking habits of said representatives.

If they do not know the price of a pint, how can they honestly know what is best for the individual, families or the population as a whole?

Why are we paying for their alcohol consumption? Somebody tell me!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Changing tyres of the motorway.

When I had my blowout a few days, Mr AA man said that one should never change a tyre on the hard shoulder of a motorway. He knew of AA men and AA 'customers' who had died whilst trying to do so.

On the M1 today, there was a van on the hard shoulder with the drivers side rear tyre being changed. Along with the person levering up the van (less than a yard from articulated lorries doing fifty to sixty speeding by) there was five, yes five, men standing and watching the tyre changer's efforts. Do people not have any sense?

Further on, there was Mr RAC man doing the same on another vehicle.

Beggars belief!

The advice is simple. You have a blow out on the motorway, get the services to tow you to the next services and then change the wheel.

Otherwise you are a statistic waiting to happen.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Blow outs and Speeding

Had a blow out at 80 mph in the fast lane of the M6 yesterday. I'm OK and back home, tyre ripped to shreds!

Got to thinking in the ten minutes or so as I stood on the hard shoulder of the motorway. The speed of the vehicles was so fast! You do not realize it when you are sitting in solitude listening to Darkness on the Edge of Town doing seventy plus. but you do when you are standing by the roadside watching the lorries go past you creating blasts of air that make standing difficult.

Talking of speeding, just got the six points that I did have on my license removed. The government's argument has always been that speed kills so must impose limits on todays roads. However, if the government were so concerned about death and destruction as the result of speed, why do they allow cars on the roads that can do more than 70 mph? On my car, I can do 100 mph comfortably (but don't tell the Boss*).

Surely, if speed kills then cars that can go seventy plus should be banned at source, Top Gear should never again mention high performance cars and James Bond should ride in a Peugeot 106 to set a good example.

But I can't see that happening, can you? Would not be anything to do with the small matter of tax would it?

* Boss as in work boss, NOT The Boss

Monday, 30 June 2008

Another Springsteen gig. What a shame!

Another great gig by the Boss on 14th June last! Me, the kids and a reprobate from Caxton went. We sat at the back and the Boss and the boys were small but that did not matter. We were there again. The concert was great, the surprises many and the beer expensive!

All of that did not matter as this was another Springsteen gig and another time when the Boss made me laugh, made me cry but ultimately made me happy.

When going to the gig we all put £1 in the kitty to see if we could name the first song.
I had 'Land of Hope and Dreams', My daughters had 'Murder Inc' and 'Badlands', my son had 'Prove it all Night' and the reprobate from Caxton had 'No Surrender'. We all lost!

Who would have thought that he would have played a song that he gave to a Welshman many years ago? Only those who are far too anal about Bruce and that ain't me!

The drive home was long...all seven hours of it!

But it was worth it, boy was it worth it!

From www.brucespringsteen.net

From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) { lyrics } Tour Premiere
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out { lyrics }
Radio Nowhere { lyrics }
No Surrender { lyrics }
Lonesome Day { lyrics }
The Promised Land { lyrics }
Blinded By The Light { lyrics }
Magic { lyrics }
Atlantic City { lyrics }
The River { lyrics }
Gypsy Biker { lyrics }
Darlington County { lyrics }
Because The Night { lyrics }
She's The One { lyrics }
Livin' In The Future { lyrics }
Mary's Place { lyrics }
Working On The Highway { lyrics }
Devil's Arcade { lyrics }
The Rising { lyrics }
Last To Die { lyrics }
Long Walk Home { lyrics }
Badlands { lyrics }

Jungleland { lyrics }
Thunder Road { lyrics }
Born To Run { lyrics }
Rosalita { lyrics }
American Land { lyrics }

Death to the Congestion Charge

Readers will know that I have expressed a view about the unfairness of the Cambridge Congestion Charge and the way that it is linked to a governement grant.

I would like to think that I had a small part in the council's U turn about this. From arguing with the councils representatives at the local shopping centre to highlighting the stupidity of the charge on here, I did my bit. Never underestimate the power of the little guy!

And know, some of the locals did lot more.

Read more here and here!

In your best Victor Meldrew voice please...

...I simply do not believe it!

GCSE exams give you credit for being rude!

How?
If the candidate who is taking an English exam writes a 'fuck off', he/she gets 7.5%. More if they were to capitalise the first word and if they added an exclamation mark

Honest!!!

Read about it here!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Slough - the new Warsaw

The Sun proudly announced that its Polish edition was most successful in Slough, Berkshire of all places

Slough, the home of Werner Hogg, Eton College & the Mars Bar.

What chance Eton has put Polish on it's curriculum? Or that the Queen has taken on a traunch of our brothers from Poland to do her plumbing?

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Twas only 5p

I confess, I am a Sun reader.....Picked up a copy today from a local newsagent.

When handing over my 55p for the tome, noticed that there was twenty further copies on the counter....in Polish!

I thought that there was a net outflow of our fellow European neighbours over the last six months or so as they found the cost of living here too expensive so surely there is less of a market for such a publication. Seems like The Sun is trying to entice them back.

Actually, what really upset me that the price was 50p!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Another evening, another Springsteen gig

It's 7.46 p.m. and I am standing with my daughter on the covering that hides the green that Wenger's men kick the leather on. At one end there is a stage. Huge. though expected, as I have been in this moment before eight or nine times.

Then it happens. The Boss is back, baptising the Emirates stadium with the first song. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out! Bloody hell, one of the best songs first? No other gig that I have ever been to has had the artist play one of their biggest hits at the start! The standard has been set, can he keep it up? Well, of course he can.

Of course he can, and he and the E Street do. All night long. Hit after hit after hit. The old ones and the young ones watch in awe as they are played one after the other with most of us 'in the know' taking our cues and singing all in the right places. When 'Thunder Road' is played, Bruce stands as we sing to him..

'Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me'

He stands, he smiles and he knows. The audience is in the palm of his hand as we allow him to take us on his rock and roll ride.


For some of the crowd it must be their umpteenth gig, for a few it is their first. What will the few they make of the temple that is Springsteen?

In 2003, I got four tickets for Wembley Arena. I took all three of my kids to the gig in a old car that I prayed every mile would make it. The kids moaned and groaned all the way there asking why we are going to see a man play a guitar who was ten years older than their Dad. How can 'he' be 'that' good? I did not dare to mention that The Boss's sidekick another ten years older than him and decidedly the coolest man on the planet. That would have been the end and I am sure that when we arrived at Wembley they would have scampered into the London night.

We queued in the October night, listening to the sound check and I heard the moans once more. When we eventually got in, we were some fifteen metres from the front, standing amongst the variety of ages.

Then the band came on, walking methodically, to pick up their respective instruments.

From 'The Rising' to 'Thunder Road' and 23 songs in-between, he made me cry, laugh, sing, dance and made me reflect on things in my life. The kids were enthralled and captivated but most of all captured by the man and his band. My son went out and bought most of the records and my daughters 'have borrowed' ever since.

