Thursday, 30 December 2010
When cashpoints and tills in shops are fitted with buttons forcing customers to accept or decline an opportunity to make a donation to a charity, will they also be fitted with a FarQueue [see rant for 11th September, 2010, Ed.] button for customers to press to send an email of defiance to the government over its chugging [Charity Mugging. Ed.] attempts?
D. Cameron is always banging on about his Big Society and a smaller state. How does creating a new Ministry of Chuggering make the state smaller? Only a politician who has never had much contact with the real world [i.e. most of them, Ed.] would come up with something like this.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Monday, 27 December 2010
● The dog lovers at the mansion are hoping that someone will mess about with it in a way that stops chocko being lethal to doggies!
p.s. The smart money is going into a mine in Nevada, which is being reopened to break the Chinese monopoly on producing “rare earth” elements, which are essential for making electronics, super-magnets, lasers, high-tech TVs, batteries and all sorts of essential gadgets.
● I was offered a chance to get in on the ground floor with a Russian consortium. But in the light of the way Mr. Khodorovsky has been screwed and railroaded by Russia’s Mafia government, I pleaded an urgent appointment and left the building in a hurry!
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Buttons are silent, work in muddy conditions and, according to the US Army’s laundry experts, “do not fray and disintegrate with repeated laundering”. Which says rather a lot about experts who don’t know that buttons do drop to pieces and/or come off in the wash.
Well, please yourselves!
Thursday, 23 December 2010
A. Stunell, local government minister, has doubts about D. Cameron’s sincerity. N. Baker seems to think he’s in line for a Nobel Prize for putting the Coalition on the right tracks despite having to fight against a regime like the one in South Africa in the apartheid era.
Some bugger else thinks we’re getting a Liberal Maoist revolution. Has anyone asked if we want one? Of course not. And if the government did ask people what they want, it would be New Labour’s abuses abolished, the people in New Labour non-jobs sacked and the same for public service managers with a New Labour mentality (including the police).
What we want is value for money, we want to know where the money is going, and to whom, and we want the people spending taxpayers’ money on our behalf to be accountable to the public for their blunders. But will we get any of that from the Liberals? Fat chance!
Note of Etiquette: In future, he’s to be known as “Vince Cable, the disgraced business secretary”, which is rather Mandelson.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
He’s had years of watching bungling Labour deadlegs posing as government ministers. Now, he’s one himself. Is he going to give all that up? Not even if D. Cameron slapped his face on live national TV, stuck up 2 fingers and told him to push his effin button.
Give up all that power and the ministerial car and the perks and the grovelling ranks of civil servants? Put a bit more water in it next time, Vince.
Monday, 20 December 2010
And talking about frozen, the Global Warming Swindler lobby has been trying to persuade people that 2010 has been the hottest year on record. But spoilsports like WattsUpWithThat.com and the Real Science blog have given the game away. 75% of the data used to “prove” the case comes from inventing temperatures for regions where there are no weather stations. And if you’re making up your data, you can “prove” anything you like. Who’d have thought climate science would be so like politics!
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Small problem, they’re not comparing like with like. We don’t get snow like they do in Russia, Scandinavia or northern America. And if the government started spending the amount of money those places have to just to keep going, you’d soon hear howls of protest. Enough to drown out the rent-a-mobs who are pretending to be students.
And the loudest howls would be from the Labour lot, who gave us the limited effort available for this year and spent all our bloody money to make sure there’s none for improvements. So if you get stuck in the snow, blame Gordon effin Brown.
By the by, there’s a huge green patch where the helicopter landed and the staff, resourceful souls that they are, are laying bets on when it will vanish under a new layer of snow.
Monday, 13 December 2010
“If there is to be any redistribution of wealth, it should be in my direction only.”
I’ll drink to that!
Sunday, 12 December 2010
“Aren't wheely bins great! Except when the lid freezes shut and you can't put anything in the bugger.”
At the end of this week, there was an item in the paper announcing that lots of councils are asking their residents to keep their bins somewhere warm to stop the lids freezing shut. Which doesn’t do much about the problem of a bin left out on the pavement all day, waiting for attention.
