Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's been a While

It's been a while since I posted anything or even joined in with conversations on Twitter - just going through a bit of a shit time with work and really by the time I get out of there each day, just been vegetating and not even switching the tech on in the evenings. Anyway some one sent me this, which made me not only smile but laugh out loud, so I thought you guys might like it too......

A father asked his 10-year old son if he knew about the birds and the bees.

'I don't want to know,' the child said, bursting into tears. 'Promise me you won't tell me.'

Confused, the father asked what was wrong.

The boy sobbed, 'When I was six, I got the 'There's no Easter Bunny' speech...
At seven, I got the 'There's no Tooth Fairy' speech.
When I was eight, you hit me with the 'There's no Santa' speech.

If you're going to tell me that grown-ups don't really shag, I'll have nothing left to live for!'

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Quick and easy Schnitzel

Haven't made this for a while and for some strange reason not many supermarkets actually sell schnitzel, still a hang over from veal I suspect, personally, never had a problem with it, but there you go....

So, here's what you will need;

For the schnitzels

2 decent sized pork chops
1 egg
3-4 tablespoons of plain flour
2 cups of breadcrumbs

For the sauce

1 large onion
1 courgette (zucchini)
6 large mushrooms sliced
1 green pepper
1 x500g packet of sieved tomatoes
1 tin of plum tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons of Worcester sauce
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
Chopped Basil

Lets do the sauce first

slice and dice the onion
slice and quarter the courgette
slice the onions (not to thin)
slice and dice the pepper

Heat some olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped vegetables and sweat down until soft, throw in any fresh tomatoes you may have that need to be used.

Add the tablespoon of tomato puree, tin of chopped tomatoes and the carton of sieved tomatoes, the Worcester sauce and some of the chopped Basil, stir well , cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.

Now for the Schnitzels

Take the chops, one at a time of course, and place on a decent board on a solid worktop.  Take a meat tenderiser and beat the bejesus out of them to thin them down and double in size.

dust the schnitzels in the plain flour

dip the schnitzels into the beaten egg
dip the schnitzels in the breadcrumbs

Add some oil to a pan and heat, add the schnitzels to the pan and gently fry on both sides until golden brown about 4 or 5 minutes on either side.  It shouldn't take long if the schnitzels are thin enough.

Once cooked, served up with the sauce and sprinkle some basil on top of the sauce ......


Tip: for larger photographs, click on the photo

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Dreary Day

It's quarter to five on Sunday afternoon on the 4th November 2012. I'm sitting in the kitchen and the beef casserole I prepared earlier with chunky vegetables, carrots, swede and parsnips with a couple of chopped onions has been in the oven for an hour and a half on a slow peep. It has about another hour to go and then I shall serve it up for Ishbel and I with some creamy mashed potatoes, but not to many potatoes.

It's already pitch black outside and the wind is still blowing and more rain seems to be threatening to add to the constant downpour we had for most of the morning.

What leaves are still left on the trees that surround us, seem to be clinging on as if they really don't want to be dislodged from their branches probably just as we would prefer not to be dislodged from our warm homes and comfortable lives.

Sometimes though we have to wander out, whether we like it or not. I had to go out twice today. Once to take Ishbel to work in the department store she works in, how I hate and detest Sunday trading, there is no need for it and that is not from a religious perspective, just from the perspective that we already work hours through the week and at different times, so we miss each other then too. And I am not particularly commentating on Ishbel and I here either I am talking about lots of family's whose working routines make them miss each other as well.

Then I had to pop out to, also to work, as a building and facility for local people was being closed by the council and people were losing there jobs and losing an amenity. This facility was passing to the company I work for and a new building, but not an amenity, will be built and more jobs will be created, but, it was still a sad affair to watch people who had been employed for years gathering and looking on sadly as the keys were taken from them and the shutters came down for the last time on the place they had invested so much of their own time and effort into over the years, and it is still appropriately dank and dreary on the streets outside covered in their carpet of russet coloured leaves.

Then I learn that one of dearest twitter friends Julia R Barrett, is also going to have to venture out, maybe not in dank and dreary weather, in Northern California, to go visit her parents as she discovers her father has suffered a torn mitral valve in his heart, that news was here, and the dreariness of the day is compounded by the news....

We wish Julia and Oscar her husband and more especially her dad our warmest wishes and hope that those wishes at least bring some warmth to them at this time of family distress.

But all is not dreary with others. Marylin Warner a wonderful blog friend writes the most amazing letters on her blog to her mother who lives a couple of states away in America and who sadly suffers from Alzheimer's and whose memory constantly needs to be jogged. Marylin does this through regular long drives and her blog letters which in all honesty are quite uplifting, as was the one she posted today, read it here,  and then the world didn't seem quite so dank and dreary after all....

And then finally, another dear twitter friend, Jaye Manus, who you can meet here, posted a comment on a blog that our nine year old grand daughter Mollie posted a while back, you can check that out here,  about 'treasuring that child' and wanting to adopt her, bless. We do treasure her and our other Grandchildren Jaye, we really do....And Mollie sent this response back to Jaye " @JWManus Tell Jaye thank u but she can't adopt me because I will miss my mum . Love u and I am having a curry for dinner"

And the day is definitely not so dreary after all as Ishbel has just sent a text to say she is on her way home and I've just turned the tattles on to cook

Hope your day is not to dreary after all......

