Sunday, 30 November 2008

Spidy do

The spider plants (given as a gift), as well as enjoying an ambient temperature of 15-17 degrees celsius, also appear to be enjoying my bodily expulsions and have thus grown by leaps and bounds.

A flower, with four more waiting in the wings, has burst open.  Which has surprised me.  As the only bit of colour I thought i'd see this side of spring/summer 2009, would be my face turning blue on cold & frosty mornings.

But the main reason for the shrubbery, is to help combat the never-ending pollution.  After waking in the morning (once the plants have switched from carbonising to oxygenating), the smell of heavy auto fumes hangs thick in the air.  Once the curtain and room's open to the world however, the fug only momentarily lasts before been replaced by a healthier brew.  No wonder i'm feeling high, so often. Obviously continual diesel/petrol fume inhalation isn't good for any extended period of time, but it certainly does open up a whole new view of the world!

spidy  spidyclose  spidycloseup

The annual london tube fare rush

Seems a bit churlish mozzing on about the tube been like death and taxes, when people are been slaughtered, starving, raped and pillaged around the world.

But there it is.  My contribution to the stilted nonsense, furrowing through layers of mist.

Back onto the tube.  Shouldn't next years increase be in the travellers favour, sort of falling in line with inflation?  With january bringing the annual increase, it's fun to have a quick look back to a time before.  In this case january 1995 - or two years before the witch project began.  An ordinary 7 day, zones 1&2 travelcard, would have set you back a whopping £13.80p


In january 2009, the weekly travelcard will set customers back £25.80 and i'm sure, if memory serves correct, the zones are now smaller.  lt certainly loves their four-fifths of a pound, which considering how much everything else has shot up (although heading back down again); isn't to bad.  If you're disabled, under 16 or on a new deal, then (after stripping out inflation) it's cheaper to travel using public transport, today than in the last few heady days of the last discredited conservative party.  Oh how times feel eerily reminiscent, even if wafting different stripes.

And in a world of disasters, crimble catastrophes clingingly clamber...


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sack the claws

Nothing much in this one.  Crashes, murders, rapes, natural causes, a sharpened stone.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

A tree is for life and not just for christmas

Each year the closing in of the days, are accompanied by scudding clouds wistfully skipping across grey distant horizons.  Tucked away, fast out of sight, a festive enclave waits in readiness.  Waits for the return of the christmas king - and his merry band of pixies.  Ready to watch in awe, the revered art of tree making.

Yes the lights are on, and it's a full throttle countdown.  Bugger the cost, its celebration time.

So without further ado, p'shop touch up jobs, or any fanfare. 

We proudly present, christmas 2008!

PICT2155 PICT2153 PICT2159
pictures © 2008 and courtesy of apa.

And now embodying christmas present...


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

2.5% and a vat to nowhere

I've always wondered what it would be like to be up a creek without a paddle, or a boat. Now i know.


"Let's cut 2.5% off vat and people will be doing cartwheels in the streets with joy, they'll be overjoyed," darling said turning to gordan in triumph. "Won't they?"

Gordon could see the euro signs tumbling down from mammon heaven. As by time he'd finished the economy would be in its own 6x2, and he'd be on the world circuit; bypassing flighty arse in the earnings league.  Oh yes, he could see it all.

The top working 1% will be hit with a new tax rate of 45% - if Labour wins the next election.  So this whole exercise will be heading straight into the ground.  As cameron and co. will be in power and trimming the fat, sinews, bone, and soul from everything not helpful to the swings and roundabout nation.

On the other end of the political spectrum, 1% of people will be clapping their hands in glee but wondering why a 70% tax hike wasn't imposed instead.

So after the hoopla, the nonsense been talked up over a weekend.  How does this wonderful gb giveaway affect me and those around me?

Those small business owners i know, are battening down hatches, a drop in vat of 2.5% will be kept and not passed onto consumers. 

Since many basic food items are zero rated, gas and electricity not applicable, most people who use their stores won't benefit anyway - whilst the poorest of the poor, will still  be left wondering when a party will come to power that will actually be of benefit to them. 

