Thursday, 28 April 2011

Runny choc-pennies


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Amongst the bark – deadwood


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Mono refractions


Friday, 22 April 2011

Sunny days

It’s a wonderful gorgeous sunny day outside; luckily i have the curtains closed and the windows open a crack to let as little of it in as possible.

Roll on winter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Old brains new technology

Eventually it had to happen, there's nothing worse than squinting at a screen pressing the wrong button, and not realising for hours.

Obviously there's a need for bigger glasses, as there's nothing nothing worse than posting something that's nowhere near cocked.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

London Buses trial new equipment to tackle air pollution (according to tfl)

There’s a bigger picture here that i really must be missing, perhaps even a dot or two which have obviously whizzed past my obliviousness.

Especially when i read the following statement:

“We are making huge strides in cleaning up the Capital's bus fleet, not least by developing the New Bus for London, which will pump out 40 per cent less pollutants than a standard, traditional diesel bus. “

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London,

For those residents unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of a bus stands, i wholeheartedly apologise if the above statement caused you to burst out laughing whilst sipping a cup of coffee, causing you to spray the contents across the room, which unfortunately arced over poor tiddles who jumped back in fright, hitting the wall a split second after the liquid hit the power socket, leaving you now sadly tiddled poor.  It was not my intention.  From the statement, we do though appear to occupy a different universe from those making the pronouncements and dreaming up the plans. 

I’m sure if drivers switched their engines off instead of leaving them ticking over for 5-20+ minutes at a time: spring, summer, autumn or winter; a large 40 per cent bit of those freely floating carcinogenic particulates would be spared finding a lung or two to nest in.  But that would mean managers and directors actually doing something really er., uhm, oh pro-active?  Like some sort of study (for once), to actually find out why they’re getting complaints from people living in the vicinity of stands and why the levels of pollution in the vicinity of stands/neighbouring roads are higher than normal for far more days of the year than other areas bar airports or ports.

Somewhere down the line, i might have mentioned a nagging doubt regarding the environmental trumpeting by tfl of their wonderful green credentials and the chummy back-patting at the annual bus awards.   They should instead introduce a ‘polluter of the year’ award for the most offending garage, manager and driver; i believe there are at least six in this locale who’d be in with a high chance of taking first place.

In the meantime, for those residents in the immediate vicinity of bus stands (remember not the stops, just the stands for now) and in london, here’s a very little helpful ditty which crossed my polluted paws…



Monday, 18 April 2011

March of the horse’nuts

Yes it’s that time of year again, when the horse-chestnuts are leafing, rising and growing with gusto and all still in the same pot.

This year a few extra layers of soil was added to keep them sufficiently bedded, and a good few litres of nutrients to compensate for the cramped conditions; but here’s the current progress in a few shots.





19th April 2011 – update

I decided to take some measurements to see how well they’ve come on (or not considering the sized pot they’re all in), and how long they’ll have to live before expiring, if not separated.

There are: 2 @ ~100cm, 2 at ~60cm, 2 at ~30cm and a straggler hovering around the 20cm mark; all measurements taken from the top of the soil.  The pot itself measures 34.5 cm inner diameter with a depth of 34.5cm, not exactly spacious for seven trees, but they haven’t died yet.   Now I just need to find a local group of ninja gardeners who’d know what do with at least five of them.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Strike 1 - census office

The much trumpeted last ever census ever to be conducted in the uk, because the country's too poor ever to attempt it again, promptly arrived on 27th March 2011.

Being an online-hawk (albeit with small wings that periodically furiously flap), I decided to complete the form on net a couple of days after receiving everything in the post, and well before the cut-off date which was officially highlighted in bold if my memory is to be believed.

I didn't, however, click that final submit button, as I had no idea whether anyone would be staying here at any time ever again, let alone overnight on the 27th March 2011.  The likelihood was no-one, but if forced to answer by having a pair of hot-tongs waved in front of my face, i'd have probably indicated whilst sweating profusely that the probability was 99.9999999% that no one would be.  In reality it turned out i was 100% correct, I was indeed here;  but at the time, a few weeks before the deadline, I didn't know; and wanting to be a dutiful citizen I specifically - especially after reading the blurb which said you could complete as much as possible, and then whatever you had filled in but not yet committed would be used as your answer - waited, before even thinking about pressing the 'button'.  A button presumably put there for clairvoyants.

So everything was filled in.  Apart from that bit, because I didn't know. After all it wasn't the 27th.

The 28th arrived.  I went, 'bugger!'

Imagine my surprise then when, on the 13th April 2011 (yesterday), whilst cursing my environment, the doorbell sprang into life.

Normally, after picking up the intercom, you're either blasted by wailing shrieks, squeaks, whistles or pops, as the "saw them coming" system on the one hand attempts to connect both ends via different communications protocols and magnificently fails, to the other of pretending it's not really a working system, and showers you in silence.

I knew something was up when I heard a crystal clear and chirpy voice pipe through the wires saying, "I'm sharna from the census office.  We don't have a record of you completing the census."

