Friday, 30 May 2014

Warning - Technophile at Work

Getting into this phone stuff since I rooted the Galaxy Note 2, but still a tad worried about bricking it if I play with it too much, so I bought a 2 or 3 year old HTC Sensation on eBay yesterday to play with before trying to upgrade my Galaxy to the KitKat version of Android - and hopefully curing the Sleep of Death permanently as a bonus.

Have managed a work-around for the Sleep of Death - I'm using an app called SoftLocker to stop the phone going into deep sleep (which is when the SoD occurs) and so far I've had nearly 24 hours without an issue. The downside is increased battery drain, but that seems to be more than offset by under-clocking the CPU.

Have under-clocked to 1.2MHz this morning and will keep tabs on the results. At 1.4MHz yesterday I was still at 30% capacity after 16 hours, with a projection of around 22, which is unheard of - I'm usually lucky to get 12 hours useage from one charge on the standard 1.6GHz..

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Racial Prejudice in Yorkshire for Mingling Christians

Racial prejudice is in the news.

I'm not sure racial prejudice is an accurate term - what I think people have is cultural prejudice, and logically, there's nothing wrong with that.

The colour of a person's skin is not the issue; it's the way in which they live their life, the manner in which they conduct themselves and their cultural values that cause the prejudice, and that's easily understood. The colour of their skin is just an identifier used by the lazy - no more than a pattern having a reasonably high correlation with the cultural values you take issue with, and we as humans are programmed to recognise patterns.

There are always people you dislike for some reason, but imagine an entire culture of them - like the French. Oh God, a hideous thought. The problem with the French is that they look just like we Brits, so it's not till they open their mouths and become all arrogant and, well, typically French, that you can tell they're French.

I would imagine a lot of people would have issues with Yorkshire people if they suddenly started to dress in kaftans, espouse Islamic values, take large amounts of illicit drugs (like Samuel Smith beer) or behave like the French - nothing whatsoever to do with the colour of their skin.

Talking of Yorkshire people, saw John Prescott on TV the other evening. Now there was a conviction politician - he didn't give a toss as to what middle England thought; he had a political point of view and pushed it, even if it risked him not getting into parliament. Similarly Tony Benn was a conviction politician. Nothing at all like the wishy-washy, "tell me what I must do to get your vote" lot we have now.

Very few people have an issue with Lenny Henry (except Dawn French - those damned French again) - but then he's a Brummie and some people just don't like Brummies. It's not the colour of his skin that worries them, it's his Brummieness.

Noticed an advert for a Christian dating site on TV last night - Christian Mingle. Excellent idea - keeps the buggers in one location and prevents normal people dating them accidentally. The only problem is that if a mingled Christian couple marry, they're more likely to raise their kids as Christians and perpetuate the mythology of their religion as fact.

Noticed that some pastor (aka fundamentalist) in Northern Ireland has been ranting about Islam being 'spawned by the Devil' and 'satanic'. The words pot, kettle and black come to mind when religions start having a go at each other There's a quote that says; "A heretic, my dear sir, is a fellow who disagrees with you regarding something neither of you knows anything about." Since no religion can agree on the concept of God, that's so true.

Fundamental literalism, and the intolerance it breeds, is a mostly western phenomenon (and then mainly Protestant) - the belief that God is just a bigger version of a human, with a few superpowers thrown in. It has, however, crept into Islam lately, whereas it was totally absent in early and middle Islam (and Juadaism and Christianity), where God was seen as mystical, beyond human comprehension, totally ineffable and not the rationalised, dogmatic, personal God of the Greek philosophers, continually intervening and meddling in human affairs (like an anthropomorphic, larger version of Zeus) where his attributes are open to scrutiny. The Eastern Orthodox still maintain the view that God is ineffable, and in this respect are more closely aligned with Asian views of the divine and the infinite. For the Eastern Orthodox the the muddled theology of the Trinity is a mystical symbol, and not something to be taken literally at face value.

If 'revealed religions' have revealed anything, it is that they are usually wrong and a mere projection of human values and frailties - another famous quote.

