Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Commemorating 2012!

To commemorate the release of the topless photos of Kate Middleton,
Royal Doulton will be releasing a Collector's Edition of two small jugs


7 wheelchair athletes have been banned from the Paralympics after they tested positive for WD40


A mummy covered in chocolate and nuts has been discovered in Egypt
Archaeologists believe it may be Pharaoh Roche...

Just A Reminder to those who stole Electrical Goods in Last Years Riots....
Your One Year Manufacturers Warranty Runs Out Soon


"ITS A BOY" I shouted "A BOY, I DON'T BELIEVE IT, ITS A BOY" and with tears streaming down my face
I swore I'd never visit another Thai brothel!!!


2 Indian junkies accidental snorted curry powder instead of cocaine. They’re both in hospital... one's in a korma…
The other's got a dodgy tikka!


Author Unknown, but thanks 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Film Review: The Hunger Games by Shannon Ing age 6

Film Review: The Hunger Games by Shannon Ing age 6

My Name is Shannon and my Grand dad let me guest post on his blog, I like to cook with Grand dad too....

I watched The Hunger Games it’s really good. In it there are two girls and there was a flying ship and a lady comes out of it. And one boy and girl face death and the two that did was called Katniss Everdeen and Peter Malark. Let’s just carry on and they were district 12 I’m going to give you a question have you watched The Hunger Games and at the end they won thank you and I do not want comments only joking from Shannon 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Essex PCC wants more money - A Response

There I was minding my own business this morning took a quick break from work to see what was happening in the big bad world and saw this tweet from one of my favourite local Policemen;

": PCC Nick Alston makes the case for an extra 40p a month to pay for policing and community safety work."

So I followed the link to our new PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner - feel I had to point that out as many people will still not have a clue to who or what that is or what good they are to us), but anyway Mr Alston has been busying himself with getting to grips to what I liken to as, a Government sponsored Quangoess type position.  And for those of you not aware of what a Quango is,  here is the link to Wikipedia, but I think my explanation is easier to understand, which is this;

A Quango is something set up by the government of the day that costs the tax payers £millions to set up.  It is an organisation the taxpayers didn't know about, care about or needed.  It is funded by government out of central taxes (PCC's Local taxes I think)  but those involved with running it quickly become demigods ignoring the needs or wants of the local populace and or councils, and they run roughshod over local opinion while continuing to spend £millions of tax payers monies on expenses and salaries with no one seemingly, able to reign them in, in my opinion........ Same, I suspect, as a PCC....

Mr Alston goes on to make his case as to why he thinks tax payers in Essex should be asked to spend an extra 0.40 pence per month towards Policing in Essex.  Now, right of the bat please let me make it perfectly clear that 40 pence is not a big amount to ask for policing, it's not, but;

He starts of by telling us that "The simple truth is that the amount of council tax we each pay to fund policing services in our county is the lowest in the country." 

Nice, let's get that in there first, that we are already the most tight fisted tax payers in the country, but lets not forget that the previous budgets were set by those elected in the borough with dear old 'I'm resigning Chief Constable Barker-Mcardle', who handed in his papers days after Mr Alston was elected!

Mr Alston goes on to inform us that since budget cuts were introduced that, "All the evidence suggests that Essex Police is already a lean, efficiently run force, with over ninety percent of officers deployed on the front line and the seventh highest police officer to police staff ratio in the country.  This means that most of our money is spent on “front line” policing."  

He also informs us that,  "This is the context in which to judge the impact of the budget savings that the force has already made.  Compared with the levels of 2010, Essex Police will soon have lost 875 posts: 353 police officers (around ten percent of officers); 112 PCSOs (around 24 percent of PCSOs); and 410 police staff (roughly 19 percent of the total).  It is also the case that the four year plan agreed for Essex Police to meet over £42 million in budget cuts included a 2.5 percent increase in the portion of council tax paid to fund policing in both 2013-14 and 2014-15."

But did you notice, and maybe I am misunderstanding it , but the last sentence in the previous paragraph seems to say that Essex Police are already in line to receive a 2.5 percent increase from the council tax, over the next four years to give some amelioration to the £42 million they have been told to save? Is it me? Am I misunderstanding that. They have been told to make a £42 million saving, they say OK, but can we have an increase in our share of the council tax by 2.5 percent over the next four years to compensate us for that budget saving , and the powers that be say, yes you can!