"What?" I retorted.  Thinking they're happy allowing their underlings to poison you, but don't fill in a form and its "oh, we'll be down on you like a truck of cement as obviously you're a naughty citizen, you, yes you!"

"I'm from the census office.  We haven't received your form."

"I filled it in online."

"You filled it in online?"

Oh and a parrot.


"Okay", a brief moment of hesitancy aimlessly drifted before the official sprang back to life.  “I'll mark it down then," and she was gone.

This was all undertaken via an intercom which normally decides it's not going to co-operate.  Think of the lifts in the hitchhikers guide, but far less friendly for most of the time.

Moral?  Always take a a hammer to something electro-mechanical, it saves fretting about it turning into skynet01.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The big bailout scam « Political Economy 101

"Meanwhile, the trillions poured into the big banks since 2008, instead of going to cash-starved small business or being used to build infrastructure and to create jobs, have largely helped fuel a new stock market bubble. The extraordinary rise in the value of companies such as Facebook and Zynga provides a worrying parallel with the dotcom bubble of 2000."

The big bailout scam « Political Economy 101

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Moving on

The only thing worse than a whiner is a whiner who never shuts up.

So enough with the self-obsessed navel gazing.  It’s time to dig out the crystal and see what the remaining 3/4’s of the year has to offer…  damned tumbleweeds, get everywhere!

Neighbours of noise or simply noise averse?

When you briefly experience the wonderful peace and alacrity of quietness (don’t worry i’ll return to form shortly), it’s worth bearing in mind that unless you’re in a retreat - which is bored into the side of a mountain - that peace is just the minute gap before the next oncoming tide of a skyscraper-sized noise tsunami; especially when it involves fillies just out from uni and moving into their first flat together.

Heavy footfalls, high heels, stomping around, lots of ‘mates over’ are now de rigueur.  Which wouldn’t normally be a problem except in those (i.e., this) flat/house conversions, which once had luscious carpet covering the bareness but which greedy landlords ripped out, leaving exposed floorboards that people flock and ‘coo’ over, admiring the fact that they ‘look so pretty’, ignoring what doesn’t lay beneath.

Naturally provisions exist in leases precisely to alleviate this problem (generally), except when the vast majority of people are either unaware the problem their usually simple everyday noise is creating exists, or the issue is not brought to their attention; as opposed to any wilful or malicious intent.

So when you bring it to their attention, verbally and or formally, and the noise continues, you begin to wonder whether there’s more going on than an element of unawareness.  Perhaps it’s simply the case they don’t give a damn and further actions are nothing less than wilful maliciousness. 

A tedious probability?  As iterated to in the title; is it neighbours who are been noisy or am i just been overly sensitive?

Figures indicate that at least 95,000 (after doing a bit of research my previous use of 2 mn appears wildly wide of the uk mark and it should have been covering the  eu) people, have an issue with noise and noisy neighbours, severe and pressing enough that after spending years of battling, grinds them into moving for the sake of their health.  Because as satisfying as fighting your corner is, every now and then there comes a time when you ponder why you’re still bashing your head against a brick wall.  Then as dizziness caused by exsanguination starts to take its toll, you realise the two-steps towards resolution you thought you were making, actually turns out to be you moving backwards, at a rapid rate of knots.  It’s just the flashing change of scenery which has confused you.

I’m one of those stubborn folk – something which happens when you live next to an increasingly noisy venue, and next to a stand with an increasing number of buses utilising the stand without drivers switching off their engines, and now with added noisy neighbour icing; that you either throw your hands in the air, give up and move on, or fiercely dig your heels in (as opposed to down - as the current clippity-clopping neighbours above are prone to do) and say enough really is enough

Everything (on paper at least) says this shouldn’t be happening.  So why have other leaseholders simply let things slide?  Because it’s easier than putting up a struggle.  Especially when it seems to be an on-going struggle with seemingly no end in sight. 

Yet, one resident who has dug his heels in over a compactor placed against the party wall (somehow allowed by the council) has managed to have it removed.  Yes, an industrial sized rubbish compactor that members of staff at the venue and its operators took extreme pleasure in assuring caused as much physically noise as possible – bar bashing it into the wall, was placed within touching distance of flats, and neither they nor the council could understand that residents had a problem with it.

When it comes to the care of resident’s hearing and ability to get a decent nights sleep, it seems conservative run boroughs (from the evidence so far) appear to stand miles above labour or liberal run boroughs – which is odd, considering how much we’re constantly bombarded with the message that labour councils are for the people – which i suppose they are, except when it comes to residents managing to obtain a good nights sleep.

Now the problem with many british flats, homes and apartments is that way too many of them were built at a time when it was the genteel thing to generally not carry on unless you lived in the slums - where that sort of behaviour was expected.  Over the years slum areas were destroyed and re-built with better looking but still (by today's sound standards) crummy sound considerations, where anything over and beyond the sound of brushing your teeth’s magnified to a point where simon bates would be using a pile-driver and not a knife.

