Saturday, 28 February 2009

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 22:06 wonders why @stephenfry has blocked me? #
  • 22:32 BlogPost: Daily Twitter Posts: 22:33 please ignore: Daily Twitter Posts: 22:33 please ignore: Daily Twi.. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Friday, 27 February 2009

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 22:33 please ignore: Daily Twitter Posts: 22:33 please ignore: Daily Twitter Posts: 23:21 @markhw42 do t.. #
  • 07:25 @markhw42 damn... forgot it was on! Listen Again here I come #
  • 08:33 please ignore: Links for 2009-02-26 []: All your TweetDeck questions answered | richa.. #
  • 11:32 BlogPost: Bash a Banker: So the press are at it again whipping up the public who are now baying for the.. #
  • 12:04 LOL "How could any woman who is not the carnal chew-toy of Beelzebub know so many different things?" #
  • 12:32 BlogPost: Ryanair - Spending a penny? That will be £1 thank you!: Irish budget airline Ryanair has said.. #
  • 15:32 RT @hopisen: No, No , No. Stop it, Bank robbers. You can't go round taking money out of banks these days. You have to put it in. #
  • 15:38 BlogPost: The Daily Mash: I am an infrequent visitor to The Daily Mash a satirical website covering cur.. #
  • 16:36 BlogPost: Ryan-Fare: It didn't take long for the b3ta boards to latch on to the RyanAir fiasco.hat tip .. #
  • 21:52 now that was a cracking game of Rugby, well done France #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter


It didn't take long for the b3ta boards to latch on to the RyanAir fiasco.

hat tip to Dizzy

The Daily Mash

I am an infrequent visitor to The Daily Mash a satirical website covering current news with spoof stories, commentary and opinion. It can be a bit patchy and puerile (nothing actually wrong in that) but when I am feeling a little jaded with the world it sometimes makes me smile, like today.

A selection of recent articles.

Tom Logan, a frequent flyer from London, said: "I'm really looking forward to loading up on curry and Guinness and then going off like a muck spreader the next time I fly to Bratislava."

Martin Bishop, head of pension rows at the Institute for Studies, said: "It's a fascinating dynamic. The politicians blame the bankers, the bankers blame the politicians, and the ordinary taxpayer is down on all fours with a confused look on his face, being f**ked at both ends."

Emma Bradford, a terrified sales manager from Leeds, said: "How could any woman who is not the carnal chew-toy of Beelzebub know so many different things?

"Or if he had wandered around the stage with one eye shut, bumping into things while sticking his tongue inside his bottom lip and banging the backs of his hands together while screaming 'och aye the noo, I'm Gordon the spazzy', then yes, that is perhaps going a bit too far."

Ryanair - Spending a penny? That will be £1 thank you!

Irish budget airline Ryanair has said it is considering charging passengers for using the toilet while flying.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary told the BBC that the Dublin-based carrier was looking at maybe installing a "coin slot on the toilet door".
What next? Fitting scales and charging a luggage weight surcharge for the amount you defecate or urinate?

Oh well they don't care what us idiot bloggers think anyway.

[update] You can see the interview on the BBC News website here

Bash a Banker

So the press are at it again whipping up the public who are now baying for their pound of flesh.

Sir Fred Goodwin is their latest target, who is rightly being criticised for his obscene pension arrangements following the criminal mismanagement of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

However I seem to remember that when the Government went in and bailed out RBS it was a condition that he and the others were effectively sacked. Now I know that when you sack someone, or they resign you have to negotiate a severance package - what and how much money they are entitled to.

For most people it is normally written into the contract of employment. In light of the situation RBS was in Goodwin agreed to waive his contractual entitlement, 15 months of salary and his 'bonus' which is reported to have cost him approximately £4.2m!

Now the Government are saying that his pension arrangements were not known to them, what utter rubbish! Are they seriously telling us that they threw huge sums of taxpayers money at a mismanaged organisation without preforming due diligence and checking exactly what the architects of the disaster had or were going to cream off?

We heard two stories yesterday - firstly Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling back to their Laurel and Hardy best claiming they knew nothing, and secondly Lord Myners (who is an ex-banker) and Stephen Timms saying they knew about it, but thought it was part of the contract and could do nothing about it! Surely it wouldn't have took a legal team long to examine the contract to determine the truth?