He then goes back to the little bit of moral blackmail that he started off with by stating, "One further striking fact is that if we, the people of Essex, paid the equivalent to the national average for policing from council tax, it would fund 470 extra police officers.   We are at the bottom of the pile and will only fall further behind if we don’t take steps now to invest in our police."

So, hang on, we have lost 353 POLICE OFFICERS but he wants an increase to give him back 470 POLICE OFFICERS. Now he breaks the losses down into, police officers, pcso's and police staff. So are the 470 all going to be front line police officers or is it going to be a mixture of, officers, pcso's and staff? Who knows he doesn't break it down or make it very clear.

Then just for good measure he throws in the scare tactic telling us that, "Ultimately, there must be a risk that continued cuts in the number of police officers will make Essex more vulnerable to crime."

Before finally telling us that he wants an increase in the budget, "Therefore, I have decided to ask for a 3.5 percent increase in the portion of council tax used to fund policing and community safety in Essex, which amounts to an extra £4.77 per year for a Band D council tax payer." 

But, and again, if Essex Police are already to get an agreed 2.5 percent increase over the next 4 years and Mr Alston is asking for a 3.5 percent increase, is that on top of the 2.5 percent making a total of 6 percent or is it 1 percent on top of the 2.5 percent?  It's as clear as mud, just like a Quango would be if making the same points!

Now I understand that Essex has decided to impose a freeze on the council tax for the third year in succession and let's face it the cost of everything else is going up, energy bills, food, fuel, travel and the government has imposed wage freezes on public sector workers and if you work in the private sector try getting a pay rise out of your employer.....

No Doubt Essex County Fire and Rescue will be looking for an increase too.  So they and the Police get their rise but the council doesn't put up the tax to the residents in the borough  where is the money to come from then?  Well it will come out of reduced spending on housing, road and street repairs and improvements, welfare and healthcare, education and the many other services that the councils are required to provide; we will all miss out because the police can't cope and make adjustments.

I'll say it again £4.77 is a ridiculously modest amount, when said like that, but put into cost, the total they are asking for becomes an immodest and large amount of money.  I am not saying they don't need it, I'm not saying that it won't be spent wisely but........

I am a great supporter of the Police, I also take them to task and they have a thankless job and I am glad they are doing it and not me, but I also see first hand how inefficient they can be.  Even before Essex Police started losing 'officers' the joke with us was that an incident report would turn up on my desk marked 'UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE' Observed Essex Police Officers out on patrol,  Front line Policing seems to mean two different things to the two groups involved, i.e the Police and the Public.  Not really sure what it means to the Police but to the Public, 'Front Line Policing' means seeing police officers out and about and on patrol or attending to an incident that has been reported.  And from my point of view, they have always been sadly lacking from both.

So, while it is your right and duty in your position of PCC to try and maintain a budget that can be worked with and not see any further deterioration to our policing, you need to do it in line with what you are given and stop trying to make us feel bad and that it's our fault that you don't have the funds.  Maybe, and I don't know if this is a reason why we have oner of the lowest 'police budgets' in the the country, but could it be that unemployment and the number of people on rent rebates and council tax exemptions are higher than other counties in the country, I don't know, maybe you or someone from Essex CC can tell us why it has been consistently lower than other regions.   Have your money but do it in line with the restraints that are being placed on all of us. Policing is special I want Policing and I want a strong well paid Police force, with men and women who are going to stand there on the front line protecting me from the moron anarchists and the every day criminals who make all our lives miserable  And at the end of the day the Justice system, lazy and incompetent magistrates and judges who are continually letting offenders off and back out on to the streets are all adding to the costs that you need, and that we end up being bled for....

The full text of Mr Alston's report is here
Essex Police: Incompetent or just plain lazy

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Book Review: Incorporeal by Julia R Barrett

Look Inside: Amazon UK
Look Inside: Amazon US
Firstly, I have to declare; I know the author. Secondly, I don't think I have ever read a paranormal love story before, so there that's out of the way and maybe I should say, thirdly, I didn't think after reading the first three or four chapters that I would finish my first paranormal love story.

Well as it turns out I did have one or two problems and it took me longer to read than I normally take to read a book, but I think that was purely because the first few chapters were a bit on the slow side.  I used a phrase while reviewing another book once and it  applies to this one as well, it was this; "What we ended up with was a book that began with a forgettable stroll around the park, jumped over the railing onto the running track and into a gentle jog and then burst into a sprint as the story progressed."

