Wednesday, 31 October 2012

To Switch, Or Not to Switch - That is the Question

They've launched a new 4G mobile network in the UK.

Now the chances are that all the geeks, who clog up the 3G network by spending every available minute downloading crap from t'internet, will jump at 4G immediately. The result will be that the old 3G will be freed up for us old farts from Much Foreboding-in-the-Marsh to occasionally check our emails.

No point in switching, as far as I can see...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hand Double

Hay is convinced Nigella uses a stunt hand double for her cooking program. She's also convinced it's a 10 year old child, as she's never seen someone so cack-handed when it comes to slicing and chopping.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Foreign is as Foreign Does

Gangs of Greek neo-nazis are targeting foreigners in Athens.

What these thugs don't realise is that they too are foreigners. They must be; they aren't British...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Had to drop No.1 son off at Bristol Parkway this morning at 6am - he's off to London today to some anime festival in Docklands.

It's dark, it's cold, you think you've just gone over the last road hump (which in this case is one of those aggressive tyre-bursters) and you speed up - only to hit the hump you forgot about and is not very well lit. You end up with a burst tyre and having to change it in the cold and the dark.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Toilet Rules

Have you noticed that, the world over, if you enter a doorway that says 'Toilets', then the convention is  gents to the right and ladies to the left?

The exception to the rule is Bristol Airport baggage hall.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Why is it that when anyone gives someone tea of coffee, it's naturally assumed that, if they take sugar, only one spoonful will suffice.

Why has spoonful got only one l? Illogical!

Why was my colleague Bentzi frisked in Stockholm airport security by a woman, and I wasn't frisked at all?

I suspect the plane I took from Stockholm to Amsterdam yesterday evening was some form of football special; just as soon as the seatbelt lights went out, about half the blokes on the plane got up to queue for the 2 toilets at the back - they'd obviously been drinking a lot of something before boarding. Within 15 minutes of take-off the beers were being sold, with the result that the 'bladdertrorial' exhibition redoubled in effort and right until the last 30 minutes of the 2 hour flight the queue never got below 10 blokes. Have to say they were totally unlike British football supporters (if indeed that's what they were); not a single problem from them, despite the Viking blood (and alcohol) in their veins.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Where's the Beef for Police Commissioners

It's Monday, so I'm off to Scandahooliga and Holland for a few days.

Will leave you with this and a few associated thoughts:

  1. Is the British public really so thick that such a warning is necessary?
  2. Why on earth would you microwave a beef joint in the first place?
  3. Is this a way of telling the British housewife that she's both unintelligent and a shit cook?
Our voting registration cards for the vote on Police and Crime Commissioners arrived in the post on Saturday. Haven't the vaguest idea who is running for the job in our area - even the official website can't tell me who is standing until the 26th October, not that I'm really interested (bound to be another bloody politician - they're the only bastards who can afford to stand). 

Pure waste of time and a complete farce. We ripped up our cards and won't be bothering to vote. Asinine idea; it it ain't broke why spend millions trying to fix it.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Scottish Question for Non-Dom Plebs

I think I've discovered what the question will be in the Scottish referendum. It's not quite on par with the intricacies of the Schleswig-Holstein question, or the confusion of the East Lothian question. It's: "Should Mars Bars be deep or shallow fried?"

Noticed a Daly Mail headline while delivering the papers this morning that criticised Bradley Wiggins for joining a tax avoidance scheme. That's a bit rich, of you'll pardon the pun, when the boss of Associated Newspapers, Viscount Rothermere, is a non-dom for tax purposes. Glass houses, and all that...

