Thursday, 26 March 2009

Thursday 26/03/09

If I suddenly burst into American, please forgive me. My spell-checker has decided that it’s American and I can’t figure out how to get it to think it’s English again. I don’t even seem to be able to add the English spellings to the dictionary.

Overheard in the caravan:
Hay is lying in bed listening to Farming Today, where she hears that the UK is running desperately short of carrots; the Chairman has just walked into the bedroom after having a shower.

Hay: “We’re running out of carrots.”
Chairman: “Want me to call in at Lidl on the way home and get some?”

Had a complaint about the format for the Blog Comments. Seems someone prefers the pop-up comments form, as commentators can then continue to read earlier posts without having to load the whole page again. Would appreciate any feedback from regular commentators.

Been receiving death threats from Finedon and Irthlingborough following Tuesday’s post.

Was having another joyful discussion with someone on the Facebook atheist forum yesterday. The subject was fear of death. The woman in question could not understand how anyone could not be afraid of death – even atheists. I had to explain that for some, if not fit and healthy, death comes as a welcome relief. Add to that the fact that as you get older you realise that as both a species and individuals we’re doomed to repeating the same mistakes over and over again. With that realisation comes cynicism, in spades. If everyone suddenly became immortal then we’d end up as a race of immortal cynics – it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Or is that just me being cynical? It’s somewhat depressing to consider that the sole benefit immortality could bestow on you is that you’d live long enough to get a Tata Nano to 75mph.

One of the contributors to the above discussion mentioned a book called Tau Zero, the plot of which involves some people who are trapped in a spacecraft with a malfunctioning drive that is propelling it to close to the speed of light and can’t be closed down, the result of which is that they’re hurtling into the distant future due to relativistic time dilation. The disconcerting aspect of the book is that the humans leave earth at a time in the future when it’s ruled by the Swedish Empire. That prospect alone is enough to make one welcome death. A world of eco-freaks, 102% income tax, enforced sex and a lot of brooding over the meaning of life in a very tangential Ingmar Bergmanesque manner. A hideously bleak prospect. I’ve already lost the will to live – let’s all kill ourselves now….

If you manage to last the course and drag you eyeballs to the bottom of today’s post, you’ll see I’ve added Google AdSense to my blog to ascertain whether I can make some money from it. Can’t see it producing a single penny, but you never know. What I’m more interested in is the intriguing associations AdSense makes with the subject matter of my blog (the ads are meant to be contextual). The first group of ads I saw on yesterday’s post produced ads for a bad breath remedy, holidays in Cornwall and mobile homes. The next loading of the site called up one for a charity called Concern, which I’ve never heard of before.

The charity Grandparents Plus says grandparents who care for grandchildren should be recognised for their contribution and be paid tax credits and given granny leave if they work. What facile crap! In that case let’s all have a mutual hug-in and recognise each other for everything we do and thereby cancel out all debts and get on with living responsible lives where we all do something without the thought of what we get back being uppermost in our tiny minds.

I’m incensed! I think I’ll write to my MP and demand tax credits for looking after my cat. How about a tax credit for my blogging, which provides a very important and much needed service to people who need a lift in their pitiful and humdrum working day? If parents want to pay their own parents for looking after their offspring, it should be a private arrangement and not yet another reason for the government to step in and dole out taxpayers’ money on more benefits.

On Sunday evening Hay was woken by some kids screaming a car up and down the main road. On Monday she discovered that her sunglasses had been nicked from her car, which she’d carelessly left unlocked outside the family compound. On informing the police, they asked whether there was anything worth fingerprinting and if there was to bring it to the police station in Staple Hill in Bristol – about half an hour away. Now it’s very unlikely that any dabs are going to result in the capture of a major international sunglasses theft ring, however, the prints may highlight the activity of some local recidivists and cast light on other more serious crimes that may have taken place (or have yet to take place) in the local area. Are the police interested enough to send someone round? No! One has to lug all the evidence – including the car - into the middle of Bristol on a day off or next Saturday. It beggars belief. Do these people know that the police force is there for us, not as a back-to-work scheme for terminally indolent teenagers.

One of Hay’s colleagues suggested she contact the local young farmers and get them out hunting the perpetrator in their pick ups with shot guns. It’s no wonder that vigilantism is becoming rife. Good God – I’m sounding like a Daily Mail reader. Yulia Tymoshenko wouldn’t stand for this treatment!

