Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Is blogging easy, is it for everyone?

If you are new to writing a blog, what do you write about, and how often do you write? Well, the simple answer to these questions is, I have no idea.  When I thought about starting this earlier in the month, I opened up a few web pages, had a look and found BlogSpot where you can have free web space to launch your blog to possible readers.
I then looked at a few blogs, but most of these were from professionals, and by professionals this can loosely be interpreted as people who earn a living from expressive prose, either in written or spoken form, and who are used to putting their point across on a multitude of topics in a well structured style.  If you open up any newspaper web site and read any article you will invariably also find a link to the reporter/authors blog, as well.  Same with any of the major TV company websites also, particularly broadcasters, they all seem to do blogs.  And of course the content and level of expressiveness is evident in these blogs and is as high as you might expect from people of that ilk.  There are also blogs from ‘commentators’ and   ‘watchers’ of politics and news stories, where a debate or a question during a parliamentary broadcast is heard and within a few hours a blog is posted somewhere with a 1000 word essay on what was said and what was meant by the debate and or question, in the view of the blogger if not by the owner of the original comment. Carl Gardner, http://www.headoflegal.com/  is an excellent example of this genre and writes some interesting stuff, with lively comment boards taking place afterwards
Then there is the amateur blogger, and there are different categories in this field too.  I, as an example, will fall into the ‘rank amateur’ category, someone who thinks he has something to say but then when he has the blog space in front of him, suddenly has nothing to say, looks at the screen endlessly waiting for that inspirational line of thought to re energise the spark that led me to setting up the blog space to begin with, only to find  that there is enough open space inside my head to fly a fleet of airships around with no danger of bumping into each other, let alone a good idea for a blog!
You then turn to the blog engine you are on and look at some the blogs here for inspiration and you find that there are  blogs by a whole cornucopia of people blogging on a cosmic amount of subjects, there are blogs on:
Why I am stopping [blogging]
Porn (yes found one)
Bread making
Flower arranging
After Life
Etc., etc.,  
Other amateur blogs I looked at did not actually seem that amateurish to me, What to do, well you could do what I did, which was rehash a couple of thoughts you had already put out there on Twitter and or Face book....  I have both, Twitter, which I have had for about eighteen months but didn’t really do much with, and in reality still don’t. And Face book, well, having a wife and two daughters and a son with the females seemingly addicted to it, from with what I could tell, trivial nonsense, I have very much resisted the temptation to go down that road, until this month, and now, I too have a Face book page, but still find it incredibly hard to join in with any real degree of enthusiasm.
Don’t get me wrong I am not, I hope, being snobbish about this, but I do think that you have to have a part of you that is reduced to the banality of a cartload of chimpanzee.  That description, taken at face value can clearly be offensive to all those users of Face book, including my wife, children, nieces and nephews, etc, etc, and it is not intended to be.    It’s just that, having seen it at first hand really for the first time this week, I really can’t see what the big deal is.  Sure, it has its uses, so too does the fridge door. 
I see from my wife’s account that she has over 130 ‘friends’ and that the immediacy of the forum allows them to keep in constant contact, even if it is only a one line message, and there is nothing wrong with a one line message be any means, But it also appears to be voyeuristic in that you have friends of friends of friends looking in and commenting on your ‘posts’, liking or disliking what you have written and giving opinions. (I  just realised, after writing that, that of course by publishing a blog that I am inviting the same thing here - but have decided to leave, with this comment to show that I do have double standards)  I also saw one of my nieces commenting on a comment on her page, that she hadn’t posted it but that she had been ‘frapped’. I didn’t want to show my ignorance and ask what that was, knowing my girls, from Face book posts at least, I thought it might be something that an uncle shouldn’t know about, or not openly at least! It was left to my wife, a hardened user of the medium, that this was where someone had put a comment on your wall attributing it to you.  I didn’t want to ask the follow up question, But how can you do that when it is your picture that appears on the post’,  I fear that will just make me look more dumber than I think I am!
Anyway, that has nothing to do with posting a blog or not, and that is what this post is all about. Wait, maybe that is the trick, if you are new to blogging and you do not make a living from being erudite and intelligent, is it just possible that you open up your blog, to begin with at least, and just ramble.  Work your way into it until you develop a theme and find your rhythm and hope for the best, Well, maybe not, but, I think that might just work for me, we will have to see how it develops...
Of course there are other questions that you need to ask yourself when thinking of doing a blog, for example: 
Why? why do you want to do a blog, if you are not a 'professional, with something worthwhile to say.  Is it keeping up with the Jones', someone you know is doing one and you feel that you need to do it too? 
Who are you targeting the blog at?  Do you have a specific audience who you want to target your blog at, and if so how do you go about getting it to them?
How often do you post? Daily, weekly, monthly?
I am not going to try and answer these questions, all I can offer is that some people do it daily, some do it as the mood takes them and some do it when they have something of consequence to say. But, I will probably fall into the category of infrequent rambler with no specific demographic targeted.  True, I do put a link to new posts on Twitter and Face book, and whether anyone rewards my rambles with actually reading them.is a matter for them.  My original idea of Blogging was to vent at things that annoyed me, have yet to do that, although plenty of things do annoy me, Royal Weddings for one, Politicians for another.  Didn't I read somewhere recently that Belgium has been 'governed' by professional civil servants as the electorate failed to elect an outright winning party! If that was the case, why can't we just do that here, think of the money we would save both in Mp Salaries and more importantly expenses, see that's what I mean, rambling and disjointed, but you can see where I am going. And maybe, just maybe, if you are not a professional, that's what a blog should be, just a series of rants and rambles about any subject that takes your fancy, whether it be family, friends, a daily photograph, or just to get something off your chest.
If someone reads it and likes it, fine.  If someone reads it and doesn't like it, that's also fine, and if they tell you they like it great, if they tell you they don't like it, well, so what, you wrote and posted what was on your mind and they replied with what was on their mind after reading it, let them do it and move on to the next one.
Happy blogging!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