Friday, 10 December 2010
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Until Labour gets in and triples the Council Tax for anyone who has dared to deviate from their home’s original architectural plan.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
“To the Deserving - bugger all. To the Undeserving - as much as they’re cheeky enough to blag.”
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Where would the cash come from? Would we have to stop overseas aid to China and India and stop funding their space programmes? Now, there’s a thought!
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
No, the only shocking thing in the news right now comes in the Leslie Nielsen obituaries. In the Good Old Days, I used to watch Police Squad whenever I could find it on TV. I was always convinced that there were lots of episodes of this wonderful comedy series. I was dumbfounded to learn that only SIX episodes were ever made because the Great American TV Audience was too dim to get this terrific show. Now, that really is shocking. And very sad.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
And to make it even worse, they’ve got the IRA party leading the protests, so bombs, knee-cappings, disappearances & secret murders, all that lot in prospect. Plus the obligatory bank robberies. Which is why my financials have been doing an “exposure” audit to make sure my zillions aren’t at risk of Irish defaults or defaults by others in a chain going back to Ireland. Having lots of dosh can be real hard work at time. But infinitely preferable to the alternative, of course.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Heresy, but I misread the caption on the real & fake “Signac” tugboat pictures in the papers and I thought the forgery looked more genuine than the real thing as a picture!
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Kennedy could see that the US space programme in the 1960s was all about out-doing the Russians even if it screwed the American people into the ground. But with so much of the military-industrial Mafia behind the space race, he quickly went back to being a space buff, but he made his vice-president, LBJ, the man in charge of space so that Johnson would collect the flak if it all went horribly wrong.
It makes a sort of sense that the generals and industrialists would take out the potential road block of JFK to put their man LBJ in charge. And it also explains why LBJ didn’t run for president when his term ran out and he was quite happy to leave Nixon as the hostage to fortune of the NASA/military/industrial Mafia.
Monday, 15 November 2010
Alonso was able to keep his closest rival, Mark Webber, behind him but all he could manage was 7th place behind 2nd division drivers who were desperate to prove they should keep their job. As a result, Sebastian Vettel, 3rd in the drivers’ championship at the start of the race, was able to lead all the way from pole, become the youngest ever F1 champ and stand on a podium filled with champions, current and former.
All of which proves that the universe does get it right on occasion, but so infrequently that we remain amazed that things actually worked out the way they should.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
It’s supposed to be cutting edge and a biting comment on the state of society today (under the budget-cutting, gravy draining Tory Coalition implied but not actually said). I normally believe in anything for a laugh, but in this case, one is not amused. Not even a little bit.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Don’t you just hate it when you’re been watching a weekly series on TV, but when you switch it on, it’s not there? It’s down in your personal TV schedule, it’s in Radio Times with a short summary of what’s supposed to happen in the episode and it’s even there on the TV’s on-screen programme listing. But what’s actually showing is something completely different.
Most of us can only curse with helpless rage when this happens and swear at the programming bozotwat who messed about with your life. But some of us are now able to do something about it. So if you’re a TV programming bozotwat of the sort who makes series disappear in mid-season, be advised that your sins will now be uncovered. If you’re a bozotwat, there will be retribution.
You might get to the car park to find that all your tyres are flat, or your battery is completely lifeless. You might get home to find all your upstairs windows broken. You might even find that the instrument of the breakage is an open tin of paint, which has gone EVERYWHERE in the room which is currently open to the elements.
It’s about time that people who mess with the lives of other learn that there will be consequences. And TV scheduling bozotwats are just a starting point. There are plenty of people around willing to be paid agents of retribution. And I know how to contact enough of them to make a difference.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
We had the outward wall of the tent rolled up to let the gathered throng admire the efforts of the somewhat soggy pyromaniacs as they let off a fair few quidsworth of fireworks. And Irwin scared up some varicoloured Chinese lanterns as a finishing UFO touch.
