Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Firefighters and Policewomen

Two stories in the Basildon Echo caught my eye today for two completely different reasons.

The first was figures released under a 'Freedom of Information Act' request that show that Essex Firefighters have been ATTACKED 23 times between November 2010 and January 2012.

The first thing to ask about this report is, "What the f*%^ is going on, why are some people in society attacking firefighters at all?"

Surely there can be no reason on earth why people who have chosen to put their lives at risk in tackling fires and attending the most horrific crash scenes imaginable, with the resultant views of the dead and the dying, should be attacked by anyone at any time.....  I am at a complete loss to explain this, can you?

I have gone on the record in the past stating that all things being equal we would all live in a utopian society, where everyone was born equal and where we would all be gifted with the same level of intelligence as well as all the other gifts that such a society would bestow on us but, and it is a big but.  We don't live in such a society and not all people are equal in terms of intelligence or with the ability to determine even from the simplest right or wrong action, and clearly there are a number of moronic people living in the Essex area, and I am sure other parts of the country and indeed the world, who are so unintelligent or are so morally corrupt that they just do not see the stupidity of their actions.

Sure, we have all sat in front of the TV and witnessed images flashed to us from across the world where a demonstration has taken place and that demonstration, like so many of them, has resulted in violence and arson attacks and the demonstrators have attacked the fire crews and even ambulances going to the aid or assistance of the injured and the flaming car and buildings. Incomprehensible, but in the context of what is happening during these riots, you can see and vaguely understand why it is happening!

But Essex, or anywhere else in this country or the world, Why on earth would you attack a firefighter for attending an emergency near you?

And finally! Why does it need a request under the 'Freedom of Information Act' to get this information, are Essex County Fire and Rescue Services not reporting these incidents to the police at the time and are the police not asking for witnesses. And of course one way of asking for information is to release these incidents to the press! And are then the people who produce the Echo in Essex not doing their job at the time of the incidents, reporting them at the time to see if their readers can come forward with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of these morons. Or is it a case of let's jazz this story up a little for the titillation of our readers who probably aren't very bright anyway.... just asking.

The second story to catch my eye was on Policewoman's Bra's!  Yes, bra's.

I know where you think this is going, but you will be completely wrong.  For those who know me, they will all know that I have been known to have a slight interest in matters Health and Safety, I can hear the groans now, but believe me people someone has to do it to look out for your safety as, sometimes you are all just a little bit silly when it comes to keeping you and yours safe, so, you need people like me and Andy Williams, no not the singer, but Andy, formerly of some outfit in South Africa but I think his over zealousness resulted in him being repatriated a few years ago to inflict pain and misery on our lives........,

Anyway, it is to the Basildon Echo once again we turn to for this wonderful piece of journalism that highlighted once again my lack of observational skills.

You see in my day to day life I have been known to sit with my thumb up my bum and my mind in neutral, day dreaming of what could be, if only I were rich and famous and not having to put up with tedious boring mundane life of the daily drudge of  9 to 5 worker that I have become.  A few months ago Essex Police (and I nearly did a blog on this but resisted the temptation) changed from white shirts and woolly jumpers to black T-shirts.  Today's article tells me that one un-named WPC states that if she is not wearing her 'stab vest' on top of this T-shirt she must wear a padded bra as the T-shirts are so tight that you can see her nipples.  Well I do meet a lot of Police officers from Essex in my daily wanderings and instead of concentrating on what they have been saying to me and looking at their faces when talking to me, I clearly should have been half paying attention to their utterances and looking at their nipples, I promise to do this in the future so that I can report back on the various sizes and colourisations of the  areola,  etc. But before I do that, can I be arrested for staring at a Police officers nipples, I wonder......

As to the safety aspect of the story, woman PC's have been told not to wear under wired bra's in case they are shot in the chest as the wire in the bra may cause more damage to them when hit by the bullet, I agree, sound health and safety advice at last.......

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Letter Mr David Cameron Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home..

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Think about this ... If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone -- YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us grumpy old folk of Britain to speak up!

Courtesy of Grumpy but Wise Mr P Kilburn

Monday, 20 February 2012

Are 18- 19 yr olds to young for Politics?

Don't get me wrong with that question, it isn't a loaded one.  Personally if a teenager is bright enough, with an interest in politics and in what is going on around them in regard to society, then why shouldn't they be involved in politics.

On the other hand, do they have the maturity and the life experiences to be involved in party political politics at a local level, never mind a national one?

We  probably all know of  our most famous 'boy' politician, William Jefferson  Hague who, as a squeaky (sorry, but it was true) voiced youth, was invited to address the Conservative Party Conference way back before the last two or three wars, oh, I remember it was 1977, aged just sweet 16. As far as I know he did not then go into local authority politics but went on to University to study, amongst other things, politics, before actually entering Parliament at 26 years of age.