With unemployment following the lemming led plunge of the economy, they are now ever farther away from reaching that nirvanic goal of gainful employment.

And once more, the only westminsterarian talking sense is vince cable. Perhaps he should do a stint on strictly come dancing, before been elected president!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pixie dust

Woke up this morning, pulled aside the curtains; and blinked.

Was that?

Could it be?

Yes! A sprinkling of snow was littering the rooftop of cars, sticking stubbornly to tables.  So i quickly whipped it out.  Took a few snaps,  before the white stuff melted.  As this is the second month in a row we've had snow in london; i don't remember (will have to look up or be told) the last time that's occurred - at this time of year.  Hopefully then, come xmas time, it'll be the third and a snowy xmas scene for one and all.

However, if that is the way things are going, stock up!  Start buying those cheap tins of corned beef, snow shoes or snowboards, small camping gas bottles...  Because if it's a heavy snow fall over the xmas season in the  capital, you know everything will simply grind to a halt - for days.


Untitled-1  Untitled-3  Untitled-2

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Aarggghhhh for shoddy rubbish

The benefits of keeping a receipt - regardless of the time frame - finally showed its worth today.

A while ago - well at the start of the year.  A lovely swivel chair with ample padding, was purchased from Argos (what do you mean serves me right!), and promptly put together with nary a problem until the past week.  

I don't jump on, bang shut, slam down, wrench open, kick, thump or slap any of my belongings whether they're working or not; i tend to find they work far better and usually for longer, that way.  So when the chair started to wobble, I just thought it was the carpet giving me grief, or my centre of gravity changing and i was now seriously one cheek heavier than the other!

But all that was folded away and put back into their boxes, as (see pictures attached), the top part of the chair, fell back and off to the side - luckily carrying me with it.  The bottom portion which contained the upright, now had a very sharp jagged circular remnant from the base of the top - which would by the look and feel have cut and sliced a substantial portion of whatever bit of me it would have caught; with hospitalisation soon after if i'd survived to make that call.

So after making a call to argos, and been very surprised when the representative said, "take it back with the receipt to any argos for a replacement."  But then, saying that would be far quicker than a law-suit.

chairbust1  chairbust2  chairbust3

Before that grievous attempt on my good person, I was in the process of observing natures interplay.


Forceful delights

Waking up, no more than ten minutes ago.  I swept aside the curtains to look out on a bit of scenery.  On the right (of my position) a clear blue sky.  To the left an approaching cloud mass, that - according to the weather folk - might herald (no pun) a few measurements of the pristine christmas stuff.

So in a moment of madness, my camera, woolly socks and I, ventured out of the prison (sorry, really must stop saying that), out of the flat with camera in tow and snapped a couple of pics for the memory and for am unusually happy blog - however relevant.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Gloomy washing

Just when I thought it was reasonable to stick my head above the parapet another wave of doom and gloom charges across the horizon. 

I'm big enough, ugly and old enough to remember the past two downturns, if its really bad it'll be a decade or two before most parts of the populace feel as if things are on the up - looking as though it's heading that way.  On the other hand, it might be all over by 2012; if everyone else can jump on that float...

But it probably won't matter anyway.  After all the save energy infommercialistas pumped out, there are still people in the carbon producing, gas guzzling leading democracies who decide to do a full wash, with only three small items in a washing machine; we're doomed!

And they came from a two-parent-opposite-sex-male-female-household!

Wonder if there are any statistics out there which actually monitors the parentage of criminals.

Does mass murderer tb come from family type a), b), c), d), or e)?

  1. Happy and stable male and female pairing with no skeletons, no lies, taxes done on time, tithe the correct percentage, or hold up the tenets of humanism, look after their parents and grandparents, recycle, have a hippo in the loo,
  2. Happy and stable same sex pairing with no skeletons, no lies, taxes done on time, tithe the correct percentage, or hold up the tenets of humanism, look after their parents and grandparents, recycle, have a hippo in the loo.
  3. One parent with the other parent absent.
  4. One parent with other parent visiting and everyone been on talking terms.
  5. From the orphanage.