I think this sums up Incorporeal quite well as and unless I go back and read the first few chapters again, I couldn't tell you much about what was going on.  I'm not putting all of that on the author, remember, this is my first paranormal love story, so it was, in all likelihood down to me adjusting to the different genre...


But from about chapter 4 on, I was hooked.  It turned out to be a well written story and probably things that I missed at the beginning were made clearer to me as the book progressed.  Sara Wise slogs away in an office by day and writes paranormal love stories by night.  Ever since she was a girl she has had the ability to see and communicate with spirits from the other side. Sometimes good experiences sometimes bad.  Her mother never understood, her father did. her father was the buffer between her and her mother and when he dies her life falls apart and her mother puts her in an orphanage......

Usually ghosts turn up, ask her to pass on a message, she never does, and then they disappear, Nathan on the other hand had turned up two months ago and had steadfastly refused to move on saying that he was not permitted to...

Sara dreamt of Nathan but couldn't see him and while she didn't like the thought of not being able to get rid of a ghost she was becoming used to him being around.  It was doubly annoying that Nathan would not tell her anything about himself, to begin with.  But, as time passed she discovers that he has been dead for over 500 years.  His family were wealthy Jewish merchants in Spain but the king and Queen of Spain wanted their wealth and their ships and so arranged for the family to be killed by Inquisitors.  Nathan had not 'crossed over'  as he was not present when the family were murdered and he had blamed himself for not being there to protect them.  He had eventually escaped on a ship to England, the birth place of his mother also from a wealthy family, but who had ostracised their daughter for marrying a Jew, where he later died.

What Nathan hadn't told Sara was that he was not permitted to move on as he had been placed there in that house with her as her Guardian to try and protect her from something or someone, he didn't know what, that would place her life in danger, nor could he tell her, even if he knew, when this danger would manifest itself.  Well that's all I can tell you about the story without actually spoiling the book for you.

What I can tell you is that the story did have substance to it, well if you can believe in ghosts - and why not - we largely suspend our belief in almost anything when we are reading a work of fiction or watching a movie - so do so here and you will find a love story with a bit of suspense and a bit of 'murder, death, kill' thrown in for good measure.  A single woman who finds love with an incorporeal man who becomes corporeal, but can it, and does it last, or are there shades of the Ghost and Mrs Muir?

The syntax flowed along and there was no problems with this, and as I mentioned earlier once I got past the first couple of chapters it kept me entertained and ready to turn the page.  The Love Scenes seemed  well written  without being over the top and I didn't feel uncomfortable reading them and they didn't take up all of the book.

There was a couple of minor inconsistencies and I found it, at first, hard to believe that in the modern age Sara didn't have an actual phone in her home, only a mobile but then I thought about a friend of mine who relies solely on a mobile and doesn't have a land line either but has a USB toggle for wi-fi, so not all that inconsistent there I suppose!  There was a couple of blank pages between the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next, and when this happens you at first think that your Kindle has suddenly shut down, but as I say, only a couple of these so not a major problem.  All in all I'm glad I kept reading it.

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 4 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
No of Pages: 185 estimated
Chapters: 22

Trailer: The Ghost and Mrs Muir 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lance Armstrong and Cheating....

I was going to write a long post after watching / reading about Lance Armstrong's confession over the last couple of days on the excerpts from OWN but, have decided against it.

I got into following cycling as a sport later than most I think, which in the UK is not all that unusual as the 'sport' has only had a bit of a renaissance from the mid 80's on, over here.  The only reason I became aware of it was because after I came out of the army at the beginning of the 80's I got my first ever job in 'civvie street' at age 25 in a commercial garage as a warranty administrator.  The lead mechanic then, latterly the foreman in the workshop, was a young guy called Ivor Reid, who if I also remember correctly was the resident tachograph expert and therefore had his own little workshop within the garage to work on these 'spies in the cab' as they were then known.   Anyway, Ivor had a cycle roller in his workshop and he used to build up a bit of sweat on that thing during his lunch break and this of course got us talking and ergo my introduction to cycling as a sport and The Tour De France, which had been going for over 80 years by then but I had never heard of it!