But there are some who as teenagers do enter the local political arena and this blog has been prompted by a couple of them.

First there is Aaron Kiely a young Labour councillor on Thurrock.  Just after he was elected last year he started following me on Twitter, so, I followed back Local Councillor and all that..... I think he was about 19 at the time.  He made a silly remark one Thursday night during BBC Question Time and I took him to task over it, giving him quite a hard time.  He did respond and engage, for a time, but then I noticed that he UNFOLLOWED ME on Twitter, which of course I thought was rather immature of him, but that's me, right.  I did send him a tweet and he responded, eventually, saying that it was his phone, he changed it and when he loaded apps for Twitter, etc, it must have unfollowed me, yeah and pigs will fly..

Then today I noticed an article that another 19 year old Labour councillor in Basildon, Andrew Gordon, has a trembling lip because another councillor, party unknown and not really interested enough to look it up, has given him a bit of a hard time over his, Gordon's, second speech.  Apparently it was lousy but I couldn't comment as I have no idea what it was about....

But there you go, two 19 year olds getting into politics and then going off in a huff because someone took them to task over something they said or tweeted, so, I will ask the question again,


Based on the two incidents above, the answer has to be a resounding no. OK, I know that this is not a scientific approach to this question, which after all is a serious one for the constituents of these kids.  After all they have been voted in to public office to 'look after our interests' but at the first sign of a 'telling off' they skulk off into a corner like a chastised child with a petulant lip!

And these are the 'kids' looking after our interests and who we need to be able to take a knock or two in the rough and tumble of politics and to be able to stand up to people like me and or other councillors without running off with their tails between their legs and then only 'engaging' with sycophants and hangers on.

So, maybe there needs to be a law passed saying that politicians, local and national must first serve time in the workplace / the services/ the community, and not just the local University or Sixth Form College, gaining life experiences, maturity and moral fibre, before being allowed to take up a position in public politics.........

What do you think?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Book Review Lunara: Seth and Chloe by Wyatt Davenport

Lunara: Seth and Chloe, well, I had high hopes for this book, the first in a series but, it left me disappointed almost from start of chapter 1 to the finish at chapter 41.  I say almost from start to.. but that wasn't true.  There was something about the book as I read that I just couldn't put my finger on and it wasn't until about the fourth or fifth chapter that I suddenly realised what it was that was making it difficult, it was the writing style!

Did you know that in 1820 Sir Walter Scott wrote one of his grandest opus's, Ivanhoe and that it was over 179,000 words in length?  He of course had an excuse for being so verbose, as that is how the English language was back in those days, it was exact.  Time moved on as did language and if we all spoke perfect, grammatically correct English it would take most of our day just to have a simple conversation.  It's the same with written English, if it is written in precise grammatical sentences it becomes unwieldy, a burden and a chore to the reader....   Now there are papers, legal documents, written laws passed by government, etc.,  that I suppose require to be grandiose in their language, although I fail to see why, but they are. But, a modern book or novel, no, not unless of course it is a specific text book for learning and is required in that format. But a work of fiction no, it doesn't do it for me.  Just as Ivanhoe isn't doing it for some in today's modern world and so it is being abridged down to 80,000 words to make it more readable for today's consumer, link here.

Lunara_ Seth and Chloe has been written in the same fashion as Ivanhoe.  The grammar is so precise with no contractions, or very few, that I could see and while the story had merit it just made the whole book rather tedious.  It made the characters feel contrived, which of course they are, by the author. But it made me want to read and then re-read with contractions to make it more real, which in the end it didn't, or as the author would say 'it did not'  It may seem like nit picking, but that's how I felt throughout.

Then there were parts of the story that just didn't work.  The two main characters, Seth and Chloe had survived terrible deprivations on Mars having seen their families brutally murdered by 'raiders' and then having been left to defend themselves by the authorities before escaping to Lunara, he with a heart full of hate for his former home and she with a heart full of forgiveness, but both endowed with special mystical powers, which in the end was for him to be a little bit stronger and able to shrug of illness and her apparently endowed with mind reading abilities! Throw into this political alliances that are being undermined, with man's ability to be the asinine idiots with the usual viciousness that only homo sapiens can possess and you should have a good book.  But then it is spoiled by silly little segues of unrequited love, (and don't misunderstand me here I am all for a bit of romance whether it is on solid ground or up in space) but the cry of the unrequited one here comes from another central character Gwen, to Seth completely out of left field, and when I say left field I mean a completely different field on a completely different continent, where for the previous 10 or so chapters there had been no indication of interest by her towards Seth who was attached to Chloe, Gwen's best friend, so that didn't work for me.