'Better than the records' they said but they missed the point there. The records only tell us what is in his mind, the concert shows us. 'He was THE best' they said and I did not disagree. 'Did you see when...', of course I did for I was there and absorbed it all. On the way back, with T shirts in hand that they still wear, they relived the concert for the two hour plus drive home. There was one happy dad in the car with three more converts to the message of the 'legendary' E Street band.

Friday night was the same though I only shared it with my eldest. Twenty eight songs and two of my favourites that I had not heard live ever before ('Candy's Room' and 'Point Blank'). The same emotions, the same feelings and the same escape from real life for a few short hours. To say that the band was good would be insulting, they were great as they are 'night after night after night'. An apparent rag bag of characters, they work seamlessly to provide the very best live entertainment that exists in the world today. The Rolling Stones may have started earlier and be great live, U2 may have better power anthems and play to bigger crowds but both of these are pretenders to the throne. No band in the world plays tighter, with more emotion and longer than the guys I saw on Friday.

Bruce, Gary, Max, Steven, Soozie, Patti, Roy (with whom I share a birthday), Gordon, Nils & Clarence, we will almost certainly never meet but thank you for everything.

If people would like to donate a little spare cash, take a little time and check out the Danny Federici Melanoma Fund.

Complete set list courtesy of www.brucespringsteen.net

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out { lyrics }
Radio Nowhere { lyrics }
The Ties That Bind { lyrics }
Lonesome Day { lyrics }
The Promised Land { lyrics }
Magic { lyrics }
Atlantic City { lyrics }
Reason To Believe { lyrics }
Candy's Room { lyrics }
Prove It All Night { lyrics }
Because The Night { lyrics }
Working On The Highway { lyrics }
Cadillac Ranch { lyrics }
Livin' In The Future { lyrics }
Mary's Place { lyrics }
Waitin' On A Sunny Day { lyrics }
Point Blank { lyrics }
Devil's Arcade { lyrics }
The Rising { lyrics }
Last To Die { lyrics }
Long Walk Home { lyrics }
Badlands { lyrics }

Thunder Road { lyrics }
Born To Run { lyrics }
Glory Days { lyrics }
Rosalita { lyrics }
Dancing In The Dark { lyrics }
American Land { lyrics }

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Credit Crunch and Global Warming

Due to the global credit crunch sales of baked beans have rocketed. People are spending less on the more luxurious food stuffs preferring to nosh on cowboy food for basic sustenance.

Now has anyone got any ideas on how to use all that additional methane?

We had better think of something or we can no longer blame cows for global warming

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Babylonian Constellations

Chaos Theory tells my brain.
A butterfly can bring us rain.

Journalists with negative views.

Seems only angels bring good news.

Look at me emotionally broke.
My bank account is newly choked.
I’m riding high on waves of misery.
Needing more of life’s chemistry.

Love is as old as the Babylonian constellations.
The mirror in my ‘scope is missing a Contessa’s reflection.
She is out there but she ain’t coming in my direction.
Love is as old as the Babylonian constellations

You said your piece, got angry
I let you have your say.
In the end I made it easy.
For you to walk away.

…Walk away

…Walk away

Love is as old as the Babylonian constellations.
The mirror in my ‘scope is missing a Contessa’s reflection.
She is out there but she ain’t coming in my direction.
Love is as old as the Babylonian constellations.

© CTM 18/06/02

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Congestion charge in Cambridge

Just got this from the local council about the proposed congestion charge. Comments later!

Dear Sir/Madam
Tackling Congestion in Cambridgeshire
I have noted from our records that you have contacted us during the consultation on our plans to tackle congestion in Cambridgeshire.
I would like to thank you again for your involvement and advise that the results of the consultation will been announced today, 6th May 2008 and these can be found on our website www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/congestion You can find the results on the left hand side of the screen, at the "Consultation Results" page. These should be available from 5.00pm onwards.
Should you have any issues accessing this site or require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me

Kim Armitt
Communications and Engagement Officer
Transport Policy & Strategy

Tel: 01223 718414

Email: kim.armitt@cambridgeshire.gov.uk
Post: Cambridgeshire County Council, ET1041, Castle Court, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP

..and apologies...

..to my reader(s)...

Long time since I posted due to a house move, an 18th birthday and my work sending me all over the country.

Oh, and playing and agonising over scrabble with one reader on Facebook. You know who you are.

Normal service will be resumed from now on.

Motoring charges

Heard on the news recently....

One in three motorists have a motoring offence whether it is speeding or parking or something else. I wonder how much that means the government and local authrities have gotten in charges or fines.

Read in the paper recently..

About 75% of motorists get off speeding fines due to technicalities and most becasue they claim in court that they never received the paperwork for court....


How do these statements stack up?

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Michael Jackson Beware!

Apparently, the Jacksons en mass are moving to Devon soon...

They had better beware... the completion is here!!!



Loved it!

Money, Money Money

In the middle of a house move at the moment so really have not time to write more here BUT I simply had to spend my coffee break between boxes commenting on two parts in the news recently.

Community Tax - Simply unbelievable that our leading politicians claim this charge on their expenses except for the slightly whiter David Cameroon! Should now all government employees have the same right? Read the list here.

More on the Cambridge Congestion charge - Staff at Addenbrookes hospital have voted a resounding NO to the charge claiming that staff cant afford it and that, as they are public workers, they should be exempt! They want hospital staff to be exempt as it is on the outskirts of the city. However,in the coming years, there is a large housing estate to be built on the southern side which would encircle the hospital. Similarly, the residents of Girton are stating that they should be on the outdide of the zone. read about it here

Who next to become protest and demand exemption for this ridiculous charge? The boys in blue get an exception (as they would have to help to enforce the charge), council workers, social workers, black welsh one-legged male lesbians, company car owners?

Seems to me that once you make one exception, you have to make several exceptions and then you have to abandon the proposal as it becomes unfair.

Every time I am asked to declare my ethnicity, I fancy the idea of stating that I am a welsh black one-legged male lesbian.

Just for fun!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Education - A Simple Idea.

In the light of active disruption by spoilt children, the snobbery that can exist within the educational world, the suggestion that class sizes could rise to 70 when the teaching unions about to vote on class sizes, memos about the 'toxic nature' of family breakdown and the perceived increased need for support for the tweenager, education is much in the news at the moment.

It seems that everyone, and teachers in particular, want to teach only the best motivated students and then in groups of twenty or so. However, class sizes are around thirty and there are some in every class that seek to disrupt lessons.

In the next government where Jeremy Clarkson is PM and I become the Secretary of State for Education. At least and unlike many education secretaries before hand, I can speak of having many years experience in this field.

Back to the point!

Here is the manifesto of solely one item but the one item that will radically improve all schools.

Attending school becomes OPTIONAL for all pupils over the age of 14.