I quickly got into it as a spectator and so too did Marie my eldest, and fortunately for us this was also at the time when highlights of the days racing started to play on British TV and we quickly had our favourites from back then.

I do remember though that there was no mention of drugs or cheating, well certainly not that I can remember when Marie and I first became fans, but we do know now, that it was going on then, and has been almost since the tours inception.  We watched it through the 80's enthralled by the stamina of the riders, amazed at their skill and endurance as they daily crunched their way through valley and seemingly almost 'do for themselves' as they climbed mountains in the Alps and the Pyrénées. We were amazed at the crowds that watched this spectacle from the roadside, only really getting a few minutes of actual cycling, as the Peloton roared past them at speeds we thought only possible in a car and we remember Greg le Mond and his mammoth battles long before Lance Armstrong came on the scene , and we loved it.

Then along came Armstrong who quickly took over the dominance of the race from the Europeans and we started to hear, albeit before his arrival , more and more talk about drugs and cheats and liars and cheats, but it didn't matter, because to the ordinary folk like me and Marie, it didn't matter because Armstrong had beaten cancer and he was tested and tested and tested, and never found to be cheating.  Those that accused him were shot down in rebuttals or in court and some even had their lives destroyed, but it didn't matter, because he was tested and tested and tested, and declared clean.

But he wasn't clean and those that accused him, well some of them weren't clean either and were doing it to get a lesser sentence from the cycling world bodies or whoever, but Armstrong was still clean and was tested and tested and tested, and no one could say anything different.

He has made millions of dollars from being a cheat a large part of that from corporate sponsors, but make no mistake about it he has made it off the backs of the fans, the ordinary man, woman and child, who loved what he stood for.

Honesty and Integrity with a built in desire to beat all the odds whether it was, with the help of doctors and nurses and hospital ancillary staff who medicated, treated and cleaned up after him while undergoing his successful battle against cancer, or for every one of us who stood by the roadside and cheered him on or sat in our living rooms enthralled by the special qualities that this ONE individual had been gifted with. For the staff of the charity foundation he created, to the fundraisers raising money for that charity; he cheated us all and he cheated his family too.

And now a confession, no it's not that I am a cheat and am now going to suddenly own up to it on the pages of this blog, if anything I am far to honest, sometimes for my own good.  If I have done something in the past that was going to have consequences or cause an adverse reaction I have always come clean about it.  The checkout operator making a massive mistake, and I do mean massive, in my favour and as I quizzically look at the receipt as I walk away and I know I really need the money, I take it back and point out the mistake.  I find £100 on the side walk as I walk into another supermarket, again at a point in our lives where we are just about scraping bye and that £100 would make a massive difference to us that month, I hand it in to customer services.

No, my confession and question to myself is this;

Why is it that I despise Lance Armstrong for what he has done and think he should be banned for life and not allowed to take part in competitive sport, with the same intensity as I despise Dwain Chambers, a British Athlete who also cheated and begged forgiveness and to be allowed back in to The British Olympic team and then when he wasn't getting anywhere with his requests, took them to court?  But for some reason I do not have the same strong feelings towards David Millar, another cyclist who served a two year ban when he was found out.

Is it, and I honestly don't know, that Millar was caught, admitted it and took his punishment without quibble and has, like the reformed smoker, become one of the sports staunchest and outspoken critics of drugs and cheating in the sport? I don't know if it's as simple as that, I really don't.

Is it that Armstrong and Chambers, and others of that ilk, were caught and continued to deny it, branding honest people liars, even after we all knew that they were the lying cheating toe rags that should be ostracised from our psyche for ever and ever for continuing to 'cheat us' whereas Millar 'manned up' and accepted his fate and his punishment without quibble? I don't know...

From what little I saw of the interviews, Armstrong came across as someone who was sorry, sorry that he was sitting there in front of Oprah and having to give a basic 'truth' about what he did, but it never felt as if he actually meant it.  It felt as if, he was an almost omnipotent creature who was about to pass through the doors in to fully deity status and he was only sorry that the door had been slammed in his face, and he hadn't made the last few steps to complete the transition into un-reversible greatness, that's what it seemed like to me, at least......

So, Oscar, you were right..... and I was wrong, but nothing new in that then is there?