The crew of the meteor mining starship Protector are collecting meteors when Lunara colony is attacked. Earth is an uninhabited lump of rock with colonies on the Moon and Mars. Protector escapes to Mars to warn them and to rally a response.

Then Captain Eamon Dalton's return to Mars and the 'arms' of his lost love, just didn't work at all.....

Seth and Chloe's continued trials and tribulations as they fought the elements on Mars.... nope

Seth' who has known Chloe since childhood and more than anyone is all knowing of her 'abilities', can't see past his hatred of all things Mars even when she is telling him that the course of action he is taking is 'wrong'  .... nope.  And then he does a complete volte face and suddenly trusts one group of the two controlling factions on Mars..... we've just spent 30 chapters reading how he would never trust anyone on that planet ..... Nope

The final sequence of the book where Lunara is re-attacked by Capt Dalton and a force he has been given by the daughter of one of the two controlling government ministers, is the best part of the book but really no amelioration to what went before.

It could have been so much better, which is a pity.......... As I was really looking forward to it since discovering SyFy as a genre.

Editing for Kindle: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 1 out of 5 
Plot: 3 out of 5
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Sistine Chapel As you may never have seen it!

Here is an amazing bit of technology that you would never see in person, as you would NEVER be alone in the room.  It is ALWAYS VERY CROWDED and of course you can't see Michelangelo's artwork close up as you can here. This is especially spectacular if you have a large high-definition screen! Too many details to view on an iPhone.

TO VIEW EVERY PART OF THE MICHELANGELO'S MASTERPIECE, JUST CLICK AND DRAG YOUR ARROW IN THE DIRECTION YOU WISH TO SEE. In the lower left, click on the plus (+) to move closer, on the minus (-) to move away.  Choir is thrown in free.  "Move the arrow and you will see every part of the CHAPEL."  This virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel is incredible. Apparently done by Villanova at the request of the Vatican .

Click here to enter the site 

Courtesy of Peter Kennedy and many more 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Do you get Abused or Bullied on Twitter?

If you are not a 'celebrity' you will probably answer no, to that question, unless of course you've got someone who is going out of their way  to be horrible and mean to you for some inexplicable reason !

I have only been abused once, completely out of the blue and unexpectedly, by someone who did not even follow me.  It was last year, some football manager had committed suicide and it seemed that that was all the British TV and press could talk about and of course every other tweet was on about it as well.  I, in my naivety, posted a tweet asking who was this guy as I had never heard of him.  Not totally unsurprising really, as I do not follow football as a matter of course and I didn't / don't watch football shows on telly, so I genuinely had no idea who he was and all I asked was, "Who was (insert name of choice cos I can't even remember who it was) he?"

Suddenly I get a tweet popping up in ,my timeline with the dead guys name hash tagged from some loony and all it said was, "Arsehole get a fucking life" I think there was a comma and an exclamation mark missing from the comment, but then I suppose grammar and punctuation were never high on a bully's list of learning skills while attending the local educational establishment for wayward inbred dickheads....

So, what did I do? Well, if memory serves, I totally ignored it and blocked the guy so that he would not be able to send any more tweets on to my timeline. I did think about sending a witty riposte, but then I thought there was probably no point to that because even with my limited formal educational skills and abilities, anything with more than a few syllables would probably just have confused the poor chap, so,  I simply blocked it and have given no more thought to it, until now.

The reason I mention it is this. While sitting having my coffee before leaving for work this morning I was watching BBC Breakfast and there was an item on bullying on Twitter and they had two studio guests, one Lizzie Cundy and Dr Chris Brauer, the former complaining of twitter abuse and the latter, I think to give a different perspective on it (although if you are able to access the clip he did not make a very good job of that), so see the clip here.

Anyway, Lizzie Cundy's gripe is that apparently as a celebrity (and I have to point out I have never heard of her, but again I am not a big celebrity follower either but she does make the point that she was brought up in a footballing family  don't know what that means, but if you know me, the word footballing probably explains why I have never heard of her) says that she has had some really bad personal attacks on her through twitter and that she thinks it should be monitored!

I also discover that other celebrities have also suffered from personal attacks on twitter and some have thought about giving up their accounts to protect themselves from these attacks....

Come on people, we know that every one inhabiting this big bad planet is not nice.  There are some idiots out there, idiots who go through life being complete and utter dick heads.  Idiots who can barely string a complete sentence together that makes any sense to anyone else but themselves and who through their own twisted reasoning think that it is cool to bait people, whether it is celebrities they are doing it to or their so called friends or acquaintances or in my case, a complete stranger.