Underclocked the rooted mobile's CPU yesterday from 1600MHz to 1400MHz, which has had no appreciable detriment on performance, but has increased the battery life exponentially. Still haven't solved the Sleep of Death issue and suspect that will only be cured by flashing the thing with a new ROM, but I'm reluctant to do that till I know for certain what I have to back up in terms of data. Need an old 2nd hand phone to experiment on - something crappy, like an iPhone.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Women - Brains Like Sieves!

Yesterday it was the 8th anniversary of me and Hay first meeting. I took her her usual cup of tea in bed, along with an anniversary card. She'd forgotten! Women, eh?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Wind Tunnel Politics

So we have UKIP ruling our roost in the European Parliament, where they can do little damage. I have reservations about this result being replicated at a general election - beyond a policy of leaving the EU and stopping immigration, no-one knows UKIP's other policies - even their website it light on anything other than issues directly impacted by immigration. A one-trick pony.

This result is a consequence of the UK's main political parties being stuffed to the gills with a political elite, whose only function is to get elected and whose only experience is politics - straight from university to party researcher and then climbing the greasy pole of the political career, where native cunning is rewarded by being parachuted into a safe seat and loyalty is eventually rewarded by a seat in the Lords and the chairmanship of some august corporation.

Policy today is not formed from deeply held conviction, but by focus groups and targeted at winning over the largest voting bloc while not rocking the boat too much - nothing too radical. No wonder the parties and their policies all start to look similar - it's the wind-tunnel car design principle where all cars start to look like they all come from the same jelly-mould. 

We no longer have a left and a right - just a messy agglomeration of middleness - and a couple of one trick ponies on the fringes.

I'm reminded of a quote by Samuel Johnson: "A man sometimes starts up a patriot, only by disseminating discontent, and propagating reports of secret influence, of dangerous counsels, of violated rights, and encroaching usurpation. This practice is no certain note of patriotism. To instigate the populace with rage beyond the provocation, is to suspend publick happiness, if not to destroy it. He is no lover of his country, that unnecessarily disturbs its peace. Few errours and few faults of government, can justify an appeal to the rabble; who ought not to judge of what they cannot understand, and whose opinions are not propagated by reason, but caught by contagion."

The Sleep of Death seems to have returned after 24 hours! Left the phone's battery out all night, but it still went into the SoD 30 minutes later.

Monday, 26 May 2014

SoD (Sleep of Death) Cured in Old Sodbury

Cured the Sleep of Death on the phone. I found one, solitary solution that actually works - remove the battery and wait for 5 minutes before replacing and booting up again. The problem is caused by allowing the battery to run down to zero power - which I did a couple of times last week.

I also managed to root it, which gives me access to all manner of tweaks, such as extending the battery life, which is invaluable, stopping certain apps from starting at power-on and all manner of secret things. The downside is you can brick the phone if you gerfingerpoke without sufficient knowledge and the fact your warranty is invalid (unless you un-root again).

Might look for a custom RoM next, or install Android 4.3 (KitKat), which Vodafone seem rather tardy in releasing.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Polishing the Sodding Kindling

Well, the warm weather has given Hay's dad the chance to give his wood burner its annual overhaul and to start planing, sanding and polishing his kindling for the next time he comes to light it in the autumn (he's a bit OCD like that).

My Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has started to misbehave in the last week. When in sleep mode it intermittently switches itself off and I'm at a loss as to what's causing the problem. Don't really want to go to the bother of a factory reset - will probably just uninstall the apps, one-by-one, till I manage to ID the offending update.

Having researched the issue, it's apparently called the Sleep of Death - or SOD.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Power of Prayer in the 80s Music Scene

Your child has a virulent disease caused by a bacterium.

You have the option of an antibiotic or prayer not both - which would you choose?

Of course, God moves in mysterious ways and may not answer your prayer (well, not beyond chance probability). Antibiotics, however, are a tad more reliable.

Overheard while watching Culture Club's 'Church of the Poison Mind' on Vintage TV:

Chairman: "Who is the fat bird with the good voice doing the backing vocals?"

Hay: "Fattist and misogynist in the same breath!"

Chairman: "I think she's an immigrant."

The music of the 80s passed me by in the main - it was the backing track to a debauched lifestyle I was living at the time.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Voting Diplomacy

It strikes me that Vlad Putin is offended when it suits him politically to be offended. He doesn't really strike me as the kind of bloke who gives a fig for what people think about him, unless it's an opinion that can be used to boost his popularity at home. Russia's hesitancy in responding to the report demonstrates that admirably - anyone genuinely offended would have responded immediately.