AV or not to AV

AV or not to AV that is the big question for May 5th, or it could be that you are not interested in that question at all and just want to vote for your local councillor or you may not even be interested in that either, anyway it doesn't matter what you are interested in, cos, this is my Blog [only kidding, of course I AM interested in anything you want to say, so, have at it any time you want].

I have to confess that I still haven't made up my mind as to whether I am going to vote for the existing, "first past the post", or not, or for change to the, "alternate voting system" and why not I hear you ask, well it's simple really.......

Every time I open a, newspaper, turn on radio or television, or indeed browse the internet, I am finding it more and more difficult to separate the real arguments for change or not,  for all of the vitriolic fighting going on between those pro AV and those opposed.  

Sworn political enemies John Reid, Labour, is sharing a platform with David Cameron, conservative and sitting Prime Minister, arguing for no change while Nick Clegg, Lib Dem and sitting Deputy Prime Minister is, albeit hesitantly sharing with Ed Milliband, current leader of the Labour party informing us it is better to change.

But for the ordinary person out there can you get past these totally mismatched pairs and listen to any positive argument from either side, or are you being drowned by the flood of accusation of personal attacks and accusations of lies against each other.

Once again the only thing that you and I as voters can take to the polls with any degree of certainty is, That ALL politicians are only interested in promoting what they believe WILL BE BEST FOR THEM IN THE LONG TERM, and that they will lie and cheat to get it, and we the plebs, are left shaking our heads once again at the sheer arrogance of every single one of them.....    

Do these tickle your fancy or sense of perverseness?

Things that I have seen or read this week that have amused, annoyed or just plain irritated me, what do you think?

Number 1
27 year old Sales manager and her sister give an interview to a national paper, accompanied by photos of the sisters, about the disgust they feel for their estranged father who, apparently, is about to be elected/appointed as the local mayor and who is a member of the British National Party. I can't confirm which, as I got bored with the story after reading this quote,

“We’re changing our surname. I can’t mention it at work in case I have to discipline someone and they say I picked on them because my dad’s a racist.”