But the thing about twitter, and Facebook is that YOU have the ability to get rid of these people.  OK, you can't get rid of them completely.  They are still there, still signed on and still posting the crap that they post. But, you, the attacked, the offended don't need to see it, worry about it or respond to it..... all you need do is block it, report it for spam, spam doesn't necessarily mean they are trying to sell you something or point you to porn, it means abusiveness or bully as well .  And you can do all that and get rid of them.  And if you are a celebrity and you don't want to see this spiteful rubbish, I suppose, and I am only thinking as I type here, but you probably have an agent or  a publicist or both.  Speak to them, speak to the police.  I'm sure your agent or publicist can set up a system whereby the offending tweeter can be monitored, without you seeing them and if the cyber bully is tweeting untruths about you and or your family, you can always instruct your lawyers to take the appropriate action against them.  I am all for free speech but there does come a point, where you at least have to be accountable to answer for what you say if it is malicious or untrue, don't you think?

But, and finally, if you are being pestered on Twitter or Facebook ... use the BLOCK button people, it's so easy to do.....

Is it Me? Football Club Administration

By now, most of you know me and some of those who do, if not most, have, at one time or another asked the question, "Are you dumb, or what?" Well the answer clearly is, yes, I am.

What The F, I hear you asking, why is he suddenly admitting to being a dumb-ass.  Well, I'll tell you.  Lots of things are getting up my generously proportioned snozzle at the moment and I shall probably do a couple of posts this week on them, but one that confounds me is the latest Football (soccer to you Americans ) Club, Glasgow Rangers,  threatening to go in to administration.  It's not the thing about a club declaring bankruptcy that puzzles me, it is surprising that more aren't, with the cost of their over inflated wage bills for prima dona's whose one talent is kicking a ball, with money garnered through turnstiles and merchandising and TV rights never matching their running costs, no, it is the fact that as soon as 'administration' is mentioned we hear that ubiquitous trumpet call for the deduction of points.

Now in the words of our beloved Brucie, "What do points make?" and the audience dutifully responds loudly, "Points make prizes!"  Yes points make prizes, even in football.

If you get the most points you win a prize, top of the league you are competing in, entry to various other competitions, and again depending in the league you are in, a huge chunk of money from the football association for TV rights.  But if you do not get the points, you can end up being relegated to a league below that which you are in, and of course this has an impact on the clubs financially so I have never understood why, when a club who have been mismanaged by it's owners, the various league associations penalise the club by deducting points that could send the team down into the next league and thereby increasing the financial dilemma that they are in. But, ultimately it is the fans who are really being punished, the men and women and children who steadfastly support these clubs every week at the turnstiles buying weekly tickets and expensive season tickets and merchandise and who are passionate, unlike me, about their football, and the people who have mismanaged the clubs, the supposedly super rich owners,and the prima dona's who kick a ball, they walk away, still rich, but untouched by the effects of the administration, where is the sense in that, I just don't see it, but them I am dumb, right.....

Monday, 13 February 2012

Book Reviews, Should you always do a review on a book you Read?

Authors, particularly Indie authors are always asking you, "If you have read a book and you enjoy it, you should post a review."  Same with Amazon, they encourage you to also write reviews on books you purchase from them, not just books, for the latter, but on anything that you purchase from them and they even remind you do do so.

I have started to do reviews on the books that I read, you can read them here and generally my reviews have been favourable towards both the book and the author.  Minor exceptions to this have occurred of course, in fact I ended up reviewing a book a quarter of the way through from a non Indie author and on a book I had been waiting for sometime to come out, which was part of a series.  It left me disappointed both in the writing style and the story!  This showed in my full review when I got round to completing the book and instead of giving it a 5* out of 5* as I had expected to based on the previous two novels in the series I didn't even give it a rating, had I, it would have been a two or a grudging 3*.

The other thing is, if you buy a book and you are not getting on with it, for whatever reason, do you throw it in the bin or on a bookshelf to gather dust, without completing it.  In that less than stellar review I mentioned earlier someone said, you'll probably not even finish it and I replied (half jokingly) I'm a Scot, having bought it, I'll read it, cover to cover, even if it kills me! And so, I did/ do.

I'm having the same problem again, with another book, this time from an Indie Author.  I've mentioned in some reviews recently that SyFy wasn't really my bag, but have got into it more and more recently having read a couple of Indie Authors offerings and in the main thoroughly enjoyed the story lines offered to me through these books.  There are minor irritations and while I am far from perfect in my either my spoken or written grammar or indeed in my spelling, lots of minor errors abound in some of the books I have been reading.  They are minor in the main but, if the author has indeed produced a gripping fast moving storyline and your eyes are racing across the page devouring each word, it sort of breaks the spell being woven by the words, when you are suddenly going back over a sentence or paragraph to see what was wrong with it.  It acts like a bit of an air brake in that you are racing along the road in a truck and the air brakes are suddenly applied and you are jolted violently to a full stop some place you have no right to be stopping, if you see what I mean!

