Sunday, November 30, 2008

By The Way....

In case you missed it - Wales beat Australia. And I am still smiling (it was yesterday). I had to remain restrained throughout the match as "J" had a friend around, so I couldn't shout at the TV as I wanted. The tension in our house was palpable, it must have been unbearable in the stadium. Real to-and-fro stuff. Wales deserved the win but it was a close thing, and Aus scoring in the last minute meant I destroyed a couple of extra fingernails. But that makes Wales the only Northern Hemisphere team to manage to beat a Southern Hemisphere team. A good position to be in before the six nations starts. And I have to say, here and now, Andy Powell you are amazing, I didn't think that we would ever see a player that made Martyn Williams look average, but Andy Powell is in the thick of everything, always ready to receive the ball, always ready to break a couple of tackles. Great stuff. Wales are a pleasure to watch.

Realize - Colbie Caillat

V1: Take time to realize,
That your warmth is
Crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I am on your side
Didn't I, Didn't I tell you.

But I can't spell it out for you,
No it's never gonna be that simple
No I cant spell it out for you

C: If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we'd be perfect for each other
and will never find another
Just realized what I just realized
we'd never have to wonder if
we missed out on each other now.

V2: Take time to realize
Oh-oh I'm on your side
didn't I, didn't I tell you.
Take time to realize
This all can pass you by
Didn't I tell you

But I can't spell it out for you,
no it's never gonna be that simple
no I can't spell it out for you.

C: If you just realized what I just realized
then we'd be perfect for each other
then we'd never find another
Just realized what I just realized
we'd never have to wonder if
we missed out on each other now.

V3: It's not always the same
no it's never the same
if you don't feel it too.
If you meet me half way
If you would meet me half way.
It could be the same for you.

C: If you just realize what I just realized
then we'd be perfect for each other
then we'd never find another
Just realize what I just realized
we'd never have to wonder
Just realize what I just realized

If you just realize what I just realized


missed out on each other now
missed out on each other now

Realize, realize
realize, realize

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Enlighten me please. We are in this financial mess because everyone stretched themselves too far. Banks gave 100% mortgages (and even gave people money in their pockets). You could take out excessive numbers of credit cards if you wanted. There were just so many ways to extend your credit that people ended up over-committed and then the money ran out.

So how does the government trying to force banks to increase loans actually help. What is needed is money in the pocket. This is achieved through tax cuts. Increasing lending just increases the long term problem. Cutting VAT means, even if the shops pass it on, that for every £100 spent you save all of £2.50. The public need to feel safer, and that is done by making sure their pockets feel full.

Maybe if Brown spent less time writing to X-Factor contestants then he would have more time to think about trying to get us out of this.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bobby Rights

I posted a little while ago about the reluctance of the Brown government to let anyone question them. It seems they have taken this even further. Many would say that Damien Green was doing what he is paid for, an MP of the opposition bringing to light things that the government would prefer to keep hidden. Not things that affect national seurity but certainly things that affect our lives. And for that he was arrested. At a time when you would expect us to be on heightened alert after Mumbai, instead our counter-terrorist officers are raiding the offices and home of an MP. Brown is claiming he knew nothing about this and yet the plice rang both Boris and Cameron, seems hard to believe that they wouldn't extend that courtesy to the Prime Minister doesn't it. It seems Brown takes his premiership and as a divine right, and God help anyone who should doubt him.

Leg Bye

On the bright side, England cricketers returning from India at least means that they won't be subject to a 7-0 whitewash in the one day matches. In fact I am surprised they aren't suspects.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sat Nav Required

A Chapter night tonight. Smaller group of people but a good group. Obviousl can't tell you too much bt for the following it is enough that you should know that it involves some scenes from biblical times. And someone is supposed to say they come from Babylon. However general amusement follows when, without realising, they say they "come from Basildon".

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Any Value

Now you may want to call me cynical. But I am not sure how the drop in VAT will work. Ignoring the fact that it lays problems for the future (and that there is a possibility that the government are thinking of later raising it above the current rate), it risks being very ineffectual. I just feel that it is unlikely that the drop will be passed on in the shops. The High Street is already struggling, keeping an extra 2.5% on every sale could be the best opportunity they have of making a bit more money. I expect prices to remain the same.

Your Fault

Well that's a new error message. Completely honest:

"The file has failed to save. This failure has been caused by you"

So not only has my computer wipe some files it now also has an attitude about it!