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/04/24/we-disown-first-bnp-mayor-to-be-say-his-own-daughters-115875-23081971/#ixzz1KQTuvxxo

Now, the key parts of the quote are: "We're changing our surname." But, here we are anyway selling [presumably] our story to a national newspaper WITH ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPHS, so that you will always know who we are........

and, "I can’t mention it at work in case I have to discipline someone and they say I picked on them because my dad’s a racist.” but, here we are anyway selling [presumably] our story to a national newspaper WITH ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPHS, so that you will always know who we are........

Is it Me? or are these people just so dumb that they don't know what they are saying, or is it that the tabloid press is so dumb that they just write crap.....

Number 2

Came across these in my computer and thought they could do with a repost:

An excellent phrase for an overweight person

A deeply unattractive person

Waving your arms around and talking bollocks

Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

An office filled with cubicles

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people ' s heads pop up over the walls to see what ' s going on. This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake

Single working girls. Single income, no boyfriend and desperate

One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a ' black box '

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again

Similar to a French kiss, but given down under

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you ' ve just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you ' ve hit ' reply all ' )

A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare

A young man of substandard intelligence, the typical adolescent who works in a burger restaurant. The ' no-stars ' comes from the badges displaying stars that staff at fast-food restaurants often wear to show their level of training

The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. extremely impressive when viewed from the outside, but there ' s actually naught in there worth seeing

A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: ' Oo! Oo! Oo!
Aa! Aa! Aa! '

The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you ' re in the toilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in

The taxi that arrives at your place on Saturday morning before you wake up whisks away the stunner you slept with, and leaves a 10-Pinter in your bed instead

The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a booze cruise at 3:00am

The invisible device that ensures your safe arrival home after booze cruise, even though you ' re too drunk to remember where you live, how you got here, and where you ' ve come from

Your first pee in the pub, usually after 2 hours of drinking. After breaking the seal of your bladder, repeat visits to the toilet will be required every 10 or 15 minutes for the rest of the night

Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women

Tattoo on a female (of course this does not apply to my wife, youngest daughter or at least one of my gorgeous nieces'.)

A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she ' s got 4 buttocks

Saturday, 23 April 2011

21st Century Beggars

What goes through your mind when walking down the street and you are confronted by someone begging?  Do you think, like me, get a life and get a job and pointedly ignore them, or, do you think, poor bugger, what a life they have, I wonder what happened to put them here, drop some coins in their hat, or on the cardboard they are sat or sprawled on and walk on thinking that you have helped some poor sole to maybe get a decent cup of tea and then promptly forget all about them as you continue on your way.

I have to confess here that I really have not felt the slightest sympathy for street beggars. Call me a hard unfeeling bastard if you will, I don't mind, I am called worse on a regular basis, but, I have no sympathy for people who sprawl along our thoroughfares looking for a quick fix from mugs who throw them a few coins.  I really don't believe there is a need for it, whatever their individual circumstances are, there is always a way out.  And lets not forget there have been a number of cases over the years where some people have been identified as being professional beggars who go out deliberately dressed down as a homeless person in order to make a living.  And this is not a new phenomenon.  Conan Doyles super sleuth Sherlock Holmes was once investigating the case of a well to do husband who had gone missing in mysterious circumstances, in The Man With The Twisted Lip (1891),  and he discovered that the well known street beggar, arrested for murdering the missing husband, and who was found in the locked room where the husband was last seen, but had disappeared and was thought to have been thrown out of the window into the Thames by the beggar, was in fact the wealthy missing husband who made his wealth from the money given to him on the streets......

Of course there are also varying degrees of beggars; There are those who sit or lie there listlessly staring into space seemingly not seeing you and appear oblivious to their surroundings or to whether you contribute to their lifestyle, or not, Others actively try and engage you and attempt to illicit some degree of sympathy with their blighted situation.  Then of course there are those who sit there with a dog hoping that even if you have no sympathy for them, you will at least have some for the starving dog, all this just makes we want to kick them both as I go past..... but before you crucify me in prose, I can confirm that I have resisted the overwhelming temptation to kick them out of my way.

Having said all of the above, and no matter what a blight these beggars are on the landscape, let's now bring us up to date with the title of this Blog.....21st Century Beggars.