People are also correct when they say, other questions need to be asked and answered and until they are he needs to be encased in Amber and forgotten about;

How and why all his tests proved negative
Who helped and assisted him in this deception and cheating both from his team and the Cycling word
Who were the Doctors
Where did the drugs come from and how were they 'couriered' about the country / world

I will continue to be a fan of the sport and hope that this really is the beginning of the end and that ALL cyclists are riding on a high of naturally produced adrenalin and nothing else from here on in, but for the cheats, please, just go away we, the fans, the organisers and the millions of kids around the world don't need you to tell them "The only way to succeed, is to cheat"

And just to prove my credentials, here are a few images taken by me involving cycling;

Fabian Cancellara

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Careful - An Update

You'll recall I had a bit of a sweary rant at the end of last week about idiots attaching the bicycles to hand rails and then finished off by mentioning delivery men on Careful, you can read that here

Well just to highlight that statement on how dumb some delivery men are, here is a FedEx guy trying to ram his too wide load through some elevator doors earlier today, they really don't get the job after completing an aptitude test, do they?

Is It Me?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Easy Peasy Steamed Chicken (and Dessert)

Here's an easy one for you all and the beauty is you don't even need to follow my herby butter one, use whatever you want, chilli, garlic, herbs, the result will be the same, delicious simple and easy.

So, for mine today I took some fresh tarragon and lemon thyme and some soft butter.  Combine the herbs and the butter to make a patty and then divide to give you a patty to place into each breast.

Cut a good sized slit in the top of a good sized breast of chicken, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, wrap in greaseproof paper and place into a steamer.

I was being lazy here now and used a bag of Uncle Ben's basmati rice, but you can use your own preference.  I made up a pint and a half of stock, chicken or vegetable, whatever you prefer.  You can if you prefer and if you are using chilli for instance, replace the pint of stock with a tin of coconut milk and say a 1/4 pint of stock the rice comes out deliciously creamy (but not today).

Place the rice in the bottom of the pan add 1 pint of warm stock 1/2 pint in reserve, in case you need it.

Place the steamer on top of the pan, (always a good idea to check that you have a pan that the steamer will fit snugly onto first) and then let the stock infuse the rice and steam the chicken for around 25 minutes.

While that's going on take a carrot, cucumber and spring onions and cut and shred into strips and set aside.  Prepare a tablespoon or two of rice or wine vinegar for the veg and set aside.

Turn off the heat and remove pan and steamer, the rice should now be fluffy and bulging with all that juice.  Unwrap the chicken (test to make sure fully cooked through and be careful to keep the melted juice for pouring over the chicken when plated.

Place the rice on a plate, slice the chicken, the herby mix should still be in the slit but the butter will have gone all through the chicken, and place on the rice.

Pour the rice or wine vinegar over the vegetables and place on the plate.......

 And the washing up is easy for this one too........

 And Now for Dessert.........

Fresh Fruit Puff Pastry Tartlets with Creme Fraiche

 Roll out a sheet of puff pastry

Cut two good sized circles out and place on a floured baking tray.  Draw a circle about a 1/4 inch in from the edge all the way around the pastry circles (you can just see it on the left hand circle), and prick the whole of the pastry inside the circle with a fork.

Add fruit of choice to the pastry inside the ring and sprinkle with sugar or sweetener to taste, of course you can choose not to do that if you want......  and brush the outer ring with milk.  The outer ring will rise, the centre with the filling should remain flat and baked under the fruit, well that's the theory anyway.....

Place the tartlets into a pre heated oven, 190 degrees, 170 if using a fan and who knows if your oven has other forms of measurements, you'll figure it out  and bake for around twenty minutes  and hopefully you will get something like this 

Add a dollop of your preferred scrumptiousness, ice cream, cream, or in this case Creme Fraiche and tuck in


Leaks and Blue Cheese Sauce

Blue cheese sauce, fattening but delicious....

Had a look in the fridge as wasn't sure what I was going to make and found some bacon, and chicken breasts that needed to be used.  There was also some baby leaks that I had been saving for some leak and potato soup and of course some blue cheese left over from Christmas, but still in 'good nick' as we say over here... so what to do with it.

First I chopped up the bacon and fried this off in some oil

Then I trimmed and blanched off the leaks and added them to the pan, I just kept these whole but usually I would chop them down, doesn't really matter though.....
Once the leaks have slightly browned remove from the heat and keep warm with the already browned bacon bits.