It's neither here nor there as to whether the comparison by HRH is historically accurate, as we all know what he meant by it. What I find disturbing is that the Daily Mail saw fit to print what its reporter overheard within a private conversation. I never really saw the DM as anti-monarchist before now, not that I care one hoot about the monarchy myself - although Good Queen Bess has done a sterling job.

Charles needs to keep his private opinions private - and by that I mean he needs to be very careful about where, when and to whom he voices his opinion (it's part of his job description to be bland and opinionless in public); however, the DM needs to be a bit more heedful of the consequences of what it reports and whether it's in the UK's interests, rather than just in the interests of the DM.

The whole affair is reminiscent of Gordon Brown's 'bigoted woman' gaffe. The point of diplomacy is to dissemble and hide one's true feelings, and Charles is a diplomat by dint of birth. Perhaps he's just a chip off the old block - on his paternal side, naturally.

It's interesting to note that foreign policy was the prerogative of the monarchy until the House of Hanover came to the throne, at which point the House of Commons started to assume greater responsibility for the role, with continual diminution of the sovereign's prerogative in this respect from that point on as royal houses across Europe fell. 

Charles' namesake, Charles II, vigorously defended the Royal Prerogative over foreign policy and made it a condition of accepting the throne when invited to do so by Parliament. He was, after all, closely related to all the royal houses in Europe (some of which - like France - were still absolute monarchies) and thus in a unique position, within England at least, to have a feel for shifts in the balance of power, the maintaining of which was the prime focus of foreign policy.

Neither Hay nor I received our usual postal ballots for yesterday's European election, but we managed to get a vote nonetheless by visiting the polling station at the village hall. The staff there told us that of a total of 500 in the ward, only 135 had so far voted, although many of them could be postal voters.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Immigrants, Steak, Elections, Cabbages and Kings

Apparently mozzies are moving into British cities - I wonder what UKIP has to say about that, almost as bad a Pikeys.

A few months ago we discovered skirt steak, also known as hanger steak or butchers' steak (and onglet by the French). It's a relatively thin cut from the underbelly and at £8 a kilo is less than half the price of your more usual rump or sirloin - but is, in my opinion, twice as tasty. It's best flash-fried rare or medium-rare and served sliced. Because it's so cheap, we have it at least once a week.

Anyhow, we had some left over in the fridge last night and I had a mouthful, cold, with salt and pepper. Now I have no idea who first thought of putting salt and pepper on meat, but the combination of cold, rare steak, salt and pepper is heavenly and an inspiration. I could never go veggie.

No idea who I'm meant to be voting for today - haven't heard from any of the candidates and haven't even received a voting slip through the post. All I have to go on is the party political propaganda broadcasts on TV and will just show up at the village polling station with some ID, hoping inspiration will hit me in time.

I'm not a fan of the EU, have no time for Ed Milliband (but admired his brother), don't trust Cameron's promises and would never vote for a single issue party like UKIP, the Greens or the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Need to find an Irascible, Country's Going to the Dogs Party. How about the Absolute Monarchy Party? Enlightened dictatorships and absolute monarchies at least have something going for them - they don't have to make false promises or pander to the lowest common denominator, however, the drawbacks are unthinkable - kings-in-waiting can start wars with Russia.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Political Football Entertainment

The political posturing by the various parties is sickening. All of them are pointing at the failings of their opposites, but not saying a word about what they would do differently on key issues. Watched the UKIP party political broadcast last night; they moaned about EU fishing quotas and green taxes. So there would be no fishing quotas to save fish stocks or green taxes to promote sustainable energy if they were in power? That would be a recipe for a green and pleasant land - not.

As for Richard Scudamore and his sexist emails. Until I heard this I was convinced that football, along with its tribalism, chest beating, hooliganism and rampant machismo, was a haven of gender neutrality in a sea of rampant misogyny within the rest of society. 

I see that Manchester United has appointed a Dutchman as its manager - bloody Dutchmen coming over here and taking all our jobs. How would you feel if a bunch of Dutchmen moved in next to you? Drug-crazed pornographers!