Monday, November 24, 2008


I think I am going to lead a crusade to Yorkshire. Need to save them from the Moors.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Data Link

The government is now losing on average one computer a week. Now while the occassional loss may be understandable (actually it isn't, but if I say that then in less than a week I am bound to have to report I have lost mine) this attrition rate is beyond belief. And this is SINCE the loss of the two discs with half the countries information on them. I think that there is a saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Well the government certainly are being fools and they should be ashamed. It isn't security that needs to be stepped up, it is simple attention to detail and a bit of care.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Dialog

I am seriously fed up with the "Logon Process has failed to create the security options dialog" error box. It has been a repeated problem that I can only overcome by removing the Vista Service Pack 1. Every so often Windows automatically installs the Service Pack, I experience the crashes, then I reset to an earlier restore point. While that has worked, it isn't particularly satisfactory. Unfortunately it looks as though the new version of Everquest II won't run without the Service Pack, something about a resource issue. So once again I am battling with a computer that keeps crashing. Using my work laptop to search the Internet this doesn't seem an unusual problem, but there doesn't seem a reliable fix. I am hoping on it being Windows Defender. I have turned off Windows Defender in the program settings but that wasn't enough. I then had to go into the config program to discover that although Defender was turned off it was still loading (gee thanks Microsoft for that amazing piece of logic). Anyway now that is unchecked as well and we will see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Silent Night

Westminster officials can be officially be dubbed the grinch of Christmas. They have banned Debenhams from playing carols becuase it constitutes noise pollution. I've been in London, it is not a quiet city. And a lot of the noise isn't pleasant. So an opportunity to lighten the atmosphere and give everyone a lighter moment is missed for some stupid reason that the music will disturb people. Debenhams even said they would turn the music down but that wasn't enough. Killjoys seems an understatement. I hope someone forgets to give them a Christmas present, certainly Santa Claus won't come down their chimney because that must breach quite a few health and safety regulations.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Londons Burning

So Citigroup have announced they are to cut over 50000 jobs. This is on top of a cull of over 20000 earlier in the year. Now not all of those will come from the UK. To be fair they can't, Citigroup only employ around 12000 people in the UK. But London is going to take a fair hit. Once over the initial shock of the numbers though I am left wondering HOW they can cut this many? Over 70000 jobs cut within a year. OK, so the recession is beginning to bite. But even so this is an amazingly big number. I can't help but think that they must have been over-staffed. How can you lose that many jobs and keep functioning, unless they weren't all needed to start with? I am not complacent, we are seeing cuts as well, and it means we all have to work harder. But that is rationalisation in the extreem.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Party Thought

Politics is a difficult game. When times are tough do you challenge decisions and run the risk of being accused of party politics, or do you go with your convictions and say what you think, asking the questions to make new policy. At the moment the fall back position of Labour is to accuse the Conservatives of only raising issues to score points. But decisions do need to be challenged, questions need to be asked. If Brown is confident of his position then he should have strong and robust answers, not simply going defensive.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So I have found this thing called Plurk, really not sure if it is anything to get excited about. It seems to basically be taking the status option from Facebook and using that on a timeline. Bit of a short running diary. Giving it a go anyway.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Mandy Fly Me

Or, in the case of Aer Lingus, don't. That's right, Aer Lingus does not come with the Merlin seal of approval. An incredibly inefficient airline. I don't want to be accused of stereotyping so I need to be careful, but they didn't seem to realise that the watches on their wrists were to tell tehm something. And then when they let us on the plane it was the most disorganised boarding I have seen, people milling around in the aisle so new passengers couldn't get on. And getting off was no better. I don't think they could work out how to open the door. To cap it all my bag has been completely beaten up, the identifying strap had come loose, and I haven't dared to look inside to see how much is broken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Circling Around

The man who invented the roundabout (Eugene Henard, although Frank Blackmore invented the mini-roundabout I believe) should have been given a Nobel prize. This was a major improvement in road design, saving lives and aiding traffic flow. An innovation that deserves a massive amount of credit. So why, o why, is there an apparent fetish for sticking traffic lights on the things. Milton Keynes and Northampton have both suffered from a rash of treaffic lights sprouting up at roundabouts. And they completely defeat the purpose. The whole point of a roundabout is to keep a smooth flow of traffic. The moment you throw lights up then the flow stops. Then at peak times the roundabout becomes clogged. There is no room for new cars to enter and, at times, it even becomes impossible to escape. If lights are required then make it a junction, at least the road doesn't become blocked. But preferably just leave the roundabout alone and let it do its job.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Class Act

There was a programme last week with John Prescott looking into class structure and whether it still exists in Britain. It made strange viewing. For someone who is so adamant about how bad class is he did a fine job of supporting the structure. A politician earning large amounts of money, with a lovely house and two Jags (he does have two now) and yet he still claims to be working class. Doesn't just claim it, is vehement about it. He fails to recognise, or refuses, that there is more mobility now, and that this is not a bad thing.

