Friday, August 29, 2003

Baghdad Burning Exposes A Con Trick! 

How much will it cost to rebuild Iraq? According to Paul Bremner it will amount to around $90 billion, but who is going to rebuild it Paul? We all know that companies from the US will recieve the largest chunk of profit.

Yesterday Baghdad Burning revealed a con being woven by the future rebuilders of Iraq:

One of my cousins works in a prominent engineering company in Baghdad- we’ll call the company H. This company is well-known for designing and building bridges all over Iraq. My cousin, a structural engineer, is a bridge freak. He spends hours talking about pillars and trusses and steel structures to anyone who’ll listen......... someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn’t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc......... A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!

Why the big difference in price, well my guess is that certain people will get to make more money if the contract is given to the US company.

For Goodness sake, stop doling out jobs for the boys and buying votes. Get the local people and local firms, working on rebuilding Iraq and stop striping it of what little dignity it has left.

Bush said that the revenue, from Iraqi oil, would be used to rebuild it. That might be true, but it's obvious where the lions share of that revenue is heading, certainly not Iraq.

The £60,000 Fart 

"If a fart is done on purpose when going into somebody's office it is important that management takes the matter seriously." so says Krister Skoglund, of the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

The quote relates to a story about a man who received £60,000 from a tribunal, after he was unfairly dismissed by his firm, for rebuking a fellow worker for breaking wind. The full story can be found on Ananova.

The Biggest Cigar In The World 

According to Ananova: A veteran Cuban cigar maker has broken his second world record for rolling the longest stogie in the world...... The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised Jose Castelar Cairo's 45ft cigar as the biggest ever.

You'd need to wash your mouth out with a few Guinnesses, if you managed to smoke your way through that and lived to tell the tale.

3,500 Teachers Posts Lost In Education Crisis 

The Department of Education was facing criticism after figures showed English secondary schools lost almost 3,500 teaching posts - about one each - in this year's budgets crisis....... The SHA/TES poll of 480 secondary heads showed 730 teachers and support staff were made redundant as a result of the cash crunch. reports The Star.

A radio report this morning on BBC Radio 5 said that the Government rejected these claims because the sample taken only represented one seventh of the total schools in Britain and was unrepresentative.

Now I may be wrong, but aren't the so called respected opinion polls, taken at election time, based on a so called representative sample of voters, usually numbering around 1,000 people? That is a damned sight lower percentage of the voting population, than one seventh.

With all these teachers being lost, where are the so called reported extra funds for education going? Someone somewhere is telling porkies.

Blaster Builder to be Busted 

The FBI has identified a teenager as the author of a damaging virus-like infection unleashed on the Internet and plans to arrest him early Friday...... The 18-year-old, whose name and hometown was not immediately available, was accused of writing one version of the damaging "Blaster" infection, which spread quickly across the Internet weeks ago claims wjla.com

Good throw the book at him. Whilst I agree Microsoft should sort out the bugs in their software before releasing it on an unsuspecting gullable world. There is absolutely no need for foolish pranksters to release these viruses and worms on the PC user base, causing damage and chaos on a public that don't deserve it.

If you think you are so clever son, do something positive about putting the world to rights, rather than causing an unholy mess.

Milk Float Sets Speed Record 

Reuters reports: A Welsh race-car driver claimed the first milk float speed record after zooming at 73 miles (118 km) per hour in a souped-up electric machine.

If my milkman tried that in our road, the bumps would ensure the milk was turned to something else. Anyone for a pint of butter?

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Ananova - Prosecution of sleeping fan branded 'ludicrous' 

Annaova reports: Police have been urged to reconsider the prosecution of a football fan who fell asleep during Middlesbrough's match against Arsenal

The poor fan was arrested by police at the end of the game when stewards failed to wake him up. The club have confiscated the fans season ticket until the outcome of the court case is known.

I know that getting drunk at sporting events is illegal, but he was not harming anyone. Given that Middlesbrough lost the game 4-0 and were absolutely diabolical on the day, I'm surprised more fans didn't fall asleep. Perhaps a more fitting punishment would be to give the fan his season ticket back.

Why Must Our Rulers Persecute The Honest And Decent?  

"Why does modern Britain punish virtue? Work hard, save, restrain yourself, be patient and considerate and your reward will be poverty in old age and contempt from all sides........." asks Peter Hitchens.

I don't always agree with what he has to say, but I often contemplate similar notions to those put forward in his article.

It's often easier to punish and persecute the normally law abiding majority, than to get your hands dirty and actually deal with those, who will not toe the line or do not play by the rules.

Unreliable Fact Of The Day 

UN Reliable Facts
This site is currently being sued by the United Nations for copying their reliable facts web page.

The Makems New Supporters Coach 

Sunderland FC today released of photograph of their new supporters coach, which will be used to take their many fans to away matches:

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

CD-Recordable Disks Unreadable After 2 Years 

The Dutch PC-Active magazine has done an extensive CD-R quality test. For the test the magazine has taken a look at the readability of discs, thirty different CD-R brands, that were recorded twenty months ago. The results were quite shocking as a lot of the discs simply couldn't be read anymore:.....

This could be worrying if you rely soley on such media, for backup purposes, or in my case storing my digital photos. The moral is: keep at least two copies of any backup disks, and keep checking them for errors, re-recording them fairly regularly.

A Ton Up Harley-Davidson 

When I was a young lad, I briefly owned a BSA Starfire, similar to the one pictured in the link, in those days I dreamed of owning a Harley-Davidson of some sort, any Harley-Davidson would have done.

Well next week Harley-Davidson celebrates it's centenary:

Hundreds of thousands of motorbike riders are expected to descend on Milwaukee next week as the iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson reaches its centenary

I still would like to own a HD, and would just love to be at the celebrations. To enjoy it properly, I guess I should pass my test and buy one first though. The dream still lives, mind I'd make do with a Triumph Bonneville to be honest.

Enough Is Enough! 

HOMEOWNERS should be taxed more heavily to close the gap between the rich and poor, a new report says. Under the proposals, house buyers relying on legacies to get on the first rung of the property ladder would be hit. Current exemptions on paying inheritance tax on estates valued at less than £250,000 should be closed, says a leading Blairite think-tank.

Not content on taxing as much as they can get away with, from my hard earned wages, and continually plundering money that I've earned previously, already been taxed on, which I'd set aside for my retirement, thus ensuring that I have to work beyond the normal retirement age in order to have enough to live a reasonable retirement on, the evil warlords that run this country are now doing their utmost to drive the the entire population of this country back into rented accomodation. Thus leaving the housing stock in the hands of the wealthy and big corporations.

If this sees light of day, then I'm emigrating and taking what I have left, to a place that appreciates my endeavours. The incompetant pigs in charge, have had and have wasted enough of my money, they are not going to get anymore.

My Generation! 

Whilst searching for a link to the album and group mentioned below, I stumbled across the aptly named My Generation Radio site. This looks a likely contender for a tune in later tonight.

The site had links to Other 60's Artists Pages, including one that the Birdman was waxing lyrical over, elsewhere: The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

An Album To Get Your Teeth Into! 