Fry off the chicken breasts, remember to make sure that these are cooked through completely.

While you are doing that take a non stick pan and add the double cream (for 2 I used a 250Ml tub)  and gently bring to the simmer. As it comes to the simmer the cream will start to change from a milky white to a Creme Broulee ish sort of colour.

At this point put the leaks and bacon back into the pan and cover with a lid to keep the heat in, keep on a low heat.

Add the chopped blue cheese to the cream and stir continuously while the cheese melts into and is absorbed by the cream. Once melted continue to stir and reduce the heat the sauce will take on a rich smooth consistency, taste, add more cheese if required.  Remove from heat.

Plate up chicken and leaks and pour the sauce over it.  I did this with no potatoes for me but with a couple of  boiled and tender Charlotte potatoes for Ishbel (who by the way, cannot abide the smell or taste of blue cheese if served with biscuits and port )

Now as I write this I have just said to Ishbel that I am thinking of doing chicken again today, we do like chicken and fish and red meat.... don't judge.

Me;    'Thinking of making a buttery herb patty with tarragon and lemon thyme and stuffing this into a slit in the breast, Wrapping them in oven paper and putting into the steamer which will have rice in coconut milk underneath it and a bit of stock and a few vegetables.  The rice will cook and steam the chicken at the same time, what do you think?

Ishbel; Oh My, sounds fantastic

Oh! I was also thinking of some short crust pastry topped with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and some sugar baked off in the oven and served with some creme fraiche  

Me: Well that's what I was thinking of doing ..... but I may just go to the chippy for fish and chips!


Friday, 11 January 2013


Part of a conversation with a contractor this week, why is it some contractors are just so unhelpful?

Me; Morning Lee
Lee; Morning Tom, how can I help today (good start)

Me; I need a couple of laminated signs, say, 15 x 15 to be screwed to either side of the entrance step, where you put the handrails for the elderly, infirm and disabled.
Lee; yes, I remember them. What do you want on the signs?
Lee; I don't think so, want to try again?
Me; Okay, what about this The HANDRAIL, below this sign is to assist those who need help climbing the steps NOT FOR FUCKING HALFWITS TO ATTACH THEIR FUCKING BIKES TO!
Lee; I don't think that'll fit on the sizes you want, and again, I don't think we can supply that either.

And so it went on for a few more tries with me trying to get a contractor who I am willing to pay good money to, to fulfil my requirements.  In the end we settled on, Lee; why don't you leave it with us and to prevent you from getting lynched and sacked in that order, we will make up and affix the appropriate signs for you...

But the point of this, other than Lee keeping me out of the shit, again is; What the fucking hell is wrong with some people?

Are they born idiots and it just keeps getting worse as they grow older but not wiser? Or do they have to practice it every day to get to the point where they are so pig fucking ignorant that you just want to strangle them as soon as they a) open their gobs or b) they start to do what is so blindingly obviously wrong, that the rest of us see it immediately, but they just don't, even when you POLITELY (I know there is a disquieting contradiction there between me and politely, but I can be ... honest I can) point out to them that they shouldn't be doing it.

It's like delivery men or ordinary members of the public for that matter.  They enter a building and stand RIGHT IN FRONT CENTRE of the lift (elevator to our cousins) doors, always making the assumption that no one is riding in it and going to walk out. And, invariably there is someone in it WHEN A FUCKING IDIOT IS BLOCKING IT AND NORMALLY it is the IDIOT DELIVERY MAN WITH A LOADED SACK TROLLEY THAT WHEN THE LIFT DOORS OPEN YOU WALK STRAIGHT OUT OF AND INTO IT AND HIS STUPID BOXES AND HEAVY METAL PROTUBERANCE ON THE FUCKING BOTTOM OF IT....is it me or what?

Anyway, it's Friday and it's lunchtime and I have just had my bowl of oxtail soup and delicious it was too.  The weekend will be starting soon and all of this will be forgotten until Monday... unless of course ....