TV is more dire than ever and what passes for entertainment (or even a documentary) is banal in the extreme. I've thought of a new reality TV show called Sleep - just film people sleeping. Seems the majority of the masses would find that highly entertaining and mentally stimulating, in a mind numbing way.

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Swift Manoeuvre

Before we'd installed the windows in the house, a couple of swifts had used the upstairs oak beams as a nesting place. They'd flown in through the upstairs window (or non-window, as it was then).

Yesterday morning Hay was startled by a swift flying in though the same window.

Someone else was a bit startled too...

Neighbour's cat, who we call Orange and tends to take over the house the minute a door is open.

Our cat, Kitty, just raced all over the place looking for a way to grab the swift, her face etched into what we call her Itchy and Scratchy face.

The swift eventually flew out through the French doors downstairs.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Table Top Aftermath

Made £41 at the table-top sale. Hayley did the table design and all the selling. She even sacrificed some of the produce to use as before-you-buy-samples.

Overheard in the village hall:

Female Customer: "Do you have anything without wheat?"

Had some sourdough starter for sale in little jars. Only 1 was bought, and I'll bet that ends up in the fridge for a week and then thrown out. Everyone is too busy these days to devote any time to something that requires a modicum of effort and patience.

My favourite pet hate has become T shirts and polos with any form of writing or image on them. They just look so scruffy. The village hall was bursting with middle-aged men wearing sad T shirts extolling how cool they are, or think they are.

Went to The Dog for dinner with No.1 Son and spotted a young bloke with an Australian accent who was passing himself off as a young Australian - but he couldn't have been, as he was wearing shorts with socks.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

And I Make My Own Dresses Too

Spent yesterday baking sourdough (wholemeal and white), garlic and rosemary focaccia and lemon drizzle cake for the table-top sale this afternoon at the village hall that Hayley roped me into.

That's only part of the haul. Also jarred up some of my sourdough starter to sell.

Tried an experiment on the focaccia - used a tin of French onion soup for half of the water content - Lidl are doing tins of the stuff for £0.79.

Baking in bulk is hideous if you don't have the equipment in bulk too.

I heartily detest this Redfyre AGA-style oven we bought. For all its size, we have 2 hotplates and 2 ovens, the normally aspirated of which (as opposed to fan assisted) takes forever to get to temperature. An absolute waste of money, space and weight - half of the front is either controls or simply wasted space. Basically it's a lifestyle statement, and not a very good one at that. The thought 'more money than sense' has crossed my mind several times in the last year or using it. You can't even program the damned thing, which is something the cheapest high street cooker accomplishes at a mere fraction of the price.

Thursday, 15 May 2014


Our local scrap merchant, known and advertised as Ironman, arrived yesterday and cleared the last vestiges of the caravan.

The near end of the field has been mown several times and shows great promise as a lawn, but unless we want a praerie, some serious garden design will have to start later in the year.

My sister-in-law sent me some photos yesterday of her garden in West Kirby - now that's what I call a garden, but it has taken years to develop.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Right to be Forgotten

Does the Right to be Forgotten judgement apply to what's in my memory? If not, then why single out Google?

I can see this one running and running, as well as a boom time ahead for lawyers.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Useless Death Pact for Meteorological Dodos

Just seen a BBC news headline which says "Richard and Judy agree death pact". My first reaction was to wonder when I could look forward to that happening. My second was to wonder if they's inadvertently used the N word on air.

Saw another headline that said "Scotland's dodo bone found at dig". Not sure why, but I immediately thought Alex Salmond had died.

Have you noticed how useless the BBC's weather forecast is for 1 week ahead?

I mean - daytime temperature between 10 (cold) and 24 (quite hot). Nighttime temperature between 3 (put the heating on) and 15 (quite oppressively warm). They might just as well say; "We'll be having some weather next week," for all the help that is.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Signs of Ageing in Thwaite

You know you're getting old when the commentators in the Sunday magazines are people you've never heard of before, and you notice the comments are becoming more trivial and lacking in depth, whether emotional, political or intellectual. You simply don't care about their vacuous opinions on Eastenders plots, fashion or celebrities.

The Chairman and Hay are driving to Bath along Lansdowne Road.

Chairman: "Ah, the Blaythwaite Arms - Blaythwaite is a Yorkshire name - you can tell by the Thwaite bit."