Track List for today is:
  1. I Cant Explain

  2. The Kids Are Alright

  3. Happy Jack

  4. I Can See For Miles

  5. Pictures Of Lily

  6. My Generation

  7. The Seeker

  8. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

  9. Pinball Wizard

  10. A Legal Matter

  11. Boris The Spider

  12. The Magic Bus

  13. Substitute

  14. Im A Boy

I listened to or will be listening to the above tracks today on the drive to and from work. They of course comprise the wonderfully named 'Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy' album by The Who.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


Angel recently reported that a large rat had been seen stealing a fish from her pond, perhaps the following report might put things in some sort of perspective, i.e. she is not alone:

Disease-carrying rodents outnumber humans in Britain and could soon overrun our streets.....The heatwave has triggered a dramatic rise in the rat population and new figures indicate there are three million more rats in Britain than last year - that's a staggering 60 million rodents..... Council houses and country mansions are all being overrun. Even Buckingham Palace has fallen victim to the epidemic. reports todays Daily Mirror

The thing with rats is: they are very successful scavengers and survivors. The best way to deal with them is not to leave food laying around where they can get at it. Unfortunately that's easier said than done in todays litter lout society. I'll rely on our cat and those of the neighbours to keep the rodent population down in our area.

Luther Watch (Vandross showing improvement) 

Luther Vandross is giving fans the reason -- the reason to believe.

The Grammy-winning R&B balladeer, stricken in April by a stroke, is now talking and showing movement on his right side, reports E!Online.

Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 15th August 2003.

What Country Are You? 

Thanks to Breanagh for finding this:

You're Brazil!

You're athletic, charming, and probably a good dancer. Unfortunatley, you don't really mind chopping down the rain forest, and you probably consider homeless people expendable in certain circumstances. Of course, your personality is so diverse that it's hard to track down exactly what you're like. You definitely like Pele, the World Cup, and shouting "gooooal" at the top of your lungs.
Take the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid

It certainly got the last sentence correct.

What Enneagram Type Are You? 

I found this on Fred's blog.

free enneagram test

Friday, August 22, 2003

World Peace? Not A Hope In Hell! 

A dean at Egypt's University of Al-Zaqaziq is preparing a lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world," accusing them of stealing gold during the exodus.

What hope for peace when, so called learned men, come up with stupid ideas like this?

All credit has to go to My Inner Sanctum for unearthing the link. I seem to be filching a little too much from Breanagh these days, sorry Brean. Mental note to myself: 'Stop it'.

Where is Raed? Fotopages! 

Those reading the Where Is Raed? blog might be interested to know that Salam has his own fotopages.

Lack Of Bloggage! 

I'm aware that I haven't written anything up today, well I'm busy at work for once and what's more have some deadlines to meet, so it may go a little quiet over here for the next week or so.

I've opened an account on fotopages.com to store some of my efforts online. Both Krip and Laura use this facility to publish their online pic's, so if it's good enough for them, it will do for me.

In the meantime as bloggage will be less prolific, I'll leave you with a few photos to browse, which were taken on a weekend break to the lakes, back in May.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The State Of British Roads Part II 

Last Month I wrote a blog about sites dedicated to British roads. In the blog I mentioned that I had submitted a ford, that I knew of, to the Wet Roads site.

I am now pleased to report that the ford, at Rickford in Somerset, has been accepted for inclusion and can be found in the listings here complete with all my original spelling mistakes.

Now, if anyone is passing down that way can manage to get a photograph, I'm sure we can get it included in the database with the description, and any additional description the photographer may care to enter.

Don't Be A Tosser All Your Life 

Brookside babe Jennifer Ellison today joined the war on motoring litter louts....... The actress and pop star helped to launch a campaign aimed at motorists who throw rubbish out of their cars during journeys.

What I want to know is: Why just aim the campaign at motorists? A campaign against all litter louts would get my vote. They are all TOSSERS in my opinion.

So You Want To Be Rich And Famous 

It seems all you have to do is win an Ebay auction which goes live on 7th September, then Doktor Snake, a voodoo practitioner from Norwich, will help you make a pact with the devil.

Easy when you know how isn't it?

An Oh So True Unreliable Fact: 

There are no such things as "Virgin Trains" , anybody that has been on one knows that they are all fucked

Talking Of Walking 

A couple of days ago I left a comment on Breanagh's blog that mentioned a long distances walk that I once undertook. That comment and Krip's blog regarding a walk he undertook earlier in the week, started me reminiscing about that long distance walk which I undertook way back in August 1977.

The walk itself is called the Lyke Wake Walk, and rather than go into long detail, about it's history and route, I'll point you to this site where you can learn a bit more about it, for yourself. So many of that persons memories, mirror my own, and his pictures are pretty good too.

There is too much to write about my own crossing for a blog entry, so I'll just produce a few thoughts that hark back to the memorable day, maybe one day I'll create my own home page, with links to my own memories pages. Suffice to say at the time the 40 mile walk felt like an ordeal, but it was done to raise money to buy equipment for a local hospital, so the ordeal was endured in good humour.

The weather then was particularly hot, though not as hot as the summer of 1976. That meant, many of the areas that were normally 'a slog in a bog' were thankfully dry. The walk is hard enough, without having to cart around half the peat bogs of North Yorkshire, stuck to your boots.

Highlights of the walk were:


Whenever I read or hear The Cleveland Lyke Wake Dirge which is reproduced below, I always think back to August 1977 and think "should I have another shot at it?". Then reality and common sense kicks in and I think, "No, it's much better as a memory".

The Cleveland Lyke Wake Dirge:

This yar neet, this yar neet,
Ivvery neet an' all,
Fire an' fleet an' cannle leet,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
When thoo frae hence away art passed
Ivvery neet an' all,
Ti Whinny Moor thoo cums at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
If ivver thoo gav owther hosen or shoon,
Ivvery neet an' all,
Clap thee doon an' put 'em on,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
Bud if hosen an' shoon thoo nivver gav neean,
Ivvery neet an' all,
T'whinnies'll prick thee sair ti t'beean,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
Frae Whinney Moor when thoo art passed,
Ivvery neet an' all,
Ti t'Brig o' Dreead thoo cums at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
If ivver thoo gav o' thy siller an' gowd,
Ivvery neet an' all,
On t'Brig o' Dreead thoo'll finnd footho'd,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
Bud if siller an' gowd thoo nivver gaven eean,
Ivvery neet an' all,
Thoo'll doon, doon tum'le t'ards Hell fleeames,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
Frae t'Brig o' Dreead when thoo art passed
Ivvery neet an' all,
Ti t'fleeames o' Hell thoo'll cum at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
If ivver thoo gav owther bite or sup,
Ivvery neet an' all,
T'fleeames'll nivver catch thee up,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.
Bud if bite an' sup thoo nivver gav neean,
Ivvery neet an' all,
T'fleeames'll bon thee sair ti t'beean,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

For a history and explanation of the meaning of the words pay this site a visit.

Oh, and the four of us who undertook the walk raised £96 to put towards the hospital equipment appeal. It was worth a lot more then than it is now is all I can say.

More information about the walk can be found at The Lyke Wake Club website.

New Iraq Blog Opens 

Another blog form an ordinary Iraqi citizen has recently opened. The first entry, written by Riverbend, ends:

A little bit about myself: I'm female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That's all you need to know. It's all that matters these days anyway.

The entries so far seem to be written with real feeling and I'll be watching developments in the coming weeks. For those interested the blog is called Baghdad Burning.

Thanks to Salam for highlighting the new blog.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Hell Is What You Make It 

If you could create your own personal hell who would you put in it? This great link was stolen from Modern Life Is Rubbish. Nice find fruits.