But while they shouldn't be there I am living with them and even ignoring them to an extent when I do my reviews and, if I have enjoyed the story and the plot, them I am giving it a good review.  Indie authors seem to be more contactable than established authors, well in the sense that if you engage with them on Twitter or Facebook they will, largely without exception engage with you and this does mean that you end up building a relationship with them.  It also allows you to DM or email them with these minor errors and lets them update the main file so that the next person buying the book doesn't get the problem that you got.  I have no problem with that either and I suspect that the reason for most of the minor errors are that Indie authors, erudite as they unquestionably are, like the rest of us, miss things from time to time and they do not have access to the proof readers and publicists and the whole wagon train of baggage handlers that publishing house authors have access to....

But therein lies the quandary I am in.  If, having engaged with an author and bought her or his book and you find that it is just not up to your expectations, do you still do a review and blog it and publish it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or i-books or wherever you bought the book from,  or do you not post a review anywhere, what do you think?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Book Review: Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly

It's been a while since we saw Captain Shane Schofield, call sign Scarecrow, about seven years, and the question is, was it worth the wait?


If you haven't discovered Matthew Reilly before, can I suggest that you do so, now, go on I'll wait here for you.  Pop off down to the local library and get his books out, or better still, if you are reading this, open up a new window in your browser and open up Amazon or Barnes and Noble or wherever it is you get your books or e-books from and make an order, you will not regret it, off you pop, but don't forget to pop back and read the rest of this....................

Reilly has a couple of heroes who he has written a series of books on and stand alone books as well.  Captain Shane Schofield, Scarecrow is a US Marine.  He was a pilot, but after being shot down and tortured, particularly around the eyes (ending his flying days) he retrained as a foot soldier and we met him in 3 previous full books and one short novella, the latter being the last outing for him in 2005.

Reilly, writes fast flowing, fairly short paragraphs, he needs to as so much is going on and you keep having to jump from what's happening with Scarecrow, his split up team, they always end getting split up, the baddies and some distant war room buried deep in the pentagon, who generally have lost the plot as even they find it hard to keep up with the action!

His prose is clear and precise, like a military briefing there is no ambiguity; If the bad-ass says he is going to enclose your best friends head in a box and place crazed rats in it to eat your best friends face off, that's then what you get and then described in 'exquisite' detail.

And that is just one of the things that happens in this most explosive of returns for Scarecrow.  Still badly mentally scarred from his previous missions and with a French Government Kill on sight bounty on his head, why, after all the French Aircraft carrier and it's crew were trying to kill him and his people, so he had to sink it with all hands lost, shit happens (that was a previous book), but in light of that bounty and doubts about his mental state, he had been sent to the Arctic circle with Gena 'Mother' Newman his Gunnery Sgt, call sign Motherfucker and a couple of deadbeat Marines to help and assist some civilian contractors testing new equipment.  Safe and out of the way at the top of the world. Sheesh, you'd think!

Back in the 'real' world a a new terrorist group has launched a series of devastating attacks across the world securing, arms, equipment and manpower. to what end, no one knows and Scarecrow and his team don't even know they exist.

Suddenly he gets a secure message giving him information and that information leads him to an old Soviet base close to where he is which has been taken over by the terrorists.  A navy seal team is on it's way and Scarecrow is ordered to follow them in and assist as the terrorists threaten the most terrible act to have ever been contemplated on mankind, and when you read it, it is believable...... can't say any more or it will give the story away....  but there is only 6 hours to save half the planet....

Now you just know that the Seals aren't going to get the job done and so Scarecrow, Motherfucker, 2 deadbeat marines and 4 civilians are gonna' have to save the day.  Now I should warn you here that young Mr Reilly is not afraid to inflict pain and injury on the good guys as well as the bad guys and he is not afraid to kill off central characters, some one very close to Scarecrow had her head chopped off by guillotine as a way to get at him in a previous book..... so be afraid as you are turning the pages on this one as you really don't know who is going to live or who is going to die and there are plenty of deaths and some surprisng survivals, some of which Reilly aficionado's certainly did not see coming......

6 hours to save the world, can they do it?  Four Marines and 4 civilians, oh, and Bertie, who was fantastic, but I am not going to tell you who or what Bertie is but he is central and keeps turning up like a lucky clover, thank god...... Oh and a French hit squad have turned up and are tracking Scarecrow, shit .....