Baked potatoes, parkin, treacle toffee and a selection of real ales made it a v. enjoyable night. Which just goes to show that throwing a lot of cash at a problem like keeping everyone dry and comfortable on a traditionally wet night really works.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Saturday, 30 October 2010
The sickening thing about it, for him, was that he’d heard the billet doux coming through the letterbox. There was no ring on the doorbell and no knock on the knocker, just the distinctive clunk from the hall of the letterbox flap closing. In the absence of a thud, Roger assumed that it was just the postman dropping more junk leaflets on him and he took no notice at the time.
It wasn’t until 20 minutes later that he looked behind the door and found the form proclaiming that the phantom had called “while he was out”. Which raised the interesting question of how the phantom knew Roger was out if he’d not bothered to check.
Roger actually saw the guy doing the other side of his street a couple of hours later. When he asked the phantom if he still had the item that needed signing for, he was told it was at the sorting office. The phantom also claimed that he’d been knocking on doors all morning. Roger resisted the temptation to deck the guy for telling him such a weak and feeble lie. He just looked at him to tell him he (Roger) knew he was lying and the phantom also knew he was lying. This was where we got to discussing the qualifications of bare-faced liars.
Afterwards, it occurred to me that we, at the Mansion, are protected against the phantom and his allies. Any postman who tries to do a hit-and-run with a form instead of doing his job is liable to find himself the star of CCTV that proves he’s a liar and on the wrong side of a malfunctioning main gate with a lot of wall to climb!
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s “greatest king”, according to his propagandists in later years, did exactly the same thing. He gave away so much land and privileges that he had to go cap in hand to the Scottish people for living expenses, and he became the first Scottish king who was unable to live on his own resources.
No doubt the now reclusive Mr. Broon is hoping the same will happen to him and he’ll be proclaimed as Britain’s greatest prime monster through the efforts of those who profitted from the Broon profligacy with other people’s cash.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
There were four of them, travelling south, widely spaced in a sort of line-astern formation. And they just faded out one by one when they got to around the position of Jupiter, which is very bright in the southern sky at the moment. Minds somewhat blown, my guests and I decided that one of the neighbours had been messing about with a cross between small hot-air balloons and Chinese lanterns. Something which the crew at the Mansion will be doing once they’ve sourced some of them in a range of interesting colours.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Apparently, there were 1,000 claims for lost tickets made for this big jackpot. Only a thousand? There were 1,381 claims for lost tickets made in the 4 days after I cashed my ticket in, without publicity, and the announcement that the cash wasn't on offer any more. Which only goes to show that people are more than willing to make fools of themselves if they think there's the smallest chance of pulling off a big swindle.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
When I won, I knew exactly where the ticket was and I promptly wrote my name and address on it with a fountain pen, so the ink would soak into the paper, and hid it where no burglar would ever find it. And when I went to claim the cash, I put an old, non-winning ticket in my wallet in case I was mugged on the way in. And I almost hired an armed bodyguard; until I realized I should go for inconspicuous.
I thought August was supposed to be the silly season!
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
“No I don’t,” says the boy Wayne.
Next thing you know, the boy Wayne is being carted off the practice field on a stretcher with a bad leg. That’ll teach him to contradict the boss!
So prophecy or retribution? You choose!
Monday, 18 October 2010
Naturally, I dumped the problem on Irwin. He got things working again eventually by booting AVG 2011 into touch and reloading version 9. 2011, he told me, is MicroSoft-style bloatware, unsuitable for the elderly PC, and it doesn’t work with something called Mozilla, which is the heart and soul of Netscape email and its descendant Firefox.
So that explains why there’s a free version of AVG. It’s a vast testing ground involving millions of users with every combination of computer hardware and software under the sun. The freebie customers are there to report problems that need to be fixed for the people with the paid-for version. So it’s sound commercial sense at the back of it, not philanthropy.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
He announced that he was waiting for the real story of the miners trapped in Chile to come out; like, the 33 were originally 37 but they had to eat 4 of them. Priceless!