Bill Clinton, General asshats, Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle I Limbo

Libertarians, Scientologists
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Chief Justice Woolf
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Bill Gates
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Militant Vegans
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Uday Hussein, Noel Edmonds
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Tony Blair
Circle VII Burning Sands

Cherie Blair, Alistair Cambell, Qusay Hussein
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Rupert Murdoch
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

What Type Of Blogger Are You? 

This quiz was purloined from Breanagh's site.

You are a David Weinberger.

You are smart, savvy, interested in why people do what they do,
enjoy questioning yourself and are not balding.

Take the What Blogging Archetype Are You test at GAZM.org

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Because Everything You Read On The Internet Is True 

When Grimsby played Hull in the 4th Round of the FA Cup in 1884 the match was abandoned after 27 minutes when both teams took down the nets. It appears that large shoals of herring had been spotted in the North Sea and as all the players were part time footballers and full time fishermen they needed the nets to snare the fish.The match was eventually decided 3 days later in the saloon bar of The Slug and Snail when the two captains played best of 3 at Scissor, Paper, Stone, Hull won 2-1 AET.....

The Nationwide Division 1 team West Bromwich Albion have the nickname 'The Baggies'. They are so called due to the fact that their blue and white striped shirts were inspired by a Tesco carrier bag.

Football might be a lot more fun if facts like these were unearthed on a regular basis.

Are they true? I doubt it, but you can find a whole load more stories like it at The Brains Trust, Unreliable Football Facts site.

If you don't like football try the Unreliable Facts Homepage for more catagories. Some of the facts are hilarious.

Where Eagles Dare. 

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is deploying eagles to control giant gerbils that have damaged an area of grassland larger than Switzerland.

My father wouldn't entertain such animals in the house as pets, labelling them germ infested rodents and unwanted pests, clearly believing they would either kill us all in our beds, or eat us out of house and home, if they escaped.

To combat the onslaught, the government was using poison and raising eagles to eat the burrowers now reaching the peak of their reproductive cycle....

Surely the poison could kill the eagles?

In addition to being an agricultural pest, the gerbils are known to carry bubonic plague........

If one species of gerbil can carry plague, then they all can. Nearly every school I know of has a couple of smaller versions of these plague carriers, in classroom versions of pets corner. Just a haphazard thought.

My Gran Was Probably Right! 

DUBAI (Reuters) - A 120-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates who had managed to avoid hospital all his life died after his first visit to one, the Gulf News daily reports

My gran always told me "you'll not catch me going to hospital, that's where people go to die". She might have been right. The odd thing is that she was a trained nurse.

Edmonds: I'm guilty of bad TV 

The proud creator of Mr Blobby - one of the most reviled characters in TV history - has conceded he was partly responsible for a drop in standards in British television.

At least he admits it was bad, in my opinion it was garbage.

But he could not resist another dig at his former BBC bosses.

"Certain pockets have real problems and Saturday night is one of them. They axed House Party because of falling ratings, apparently, but it had 7.5 million at the end and they'd be delighted with that now," he said.

so there were still 7.5M idiots watching it at the end then, now they watch so called reality TV.

And he castigated today's TV executives for "a lack of courage, vision and talent", accusing them of copying each other's successes rather than taking a risk on a new idea.

"You put up strong ideas which they can't understand because they're frightened," he said.

Yes Noel but you started it all, all in the name of making money and where were your strong ideas back in the days of The House Party? I don't call gunging someone, a direct rip-off of the old Saturday morning childrens TV show, Tiswas, a strong idea.

I'll stick to reading, gardening and messing with PC's, I'd even go jogging to avoid watching the unadulterated garbage put out on TV shows these days. Did I really say I'd go jogging there? I might have been joking.

Gazza Goes To The Polls 

First there were actors Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood and latterly Arnie all entering the world of politics, all this in the USA of course.

What has Britain got to offer?

I'll tell you it's Paul Gasgoigne. The former daft as a brush, alcoholic, England footballer has been asked to stand as an independent parish councillor on Stanstead Abbotts council in Hertfordshire. The former England footballer is backing plans for a youth club to keep kids off drink and drugs.

I can't help feeling that it will all end in tears.

Monday, August 18, 2003

A Bargain However You Look At It! 

HAPPY Rick Egan, 27, paid £160 for a clapped-out Ford Sierra in Ipswich - and found eight crates of lager in the boot. reports The People.

That's what I call a bar gain.

The New Directory Enquires Exposed 

With next Sunday's demise of BT's 192 directory enquiries number, customers are faced with a bewildering array of new numbers to dial, all beginning with 118, when searching for those numebrs they can't remember.

Altogether, 40 companies have got permission to run a service - and ELEVEN are up and running. We put them to the test by asking for three numbers - a home in Peckham, South London, an Indian takeaway in nearby Dulwich - and the Hilton Hotel in Bangkok.

The People offer a unbiased guide to the eleven replacement services that are currently up and running.

Real Help For The Third World? 

Today (Monday, August 18, 2003) with only a few weeks to go before the World Trade Organisation meets in Cancun the Guardian is launching a new website with a single aim:

Help the poorest countries by kicking into oblivion All Agricultural Subsidies

Could the Kick-Aas blog launched by The Guardian offer real hope for the third world?

It has to be seen a a step forward. I could never understand the point of paying farmers subsidies to overproduce foodstuffs for which prices were held artificially high, especially as they just wasted away on a food mountain somewhere in Europe.

The Extinction Of Man 

Imagine, in brief, a world run entirely by women. Idle fantasy? Not any more, it would seem. It’s what radical feminists have been trying to persuade us for years: man really is the weaker sex. Now science is beginning to support the claim.

According to this report it seems that, the marauding "wimmin" of this world, are about to get their own way. Well maybe they'll have to wait another 125,000 years or so.

Armchair Cop Show Fans Are Better Interviewers 

The Chief of Police in Manchester seems to have got his head screwed on right. He had reviewed his officers interview techniques and concluded:

it would be better for criminals to be interviewed by fans of The Bill and Inspector Morse than some of his own officers reports Ananova

Computerised Fashion Sense 

Do we really want to be told by a computer what and what not to wear?

I think stores, utilising this, may end up with one or two broken cameras.

Pointless Interview Questions For Angel 

Angel is to become my first interviewee, here are her questions:
  1. If you had to lose one of your five senses (ie. sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell), which would you choose? Please give reasons.

  2. Which Disney cartoon character do you relate to, and why?

  3. You are trapped in a lift with your worst nightmare, how do you cope?

  4. In cronological order, list the 5 song titles that best describe your life.

  5. It's a mystery.... What is it?

I hope you find them challenging enough, or at least interesting, good luck Angel.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Talking Nonsense? Me? 

If you this can understand the then fact this they a person because better she will be, I.

I tried to keep it simple, but no matter what I did, it came out rubbish. What am I talking about? You may well ask. Click here to find out how typing in a simple sentence like "If you can understand this then you are a better person than I am" can produce the garbage above.

The site allows you to submit the text of your choice, to Babelfish and have it translated back and forth, through 5 target languages. With each translation your text becomes further and further detached from the original.

I'll leave you with a famous Shakespeare quote or two:

1. Relativo or Nichtsein, is the question.
2. Examinación done of the protection of them you go march

You should be able to make a good guess at what the first one is at least.

A biscuit to Stu for finding this, though he may not have blogged it yet.

Link now fixed.

The Five Questions Interview 

The latest thing doing the rounds is a 5 question interview, I've finally bitten the bullet and jumped on the band wagon. My interview questions were posed by breanagh, and are answered after the interview rules. The rules for joining in are simple and are as follows:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

My Interview

1. if you were tasked to build a superduper computer, what goes inside it? does it require the use of some new-spangled language to run the routines and procedures and wotever else?