Have a good weekend, sorry about the language you know it's not really me But FUCKING IDIOTS DO FOR ME EVERY TIME and I wouldn't mind so much if I had not already provided TWO FUCKING PROPER BIKE RACKS FOR THE MORONS WHO STARTED ME RANTING

Sorry :-) I've gone this time. really, bye bye

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Time to Burn Down National Governments

As you know I don't comment on politics too often, they make me unbelievably cross most of the time as they sit on high making decisions that seem to be bereft of benefit to the ordinary person, or indeed as was shown by politicians in America over the last couple of days, refuse to make decisions that they SHOULD MAKE and that could have had an unbelievably ameliorating impact for tens of thousands of voters in passing a bill to ensure relief funds were made available to the victims of hurricane Sandy.  Yes, weeks and months after that devastating natural disaster and Republicans in the House are playing party politics over an issue which has seen non partisan voting in favour of relief on other natural disasters.... and they wonder why we hate them so.

On this side of the Atlantic they are of course, in my opinion, just as bad; with everything the ConDems try and do being soundly reproached by Labour and their followers, whether it has merit or not! And of course if Labour suggests that they are going to do something, or intend to try and do something, if and when they return to power, the Cons or the Dems have to knock it in such derogatory terms, they are at it now, even as I write this piece

In Andy Burham's Britain, will government decide what toppings you can have on your pizza. Pepperoni! Anchovies!? Too salty, Sir
In Andy Burnham's Britain: Easter egg hunt, kids limited to finding one egg each. 
Why the Tories are hypocrites for threatening "fat" people.

What I want to know is how can anyone, politician or follower/ party member , call anyone else in politics  a hypocrite, I mean, they all are, right WE DO KNOW THIS, don't we?  Dr Clark, the last one there is on about the  hypocrites in the Tories and was also recently slating them for the number of Tory supporters who received *honours*  in the new years honours list.  Just who the hell does he thinks gets 'honours' in the New Years list when Labour are in government......

Labour slating the government for not doing enough to bring back social housing, which they, the Tories, destroyed with their 'Right to Buy' scheme, but Labour had ten years in power and did nothing about it then, but sicken us all when they are not in power by harping back to a policy that is 30 years old now and which they could have reversed if they weren't so intent in going to war in Iraq and elsewhere!

Both parties, are on about our obese society, hey now they are talking about me so it's getting personal, but it was successive Labour and Tory governments, reverse the order if you need to, who allowed school sports fields to be sold off and PE to be reduced to a side bar on the schools curriculum ......

I really, really have just had about my fill of these 'people', and sometimes find myself wishing that another Guido would come along and this time manage to blow up the Palace of Westminster, with them all in it, I really do.....

So what is the answer, Lord knows as I don't, it seems to be the inherent nature of the animal of national politics that we revert to snipe and gripe on anything that 'we' haven't done or propose to do so maybe it's time to get rid of national parliaments per say...

Local politicians can be just as bad as their national counterparts in terms of the snipe and snide but let's look to getting rid of the national government and the House of Lords,  if for no other reason than it would get rid of two tiers of highly overpaid and highly over compensated sets of self anointed grandiose windbags who claim a fortune in benefits for little good impact on our lives.  

It could be replaced by a house of representatives who could be drawn on rotation from local government, keep the civil servants in place to administer the country but have these local representatives also run the country.  The law can be changed, as it should be now, to allow constituents to recall their politician, who was not performing as well as he or she should be.  Let's face it,  there is, in terms of Health and Safety Law in this country,  an absolute legal requirement on directors of companies to ensure that the persons and or contractors that they are appointing to do a job, are absolutely capable of doing the job they are appointed to do, yet along comes Tony Blair or Gordon Brown or David Cameron or Nick Clegg and they are running the country without anyone being able to say that they are capable of doing so, and let's face it, none of them have been very good at it, now answer honestly, have they?

I'll admit, I haven't given this much thought, it was brought on this morning as a result of a tweet from a good Twitter friend, @ian_beckett who just happens to be a local labour councillor, although I try not to hold that against him, but I think we should consider dismantling Parliament and going down the local route, with a national house of representatives drawn from their number on a rotational basis, served by and advised by civil servants.  Just think of the money saved by getting rid of the other two lots alone!

What say you, The People?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Gabriel's Revenge (Evan Gabriel Trilogy) Book 3 by Steve Umstead

Look inside Amazon UK
Look inside Amazon US
Book 3 in the trilogy of Commander Evan Gabriel was as fast paced as the previous books.  Written in an easy writing style with pacey action and well described action scenes, both on the surface and out in space.