Friday, 15 October 2010
p.s. Nobody realized that yesterday was National Potato Day. But no doubt the quangocrats of the Potato Awareness Council will still be drawing their fat bonuses and expenses.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Sunday, 10 October 2010
10/10/10? Who cares! Today doesn't feel remotely special.
It seems that caffs and fast food joints are handing out banknotes covered with lethal bugs. Makes you glad you have staff to knock out snacks on the premises.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Of course, the trick lies in avoiding the shoals of rip-off merchants looking for a rich mug and finding safe havens to stash your alternative to cash. My master plan is to be able to croak with peanuts left visible, and leave the taxman saying, "Hey, that guy had the best part of a hundred million quid. Where's it all gone?" But no one who knows will tell him because the taxman is on everyone's Far Queue list!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
A rogue trader got 5 years (2 suspended, time off for good behaviour means he does about 18 months tops) for exposing his bank to a 50 billion euro risk. He was also ordered to pay €4.9 billion in compensation – which the bank says it won’t try to collect. So that was a waste of time.
Afterthought: Maybe the bank is planning to give the guy his old job back and keep his bonuses for a couple of years.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
The trees mask it to a fair degree but the estate is on a shallow hill with The Mansion at the highest point. So everything drains down toward the river, which separates me from the main road, and a lake, the contents of which, my estate manager assures me, can be sold to the farms around me if the weather gets really dry.
So let it rain, I say. I’m not bovvered!
Thursday, 30 September 2010
The question prompted some market research on myself. And I found that while I watched some sports coverage of the sort available on HD channels, most of my viewing was of the minor league digital channels. The only time I watch the BBC channels is for Grands Prix and MotoGP, I rarely engage with ITV 1 and Channel 4, but I do watch a fair bit of rubbish on Channel 5.
Of the stuff watched on the minor digital channels, most of them don't have an HD version and quite a lot of the vintage programmes I watch are a 3 x 4 island in the middle of the 9 x 16 widescreen. So my conclusion was that there's no point in going HD and HUGE screen because the content isn't there.
Same with 3D TV, which is being launched with the same sense of optimism as attended the launching of the Titanic. Or Pale Pink Ed, the wrong Miliband. There isn't the content, all the old stuff I watch ain't in 3D and never will be, and you have to wear the stupid glasses, which give you migraines. So if you ever catch me watching TV, I'll be the bloke in the comfy chair parked 6 feet from a 36", non-HD model.
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Which is why I am making damn sure that my squillions will go to more deserving candidates than the bloody taxman when I exit, worn our by a couple of decades of enjoying myself with serious intent.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Getting in on the ground floor of this racket – before the bubble bursts – is like winning the lottery all over again.
The only cloud on the horizon is the need to keep a close eye on the investment to be ready to get out before the public start refusing to be ripped off by electricity suppliers and the whole deal goes south.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Does anyone feel sorry for Gordon Brown, who invited the Pope to Britain, hoping for a BIG photo-opportunity, only to be booted out of office by an ungrateful nation because he spent all their money and got them so deep into debt, their grandchildren will still be paying it off?
Sometimes the gods really do manage to grot on someone who really, really deserves it.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
This serial grabber of corporate hospitality even went on TV to say he has nothing to apologize for. Next thing you know, he was running his arse ragged, apologizing to ministers at the Treasury, Parliament and everyone in sight for his arrogance and uselessness. His partner-in-crime, Lesley Strathie, a Dame of the pantomime sort, is still in the arrogance phase, ducking responsibility while talking bollocks about "The Customer Experience" at HMRC. But that might be as far as she gets.
With any luck, the IRA will decide that these two specimens are just as deserving as bankers and blow the pair of them up. Yes, the Gods are definitely still with us, but obviously working only part-time.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
I was annoyed when I found that a fair number of excellent CD-ROMs wouldn’t run on the combination of hardware and Windows XP offered by the cheap but good PCs I bought from about 2007 on. By then, the older PCs, on which the disks still ran, were limping along and tedious to use.
My new-found leisure has allowed me to screen the collection for those which will still run on an up-to-date PC and do something about making the older PCs work better. The first thing I noticed was that they had Alzheimer’s. Luckily, new coin-cell back-up batteries are readily available at my local hardware shop. Unluckily, they have to be fitted in the most inaccessible part of the motherboard imaginable.