This is probably the hardest question of the five, despite working in IT I'm hopeless when it comes to the hardware side of things. Also despite working in IT, I think too many people use computers for the wrong things and computers don't always need to be the latest, greatest and fastest available. To me if a computer does the job you need to to do in a reasonable time, then it is fast enough and good enough. There are times when a paper and a pen are the best 'computer' for a job, but too many people especially company executives, don't realise this.

The best example I can give for this was a system I had to spec around 15 years ago, a manger had bought the latest PC available and wanted a database to hold a list records which could be of searched printed out periodically. During my analysis, I found out that there would only ever be 7 records in the database, yet this guy wanted me to write, an all signing all dancing program, with bells and whistles on it. I bought him a Word Processor and he was flabberghasted. I refused to waste 3 months of the departments time and money on something that wasn't needed. I saved them money, but he wasn't happy because he could not show something special off to his colleagues. Still it made him think, he was careful what he asked for in the future.

Hm, I haven't answered the question have I?

Ok I'll answer on the basis that the computer is a PC, rather than a Kray. To start with It would have the biggest Flat Screen monitor available. An optical cordless wheel mouse. An ergonomic cordless keyboard. The main unit would contain a dual processor with the fastest chips available and would have a minimum of a Gigabyte of memory, more if possible. A top quality sound and graphics cards, and the fastest modem available (Our village can't get broadband yet, but that would be in if we could). A suitable network card would be included, for linking up the other PC's in the household and at least a powered 4 port USB hub would be required. I'd have a couple of say 300Gb hard disks put in, with disk mirroring, a DVD/RW drive, a CD/RW and a top quality scanner. As for software I'll stick with what I know probably Windows XP Pro. Though maybe I'd make it dual boot system and reaquaint myself with Unix again. As for software I'd go for the latest versions of MS-Office Pro, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Powerbuilder, J-Builder, BEA Weblogic, SQLServer, IE, Outlook, Mozilla, Netscape plus a smatering of other browsers so any software I wrote could be tested on them. I'm not too bothered with games apart from Championship Manager which I have copies of. I'd probably stick CM00/01 on rather than the latest version. Oh and I should add a security suite taht includes a decent up to date virus scanner and firewall.

2. a new deadly virus is discovered / on the loose on planet earth that will see humankind perished - yay. what will you do?

I doubt if there is much I could do apart from stocking up on essential food stuffs and plenty bottled water and then try to isolate my family from the rest of humanity, until the crisis passed over. Even then it is unlikely to achieve much, as everyone else would be trying to do the same thing. One thing I would try not to do is panic, there is no point, I'm a firm believer in what will be will be and death comes to us all eventually. Obviously we make stand against the inevitable and do what we can to stave it off.

There a fair few places on the North York Moors that I know of, that are isolated and may provide some form of protection, but I dare say that other like minded people know of such places too.

One of the biggest problems with the bubonic plague was the movement of population, this caused the the disease to spread and this was before fast worldwide transportation. Now with aeroplanes and modern work patterns, any species killing disease could be global within days, before human kind knew about it. By the time we found out about it, it would probably be too late.

3. republic or monarchy for the UK? is it because of prince charles' ears?

Something like what we have now in Britain is fine by me, which is somewhere between the two I think. Republics are all fine and dandy until one party gets two much power then where does the balance come from. The Queen in theory can overrule Parliament if she thinks that the politicians are acting against the interests of her subjects, but rarely does. It's rumoured that Maggie Thatcher had a fair few grillings at Buck' House over some of her more extreme measures. What I wouldn't want to see is one person in total charge, unless it was me (Ha! Megalomania rules ok!), as that would only serve that persons own interests. A Republic alone could easily swing towards a Dictatorship, in the wrong conditions.

So, I think my final answer is I want neither, as both seperately, could end up giving too much power to the wrong people. The Republic gives it to those who seek it and in my opinion, those who seek power are not fit to govern. The other gives power to an unelected inbred and we've seen some mad Monarchs over the centuries. The two together gives some sort of balance.

Oh! Prince Charles' ears have nothing to do with it, they offer a usuful distraction from his more mad ideas. I don't mind Prince Charles too much, I think on the whole he means well.

4. "in view of a wonky major nerve, we have to grow some stem cells first in our lab, and then implanted it inside you. but of course, some animal’s – at this time we can’t possibly reveal which – dna will be used also as it’s a bit difficult to get people to donate certain bits..” your reaction?

I'd take it, I'd take it. I've got a slightly dodgy disc in my back which, due to sporting activities over the years (ie. my goalkeeping and wicket keeping activities), has worn down somewhat. My doctor has told me to stop playing these games and take up swimming instead, I hate swimming, it's so boring. It's not a big problem but I have to watch what I lift and how undertake certain strenuous activities. I would definitely take the cure if it meant I could take up sports that I enjoyed again, and didn't have to be so damned careful.

5. that perennial question: why did that darn chicken cross the road?

That's easy I think, "it saw Colonel Saunders blocking the pavement/sidewalk".

Phew that was an ordeal, now if you want to be interviewed just ask in the comments.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Big Lips Spammer 

To the spammer who sent me an email pointing me to biggerlips.net:

I am neither female, nor do I want to have lips that will make me look like Leslie Ash.

She looked much better without the big lips.

Todays Driving Tunes 

The playlist on my CD as I drove to work today was:

  1. Heartbeat - Buddy Holly

  2. Just One Look - The Hollies

  3. Do You Love Me - Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

  4. In Dreams - Roy Orbison

  5. Tired Of Waiting - The Kinks

  6. Flowers In The Rain- The Move

  7. The First Cut Is The Deepest - PP Arnold

  8. Sloop John B - The Beach Boys

  9. Rescue Me - Fontella Bass

  10. Yesterday Man - Chris Andrews

  11. Out Of Time - Chris Farlowe

As I drive home tonight, the play list will be:

  1. A Picture Of You - Joe Brown & The Bruvvers

  2. Need Your Love So Bad - Fleetwood Mac

  3. Do You Love Me - Brian Poole & The Tremeloes

  4. I Get Around - The Beach Boys

  5. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - The Walker Brothers

  6. This Wheel's On Fire - Judie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity

  7. Let's Dance - Chris Montez

  8. Concrete & Clay - Unit 4 Plus 2

  9. Born To be Wild - Steppenwolf

  10. Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces

  11. Keep On Running - The Spencer Davis Group

Yes I'm in a nostalgic mood at the moment.

No More Heroes Anymore - (Reprise) 

I got some more information on the volunteers, who ferry day patients to and from hospitals, last night:

They do recieve milage expenses for their troubles and my source claims that, they are resonable enough to ensure that, they don't lose out on the extra servicing, needed for their cars.

I think I've identified what I will give some of my free time up for, when I finally retire from the daily drudge. Mind that's a fair way off yet.

How Not To Win The Peace 

If any of you follow Salam's Where Is Raed? then you may have already read his latest blog. For those that haven't then maybe now is a good time to take a look at what is really happening in Iraq, from the point of view of someone on the inside.

Salam yesterday reported on an incident where his friend, 'G' was beaten up by American troops. His friend, who is acting as an interpreter and fixer for The New York Times, was caught taking pictures of an attack, for a report he wanted to write. His crime was that he was an Iraqi and sported a beard.