Editing for Kindle: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Story: 5 out of 5

it really deserves 100 rating for sheer edge of the seat excitement, but most reviews don't go that far

Essex Police to Replace Human Cops with 'RoboCop Athena'

In these times of great austerity Essex Police in the UK are leading the way with the introduction of 'new' technology to downsize the number of police officers and Police Community Support Officers.  The latter, in a way I could do without, if only they were replaced be real Police men  and woman.  Don't get me wrong I know a number of PCSO's and they are all extremely nice people, and all said and done they do do a valuable job, even if it is only to radio, which is much quicker than a phone, for a response team of actual Police officers, if they come across a crime!

But times are hard in the UK as they are across the world.  The Government has told Local Authorities to once again freeze the Council Tax, the source of income for Police, Fire, Health, Education, Cleansing and so on and so on within our Local Authorities, and in the case of Essex County Council to enable them to pay excessive salaries to the brightest and best, yeah right, to that last one......

So, anyway, with the council tax being frozen again, there is not so much in the pot to be shared out to all those services that we pay, including the Police.  So, rather than reducing the number of car movements, for example - and you have to bare with me on this as my fingers fly over the keyboard and I just make this up as I go along and I have no idea what Essex Police spend on petrol and vehicle costs in terms of maintenance, insurance, etc., but, if they put all those officers rolling about in cars out patrolling the streets, think how much money that would save each year, must be the cost of a couple of Officers, at least.

But no, instead of looking at more practical ways to make savings, Essex Police along with a bunch of other forces are spending around £32 million quid on a computer system that, as far as I can tell isn't self propelled, doesn't have a built in arsenal to injure, maim or kill the lawbreakers on our streets, but like the 'real' Robocop, probably has no sense of humour either!

Apparently, according to Essex Chief Constable, Jim Barker-McCardle (never trust a man with a double barrelled name he is either a pretentious prat or is a hangover from a silver spoon family of old), 
".....this will significantly improve the lives of people in the communities we serve."  We will be better able to investigate crime , support victims and reduce threat and harm to vulnerable people."
Oh, will it now!  How will it do that Jim, it's a box that sits in a room that needs information fed into it by people sitting on their backsides.  It doesn't have a blue flashing light, enabling it to speed to the scene of an incident or a pair of legs that helps it to run towards an incident or the assistance of some poor bugger being mugged in the street, for gods sake it probably can't even jump on a push bike, like a PCSO,  and set off in hot pursuit of the graffiti lout they just spotted as they were wandering about giving us, however slender it was, some sense of safety, as we see them meandering through our streets, can it do any of that Jim?  No it bloody can't.

Don't get me wrong I love technology, I hardly understand any of it, but hey look, it allows me to vent like this and bore a lot of other people rather than just the few in my small social circle, so it does have it's benefits in that respect.  I am sure that the benefits of 'Robocop Athena' in sharing information between Police forces, will prove to be immense, until it is hacked and then we are crying for the head of the people in charge of it........
BUT, Policemen and Policewoman, and even PCSO's,  who put on their uniforms everyday and who then go out on our streets every day to be abused and assaulted by the low life in society are the ones that we put our trust in Jim, not some bloody computer, so You, Local Authorities and Central Government, really do need to pull your heads out of your asses and stop frigging about with our lives by reducing the number of Police Officers that we need to protect us from all the crap that is out there.....

Just saying

Link to Essex Police page on Project Athena here.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Arab and the Scotsman

An Arab Sheik was admitted to Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arises.

As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn't be found locally, so, the call went out to all the states.

Finally a Scot was located who had a similar blood type.

The Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab.

After the surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman as appreciation for giving his blood, a new BMW, diamonds & US dollars.

A couple of days later, once again, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery.

His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood again.

After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card & a jar of candies.

The Scotsman was shocked that the Arab this time did not reciprocate his kind gesture as he had anticipated.

He phoned the Arab & asked him: "I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me a BMW, diamonds & money... But you only gave me a thank-you card & a jar of candies".

To this the Arab replied:

"Aye, but I now have Scottish blood in me veins".

Courtesy of Mr Paul Standing (B%^*"%^d) 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Authors, please take note, one of my niece's is angry (again)!

A salutary lesson for all you authors out there:-

Lesley Scott
Do you ever just want to slap an author so hard in the face? IT'S BEEN 15 FREAKING YEARS! Stop pissing about with crappy new books and finish the series you started almost 20 years ago. You make me so angry!

    • Sarah Anne Scot
       LMAO Night World been postponed again?xxx

    • Lesley Scott
      how did you guess? last i saw it was march this year, now apparently play.com have it down for december 2018. what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccckkkkkkkk?!?!?!?!?!?! xxx

    • Lesley Scott
      also, morning swim?

