Monday, January 31, 2005

New Scam

There is a new scam being worked by those without scruples. I should warn you about it.

If someone comes to your front door and says they are conducting a survey and asks you to show them your arse, DO NOT show them your arse.

This is a scam; they just want to see your arse.

I wish I'd heard about this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap.

Feeling Flush

As it's payday and for a change I have some money in the bank, I have splashed out on one of those MP3 players so I can listen to music when I jog.

I don't even know if I will like to listen to music when I jog. I may be impossible to avoid trying to run to the beat, but I like gadgets and as gadgets go, this is a good one.

After a boozy night on Saturday, I managed to fire up my lovely car for the first time - at midnight.

Roll on the sunny spring days.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Concentration Test

Try this concentration test.

Men find it more difficult than women.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Chip and Pin

I'm doing that Chip and Pin thing now.

Before entering my pin at Tesco, I look over my shoulder and cup my hand round the keypad like I used to do at school to stop the boy sat next to me from cheating.

I then key in 4-7-9-5 (not really).

I then tried paying for petrol at the Shell garage. The keypad bafflingly said:

Select option: 1=Maestro; 2=Maestro(UK)

I don't know what Maestro is other than a crappy old British Leyland car. I asked the girl behind the till which I should reply. She hadn't a clue. I then refused to carry on with the transaction on the basis that I hadn't a clue either.

The till then locked up when she tried to cancel the transaction and I could feel the lengthening queue behind me getting more and more tetchy. I then paid with my trusty credit card with signature.

I won't use Chip and Pin in the garage any more.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Back to Normal

Wife back from Australia. Daughter back from Bulgaria today.

Me back at work after company "do" on Friday. I got very pissed but don't think I disgraced myself (nobody's saying anything anyway). Took taxi home at ludicrous cost of seventy-five quid.

I must be mad.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mile High Club

I see that Airbus has launched the world's biggest airliner.

Richard Branson said that his ones are going to have double beds with privacy and partitions. He was extolling the virtues of more people joining the Mile High Club.

Personally, I would have thought double beds and partitions spoil the fun.

What Next?

Last night I was helping my daughter with her Religious Education homework.

Well I say helping. I was really just a brick wall for her prattling while I was unloading the dishwasher. She was doing something about the Mohammed, something I no absolutely bugger all about. I probably can't even spell him.

I noticed through my glazing eyes that she had written that he was born in "570CE"

"What's that?" says I.

"It's when he was born".

"Yeah, but what's that 'CE'?"

"Oh, that means BC, but we're not allowed to use that any more".

Suddenly my interest was aroused. I did a spot of Googling and discovered that the politically correct versions of AD and BC are now CE and BCE (Common Era and Before Common Era). I'm sure you're ahead of me here, but this is now the term used to avoid upsetting non-Christians.

Interestingly, I found some false refereces saying that CE meant "Christian Era", but that would destroy the whole point wouldn't it.

Note that my daughter had it wrong. So political correctness resulted in an error in her mind of over a thousand years. Not that she'll suffer for it.

Obviously, I'm a Politically Correct sort of bloke, so I'm going to use CE and BCE from now on, but every time I'm going to think "Christian Era".

Just as a pathetic little joke to myself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

PayPal Beware

Be careful with eBay.

I bought two items recently and for the first time hit the button saying: save time and pay all PayPal payments at once.

It didn't work.

It crashed with an error message asking me to try again later. I did this (several hours later) with the same result.

I then tried to pay the amounts one at a time when I discovered that one of the two had been paid, but I didn't receive a confirmation email. The inescapable conclusion is that PayPal software is shite. This is not comforting for a company that deals with my money.

Not only that, there is no method for me to report the shiteness (yes, I will continue to use that word), so the shiteness will remain.

The lady on the phone was nice though (once I got past the press one for this, press one for that shiteness).

Be warned.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Good Music

Last night I went to see Steve Tilston and Brooks Williams at St George's in Bristol.

My good friend G put me on to Steve Tilson, but how I've got this far in my musical life without previously seeing him will remain a mystery to me.

It was lovely. Just lovely.

If either of them are on in your area, go and see them.

Monday, January 10, 2005

All a bit Orde

The Chief Constable Hugh Orde says that the IRA did it.

The IRA, unsurprisingly, say they didn't. No evidence has been offered so it's would appear to be a case of who we are most likely to believe. I am confused though:

  • Is it normal for the police to say who they think did it without any evidence or arrests?
  • What possible benefit to the police or their enquiry is there in making this announcement?
  • Why didn't Tony Blair stop the police making this announcement which was bound to destabilise the peace process?

I'd like to think the announcement was not politically motivated. It looks like it was even though I can't figure out the motives.

All very Orde.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


This morning on the radio they said that somewhere in the tsunami disaster area they were busy building makeshift helicopter landing pads.

I didn't understand this. I thought the whole point of helicopters was that they can land virtually anywhere. They can. I've seen them do it.

I texted the BBC and asked them what a makeshift helicopter landing pad was, and whether it might be a patch of grass, or the beach, but they didn't answer.

They probably thought it was too silly a question for such a serious subject.

Speaking of which, the first tsunami jokes have started to appear. I won't repeat them here. In fact, I won't repeat them anywhere, but it amazes me how quickly these things surface. It was the same with Diana's death and the twin towers. It's quite an odd thing if you think about it: to make jokes about this stuff. I wonder if it's just a British trait or whether the Germans, French and Italians do it.

Enough rambling, time to go back to work.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It Only Happens To Me

I'm brilliant at buying stuff, but absolute crap at selling. This was evidenced today by this heartwarming story.

We shook on £7,300 for the Porsche. This is much less than I wanted or what I thought it was worth, but hey, not many people seemed interested and I liked the look of the bloke who was buying (but not dealing).

He gave me £300 in cash with £7,000 to follow today (building society cheque). At home, I dug out my prized copy of the Haynes Workshop Manual. I didn't mention it to him, but I thought he would appreciate it. They're out of print and very hard to come by.

I met the man at the appointed place, gave him the manual in exchange for the cheque. Except that the cheque was for £7,100! He gave me an extra £100 and apologised for his rapacious "animal" of a mate. Well I'll be...

It reminds me of another car transaction many years ago. This time I was buying a very old (1959) Beetle from the coolest of cool hippy dudes. He was obviously solid gold. The car was for sale at £120. I remember asking sheepishly (because it's expected) "Would you take £100?"

To which the reply was: sharp intake of breath "Actually..." long pause "I'd take less than that".

I bought it for £80.

In The Black

I sold my Porsche yesterday.

I'm not sure how life sans Porsche will pan out, but I guess I'll cope. The plan was to sell it to raise money to pay for wife to go to Australia. Well she went; I still had Porsche and massively crippled bank account (an overdraft the size of a small third world country that Gordon Brown isn't about to forgive).

Now I'm in the black.

Two blokes turned up and prodded the thing for half an hour. The one that did all the talking wasn't the one buying it. The other bloke (the one who was) didn't say hardly anything except "That's nice" and "Oh, really good". He's going to drive it to the south of France this weekend coming. "Should be a doddle" says I.

Anyway, apart from a healthy bank account, I now have another car even better than the Porsche (at a fraction of the price). However, modesty and a knowledge that most of my readers couldn't give a shit about cars forbid me from talking about it further.

Single-parent stress is building up. Two of the teenage offspring went back to school today (two more tomorrow). I managed to get through the morning rush without shouting which, as the football managers say "is a result".