Saturday, 3 November 2012

tesco, you really are a bunch of arseholes

We all know that tesco have hit a bit of a slump over the past couple of years, for goodness sake even the likes of Aldi and Lidl are, on floor space and cost alone, giving them a hiding on the number of bums through the door each week, and is it any wonder.

They still continue to serve up the same old sorry and worn out ideas to try and tempt us through the door and then they still  give you the same shabby service and not just in-store either. Tesco mobile has to be one of the worst customer service providers out there.  You'd think that even with having call centres based in the UK that service would be top class but no, that is not the case.

And yet, time after time and disappointment after disappointment  I still try and give them a second and a third and a fourth chance, but just when do you give up on them.....

Earlier this year I visited tesco Thurrock on a Saturday, I had a couple of the grand kids visiting for the weekend. And while there we decided to purchase a couple of DVD's. We got one for the kids at about £7 or £8 and one for me about £15. On arriving home the kids wanted to watch their video so once we got settled in it went. Didn't work!  Tried the one bought for the biggies, worked, tried a couple more of the shelf, just to make sure it wasn't the player, it wasn't!

So off I trot back to tesco with dodgy DVD and receipt in the knowledge that I have been provided with faulty goods under the Sales of Goods Act  as described in the preceding link to aWhich? article.

When you buy goods it means you've entered into a contract with the seller of these goods. 
This means that under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 goods must be:
  • as described,
  • of satisfactory quality, and
  • fit for purpose – this means both their everyday purpose, and also any specific purpose that you agreed with the seller (for example, if you specifically asked for a printer that would be compatible with your computer).
Goods sold must also match any sample you were shown in-store, or any description in a brochure.

Who to complain to

If your goods fail to meet any of the above criteria then you could have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act.  
If you want to make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act you have several possible ways of resolving your issue, depending on the circumstances and on what you want done.
Your rights are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, and so you must make any claim against the retailer. 
However, the Sale of Goods Act doesn't apply to goods you've bought on hire purchase (HP). 
Instead the Supply of Goods Implied Terms Act 1973 applies, which makes the HP company responsible for the quality of the goods supplied and gives you slightly different rights.

If you want your money back

If you buy a product that turns out to be faulty, you can choose to reject it which means you can give it back and get your money back. 
But, the law only gives you a reasonable time to do this – what's reasonable depends on the product and how obvious the fault is.  YOU'D THINK MY COUPLE OF HOURS WAS OK THEN!
However, even with major purchases or complex items, it’s safest to work on the basis you usually have no more than three to four weeks from when you receive it to reject it.
So, knowing that and taking it back within a cpl of hours you'd think, NO PROBLEM, not on your nelly.  tesco staff in Thurrock insisted that they would not and could not give a refund, even in the face of the law and started citing some crap about copyright law!!! I assumed they think that you buy it, take it home and copy it, and then return it. Even although I had my receipt showing I purchased two videos and I was returning the one that was the cheapest, just how stupid and asinine are the people employed in these stores?  I was going to go to trading standards on the following Monday but when I got home I phoned their customer services, explained the situation and of my intention to inform Trading standards.  They were actually, on that occasion quite helpful and agreed that the store was incorrect and agreed to make a refund to my card.  But it shouldn't have taken the phone call in the first place and it then shouldn't have taken 5 days to make the refund....
The latest escapade which shows them to be incompetent idiots is with tesco mobile.
I am not a big fan of mobiles in the first place but they do have there uses.  Up until recently and by that I mean about two years ago, I had a bog standard one, but Ishbel and the kids kept going on to me about getting a smart phone.  Not using a mobile enough to get one on contract I looked around and opted for a pay as you go HTC from Tesco.  Not a bad wee phone and you got additional free credit when topping up.
A pain in the butt with all the preloaded stuff and numbers that I was never going to use and which you can't get rid of in the address book, but what the hell.
Everything seemed to go OK and then you start getting all these stupid text messages from them advertising this that and the other and informing you when your balance is getting low and advising you to top up again.  And when do they send these messages, well normally at the weekend when you are trying to have a lie in. Yes early on a Saturday morning AND YOU CANT TURN THEM OFF.   
Now if anyone out there is on a pay as you go, with anyone, you will know that after every call or text you make or send, that the phone operator automatically flashes a message to your screen telling you how much the call cost and how much your balance is SO WHY DO TESCO ALSO NEED TO SEND A TEXT ON A SATURDAY MORNING???????
Now I should point out at the end of these texts they do include a little message stating that if you want to stop them you should call 2702 to get the texts stopped.  The only problem with that is there isn't actually an option within that, that I can find, which allows you to do this!
You then call customer (unhelpful) services, Nicola, and explain the problem to her including the fact that when you get through to 2702 there isn't the promised option!
Nicola: we can do that for you now, just need to take you through security
Me: ok
Nicola: your mobile number
Me: give it her 
Nicola: Your balance 
Me: What?
Nicola: I need your current balance 
Me: What, don't be ridiculous, they only way I can get that is by hanging up dialling the number for the balance and then calling back and then I will get someone else and have to go through it all again.  If you really are CS and care about the customer and sorting their issues out why don't you call me back in about 30-40 seconds as it will only take about 10 seconds to do that?
Nicola: No. we can't make outgoing calls
Me: getting really rat arsed now But say is that all I need
Nicola: Yes and I will make sure notes are up to date on your file (I have a file) so the next person knows what it is all about!
Hang up get my balance and call again
Ryan: how may I help
Me: give him my name and number and say there should be a note on 'my file' from Nicola
Ryan: I see that I just need to take you through security
Me: (to myself) Oh my fucking god ) I've just been through this and all you need is the balance, which I give him
Ryan: Thanks, now When did you last top up, where did you last top up, how much did you last top up with, how did you pay for it, cash or card........
As you can imagine I went ballistic   I think I had every right to.  This is just downright fucking stupid.  It is a pay as you go mobile phone with the owner just wishing to have stupid text messages being sent to his phone stopped.  
I understand the need for security, I really do, but this is just taking it to ridiculous levels.  Even if someone had stolen the phone, are they likely to want to go through this much pain and crap just to get a text message stopped, NO, not bloody likely.  They would have sold it on or changed the sim card for a 50p one they would have bought down the market at the same time as they had the phone unlocked, which is what I will probably be doing so that I can put someone else's pay as you go sim card in rather than continue to suffer at the hands of this appalling company