However Fred Goodwin has not rolled over to political pressure. He now seems to have turned the focus back on the Government who are now looking quite frankly incompetent (again) and are now facing criticism from within their own ranks.

Being cynical, I believe the story was initially spun to take the press attention from the eye watering £325bn of taxpayers money being put at risk to secure the toxic debts of RBS and the damaging revelations about the role of Gordon Brown and the Government coming from the Commons Treasury Committee, firstly by Lord Turner and then Mervyn King and the other bad news about the growing rebellion concerning the Post Office sell-off and the shocking truth that the Government were involved in the extraordinary rendition of terrorist subjects.

And today we have the revelation that HBOS has also made unbelievable losses. I am sure Lloyds are regretting merging with HBOS earlier this year in a Government-brokered deal, mind you they are dumping £250bn in to the same piss-pot as RBS.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 22:33 please ignore: Daily Twitter Posts: 23:21 @markhw42 do think his smirking might alienate public op.. #
  • 08:29 please ignore: Links for 2009-02-25 []: Hidden Cameras in DTV Converters? YouTube Hoa.. #
  • 14:54 The function is declared you useless compiler! #
  • 17:27 getting ready to go home, wonder if the flock of starlings are currently decorating the car? #
  • 17:35 please ignore: More Blank Cheques: It just gets more surreal as the days go by, more and more blan.. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

More Blank Cheques

It just gets more surreal as the days go by, more and more blank cheques signed by the taxpayer.
Mervyn King told the Treasury Select Committee it would take "many months" to establish the scale of toxic assets held by banks. "How much capital banks will need in the end is impossible to tell," he added. His comments came after the Treasury announced it would insure £325bn of toxic assets from RBS, while pumping an extra £13bn into the loss-making bank.

Mr King acknowledged the UK public debt was "too high" when entering the recession but dismissed as "wild exaggeration" any suggestion that the country was going bust because of the bank bail-out.

The opposition have latched on to the admission the Government's high level of borrowing had limited its options in responding to the financial crisis.

"In a refreshingly candid statement, the Governor of the Bank of England has confirmed what we've always said - that Gordon Brown borrowed too much in the boom and left Britain badly prepared for the recession.

"Everyone is now pointing to the mistakes made in Labour's age of irresponsibility except the man who made most of them - Gordon Brown."

On a more positive note, Mr King stressed that Britain would emerge from the recession, saying: "There have been downturns and financial crises in the past. It won't go on for ever. It will be painful but we will come through it."

As Wendy would say ONIONS!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 23:21 @markhw42 do think his smirking might alienate public opinion, looked a bit like a University Challenge contestant :) #
  • 23:32 @markhw42 was a very good takedown made Sigman look a proper idiot - obvious Paxman thought it was a load of bad science too. #
  • 08:44 @markhw42 M50 TMA? sounds like some sort of automatic weapon... Hasta La Vista Baby! #
  • 09:45 there really are some gullible people out there - hidden cameras in set-top boxes! lol #
  • 09:57 Very sad news about Cameron's son Ivan #
  • 10:24 @guardiantw appalling audio production on latest podcast - uploaded an early edit? #
  • 10:34 amazing NewMediaAge don't bother to put any tags in their podcasts and the file is called 57.mp3 - helpful NOT! #
  • 11:19 12 weeks for causing death by dangerous driving! shakes head in disbelief #
  • 15:43 #derekdraper "not any more!" lol #
  • 15:45 listening to BBC 5 about political blogging #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Friday, 20 February 2009

From The Dark Side Of My Mind

Without the permission of Pink Floyd
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.
As imagined by the haunting voice of Mary Fahl

What happened to peel off easy open can lids?

Is it just me or has the credit crunch had a dramatic effect on the availability of tinned soup, baked beans, hot dog sausages, meatballs, ravioli etc?

I don't mean the supermarkets are low on stocks, or charging over inflated prices. But they seemed to be making it more difficult to actually get to the salt and sugar enhanced gloop by shying away from the use of the peel off easy open lids (pictured left) and opting for the more traditional and dangerous "you will need a can-opener and are likely to end decorating A&E with arterial blood as you amputate your index finger on the razor sharp metal disc" type (pictured right)

It seems to be affecting the supermarket own brands more than the name brands - but as they say "every little helps" as they struggle to survive on their paltry multi-billion pound profits.

