Saturday, 30 November 2013

Am I a Cynic on Snippets?

It may be a coincidence, but shortly after you tell the BT telesales person who calls you that you don't really want to upgrade from their lowest broadband tarrif to the vastly more expensive one, the broadband inexplicably slows down and goes a bit Pete Tong?

Snippets from last night:

We were playing reverse Trivial Pursuit - you get given the answers and have to produce a question:

No.1 Son: "Alma Cogan."

Hay's Dad: "Oh, she was a German Jewish refugee. Her famous song went; "Sue wants a barbecue, Sam wants to boil a ham."

Chairman: "Not the best choice of song for a Jew escaping from the Nazis."

Actually, Hay's Dad was wrong. Jewish yes, but born in the UK and of Russian/Romanian stock.

Talking of nostalgia, who remembers this chap?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Warning - Advert

Has comet Ison been swept up by the Dyson at the centre of our solar system?

Thursday, 28 November 2013

It's All in a Name

Soccer is being investigated by the National Crime Agency - or SOCA (Serious & Organised Crime Agency), as it used to be known. Ironic?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Scottish Question

The question of whether Scotland should be independent it an emotional one – a bit like home rule for Cornwall – a nice, idealistic idea, but a decision that's impossible to make on the basis of rational judgement, as no-one has a crystal ball and knows what the consequences will be. It will be, at best, a gamble.

However, the question of remaining part of the UK is a much easier one to make if you believe that speaking a common language, having a relatively common culture and sharing a currency are pre-requisites for union. 

Those voting for independence must logically be against participation in the EU, but I suspect many are not.

The last thing we in England want is a bunch of Jocks heading across the border and taking claiming our benefits if it all goes tits-up after independence.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Say Cheese

I keep my Stilton cheese in a Tupperware box at room temperature, just to ensure it is ripe rank - the way I like my Stilton. I only put it in the fridge if it's in danger of going too liquid (Hayley is disgusted by my Stilton habit).

Yesterday I returned from the office and fancied a scoop. I promptly dug in and absent-mindedly put the Tupperware box away during a moment of distraction.

A bit later I fancied another scoop, but I was damned if I could find the Tupperware box. Spent some 20 minutes hunting high and low. Finally discovering it in the microwave! I am at a total loss to understand why I placed it in the microwave - I must be going senile.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Fire Slavery Culture

Flashed the wood burner up for the first time last night - then spent an hour wafting the air away from the smoke detector as the paint cured and smoked away. I eventually put a shower-cap over the damned thing. Must remember to remove it today!

I hear that those women who have been kept as slaves for 30 years are in the care of Social Services. My initial reaction was, frying pan and fire.

Hull, City of Culture! What kind of culture is that then - botulism or common or garden mould?

Politicians are saying that Co-Op Bank chairman, Paul Flowers, was not qualified to run a bank. I guess he was as qualified as George Osborne is to run the country's economy. There were also questions about his expenses, as there were about the expenses of many politicians (who are still employed as MPs).

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Marine Innovation

Spotted these simple devices yesterday.

A bit difficult to see from the photo, but the device attached to the painter uses the boats motion to activate a small bilge pump attached to a bungee. Handy if you're away from the boat for some time

This device is attached to the boat's painter and turns it into a very effective spring, giving the painter much more give. There are many other devices of this nature, but this one avoids having to cut the rope.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Another Day, Another Chevron

At the METS Exhibition in Hamsterjam for a couple of days. Spotted this little blinder - now that's what I call a bucket seat.

Another example of innovative up-cycling. I'm damned if I know where I'll get the legs from though.

Ever been on a UK motorway and seen those chevrons painted on the carriageway? The signs always say; "Keep 2 Chevrons Apart" They never say 1 chevron, so why not save on paint and place 1 chevron at the correct distance in the first place, rather than doubling them up?

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Country Walk

The Chairman and Hayley are having a country walk down a local lane which is liberally sprayed with horse muck:

Chairman: "Why the hell can't horse riders be made pick up their bloody horse muck, like dog owners have to?"

Hay: "Horse muck isn't dangerous to human health."