This will have the following effects;

  1. Only committed students will attend school and hence teachers will only be teaching the motivated. Teachers now happy!
  2. Parents will have to take more responsibility for their children as those who will decide to stay at home will have to be looked after. They become actively responsible for the futures of the kids. Parents focused
  3. Funding released by the non attendees can be used for the motivated. Head teachers happy!
  4. The 'bad' teachers will be redeployed out of the classroom and thus the overall standard of teaching will improve. Parents happy!
  5. Schools will have the right to exclude any pupil that is a pain and transfer the care of that pupil to the parent. Schools happy!
  6. Children will rapidly learn that if they want to attend school they have to behave. Thats it. Simple! Schools happy again!
  7. With the wealth of training opportunities outside of the classroom funded by the government, pupils who do not gain GSCE's/NVQ's/Diploma's can pick up their education when they need it and when they become motivated to learn. Government happy!
  8. Most of all, the function of school to educate will become paramount rather than to baby sit the currently ill-mannered and destructive pupil and allow them to disrupt lessons. Schools happy yet again!
I await my call up to the next government.

Alas, I do not think that it will happen as I am pathologically honest and would be unable to complete an expense form.

Monday, 24 March 2008

No Anger

No anger, no anger
No more, no more

There’s no anger.
No anger, no more.
I couldn’t love you anymore.

Fed up with misery,
Fed up with crawling.
Mobile by my side,
Not me she is calling.

She left me hanging,
One September morning.
Packed her love away,
Left without warning.

Glass so empty,
Barmen please come here.
I’m fine being solo,
Just me and my beer.

There’s no anger.
No anger, no more.
I couldn’t love you anymore.

CTM © 3/6/05

End of the Bar

And on a similar vein...

I used to dine with millionaires who spawned caviar.
Have social intercourse with the rock and roll stars.
Greasy pole has slipped me by, nothing left to lose.
I’m just the lonely guy sitting at the end of your bar.

Landlord, send another beer to the end of the bar.
Not sad but lonely at the end of the bar.
My day’s been so busy, I’ve driven too far
One more ale please at the end of your bar.

The shock was total, no four minute warning.
I’m fed up with the misery that she left me in
Thinking how she left me one September morning.
Keeping to myself with just a glass to cry in.

The A505, the boring road to Baldock.
Feeling successful driving my company car.
Got just enough change to buy another beer.
To be the lonely guy sitting at the end of your bar

In my car
CD’s were playing
In my car
Springsteen was singing
In my car
Love is a journey.
In my car
No-one joins me
In my car
Dreaming of a quiet beer
In my car
Waiting and drinking alone
In my car
Parked outside the pub
My car
Waiting for me when I leave the bar.

Landlord, send another beer to the end of the bar.
End of the bar.
End of the bar.
The day’s been busy and I’ve driven so far
Now I’m stuck at the end of the bar

Break Ups and Silly Love Songs

When Springsteen was breaking up from his first marriage, he went into the studio and produced 'Tunnel of Love' - an album with songs fraught about relationships and break ups.

When Marvin Gaye got divorced, his ex got all proceeds from 'Hear, My Dear', another unexpected excellent album dealing with troubled relationships.

What's the betting that if Sir Paul writes a single song that mentions love or breakups or divorce that Heather will sue? Incidentally, she has had her name changed from Mucca to Pornocchio as a result of the court case!

After all, Lennon and McCartney (both together and individually) have written some of the best love songs ever...

I hear Pornocchio and Sir Paul are going back into court over the small matter of libel.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I am so cool - official!

As I am 'billy no mates' down my local hostelry, not cause I am a social outcast but because I prefer to drink alone and read the daily rags! One can, you know!

Article in the Mail caught my eye...

Apparently to be cool you have to like/buy/do the following...
  • Fruit Smoothies (make my own)
  • Muffins (I am a sucker for the blueberry and the double chocolate chip in Starbucks/Costa/Nero)
  • Classic albums ('Born to Run', 'Crime of the Century' are my listening pleasure in the car)
  • Memory sticks (I have one, my kids don't but I do! Should they be called flash drives instead)
  • 20 bottle crates of lager (....yup....hic.....double hic....got to get another crate... am as missed as a pewt !...)
  • Peppers (red or green or yellow in your spaghetti bolignaise kids?)
  • Small oranges (tangerines...yummy!!!)

As I do all of the above, I officially claim the title of the coolest 48 year old dad in the whole wide world!

Heather Mills Part 2

For those interested, you may like to read some of what the papers say...

Time Magazine

Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph again

New Musical Express

People

and of course The Sun

All say the same thing....Paul was consistent and believable in the court and Heather wasn't....

Heather Mills

If you had worked for four years and got £24.3 million which consisted of a lump sum of £16.5 million plus £7.8 million in assets, I think that you could judge that your life was successful. That is just over £8 million per year and a better rate than all professional footballers.

Heather Mills (now ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney) does not agree with this. As well as the above, she gets £35k per year for their daughter plus a nanny (paid for by Sir Paul) and security (paid for again by Sir Paul)

Yet she moans and complains on the steps of the court that, because of the amount that she got for settlement is so 'low', their daughter will have to fly Economy Class 'whilst her father can go first class'. She also states that Sir Paul's riches were closer to the £800 million than the £400 million that was stated in court.

By going on about the cash, she even puts proper 'gold diggers' to shame! She even is thinking of contesting the settlement.

Can I be the first to say that I don't think she has a leg to stand on?

Saturday, 15 March 2008

MP's Expenses

Two stories caught my eye today.

This one about the John Lewis list where MP's can claim back expenses such as new kitchens (@£10k) and £795 for a sideboard! That is on top of their large salaries. Apparently prices are suggested from the 'John Lewis' list as that department store is best for cost and quality. Also this list for MP's is not made public for MP's 'in case of abuse'!

John Lewis stores are reporting that sales are down this week in their department stores because of television sport! Could it be that MP's have decided to spend their expenses elsewhere?

John Lewis stores also report that they 'faced "very challenging" trading for the rest of this year and possibly into next year as the economic downturn took its toll'.

And who is to blame for the economic downturn? MP's not managing the economy?

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Bank Statements

Last Tuesday we had the 'Budget' here in the UK. Alastair Darling on the news altering this tax and that tax for something or other. More tax on booze, fags and fuel which the British person kind of expects nowadays. Punish the drinker, the smoker and the driver becasue they are the easy targets. And welcomed by the tea-totaller, the non-smoker and the ikes of John 'two jags' Prescott.

Every month I get a bank statement. I monitor my finances very carefully and ensure that I never go overdrawn. A credit to me and my bank gets frustrated that they can not charge me exorbitant charges.

My question here is, as I pay taxes and pay into the British economy, why cant I see the statement that states the financial position that the country is in? Surely the taxes that I pay (both direct and indirect) mean that this countries bank statement is needed to be shown to all of us?

I am writing this as I watch 'Question Time' on the BBC. The politicians and guests on there are arguing money facts and policy. No mention of the actual balance of the country at all. Simply the guys are stating election speeches so that they remain in 'power'.