G does not want to talk about his beating at the moment, but Salam intends to dig deeper. Hopefully the truth will come out, and the authorities will take action against those responsible.

Is it any wonder that the US forces are looked upon with suspicion, when those supporting their actions are turned on by the troops? Things like this can only set back the reconstruction of the Iraqi nation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

No More Heroes Anymore! 

I've been scratching around for something decent to blog about for ages, sometimes feeling that the quirky news items and quiz's that heve filled my pages recently are, well, just not enough. A news item last night, coupled with a few other events over the last few weeks, set something in my mind thinking. The end result is this blog. No it's not about The Stranglers who did a song that the title of this blog is named after, but the title seemed appropriate to the blog.

The first football team I ever supported as a child was Middlesbrough FC, it was my hometown club. What's more I lived within 100 yards of the old ground, Ayresome Park, for near enough the first 23 years of my life, who else would I support? I watched my first game around 1963/64 season, I think we got beat 5-3 at home by Rotherham, even so I was hooked and attended nearly every home match from that moment on, until I moved away from my home town.

There was no other club for me, there never is, once your decision is made, it's set in stone. Yes I've taken a passing interest in other teams that were local to where I have lived, but Middlesbrough will always be the first club in my heart. I can remember names of players from those distant days, and can still see them performing in my mind, they became my heroes in childhood. Players like: Mel Nurse, Ian Gibson, Dickie Rooks, John O'Rourke, John Hickton, David Chadwick, Derek Downing, Eric McMordie, Hughie McIlmoyle (Pogo may have heard of him), Willie Maddren, Stuart Boam, Frank Spraggon, Alex 'Farmer' Smith, Alan "Walk's On Brown Ale" Foggon and so on, all good British names you'll note, a foreign player in those days was from Scotland, Wales or Ireland.

Having said all that, one player for me stood head and shoulders above everyone else, he didn't play for Middlesbrough, he played for Manchester United, the team that everyone loves to hate, but it wasn't like that back then. The player in question was George Best, we all dreamed about being able to play like George, to roam freely with the ball causing havoc in opposing defenses and having caused havoc, going back and doing it again. In footballing terms the man was a genius he had it all. At around the age of 12, I even saved up my pocket money and with my cousin of the same age, got on a train to Sunderland just to watch George play for Manchester United against our hated rivals.

Seeing the likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Denis Law playing live and in the flesh was a treat to those of us who were fed weekly on a diet of 1st division 'big hoof' football. It wasn't a fairy-tale day though, the game ended in a 1-1 draw and Bestie had a goal wiped out for offside, but to our young eyes the game had been on another planet, and we believed we had seen real heroes perform.

We were wrong of course, as the years progressed we relalised that footballers aren't heroes and shouldn't be treated as such. George, in particular, lost his hero status for me, when he did his famous disappearing act, which finally led to him retiring early from the game.

Fine we all know sports stars are feted as heroes and we all know deep down that it's a ridiculous situation. I mean take David Beckham, he's a footballer with a certain amount of skill, who is hero worshipped all over the World. It's madness, he regularly takes time out from playing the game, to promote his 'image'. This, no doubt, earns him even more money than turning out for the club that pays his weekly wage. Here's a man, who earns a fortune from the game, earning even more outside of it, just for doing photo shoots, wearing a pony tail, sarong or whatever. A hero? No. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone should be entitled to earn a decent crust, and if people are mug enough to throw their money his way, fair play to him, but it doesn't make him a hero.

Where's this going, you may well ask? Well a news snippet on TV last night, set me thinking about who the real heroes are, that is apart from those poor squaddies being shot at in some frontline or other for a cause their maybe misguided government believes in. The item was about a terminal cancer sufferer named Jane Tomlinson, who this weekend completed the London triathlon for charity.

In my eyes and probably a few others, Jane probably has every right to be downhearted and spend the rest of her life getting blitzed under the influence of alchohol, if only to dim the thought of the onset of the inevitable. But no, this girl has spirit and intends to wave two fingers at the Big C, whilst she can. She is not only enjoying the thrill of competing in endurance events, but she is raising money for research into beating this terrible disease. She does this, despite terrible pain, so that one day, other cancer sufferers will have more hope of a cure, than she can begin to dream of at this moment.

Others worthy of hero status, in my eyes anyway, are the unsung, unpaid volunteers who in their own time and with their own cars, drive amongst others, cancer patients to their daily chemo'/radio therapy sessions. People who until a couple of weeks ago I had no idea existed. These volunteers even have to have their own cars serviced, at their own expense, every 5,000 miles, in order to continue to provide their unpaid good deeds. I suspect they are paid a milage allowance by the NHS, but I'm not certain about that. One thing I do know is that without these good people, many people in need of help, would go without and the health service would be in an even worse state than it is today.

So it's the likes of Jane Tomlinson and the unsung army of unpaid voluteers, who should be regarded as heroes, not the likes of: David Beckham, who after all is just doing a job and getting paid for it, nor George Best, who having wasted his life once, is well on the way to blowing it a second time for the sake of another drop of the hard stuff, or a quick shag behind his wife's back.

I will be king
And you
You will be queen
Though nothing will
Drive them away
We can beat them
Just for one day
We can be Heroes
Just for one day.........
Heroes - David Bowie

Teacher took pupils' fingerprints 

Ananova reports: A Japanese teacher has been forced out of her job after she fingerprinted pupils to find out who had written the word "idiot" on the blackboard.

Sometimes I wonder how discipline in maintained, in schools, when teachers fail to get backing from parents.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Which Movie Do You Belong In? 

Fight Club!

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

I've never seen it so wouldn't like to comment, but I don't entirely agree with the comments above.

Who Should You Be Dating? 

Shamelessly copied from My Innermost Sanctum.

You should be dating a Leo.
23 July - 22 August
This mate is honest and loyal, with a sunny
disposition. Though this lion has the tendency
to be arrogant, sulky or smug, he/she is
unrestrained in bed.

What Zodiac Sign Are You Attracted To?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well my partner is a Leo.

£5 Per Minute Phone Call - You Must Be Joking! 

Phone users in the UK could be paying up to £5 a minute for premium rate phone calls if new tariffs get the go-ahead from industry regulator ICSTIS.

Apparently ICSTIS is considering raising the current premium-rate cap, of £1.50 per minute, for services such as weather reports and TV show voting, following pressure from the premium rate industry. The good news is that the cost of the total call will be capped at £75. Oh that's good, I wouldn't want to overspend my phone budget like.

ICSTIS reckons the new higher tariffs would be used by professionals such as lawyers and accountants so that they could give paid-for advice over the phone.

So they could rake in even greater profits more like.

Me? I'm not worried I don't and wouldn't use such services anyway.

If you want to know more about the proposals, then read about it on The Register

MS Wheel Mouse Evolves 

You've had the wheel mouse, now comes the Tilt Mouse from Microsoft.

Microsoft is planning to add 'tilt-wheel technology' (TWT) to its popular range of computer mice, the company has announced, in a move which is sure to have significant connotations for hardcore PC gamers......

For a minute there, I read TWT as Twit. After reading about these computer stupidities which I blatently nicked from Breanagh's blog, I think there is a greater need for Twit Technology.

Martian Heatwave? 

The south polar ice cap of Mars is receding, revealing frosty mountains, rifts and curious dark spots...

Is Mars suffering global warming?

No it happens every year, it's just summer coming to the Martian south pole. This month you can watch it happen from your own backyard, if you have a telescope that is.