But of course, not just for a mass murderer, but for any type of felon!  Then you roll it out to the general population, including biometrics, blood and urine samples.

In the middle of grey dampness

Just a couple of pics taken the other day on a gray damp afternoon. 

But even amidst swathes of bland regularity, the odd burst of colour manages to poke through, truly bursting through when tweaked.

oc1 oc2  oc3  oc4  oc5  oc6

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Up with the barricades

A gay couple caressing on a music video that'll be viewable by anybody?  Up with the barricades.  The revolting scene is in the boyzone's 'better' video, these particular clinchers can be viewed here and occur at the following times in the aforementioned linked clip:

  1. 57 seconds
  2. 1 min. 43 secs.,
  3. 2 mins. 32 secs.,
  4. 2 mins. 48 secs.,
  5. 3 mins. 20 sexs.

Far better to bring back the cat-o-nine tails followed by a damned good birching.

Now, onto other parts.  The upstanding stalwarts of doctrine, almighty peace and love in afghanistan are at it again.  Keeping up the good fight by instilling fear into the heathen orientated backsliders by descending on the really good idea of squirting acid into female children's faces.  Children of parents who have dared send their offspring  to schools (single sexed mind) and who dare to remotely dream of them obtaining an education which might improve their, and eventually the country's, situation.  The cheek of it.  Far better those little ones watch their mothers in the kitchen and spend the time getting used to walking six feet behind, doing their duties five times a day and getting ready for the paradise hereafter where they can get down to the proper business of servicing the men folk, as proper virgins should.

Giving people an education indeed!  Next they'll want a shower once a week and use deodorant whilst harping on wanting you to decide whether they should buy frozen twizzlers from a cabinet or a punnet of strawberries and cream.

Do we really want people to think for themselves, and worse yet, have any say in what goes on. Absolute nonsense!

At least the russian premier has the right ideas, bring back fear, loathing and suspicion.  No need to step forward and grasp onto a new hope, after all hope's only there to be used for target practice.  More tanks, more planes, more military, divide the world into even more blocks, you know it'll be more profitable in the long run.

And it's so good seeing the religious heads finally getting it together.  This internet and free flow of information's been a total bind.  If they can only push the really progressive stuff - purges, flailing's, inquisitions, jihads - into the background for a while, they'd be able to divide up the infidels; with those who protest to much been put to the sword, or burnt alive if accused of been a witch or warlock (good to see a few parts of africa and asia still have the right idea), and their belongings gathered up for the benefit of the remainder, or given to the person in charge of moral righteousness.  Once the world's been nicely divided up, we can get down to the real nitty gritty of seeing which deity's top dog, by going at each other hammer and tongs!

In a universe, far far away...  Silly me, i forget we already are.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

EU on the brink

Yes!  The eu is on the brink of showing it might not be a totally useless dinosaur of an institution, by rescinding the rules the shape of our favourite fruits and veg can be sold.

What this should eventually mean is that millions of tonnes of food will become available for the average eu consumer to purchase fruit and veg - which used to bring millions of the uks population to the brink of tears whilst watching esther rantzens that's life, back into the aisles and stalls of our everyday overpriced supermarkets. 

That is, naturally, if some of the more stubborn farmer orientated countries (i.e. france), are unable to put a late minute spanner in the spokes.

Although the relaxing of the rules will only apply to 26 everyday food items, it will be 26 types which should shave a few more pennies/cents off household  expenditure; should  sellers pass the savings on.

But one side development.  This would seem to reduce the size of the plank been used by those clamouring for the withdrawal of the uk from the eu. 

Oh happy day.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Prop 8

Financial daubing

It's good, once more, to turn a page watch the tv or  listen to the news, without hysterical arm waving alarms about an impending financial meltdown; which could have brought the global economy crashing down, to the dawning days of wattle and daub and people using tallow candles for lighting.

At times, it somewhat felt that as ordinary citizens, we'd been mugged by the banks.  Then arrested and brought before a judge, who'd ordered us to pay the said mugger for the stress and heartache the poor mugger had been put through. 