This is the same 'power' that allows MP's to claim huge expenses including the right to claim £10,000 for a new kitchen!

Am I wrong to think that there is something wrong here?

Monday, 10 March 2008

An Intimate Affair

Sorry it has been a longer time than I would have liked to write.

My job involves me travelling the country and visiting strange places.

Recently, I went to a venue and needed the loo. Found the empty cubicle and proceeded to do the business so to speak. Got up to use the loo roll on the appropriate place and found that the smallness of the room prohibited effective cleansing of the orifice.

A thought flicked through the brain cell. Was this particular room (with the ceramic bowl) designed by a woman?

As revenge?

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

New phone.

Got a new phone a few days ago from my work. The device is a camera, music player, text message server, television and I can also view the interweb. I haven't got to the end of the manual yet so there make be more tricks the device can do. Who knows?

BTW, I can also make a call and talk to real people if I am not occupied with listening to music, watching television or taking pictures and may I use this forum to apologise to all that may call me whilst I am doing any of the above.

Sorry folks but your call may not be as important as me catching up with the latest from EastEnders/Hollyoaks/BBC news.

Incidentally the manual weighs 202 grams

The phone weighs 132 grams.

Am I missing something here?

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Friday, 15 February 2008

One Hour

For Hannah....something I wrote after a single meeting... now she is not mine but someone else's... ah well...

First meeting after phone conversations.
Will real life be better than our Internet connection?
Saw you and knew there’s no need to redial.
Blue jeans, brown jacket, the biggest smile.
You were standing still on the moving stairs.
A vision of beauty rising there.


Chorus
Hey The Love Express has just stopped at my station.
Guard shouting ‘Anyone for the love connection?’
Hey Mister ‘It took one hour, just one hour,
Just one hour to fall in love with he
r’.

You talked with unbelievable charm.
Inside I’m nervous, outside I’m calm.
I looked, admired and as you spoke.
You smiled; you laughed at all the silly jokes.
I knew that I had to keep the feelings discreet.
I knew that I was falling, falling so deep
.

Repeat Chorus

Just one hour it took for me to fall in love with you as I remember.
Was it only sixty minutes on one Saturday in late December
?
Yep, back came the love train, thundering down parallel lines true.

Reminding me how, when and where I fell in love with you.


Last cup of coffee, our date ended.
Feel my faith in love has been finally mended.
I don’t know but I hope it’ll last.
Want to think about us, move on from the past.
In my mind, the double six has been cast.
Will you know if I am going too fast
?

Repeat Chorus

© CTM 5th January 2003

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Immigration/Emigration

Today, news reached me that a Eric King-Turner (aged 102) has become the oldest immigrant to New Zealand. Apparently, he wants to have a quite life and plenty of trout fishing.

Good luck, my boy! But the novelty of this and the
delight for Eric that we may feel over this single case hides a real problem that is getting worse here.

Reminds me of the figure given recently that about 750 people a day are leaving these shores to set up life abroad. If money allowed, I would be one of these and settle in my preferred country of Italy close to the ski slopes.

(PS One of my readers is an ex-pat...and no, not my only reader!!!)

Today in the Daily Express, the headline states there are 860 people coming into Britain every day!

Worse still is the report by
Professor Tim Hatton, an immigration specialist at the University of Essex, who published a paper for the Royal Economic Society about the phenomenon. "Our best estimate is that for every 100 in, there's 30 to 50 out. The article is here.

As expected, the EU are taking steps. You would expect that wouldn't you?. Their answer? Satellites! I am so glad that we pay so much dosh to the guys in Brussels, Strasburg, The Hague to come up with such wonderful ideas!

But seriously, am I the only one that is concerned for my country?

Monday, 11 February 2008

The Wrong Sort of Musak?

Walked through my (very) local shopping centre this morning.

Passed a shop called Pumpkin Patch which specialises in kids clothes and my ears caught the background music that was playing. Springsteen's 'Hungry Heart'

The lyrics ( (c) Bruce Springsteen ) of the first verse says...

'Got a wife and kids in Baltimore jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where its flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going'

A father walking out in his kids?

Next verse in the song tells us that the guy was in a destructive relationship and the reason why they part (with her still with the kids).

'I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again'

So he hated his life and is now back on the prowl?

The last verse tells us that the guy needs anybody he can find becasue he does not want to be alone.


'Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don't make no difference what nobody says
Ain't nobody like to be alone'

Now Bruce is singing about a single situation that he may know about.

But my question is....


Are the kind folks of Pumpkin Patch trying to influence the youngsters and young families and fathers of today?

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Football and Money

Robbie Fowler (ex Liverpool and England footballer) has about 100 houses. He is rich beyond his wildest dreams and good luck to him. If he is an excellent landlord (and I have no reason at to suggest otherwise), I would say that he has used the wealth from kicking the pigskin well and is providing a worthwhile social service to the community. I did see a report that two teachers had done the same thing many year ago across the south west of England. Property kings like these are necessary in today's world due to the lack of council housing.

Cristiano Ronaldo (current Manchester United and Portugal footballer) wants to stay with United. Good for him. Loyalty like this is rare amongst footballers, many making more money from frequent transfers rather than actually playing. As a reward, he may be signing a £7million per year contract. That's £134,000 per week. Yes per week! This is obscene!

I would really like to see one star player refuse to sign such a contract stating clearly 'it's too much. I would play for you for half the wages that you want to pay me'. Or something similar, anything that says that this upward spiral of wages is not right for simply playing football. Until this happens football will have higher an higher pay settlements and have to find ways to pay for it.

Of course, some players imported from countries that are not as rich as the UK send copious amount of cash home and maybe exploiting the system for the benefit of people in their homeland. I can understand that.

But will one footballer who does not need the money stand up?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Buying a lottery ticket

I have two regular lines that I must have for each lottery draw.

('MUST' as in I get a cold sweat if I don't have my ticket...)

Anyway, went into Sainsbury's today to buy my Wednesday ticket. Filled in the entry and offered it to the shop assistant behind the counter who produced the ticket!

Went to pay using my bank card and they refused payment!

Not the bank card but Sainsbury's! It seems that you can only buy a lottery ticket wish cash and/or coin of the realm. Bank cards strictly NOT allowed!

Why?

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

UK vs US

Americans wrapped up in 'Super Tuesday'

Britons enjoying Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes and Politicians on the same day... is there a connection?

Computers and Cars - The Truth Is Finally Out

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........ Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the motorway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Some Modern Definitions

SALAD DODGER.
An excellent phrase for an overweight person.

SWAMP-DONKEY
A deeply unattractive person.

TESTICULATING.
Waving your arms around and talking bxxxxxxks.

BLAMESTORMING.
Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a Project failed, and who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER.
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS.
The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY.
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

SITCOMs.
Single Income, Three Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".

SINBAD.
Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate.

AEROPLANE BLONDE.
One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a 'black box'.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE.
The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE.
The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.

404.
Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found" meaning that the requested document could not be located.

