Monday, 22 December 2014

Good Intentions

That's it - I'm on holiday for 2 weeks! I'm armed with a long list of jobs that need completing before the weather turns fine, but will never get done. Some may even find their way on to that annual triumph of hope over reality, my New Year's resolutions list.

I might, with a bit of luck, get round to solving the intermittent wiper setting fault on the car, although I'm almost certain the weather will prevent me actually getting round to starting it - at least that's what I'm hoping. I'm sure there's a special tool I need to accomplish the job, one I don't own and will have to spend hours looking for on the internet. I'll make sure that if I do fins and buy it, I get UK Mail to deliver it - that will make certain the job never gets started.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Support Royal Mail

Last week I succumbed to some TV advertising and purchased a Worx Sonicrafter tool (I'm sure it will come in useful at some time in the distant future).

Bought it on eBay and then waited for the delivery.

  1. Received a text from the courier (Mail UK) on Tuesday to say it would be delivered that day; it never turned up.
  2. Received a text on Wednesday to say it would be delivered that day; it never turned up.
  3. Received a text on Thursday to say it would be delivered that day, it never turned up.
Following each non-delivery, I contacted Mail UK to say we are hard to find and the driver should call my mobile so I could talk him down - my phone number was even on the consignment to avoid this (plus they had my phone number in order to alert me by text). Needless to say, I never received a phone call. I don't think Mail UK supply their drivers with mobile phones.

Eventually it was delivered on Friday, by a different courier subcontracted to Mail UK. He said Mail UK couriers have 2 minutes per drop, and if they can't find a destination within 2 minutes, they take the package back to base.

Our Royal Mail system is being dismantled and destroyed by these incompetent jokers cherry picking only profitable routes and providing crappy service. Don't use cheap couriers, if you do, you're part of the problem.

Sold a Le Creuset cast iron pan on eBay a year or so ago and used one of these cheap couriers to deliver it. Damned thing arrived split in two at the destination. It's extremely difficult to break a cast iron pan, but that particular courier managed it.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Overheard in Bed

The Chairman is about to perform his nightly ritual of reading a couple of pages of a book and falling asleep with it open: Hay has had a particularly harrowing day at work over a line management issue.

Hay: "What are you reading?"

Chairman: "A biography of Napoleon - he's just on the verge of taking over France."

Hay: "What would he have done with a tricky line management issue?"

Chairman: "Create a large Cisalpine client republic as a buffer and partition Venice between Austria and France."

Hay: "I'll try that on Monday. well, either that or kick it upstairs to HR."

Saw an advert on TV last night for a L'Oreal hair colour product called Prodigy. I won't mention the image that flashed through my mind, but I'm certain it's not the image L'Oreal intended.

The garden rose is still going strong, with only 5 days to Christmas.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Overheard While Channel Surfing

Hay: "Oh it's Nigella! Haven't seen her on TV for a while."

Chairman: "No, not since she was throttled."

Still can't understand this Russian rouble collapse frenzy  is no-one actually looking at the facts?

Anyone know who won the 1938 Nuremberg Rally?

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pirate Rouble Gateway, Bishop to Kitty 4

At last a serious study of e-cigarettes, not clouded by prejudice or preconceptions. The remaining myth to demolish is the statement that e-cigarettes are a gateway to real cigarettes. I don't know if you've ever had an e-cig, but that's like saying drinking lemonade is a gateway to scotch.

I was feeding Kitty this morning and couldn't help but think that she couldn't give a damn about whether her kitty-crunchies are shaped like a fish or a star, so long as they are palatable and taste vaguely of goldfish, sparrow or mouse. I'm convinced the manufacturer's advertising just goes straight over her head and is a complete waste of time and effort - she doesn't even look at the packaging and certainly doesn't worry that 9 out of 10 cats prefer a particular brand. Why does no-one make mouse flavoured crunchies? I suppose they could be a gateway to real mice...

Here's my new best mate who I met in Lidl and rides a buccaneer's mobility scooter. Gateway to piracy, obviously. A game old lady!

They say the Russian rouble is in freefall. If you care to do some research on the conversion rate, it's not even reached the level of last September yet. It's the meteoric rise of the rouble since September that's more shocking.

So, the Anglicans have finally got a woman bishop. Stockport though....

Wonder how she got the job - V-Factor face-off perhaps?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Perpetuating Memes

I was a tad shocked yesterday by a FaceBook post showing a woman with a black eye with a superimposed picture of her partner or husband. The text said; "The man who did this to my sister is trying to have his image removed from FaceBook. Please share if you agree domestic violence is not OK. Break the silence."

