Monday, 15 September 2014

Scottish Dad Dancing Clothes

It seems to be that the Yes argument for Scottish independence is boiling down to decisions being taken on Scotland from a seat of government 400 miles away.

If the world were to use 400 miles as the yardstick of the limit of functional democracy, then it would look a very different place and the majority of countries (Norway, Sweden, France, and Russia to mention but a few) would cease to exist.

From what I can see, there is little difference between the Scots and the English - certainly they cannot be told apart by their DNA. They have the same values as the English, the same worries, the same hopes and fears. I defy anyone to tell me otherwise.

We had a Village Day over the weekend and Hay used it as a means of selling some of her vast stock of clothes by setting up a stand. The woman has more clothes than, well, a person with a lot of clothes.

Believe it or not - that gazebo had more clothes hanging on the inside! It's no wonder she keeps most of her clothes over at her father's.

In the evening there was a disco in the Village Hall and I engaged in some over-enthusiastic Dad-dancing. I was in agony in the morning.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Jean Genie

When I was a teenager in the late '60s and early '70s, a pair of distressed Levis or Wranglers (preferably the latter for the fashion conscious) were a badge of distinction, but the distressing was a direct result of wear and washing and took several years to achieve. Tears and holes were patched using a back pocket or another pair of old jeans.

These days you can buy pre-washed jeans as an instant fashion accessory - you can even buy pre-ripped jeans. The currency of a genuine, old pair of jeans has become debased. It's a deplorable state of affairs.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Well, I'm back from the exhibition in Hamburg.

Given I was meeting customers there I decided to put my upper denture in so I could smile convincingly (a missing canine being the culprit). The problem is that it is damned uncomfortable, extending quite far into my palate and making me gag occasionally. No wonder my customers recoiled from me several times during my meetings - they must have thought I was going to engage in some projectile vomiting .

I'm getting quite jaded about exhibitions, just watching all the feigned interest of salesmen in the punters, when the only thing on their mind is a sale and a bonus.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Fire at Tetbury Classic Car Show

It seemed that the house caught fire yesterday!

Thank God it was only a reflection of the garden waste bonfire....

Went to the Tetbury Classic Car Show yesterday. some nostalgia follows:

A jamboree of Jaguars 

You can see me in the mirror 

Everyone's dad's favourite 


Inland Revenue Service 

Hayley loves it 

My tame metal fabricator's Healey 3000 

Wonder if Hay's dad ever drove one of these? 

The fabulous A 

A nest of Cobras 

Pure art nouveau - gorgeous!

More Healey 3000s

Hay's favourite 

One of my favourites 

Trapped in a bubble of time 

A somewhat saintly car

Off to Hamburg for the week to attend a maritime exhibition.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Parcelled Benefits of Growing Older in an Independent Scotland

The older you get, the faster time seems to pass by. The corollary of that is that paydays seem to occur more frequently.

The graphical calculator I bought for No.1 Son has remained undelivered by Parcel2Go, resulting in the sender being notified it's being returned to him. The sender has contacted me and says he will send it by Royal Mail once he gets it back.

Parcel2Go must be the worst courier company in the UK, but it maintains it has the best customer satisfaction. The reason for that is there is no customer complaint number - and if there is no avenue for complaint, then your customer complaints will be zero. Simples.

I once jokingly proposed such a system for a company I worked for. Seems Parcel2Go have actually implemented it.

Just thought of an incontrovertible argument against Scottish independence - it's going to cost any Scot with a UK passport the Scottish currency equivalent of £72.50 to get a Scottish one.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Couriers & E-Cigarettes

On the subject of e-cigarettes, no wonder the World Health Organisation is up in arms about them - they've obviously gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick and think Darth Vader used one...

Click to enlarge

I do wish people sending goods would desist from using commercial couriers - the buggers don't have a clue as to where my address is. 

We have a house name, rather than a number - a legacy from the place being a small Coltswold village and impossible to change, especially as the track to our house is an unmade, unadopted road.

Rather than calling the place Barnfield (it looks like a barn and is in a field), I could have named the place No. 100, but that wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference, as none of the other houses have numbers.

Royal Mail at least have regular posties who know the area, and also know who to leave packages with if we're out. I don't mind paying extra to use Royal Mail, as every 3 deliveries out of 4 with 3rd party couriers ends up in either several failed delivery attempts, or me having to go tens of miles to the local courier's depot. 

I wouldn't mind if the couriers called me so I can talk them down, but most courier companies these days don't even provide their staff will mobile phones - City Link being the worst offender. Itinerant Polish drivers, who change more frequently than I change my underpants (once a week.....), don't stand a chance, poor buggers.

However, I have saved the best to last - Parcel2Go. Can you find a customer service number to find out why your parcel hasn't been delivered? I defy you to find one that works. The website is useless.

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.