AUSSIE KISS.
Similar to a French Kiss, but given down under.

OH-NO SECOND.
That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all').

GREYHOUND.
A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare.

JOHNNY-NO-STARS.
A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical adolescent who works in a burger restaurant. The 'no-stars' comes from the badges displaying stars that staff at fast-food restaurants often wear to show their level of training.

MILLENNIUM DOMES.
The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.

MONKEY BATH.
A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: "Oo! Oo! Oo! Aa! Aa! Aa!".

MYSTERY BUS.
The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the toilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.

MYSTERY TAXI.
The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up, whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 10-Pinter in your bed instead.

BEER COAT.
The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3:00am.

BEER COMPASS.
The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after booze cruise, even though you're too drunk to remember where you live, how you got here, and where you've come from.

BREAKING THE SEAL.
Your first pee in the pub, usually after 2 hours of drinking. After breaking the seal of your bladder, repeat visits to the toilet will be required every 10 or 15 minutes for the rest of the night.

TART FUEL.
Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.

PICASSO BUM.
A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got 4 buttocks.

Life Imitating Art?

Rediscovered an oldish DVD of 'Schlindler's List' the other day. Put it in and watched it again. Must be the fifth or sixth time that I had seen it.

I do have a passion for war films ever since I first saw 'The Dambusters' and 'Reach for the Sky' many years ago. Coming from military stock also helped.

The main reason that I watch them is not to do a body count or see people killed on screen but sometimes we need reminding that we are here because a lot of people died for our right of freedom in selfless acts of bravery that I cant even imagine. The opening scene of 'Saving Private Ryan' chokes me up because it reminds me that that in a few hours on 6th June 1944, thousands died so we could have an opinion.

I digress but you get the point here.

At the beginning of 'Schlindler's List' there is a scene where the tables are put out, smart and efficient Nazi's say down and the selection starts of the Jewish population. Brutal and unforgiving, the process continues with no consideration of the people that they were instantly judging. Scenes like this remind us all of how nasty we can be to one another. Let it never happen again and lets protest should we see or know about, such things happening again.

However, I had occasion to visit my local council offices on a matter of missing council tax.

Behind already laid out tables, sat the unkempt officers of the council. Their approach was brutal and unforgiving, rude to me as the 'customer' and totally impersonal. I had gone to them to sort the matter out and yet I received a lecture from a Mr Dxxxxxxx. I was receiving the standard response. I was a naughty boy according to the attitude that I got, I was not a 'person' but a 'wallet' to pay the council tax. If I did not pay promptly, then legal action would ensue. That was made very clear to me. Yet there I was offering to pay the costly and unforgiving tax!

Now I am not saying that the untidy people behind the desks are Nazi's. But I am saying that they are rude, impersonal and without understanding of their 'customers'. The personal touch that we as normal people expect as one human being to another has been lost in their training. It was as if their God was the doctrine of the Council Tax.

By the way, this was not the first time that I had seen the some of the people working behind the desks. On previous occasions, I was insulted by a larger blonde lady. She was there on my last visit and I witnessed, again, a brutish approach to her work. I was also rudely treated by a shorter and younger guy. However, there was one guy that had not lost his perspective on life and I salute him though I only ever saw him once behind the desks.

I have held back on my fury here and chosen my words carefully here for I still have to deal further with the council on various matters.

Am I in a Catch 22?

...which incidentally is one war film that I have not seen! And that's where I came in

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Money,money,money

Read the Daily Telegraph today?

The front page! Brilliant combination of stories...all with a financial theme.

Higher tax payers paying up to £700 per year tax because the increase in the tax threshold was moved in line with general inflation not the rate of wage inflation which has risen faster. A very subtle stealth tax according to critics of Gordo and his boys and girls.

Inflationary pressure is leading to up to a million mortgage holders suffering and being put at jeopardy of losing their homes. Bet they could do with the additional £700 per year above if they were a higher tax payer.

And what does out taxes pay for? Part of it goes towards Gordo and the rest of the 600 plus elected members of the House of Commons. One of these members of parliament, Derek Conway, has been exposed as paying his two sons (one of whom wants to be 'Queen Sloane') and Mrs Conway some £260,000 as they are, apparently, part of his orifice... sorry office!

Henry 'Queen Sloane' Conway, his son and an undergraduate of the University of Cambridge, has never worked for his father according to his mates and received £10,000 per year. Used some of the dosh to throw a aprty with the title of 'Fuck Off I'm Rich'. Nice to know where our cash goes is it not?

Unbelievable...and the MP's are voting tomorrow whether to suspend him for ten days! Only ten???

Talking of politicians the Speaker of the House, The Right Honorable Michael Martin, spent £20,000 of taxpayers money over last summer issuing libel actions to protect his own personal reputation!

Unbelievable....

Gordo nicks the cash and the MP's get greedy! No chance that we being exploited is there? No wonder, Gordo chickened out of an election.

Great front page!

Bad move, rich lawyers?

Every Summer time my old school has a reunion. I think that I will go to the next one. I might get rich now that the High Court has made their latest ridiculous decision.

As I see the aged faces of my compatriots, I shall look over and see if they hold an American Excuse card or a Gold Basterdcard. If their wallets/purses are laden with such plastic, and I can make out a case that I suffered abuse at their hands, then I shall sue them! I can do this because of this ruling.

Mrs A was not the first person that was by that utter bastard who won £7 million on the Lotto. She may not be the last should our legal system allow him out on the streets again. Serial sexual predators like Hoare should be locked up forever and never let out. But the touts will always find a way to earn a crust by exploiting legalities to allow such scum to roam around again.

However, because the scumbag won the jackpot, Mrs A can now claim compensation. This is a dangerous move.

There will be a floodgate of claims and counter claims that will clam up the legal system only earning money for the touts.

When a judge sentences a criminal, the punishment is given out. Now, as the victim, you can further punish the individual over and above the legal system. There is now no limit.

So when is my next school reunion?

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Congestion in Cambridge 3

Just done the online questionnaire that Cambridge Council have put up.

Very badly put together this! Almost deliberate in it's way that it leads you....

You have to be careful here, the way that the questions are asked and the order that they are given is that it assumes that there is a high level of congestion and that you will want to reduce it. In fact, it is a very biased questionnaire and one that will give the council the answers that they want to hear.

If you only traveled in Cambridge at rush hour, you are led to believe and it is implied that the congestion is particularly bad here.

Also, with being online and with anyone in the world able to answer it, there is a major opportunity for the council to get people to answer the questions and so 'load' the results in their favor. What is to stop people completing the questionaire using an elderly neighbours name and address when they know that they will not have a computer in their home?

Not saying that this will happen but it is a distinct possibility.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Congestion in Cambridge 2

Been looking at other blogs for views on the congestion charges that are currently beng considered for Cambridge.

Interesting reading...three blogs were of particular interest.

