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