According to Rednova:

Watching the polar cap disappear is fun.....

The shrinking cap develops rifts, dark spots, and a ragged border. Lately, for instance, amateur astronomers using 8-inch and larger telescopes have been watching a frosty mountain range emerge from the ice.

British Heatwave Claims First Frostbite Victim 

It could only happen in Britain, whilst the country sweltered, in blistering summer temperatures that reached record levels, along comes a motorist with frostbite in his toes.

A motorist was diagnosed with the condition after driving with his toes too close to the air conditioning vent on the 250 mile journey from London to Manchester....... . (Reuters).

Monday, August 11, 2003

What Drink Are You? 

Kinky and fun, you know how to scream and you sure know how to have one hell of a party!! And one hell of a night . . .
Congratulations! You're a screaming orgasm!!

What Drink Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

What Did You Do This Weekend 

Well, whislt Britain sweltered, I picked up my new 48"x18"x18" aquarium, the old one having finally fallen apart after 15 years of use. The staff in the Aquatics store were very surprised and commented that aquariums normally only last about 5 to 6 years. I noistalgically replied "they don't build them liked they used to", being too hot to think of anything funnier to say. I should add that I had already rescued the fish, plants and drained the old tank, before any disaster struck. The fish are in temporary residence in my, even older spare aquarium in the garage.

With fish tank collected and delivered to our home, I then spent the rest of Saturday morning hunting out a supply of polystyrene ceiling tiles, these are needed to cushion the bottom of the aquarium to prevent damage, in case the surface the aquarium is to sit upon is uneven. I knew that these tiles were not popular anymore but I had no idea how hard they were to come by. I tried 3 local DIY stores as a source for them, before finally giving up and visiting a B&Q warehouse 12 miles away. They had shelves of them in all sorts of patterns. I only wanted 5 to cover the area of the aquarium base, but had to buy 20, still they weren't dear and they'll come in handy next time. Obviously they will disappear into a black hole or something, never to be found again, when next I need them most.

Next up came the weekly shop, Mrs C' has been ill this week and was not able to do the normal Thursday run, so off to Asda I went, to fight, with the other maniacs, over the essential things in life, frozen food, strawberries, veg' beer, wine etc. Why is it that these superstores are called 'super'? Whenever I go, the shelves are invariably sparsely stocked, the staff cannot cope with the mayhem and riots that abound in holiday periods and hot weather. I somehow ended up with the last punnet of strawberries from the fruit & veg section, a woman who had blocked the isle, with her obesity and trolley, had grabbed 5 punnets of the last 6 before I could negotiate the blockage she had caused. Bollocks, that was what we wanted most, you see we were planning a Barbecue on Sunday for my step daughters 21st, we had bought all the meat for the barbie earlier in the week, it was the dessert stuff we needed most. Oh well I though I'll find some more strawberries elsewhere. I didn't.

It was 3pm when I got back home, unloaded the car had something to eat and thought, it looks like ice-cream only then for afters tomorrow. At this point I decided that some weeding in the garden was needed, beating the hell out of some unwanted little green thing would help with the pent up frustration. It didn't, 20 minutes later, I was in meltdown mode. I decided that weeding was the stupidest idea that I'd had all weekend and retired inside to a shady spot. There I vegetated the rest of the day away, only pausing in mid-vegetation to cut up the polystyrene tiles and install the aquarium on top of them.

Sunday morning, we awoke to almost darkness, the sound of heavy rain, and rumbles of thunder in the distance. Brilliant, a barbie in the rain, the day looked as if it was going to be a washout. As we breakfasted I flicked through the TV channels to see what was forecast for the day, lo and behold, hope springs eternal, the forecast claim the storms and rain would pass over, and we'd have a brighter afternoon. But would it be bright by 2pm when we'd told everyone to gather for the impending feast? I hoped so. I took it as a good sign when I found the local village store had loads of strawberries for sale, as I collected the morning papers, and bought a couple more large punnetts of large juicy strawberries.

I'm glad to say the day did get better, the weather brightened up and whilst the south baked in temperatures of 100ºF, we had it cloudy and a lot cooler, but it was warm enough to be able to cook and sit and eat outside. The barbie was a success, the lamb chops and pork and leek sausages were particularly tasty, but the strawberries and ice-cream went down a treat, the ice-cream, being made with Cornish clotted cream, topped it all off. Oh and alcohol was consumed in a fair quantity too. Amanda enjoyed her birthday, and presents, and Mrs C and I got to enjoy the washing up later.

Who needs scorching hot weather when you have days like this, apart form the washing up of course?


COMMONS tour guides have been told to stop telling jokes about politicians - or face the SACK.

The gagging order was issued after a political aide heard one of the 50 guides describe John Prescott as "Two Jags".
reports The People.

There's no need to tell jokes about our politicians, they already are a joke.

Neighbours From Hell To Cop It. 

NEIGHBOURS from Hell are to get a "two strikes and you're out" clampdown on State benefits.

It's about time people like this suffered for the misery that they cause others, read more about it here, I particularly like the idea of punishment by enforced eviction and relocation to dwellings built under motorways.

More Tourist Stupidity 

"Have you any photos of the castle under construction?" - a tourist at Edinburgh Castle asked. "No, it was built in the 10th century," replied the tour rep.

"Wouldn't it have been better if they built the castle nearer the shops?" - yet another tourist at Edinburgh Castle.

Find even more of these gems on The People website. I truely believe that their brains must melt the moment they leave the comfort of their armchairs.

Anyone Up For A Pint Of Dog's Bollocks? 

LONDON (Reuters) - Pigswill, Fursty Ferret and tongue-twisting Locky's Liquor Locker Liquor were just some of the strangely named beers being sipped at this month's Great British Beer Festival. reports Reuters.

It's a fair few years since I attended a beer festival of any sort. In fact I seem to remember the last one I went to was in Birkenhead around 1996, it was late in the year, November I think, and it was a dark evil night. We travelled from Liverpool to Woodside, on the Mersey Ferry, we all gathered and stood in the bows lashed by a strong gale and heavy rain. What a way to build a thirst. Isn't it funny how you remember these events, but never the suffering endured during the following day.

These things are fun events at best, especially if you check out the beer descriptions properly before sampling, but I have tasted a fair few hideous brews in my quest to try the weirdly named ones. I think I'll have to ring my old friend Bob who knows about these things, to see when the next one is scheduled for the Merseyside area.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Google Ranked Me 3rd! 

It seems I'm ranked number 3 on Google for this search.

To the searcher, if he/she bothers coming back: I bet you didn't find what you were looking for?

Childrens TV Remembered 

Pogo's to blame for this blog, it was his waxing lyrical about The Herbs that started me searching for old childrens TV programs on Google.

I wonder if the following Intro' brings back memories for anyone looking in:

In the Lands of the North, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale...

Yes it's the intro to Noggin The Nog, an animation charting the life of the kindly Noggin, King of the Nogs, and his battles with his evil uncle, Nogbad the Bad..

I seem to remember the tales would be programmed around Christmas and used to have me and my cousin in stitches. I think it was the character names and the deadpan delivery, of the narrator, that did it. I'm almost tempted to buy the video, just to show, any future grand children, what we had to put up with for entertainment in our childhood. Mind they probably won't have videos by then.

Flash Mob Arrives! 

I said it was Britain bound, well it's now here.

Or, to be exact, at 6.30pm it came to Sofas UK, a soft-furnishing outlet off Tottenham Court Road.

