Friday, 14 December 2012

Predictions for 2013



January
Three days into the year and all your New Year resolutions are broken already.
After all the celebratory food and drink, secretly you are happy that it's International Coffee Gourmet Month, although the thought of all those TV celebrity chefs makes you want to go back to bed.Or at the very least, feel rather sick.
Partners buy their spouses some wonderful clothes in the winter sales which they spend all evening putting on e-bay.
Easter Eggs are in the shops.
The twist-off bottle cap was invented on the last day in January 1956. You celebrate by spraining your wrist trying to open one.
Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to pay tax. Oh! No they don’t.
The Christmas Turkey leftovers are finally finished.

February
You must remember to send Alice Cooper a birthday card on the 4th February.
Surely something should be growing in that patch where you planted bulbs last October.
Easter Eggs are still in the shops.
You spend the entire last week of the month worrying about changing the date of your watch 4 days forward at the end of the month.
Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to pay tax. Oh! No they won’t.
It's the end of the month, there's less than 300 days to Christmas, an allegedly religious holiday. 

March
You wonder if the simile "As mad as a March Hare" was invented to describe your boss.
You have to start thinking seriously about cleaning the lawn mower.
And much to your distress, you've been reliably informed that Shrove Tuesday is not just about pigging out on pancakes.
You wonder why the British branch of the Procrastination Society have put off holding a Procrastination Week in the UK similar to the one held during the second week of March in the USA - only after they spent 17 years deciding where and when to hold it.
Easter Eggs are still in the shops.
Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to pay tax. Oh! No. Sorry. Got that wrong again.

April
As an April Fools’ joke, the Daily Star carries news on its front page.
Nigella Lawson invents a At the end of the month, there's less than 300 days to Christmas. At the end of the month, there's less than 300 days to Christmas. At the end of the month, there's less than 300 days to Christmas. At the end of the month, there's less than 300 days to Christmas. recipe for origami toast – tastes like cardboard.
The Easter Bank Holiday arrives and not an Easter Egg in the house.
You can tell it's the perfect Spring weekend - the sun is shining, the birds are singing, there's a light breeze and the lawn mower you cleaned last month is broken.
Easter Eggs are still in the shops, buy one, get one free.
Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to pay tax. Sorry, wrong again.

May
The Mayflys have arrived, but rumour has it their debut album is absolutely terrible.
The Chelsea Flower Show is relocated to an allotment outside Aberdeen.
Easter Eggs are still in the shops, buy one, get three free.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou makes his debut in the farming industry with orange-coloured "easymanure".
Ordinance Survey announce the UK's cheapest GPS solution - a printed 1:4 map of Great Britain costing £2.95
Still no tax from Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks.

June
On 24 June in 1947 the first documented UFO was sighted in the USA. The first live alien (at least you think that's what it was) you have ever seen was brought home by your daughter from college last night disguised as her new boyfriend.
For the first time, attendees at the Glastonbury Festival suffer from heatstroke.
The surprise 'must-have' accessory of the year is a mobile phone that only allows you to make and receive calls.
Even though schools have not broken up yet, "Back-to-School" advertisements are rife.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh says something vaguely neutral about foreigners, although Keith Vaz, Shami Chakrabarti, Chuka Umunna and the Chinese Ambassador still take umbrage at being seated at the same table as him.
No. No tax yet.

July
You can tell Summer is here - it's not stopped raining since last Tuesday.
This is the traditional time of year for teachers to help their pupils gain a better understanding of Trivial Pursuits. It's official name is Impending Summer Break week.
A new reality TV show about TV reality shows is the summer's biggest hit.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and announces his new three-tier tax system, "easyvat", "easyduty" and "easyincometax".
DFS hold a genuine sofa sale.
Not a penny in tax from any of the big 4 avoiders yet. But there’s hope.

August
Package holidays are, for some reason, extremely bad value for money this month.
Useful, mandatory, necessary and required domestic products in the supermarkets make way for Christmas cards and wrapping paper.
Yet another new yet previously unknown leader of the LibDem Party is announced.
A gourmet restaurant is discovered in Blackpool.
You speak to somebody English, based in an English call centre, in England.
Yet another initiative to prise money from the motorist is announced when parking meters are unveiled on the M25.
Nil tax. Still.

