Saturday, 22 November 2014

Action Man Alternative


A new doll has been manufactured to compete with Barbie. It has more 'normal' proportions.



When will a new Action Man be made, more closely resembling the average UKIP voter?


Should I be forced to resign?


Friday, 21 November 2014

Rochester & Strood


One hears Emily Thornberry, MP, has apologized to all right wing chavs.



Thursday, 20 November 2014

Hamsterjam


Returning back to the UK today. Must say I'm impressed with the new taxis at Schiphol airport - they bought 100 Teslas, and they look the business (this is not one of them). Wouldn't mind one myself.


Some shots of my trip:

I particularly liked this Amsterdam house.



How the kids are taken to school. I also spotted a mobile bike mechanic using one of these - he's at the end of a mobile phone and repairs punctures, etc.



A novel bike.


Saw this at the trade show I've been at - combines solar PV with solar thermal in one unit.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ched Evans


Been following this Ched Evans story - the Sheffield United footballer who was found guilty of rape.

  1. There are some inconsistencies about the conviction, despite him not being given leave to appeal (jury convictions rarely get leave to appeal) and still trying to clear his name. For example, the girl who was raped never made a rape complaint - the police brought the prosecution - and another footballer who was present and charged was subsequently acquitted on the same evidence.
  2. He has done his time. 
  3. He is out of his contract with Sheffield United.
I'm a great believer in giving people a 2nd chance. He has served his sentence and therefore has paid his debt in the eyes of the law (assuming guilt). If the sentence doesn't meet the crime, that's another matter. Given Evans is still trying to clear his name, I think it a bit previous to deny him a job. 

My first reactions was that this could all blow over if he simply made a public statement demonstrating contrition and donated his first few weeks' salary to a rape crisis charity - but, if he's still trying to clear his name, that's also a bit previous and tantamount to an admission of guilt. Catch 22.

Then there's the matter of him being a role model, as some term it. Not many footballers could be called role models - I can think only of a handful. Should a role model be treated more severely than just an ordinary person? Perhaps yes, but I would hesitate to call him a role model.

If he were still in his contract and there was no specific clause within it prohibiting him from engaging in certain acts or having a conviction, then the football club itself could be guilty of discrimination.

I think too many people are jumping on too many bandwagons, far too quickly, and without knowing a great deal about the case in question. There have been numerous cases of miscarriages of justice in the past, but the jury system is nevertheless still considered infallible. Similarly, offenders have gone on to reoffend.


Monday, 17 November 2014

Hedging Service at a Fork in the Road


The hedge around our field is in desperate need of some attention; however, anyone we phone to do the job simply never returns our call. After seeing a hedge laying competition on Coutryfile last night (just up the road at Highgrove), I was thinking of announcing the Old Sodbury hedge laying competition.

Bought some 2nd hand forks in a local charity shop on Saturday - made them into napkin rings. Haven't quite got the hang of it yet, but I shall improve with practice.


Due to the varying thickness along the handle, bending them isn't as easy as you'd imagine; I need to get myself some steel pipe to aid the process.

On my Friday jaunt to London I called in at Reading services and got myself a bacon bap.

The Hype

The sorry-looking reality

Spotted these stollen bites at the Costa counter. 3 pitiful bites for £2.29. You can get a box full of the buggers weighing 350g from Lidl for £1.99. How the hell do Costa justify these prices?


There wasn't an English accent to be heard behind any of the counters (all eastern European), yet Reading has quite a few unemployed people. Seems the Brits just don't want the work, and it's not as if the owners are paying less than minimum wage.

Off to Hamsterjam later today for the rest of the week to attend a trade show.



Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sturgeon Deliveries


Yet another courier parcel delivery has gone astray. I think companies should outsource their parcel deliveries to the European Space Agency - they can hit the mark from 4 billion miles.

That Nicola Sturgeon gets right up my nose. Heard her being interviewed saying why should Scotland leave the EU because a party Scots hadn't voted for wanted to. You could use that level of argument for any county, or indeed town or village within the UK. She calls it democracy - when there's little or no difference between the Scots and the English, I call it anarchy. The Scots are as different from the English as Geordies are from Scousers and I defy anyone to tell me how the Scots are so different from the English (OK, they have a few more carrot-tops and a penchant for cross dressing, but that's as far as it goes).


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Move Out of the Damned Way!


I drove the new Dinky Toy to London yesterday to hand-deliver a large satellite communications proposal to the Brazilian Navy Commission in Europe; what should have been no more than a 2 hour drive turned out to be 4 hours due to the weight of traffic and I made the deadline with 5 minutes to spare.

On the way back I was following a Porsche Carrera 4S on the M4 and the spray from the Porsche's wheels necessitated that I give the windscreen a quick wash and wipe. I twiddled the wiper thingy, but nothing happened. I twiddled it again and still nothing happened. I twiddled it furiously and the Porsche Carrera suddenly moved over from the fast lane into the middle lane to let me pass.

Yes, I'd been sat in a Hyundai Getz 1.1 litre, furiously flashing a Porsche to get out of the damned way.

As I drew level with the Porsche, I think the driver saw the funny side. Whether he realised I'd mistaken the high beam flasher for the windscreen wiper, I don't know.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Double Bypass Burger


Heard about the Double Doughnut Burger (I refuse to spell it the American way).

Steve Jebson for Hungry Horse, said: "Our popular menu caters for a variety of tastes and appetites and includes everything from lower calorie options such as our hot chicken and bacon salad at 393 calories, through to the indulgent occasional treat such as our new Double Donut Burger. All the nutritional information for our menu is available on our website and in our pubs, so that our customers are able to make informed decisions about what they choose to eat."

Informed decision - who's he trying to kid? The people who would eat that probably can't even read, let alone reach an informed decision!


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Victim vs Survivor


Have you noticed how the BBC, when reporting on rape or sexual abuse, has started calling those who were abused 'survivors' instead of 'victims'.

Survivor, to me, indicates someone who has transcended the event; not all victims of abuse survive the ordeal, they can remain traumatised for the rest of their lives.

Victim: a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

Survivor: a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died.

Also, survivor: a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.

I guess it can depend on the dictionary you use as to the definition, and dictionaries are nothing more than someone's opinion - hence the different definitions.

However, that said, the use of the word survivor in the BBC, at least to me, is an example of imposed groupthink to perhaps engender a sense of empowerment in the victims. All who are subject to sexual abuse are victims; not all victims are survivors and to label them all as such is a misrepresentation (possibly with a hidden political agenda).

Perhaps the word victim has become debased now that we have the 'victim culture' and everyone is a victim of something (at least in their own minds) - a bit like the word 'hero' has become debased by overuse in grossly inappropriate circumstances.

Language is a funny old thing...

Analyse and discuss.


Friday, 7 November 2014

I'd Never Have Guessed


Apparently the new Star Wars film title has been released. It's called Star Wars. That was a well kept secret!

It would appear that a French health watchdog is of the opinion that 3D glasses could be dangerous for youngsters' eyes. According to Anses, the process of assimilating a three-dimensional effect requires the eyes to look at images in two different places at the same time before the brain translates it as one image, and this could be harmful to developing eyes. That sounds suspiciously like the way eyes work to see the real world in depth. Perhaps just seeing is harmful to the eyes...

So who really did kill Bin Laden, and will the TV spin-off rival the Dallas cliff-hanger?