Algebra Points Way To A Happy Marriage 

A mathematician says he can predict with almost total accuracy which newly wed couples will enjoy a happy marriage -- using two lines of algebra.

So don't get married without first checking your algebraic (Is that a word?) equation. Read this if you dont believe me.

The above link is now fixed.

Why Didn't It Happen To Me? 

A Florida woman thought she was getting a certified cheque for $85 but her bank mistakenly made it out for more than $48.7 million (30.1 million pounds).

The woman kept the cheque for 3 days and thought it was a hoot

Oh why do things like this not happen to me? I reckon three days interest on £30.1M would have just about covered my expenses for looking after the money for the bank.

With link now fixed.

Man fined for sitting on bench 

Ananova reports: A court in Germany has ordered a man to pay 75 euro for sitting on a park bench.... The man was sitting on the bench in the Botanical Garden in Munich when he was approached by police.... They told him he couldn't sit on the bench, next to a playground, unless he was accompanied by a child.

What a sad world it has become when, in order to protect children, we have to ban adults from sitting near play areas, just in case they are up to no good.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Remember The Herbs? Now You Can Be One Too 

You are Parsley the Lion
You are Parsley the Lion - you are calm, dependable
and loveable. Others may look to you for a
guiding hand and a friendly growl.

Which Herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Moustache 'set for fashion comeback' 

Ananova reports: GQ magazine reckons they are due for a comeback and has branded the moustache "the must-have fashion accessory of the year".

I've had one for years, I've always said I was a trendsetter. I think it's time to shave it off.

The Error Page Microsoft Should Have Released 

Don't you wish that this should have been the page you were presented with, when your browser failed to find the website link you clicked?

Thanks to Clint Vander Klok for producing this amusing distraction.

WARNING: Don't click the error page link if you don't like profanities.

Arnie For Guvernor? 

As the world wakes up to the fact, that Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally thrown his cap in the ring, to run for the Governorshop of California, you might like to aquaint yourselves with a few facts about the state, ie. who runs it and who is in the running, from one clued up resident on the scene as it were.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Flash-Mob Is Britain Bound 

Flash-Mob groups meet in public locations and perform wacky, harmless stunts for a few minutes - after being alerted by email, text or through websites........ So, it looks like attendances at White Hart Lane will be going up after all this season.

A new craze is about to hit Britain, it's called Flash-Mob, it's already swept the US and Japan.

It all sounds like a bit of harmless fun to me, but they are all obviously completely barking mad, especially the Spurs fans.


It seems that Servustats, the tool I originally used to track site hits, has been up and down like a yo-yo lately. Now I haven't been able to access my account for more than a few days. The error message says I don't have permission to access their template, I've not changed anything so it must be down to them.

As a result I have removed their logo/link from my site and will now rely on Sitemeter for tracking site hits.

And Another Quiz! 

Fiery and intense, you are a leader and very passionate about things you believe in.

Find out what color you are!

Thanks to Pogo for finding this one.

Did You Know? - Paper Spontaneously Combusts At 451°F? 

I find this rant by Marc Schultz quite frightening, in a society that proclaims to be the Land Of The Free. I cannot believe that someone was so scared, of a person seen reading this article, that they reported the incident to the FBI.

OK, it's not what everyone want's to hear, but surely true freedom should give an individual the right to say, read and write what they want, as long it is not harming other human beings. The article concerned may not have been in favour of the Government of the day but it was hardly advocating terrorism. Closing down such freedoms by any freely elected government, only serves to to fuel the doubts of a particular governments' integrity. I'm sure the FBI in this case probably took it no further, but who knows? Ask yourself just who is pulling the strings and for what reason? A little bit of cynicism and scepticism is healthy and does no one any harm.

Thanks to Joe for finding the links.

Fahrenheit 451 anyone?

The Philosopher's Stone - 21st Century Style 

Whilst at our company get together on Monday night the Director For Europe mentioned what sounds like a miraculous substance, Gallium Nitride. He told us all to get our spare cash into industries developing technology based on this substance. He said things like "It could transmit light without wasting energy as heat, amplify mobile phone signals tenfold, and make computers 10,000 times faster." amongst other things. It all sounded very futuristic and to be honest a bit of a joke, especially as said director loves to play practical jokes on people.

Anyway I'd almost forgotton his comments, about this wonderous man-made substance, until I came across this article in the Guardian, which I now believe he was probably quoting from.

Whether Gallium Nitride will live up to expectations remains to be seen, but the progress made so far all seems to point to exciting developments for the future, if the hopes turn into reality that is.

What Decade Are You Living In? 

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Blair Fiddles In Barbados - Whilst New Labour Plumb The Depths 

DOWNING Street was today forced to apologise for smearing the reputation of dead scientist Dr David Kelly less than 48 hours before his funeral.

Spin chief Tom Kelly, from the Prime Minister's office, called Dr Kelly a "Walter Mitty character", implying he was a liar and a fantasist.
reports the Daily Mirror.

Yeah, good idea Blair, let's have a go at someone who can't answer back, oh and why not upset his grieving family whilst you're at it?

Where did I put my copy of 1984?

The affair blew up at first when No10 tried to deny they had made the remark, insisting the smear was not authorised by anybody in Downing Street.......

But later she admitted one of the press team had raised the question of Dr Kelly's character in talks with Government friendly newspapers......

The government have sunk to depths beyond imagination, in an attempt to wriggle off this particular hook. More importantly, yet again it seems that it will be a stooge who will pay the price of this particular Faux-Pas, not the guys in charge of course.

What really worries me is if the Government does tumble, it won't by the way, there is nothing credible there ready to step in to take their place.

Album Of Days 

I haven't got a lot to write about today, so I decided to come up with a themed song list based on days of the week. To appear in the list, a song must have a day of the week mentioned in the title. I aimed to get at least 2 songs per day, though I struggled a little on songs for Wednesday and Thursday, I did manage to complete the list with a little help from lyricsfreak.com.

I've tried to stick to songs that I have heard or at the worst heard of:

  1. Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees
  2. Sunday Girl - Blondie
  3. Blue Monday - Fats Domino
  4. Monday, Monday - Mamas & The Papas
  5. I Don't Like Mondays - The Boom Town Rats
  6. Manic Mondays - The Bangles
  7. Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones
  8. Tuesday's Dead - Cat Stevens
  9. Love You Till Tuesday - David Bowie
  10. Wednesday Morning - America
  11. Wednesday Morning 3am - Simon & Garfunkle
  12. Thursday's Child - David Bowie
  13. Mrs Thursday - Dave Dee, Dozy Beaky, Mick & Titch
  14. Friday On My Mind - The Easybeats
  15. Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
  16. Another Saturday Night - Cat Stevens
  17. Drive In Saturday - David Bowie
  18. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) - Elton John

I added a few more than the minimum in some places to pad out the 'album'. What Do You Think?

Ananova - Funeral company rapped for ads 

I can see that some would see the Rio based Sinaf Funeral Companys' recent TV ad: Our Clients Never Come Back To Complain, as bad taste, but I found it quite funny myself.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Which Les Miserables Character Are You? 

I'm Enjolras!
A person with a cause, I charm everyone around me with my revolutionary ideas (not to mention my natural charisma). Unfortunately, I don't have very good social skills, and my impulsiveness is liable to get me in over my head.

Which Les Miserables Character Are You?

Thanks to Master of the House, which finally loaded, for this.