I am still completely enamoured with the idea of a neuritics implant that allows us to receive messages and files just like a computer, but in our heads and gives us control over electronics such as lights and doors and machines, just with a thought.  Off course HE had to introduce the concept of HACKING and overloading someone else's 'system' and ultimately their life, which would be a bit of a downer, but hey ho, everything has a bit of risk attached to it - still love the idea though.....

So, as is usual, Gabriel gets burned and singed along the way while others around him on his team die, nothing new, but deaths on the team are kept to a minimum on this one as Gabriel heads back to Mars which has effectively had a bloodless coup in it's two main city's after rescuing the main city dome's governors son on Eden [wow that was a mouthful to type, now trying saying it aloud]  after rescuing the main city dome's governors son on Eden, hey ho....

The South Americans have hired some Chinese Mercenaries including fighter space ships but Captain McTeirnan on the Marcinko makes quick work of them with some classy weapons upgrades while at maximum speed and in stealth mode at the same time as he drops Gabriel and his team out the loading bay doors in a shuttle against tremendous g forces, exciting stuff, yes it is actually, but you have to read it for yourself to see.... (And Captain McTiernan, I'm sure he was a character in another syfy novel I read recently, sounds awfully familiar).  Gabriel's lady friend, Lt Renay Gesselli has been taken hostage by the South Americans and he is on a mission to get her back and you can feel his rage, which his team 2nd in command is battling to keep under control.

This book then, wraps up the trilogy nicely, still with lots of action, unanswered questions from the previous books are answered and Gabriel may finally be able to put some of his demons to rest along side the body count .... A good ending.

Editing for Kindle: 5 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
No of Pages: 305
Chapters: 39 + an Epilogue

Links to other reviews in the Evan Gabriel trilogy;

Gabriel Zero Point A Prequel
Gabriel's Redemption Book 1
Gabriel's  Return  Book 2

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Memories of a guilty past!

I saw this image on my screen this morning and for some inexplicable reason it took me back to my childhood, or at least a guilty little part of growing up, as a boy.....

Home shopping catalogues..... Kays, Grattans, Freemans, Littlewoods, used to be a big thing in the UK where you could buy the unaffordable at 'affordable' prices and not only that, but spread the cost, if only we all had the sense to see that the affordable came with such a high price tag in terms of inflated costs and interest charges, which the peasants who used this medium for shopping back then didn't have a clue about, and largely they still don't today.

But the cost of things wasn't my guilty secret, yes the toy section was a big draw for me as a kid but as I got that little bit older and girls started to figure in my life, the biggest draw for me in the shiny glossy pages of these catalogues was the ladies - underwear section - there it is, it's out there I was a kid who perved over glossy photos of half naked women, I admit it .. and here is the photo that sent me back all those years:

it was taken from this article on the AOL home page entitled 'super-flattering shapewear' and I do have to admit for some unknown reason it took me right back to those days in the 60's when I ogled all those women in their knickers and bras when no one else was about.  Ah memories and go on all you amateur psychologists  start analysis , now ..... but if it makes me look any better I did move on to the likes of

Fiesta, Hustler, Knave, Mayfair (my favourite), OUI *, Penthouse, Playboy

and instead of looking at half naked women I was looking at the 'real deal' Ah memories,  in fact although I had a guilty little blush at the memory I do recall a short conversation with Ishbel's mother in the 70's.

We were in Berlin at the time and I was courting Ishbel.  They were heading off to the American Sector to do some shopping in the US PX, the equivalent, but much better than our own forces NAAFI  stores.  Anyway Ishbels mother asked me if there was anything I wanted and I said, 'yes, can you get me an ooie*'. With a look of complete puzzlement she replied, 'what on earth is an ooie?' 

I replied , with no shame, bearing in mind here I am as a 17 year old dating her 15 year old daughter (still an idiot now) asking her to get me an ooie - 'It's a magazine'  I said. ' What kind of magazine' she asked. 'Just a magazine' said I, not thinking that if and when she discovered it she would see exactly what kind of magazine, probably drop the shopping, come home and boot me out of the flat and tell me never to darken their doorstep again...... But and anyway after a few moments she asked, 'how do you spell it'. 'That's easy' says I, 'OUI' 

' We' says she. 'What' says I. 'No, you idiot' says she. 'We, that is how it is pronounced, O U I, it's French for yes, pronounced WE' I remember the look of despair on her face but I can't remember if she actually bought me the damn thing