Even Prescott was confounded though when he was taken to meet a family living on benefits. They had 9 children but neither parent worked. Yet they could still by named gear for their children such as Nike. Prescott was asking the man of the family what he did? On the dole. But did he have a job when he left school? Yes he worked as a builder. How come he didn't still do that, the building industry had been doing well for years? Yes well he didn't like having to answer to other people, didn't like having a boss. So he wanted to have his own business? Yes but you need money for that. What about window cleaning? Oh yes I did that for a bit for a cleaning firm but wanted to be my own boss. So why didn't you set up yourself? You need money. What for? Ladders and the like. So, let me point out what I said a few lines up, they bought Nike clothing for their kids, and yet couldn't afford a ladder! The problem with the benefit system isn't that we help people, as a society we have a duty to look after each other, but we make it too easy for some people to kop out. It's self fulfilling. After you have been getting on quite comfortably on benefit why bother going back to work.

A seperate interview with a politician on the radio this week. He recounted a story about 18 years ago how a young pregnant girl had come to him asking for help. She thought that as the MP for the area he could get her a house. He did. Fast forward 18 years and a young pregnant girl comes in and asks for help getting a house. She tells him that she has come to him becuase he did so well in finding a house for her mother. What goes around comes around. We have to teach people responsibility. Saving them at the time isn't enough because then they will never break out of the mould. We have a duty to educate and to push people forward. And that duty is not served by giving people houses and money.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lessons In Love

On the news yesterday it reported that last year 123 3 year olds were excluded from nursery/school. There was an implication that the teachers were failing. At 3 years old it isn't the teachers that at failing, it is the families. These children are being raised thinking that violence is an OK thing. They are not being taught manners and respect. And unfortunately the teachers then get the blame, but if the teachers try to do anything I am willing to bet that the parents defend their "innocent" child and try to sue.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ooooo Weekend

After a long day that really is as far as my brain can go

Thursday, November 06, 2008


One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hey Big Spender

So in the end I went to bed at 0100 hrs. Let's just say common sense got the better of me. I had to go to work today, and staying up wouldn't change anything.

And I am pleased with the result. For a lot of reasons. But not least because these are tense times. Afghanistan and Iraq already at war. Iran and even Russia on the edge. The wrong person would have easily tipped it over. This now seems unlikely, a cooler head will prevail.

But in all of this there is one thing I find not only shocking but obscene. Here we are in a financial meltdown. People not having enough money to make ends meet. Record numbers of houses being repossessed. And during this election $1553 million were spent. That's correct. No typo. That is money that could have done so much good. Could have gone to medicine, health, education. It can't be right.

Not that our system is better when you look at money being spent. I think that in a democratic country each party should be given the same fixed amount. Whether you are independant or leader of a major party. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to put forward their case. No favouritism, the same time on television, the same number of posters. So what we hear is the views and not simply the volume. And certainly I hope that never again is $1553 million spent on an election.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night

And I can't decide if I want to stay up for it

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Lost in Translation

Always risky to rely on email. Especially if you are hoping for a translation. Swansea Council needed to stop heavy vehicles using a road. So they put up a sign reading "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only". Now, if you know about signs in Wales then you will know they are always bilingual. So Swansea emailed their in-house translation service. They got a reply and put that on the sign. Unfortunately the person supposed to be translating was on holiday so, in fact, the reply was the out-of-office assistant and actually reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated". Back of the class for the boys then.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Downwards Trend

So my osteo said to me I could start riding as long as I didn't fall off. Stay on the horse, improve my posture and it will help my back. Fall off and that's a different matter.


I wasn't even suppose to be riding today. But they had a last minute cancellation so they could fit me in. And I went out on Wolfie. Wolfie is big, very big. He takes some working to get him going. So a plastic chair blowing over towards him when we have just started to trot is not good. Wolfie spooked. Wolfie moved sideways. Unfortunately I was moving up as part of the trot. When I came down Wolfie was no longer there. Gravity took effect and I continued downwards until I hit the ground. The instructor said it was a "heavy" landing. Yes, well, I am a heavy person. And I came from a long way up.

I am stiff, bruised and limping. But I got back on and continued the rest of the lesson, including a canter at the end, so that's good!