Who are these people? I hear you ask, well, they are the PC liter...., sorry I nearly wrote literate, but that implies an ability to read and write at a conventionally accepted level, and clearly a majority of them are also incapable of this basic functionality, sorry I am digressing again, what I am referring to are those people who clearly have some access to some money as they the appear to own a PC or a laptop or expensive smart phone and who must pay some organisation for access to the Internet.....

And they have taken begging to new levels, not for them the cold rain swept streets of our towns and cities, dressed in their threadbare clothes or with their bedraggled offspring or dog, no, for them it is the comfort of their sofa or kitchen table, while no doubt sipping their wine or brewing their coffee from the new bag of freshly ground beans, they post their requests, not for coins of the realm, but for more esoteric items required to find fulfilment in their lives.  Or is it that we have a new breed of person that realises that there are mugs out there who will fall for the begging email who wouldn't otherwise give them the time of day if they were begging on the street.

One source that seems to have given these beggars a forum to virtually spam you, is the increase in Free Cycle sites.  If you don't know what these are they are sites that are set up in areas all over the country and allow you to post items that you no longer want, that might be broken or you just might be having a clear out.  You can post anything on these sites, whether it is a working TV, a broken TV, bed, black bags full of miscellaneous brick-a-brack, whatever you want.  People then send you an email saying they will take it off your hands and you arrange for them to come and collect it.  Why, I here you ask.  Well it was a simple  thought by someone somewhere who didn't want to keep putting things into landfill sites and came up with the simple solution of continually recycling them and it works, so well done.  I have used it myself and it also avoids having to pay the local council to come and uplift it for you.

The problem now of course that others have caught on to these sites and the moderators of the sites seem to be ignoring the inordinate amount of posts through them that are now posting with 'WANTED' instead of what the site was designed for, which is, 'OFFERED'.

A couple of recent posts on my local 'Freegle' site were;

[********Freegle] WANTED: working fully washing machine

and the body of the message went on to state;

'as mine is not working we tryed everthing even fueses and i have five children and also im disabled so if any one can help thank up amd for the people who took there time to read this thanku'

The above seems to be typical of this type of post and my earlier comments re grammar [and spelling] not withstanding, sums up my anger and frustration with this type of begging.  

Here we have some one who has five children, presumably getting child benefit [god bless the welfare state] and is disabled,  no doubt getting disability allowance..... but still needs to beg the rest of us for a washing machine  that can cost anything from £150.00 to over a £1,000.00 .  

Ridiculous, and ludicrous, doesn't quite sum up this request,  I know inflation is running at around 4% but you beg on the street and expect and hope to get some coins thrown at you from maybe one person in five who passes you, but put it on the internet and expect someone to give you something worth anything from the sums I mentioned above.

Well what's the harm I hear you ask, if you are already using a Freegle site to give things away why is it a problem if someone circumvents the process and actively ask for something they need.....

Because it's BEGGING, can't you see, do you condone beggars, in  the street, probably and hopefully not so why would you condone it on the NET?  

There is no place for Beggars in the 21st Century whether it is on the street or on the internet.  So if you are a moderator of a Freegle site, please remove the beggars immediately.  


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Is it me? Part II

I was walking from the station to the office last week when I was approached be a gentleman attempted to give me a leaflet on GOD and Christian values as he attempted to stop me and have a conversation about this.  As I was on my way into work  and did not want to be engaged in this I asked if GOD would give me a 'late note'.

A few days and a weekend later he was back at it yesterday morning and I couldn't help pointing out that he was probably in the wrong location as people were either rushing for a train or rushing from the train to work! 

He pointed out that I could read it in my own time, I asked if it was available on Kindle to download!!!! 

He looked at me strangely and then 25 minutes later I happened to look up from my desk and who should I see on the CCTV at the front desk, you guessed, same chap.  Had he followed me , has GOD finally got a plan for me, I couldn't ask though as he soon disappeared out the door.

I asked Sharon what the chap wanted who had just left, she replied, " He said he wanted to visit the tenants to discuss Christian values and I told him that in fairness to him I wont allow you to do that as the Devil [me she is referring to - P45 or what] is on the 3rd floor and he hates cold callers, he gave me a funny look and left"

Again, I ask, 'Is it me?'