Chairman: "It damned well is if you slip on the stuff. Added to which, if I were to dump a load of it in the middle of a street I'd be prosecuted; if a horse does it it's fine."

Apparently a poll (aka what the baying mob says) shows that more than 50% of people in the UK believe Marine A (the Marine who illegally shot dead a Taliban insurgent) should receive leniency. Why does that not surprise me?

There's a story in the Sunday Telegraph today about the "fiasco" of a Sudanese paedophile who is due compensation for his human rights being violated. The problem with these populist stories aimed at the mob is that they risk destroying legislation that is designed to protect the vulnerable, just because of a very, very few inevitable mistakes, like the one recounted in the news story. The problem is not the human rights legislation, but mistakes made by civil servants that allow human rights legislation to come into play.

If the mob had its way, we'd have a return to arbitrary justice and gruesome public executions in town centres.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Utterly Stainless

Well, the stainless steel table centre-leaf finally arrived yesterday. It will take the hottest of dishes, but I'm undecided.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Simply Too Much

I think I have Children in Need fatigue syndrome....

It has simply become an excuse for awful TV.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

It's the Economy, Stupid

Britain is coming out of the recession, so we are told, while Germany and France are still mired in economic woe.

Could it be that because of the continentals' lack of spare cash, their aversion threshold to shoddy British goods has been lowered and they can no longer buy good, but expensive, German goods?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Age Thing

You know you're growing old when the names of celebrities, models, X-Factor winners, style commentators and weekend newspaper columnists mean absolutely nothing to you.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Colour Question on Remembrance Sunday

Hay: "Oh God - you've gone and put the coloureds in with the whites again!"

Chairman: "Yes, but I did put them in separate parts of the washing machine drum!"

Two minutes' silence on radio simply isn't good radio.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Problem with Politics

The problem with democracy is that people will vote for their own narrow interests, not for the greater good.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Raise the Marketing Bar with Scaffolding

I'm over in Rotterdam this week and another trade show.

Now this is what I call a trade stand - no pretences, no marketing flim-flam - just pure schmooze.

It's a bar. When your company is a shipyard and you're exhibiting at a marine exhibition, there's not much you need to do in the way of marketing - everyone knows exactly what you do.

Saw this too and it gave me an idea for a cheap, but stylish coffee table (or even dining table).

It's made from scaffolding, which is as cheap as, well, scaffolding, and a few bits of pallet, but I'd use heavy oak beams.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Offshore Barges?

Apparently there's a mystery over Google's barges in the USA.

No mystery - they're obviously offshore tax havens!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Ye Olde Pound Shoppe

Chairman: "That's novel - where did you get it?"

Hay: "The old Pound Shop."

Chairman: "You mean the 20 Shilling Shop?"

Saturday, 2 November 2013


The Daily Mail is off on one again with immigration.

Here are a few statistics:

  • This country has the highest ratio of university degrees per capita in the world.
  • It produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world - by a large margin.
  • It has the highest number of scientists and technicians per capita in the world - by a large margin
  • It has the highest number of PhDs per capita in the world.
  • It has the highest number of physicians per capita in the world.
  • It has the largest number of startup companies per capita in the world. 
  • It has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies outside of the US and Canada
  • It is also the largest immigrant-absorbing nation in the world, per capita.

That country is Israel - a nation founded on immigration from all four corners of the globe.

Yes, it has had its problems with immigration and assimilation, but it has innovative policies to manage immigration.

America too was founded on immigration, as were Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The key seems to be assimilation, not ghettoisation or multiculturalism, which sets immigrants apart.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Reality Law of Arts

So they're putting TV into courts of law. I foresee that bloke who runs X-Factor getting in on the act before much longer and it becoming yet another form of car-crash, reality TV. Barristers or defendants will have to do a song and dance routine to sway the jury.

They say that for every £5 spent per head on the arts outside of London, £70 per head is spent in London. That doesn't upset me - I don't really need culture on my doorstep when I have a plethora of nature and countryside within walking distance.

You know, every time I look at David Miliband, I think he looks as if he's in final GCSE year, or doing work experience.