That Canadian Girls blog outlines an email that she recieved when asked about the consultation process. It seems that you either have to go online to register your comment (which of course disadvantages the vast amount of car drivers that do not access the net) or attend one of the roadshows staged at various venues across the county and in Suffolk. Interesting to note that these roadshows occur at a diverse set of venues including;
  • Park and Ride places (you would expect those that use P'n'R to be more on favor, would you not?)
  • Towns such as St Ives and Ely whose residents may or nay not frequent Cambridge and hence be considerably less concerned about the charge.
  • Towns that are further away such as Haverhill and Newmarket which are in Suffolk. Does the fate of the congestion charge lie on their hands?
All in all, this is a disgraceful way to fnd out the opinions of those that matter in this case.

The Daily Maybe also comments on the charge and has some very interesting remarks about the polictical nature of all of this including comment regarding possible impropriety. There is also a reason given for not giving the residents of Cambridge the referendum that they should have, the comments made by the council about 'overbidding' the amount needed and the way that businesses will change their working days to avoid paying the charge. I just hope the reast of the country follows suit. As if...

Phil Smith's blog is a little more extreme and cynical in its view though nothing would surprose me here. He may be on the wrong track (sic) but I can see that maybe he is not. You never know in this world.

Incidentally, if you do want to go and complete Cambridge City Council's online questionaire, then please go here.

Congestion in Cambridge

If you travel around the conservative city of Cambridge in the morning, you ill experience congestion. In my experience, no greater than that of Manchester, Sheffield, Blackburn and Norwich. All cities that I have been to in the recent weeks and months.

The council say that that is a problem and that they want to do something about it. They want to increase bus usage, increase people riding on bicycles and getting people within the city to walk more. Admiral aims, I am sure that regular readers will agree.

However, one of the most controversial parts of the scheme is to introduce a congestion charge so that every car/vehicle/van that moves between the hours of 7.30 to 9.30 pays a charge of £3-£5 per day. This means that anyone in a moving car will pay around £600-£1000 per year just to travel. In addition to car tax. On top of fuel tax. It appears that there will be 37 fixed camera positions as well as mobile cameras out at this time. If you move a car ten yards, you will be liable. Approximately 90% plus of all journeys will be captured and charged. This would raise about £35 million pounds per annum it seems. He stressed that the congestion charge was the last action that would be last thing to happen.

The figures above come from a conversation that I had with one of the councils transport guru's that manned a stand in a local shopping center today. Incidentally, it appears that £10 million of the £35 million wold go on administration charges. Thats a whopping 28%! No plans had been made what to do with the £25million left over it seems.

I am wondering how many people will decide to look for work elsewhere because the council would now employ an effective tax simply to arrive for work?

The view of the guy that I spoke with was that there was a problem (no more so than most of the cities that I visit) and that it needed to be solved. One way (the only way?) would be to use a grant from Gordon Brown and his boys and girls. This would be used to increase bus usage through dedicated bus lanes, more cycle paths and to provide more park and ride locations.

I discussed at length the proposal and came to understand that in order to alleviate the 'problem' the labour government would give £500 million to solve the issue. One condition of this government grant was that the council then had to impose the congestion charge. There appears no other way to 'solve' the financial aspects and hence the congestion charge will become a reality.

Worryingly, the method of consultation seems to consist of selective questionnaires to chosen groups of Cambridge people and these roadshows. The council also refuses to hold a referendum on the matter believing that their will be a 60% anti congestion vote.

More worryingly and when asked the question, "Can you assure me that none of the council will benefit directly or indirectly on a personal level?" the answer was that no assurance could be given.

Conclusions
1. The Cambridge congestion charge will become a reality. Once here, what odds will I get that it wont also happen in Manchester, Sheffield, Blackburn, Norwich and other cities? Cambridge will be setting a model for other cities to follow and that will mean more additional taxation for the already hard up ad much put upon motorist.
2. Applying 28% to £500 million equals £140 million. Will that be the administration charges? Thats an awful lot of jobs within the council!
3. Up to £1000 pounds per year is a lot of additional money to find just to work in the city. Will that lead to businesses not being able to function? Will smaller businesses be able to meet the additional rise in pay demands? Will teachers, teaching assistants and nurses be able to afford this additional tax?
4. Once we are all riding on buses and have congestion charge, we now have the council able to increase these charges at will. As the guy at the shopping centre stated, there needs to be a change in the way people act and the council had a duty to impose this changes for the greater good.
5. We do not want the congestion charge and yet we are going to have it. Period. We are going to have to get used to it. There is NO alternative to it from the councils point of view.
6. The council is being very dictatorial in this process and claiming that proper consultation is taking place. Roadshows are NOT proper consultations and the refusal to have a referendum within the city is NOT right. Come on, lets have a council that has some balls (apologies to any female members of the council but you know what I mean here)

I call on Cambridge City council to listen to the residents, to forget any congestion charge and to make it clear that if the roads of the city do become congested then we will make our own choices on our travel options.

If there are factual errors in the above or any named member of the council wishes to comment on any of the above, I shall be happy to add their comments.

Helen...

... I am naked...

Dress me!

Now vote!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Parenthood

'Dad, please can I have some money to go down the shop to get some milk as we have run out?

If your offspring asks you that question around the age of thirteen then you know that you are getting it right with the kids.

'Dad, fancy a pint? I'm buying'

If your offspring asks you that question at the age of eighteen then you have definitely got it right!

Lessons in Life 2

You're out at the shops with your beloved.

She has dragged you into her favourite clothes shop, buying a skirt/jeans/dress. She comes out of the changing room and and the one question all blokes fear...

'Does my bum look big in this?'

There is no correct answer to this question at all for us blokes..

If we say 'No of course your bum does not look big' we will be accused of lying...

If we say 'Yes, your derrière looks large' we will get accused of thinking that she is getting fat...

It's a no win situation...

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Geographers Beware

In the news today, comes evidence that Geography is not having enough takers due to Health and Safety Regulations.

Also Geography has become 'boring' and boring pupils!

The government are trying to get involved to rectify the matter.

I used to be a teacher of Science, (readers, I can assure you that I have been cured), and witnessed the whole destruction of the teaching subject due to H&S issues imposed from above over many many years.

Actually it became very very boring and Science today is about simple ideas that used to be covered in one year at school. For instance the government of the day chose to take the Geology out of Geography and put it in Chemistry. Isn't that now ironic!

Look at the Science for the Twenty First Century Syllabus to see what I mean!

So, this is a call for all Geographers to revolt, become revolting (sic) and stand up for your rights to keep the subject interesting. Do not let the bureaucrats get their way. It's your duty to do so!

Otherwise Geography will be based upon the floor plan of your school and what you can see from your window. No field trips, no walkabout's, no substance....

It's Like Putting a Gun to your Head

Regular readers may like to read my first ever published poem. Those of you that actually know me in person may like to comment on the irony of the subject matter.I will things at that! LOL


Scientific investigation
Says that
Regular inhalation
Of tobacco smoke
Could slowly choke your lungs
Of vital, life-giving
Air .