Irwin was able to find me some memory boards for the make-over. It’s truly amazing how much difference doubling the memory of a computer makes. And at the Mansion, I have room to deploy my collection of obsolete PCs and the ability to enjoy the ‘lost’ CD-ROMs on a revived PC which zips along instead of clunking. Super!
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Apparently, he’d been winding up one of his mates with some false information and the mate had just found out that his leg was being pulled. And instead of expressing himself verbally, he’d gone for a new symbol, which is supposed to be all the rage with the people who send each other pointless texts.
The symbol, Irwin explained when he’d got over his incredulity at my ignorance, is an invitation to join the “far queue”. Or as Frank Zappa might have put it: “Far queue. Far queue very much!“
The trick is to say it with the right accent and the right degree of conviction and vehemence.
I just thought I’d share that with my adoring public in case there are any like me who refuse to text.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Like walking into a fancy art gallery and looking at the crap on the walls and knowing you could afford to buy all of it, have a bonfire and do the art world a bit of good without putting a noticeable crimp in your bank account.
Imagine my surprise when I actually saw something I liked about a fortnight after I moved into the redecorated mansion. Grossly overpriced, of course. So I made a point of getting in touch with the artist and offering him 37.5% of the asking price in cash in a padded envelope and not a word to his agent or the gallery. And he went for it. After some token scoffing at the deal. He even delivered the picture himself, all snugged up in bubblewrap with an outer layer of brown paper.
So I now have Sunrise Behind A Half-Open Barn Door installed where the fireplace used to be in the "exercise room". The previous owner had his and hers exercise bikes facing twin widescreen TVs in here, or so the estate agent told me. I've just got a lot of empty space until I think of something else to go in here as well as the picture.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
A couple of years before that, I was on a job in Athens when there was a Richter 7 earthquake. Luckily, it was over 100 miles away and it felt no more severe than a good earthquake in England. You were quivered for about 10-15 seconds, you had time to think, "Cool! I’m in an earthquake!" and have a look around to see if lights were swinging and stuff like that. But there was never any sense of, "Oh, sod it! I’m going to die and I still have some money in the bank."
The most surprising picture from New Zealand was the one of the railway lines with side-to-side waves in them, which made them look like the track for a train in a theme park. But if people insist on building them in areas subject to violent geological events, it’s always going to be good for photographers.
Saturday, 4 September 2010
I took a break to watch the lunchtime news today, and I was cheered to see that bloke who used to be prime minister (who was sacked a couple of years ago) being shielded from a barrage of eggs and shoes by lots of big blokes with umbrellas.
The BBC was able to round up a bunch of planted stooges(?) to say nice things about the old war criminal and, no doubt, the Blair Broadcasting Company censored anyone who didn’t think he’s wonderful.
I bet the Irish taxpayer will be thrilled to pay the bill for shutting down the centre of Dublin and all those umbrellas.
Monday, 30 August 2010
I had quite a lot of fun wandering around while The Mansion was being redecorated, spying on everyone to make sure they were doing it properly and not bunging the factor a few quid to get away with bodge jobs. I can just see Mrs. Liar doing that to get max. value for the ill-gotten gains.
I pretended to be an IT guy, wandering round with a meter, allegedly measuring radio signal strengths and looking for things that would block a signal. If you look like you’re doing something, you become fairly invisible. Not something Mrs. Liar could manage without some serious disguising!
Luckily, I never came across anyone doing something totally outrageous. Because I’d have had a bit of a problem explaining how I knew something dodgy had gone one. And the only way to get around that might have been to have those ripping me off "taken care of". I hear there are ways for seriously rich people to get that done. I suppose there’s a website for it. There seems to be one for most things.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
He got lucky last weekend; he got some fairly profitable pictures of the twister that formed over Stanford-le-Hope in Essex last Saturday, but it didn’t touch down and it did him out of Pictures of Destruction. But he had a real pay-day the following Monday. Lots of wreckage in Great Livermere in Suffolk and he got some excellent live action video of the demolition job.
