Thursday 31 January 2013

Enriching the Job

Following on from the government's brilliant plan to open the higher ranks of the police to suitable candidates from outside the traditional recruitment process, I have had a brilliant idea.

Let's bring senior businessmen into the NHS and fast-track them in 15 months to cardiac surgeons. That will do wonders for restoring confidence in the NHS and 'enrich your heart surgery experience'.

Just look at our PM and what a brilliant job he's done with no previous experience of running a country, or even a small dictatorship!

I see a US soldier has had a double arm transplant. I just hope the operation wasn't done by SpecSavers - I'm still convinced they had somehow managed to swap the prescriptions for my lenses on my varifocals (see yesterday's post), but they wouldn't admit it yesterday (yet they've booked me in for another eye test on Friday). Blokey who inspected the specs managed to break them while handling them - I think they must have fast-tracked a senior businessman into the recruitment process; either that of it was an attempt to destroy the evidence....

I learned yesterday that Christine Walkden, the One Show gardening expert, has never had botox. I simply can't believe it!

The 2:5 diet and associated abstinence from carbs is going well - I've shed 3kg since the 14th of January, and I haven't found it at all tough. Just another 5 kg to go and I'll be down to the weight I last was some 30 years ago (when in my 30s) and shall try to maintain that.

Question: vegetarians - do they invariably approach a restaurant with anxiety and leave with a feeling of hunger?

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Shouldn't Have Gone to SpecSavers for Rations

Had an eyesight test about a week ago and got my spare set of varifocals accordingly fitted with a new lens prescription.

Collected them from SpecSavers yesterday  morning and though they weren't quite right. Blokey said my eyes might need to adjust to them, which I thought a bit arse about face - specs are meant to compensate for bad eyesight, not eyes adjust to poor specs. Anyway, I let it pass.

Later in the day the situation hadn't rectified itself, soI tried putting them on upside down - could see perfectly! Suspect SpecSavers somehow managed to switch the prescription so my left lens got the right eye's prescription and vice versa. Taking them back today.

Some idiot doctors and health lobbies are saying fizzy drinks should be taxed higher than the 20% VAT because they can lead to obesity as part of a lard controlled diet. Why not tax anything with sugar - and carbs, while they're at it. In fact, tax anything that can be taken to excess. Bloody idiots - taxation is the usual blunt instrument solution to everything. I have a better idea, lets reintroduce rationing. Idiots!

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Pleasing the People

I don't want HS2 to go anywhere near my house, but I want it to call at my local station.

Never mind about not being able to please all the people all the time, you can't please any of the people at all.

Sunday 27 January 2013

The 7 Signs of Ageing

Must get myself some of this stuff I keep hearing them advertising on TV that's meant to fight the seven signs of ageing. In my book that's;

  1. kids,
  2. a gut,
  3. short-sightedness,
  4. baldness,
  5. grandchildren,
  6. incontinence and
  7. death.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Advertising Diets

Caught an advert for Cilip Bang, or some such dreary cleaning fluid, on TV last night. Wasn't it originally called Jiff? Much more memorable! The chap doing the advert was at pains to tell me his name is Barry Scott (or so Hay had to remind me at least twice thus far). Never heard of him, yet he seemed to think this important. Is he a celebrity advertiser? A political leader, perhaps? Had he been Terry Scott, or Scott of the Antarctic is would have meant something to me (as well as being a major miracle).

While writing this I decided to look the bugger up on t'internet and discovered he's not actually Barry Scott, but an actor called Neil Burgess. Has advertising gone mad when they feel the need to create a fictional character to become part of the brand? That said, I suppose there's essentially no difference between this and the fictional Bisto family or the Nescafe Gold romance.

For the last week I've been on the 2:5 diet (or is it 5:2?), stayed completely away from carbs and only eaten when actually hungry. Have lost 1.5 kilos already. Very impressed! Another 5 kilos or so and I'll be down to fighting trim.

Also rather proud I've not felt compelled to blog for a week. I guess I've been too absorbed with other matters and haven't felt strongly enough about things in general. However, one thing of note was a visit to No.5 Bistro in Bath for Hay's birthday. After our first visit in December I did a TripAdvisor review, which was generally effusive, but I did have reservations about the escargot. Well, blow me down! When we arrived last Sunday I was greeted by a free plate of esgargot on the house (and they tried to refuse a tip on 8 x 3 course meals - I wouldn't allow that, of course). Now that's what I call service and customer focus. If you're in the Bath area, give the place a try - French food at its best!

Friday 18 January 2013

It Was Only a Matter of Time

It had to happen:

Took me ages to find the burgers in Tesco this morning. They were down by the carrots. 

Traces of Zebra have also been found in Tesco bar codes! 

Tesco burgers came out top in a survey conducted by Gallup. 

I think someone is sending me death threats. Woke up this morning with a Tesco burger on my pillow.

I've heard the meat balls Tesco are selling are the dogs bol#@*s.

Ask Tescos for vegetarian burgers - they'll tell you they only have Uniquorn! 

Strange, hamburgers is an anagram of Shergar Bum.  

Tesco burgers - the affordable way to get your daughter the pony she's always wanted! 

Had a burger in Tesco cafe today. Waitress asked if I wanted anything on my burger?..... I said I'll have a fiver each way.

Had a burger last night...think it was from Tesco as I've still got a bit between my teeth 

Just checked the burgers in my fridge, and they're off!

