Tuesday, 2 September 2014

How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby

Overheard in a text conversation:

Needless to say, that's not the name Hay was looking for.

Ever heard of the magnificently named Landrum Brewer Shettles? He's a guy (now dead) who wrote a book called 'How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby'.

He could have offered a refund to every person buying his book who didn't have success using his method and still have made a fortune, as he indeed did. With no research whatsoever, statistics ensured he had a 50% (give or take 1% in each direction) success rate, as evidenced by the reviews below.

Now that's the kind of book I'd like to write. How about a book marketed in the Caucasian world titled 'How to Ensure Your Newborn Will Have Blue Eyes'?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

A Question of Balance

Women MUST be inherently unstable!

Hay is the same height as me - if the truth be told, possibly an inch taller - but she has a shoe size that's 4 and a half sizes smaller than me. How the hell does she keep upright? There must be some gyroscopic mechanism at work, surely?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Phone Geek

Got my phone upgrade this week and was bumped up to a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Note 2 has now been inherited by No.1 Son, who is very pleased with his new toy.

The Note 3 has some very nice features (some being hidden by Samsung), which I won't bore you with, but the battery life in no better (and possibly worse) than the Note 2. The decision was taken to Root it (very easy with TowelRoot) and do some small modifications, especially on under-clocking the CPU, which is way over-powered at 2.3 GHz. Reducing it to 1.6 GHz has made no difference to performance.

I've overcome most of the battery life limitations by resorting, once again, to Tasker and creating profiles to:

  1. When on Wi-Fi, shut down mobile data; when not on Wi-Fi defaulting to Nos. 2 and 3 below.
  2. When not on Wi-Fi, launch mobile data every 20 minutes between 06:30 and 18:30 to check for emails (this could also be achieved by using scheduled synch, but data would have to be on 7 x 24 with the consequent battery drain).
  3. When not on Wi-Fi, but needing certain apps to function, to launch mobile data and/or GPS on opening the said apps and then switching them off again when the app is closed.
  4. Setting the brighness to either minimum or auto-brighness and then merely shaking the phone to instantly set brightness to maximum (moving the phone up and down resets to auto-brightness).
Those profiles should go a long way to getting a full 24 hours or more from the battery when out and about.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Biblical Warnings

Spotted this little chap on the house yesterday:

I'm hoping for a plague of them to eat the cluster flies, when they decide to appear - which can't be too long now.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Shrooming Time

Overheard while watching Young Vets:

Large Woman: "Dobbin will forever be in my heart."

Hay: "Looks like he already is - she's eaten him."

We've had a very large crop of mushrooms appear almost overnight around the roots of a dead weeping willow. Not going to harvest them, as I suspect they're not edible.

Can but hope a beefsteak mushroom appears on the trunk, but they are more usually found on oak.

Talking of mushrooms, I see a 9 year-old has accidentally killed her shooting instructor. Who in their right mind allows a 9 year-old anywhere near an Uzi? Some Americans are sick in the head.

What will all this ice bucket challenge stuff going on, I wonder who would be up for the circumcision challenge to support prostate cancer?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Nothing shows how much the independence vote is nothing more than a visceral, gut reaction and not an argument based on reason than the fact the people voting for union are mostly for the UK leaving the EU, while those voting for independence are hoping an independent Scotland will be accepted into the EU.

Nowt so queer as folks, as they say.

Sunday, 24 August 2014


Overheard outside the paper-shop while looking at the adverts:

Hay: "There's an advert here for meditation courses - might be good for you."

Chairman: "I'll think about it."

Last night, before the return of the new Dr Who, we were watching the documentary about the rehearsals for Michael Jackson's abortive last concert. I swear I spotted some early-onset Dad Dancing going on - he was 50 when he died, after all.

Hay: "Winston Churchill said that if you have enemies it's good, as that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

Chairman: "Or you're a sociopath!"

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Meat & 2 Veg Post

The photo below is of a roast dinner that was served recently at Bristol's new Southmead Hospital. The patient complained.

I too would have complained - I contend that no-one could stomach that much broccoli or cauliflower (hideous stuff).

Friday, 22 August 2014


I can't help feeling that this ISIS thing (or IS, as they now call themselves) is going to be self-limiting by its very nature. Who in their right mind wants to be ruled by a bunch of homicidal maniacs who cut off people's heads (in that respect, they scored an own-goal, in my opinion)? Added to that, once terrorists get control they fracture as factions form and lust for power, inevitably resulting in internal civil war. IS themselves are made up of factions to start with, which is not exactly a recipe for long term success.

When one section of society gains absolute control, oppression of the rest of society becomes the norm as a means of staying in power - that's why democracy, albeit imperfect, is a beautiful thing. When that powerful section is in alliance with a religion in the form of a theocracy, then that's the worst kind of rule as it is based on divine revelation, which is notoriously aligned with what the spiritual leader happens to want (because the divine revelation is is nothing of the sort and emanates solely from within the spiritual leader's head and not some supernatural external source).

Sooner or later, ISIS will run out of arms (arms which the West has, up to now, so kindly donated in the fight against Assad). Who is going to provide them with more on the scale they need (and without an assurance of payment)? Iran is the only contender I can think of, and that won't be anywhere near the scale of the West (and Israel can take care of them), but that scenario is unlikely as they are on opposite sides of the religious schism in Islam.

Taking over a bunch of meek co-religionists is one thing; taking on the entire, hostile West is a totally different ball-game that requires perpetual effort if they ever do get control, as they will be constantly fighting insurrection on every front.

However, IS' first objective will be to cleanse Islamic countries of heresy, so we have some time yet.

That said, we are certainly facing a clash of civilizations (if you can call a medieval mentality a civilization). However, if bombing them into the Stone Age is the objective, there's no need - they're already there.

It's ironic than the Egyptian goddess Isis was portrayed as the perfect mother...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Most Pointless Food Product?

Saw an advert for these last night.

Is there anything more pointless? 9 minutes in a microwave for 4 raw potatoes and you have 4 jacket potatoes anyway. You have to put these jobbies in a microwave for 5 minutes - so you're saving a massive 4 minutes (I'm being ironic).

At £1.65 (Ocado price, but more like £2 elsewhere) for 800g when you can buy a kilo of raw potatoes from Tesco for £1.25, you just have to be totally bonkers to buy these.

Facebook stories posted in users' feeds are being tagged as "[Satire]" in an apparent move to prevent them being mistaken for real news stories. They should also introduce a "[Woo-woo Pseudo-science]" tag as well, based on some of the garbage you see touted as miracle cures.

We were watching Michael Moseley's TV program last night on the health effects of red meat. One section contained an analysis by a German scientist and both Hay and I commented that there's something about science pronounced in a heavy German accent that makes it more compelling and authoritative.