I’ve been riding around with him for the last few days. No tornadoes but we did see two pretty good waterspouts playing tag on the Channel for about five or ten minutes. Jake was pleased with the video he shot but I'm still hoping to see a decent tornado the next time things look promising.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Is lordship has commanded me to write something today because he’s still off enjoying himself. No, he’s not at a meeting of LWA – Lottery Winners Anonymous for people who’ve won $20 million or more [Life, Season 2, ITV 3, last night] Only in America, eh!
Is Lordship didn’t tell me what to say, so I guess I’ll just have to busk.
My uncle has been having a spot of bovver with the goverment, he told me the last time he dropped in (to see if we had too much whisky). He’s recently retired after working for himself for donkey’s years and he used to pay his National Insurance by direct debit. A couple of months after the DWP stopped taking cash off a guy who was 65, he cancelled the direct debit.
Next thing he knew, the DW bloody P was threatening to send him bills for National Insurance if he didn’t start up the direct debit again. So now, he’s waiting to see if they’ll send him a bill for £0.00 so he can blow up their computer by sending them a cheque for £0.0.
No wonder the country’s broke if the people running it are so bloody useless.
I bet that’s more inneresting than anything is lordship’s come up with and I bet he doesn’t read this.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
I’ve got one too - a bunker not a WWotW. Not that it started off as a fallout shelter. According to the archives in my library (a load of stuff abandoned by previous owners), the bunker started off as a root cellar, which was turned into a cess pit. When they got some more modern plumbing installed, it became redundant.
Sometime in the 1930s, the then owner of The Mansion had all the cess cleared out. Later on, he had a roadway built down to an underground car park. This was about the time of the Spanish Civil War and he thought war with Germany was inevitable and he didn’t want the Jerries dropping bombs on his collection of cars.
Come the 1950s, the garage became a fallout shelter. Then, in the late 1990s, it became part of an energy conservation scheme, which can’t have done the last owner much good because he went bankrupt when his Global Warming Scam collapsed about his ears in the Brown recession.
I haven’t really done anything with the bunker yet. I’ve had a look at it, but there’s more than enough space in The Mansion for me, and it’s a bit of a hike to the bunker. Still, it’s always there if the peasants get revolting and I need somewhere to hide out. I wonder what colour the WWotW had hers painted? Mine’s a warmish shade of pastel orange.
Monday, 23 August 2010
I bought a 26" TV and some DVDs, and that was about it for the first week. Apart from a case of Ballantine’s whisky, which I’ve not seen in the shops for ages, but which I must have been able to buy once because I still have some of the bottles around, loaded down with bits of lead foil from wine bottles (something you don’t get now) and used as book-ends.
The mansion was something the FA didn’t choke on, to my surprise. He even thought it would be a good investment. 8 bedrooms, not counting the staff quarters and 14 main rooms. I guess I just wanted to be able to walk ten yards indoors without tripping over furniture or banging into a wall. It’s not quite up to the Nickelback song “Rockstar” - a bathroom I can play baseball in, and so on - but it’s a good step up from a suburban semi.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Doing a blog, he reckons, is a bit like going to an AA meeting. Not that I've ever been to one, but I watch plenty of rubbish on the TV and some characters are never out of them! Inmates of everything from alleged comedies to cop shows. So you'd expect the TV mob to get the look and feel of them approximately right.
Hi, my name is Xavier and I'm awesomely rich. It is now 165 days since the guys at Camelot handed me a ridiculously large cheque (size of the piece of paper-wise) for a ridiculously huge amount of cash. And I'm just about getting to the point where I can sit back and enjoy it without people bugging me for decisions all the time. Like, "Am I sure I don't want to buy a decent car instead of that ratty old banger?"
Spoke too soon. Here's Irwin to tell me the IT guy has got a problem with jumping someone else's IP address so no one can work out where I'm sending this stuff from. So do I persuade the guy I've got now to get on with the job or hire someone else? Decisions, bloody decisions.