Hay: "What's a Thwaite then? Obviously something to do with black pudding racing, clog breeding or whippet manufacturing?"

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Christian Country II

Apropos of my post of a few weeks ago regarding Cameron's claim that we are a Christian country, I found the following quote from Lord Justice Munby regarding Christianity and the law, which many are of the opinion is based on Christianity:

"Although historically this country is part of the Christian west, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century. Our society is now pluralistic and largely secular. But one aspect of its pluralism is that we also now live in a multi-cultural community of many faiths. One of the paradoxes of our lives is that we live in a society which has at one and the same time become both increasingly secular but also increasingly diverse in religious affiliation. 

"We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to "do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will." But the laws and usages of the realm do not include Christianity, in whatever form. The aphorism that 'Christianity is part of the common law of England' is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 it has been impossible to contend that it is law."

Indeed, I would say that a lot of the legal changes over the last few decades  have been aimed at righting the wrongs caused by the church's influence. To quote Bertrand Russell: "I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world."

If one looks at the Ten Commandments, you can only award 3 points out of 10 for aspects of the Big 10 that have any relationship with our legal system - and even then they are the mark of any civilisation, Christian or pagan.

Let's, on Sunday, look at the 10.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me (not codified in UK Law).
  2. You shall not make idols (not codified in UK law).
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain (no longer codified in UK law).
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (no longer codified in UK law).
  5. Honor your father and your mother (not codified in UK Law).
  6. You shall not murder (award 1 point).
  7. You shall not commit adultery (not codified in UK Law).
  8. You shall not steal (award 1 point).
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour (award 1 point).
  10. You shall not covet (not codified in UK Law).

3/10 is hardly a compelling argument that our law is based on the Bible.

OK, you could move to Leviticus, but there's hardly anything in there pertaining to English common or civil law either. It's mainly concerned with dietary rules, ritual, sacrifice and how to treat your slaves - oh, and homosexuality, the law against which was repealed.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

We're On the Map

Seems the Google satellite passed over us in summer last year and they've only just updated their satellite view. We're now well and truly on the map (click the image below to enlarge).

We're the cross-shaped building and you can still see the caravan, which has now disappeared.

To the left of our house are Hay's father's and sister's houses. To the right is our field - just ripe for development.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Shalom Shabbat

Back in Blighty!

Overheard at HQ:

Colleague: "I want to get this order into the system today."

Chairman: "Naturally, it's Friday."

Colleague: "No it's not, it's Thursday."

Chairman: "Yes, but it's the equivalent of our Friday - you're weekend starts tonight."

Colleague: "Ah, yes."

I simply can't understand why the Israelis have the working week they have - Sunday to Thursday - which is shared by the countries that surround them, but with which they conduct no business to speak of. Their major trading partners are the US and Europe, and most of them originally hail from these areas and their ancestors adapted to our working week with little problem. It would make infinite sense for them to adopt our working week, even if Friday is a half day - they must lose so much business by having Sunday to Thursday (which is the reason they have to employ me and my staff to run the European operation from the UK).

You always see lots of Hassidim on the El Al flights to and from Israel, with their black suits, black overcoats, black homburg hats and open collar white shirts, but the one thing that stands out in my mind (beyond the obvious fashion faux-pas of an open necked white shirt with a black overcoat - makes the shirt look incredibly grubby somehow) is that they all seem to wear hideously bad shoes.

Was doing my usual sport of browsing the in-flight duty free catalogue and noticed a space pen, which can purportedly write in zero gravity. Just the thing to dash off your will when hurtling to the ground in the plane at terminal velocity. I mean - whenever is the average plane travelling person ever going to get the chance to even experience zero gravity (besides the fun fair, where you're too busy keeping your breakfast down to care about writing).