Obama's Elf

Silly, pointless and worthy of Terry Wogan who I remember would regular featured misheard lyrics on his radio show during my formative years.

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 11:06 @markhw42 I had a cheap pair once v.good at removing 'fan drone' - I am sure the Bose/Sony ones are much better at silencing inane chat #
  • 11:29 please ignore: "Oh Miss Jones!": On the Sky news Blog this morning is a post by Niall Paterson con.. #
  • 11:38 @markhw42 if you mean the squeak, squeak, squeak and grind of the bed motor, yes makes it tolerable - falling coins? afraid not! #
  • 13:21 looks like BBC News site has finally recovered from it's "No suitable nodes are available to serve your request." problems #
  • 13:23 think I twittered too soon.. BBC News site not working again #
  • 16:11 RT @guardiantech: So, does Twitter give you cancer? We've read the study... #
  • 16:12 @giruff worrying sounds like it will rival Alice's wedding in the Vicar of Dibley? #
  • 17:38 please ignore: The World At War: I was forced to take a later lunch break today due to a meeting a.. #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The World At War

I was forced to take a later lunch break today due to a meeting at work. I got home to let the dogs out and have some lunch, switched on the television to catch up on the days news and it came on tuned to BBC2 (was watching Newsnight last night before retiring) and an episode of the excellent The World At War was just starting. I then spent the next 50 minutes engrossed and appalled by the history and horror of the allied bombing campaign during WWII.

Produced in the early 70s this amazing 26-episode television documentary series on World War II is often considered to be the definitive television history of the Second World War. Some consider it one of the finest examples of the documentary form ever produced.

The main praise for the series was the human factor, images of brutal fighting, dead bodies and atrocities are dispersed with often touching emotion filled recollections and eyewitness accounts by not only officers of both the Allied and Axis forces but also civilians, enlisted men and politicians. The sublime narration by Laurence Olivier and the score was composed by Carl Davis add to the gravitas and feeling that you should watch and learn - we really should never forget.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon
Produced in the UK for Thames Television and originally premiered on ITV in 1973 it is a stark contrast to the populist, rating chasing, non-educational drivel that spews from the same channel today.

"Oh Miss Jones!"

On the Sky news Blog this morning is a post by Niall Paterson concerning the on going debacle of the Home Secretary's bedsit sleeping arrangements.
the idea that Ms Smith is renting a tiny box room in her sister's house ("it's the family home", one official tells me) is raising a few smiles in the Home Office.

So much so, some have taken to referring to her as Ms Jones - a reference to Miss Jones, one of the tenants in Rigsby's ramshackle boarding house in TV comedy Rising Damp.

I've seen the series and obviously met Jacqui Smith a good few times, and I'm not so sure I'd be brave enough to nickname her after a spinster of advancing years...

Rising damp is where ground moisture rises, ruining the fabric of the building.

Which sounds like a pretty decent metaphor for the way MPs' use of expenses has undermined Parliament of late.

Meanwhile Times cartoonist Peter Brookes conjurers up an image which should being a smile to the face of anyone who objects to Jackboot Jacqui's authoritarian 'anti-terrorism' policies. (listed on her wikipedia page)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The "Second Home" Secretary

So the most useless Home Secretary in decades, Jacqui Smith, has finally got to answer some questions. She is accused of ripping off the taxpayer to the tune of £116,000 by fiddling her housing expenses. But she is already costing the taxpayer upwards of £200,000 a year in police protection by choosing to live at her sister’s house rather than using one of the vacant “grace and favour” ministerial homes in Whitehall which already have police protection. But then she would not be allowed to claim the second home expenses would she?

Surely the easiest way to find out where she spends most of her time is to see the police logs, records, time-sheets and all the other mountains of unnecessary paper-work she now forces her police protection squad fill out.

I hate to admit I agree with this quote from Richard Littlejohn about the whole situation

What does it say about modern Britain when we have the Home Secretary effectively squatting in a scruffy South London terrace house, complete with overflowing wheelie bins in the front garden? She's even got a police protection squad on the doorstep. So we end up with the unedifying spectacle of our Home Secretary living like a supergrass in a witness protection safe house, just so she can bump up her expenses.

Will be interesting if Jacqui still supports Neighbourhood Watch after this latest twist.