Trouble At T' Mill 

Is anyone else having trouble accessing Fred's, Master Of The House, blog lately. There are times it takes forever to load, and sometimes won't load at all. I don't even get the usual error message when it doesn't load at all.

Or is it just me experiencing the problems?

Better Late Than Never. 

I finally got my fathers day present this weekend, I've been waiting with anticipation for it's arrival. I thought the kids would have a bit of trouble finding it and I was right, but one of them finally found a copy of Once Bitten Twice Shy by Ian Hunter in the Liverpool HMV store after weeks of searching.

They have now cancelled the order that they placed on the internet and I listened to some of the album driving to work this morning. I'll listen to some more as I drive to Knutsford tonight, for a company get together and meal. I think I'll still have to get a copy of Welcome To The Club as apart from some different tunes, the live versions of some of the songs on Once Bitten Twice Shy are just something else.

It was worth the wait too.

I seems that Amazon now have copies available too, which wasn't the case last month.

The Return Of Clouseau 

It was Saturday afternoon, scorching hot, well for North West England it was scorching hot and I was poking around in the garden, you know the sort of thing, mowing the lawn, weeding, deadheading plants etc. when I came across a wallet in the lavender bushes at the front. Strange I thought, It's not mine, who else have been in the garden, then I cast my mind back to Wednesday night, the incident of 'Angry Man' and Inspecter Clouseau came to mind. So I opened the wallet to check for an address, there wasn't one, but there was an Company ID card with a photograph of the owner, a quick check with the neighbours confirmed it indeed was Angry Man, I won't name him it isn't appropriate. The find reminded me that the police had not rung back as promised, so I rang them instead to find out what was going on.

The PWC who answered the phone called up the incident to her computer and checked out the details. She told me that I was told not to worry about it on Wednesday, as it was probably someone entirely different that was to blame, I agreed with that, but answered that I had been promised a call back and was still waiting. I also told her about the wallet and said I couldn't take it in as my wife was ill and I wasn't leaving her on her own at that point, so would they inform 'Angry Man' to collect it? The PWC told me that 'Inspecter Clouseau' was on his break but would ring me back as soon as he came off his break.

Within three minutes a police van pulled up and I got my first glimpse of Inspector Clouseau, he was polite and not entirely as thick as I painted. He explained about what had happened, 'Angry Man' had been told by persons unknown that the moped rider had turned into our close and gone to our garage and had believed the evidence implicitly.

The police had only got the Moped registration after visiting our house, so were just acting on information received at that point. The strange thing was that he said the rider had originally lived at our address but investigations showed he had moved at least 3 times since and they were still trying to track him down at this stage. I found this laughable and told the PC that no way had the moped rider ever lived in my house, because we had bought it from new nearly 4 years ago and prior to that it was a weed strewn meadow.

Anyway I left it at that, the police took possession of the wallet and hopefully the incident is now dead and buried as far as I'm concerned. I doubt if Angry man will bother to turn up and thank us for the return of his wallet either.

Oh I should add that I know where the daughter of 'Angry Man' lives as I actually recognised the photograph on the ID, I have seen him collecting his 'Son-in-law' to go on fishing trips on a number of occassions, when I have been walking to the newsagents for my Sunday papers. One day I might enquire if he got his wallet back intact, he won't yet know me from Adam.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Tony Martin Speaks Out 


Why should a criminal, a person approaching a house, an assailant who is with intent and has all the advantages, who knows what he is doing even though you have no idea - why should he have any rights?......

People say burglars don't want trouble, well if they really don't want any trouble what are they doing breaking into someone's house.....

Why are criminals allowed all these rights while other people are fearful in their homes?........

Is it your home or is it all right for other people to break in and do what they want? Have we reached a situation where if a householder does anything to protect their home then we have to go to court and let the judge decide whose fault it is?.......

I agree with everything he says in the above link. The trouble is the lunatics in charge of the asylum will still do nothing about it. So that probably makes me a criminal. Put the cuffs on guv' it's a fair cop.

Agincourt Revisited 

On Wednesday night between the phone calls to and from the police, I caught brief glimpses of a TV programme that seemed to be re-examining what really happened at the Battle of Agincourt. Now as a schoolboy I was always taught that a large French army waylaid Henry V's, much smaller band, as he marched through the French countryside, on his way to Calais. The British army took up a good defensive position and when the hugely superior French army charged them, our famous longbow men cut the French army to ribbons, in a hail of arrows. We were or became famous for it.

Now if I got the gist of the programme right, some historian or other is saying that this is not what really happened. I'm not saying I did because I only saw bits of the last fifteen minutes of the programme.

Apparently Henry's army was caught out near Agincourt by a vastly superior French army, this bit is true, but according to the presenter, the English didn't win the battle, the French lost it. The defeat was basically put down to the huge French army charging towards the British lines and falling over in the mud. How can that happen you ask? Well an expert says it was all down to crowd control:

The landscape the battle was fought on was like a funnel, Henry's small army was at the narrow end, and the French were positioned at the wide end. As the French advanced the landscaped forced the spread out army into a more congested state, reminicient of a crowd of people trying to get out of a sports stadium through a narrow gate. This was shown by a crowd control expert on a computer with lots wobbling little blocks (people) trying to get through and passed static blocks (narrowing landscape and cloying mud, the static blocks looked like turnstiles to me).

Now comes the crux of the defeat, the landscape was a mudbath, I presume it had rained a lot, and the soldiers at the front of the charge started to fall over, those behind kept moving forward and trampled the fallen into the mud, or fell over themselves in the crush and were thus trampled. So it seems that far from being killed by a hail of arrows, vast numbers of the French were either crushed by their own countrymen, or drowned face down in the mud. I suppose some arrows hit home but as I said I missed large chunks of the programme and missed any reference to such killings.

Next up the English charged in for close quarter combat and being more lightly armoured could negotiate and move in the mud better than the French, therefore once again large numbers of Frenchmen were cut down by the fast moving English. Finally when the French surrendered Henry ordered the execution of the prisoners. The grounds for this were logical, Henry only had a small army and could not afford to take the risk of attack from prisoners on his march to Calais. So Henry let the longbow men loose of the enemy and they had a rare old time slashing and slaying the unarmed French noblemen.

So there we have it, it wasn't a battle it was an exercise in poor crowd control. If the French had had better stewards and policing at the match the result might have been a lot different.

I prefer the hail of arrows with glorious longbow men version myself. Oh and as far as I'm concerned the fact that the French lost means that the English won. To say that the English didn't win is just plain stupid.

Once Bitten Twice Shy 

Rueters reports: A drunken Croat flasher got more excitement than he bargained for when he pushed his penis through a woman's fence and her dog bit it.... The bitten man himself reported the incident to the police........
The 36-year-old was taken to hospital with light injuries but later sent home......

Serves the bugger right, it's pity the injuries were only minor. My mother had a number of ways, of dealing with flashers, who seemed to frequent our local parks particularly in summer. If she was carrying her umbarella then she would use the long pointed end to spear the dangling article. I've seen her break up bands of marauding football hooligans with that brolly.

If she didn't have her trusty brolly, then a swift kick between the legs, tended to put the exhorbishionist off his stride for a while. If that could not be achieved then an insulting comment along the lines of "Is that it? I've seen bigger dicks on a flee!" tended to leave the flasher flabberghasted, they prefer to shock and aren't prepared to deal with someone who stands up to them.

Still, I like the idea of a the dog bite trick, not only would it hurt, but a dog bite releases all sorts of nasty bacteria into the blood stream.

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