    • Sarah Anne Scott
       ‎2018????????? She published 9 books in less time than that!! Not looking good at the moment, I got lots to do on dissertation and stuff for class tomorrow too. Will text you in a while and see how I'm getting on xxx

    • Lesley Scott
       i know. she did books 1-9 in 2 years. i know this is meant to be an actual jumbotronic book tying up everything for all the characters from all the books, but it seems a bit pointless to go to all that effort when none of the original fans will be alive to read them. and will have made their children promise to boycott that trout faced rectum and her publishers. ok i'm just gonna get some supper than puddle off to sleep, so if you don't get a text back i'll either fone you in the morning to confirm (if we going) or just quietly hate you when i wake up to "i too busy". k? xxx

      I had never heard of 'Night World' which has its own Wikipedia entry, so for those, like me, who have no idea what it was/is about, this is the link to that entry here.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Criminal Lords CANNOT BE stripped of their Titles

Sir Fred Goodwin has been stripped of his Knighthood without having committed a criminal offence, others too in the past have been stripped of their Honours and yet (and I was not aware of this) CRIMINALS, members of the Lords, convicted of a crime and having been sentenced to terms of imprisonment (many of them a joke at our expense again) cannot be stripped of THEIR titles and prevented from sitting in judgement on LAWS that we have to adhere to.

I recently posted A Dishonourable System of Honours and noted that a committee of their chums had said, "that if they pay back the funds that they defrauded from us they should be allowed to resume their seats."

I heard another MP, sorry, forget his name but he was a conservative, on the Radio 4 Today programme last week, argue that they have been punished enough by having been sent to prison!  

This just goes to show how out of touch these people really are from the rest of us and what a cosy little arrangement that they have and that  they want to maintain......., protecting their own and of course themselves as many in Politics see the end of their political careers out as members of the Upper House.  So in that vein, they certainly don't want the law to be changed, just in case they are caught out and subsequently end up with a criminal conviction.  As it stands now, it doesn't matter; they can pay their fine spend a few days in a comfy open prison and get straight back to the warm cosy chamber wrapped in their ermine furs looking down with contempt at us and a system that can take no real action against them!

I am sick and tired of this and so should every right thinking person be, and so I have created an e-petition to try and force this matter to be debated in the House of Commons.  My Petition reads:


Change the Law to Allow convicted Member's of the House of Lords to be stripped of their Titles

Responsible department: Cabinet Office
Members of the House of Lords convicted of a criminal offence and imprisoned, can, after conviction and time spent in prison, re-take their seat in the Upper Chamber. I want the government to change the law to allow ANY member of the upper House, convicted of a crime, to be stripped of their title and removed from that body, regardless of whether they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment or not.
We, need 100,000 signatures on this, so, if you are as sick and tired of these people laughing at us, and enjoying the fruits of their Dishonourable attitude  towards us and our country, can I please ask you to sign the petition here and ReTweet on Twitter and post it on Facebook and encourage everyone you know to sign this, so that we can try and get the law changed.  Please also send it to your constituency MP and ask them to sign it as well, you can find your Member of Parliament by entering your postcode here.

This is my email to my email to Jackie Doyle-Pryce MP:

Dear Ms Doyle-Pryce,

I have started an e-petition that I will be circulating through Twitter and Facebook to call for a change in the law to allow peers who are convicted of ANY criminal offence to have their title removed and of course for them to be disbarred from sitting in the upper house.

We have seen Sir Fred Goodwin have his title removed, and he hasn't been convicted of any offence, yet members of the upper house who have been convicted, sentenced to terms of imprisonment and can then return to the chamber.  This is totally unacceptable.  I also find it unacceptable, that this appears not to have been debated in Parliament, or at least not that I am aware of.  It may be that I am being cynical over this, but it appears to me the lack of movement on this issue, by all political parties shows a complete lack of understanding as to how members of the public feel about this matter.  While MP's of all parties clamour for the heads of some bankers and not others, yet fail to clear up their own 'house'  seems to show that you are not interested in doing so.  Prove me wrong on this by a) signing the petition and b) raising the matter in the house and by encouraging the Prime Minister and your colleagues to do the same.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly as to you position on this matter.

The link to the e-petition is:  http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29062

How to get to Heaven from Scotland

To get to Heaven from Scotland …

I was testing children in my Glasgow Sunday school
class to see if they understood the concept of getting into heaven.
I asked them, 
"If I sold my house and my
Car, had a big jumble sale and gave all my
Money to the church, would that get me
Into heaven?"

the children answered.
"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed
The garden and kept everything tidy, would
That get me into heaven?"

Again, the answer was 

By now I was starting to smile.

"Well, then, if I was kind to animals and
Gave sweets to all the children and
Loved my husband, would that get me
Into heaven?"

Again, they all answered 

I was just bursting with pride for them.