September
Leaves on the tracks cause rail timetable problems, despite the fact Autumnal fall doesn't occur until the middle of next month.
Christmas is in full swing in all the shops.
It’s not that there’s any way a recession, but the only job your graduate scientist daughter (£33,000 in student debt) can get is for London Underground minding the gap.
HR is proscribed by the Government and many recruitment agencies go on the rampage placing fake recruitment advertisements everywhere. As they have done for 25 years.
The dreadful Christmas compilation CD advertisements commence on TV.
The Archbishop of Canterbury throws in the towel and admits the bible was written by a mediaeval ancestor of Stephen King.
It's annual water-shortage month caused by the wrong rainfall over twelve days in July.
No Tax. No.

October
It's firework night, for 31 successive evenings during October.
There may be over 12 weeks to go, but the great Christmas light turn-on is happening nationwide.
iPhone 5 users, for their loyalty, are offered a completely free upgrade to the iPhone 6 by Apple.
You become upset when a youngster offers your son a penny for you when you're out walking with him on Halloween.
The shops are still full of Easter Eggs. And now Valentine cards.
Ozzy Osborne is elected Home Secretary.
Ah! Good news. Er, no. Sorry. Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks still no tax.

November
5th November and many people go to bed praying Guy Fawkes does a proper job this year.
You try to explain to your 5 year-old son why there are so many Santas around with 7 weeks still to go to Christmas.
The expected cold snap in the middle of the month is 15 degrees and all your spring flowers start to grow.
A hidden cache of Easter Eggs has been discovered in a supermarket.
After seven million premium-rate voting phone calls are made, some completely talentless oik wins X-Factor on the basis of Louis saying he’s a one million percent original natural recording star.
Simon Cowell is declared a national monument. Someone poured cement over him while he slept.
Yep, you’ve guessed. Google, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks to pay tax. Well not really.

December
The Season of Good Cheer and Merriment is around the corner. As it has been in the supermarkets for the past five months.
Britain celebrates its 20,000th speed camera. On the A1.
You are glad you have ignored the Met Office's hurricane warning as you take your dog for a walk in three feet of snow.
You are fed up with turkey and cranberry by about the 2nd.
Sorry. Still taxless.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Airport security......pah!

Having just ‘done’ the "Gatwick thing" a few days ago en route to Barcelona, I am convinced that airport security is a connivance.

The requirement to turn up at the airport seven hours in advance to book in is a total sham and a complete waste of time and passengers' money.

I am convinced that the airlines, passport control, border agency and G4S security chumps are on the W H Smith payroll, hence the reason we have to turn up so early for our flight. And the reason I say this is - have you seen the altogether mighty creative prices at WH Smith?

The humble bag of crisps is now 99p! Yes, the 1970's equivalent price of a week's petrol. 60p short of the cost seeing The Electric Light Orchestra in concert. Or the cost of three pints of beer. 99p for 50g of pure, salty cholesterol, and not even the equivalent of one reasonably sized potato contained therein!

And as for sandwiches - nearly £4 for two slices of bread with some slop wedged between. And 85p for a small chocolate bar.

Daylight robbery!

It must be great for the first time visitor to England to roll-up into WH Smith for a drink, snack and a packet of fags to find they have to take a mortgage out!

But then the public gets what the public deserves, and it's all part of the motorway stopover mode they go into the moment they travel. UK passengers seem to have this innate, built-in need to be ripped off.

They flock to these overpriced dens to be held to ransom at the tills, yet would never think of remotely entertaining such extortion on the High Street, often traipsing miles to save 4p on a carton of orange juice. Yet they are quite happy to pay up to 60% more in airports, train stations and motorway stopovers.

But transfer them to the waiting area of Dalaman airport in Turkey, and they suddenly see sense. Here they won't pay £13 for a burger or £4 for a bottle of water. For some strange reason, sense seems to prevail, something the dopey Turkish airport authorities haven't yet cottoned onto - that if they reduced their prices, their snack bars and shops would be full. They don’t realise that the tourists have enjoyed normal priced take-aways and 40p bottles of water all holiday, so are not going to pay up to ten times more for the privilege, at the end of their holiday in the airport.

Yet the British holidaymaker continues to support the domestic rip-offs. 

Perhaps they are just stupid!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Privatised thieves receive free defence

I am very curious as to how easyjet can hedge their jet fuel purchases to provide stable prices for passenger fares right up to possibly mid 2014 (yes, 2014).

This, bearing in mind their fuel often originates from mad, despotic countries ruled by nutters, not perhaps the best atmosphere to try and lock down prices from.

However, Angela Knight, the chief "makey-upperer" from Energy UK, has issued a warning via a laborious interview on the Today programme [where she failed to answer even one direct question, ending up sounding like a tape-loop impression – and a pretty weak and hackneyed one at that].