Dog Owners More Likely To Share Germs With Pets By Not Washing Hands Than By Sleeping With Dog

sleeping dogs
As I share a home with three dogs at the moment it is reassuring to read about this piece of research on the ScienceDaily website
(2009-01-30) -- Dog owners who sleep with their pet or permit licks on the face are in good company. Surveys show that more than half of owners bond with their pets in these ways. Research done by a veterinarian found that these dog owners are no more likely to share the same strains of E. coli bacteria with their pets than are other dog owners.
It reminds me of a story told by a dog-trainer acquaintance a few years ago, she regularly informed people that she shared her bed with her two 'large' dogs. When someone expressed their abject horror at such a "disgusting and unhygienic arrangement" she replied "I don't see what the problem is I've sleep with dirtier men!" - the complainant was apparently utterly lost for words!

Oh and the picture above is not me or the wife!

About Face for FaceBook

Twitter is currently chirping with the news that Facebook have done an abrupt about face concerning the recent changes to their terms and conditions.

Users had complained the new terms of service seemed to suggest Facebook would retain personal data even if someone deleted their account, this included photographs, messages etc. The details of the change are outlined here on

Most users would probably have had a 'meh' reaction to the news, most have never read the TOS anyway. However according to "detailed research" 56% wanted the old TOS back and 38 didn't care didn't know.

To be honest what do people expect from a free site run by a cocky little oik who may or may not have stolen the idea in the first place which has a long history of controversy and privacy issues?

Monday, 16 February 2009

Quote of the Day: Clint Eastwood

Iain Dale heard the same interview this evening with Clint Eastwood on BBC Radio 4's Front Row Program discussing the economic crisis

Whenever you spend like a drunken sailor,
eventually you've got to sober up."

Clint Eastwood

Labour's on line car crash

As the UK rapidly spirals down the bankruptcy whirlpool I have spent more and more time reading various political blogs and websites to keep abreast of developments that are often unreported by the main stream media.

The majority of successful and engaging blogs and website are pro-conservative, mainly because it is easy in opposition to criticise the party in power. Labour decided to fight back recently with LabourList unfortunately they appear to have picked the wrong man to do the job.

This inciteful article by Jack Thurston outlines the problems with Labour's online activities and timelines the recent student-union style spates the LabourList editor Derek Draper has had with established bloggers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes.

Draper really must be on borrowed time after first accusing Dale and Fawkes of racism and then using the very unpolitically correct term "window lickers" to describe Fawkes' followers.

Daily Twitter Posts

  • 06:38 off to put a pot of coffee on #
  • 07:27 please ignore: Charging.. Clear.. Zap!: I've not posted anything in the last 6 months as I've been.. #
  • 10:28 please ignore: Distorting The Figures: This morning I was watching Sky News and they were reportin.. #
  • 17:44 @giruff it's in our genes! #
  • 20:45 I am a bit concerned that I was throwing up half an hour ago for no apparent reason #
  • 23:10 home alone with three neurotic dogs who are missing their mum #
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Distorting The Figures

This morning I was watching Sky News and they were reporting the results of the ComRes and YouGov polls produced for the Independent On Sunday and Sunday Times newspapers, showing a fall in support for Labour.

What struck me were the graphics they used (I have captured them below) which distorted the party shares, a casual glance at them and you would think Labour were just behind the Conservatives with the Liberal Democrats way behind, the same graphics being used for both results.

However if you draw the graphics using the appropriate ratios (which I did) then the picture looks much worse for Labour and the Liberals.

Surely this sort of 'distortion' breaks some rule?

(Update, it has been pointed out the Sky graphics approximate to the second graph I created, this would suggest they created the graphics for the YouGov poll and then simply changed the figures on screen for the ComRes results which were the worst for Labour - why not the other way around?)

Charging.. Clear.. Zap!

I've not posted anything in the last 6 months as I've been buffeted around on the sea called life.

Just before I went AWOL from the blogosphere I had started a new job. Well I've still got it and it has gone well, my mind successfully rebooted and I am productive and feel appreciated.

At home I am still married, the wife has had a torrid time at work due to cutbacks, lost contracts, and relocation. We were forced to say goodbye to two dogs making three lost last year (I didn't post about the first we lost last May) but we have since rehomed another.

We are currently surviving the global economic downturn depression. I've become more disenchanted and cynical in my view of society and government. I find myself swearing at the TV, radio, websites and people more and more.

So in a moment of clarity at 5am this morning thought I should really start blogging again!