One also hears Cameron is prepared to hold a plebiscite on EU membership. Can't use the word 'plebiscite' now, surely?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Flighty Stuff

Was perusing the duty free stuff in Malta airport yesterday before returning home and made a few observations:

  1. Swarovski are really into alchemy - they've found the secret of turning shit into gold.
  2. Looking at some of the women perusing the perfume counter, I think they should make a perfume called "Menopause" and target it at the businessman buying perfume for his mem-sahib. The marketing spiel could be: "Haven't had sex with the Mrs in years - decades even? Wife looking a bit dumpy and getting crotchety? Buy her Menopause and see her eyes light up!" Hay informs me there is such a perfume - apparently it's called Youth Dew...
  3. I noticed all the young ladies appear to be using multi-coloured wellies as a fashion statement.

RyanAir were flogging their branded lottery tickets on the plane. The bloke made an announcement that they were doing a 2 for 1 deal, whereby you get a free ticket with every ticket you purchase.

Now this 'offer' applies to all RyanAir flights - so do the maths. There are twice as many tickets in the lottery and you have twice the number you'd normally purchase (like everyone else who has bought one). Net gain is zero - you still have exactly the same chance of winning. Pointless and a waste of Michael O'Leary's paper - unless he's cynically targeting the dull of mind (which doesn't surprise me one bit, as there are so many of them waiting to be fleeced).

Friday, 19 October 2012


E-mail from Hay to Chairman:

"Having a total nightmare with the bathrooms. There's no way of hiding the white plastic waste pipe behind the loo, so some of it will be on show, but I don't think that's a real problem. The towel rail doesn't fit so Gary is going to have to rearrange the pipes coming out of the wall. Colin is having a meltdown about the shower doors. He thinks we need them made-to-measure and fully fitted or the water will splash out everywhere and he doesn't want to take the chance. So I'm going to try and send the shower door back but it's now been ten days and they don't accept returns after 7 days, so I'll have to ask."

"The rope has arrived and Colin has hung himself with it."

I had much more pressing things to concern me, like wondering if I can get on that superyacht in Valetta Harbour.

Or whether the hotel would miss a chandelier or two....

Or why they had to give me this crappy hotel room...

In this crappy hotel...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Airport Security Under Floor Heating

Don't you just hate those buggers who stand in the airport security line and make no effort whatsoever to prepare for removing metal objects from about their person, and at the last possible moment spend 10 minutes looking for that elusive 5p piece and realising a belt buckle is metal.

Back to the house build.

Under floor hearing was commissioned on Monday - it's fantastic! You get a wonderful feeling of warmth, without any obvious source; it's like walking into a large department store. The floor is not even warm to the touch, but it certainly isn't as chilly as it normally is.

The buggers opened the wrong value in the process and drained down the solar thermal panels. Given they are filled with glycol, a return visit is required to re-pressurise them.

Got notification yesterday that the spiral staircase is ready too, which means we can start fitting the oak flooring in preparation.

With the exception of the cooking range and wood burner, all the major capital items are now paid for and it's just labour from now on - and getting things fitted in the right order. All going well, we could be in by the end of November.

I'm away on business in Madrid today and Malta tomorrow - RyanAir and SqueezyJet. Times are tough for MDs...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Scottish Independence

Should Scotland get independence in a couple of years, will we see hordes of economic migrants flooding across the border? Will the Daily Mail rant against 'those Scots coming here and taking our jobs'?

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Taxing Time for Teenagers

Alex Salmond is arguing that 16 year-olds be given the vote in the Scottish referendum.  I would suggest that anyone who is paying taxes should be entitled to vote (no taxation without representation). Conversely, there's also an argument that those in receipt of overall net benefits should not have a vote, as the vote is about how tax money is spent and to vote on that you should really be a tax contributor (no representation without taxation).

Perhaps, given the high cost of housing these days, anyone leaving full-time education and entering into the tax system should be given a 2 year tax holiday to help them save for a deposit on a house or a rented flat. If they choose to use the money that way, then all well and good; if they choose to piss it against a wall, then it's their lookout. One benefit is that without taxation, and the corresponding representation (at least under my proposed scheme), they wouldn't get their grubby hands on the vote for a few years.