BBC News: investigators have discovered the horses were molested before being put in the burgers at Tesco Police are asking anyone who knew Jimmy Saddle to come forward.

I just hope Tesco doesn't get saddled with a lot of stock.

To eat or not to eat a Tesco burger, that is equestrian!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Marketing Food II & Gun Control

Horse meat contaminated burgers - where can I get some? I heard about this too late to comment yesterday.

The problem is the word 'contaminated' - yes I know the precise definition is something that shouldn't be there (and horse meat shouldn't be in beef burgers), but it's a very loaded word today and has an association with something bad. The truth is that the additives in burgers are a lot worse for you than horse meat. Additives are the true contaminants.

Can't really understand why people buy burgers anyway - you pay more for a pack of frozen burgers than you do for the equivalent raw steak mince, and the latter you only need to shape into a burger. Not exactly rocket science.

I'd have thought Tesco would have taken advantage of the situation by simply relabelling them as horse/beef burgers and saying they're more healthy than standard beef burgers. Given the choice of horse or beef, I'd go for horse - but I'm a continental wallah and we eat all manner of disgusting things, like steak tartare and raw herrings.

I hear Obama wants mental health checks on gun holders - that's a complete ban on gun ownership in the US then; all gun owners are a bullet short of a magazine, if you ask me. Can't see how mental health checks on parents who guns can stop their deranged 17 year-olds  from getting hold of them - but it's a start. Banning assault weapons will be much more effective.

If, as the NRA claim, the solution is to lock up the "nut jobs", then a good start would be locking away NRA members!

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Marketing Food

While travelling around Europe  last week I took advantage of the fact by reducing my carbohydrate intake dramatically (it's quite easy when you're having meetings all day and staying in hotels). I compounded that yesterday by staring the 5:2 diet while I was in Aberdeen for the day (nearly more than a day, as the airport closed because of snow in the evening for several hours). The aim is to lose just over a stone in weight (and hopefully reduce my reliance on statins and hypertension medication while eliminating any chance of type II diabetes later in life.

The 5:2 diet means starving yourself on 2 days a week, although you are allowed up to 600 calories on these days (which seems rather a lot to me). Apparently it mimics the way our ancestors lived and how we evolved - a large kill, producing plenty of food for a few days, and then a short period of starvation while looking for the next kill. The logic behind it is that we've forgotten what it feels like to be hungry and contintally load ourselves with simple carbohydrates. As I'm off to London for some meetings, today is my next starvation day.

Anyway - I was looking over the fare at Aberdeen airport - deep fried Mars Bars, haggis, etc., and my eyes alighted on 2 ranges of sandwiches; normal ones and special diet ones. Believe it or not, the normal butties contained exactly the same calories as the diet ones. A veritable triumph of marketing.

It's rather confusing that while scientists refer to calories, the food industry uses kilo-calories - but they are the same thing. Logic dictates that a kcal is 1,000 calories, but that's not the case.

Did you know that lard, sugar and chocolate are slimming - as part of a calorie-controlled diet (i.e., if you leave them out completely). That's how marketing works.

Monday 14 January 2013

Overheard in the Caravan

Hay: "Where are you going to take me when it's my 50th?"

Chairman: "An old people's home."

It's the old dear's 48th this week.

Tough week last week - Bristol, Malta, Zurich, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Geneva, Amsterdam, Bristol, Corsham. It's Aberdeen today.

Thought I'd managed to kick the blogging habit - the will just deserted me last week. May yet have managed it; only time will tell.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

It Never Rains, But it Pours

This was the surface car park at my company HQ in Netanya, Israel, yesterday - a place where rain is scarcely seen:

Bear in mind that my company's car park is underground and worse rain is expected today. I guess there will be a few insurance claims. I predict Israel will do well in the swimming at the next Olympics.

I wonder if they have a guy called Noah working in the company....

Monday 7 January 2013

A Slightly Worrying Statistic

Saw this in a book I bought at Bristol airport yesterday (The Science Magpie).

Seems we're well down the league table in R&D. Mind you, when you look at the scale there's not that much in it. Most (but not all) of those to the left of us have much higher taxation.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Back in the day, They Knew How to Advertise

Saw this yesterday in an antique shop.

Brilliant, truthful, incisive and pulls no punches! Beats that grossly overweight, emaciated bone-bag Patsy Kensit advertising Weight Watchers, or a bunch of athletes advertising Subway (for winners - yeah, right, more like for fat gits!).

Monday Malta (flying this morning to be there in time), Tuesday Holland, Wednesday Germany, Thursday Switzerland, Friday Corsham (the MoD). I may be some time, especially with the latter.......

Friday 4 January 2013


I may have said it before, but I can't help feeling that during times of crisis democracy is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

Yes, politicians act in their own best interests, but those interests generally coincide with those of the people vote for them.  Nothing is more guaranteed than the average voter voting for his or her own self interest and bugger the bigger picture.

Methinks the Roman system of appointing a temporary dictator to see the country over a major crisis is the best solution. He (or she) has no chance of being elected and can therefore make unpopular, yet necessary decisions.

Perhaps dragoon in an ex Prime Minister who no longer has political ambitions?

Thursday 3 January 2013

Extreme Rainfall

Apparently a warming planet causes the atmosphere to hold more water/ Obviously not, if the recent weather is anything to go by.