Inadvertently bought a Gilera DNA 50cc moped for No.1 son while flying to Israel. Left a snipe on it and thought I'd cancelled it, but lack of network connectivity meant the cancellation never took place. Arrived in Tel Aviv to find I won it for £200 (a non-runner needing a modicum for work). The problem is that it was in Houndslow, so I decided to pick it up after landing at Heathrow (it's in the locale), rather than pay some bugger a small fortune to collect it for me. Had no idea whether it would fit into the back of the Golf, but luckily it did and I hurtled down the M4 toward Bristol at 10 o'clock last night with fuel leaking out from the moped into the rear of the Golf and the tailgate tied part-closed with string. Managed to anchor the moped to the passenger seat with a LAN cable I;d filched from HQ to stop it coming out.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Talking Books in Neon

Thought I'd get some talking books for the flight to Israel to save me lugging weighty tomes; however, I found the major drawback. If you fall asleep with a book there's a good chance you'll retain the page you were on; with a talking book it keeps going and going and you have no idea where to go back to. As I tend to fall asleep on planes before take off (and remain asleep for about half an hour), it's a problem.

Looked around Dixon's at Terminal 1. Why do people buy these massive emergency phone chargers at exorbitant prices when all you have to do is buy a couple of spare batteries at a fraction of the cost and weight?

Spotted this attractively illuminated building on the way from Tel Aviv to Netanya:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Potenta Free Polenta Cake on the Grassy Knoll

Rotovator wrestling completed and the ha-ha is ready for grassing over.

It will soon be ready as a grassy knoll for any visiting American president.

Made another lemon drizzle cake yesterday, but mistakenly used plain flour rather than self-raising. It ended up looking more like polenta lemon drizzle, being rather dense, but not at all inedible. Quite nice really.

We are doing a table top sale at the village hall in a couple of weeks for which I will be baking a load of sourdough breads and a few cakes. Hay suggested I sell it at the table-top as polenta-free polenta lemon drizzle - for people with a polenta allergy.

Off to Israel at lunchtime (29 degrees there). Back on Thursday night.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Rotovator Wrestling in the Fire Pit

2 days of rotovating and I feel like I've gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson. Aching all over. Never mind - off to Israel again tomorrow till Thursday night.

Remember that washing machine drum I bought to use as a patio fire-pit? Flashed it up last night - works a treat!

Also we had a bit of excitement with a balloon deciding to land on the common.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

To Hell With the Shire

Those bloody Hobbits are a barrier to productivity and efficiency, what with their twee lifestyle of organic yurts and free-range tofu.

I'm going to rename the house Minas Morgul and start mechanising Mordor. Hay can do some of her bio-chemistry on Kitty and clone an Orc-kitty slave force.

Also need a John Deere hat (and probably a 3 stringed guitar).

Saturday, 3 May 2014

BT Overspill - Again - at The Cross Hands

BT Infinity conked out again at 03:30 Friday morning. Made the usual report to BT India (along with an additional report of 0.17Mb bownload speed for the ordinary BT Broadband connection in Hayley's dad's house) and waited.

Problem was resolved at about 11:00, when Infinity came back on line at full strength (although there's still no proper service in Hay's dad's house).

At 17:30 I got a call from BT India (the call was promised to be between 13:00 and 15:00, but no matter) to tell me that the engineers are working on the problem at the exchange. No matter how many times I said the broadband was working now, the Indian  woman on the other end of the phone was insistent I still had no broadband connection and it would be fixed. She was obviously reading from a script and would not be budged, regardless of the facts.

BT is an Indian company, isn't it?

Glances upward in frustration.

What I like about the internet (and smartphones) is the fact they become memory overspill. Last night I was wracking my brain for a name, but couldn't for the life of me remember it. A quick search on "Women in Love" produced Alan Bates - the name I was looking for.

We went out for dinner en famille at the The Cross Hands last night. For the first time ever, I was asked not to use my electronic cigarette by an embarrassed waiter. Apparently the chain has issued a blanket policy of banning them as they; "May encourage others to light real cigarettes." It's the fallacious slippery slope argument, which leaves rationality behind and fails to demonstrate inevitability. Needless to say, that establishment won't be having my custom again.

Off to collect a rotovator - becoming enamoured with the creation of a garden.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Mango Police

The EU has implemented a ban on Indian mangoes due to consignments being infested with non-indigenous fruit flies. One suspects India will get the ban lifted by a judicious, pre-shipment dusting of DDT, or an organophosphate. That should kill the little blighters.

Crime down by 15%, 20% of crime goes unrecorded - is that an overall 2% rise in crime (no, not 5% - work it out)? I suppose it depends on how long the non-recording of crime has been going on. Lies, damned lies and statistics. You can tell when a politician is lying - he or she opens his or her mouth...