I continued, "Then how can I get into heaven?"

A six year old boy shouted,
     "Yuv got tae be fukin' dead"
Kinda brings a wee tear tae yir eye...  

via Andy and Natalie Williams 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The NHS are you Worried, You Should Be!

The Government are forcing through changes to the Health and Social Care Bill and I have major concerns about it.
Competition, and the opening up our of health service to any qualified providers will lead not only to fragmentation of care, but also potentially to a ‘two tier’ system with access to care defined by a patient’s ability to pay.

The above sentence was taken from a statement issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the body that your local doctor belongs to. Now it is fair to say, I suppose, that although the Body representing GP's has issued the statement, read it here, there are some within that Body who are clearly happy to go along with and support the proposed changes by the current government.

So, why am I worried about about the governments proposed changes.  Well on a couple of counts, not least of all that the Lid Dems in the coalition are letting them get away with it, and two, the Conservatives have for so long been the party of denationalisation of every public institution.

While I have been in favour of some of the sell off's, in the main they have been disastrous for the British public:

BTWas the first to go in November 1984 and I had no problem with that but that paved the way for everything else and with few exceptions it has been a nightmare for the poor and working class of the country.  Once the Conservatives got a taste for it it was only a matter of time before everything else was in their sites and so it continued. And to be honest New Labour were not much different in their outlook on this either

Utilities- Gas, Electric and Water Sold off on the cheap and the British public have then been hammered into the ground with ever increasing costs and lousy service.

British Rail - broken up and sold off yet the private companies are given millions of pounds in taxpayers money every year

The one thing they couldn't sell of was the Health Service although many Conservatives for years have openly voiced their opinion that this too should be subject to 'market forces', and at last they seem to be driving this through if the statement by the RCGP proves to be correct.

I have an acquaintance on Twitter, an American Indie Author named Michael R Hicks.  He recently left a well paid government job to take up writing full time and he recently posted a series of blogs as a means to help others who were thinking of giving up their day job to concentrate on writing full time.  His first blog on the subject, read it here, aimed at fellow Americans, I am sure though, that it  will give many in this country pause for thought as they read it. And it gave me pause for thought as I considered the implications that the American system would have on us here in the UK if we allow any government to allow a full or partial sell off of the NHS as we know it or by allowing 'market forces' to dictate  the kind of treatment we all take for granted at the moment and that is largely free to all in the UK, even to those who are not entitled to it!

There is absolutely no doubt that some form of reform is needed, but as more and more people are thrown on the scrapheap of unemployment or as I have said before, that there are not the jobs available due to changes in technology, how will the 'masses' ever be in a position to pay for medical care.  Michael Hicks is lucky, but then again that is relative to his particular situation, in that he can afford a basic level of health insurance, but again and through choice, a level greatly less than what he has been used to for himself and his family.  How many of the working class people in this country could afford what he is paying, I couldn't, could you?  I am not sure of the conversion rate but he is paying $600 per month, so that's about £450 in our money but in reality if they have to use the cover it is going to cost them a whole lot more.

I can see a lot of BSkyB subscriptions having to be cancelled although the cost of that would probably not even cover one months health care, so as The RCGP says in its statement, (there will be a), " ‘two tier’ system with access to care defined by a patient’s ability to pay."

I am astonished that the Lib Dems are allowing this to be put through, but I suppose that that is 'the price of power' in this instance.  As I said earlier The RGCP as a body have issued their statement against it, but others are for it and some changes have already taken place and from my point of view at least I see no logic to it.  I wrote last year that I has seen my doctor and that an appointment was to be made for me to see a specialist.  Short version of that was, that my appointment was to be booked through a 'new' agency set up by a group of local GP's, who would be paid for this service, but the booking still had to go through the booking system of the hospital, read that here.  In other words we have two groups booking the same appointment and both groups costing money! Now if that is part of the reform, where we are spending money needlessly on two sets of staff and two booking systems to make one appointment, how long before there is no money for treatment and every patient is going to have to pay for the treatment they need at the time, or before, the treatment is given?

Of course Politicians, Civil Servants and Bankers will do all right out of this as they will, like Michael in America prior to giving up his government job, be well looked after with their health insurance cover, but for the masses they are going to have to rely on charity and luck to hopefully receive even a basic level of assistance when they fall ill and unless they are given a free prescription along with their charitable medical visit, the first will be pointless as the latter will not be affordable....

As a result of some of the things happening in his own country Michael has started a new website called Reboot Society and he has some interesting ideas, ideas that are not only applicable to an American perspective, take a look... 

So, what do you think about our governments ideas?

And,if you want to sign an e-petition against these changes, click here 

Update:  Doctors who backed the changes are now changing their minds. Read the article in the Guardian here.