In today's world, many in the west would like to think we’re remarkably  civilised, yet reality shows the law of the jungle and a dog-eat-dog mentality is in force, well, and flourishing greater than ever.

For those of a mind to know more, noise action week is rapidly approaching.

Noise Action Week 23-27 May 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Nothing ever changes

Meeting, chatting, shooting the breeze and going out, i.e. dating are things which have interested me less and less;  so much so i’m now roughly 95% (give or take a percentage point) different in my social and even personal behaviour, which is odd, as nothing ever changes!

Perhaps i haven’t stopped smoking 40 a day, nor drinking half a brewery, nor clubbing from dawn until dusk and having more encounters in a week than people had in year.  No, if parallel universes do exist i probably haven’t stopped doing any of those pleasurable (at the time) things at all, but which now - in this particular theoretical brane at any rate, no-longer holds any alluring interest.  Which can’t be, as that indicates that a change, a definite change - as i no longer do any of those things, has taken place in this one. 

Day does not turn into night.  The movement of the planet’s atmosphere is not occurring because the earth isn’t spinning and neither are there hot nor cold areas as every area’s the same.  Because nothing ever changes.  Indeed I can’t be typing this as that would imply some chemical and or mechanical changes must be taking place to bring this about, which can’t be, as nothing ever changes, so therefore it isn’t. 

Indeed you, my dear reader can’t be a reader, as reading  this would once again infer something (in this case photons) are changing in their position, hitting your retina and causing electrical changes to be transmitted through nerve endings to the chemical goop encased in your cranium, or being transformed (changed) into signals which are then electrically transmitted (electrons changing in position) as sound.  All indicating some type of process, which would surely mean some sort of change was or is or has taken place?

No of course not, as nothing ever changes. 

Everything remains the same and we’re not in an expanding universe because the big bang never happened - as shown by this momentary fevered dalliance with reality, which is nothing more than the idle burp of some sleeping deity; which can’t be the case, as that too would indicate something has changed, and as we know, nothing ever changes, so the above assumptions are simply just nonsense, which is itself a change so therefore cannot be true.

We’re born (which we really can’t be as that too would involve change) with exactly the same ideas that we cling onto as we grow and mature (but how can that be if we never change), until we reach some mythical point of existence to decide, or not, to pop out of this never changing, never expanding stage of being.  Which is never ever changing anyway because there is never any change.

Perhaps it’s a transformational phase? 

Next: noisy neighbours part i

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Man the sound ‘parts!

Ah yes summer-time has arrived, the clocks have gone forward, easter’s nearly here and obtaining a decent nights sleep over a weekend (or even during the week) disappears up brixton academy’s chuff.

Yes, brixton academy is once more expelling audio fumes from its backside and causing sleepless nights to residents in the immediate vicinity… deploy the noise officers, who use a very strange subjective level of measurement (or they did until retirement set in), which would see a church paraded through the courts at the complaint and behest of a couple of people over a month or so; yet in this triangle complaints have been salvoed to the council for years and the only change (which i’ve perceived) is an increase in the deep bass frequencies we’re bombarded with, more events, and more of them finishing after midnight.

How loud?  See the many previous posts.

But when you wear ear-plugs which are then covered by headphones, through which one is listening to loud audio, and whilst unable to hear the clipity-clopping of neighbours above but can still hear music from the venue despite all windows & doors closed, then in my very small book of certainties, that classifies as loud!

This morning I discovered I wasn’t the only one who had come to the conclusion that the noise was extreme.  During the night other residents had also objected to the council.  Which makes me wonder about todays benefit.  If the venue produces more vibrations than the country experiences in a year, then (and i could be showing a cynical mind here) how is it capable of considerate action towards those unfortunate souls in the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fall-out zones – with it simply not sounding like there’s a kerching sound attached?

Instead of paying £40 or more (with the touts in operation) to the greedy lot above, and partying over the deaths of thousands; contemplate on the randomness of it all, say a few words for them, and donate instead.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Godless tsunamis

So after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear cloud making its way around the world, we now have a russian director saying god did it to them.

Not sure why god (unless it's an acronym for something far more sinister and other-worldly - as we’re being conditioned to believe anything otherworldy’s out to treat us as food - that's operating out of a quantum-bridged molehill somewhere), would decide the time was right to particularly smite the north-east japanese over, say, territory controlled by russian or italian mafia or colombian drug-lords, or even politicians - of most countries - or the billionaires fleecing the world economy and making the vast majority poorer by any stretch of inflationary hyperbole.

Indeed by that former stretch, nikita sergeevich mikhalkov imaginary smiting machine should by now have summoned forth a volcano the size of olympus mons, which in burping forth its damndest destroyed most of western europe (or at least the city of london), with yellowstone following close behind in its fiftieth year of birth-pangs.

We should i presume be lucky in counting nikita sergeevich mikhalkov imaginary smiting machine as indeed imaginary, otherwise this rock would now be a lifeless parchment of baked real-estate, circling a constantly enraged and broiling red star minus anything worthwhile to smite... oh i see, we're the smitebots!