A morning puff,
An evening drag
It all poisons you.

Cigarettes are drugs,
But can be stopped .
Would you like
Your lungs to become ineffective masses of tissue
Because of cancer?
Or big horrible ulcers to appear
In your stomach?

This can result
If
"Just one more"
Becomes
"Just one too many" .
An average smoker
Knocks five years
Off his life
Think about it .

C.Martin 1974

I was in the Fourth Form (Year 10 to the youngsters!)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

I’ll Be Satisfied

Don’t let me fall for the first woman I see.
Don’t leave me alone, suspended and free.
Don’t send me an angel lent from heaven above.
Don’t want a gold-digger needing wallets of love.

Don’t want any anger, definitely no lies.

Give me someone to love,

And I’ll be satisfied.

Hey Lord, it’s simple what I am asking.
Do me a favour, a simple little thing.
Hey Lord listen to me, it’s simple, realise.
Give me someone to love.
And I’ll be satisfied.
Hey, Lord just listen to me, keep this man sane.
Give me the power to love again.
And I’ll be satisfied.
And I’ll be satisfied.

Don’t want tight skirts and high ideals.
Don’t want her to stumble in stiletto heels.
Don’t want long legs and a ladder to heaven.
Don’t want a harlot twenty-four seven

Don’t want a history of emotional ties.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.

Hey Lord, it’s simple what I am asking.
Do me a favour, a simple little thing.
Hey, Lord just a moment, look me in the eye.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.
Hey, Lord just listen to me, keep this man sane.
Give me the power to love again.
And I’ll be satisfied.
And I’ll be satisfied.

Don’t want Buffy or any vampire slayer.
Don’t want trouble from an Internet player.
Don’t want long blonde hair in a Lotus car.
Don’t want a siliconed television star.
Don’t want a make-up queen that needs a disguise.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.

Hey Lord, it’s simple what I am asking.
Do me a favour, a simple little thing.
Hey, Lord can you give me a second try.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.
Hey, Lord just listen to me, keep this man sane.
Give me the power to love again.
And I’ll be satisfied.
And I’ll be satisfied.

I want an angel I can never own.
I want a party girl that can party at home.
I want commitment everyone can see.
I want holding hands, her and me.
I want someone that knows mind.
I want someone who says ‘hands off, your mine’.
I want someone with beauty behind her eyes.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.

Hey Lord, it’s simple what I am asking.
Do me a favour, a simple little thing.
Hey, Lord I’m praying you be on my side.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.
Hey, Lord just listen to me, keep this man sane.
Give me the power to love again,
And I’ll be satisfied.
And I’ll be satisfied.
Give me someone to love,
And I’ll be satisfied.
And I’ll be satisfied.

© CTM 2/2/03

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Thought for the Day

We've really got to hand it to the Venetians when they invented Venetian Blinds.
Let's face it if it wasn't for them it'd be curtains for everybody.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Lessons in Life 1

In the film 'The Outlaw Josey Wales' (1976), the character player by John Vernon ('Fletcher') says a line...

"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining"

Every since I first heard it, in 1976, it has become one of life's mantras.

Surveys

There never seems a day that goes by without some survey or other being published. BBC news on the radio seems particularly fond of them. I usually ignore them.

Over the years, I have been through the following cycle.
  1. 'eat margerine cos it's healthy and full of unsaturated fats'
  2. 'do not eat margerine cos it's not healthy and full of chemicals'
  3. 'dont eat butter cos its full of saturated fats'
  4. 'eat butter cos its natural'
I'll just stick to what tastes good!

I digress.

Today there is a survey published that says those born under the astrological sign of Cancer are most likely to have a secret affair.

The complete list is...

Cancer 11.54%
Aries 9.53%
Gemini 8.99%
Leo 8.56%
Aquarius 8.56%
Libra 8.27%
Pisces 8.03%
Sagittarius 7.86%
Scorpio 7.84%
Capricorn 7.82%
Taurus 7.72%
Virgo 5.27%

This list was made up from a dating site.

Three points.

I am a Cancerian. Supposedly home loving and homemaking. I have never had an affair at all as I believe that you should stay committed to the other person. Unlike one or two or maybe more ex's that DID have an affair. How can you be home loving and a Lothario?

What actually makes someone have an affair is that they can get away with it, they believe that what they are getting outside of the relationship is better than within it and that they had given up trying within their current relationship. It's NOTHING to do about your date of birth.

Thirdly, do my (few) readers know that 84.3238745% of all statistics are quoted inaccurately?

How many more in the same position?

I offer my readers this. I think that it truly shows the position that this country is presently in.

Every Brit should inwardly digest the comments made by Lucy and the Sun Columnist

Monday, 7 January 2008

Best Cracker Joke Ever?

Q. What do you call a chicken in a shell suit?

A. An egg!

If you can beat this then please add a comment.

Hollywood got it wrong... again!

Years ago, in a land where the Nissan Hut was king and Saturday nights were about being confined to campus, my school put on films. Not videos or DVDs but real films through a cranky projector that was amongst the audience. When Reel One ended, the room remained dark and you could hear the projectionists curse audibly but silently as they fumbled to change the reels as quickly as possible.

In the back half of the long Nissan hut, much snogging took place and a quick fumble betwixt girl and boy whilst those at the front waited for Reel Two.

We watched Doomwatch and others, the choice having been make by the teacher in charge of the Film Society months before. Most of the time he got it right though sometimes there was the odd turkey, about one per term!

One film that grabbed me was 'The Omega Man' starring Charlton Heston. Loved it. Great film and, for me, along with 'Soylent Green' one of the films that I could watch again and again.

OK call me a nerd, I do not care.

Therefore, I eagerly awaited the remake of 'The Omega Man' starring Will Smith which is, as you know, is called 'I Am Legend'. I went to see it. The providence was good. Great actor whom I admire and great story whose premise is unreal but believable as if it could happen. What could go wrong?

Having paid my £7.10, I sat with the Maltesers and the Fanta (which cost me almost as much as the film itself) I reposed in the cinema for my amusement and entertainment.

Well everything! It was crap! At one point you are expected to believe that the antagonist is rescued by a young slight woman and her son in the middle of the night by the 'undead' who are are deadly as pride of lions. You see roaming deer killed by rogue lions (presumably escaped from New York Zoo) and then the threat of these wild animals never appear again. You see Mr Smith's character live on the ground floor where he lives undetected until he comes back in the dark. It's too unreal with no human element. In 'The Omega Man' there was a dialog between the survivor (Heston) and the 'undead' which made the film more real.

Forget that, made the film real!

Will Smith is a great actor but he cant hold a movie on his own which this movie script essentially asks him to do. He needs a repartee between him and others to make him believable. Indeed, his dog Samantha is more convincing as an actor.

Disappointed? I sure was. Now I must look for 'The Omega Man' on DVD. Anyone got it?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Bank Account of Jeremy Clarkson

Some say he is the man that takes the pulse of nations pubs and pro actively pontificates on the thoughts of the persons found propping up the public bar.