She thinks (well she would do at the salary she’s pulling in from those energy sharks) that the government's proposals on reducing the energy customer-robbing suppliers totally confusing tariffs won’t work. By reducing them to just four relatively easy ones to get on with, she says this could mean the end of some of the cheap deals currently on offer! (I have no doubt the thieving suppliers will soon get 'round those four anyway in order to line their bulging pockets further).

There are two huge smells here:

Smell #1 -Her previous life, following political failure in 1997 (she lost her seat to Labour in the election), has been to defend the indefensible, firstly as chief exec of the extremely likeable and totally trustworthy (!!!!) British Bankers Association, working for the greedy and dishonest bankers until this August, when she shifted into now defending the greedy and dishonest energy suppliers.

Smell #2 -This just demonstrates the huge gulf between the “private” sector and the money-trousering-at-expense-of-the-consumer, “privatised” sector.

It is positively astonishing that these people and companies keep getting away with it!

Take ex-after-just-over-50-days failed boss of the BBC George Entwhistle who has just walked off with a year's free private health cover from BUPA, £10,000 in legal fees and £10,000 for "communications support" on top of the £450,000 pay-off!

And how about all the Development Agency ex-bosses who have happily been parachuted into various excellently-paid positions, without any competition, while many normal former development agency staff have suffered ever since. Not that I would, for one minute, comment about former Chief Executives of the North West Development Association, London Development Association or Yorkshire Forward as just three of them now trousering six-figure or similarly large salaries.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

What have the Romans ever done for us?.......

That famous line - what have the Romans ever for us? - from the hilarious activists' (Reg and the lads) scene in the wonderfully funny "Life of Brian" film is concluded with:

"All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

And so it has been throughout history. People disaffected with their society form their own little groupings in protest, sometimes to just sit around and complain verbally, others to take a more direct action. Whether social, political, military or even terrorist. All have their own little agenda, some, far more legitimate than others, whether for a genuine cause in protest, simply as an easier route to making money than entering gainful employment, or to ultimately be awarded in the Queen’s Honours.

Some leave behind a legacy that enters the history books as a landmark - the ending of apartheid in South Africa, the Arab Spring, Gerry Adams shaking Ian Paisley’s hand or even the government acceding to lorry drivers’ protests and not increasing the price of diesel.

However, there is one group who, uniquely leave behind a legacy of total nothingness.

A group who have not developed anything of value, have won no accolades or awards for helping their people, have no famous scholars, scientists or inventors.

A group that has, in reality, contributed absolutely nothing whatsoever to the fabric of their or anyone else's society.

A barbaric group of sub-humans who know only how to murder and repress and have absolutely zero family values. Something, which, in the 21st Century, might be seen as rather bizarre.

This group takes pride in the fact that it shoots young schoolgirls who want to go to school. It threatens and then murders the children of men who are in the police force and refuse to leave. It enforces a ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution, cuts their fingers off if they are seen wearing nail polish, stones them to death as adultresses if they are are smelled by a man to be wearing perfume, and in fact, simply bans women from doing virtually anything in public or being seen to enjoy themselves, in essence relegating them to a housebound, meal-producing, housekeeping baby factory just there not to be seen and not to be heard.

The group also bans music, films, applause, Western forenames, the internet, kills converts from its religion, expects its people to pray five times a day, expects non-faith members to wear a badge (like the Nazis did to the Jews), its men must have long beards and must wear a turban at all times.

And so on. Ad nauseum.

And who are these wonderful people?

The Taliban.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Blogging.....

As you have probably read, judging by the rubbish I write, I do all my own blogging! I use it as a sounding off board to shout about things that make me smile, seethe or just totally see heart-attack red (the latter usually brought on by reading of useless Z-celebrities and the totally untalented X-Factor contestants who incessantly fill newspapers. Oh and bloody supermodels who aren’t the slightest bit super [not one of them is], just overpaid clothes horses, and companies that use the totally incorrect and nonsensical “pre-order” and “pre-owned”).

However, I am actually amazed by the number of advertisements on the freelance job web pages I see, such as that illustrated below:

Experienced Guest post writers needed urgently!
Quality matters
Posts to be completely original
Relevant to the theme/niche of our client's web site and the host blog
500 words or longer
Including one or two copyright free images you will source
Use a different pen name for each post
Copyright is ours
One or two hyper links in the body
Sometimes we will provide the title, sometimes you can suggest titles and later write the ones we get placed
Our relationship is confidential and no contact with our clients
Looking for writers with a professional approach and respect for deadlines!