I'm just waiting to hear when the next dead Radio 1 DJ is going to be accused of being a pervert; Alan Freeman, Simon Dee, David Jacobs, Stuart Henry, Kenny Everett. Strange it's only the dead ones - I suppose they're easier targets.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Work Experience in Art

No.1 Son has to do some work experience next year. He'd rather spend the time in school doing GCSE revision and unsurprisingly thinks this work experience thing is a waste of time. Given his aim in life is to enter medicine, I think a spell in a cafe learning how to wash dishes and prepare basic food might stand him in good stead for university life. Actually, the NHS do a lot for Year 10 work experience kids - perhaps he can sit in on a brain transplant...

Hobby horse time again.

A painting by Gerhard Richter called Abstraktes Bild, painted in 1994, was sold for £21m. It has has been described as a "masterpiece of calculated chaos". More like just plain old chaos on its own - there doesn't seem to be a scintilla of calculation in it, if you ask me - if there was, it wouldn't be chaos (duh!). Bollocky-speak...

Sotheby's called it a "paradigm of mature, artistic and philosophical achievement".  They don't half drag up some fatuous, pretentious crap when describing 'art', don't they? I call it Emperor's New Clothes Speak.

Here's one the artist did in 1966. It's called Two Shades of Grey Juxtaposed. Now that's what I call an accurate title and description, but I would hesitate to call it art; paint swatches, perhaps.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Jim Never Fixed it for the EU

I'm starting to feel quite left out - am I the only person in the UK not to have been groped by Jimmy Savile?

I see the EU has got the Nobel Peace Prize, which is a bit like giving it to an amoeba or a concept. It would certainly never get the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Badger Cull Performance Enhancement for Cats

I've been looking into the arguments for and against the badger cull - it's not as back and white as they make it out to be.

Do you think the government is taking the same stuff Lance Armstrong took? Hang on, that's not possible - Lance Armstrong took performance 'enhancing' drugs.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Privilege is as Privilege Does

Cameron wants to spread privilege. Does that mean he's going to give everyone a rich dad and a trust fund?

Oh - and send everyone to Eton or Harrow?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Precarious Life of a Lookalike

What with 120 cases being investigated, I suspect the market in Saint Jimmy Saville lookalikes has plummeted in recent weeks.

Can't see this chap getting many gigs in children's homes for the foreseeable future.

Addendum - looks like the lookalike has already been retired, as the above link has gone.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dumbed Down Rothko GCSE in Offense

No.1 Son's biology test question: "What is obesity?"

No.1 Son's answer: "When your BMI is higher than 30."

He obtained zero marks!

Actual answer required is: "When you are overweight."

Substituting overweight for the word obesity is a test of English and not a scientific answer. In any case, overweight is defined as a BMI of between 25 and 30 and is therefore not the same as obese, which he got right.

It's a sad state of affairs when students you have to play a game so that monkeys with no knowledge of the subject in question are able to mark exam papers. Schools, teachers and the examination system are complicit in the dumbing down of education. It would seem that enlightened or inspirational answers have no place in exams any more - you simply have to regurgitate the stock answer, even if inane or scientifically wrong. Teachers should be striking over this, not salaries.

The supposed vandalisation of the Rothko painting in the Tate - can a modernist work be vandalised? I thought it was just a bit of performance art myself. It's graffiti, and some of that can fetch a fortune - just ask Banksy.

A 19 year-old has been jailed for 12 weeks for the offence of causing public outrage via a Facebook post. Yes, his post may well have been offensive, but who determines what is or is not offensive? Right minded people, is the stock answer. Can't say I agree with this form of censorship. The right to free speech should not be given away lightly - ignore what offends you, as being offended is a choice.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Parody Addiction

I seem to have become addicted to video editing. Another parody I worked on over the weekend (scroll down):

I'll try to kick the habit.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Yo Muck!

No.1 Son persuaded me to go to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway on the outskirts of Bristol yesterday. The purpose was to have lunch at a Yo Sushi establishment there.

Never again! In fact, not even yesterday!