Some say that he eats pizza ... uncooked

All we know is he's called Jeremy Clarkson!

When the government lost all the bank details of all parents in the UK some weeks ago, this well known wit, Top Gear presenter and occasional motoring journalist gave his bank details out in his column in The Sun Newspaper.

This was to show that, actually, the details were irrelevant and that we should not be ......(typical JC pause) ....worried.

Had to laugh when in his column today, he announced that someone had set up a direct debit to take £500 from his account to the ..... (another JC pause) ... British Diabetic Association.

And, apparently, the culprit(s) cannot be found out due to the Data Protection Act. The DPA is all about the keeping of details about people on computers private. Ironic or what?

However, he did apologize that perhaps he had been a little hasty in his comments.... before.

Amazes me how he did notice that £500 had been taken from his account and waited until his statement arrived. Us mere mortals know when 5p is removed from our accounts.

Secondly it seems that if someone simply knows the sort code, bank account number and name then they can steal from you and the banks have to aid the criminal by not revealing who did it! A government law that prevents the police from finding out stuff due to the government agency's incompetence!

There is something very wrong here!

Not surprisingly and nonetheless, I like what he has to say almost all of the...time.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Migrants

The News of the World reported that Eastern European beggars are now forcing the true blue British beggars onto less profitable places. They also reported that these EC beggars are muscling in on food kitchens stopping out beggars getting their fill.

In Cambridgeshire, we have an increase of Drink Driving offences from our EC immigrants. Seems like after the magnificent effort that the Police have made over the years to tell the residents of the UK the dangers of drink driving are now blown.

Link is here.

Is this what being in Europe really means?

So...

...we as a generous peoples;

1. Can house the beggars of Europe and allow them to roam the streets,

2. And allow them to top up their 'dole' (paid for out of our taxes) from our highly taxed incomes,

3. They then buy a car with ll of our dosh,

4. So that they kill us on our streets because they drink driving.

This is madness!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Economic Models explained with Cows - 2008 update

SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.

NAZISM
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.

BUREAUCRATISM
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

SURREALISM
You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows. Both are mad.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy....

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.

AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

The 'Last Email' Post

If someone berates and insults you and you roll over then you are being bullied and they are the bully.

If someone berates and insults you and you dare to comment back putting your side then it's called a frank exchange of views.

If someone berates and insults you aggressively and you fight back putting your side then it's called a frank exchange of views and you are not responsible for the others feelings no matter what they say.

Why is it that when some woman that berates and insults you and you have a frank exchange of views they feel entitled to play the 'you hurt my feelings' card?

Bugger the fact that I have feelings too and bugger the fact that I can be hurt!

A good example, after the frank exchange of (email) views with DTWNAD, I get the email that says in part;

You're entitled to your opinions of course but to be so personal and nastily vitriolic in them as to leave someone feeling threatened and in tears for most of the day is not the way any decent guy who respects women behaves.

Clearly this comment is about the authors 'me,me,me' complex and is crudely designed to gather sympathy and an apology. I take the view that I am not responsible for the interpretation that someone puts on my words. If you are confused, ask the question so that you understand. So no apology will be forthcoming, for if you write aggressively, dispassionately and rudely about me then I will comment back. End of!

Internet Dating

The good and bad of the last few days of left me to think. I have been a serial dater off the Internet for some eight/nine years and believe that it is the best way to meet other single people, and the safest particularly for women.

I have had dating experiences where it was obvious that all the date wanted was sex, and others where a LTR was the desired outcome. The profile of the 'date that was not a date' seemed to indicate that she wanted the later and hence I went into both dates (sorry, 'meetings') with that starting point. In retrospect, it all happened too fast. she messaged me on the dating site, we agreed to meet the next day which ended up to be a drunken chat in the cold outside. That was a good time as I have mentioned before. New Years Eve proved to be a disaster.

Why? In short, it was because we did not chat long enough beforehand on line to discover sufficient about each other an to see whether there was enough groundwork for the possibility of progress towards a relationship. I am always happiest on a first meeting when I have shared jokes and comment about everyday life before hand so that I may know what is to be expected. Perhaps it is me and my many layers that finds comfort behind the keyboard. I don't know for sure but I have learned that the way forward is not to be too hasty. That was the downfall here.

I made the mistake of presuming that I could make up for the lack of Internet chat on the first date, sorry meeting and she, from my point of view, did not realize that dating does not simply happen. You need to do your groundwork (which I did not) and come to the meeting prepared (and knowing) what your outcome should be.

Anyway, I shall move on and date again. When and where is the question but it wont be tomorrow!

The 'Date That Was not a Date' II

New Years Eve always has had that feeling of expectancy, the feeling that a new dawn is upon us and a hope that the new year will be better than the last even if the last year was fantastic.

It was in this mood that I accepted the invitation to escort the 'date that was not a date' and have a lunchtime drink with her. Whereas the previous date was fun and laughter, this one was terse and unpleasant. There became a mood that underpinned an attitude that revealed the true direction that she wanted to go in any future relationship.

As equals? No at all.

As differing people that were symbiotic in the coupling? Hell, no!

Rather, I came to the conclusion that she needed to be in control and effectively manage all aspects of any relationship she was in. Now I am not adverse to people that exist in that kind of relationship but before her assumption, I would have thought that she would have needed to find out for herself where I stood.

She emailed me today with venom saying that she did not want to continue. Instead of a LTR that I was looking for, she stated that she wanted to go on plenty of dates and have fun. Fair enough, but there was no need to be so harsh about it. All that needed to be said was that 'the chemistry was not right' or similar. However, there was much (unnecessary and ungrounded) criticism of me and petty digs based upon the odd word or misheard phrase that I was supposed to have said on the 'date that was not a date II'. The emails even went so far as to offer personal advice on issues. All this after two meetings!

I replied, of course, and it became clear that she needed to state things in a way that gave to her psyche apparent control. Therefore she felt free to comment aggressively about me but did not like it when the reverse occurred. The culmination was when I pointed out how I felt about her gold digger status...

1. You did not pay for a drink at <>. Whilst you bought your rounds at <>, you made future intentions clear that once hooked, you wanted to continue on a basis that you were pampered.
2. You pushed for a restaurant that you wanted and never mentioned how it was to to be paid for. Clearly, you were trying to get me to pay for the 'date'. From what you said, it was clear that a 'date' means that the bloke pays.
3. You walked ahead of me for most of the time when we walked to and from the hotel and pub which indicates that you feel that you feel that you should lead a relationship.
4. Your eyes, when we were talking looked to my side which indicates that you were not quite telling the truth. Doing such a thing indicates that you are thinking about being on control and want to exploit the situation.
5. Your suggestion of a first date on the <> website indicates an extravagance that is beyond a first date. You actually do not want a date, more a vehicle to allow you do things you would not normally afford. It's not a simple meet for a coffee or beer but a trip out.....

I will not be contacting her again.