Then having a supplementary sentence added on top, as the mugger had failed to lift as much from our persons as they had initially hoped.

But perhaps it's that skewed, cynical side of me that's been inhaling to much passing diesel fumes.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Balance of fairness

For equilibrium, fairness and balance, and nothing to do with wondering where the lines on humour or poking fun are drawn.  It's becoming more enjoyable travelling on a perambulating conveyance, as people say the funniest things when they're in a small group and nattering back and forth.

"...if obama's an even tan, does berlusconi have a little wop?"

Sadly the response slightly put a spoiler on it all,


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The 44th president - Barack Obama

It's wonderful staying up until the late hours of the morning, watching an historic moment occur in the most powerful democracy on the globe.

The last time something this memorable happened was the sad day of 9/11, when i initially thought it was a trailer for a new movie. 

It seems the species is capable of climbing out of narrow confines, of causing a surprise. Perhaps there is hope.

A somewhat generous (would have gone up a notch if he'd turned on those who'd actually booed) and good, if rather late return of form concession speech by john mccain.  Whose shock and disappointment was palpable.  Maybe he will play a part, of newly refreshed optimism, that people of vision can grasp the thorny prize of breaching party line constraints. 

What can be said about sarah palin! Someone who is even further to the right than uk conservatives, would always be problematic when the majority of voters wanted something different to the previous years.

Oh yes, there's these little things to consider doing for the future.

  1. 1st manned mission to mars.
  2. 50% carbon emission reductions for the globe.
  3. Cleaner oceans.
  4. Getting rid of the trillions of dollars poisoned chalice left by your predecessor.
  5. Sending pairs of rose-tinted glasses to those republicans who'll never like you, just because of who you are.

Congratulations to president elect obama, and may his tenure be a successful and memorable one.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Some of the better voting attempts

Well here's one of five encouraging images of the usa 2008 elections so far.


Five moving things

Well with unenviable task of moving house soon to be undertaken by so many people, here's a few things that need to be checked before allowing someone new into your home.

  1. If they don't have butlers or cleaning staff, when they pop over for a chat and you appear over taxed, ask them to quickly wash a couple of dishes and maybe a pot or two.  If you (or your staff) have to clean anything again then don't let them anywhere near your pristine and clean belongings and certainly nowhere near the hearth.
  2. Do they know how to use hot water and what it's good for?
  3. Make sure you get a four year deposit, just in case they do a runner or they make a habit of inviting over unsavoury characters who you'd not wish to meet in a bright alley, let alone a dark one; and end up having parties every other week ransacking the place.
  4. Test they don't enjoy playing with buttons by giving them a tv remote.
  5. If their ideal of a gourmet meal is stuffing their face with hamburgers, then once again it's a no-no.

And that's the five point plan to ensuring you have someone reliable and house proud moving into your lovely abode.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Let rip the slavering dogs of presidential war

And no, the heading is not a swiping reference to any of the candidates over the pond.  It is just briefly touching upon the negativity and bile, which although not reported in many of the national pages are, with a bit of digging merrily bubbling away within some parts of the american zeitgeist.  Somewhat reminiscent of the victorians yes we know it's shit but do we have to talk about it, attitude.

Reading, watching, listening to the election of the next us president; events that have many (still waiting for the statistics on that one), people around the globe intently firing off their salvos on viewed proceedings.  From the downright misanthropic racist to the non-apologist humanitarian.

So i'm now setting the clock and counting down.  Because regardless of what transpires this will be (to borrow a phrase) a once in a generation, memorable presidential election.

A wastebin for ofgem

So what's the ofgem regulators tough talking, no nonsense approach, to the greedy energy companies?

Give them until the 1st December to come up with something, then refer them to another talking shop after a suitable period of time.  If they don't come up with something that “sorts this out”, the regulator will penalise them, “we can fine them.”

Whoop, springs to mind.

Good he can shop around though.  What about those who can't shop around, who are penalised because they are in arrears or have a pre-payment meter so are unable (due to them been held in a vice-like grip by their suppliers) to switch. 