Now I don't know the woman posting the message, or her sister, or her sister's husband/partner. In fact, I know nothing about this at all, except for the post coming via one of my FaceBook friends, who may have got it 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Nth hand. 

The post may be true, it may be a load of bunkum, it may even be someone with a grudge against the bloke being targeted. Sharing stuff like this on a whim can be dangerous, as you could open yourself to prosecution for libel. 

FaceBook can be a useful tool; it is also the best medium for spreading ridiculous, and in some cases malicious crap that many people fall for, hook, line and sinker (miracle cures for cancer that "doctors are trying to suppress," come to mind most, as well as free cars or iPods).

I'm not saying this story is crap, but unless you know the individuals concerned, you just don't know whether it's crap or not (unless it's the miracle cure or the free car, in which case you can be certain that it's unresearched, purposefully misleading crap, or will lead you to a site that installs malware on your 'puter). Sharing such posts is spectacularly irresponsible, especially in light of some high profile accusations which have proven to be baseless and fabricated.

FaceBook, for some, has replaced the courts as judge, jury and executioner. That's mob rule.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Overheard in the Chemist

Overheard in the chemist.

Chairman: "I believe you have a prescription for me."

1st Chemist: "I'll go and have a look."

2nd Chemist: "Hello sir, it's good to see you again, Are you well?"

Chairman: "Fine thanks........ actually no, else I wouldn't be here in the first place collecting pills."

2nd Chemist: "Yes, there is a certain elegant logic to that."

Managed to get an identical set of Christmas tree lights to the ones we bought last year. Why on earth do electrical items all come with those plastic sheaths on the plugs? It's not as if I'm going to try to gouge my eyes out with the pins of a 3 pin plug, or go on the rampage in Chipping Sodbury High Street armed with 3 pin plugs! Probably some bollocky European directive.

After writing the above paragraph, and spurred on by an inquisitive mind, I did some basic research - they are apparently not the result of some HSE directive, but are fitted to plugs as an insurance against scratching the product (not the plug) whilst on the production line, in transit and/or unpacking. Not so daft after all.

Strangely enough, I have yet to hear a single rendition of Slade's Christmas ballad, 'Merry Christmas Everybody'.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sieg Rotten Christmas Tree Tea Light Henge

I'm not the vaguest bit interested in Sports Personality of the Year, but I couldn't help but see the BBC News advert for the program, which showed Simple Minds rehearsing. Before the reporter said it was Simple Minds, I thought (what turned out to be) Jim Kerr was Johnny Rotten.

See what I mean?

Tried to decorate the tree yesterday afternoon, but I was accused by Hay of being a Christmas Tree Light Nazi. I detest mixing tree lights, especially if they are so obviously different - it's heretical.

Will try again tonight, once I have paid a visit to the official Gestapo Christmas Tree Light Emporium and bought another set exactly the same as the ones I like best (I don't like bright, white lights - you may as well festoon your tree with strip lighting - much preferring a soft, candle-like colour).

Over the last few days, the local council has been installing our very own Chipping Sodbury fake henge on the roundabout, using locally sourced Cotswold stone.

Each to his own, perhaps. Read in the Sunday papers that barrow burials are now popular in some sections of the population. Perhaps a long barrow should be installed on the roundabout too, to take the overflow from the local church.

Tealights! When was the last time you saw anyone warm their teapot with tealights? The 60s was the last time I saw this happening - mum had one of those glass tealight thingies for teapots. About time the name was changed to mood lights, wouldn't you say, or Indian restaurant food warmer lights?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Workplace Pensions

Had occasion to look at the government website about Workplace Pensions this morning.

Finally went and looked at a non-governmental website, as the governmental one left me totally confused and with more questions that when I started to look.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Consistently Aqualung

Heard Jethro Tull's Solstice Bells on the radio yesterday while driving through Devon, which got me to listening to some Tull on YouTube when I got home. "Sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intent." I'm surprised Ian Anderson hasn't been arrested as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation.

While driving through one area I saw signs for Tolpuddle, Affpuddle, Puddletown and Piddlehinton, all in quick succession.

An item on the news yesterday stated that various NHS trusts had consistently managed to fail to reach certain targets. That word "consistently" was reassuring: consistence leads to being able to make plans - inconsistency is notoriously difficult to deal with.