I've had Japanese food in a number of countries, being a fan of the real stuff from my seafaring days and long stays in Japan (I even had a smattering of Japanese in my youth), but this was the worst interpretation of sushi I've ever seen. And the prices were a rip-off too.

I didn't actually eat the food - it simply looked unappetizing as it went past me on the conveyor and not at all like the genuine article.

Imagine a Chinese restaurant owned by someone from say Yorkshire, with a chef from Lancashire. Now you wouldn't really expect the fare to look or taste genuine. Now translate that into a Japanese restaurant and you have Yo Sushi.

Tesco sushi looks infinitely more genuine.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

One More Parody

Just one more parody: "Hitler Learns He's Only a Supporting Act at Glasto". Scroll down...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Oh, Go On Then

Had a play with some video editing software yesterday. It's quite easy when you learn how. I've called this: "Cameron Hears About the West Coast Main Line Fiasco". It looks black, but that's just the first second or so (scroll down).

This one I call: "Free Schools".

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The Association of British Insurers says drivers aged 17-24 are responsible for a disproportionately high number of crashes, deaths and claims.

Given the astronomic cost of insurance for people in that age group, the only teenagers who can drive are those with rather rich parents, which also means they will in all likelihood have access to their parents' fast, powerful cars and not the underpowered old bangers I drove as a teenager. 

Could it be that the high price of insurance for young people, while not necessarily causing the problem in the first place, is actually contributing to it?

The heady combination of testosterone and a 6 cylinder, 2 litre, turbo-charged car is a dangerous mix. Perhaps a better response would be to limit the size of the engine a youngster can drive, combined with a zero blood alcohol level?

Only the other day I was cut-up at a roundabout as a non-signalling youth driving some hot hatch came roaring and screeching in front of me as I was about to pull out onto the roundabout. His response to my beeping him was to stick two fingers up at me (as did his girlfriend in the passenger seat). Perhaps hitting a lamp-post at 60 MPH might be a salutary lesson for him. The problem is he'll probably kill someone else in the process.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Please Re-Post This One Nation Line

Are you, like me, totally fed up with those inane Facebook requests to re-post trite messages honouring some oppressed section of society or people with a terminal illness? I ignore them completely. If you really want to do something worthwhile, then donate to a suitable charity. Reposting something on Facebook is very simple, but achieves bugger all in terms of preventing cancer or funding research into motor-neurone disease. Donating a fiver achieves infinitely more!

Milliband is allegedly leading a One Nation Party. Isn't that by definition a totalitarian state, especially when a large proportion of the country won't vote for your party? His speech yesterday was cringeworthy in the extreme - it wasn't even rhetoric (much of it was lifted from the Tories, where it was equally inane). It was as inspiring as a flaccid, chamois leather and Milliband exhibited the leadership skills of a sheep. How on earth did he beat his brother in the leadership contest? Oh yes, I forgot, the unions wanted a tame sheep.

Time was when, if a department of government made a massive blunder, the minister in charge at the time would fall on his or her sword. Not any more, if the West Coast Main Line debacle is anything to go by - the incumbents at the time of the decision were moved to equally prestigious posts in Sept. What a shower.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Tale of Two Millibands

It has emerged that Ed Milliband didn't get a decent education and went to a local comprehensive school.

Seems he's invented a new term - the forgotten 50% - meaning those those don't go to university. Back in the day (a term my son is eminently familiar with), only between 5% and 10% of pupils went to university; that makes me one of the forgotten 90%. Didn't do me or any of my contemporaries any harm though.

It would appear that Ed just wants everyone not going to university to be portrayed as a victim of a vile and elitist system that promotes merit instead of mediocrity.

He's proposing a technical baccalaureate, but what about the ones who fail that? 

The word baccalaureate is fast becoming a debased and worthless term, like GCSE. Won't be long before Starbucks or MacDonald's are issuing their own.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Merry Christmas

John Lewis, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol yesterday - 30th Sept. Is this a record?