So when the lights go out in 2015 as we run out of capacity, the many aging plants give up the ghost, and we can't afford to import, at least there'll be a swathe of the current crop of parliamentarians around, on whom blame can firmly, very firmly be attached.

In the meantime i think this firmly sums up most peoples thoughts on the subject.


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tinpot dictatorship

"Coffman was sued by Common Cause of Colorado and two other groups who claimed the state violated the National Voter Registration Act by illegally purging some 20,000 voters from its registration list within 90 days of the general election.  The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction that would reinstate the purged voters and prevent the state from purging anyone else before the election."

If you'd read the above anywhere else in the world, you'd have presumed it was describing a corrupt despot trying to rig an election in his favour.

But nope, this is from that bastion of democracy the good ol' usofa, and from the republican (no less) edge of the divide. 

Seems they're starting early with the rigging this year! 

Let's hope that in the end, the electronics, chads, floaters, wafters and (worst case scenario) supreme court judges are able to get it right.

A brouha in a tea-cup

The Ross and Brand nuclear fall-out continues unabated despite rolling heads, resignations and apologies of so many involved in this world shaking scandal. 

Perhaps people have forgotten the corporation (bbc) has to pander to the whims and whimsy's of all it's license fee payers and not just one particular segment.  When said corporation only had two tv channels and smattering of radio stations, with not much in the way of competition; then a one size fits all boot, was all we had to endure and look forward to, and let's hope we don't have to go back to that particular restricted diet again.

I'm a radio 4 listener by nature and enjoy all of it's output, as the majority of it fits in with my outlook, interests and views.  To many others it's a station to be avoided until they reach the slippers, cardi and bi-focal glasses stage.  If the bbc was providing everything everyone needed then bskyb wouldn't be topping over 9m subscribers.

But in today's world, with so many competing carriers out there, they have to tailor their output across various stations and channels to the particular segment of that market which tunes in. 

Surely the worst that can be described about the pairs outburst, is that it's nothing more than a soupcon of bad taste, deserving nothing more than a hearty rapping across knuckles, financial sanction and apology.  All of which have been provided - however late.

Let's not forget that after the program aired, only two listeners of the show complained, and nothing more happened until a week later when the daily mail (not a known fan of anything national, except perhaps the grand national) ran with the story.  Then we have the prime minister of the country dragged out of a meeting to comment, the opposition parties getting embroiled and over thirty thousand people up in arms at this affront to dignity and taste.  The mighty thud of a bandwagon pile-up, must have been heard halfway across the world.

How many of those thousands who wrote in to complain fully listened to the program and not just the repeated 20 second sound bite, or are ardent listeners of the program?  I doubt if its a hundredth of that number. 

As they've suddenly become busy bodies of the first order, I hope those very same people have written into the fsa and the government, to complain about those financiers costing the economy billions of pounds.  Or that those very same people have written in complaining about the millions of people around the world dying due to the lack of something as basic as a tetanus injection, dying for the lack of a few tumblers of clean drinking water.  Or the many thousands of homeless in this country, who remain so whilst properties remain unoccupied, the list could go on.

It's all well and good complaining about the lack of standards and morals been paraded before our eyes and ears, and blaming all of society's ills on it.  Sadly, the reality of falling levels of rudeness occurred long before it happened on tv, the paper press can hang their heads in shame here to.  Monkey see and monkey do, whilst films hand a mirror to society, society hoiks a mirror back.

But unless we want to live in a world where the only things watch-able, readable, or experienced are those which are allowed by the holding reigns of power.  then we have to accept some things outside of the norms we might agree with. 

A bit like the offended granddaughter taking her side of the kiss and tell story to the sun newspaper!

It's good and sensible having a moral compass, perhaps it would be beneficial if our compasses were capable of pointing in any direction where injustices occur and not just in a select direction or two.  But then we'd probably be an entirely different species.  There are more things happening in the world that people need to be concerned, heated, enraged about than the misguided mutterings of a couple of aging adolescents!

However, unlike some out there, i don't believe this particular tea storm presages the death of civilisation...

Although seeing a bus emblazoned with an advert for a new film called zach and miri make a porno, i do begin to wonder.