I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but here in the UK the humble 100W incandescent lightbulb (my American spell-checker friend wants to make it two words) is a thing of the past as the government tries to convert us to energy-efficient lighting. However, New Scientist informs me that light-emitting textiles for lampshades are soon to hit the market. Dutch electronics firm Philips says it will be three to five years before the first lamps based on thin sheets of printed polymer LEDs make it into homes. I’ll even be able to wear a flashing suit of many colours. That’s a suit that flashes in many colours, not a suit in which to flash.

I was pouring water into the kettle this morning and noticed that the water coming out of the tap was a bit more watery than usual – and wetter too. Do you think the authorities are mixing it with something to make it go further?

A chap in Thailand has rescued a kid from a ledge after donning a Spiderman outfit. Given he just happened to have a Spiderman outfit lying around at work he’s obviously a member of the Thai version of Fathers 4 Justice.

Here’s a good story: a teacher who secretly filmed a school’s attempts to dupe Ofsted inspectors for a Channel 4 documentary, and thus expose a flawed system, has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the General Teaching Council. The council said she breached the trust of pupils and abused her position. They added that covert filming was permissible only under ‘exceptional circumstances’ which they deemed this case not to be. The paradox of this ruling is that a High Court judge had previously refused to issue an injunction sought by Leeds City Council, ruling that the programme served important public interests. Now a judge is of the opinion that the filming was justified in the public interest, whereas the GTC thought not. Surely a judge trumps a quango, does he not? I wonder whether the teacher concerned can take this to a tribunal?

The Duchess of Cornwall is in the news for having bronchitis. Hay thinks she never looks comfortable doing the public engagement thing and seems more like a ruddy-faced farmer’s wife in a posh hat. I’m sure she’s rather be out gardening in old clothes or mucking out a herd of Aberdeen Anguses, or whatever rare breeds Prince Big Ears farms.

The Archbishop of Cadbury, Rowan Atkinson, has warned that God will not intervene to prevent humanity from wreaking disastrous damage to the environment. How the hell does he know that with such certainty? If the Old Testament is to be believed, God used to interfere in the minutiae of daily human life all manner of annoying ways and wasn’t above coming to the aid of the Hebrews on several notable occasions. Egypt and Jericho spring immediately to mind. How about Sodem & Begorrah? I don’t think Rowan has been studying his bible.

While on the subject of the Church, I’ve recently wondered whether there are any innovative priests out there who would adopt an invention I’m thinking of taking to market. You know how the traditional way of blessing in some denominations is to scatter holy water around, which can be very messy? Well my idea is to sell pre-blessed torches which a priest can then shine across the congregation, bathing it in holy light. It would produce enormous efficiencies in any priest’s work rate. I would propose these holy torches be blessed by the head honcho of each denomination, thereby ensuring only the most holy of holy light.

7 comments:

  1. I don't like your new comment layout either. Not keen on the black either. But, hey, nothing to do with me.

    Loved the post. Voted it a Guffaw. Nothing to add but didn't want to lurk.

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  2. HtD'sM: But black is the new white!

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  3. Aaarrrgh for spellcheckers, American or otherwise. Every word I write is underlined in red since my spellcheck is automatically set to French and I don't know how to change it.

    Adsense is weird : "Iran Human Rights. A searchable database for right abuses in the Islamic Republic". The only explanation (albeit far-fetched) I can see is that this comes from the word American. I'd tell adsense that I find that rather offensive ! Why doesn't mention of Farming Today bring forth ads for combine harvesters ? Then there's the ad for "Numerologist.com". Nuff said.

    What say we try and get to test drive a Tata Nano ? It could turn into a full time job !

    And going back to yesterday's post, here's what goes on at the back of that Tymoshenko hairstyle http://hairstyling.suite101.com/article.cfm/crown_braids_and_heidi_braids

    And I am not in the least bit insulted by the fact that you thought I was male - not the worst thing that's happened to me - just glad that gender is not an issue in what I write !

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  4. Kapgaf: I'll pass the hair braid link to Hay. She will be extremely pleased!

    As for AdSense, I'm getting debt relief services, free calls to |Pakistan and a Jewish dating service coming up, as well as an advert for multiple sclerosis. Can't see anyone wanting the latter.

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  5. Iran Human Rights is still there but now I have "What Happens After Death?" to which I feel they should add "and are you sure you want to know ?"

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  6. Sir, I am concerned about you being owned by a cat, given your cat-skinning proclivities mentioned in your About Me segment... However, I am cancelling my New Scientist subscription forthwith, as you are far clevererererererr...

    YOURS, THE DAILY MAIL

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  7. Your tap-water is probably a bit thin because of all the unrepaired leaks. I am working on a scheme to freeze-dry water at the reservoir and deliver it by road, eliminating 100% of leaks. Storage will take up less space, and all you will need to do is rehydrate it before use...

    ReplyDelete