TESCO YOU REALLY DO SUCK IN EVERY DPT  and people count your blessings I am not telling you about the mattress problems I was getting for the grand childrens new beds recently   

Friday, 2 November 2012

Book Review: Bitter Harvest (Harvest Trilogy, Book 2) by Michael R Hicks

Look inside Amazon UK here
Look inside Amazon US here
Bitter Harvest, book 2 in the Harvest trilogy by Michael R Hicks with Book 3 scheduled for publication in 2013.

It took me a while to get in to Season of the Harvest, book 1 in the Trilogy, back in 2011. But once in, I found a fast moving, modern, scary crime thriller, with the added zest of a bit of science fiction thrown in to mix things up.

Summary The Harvest books are dealing with a deadly and intelligent insectoid like creature who are able to take over a human body and perfectly mimic the person taken over! It is not known where these creatures originated from, whether they have been lying dormant on earth for millennia or whether they have come from space. What is known is that they can be killed but normally only after they have wiped out 98% of those trying to kill them and as is the way in these situations, some escape..... In book 1 the Harvesters, as we have come to call them, could not reproduce and were working on a way to genetically modify crop seeds that once planted and turned into food for the human population would rewrite the DNA of humans turning them into Harvesters.  Jack Dawson and Naomi Perrault and the rest of the EDF along with the US Govt. who finally came to believe in the threat, thought they had solved that problem ........

Bitter Harvest, as one would expect, takes up where the first book left off with out heroes who were declared terrorists by the US Government having been giving their own Agency to track down the missing bag of  genetically modified bag of grain seed.  It has been a year now and they still haven't managed it.  The new administration and President, still have difficulty in believing all that they have been told and in how catastrophic the Harvesters would be to the human race, if allowed a foothold on the planet, and decide to close down the new Agency, terminating all of its employees almost with immediate effect!

As any good writer will do, Hicks uses this to good effect to reintroduce the missing bag of seed with horrifying consequences. Without giving to much away, as is always difficult when writing a review.  The bag has fallen into the hands of a disenfranchised scientist who without knowing the deadly secret potential for devastation that it holds; all he and others in that field  know, is that the company who produced the seed were trying to introduce a seed that would improve the worlds food supply, and that the seeds produced for that purpose would be worth millions to be sold off to competitors!

And then planet earth starts to burn: India, China, Russia, Brasil, France and then back to the USA and  then you are (if an e reader) holding your finger or thumb over the button desperate to turn each page as you can't believe what is happening as we jump from continent to continent to raging battle after battle and only those few who have dealt with them before and who fully know how to try and kill them having that information sequestrated by their own government, does the full horror of what is happening and just what the original Harvesters did to the seeds unfold.  The story unfolds and Hicks has written it in a way where you just have to keep turning pages.  People whom we met in the first book, we meet again, they are hero's, but Hicks just as easily kills these people off just as the Harvesters are killing the general population while the governments of the world close in on themselves in the usual indecisiveness that seems to affect them in reality, and you find yourself wishing that maybe a Harvester or two should be let loose upon them......

The Harvesters couldn't reproduce in Season of the Harvest, and were still a terrifying and deadly problem for mankind; You may not want to know what they do in Bitter Harvest, but will you be able to resist peeking,  and, can mankind survive? And then that bugger again leaves us on the edge of planetary destruction and says wait and see in 2013, Oh how I sometimes hate authors ;-)

catch up with Mr Hicks at: @MR_Hicks_Fans

Editing for Kindle:  Good
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 35 plus an epilogue
Page length: circa 394 NO PAGE NUMBERS I really do wish you guys and Amazon would get your acts togther.