Aside from surrendering copyright, which I will never do unless I can be guaranteed they use it once only without earning anything further from my work, they don't want much - originality, relevant to client, provide photographs etc etc etc.

However, what I can't get my head around is that some total stranger is going to be commissioned to write something totally off their own head, relevant for a business they know nothing about, that is going to subsequently claim the work is representative of their business!

This is like committing to eating an Italian meal in a restaurant one evening purely on the basis of having had a fried egg and sausage sandwich from the counter in their newsagent shop one morning.

The ‘agency’ might just as well cut out the middleman (themselves) and save their client money and suggest they lasso someone in off the street to write about them!

Or more sensibly, get the client to place their own advertisement.

Reminds me of the way the bloody useless and totally dysfunctional HR "profession" carries on.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Plugin to reduce Facebook to something you want

There is a wonderful browser plugin that lets you reduce the rubbish as well as hiding stuff you don’t want to see on your facebook page. They (facebook) are plainly not happy about it, and yes, we use facebook for free, but tough.

The timeline is appalling and the rubbish about X-list celebrities, wastrel reality show contestants and the peurile games people play on their iPhone or on facebook are of absolutely no interest to me.

Go to http://www.fbpurity.com/install.htm where you will find the plugin for various different browsers.

I have only been using it it for a few days but it does seem to do an excellent job of letting you manage what you want to see and more importantly what you don’t want to see.

Some nice things it does includes setting the timeline to one, centred column and setting your default page to view "most recent" stories first rather than "most popular". It also can do away with the awful "trending" that nearly always takes you to a supermarket, bank, insurance company or telecoms provider.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Britain is the mother of modern day politics and law. Oh really?

It has long been said that Britain is the mother of modern day politics, law and order.

No doubt the burglar Judge Peter Bowers recently cited as courageous would agree. 

Yes, Britain is the mother of modern day politics, law and order. Which probably explains why judges and barristers dress like berks in their grey wigs and schoolmaster gowns, over paid for essentially just being book-clever and on a par with HR directors when it comes to total stupidity and total lack of respect for the public they serve.

That is not to say there aren't some extremely good legal eagles out there. If the normal person can afford them that is!

Mr Justice Eady is another one. Regularly making the hallowed pages of the satirical magazine Private Eye virtually every other issue for judgements he makes that are just unbelievable. One of his recent wheezes, the "contra mundum" is in essence a worldwide ban forever about an individual's private life.

And then if you remember back to March 1998,  Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine became a figure of total ridicule and contempt when details of renovations carried out on his official residence were made public. They cost a total of £650,000, including hand-printed wallpaper worth £59,000.

This is so typical of the overpaid and out of touch judiciary in the UK. No wonder court cases cost so much with idiots like these handing down judgements.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A new twist on an old Nigerian 419 scam - and my reply

A message from customer Service sbc.settlement@gmail.com.

Standard Chartered Bank
Third Floor. PO Box 788,
Accra High Street
Building Accra
Tel/Fax:233 540969397

Dear value Customer,

I am Mrs. Felicia Peace (Head of Customer Service) Standard Chartered Bank. We received instruction from our financial authorities and IMF office to remit the compensation sum of $2.9m to you. While we are processing your payment file, it was discovered that your fund beneficiary name has been changed and replaced. The bank's remittance director has ordered that we stop the payment until we get a mandate from you authenticating this change. If you are aware of this development, please kindly give the name but if not please furnish us with the following information to enable verify and update our data here before subsequent processing and transfer of your fund.

1 Your full name:
2 Your present contact address:
3 Your telephone & Fax numbers:
4 Your Occupations/a
5 Your Private Email Address:

I once again appeal to you to remain calm while i do my best to make sure that your fund is transfer to you without further delay.

I am waiting for your urgent reply

Mrs. Felicia Peace
From Customers Service.
----------------------------------------------------
MY REPLY
 
Dear Mrs Peace

Many thanks indeed. All fine by me, just go ahead. If you have difficulty, just send me the telephone number and email address of the remittance director and I'll speak to him directly, as I have an account at the branch. I must be honest and say I didn't know you had a remittance director, and I know most of the staff.

Kind regards
Edward Moss

PS - You have all the following details on record already - just go into your customer records. All the information you need is there, including my bank account number, and you can just transfer the funds at the click of a button. Any problems, just ask your branch manager.

1 Your full name:
2 Your present contact address:
3 Your telephone & Fax numbers:
4 Your Occupations/a
5 Your Private Email Address: