Confusion


True Story
I was speaking to CW’s Dad the other day..and he told me the story of a guy wandering into their shop, looking around for a little while and eventually pulling out a prescription for orthopaedic shoes.

SW explained to the gentleman that they were not an orthopaedic shoe distributor and were in fact a specialist brush shop.  SW continued by asking for the gentleman’s prescription** and telephoned the actual orthopaedic shoe shop.  They confirmed that they were, in fact, a good 15km away.

SW asked the gentleman if he would like him to order a taxi, to which he got the following response:

“I don’t want to go there, why can’t you just get me my shoes”

Now, this is a true story about an elderly and, possibly, infirm and confused person…so shouldn’t really be mocked., but it did remind me of what happened to me, many years ago whilst in my Zero Morals phase of selling computers for a living.

Now, I worked in a BIG computer superstore in Cardiff.  At the time, this was the biggest of it’s kind outside of London.

Let me provide you with a little background information.  At the time this story takes place, the superstore had been open a little over a year.  Before that, the building was stood empty for approximately 3 years.  Before that, it was a clothes place for around 2 years and before that it was a hardware store (which moved across the street).  These facts are important.

Picture the scene; a sunny Saturday afternoon, a busy superstore full of the joys of spring and Salesmen with a spring in their step and a desire to rip people off sell them high quality equipment at very reasonable prices.  An older gentleman enters the store.  A feat not unusual by any standard, people young and old venture into the store on a regular basis…we generally referred to them as customers….or potential customers at the very least.

From my vantage point, I see the gentleman looking around the various software aisles…picking up the occasional item, reading the back and then setting it back down again.  He seems to be quite interested in a variety of software packages and I lose track of him in the printers section as I have other customers to deal with.

After 15 minutes or so, I am finished with my customers and waiting for more..when said gentlemen arrives at the PC section.  Where he looks around, clicking various mice, checking the screens and keyboards and even looking at the back of a number of the machines.  Sensing a potential sale, I approach..plastering on my best smile and charming demeanour..and ask if he needs any help.

“Thank you” replies the gentleman, at which point he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a sheet of paper.  I immediately assume that the guy is prepared, has specific requirements and will, quite possibly, begin to challenge my skills in the arena of PCs.

He unfolds the paper carefully, checks it…then hands it to me and simply says “I need what is on here”.

Checking the paper, I am confused..and realising the obvious error, I turn the paper over.  It’s blank.  I turn it back over and re-read the information written there:

  • 4 sheets hardboard – 1.5m x 1m
  • 2 dozen hardboard nails
  • 2 dozen plasterboard nails
  • Medium pot wood glue.

“ummm” says I, quite appropriately I feel.

Me: “umm, I think you may be in the wrong store sir”

Him: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Well, we don’t sell any of these items”

Him: “Eh?  What kind of a bloody DIY store is this if I can’t get some wood and nails”

Me: “Well…the Computer Superstore kind of not a DIY store”

Him: “No, this is DIY R US”

Me: “Actually, this is Computer’o’rama”

Him: “Listen to me, I have been coming here for years..I know what this place is”

Me: “Are you sure about that…maybe you have been going across the street for years?”

Him:  “Don’t you cheek me young man, I know full well where the DIY store is”

Me: “…….”

Me: “….let me get the manager”

Now I wouldn’t mind except that he wasn’t that old…nor did he appear infirm and seemed to have full control over all of his faculties.  Additionally, by the time I spoke with him, he had been in the store fast approaching 40 (quite investigative) minutes.

It took the manager, leading him to the front of the store and pointing across the road to finally get him to agree that he should go there.  However, his parting shot was “They should really tell people if they are going to move premises”…

No words…

Now, I realise that this is my first post in a very long time…and, let’s face it, there have been some false dawns in the past regarding me blogging regularly again.  So I am not going to lie to you…work is keeping me very busy and, seeing as my work involves writing very large documents on a daily basis…I often get ideas, but can’t be arsed to actually write.  Or, I start writing and then can’t follow my own train of thought.

I will say this, I will “try” and write more often again…but I make no promises.  Also, my daughter tells me that I am in trouble for my assassination of her fave Twi-related vampire story…so there could be something coming out of that.

Cheers
TLW

** Not a euphemism

Worlds worst?

I am sure that some of you will remember a British TV show called “Whose Line Is It Anyway”.  Basically, it was a comedy improvisation show that featured a number of American and/or Canadian comedians with a token Brit thrown in from time to time…you know, just to remind people that we have a sense of humour.  It was hosted by Clive Anderson, but this didn’t stop it from being funny….

Anyway, the show regularly featured a segment called “Worlds Worst” where the “contestants” were given a topic and had to provide funny examples of the worlds worst version of it.  Check it out for yourself:

So why am I mentioning this?  Well, I stumbled across a news article with the headline “Smuggler who tied birds to legs awaits sentence”.

Now, let’s deal with first impressions.

Smuggler..ok, trying to get something that is illegal into another country.  Fair enough.

Tied bird to legs..what the fuck?  My initial thought was that he had tied some dead birds to his legs..some rare and protected species that would be sold for a small fortune on the black market in his travel destination.  A not altogether smart move, especially if there are dogs around the customs area..but still – I guess it could work…maybe.

Then I click the link..and read that this future Darwin Award winner had actually tied 14..yes 14 LIVE birds to his legs and ankles.  Here is the picture that proves it:

I mean, seriously, live birds?  HWorlds Worst?ow in the blue hell did this idiot expect to get them through..are they Lesser Spotted Mutes  or something?  What next, a kangaroo for a  jumper.  Maybe a live crocodile strapped to each foot or an albatross on his back so that he could claim to have drunk too much Red Bull.

Would he say that the chirpy chirpy cheep cheep was his false hip squeaking or something?  I am genuinely at a loss as to the thought process that went into this decision.  There had to be some serious drugs involved and a 4am decision made.

Full story

In other news, Stephen Hawking believes that Aliens are out there but “may pose risks”…apparently.

I should think they bloody will, especially if they have been observing us for any length of time and tuned in to any films about Aliens.

Not to mention the possibility of extraterrestrial germs infecting us.  You think bird flu is bad?  Wait until Zargon374 Space Syphilis turns up and starts wipeing out the planet based on a cultural misunderstanding alone.  Picture the scene, the UFO lands, Aliens get out (if they can avoid the redneck americans trying to shoot them) and the world leaders grab the Aliens by their 17 fingered right hand for the time honoured handshake photo opportunity…only to discover that Thralgor had stopped off at the brothel on Venus for a quick 5 minute backscuttle….and that the beings of Zargon374 have their sexual organs in the palm of their right hand-like appendage.

Governments will fall, wars will be raged and the price of penicillin will rocket to around ?2.3 billion per tablet…so yes Mr Hawking, I agree with you…these aliens are dangerous and I for one will be teaming up with as many shotgun wielding rednecks as I can find.

I don’t know about you, I am going to figure out how to hide these 200 coi carp on me for my next trip abroad and will probably be stocking up on Penicillin…a LOT of penicillin as, let’s face it, you never know.

Ok..so I finally caved

Twilight
This post is going to annoy, irritate and possibly upset at least 3 people that I am very close to..my daughter and both M & K.  Unfortunately, this is unavoidable.  Why?  Well…I watched Twilight last night.

We wanted to watch a film and, while we have numerous Hollywood classics available to choose from, CW insisted on finally seeing what all the fuss was about..despite my vigorous protestations.

The play button was hit, and we settled in to watch.  I must add here that neither of us have read the books, but hey..it’s got vampires in it, so it can’t be that bad…they can’t screw up the vampire myth…that’s impossible…right?

Apparently not, apparently it is indeed possible to screw up the vampire myth.  Now, before I move onto the vampire issue (I need to build up as there is very little actual vampire action in the film)..I want to talk about the school.

Is the entire school on drugs?  You know, happy pills…uppers.  As everyone loves her from the beginning.  I spent my formative years moving around various schools and I can say with absolute certainty that a new kid, arriving in a beaten up hunk of junk car who is not exactly a fashion model and clearly uncomfortable with any attention, would not be met with the entire school liking her immediately.

Then the vampires walk in…you can tell it’s them as they are all very very pale and walk in slow motion everywhere.  I can’t tell if that was for dramatic effect, or if this is how vampires are supposed to move in Twilight world.

Don’t get me wrong, I realise that this is supposed to be more a romance than a vampire film..I get it, I really do.  That said, wtf is with the biology class scene.  She sits next to a guy that she has never met..who then runs out of the class and starts trying to move to a different class..and then disappears from school for a while.  When he eventually comes back to school, her reaction is a very hurt “you were gone”..which leads to him being apologetic.  If that were me in that situation, I would have most likely responded with “umm…who the fuck are you, you crazy stalker-psycho-hosebeast?”.

Instead they move into having deep conversations about nothing and it is all a little too teen-angst ridden to be plausible.  He saves her life, then he calls her names, then he hates her, then he likes her..christ, if the costume designer had decided to give her pigtails, he would have been running up to her and pulling them.

Anyway..she figures it out..and strolls past him and into a forest for what is arguably the most pointless scene I have ever seen in a film.  Mr Wannabe Vampire starts leaping about like a some sort of emo frog on cocaine, proclaiming that he is a killing machine…I can’t really argue..he was killing me at that point.

Then he says something along the lines of “I want to show you why we don’t come out in the sunlight”.  Great, thinks I, he is going to sizzle and smoke and be in extraordinary pain to demonstrate to her the danger by which he lives.  No, apparently not..that generally accepted part of vampire lore was obviously too much for the author.  Instead, he looks like he had just left a hen party at a male strip club in Newcastle…covered in glitter ffs.  Strike 1 for vampire lore.

Strike 2 for vampire lore when the author decides, quite conveniently that none of them have the ability to control humans…however, Coca-Frog can read minds of everyone except Miss Teen Angst 2009 and another one can see the future.

Also, the special effects of them running very quickly are outrageously bad..and the least said about him climbing a tree the better.  I think though, that my favourite bit of the whole film has to be the 1980s style face off on the baseball field.  I am sure that they must have cut a breakdance style dance-off from the final film…when the “nasty and evil” vamps turn up and everyone crouches down and leans forward…I almost wet myself.  I would love to have seen them moonwalking and shaking it against each other.

Also, the main baddy vamp can smell the girls scent all the way back to her house, but can’t work out she is human until a bit of wind blows her hair…from half a meter away…give me a fucking break.  At least the fight at the end attempted to show some genuine badass vampire action..well, when he broke her leg anyway.  10 minutes before the end of the film for the first bit of decent action…and it was over after a couple of pulls of a hidden wire and a bite.  Disappointing to say the very least.

I think my lasting memory of the film is that of pressing pause and realising that 40 minutes had gone by and not a single fucking thing had happened…oh, and that there was another hour and 20 minutes left.

So let’s recap here..vampires in the Twilight universe are:

All glittery when caught in the sun
Vegetarians, if they don’t eat humans (w.t.f)
Mind readers (one of them)
Able to tell the future (one of them)
Fine to become doctors and be around all that blood without having a snack or two
Incredibly quick and powerful…but choose to drive a small silver Volvo
Able to control bloodlust by having an angst ridden teenage girl talk bollocks to them
Incapable of having sex without bouncing themselves off a wall and feeling guilty
Emo

Something tells me I won’t be watching “New Moon”.

Now, where is my Blade Trilogy..I need some real vampire films to remind me what they should be like.

Web 2.0?

[embroidery exercise] basic
OK, so I must have missed the upgrade notification…but it would appear that we are all dealing with Web 2.0 these days…by the mere act of blogging this, I have added to the interactive and social aspect of the web (apparently).

I don’t understand the term to be honest..I mean, surely it is just Web with a natural evolution based on technological advances.  Do people consider themselves to be Monkey 3.0…or Neanderthal 2.0?  No, we developed and evolved based on what we needed.  So no…I refuse to use the term Web 2.0

That said, I do find myself using things that I said I didn’t see the point of.  Blogging wasn’t my kind of thing, Twitter was pointless and Facebook was just a waste of time.  I loved Outlook, had no need or desire to sync everything online and hated web based email…anything other than ICQ was a joke and not worth my time.  A mobile phone was for calling people and, possibly, texting…oh, and Webcams were for perverts (this hasn’t necessarily changed though)

Don’t forget, I have been in IT since I left school…so I am used to being on top of technology (so to speak).  KT always maintains that I am just stuck in my ways…and there may be some merit to that.  So let’s review The LaughingWolf technical report.

Mobile phones

Bought as soon as they became actually mobile..never used for anything beyond calls and SMS until 5 years ago when I got a PDA and used it for, well, calls and SMS…AND Sat Nav.  Over the last 2 years ago, I started to appreciate the built in camera..and even managed to use my Sony as a camera in preference to a dedicated camera for a while.

Towards the end of last year got a Blackberry which I would…and I quote myself here… “Never use properly in a million years for gods sake, what would I want one of those for”…now I have all of my emails and pretty much everything else running through it…and this is only my personal phone…no work stuff here.

Laptops

I have owned 3 laptops in my life and been provided another 2 by work.  I have never travelled extensively for work (apart from driving to other offices) and still cannot ever imagine pulling the laptop out of its case on a train or plane.  Especially when my lovely Blackberry does everything that I want on the move Smile but even taking that into account, travelling time is my time.

Desktops

Now, I will admit to spending the debt of a large 3rd world nation on my desktop pcs over the years.  I was a gamer (still am from time to time), so I always wanted a great graphics card, lots of RAM, a big screen, the best mouse…even the best mousemat.

My desktop does everything for me, it is my entertainment center (movies, tv, music) and my working from home station.  It has dual screens, more hard disk space than most small-medium size company server farms.  My desktop is everything to me when it comes to technology and yet, up until the end of last year, it was an isolated data hub for me.  Had that machine died (which it did a while ago, but I was able to salvage the data)…I would be pretty much lost.  All of my photos, documents, contacts, game configurations, applications….everything would be lost.

Websites

I was an early Geocities user and created my own brand of utter crap that noone wanted to read (a bit like this blog really)..I tinkered, messed with HTML and went on from there.  Got my own domain a year or so after creating my first page and have continued with them regularly ever since.  I ran LAN parties in the UK, was a member of a number of gaming teams…so dynamic content was important and thus PHP became a part of my normal website routine.  I have never been a full coder, choosing to take stuff that almost did what I wanted and butcher it until it did exactly what I wanted.

I use the BBC website for news (predominantly sports)..but this has always been because I am too much of a tightarse to buy a paper.

MP3 Players

I was a very late adopter.  These fell under the “What is the point” category for me.  I either lived close enough to work to barely get through 2 songs before arriving, or I was so far away that I had to drive to work..where my handy CD player (and god forbid…the radio) would provide me everything that I wanted.  I didn’t go running and certainly didn’t need one for the house.  When I flew, it was almost always with other people..and if I was alone  I would have a book.  3 years ago I got a ThaiPlayer…a cheap and nasty iPod clone that was supposed to do video…I am not sure why I got it, but I found myself using it more and more..until I realised that it wasn’t good enough and went for the iPod touch..which was great..until I realised I wanted to have access to all of my music, all of the time…and CW got me a 120gb iPod Classic for my birthday.  I use it on the way to work, walking into town, on flights…even on my lunch break at work from time to time.

Web Browsers

I stuck with IE longer than I wanted to, I stuck with IE longer than I should have done…I was stuck with IE.  Why?  Well, there was the internet standard and then there was the Microsoft standard..and the problem was that more often than not, people wrote their websites to look good with the Microsoft standard…so I stayed with that.  I didn’t need tabbed browsing…I much preferred to have a seperate copy of the application for each site I wanted.  Up until a few years ago, I could never see the benefit of tabbed browsing to my own internet experience.  Firefox was a nice product that suffered from hideous memory leaks.

Now I am a full Firefox user, with a number of plugins, about 20 tabs at a time and only go back to IE when I absolutely have to.  That said, Chrome isn’t worth the change over to me Razz

Wireless Stuff

Here is where I still have a few issues.  I have a wireless router..which gets used for CWs laptop and for some of the people I know in the bar..but I never actually use it myself.   I could connect my phone to it…but I have mobile internet service bought and paid for with the Blackberry, and if I am at home….why would I surf the web on my phone.  Also, I have a real aversion to wireless mice and keyboards though, which I think are a hangover to my gaming days where the slightest lag would cause issues…of course, this is largely non-existent these days, but I am also a tightarse and can never be bothered to remember to charge things and/or swap batteries about.

Internet Access

I have been connected since day 1.  I was connecting to bulletin board systems at 1200 baud and stepped up through all of the modem levels until broadband began making headway.  Until it was freely available, I even paid for ISDN and then again to run it in 128k mode for the extra juice.  Since then I have been with the maximum available speed until recently..when I could get 50mb by switching to another company…I can’t be arsed and have stayed at 16mb

Chat

This is a topic close to my heart…I was always relatively quick on the uptake with chat technologies.  I started on IRC and ICQ (my number is 7 digits long and I still have it…) I derided MSN as not necessary and insisted on people bouncing over to ICQ.  MSN is a joke said I…why on earth would I want that crap…ICQ is the future.

Fast forward a few years and I am scrabbling to remember my ICQ password after being solely on MSN for so long…and then people want to start adding me to GoogleTalk.  Pah! says I, I have no need for this, MSN is perfect for me….and now I have Google.

I don’t get on IRC anymore these days, which is a shame as I had some good fun on there…when I wasn’t being asked to idle in a million Quakenet channels…

Email

I mentioned Outlook earlier and I stuck with this until as late as last year.  I have emails in my archive from 1998…and it would have been longer if not for the catastrophic hard disk failure of 98.  I have never seen the merit in having access to my archived stuff other than on my own PC.  I setup my own webmail client on one of my websites that allows me to get access to new stuff when I am not at home, and of course now my Blackberry means I can always stay in touch.  Over the last couple of weeks though, I have started to contemplate moving to web based only…although I am currently on Thunderbird and loving it.

The “Cloud”

I have never been interested in online storage of any description.  I sometimes uploaded important things via FTP to my website as a kind of storage, but this was rare and never used properly.  I have always been perfectly happy with having my home machine as the center of my computing universe.  It certainly wasn’t fear of security…it was need, I didn’t need to access any of this stuff anywhere other than at home…and of course control.  I am used to working a certain way and have never seen a “single” service that would do what I wanted, how I wanted.

Well, that said, over the last few months, I have started seeing the benefits to the cloud and storing a lot of my information online and securely.  After swapping numerous phones and devices and getting seriously narked off with managing all of my contacts separately on everything..I finally took the plunge and have all of my information neatly organised and stored in Gmail…I am also considering uploading everything I have to Gmail (or an alternative) so that I am fully sync’d everywhere.  I link Facebook, Gmail and Gmail Calendar with Thunderbird and the Blackberry…I sync my Firefox bookmarks and saved passwords with a central server so that I can get to my regular sites (and non-regular ones) without having to search or remember.  I have a web gallery on my site with almost all of my photos.  Facebook holds a substantial amount of my photos too.  I even tried to use Google Docs, but to be honest it still isn’t advanced enough for me and I do like my MS Office…although hey..based on the rest of this post…give it time Grin

Social Networking

Here comes the crunch for a lot of people when Web 2.0 is being bandied around.  Facebook, Myspace, Beebo, Twitter, Linked In and all of the others…pointless (even Linked In, especially now it has gone all Facebooky).  Completely pointless…which in most cases is the point.  Facebook did allow me to get in touch with one of the two people from school that I actually wanted to get in contact with…so I guess that helped.  I am on it all the time and posting as much inane crapola as anyone else (although hopefully with better spelling).  Myspace never has and never will interest me…when every site you visit is shockingly bright white text on a scrolling black starfield background with some crap music hammering along that you can’t turn off, I am not interested.  Beebo I never passed so much as a cursory glance at and so Facebook it was.  I am still at a loss as to the point of Twitter…I tweet my blog posts (automatically) when I occasionally remember to post something…I send the odd message to my daughter and I read some interesting celebrity information…beyond that, it offers me zero value to my day, and in fact there are days when I forget to check it.

So does all this mean that I am LaughingWolf Upgraded?  Will Keanu Reeves turn up and start offering me pills of the red and/or blue variety?  Am I really Web2.0 enabled?

Am I hell…the web, like printed media, television, films, computers, game consoles, mobile phones and everything else in this world has adapted and gotten better to suit what people want from it.  Sure, sometimes we don’t know what we want until someone develops it and throws it in front of us, but this is a natural progression people…so can we please ditch the media induced bollocks and stop inventing terms for things that already exist.

Right, I don’t know what all that was about, but I better go and tweet that I blogged and update my facebook/linked in and MSN status to show that I tweeted about a blog which is about my tweeting and blogging facebooked In status

Or something

Discombobulatory ramblings

Movable Type galley. Galera con tipos móviles.
Photo by Xosé Castro
I don’t know if I can say that I am completely suffering from writers block right now…writers malais possibly, writers half a job definitely…the problem I have is that I have ideas…see things, hear things that would normally dump me in front of my PC for a decent writing session.  Now, having ideas is not a bad thing, and definitely suggests that I am not blocked..but therein lies the trouble.  I can’t seem to get a cohesive post together about any of them…or when I do, it becomes a couple of paragraphs and consigned to the draft posts cold storage…never to return.

With that in mind, I thought I would just throw a few things in a post, lest these things never see the light of day at all

Oil Paintings
Today I saw, what can only be described as, the inspiration for every witch every artistically rendered.  Proper, proper ugly…hooked nose, sunken eyes…warts on the face, the whole shebang.  If you visited her house in the evening and she had one of those green facemasks on, that they always show in the movies, you would scream your bleedin’ head off…and possibly set fire to her.

Now, those of you that no me would probably say that I am not exactly Johnny Depp myself..followed by a series of bleeding heart “someone for everyone” and “beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder” nonsense..but seriously, proper ugly…I saw one guy actually stop eating his lunch after she smiled at him** Mothers and Fathers were shuffling their kids off to one side (in fairness, not out of fear of the childs trauma…more out of fear of kids propensity for pointing out things that parents DO NOT want pointing out).

Now, I am not suggesting that she should never leave the house again (unless she wants to), all I am doing is pointing out the wide range of technological advances that have been made in the home delivery arena…nothing more.

Football fans
Are rarely as bad as you think (at least not these days).  Some time ago, I took Zak and Brandon to a Liverpool match here in Germany.  It was only a friendly, so I didn’t really anticipate a full house, especially in the travelling Kop.  I was pleasantly surprised (and a little apprehensive) to see a full visitors section of over 700 fellow reds.

The kids were in awe, and having a great time…and when we went a goal down, a particularly hardened and haggard (old) fan, started chanting some rather abusive anti-german slogans.  He was all on his own, and immediately told to shut it by the rest of the fans.  Other fans took it in turns putting Zak and Brandon on their shoulders and making sure that they had room to stand etc..it was amazing, a proper family atmosphere.

There were a couple of stand-out moments though…bearing in mind that Liverpool fielded a team of people who weren’t even going to feature in the coming season, and in some cases…ever again.  Firstly, as I said..it was a sell out…but it was also a sell out for the home fans too…and it would appear that they were there to see us, the LFC fans.

LFC fans always sign You’ll Never Walk Alone both before the kick off and just before the game ends.  We were a couple lines into it when I realised that the whole stadium was silent, apart from us lot singing.  I thought it was a little strange, but carried on regardless..as you do.  When we finished..their fans gave us a standing ovation…it was bloody mental.  The second stand-out moment can be put down to the cultural differences between fans from different nations.  In the UK, stadium announcers announce the squad one by one.  Each name is read out in full and the crowd cheer or boo respectively (depending on which team you follow).  In Germany, the stadium announcer announces the first name of each player…and the crowd chant their last name.

So, in a perfect world in England…it goes something like this:

Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando TORRES
Crowd:  YEAHWOOOPRARGONANDOYEAH etc

In Germany, this would be:
Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando
Crowd:  TORRES!!

At this particular match, therefore, it went something like this:

Announcer:  Number 9, Fernando
Crowd:  YEAHWOOPRARGONA…uh, hey what the TORRES..RES

I love football me

Why do fools….
…irritate me so much?  I can’t quite pinpoint the moment where my intolerance outgrew my tolerance.  I guess it could be age and I am just on the wonderful route to being a grumpy old man..which isn’t too bad as I hear that it means that I get a country for myself***.  I think I am still holding onto some vestiges of my previous easygoing nature, but more and more I find myself hitting rant mode (as anyone reading this blog recently will no doubt have noticed).  It could be something little like repeatedly pressing the open door button on the train whilst it is still moving, only to then not press it at all when, wait for it, THE GREEN LIGHT COMES ON TO TELL YOU TO!.  Maybe I have just reached an age where I expect a certain level of intelligence from the people around me, or maybe I am just a miserable git who expects everything to happen how I would do it…but is that so wrong – I mean, my ways clearly work….mostly Razz

It isn’t like I am really asking for much.  A little courtesy…some of my seat being available to me and not taken up by YOU with the giant paper to, no doubt, show your importance to the rest of the train.  Papers are sooo last decade anyway..you should at least be annoying everyone with incessant, psuedo-important, phonecalls and constant checking of the latest jokes important work related emails from your colleagues.  Or the smokers that insist on sparking up on the platforms in the No Smoking train stations, and worse than that….in the trains themselves.

The rocket scientists smoking dope on the street…not even remotely covering it up.  The police that check my ID for 40 minutes when doing a random bar check…and try to stop me going outside for a smoke…even though they HAVE MY ID.  Or worse, the guy that was playing with a knife right in front of the police officers when he was told that he couldn’t go in the bar until they had finished, and on top of that decides to try and engage CW in conversation as if we were with him….moron.

What about the ridiculous contract situation with, well, pretty much anything over here.  Forget to cancel a few months before and it automatically renews for a year (or two) with no method of cancelling except paying in full.  The way that you are supposed to be greatful for being allowed to pay for their service.  The ability to freeze your accounts for a ?10 bill….fortunately not something I have dealt with.

I could go on and on…and I am speaking from a position of loving the country that I am in Smile

You have to be Joker’ing…
…right?

I read a while ago that Batman fans feel that Heath Ledgers portrayal of the Dark Knights arch nemesis was so good, that they want to retire the character and not allow any more Joker related storylines for any future movies.

Now, forgetting the fact that the Joker is arguably the best villain in the Batman story arcs, meaning that stopping useage of the character would effectively kill the Batman series…Penguin anyone?  No..you liked him, ok, what about Mr Freeze?  Need I say more?  Still, I said we would forget that though.  So my opinion is this, Heath Ledger was a great Joker…a superb Joker in a great film…but the definitive Joker?  I don’t think so…and I genuinely believe that the discussion wouldn’t have even arisen if he hadn’t died.  I actually thought that Jack Nicholson was at least as good as Ledger in the role…but all of them, including any that may come in the future, pale into insignificance when compared to Cesar Romero…the quintessential Joker if you will.  This man played the original Joker on the Batman TV show..alongside, may I say, probably the finest Batman ever portrayed.  You want “Faithful to the comic books”?..these guys even had the Zapp, Kerpow, Zing, Splats that were daubed all over comics of the time.  Gen-I-Arse I tellsya.  Can’t beat it…

There were others, but some of them were deleted and others were…well…shite.

Smile

** Ok, ok…that would be me….but still!!
*** Sorry, couldn’t resist

The power…

The Bin - 2 inches too far to the left as you can clearly see!!
Photo by philcampbell
Well, it’s official…in case you didn’t already realise.  Blogs have power, real..actual..honest to goodness power.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/8332616.stm

Apparently, a particularly aggressive blogger in a town in the UK forced pretty much all of the local council to resign, due to “Impossible Working Conditions”.

Sensitive much?

Now, I am under no illusions about my tales of drunken friends exploits with women, rants about Facebook and drunken ramblings throughout my life.  I don’t feel that they would impact anyone in a positive or negative way…except maybe my parents opinion of me.  I am pretty sure that nothing that I could write…even if I were to do so repeatedly…could cause somone to resign from their job.  Especially not 11 people….and certainly not if they are in government ffs.

Governments are more targetted than celebrities…more targetted than a certain Michael Owen returning to Liverpool for the first time, so you can’t seriously tell me that they had never received abuse before.  I suspect that it could be the “straw that broke the camels back” and all that, but still.

Reading through the blog, the guy is quite clearly blowing things out of all proportion…this is exactly the kind of guy that, before blogs, would have been (and probably still is) writing letters every day about how his dustbin is the wrong shade of green, the bus stop sign is twisted 2 degrees to the left… and that his calls for meals on wheels to deliver prostitutes and viagra are going unheeded.  Lots of accusations of secrecy, conspiracy theories, china like communism and calling the people there scum (a lot).  I don’t know about you, but I can imagine that this guy would have wrote at least 2 letters a day regarding what he sees as transgressions…which leaves even the most tolerant of people desensitised to his plight.

Think of the JFK assassination…the first time you saw that footage of the President slumping to one side, his wife frantically trying to see if he is ok, the Secret Service agent jumping on the back of the car to try and protect his charge…you have to admit, it’s terrible…horrible, unconscionable.  The three hundred and first time you see the footage you start to think…hey, Nice Convertible!!  Aww…don’t do that, you can never get blood out of that type of upholstry!

It happens, it’s human nature.  Honestly, what did he expect?

Now, I am not saying that he doesn’t have some real, genuine issues that need to be looked into and resolved…everyone in any hamlet/village/town/city and country does…and, to be fair, it’s not like he was picketing the offices and egging their houses…he wrote a blog.  A blog that, I suspect, most of Somerton had never heard of until these council workers decided to give him some validation and not to mention the ignomy of being plastered all over the interwebs as spineless yellow cowardy cowardy custards.

My advice to them..take back your resignations…grow a spine, do your jobs and start using the internet properly (ie searching for porn)…it’s not rocket science…ignore this idiot and he will go away (not a tactic that will work against me however, dear readers).

Damnit…writers block is a bitch….I am working a couple of night shifts this week, so maybe my sleep deprivation will deliver some old school TLW posts…

Fingers crossed.

In case you were wondering…

Y…where chainletters and their ilk had gone to…wonder no more.

As far as I can tell, they all seem to have migrated over to that wondrous and oft ranted about (by me at least) site, Facebook.  I am not entirely sure when this happened…I used to enjoy learning how my forwarding an email to 20 people in 5 minutes could save the Lesser spotted 6 year old missing child with half a lung, 2 days to live and projectile leprosy.  Now it’s all depressingly accurate weight loss, hair gain and penis enlargement.

I mean, I enjoy being a part of change as much as the next man…or at least the one after him, but I do prefer to lend my (not inconsiderable) weight to issues that have real and plausible solutions.

I do not subscribe to the belief that the CEO of Facebook is reading every group that is created (with the apparent exception of the I automatically hate the new facebook homepage group…because that is, in fact, genius..especially when half the people joining don’t appear to get the joke.  That said, it is probably more likely than some of the other “JOIN ME AND MICROSOFT WILL GO BANKRUPT!!!!!111eleven” groups out there.

If the CEO of Facebook, Mark SugarMountain, created a group himself…then, and only then, could anyone make a statement that joining that group will achieve whatever is stated.

Mind you, ZS pointed out that joining these groups is “kinda like some people trying to get laid in the anglo…but hey, it’s good for business”…which I can’t really argue with.

So with all that in mind…I have created a group that is guaranteed to do exactly what it says…click here to join.

An honest group…whatever next?

Stupid…not descriptive enough

Air India VT-ALD
Photo by Drewski2112
So…whilst the airlines would have you believe that flying is safer than staying in bed (or something), the general public, and indeed some of the aircrew themselves, are determined to lay this safety myth to rest.

Apparently, claims of sexual harassment within a cockpit of an Air India flight erupted into a full on, fists flying encounter that spilled into the passenger area of the aircraft…no doubt reminiscent of any number of action movies.   You can’t beat a bit of argy Bhaji (you see what I did there??).   I had visions of the in flight film being Passenger 57, but displayed in 3D…which would then have the passengers believing that “This new 3D technology is sooo realistic”…or something.   The question that doesn’t seem to be being asked is about how it all started.

Ok, “Sexual Harassment Claims”…I get that bit.   When I first read it, I suspected that it happened months ago but, due to a fatal flaw in shift planning (or a sick sense of humour), the accuser and accusee where scheduled on the same flight.   However, it appears to have happened on the flight, where the woman (rightly so) reacted and then the Knights of the Small Cock(pit) had at it…one defending himself and his innocence, and the other defending the fair maiden in distress?   Whatever happend, punches were thrown and I think we can safely say that the passengers were grateful for Autopilots…and of course the extra in-flight entertainment.

Not so entertaining though, is the wonderful example of British womanhood that was on display flying from Greece to Manchester (explains a lot).   Apparently, two women managed to get onto a plane, pissed out of their heads…and with their own bottle of vodka that they were drinking when the aircrew denied them more from the in-flight bar.   One of them, being somewhat the worse for wear, decided that what she really needed was some “fresh air” and decided to open the door….at 10,000 feet.   Apparently, when the crew decided to restrain her, she started trying to batter people with the vodka bottle.   Klassy huh?.

Personally, I would have spoken to the captain…confirmed that a cabin depressurisation wouldn’t down the aircraft…advised all passengers to strap in, and then let her open the frickin’ thing.   Some people deserve to learn the meaning of consequence.

I am sure that even the most cursory google search would return about a million pages with examples of sheer bloody stupidity in the air.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit of an “Air Adventure”…maybe the chance to rugby tackle an unruly passenger hellbent on killing us all, not through malice but, through sheer bloody minded stupidity.   What happened to people just getting in trouble for smoking in the toilet…after sex…with the pilot…during takeoff….whilst stealing wine from the trolley.

Times they appear to be a’changin’

No post today….

Gratuitous cute photoNothing to see here, move along.

I can’t think of a single thing to write about today, and it’s a slow news day (at least as far as the two news pages I visit are concerned).   I suppose I could analyse a classic hit from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s, but frankly I am tired and can’t be bothered.

There is always the, very English, discussion about weather, more specifically about how we are having summer weather right now and that I can’t quite comprehend having to open all the apartment windows and turn on the fan at night again.

I could, but I don’t have the energy.

It wouldn’t be beyond me to mention that my arrival to the train station this morning was greeted by the announcement that my train was cancelled and then arrived on-time anyway, to a confused platform of travellers.   Or that, due to seating myself in a carriage further back than normal, I didn’t recognise the station before my stop…and started panicking in the (incorrect) belief that the train had, in fact, gone somewhere else.

I won’t though…I have no interest today.

I could go on a rant about exceedingly tall people getting on the train, sitting next to me and then opening a package of food that smelt like…well…rotting fish entrails.   Were I to choose this route, I might mention the inexcusable method of sitting next to me with that nonsense, and then trying to take up more than his share of the seating device.

I won’t though…I can’t be arsed.

I could rail about the fat, bearded (no joke), blonde woman who sat opposite me and asked me to turn down my iPod (which was set at below human hearing levels to begin with), only to then answer her phone and talk so loud that 2 people actually moved….and the sleeping woman next to her was so startled that she dropped her bag, spilling the contents around my feet…which I (being English) had to help pick up.   I might then explain that I found it interesting that this previously sleeping woman, who had the look of a New Age Kindergarten Teacher, was carrying around a pocket vibrator, a set of love eggs and a small tube of lube, right alongside her tic-tacs, gum and mobile phone.   I hope she never get’s confused if her phone is set to vibrating alert.

That would require effort though, and I can’t be bothered.

You see, I arranged to start (and therefore finish) early today as CW and I have plans this evening, which meant I was up at 05:30 this morning.   As a result, I am pretty tired right now and taking onboard more coffee than oxygen.   I fully intend to be wide awake by 4pm and be raring to go.

Just aswell, as I intend to be very bothered about my beer this evening..but unfortunately, I can’t be bothered to write anything today.

Sorry about that.

Only 18??

Shopping?  Not with a man
Photo by The Rocketeer
Over at CNN they ran an article entitled “18 things to teach our sons about women” Which lead me to wonder a couple of things…

Firstly, as it was written by women, why only 18 things?   There has to be more…although maybe 18 is the maximum that sons are capable of learning without suffering a haemmorhage or other catastrophic brain damage.   From what I remember of my youth, this is entirely possible.

Secondly, are they planning on running the same thing from another perspective?   I didn’t find anything so, in an effort to get in touch with my feminine side, let me present to you:-

18 things (I believe) women teach our daughters about men.

I will put the topic that the original article feels should be taught to sons in brackets, you know, for reference and all that.

1. Pick your battles

Ok, I chose the same topic here as it seems like quite an obvious one really.   By picking your battles, I mean save them up…save up all the reasons you might like to have a go at the man in your life about.   Better to hit him with everything from the last 6 months in one go and (speaking from experience) just as he is going to sleep.   He will undoubtedly be tired and is guaranteed (almost) not to argue as he will simply want this to end.

2.   Walk 2 paces in front (Walk on the outside (closer to the street) of your female companion)

This may seem a little strange, but men don’t want meek and indecisive women.   They need strong women to lead their man through the throngs of shoppers.   The exception to this rule is when he needs to get football tickets, or a new computer game…at this point it is better to give him some freedom while you pause for a coffee.   Also, it will be funny to watch him trying to keep up and get along side you.

3. Never speak during anything on television that he is paying attention to (Saying “You’re being crazy” is never an appropriate response, unless you want her to go postal on you)

Pretty obvious when you think about it.   That said, this is the perfect opportunity to get that new outfit that you expect him to say no to.   Additionally, if you feel like you need more ammunition for the bedroom chat from point 1, then make sure you do, in fact, interrupt whatever he is watching to tell him something, he won’t pay attention and whatever you need will most certainly not be done.

4. Cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids are things men can actually do as well as women

Again, I chose the exact same topic here to address modern women and their boundless talent to manipulate stupid men (and by definition all men).   Essentially, it is absolutely true that men can do these things…and in fact should do these things.   What isn’t addressed here is the ability of the women to be able to convince the man that they should do these things without expecting you to do it in return.   This can be via a series of headaches, “womens problems” and a clever use of all points collected in point #1.   If performed correctly, your saying “Darling, let’s get Chinese tonight” from time to time, could ensure that he cooks, cleans and spends almost all of his spare time with the kids…and thanking you for it.

5. Ensure that beer and snacks are available at all times (Keep backup supplies of quality chocolate in the house for her to raid)

This is vital.   Especially when related to point 4, these snacks can be a vital distraction from having to cook.   They will also guarantee that he will be in the mood for watching sports, a show or film on TV, thereby ensuring that you can go out without even needing to ask if he is willing to watch the kids whilst you do so.

6. Buying shaving equipement and toiletries is an absolute necessity (Buying tampons and other feminine products shouldn’t embarrass you –everyone knows they’re not for you)

Let’s face it, men remain pretty much childlike and reliant on the women in their lives.   Unless you want a very smelly and unshaven partner, you will do this.   Remember though, it is not enough to simply buy the products…oh no, you must then nag, cajole, prod and push him into actually using them.   Under no circumstances get anything with flowers on the packaging as he will rebel and refuse to use them.   Make sure you buy manly sounding products such as Axe (Lynx) and Brut…anything by Jean Paul Gaultier should only be purchased for him if you allow him to set it on fire.

7. Men like to be left alone…and gifts   (Women like compliments and gifts)

Nuff said really.   Try and get gifts that are in the rough area of interest though.   Don’t buy a Football for a Rugby fan…that’s all I am saying.

8. The BBQ is for him (Earning less than her shouldn’t be emasculating)

Earning less than her shouldn’t be emasculating…it isn’t.   Men may seem to be competitive souls, but trust me on this…if you can earn more than him, he is happy…and probably contemplating how he can stay at home whilst you go out to work.   BBQs, however, are another story altogether.   There was an article recently, where a woman had decided to start the BBQ and cook before her partner got home…after the divorce he was at a clinic and can now be found working as a part time masseuse called Kylie.   The BBQ is for him…learn it, live it, love it.

9. Get there sometime within an hour of scheduled arrival (Be on time, even if she usually isn’t)

I know that this is expected…you think that you should be stylishly late…no, this is the excuse used when women are late to meet other women.   When meeting your partner you need to make sure you are late for a variety of reasons…and none of them are anything to do with you.   A man waiting for a women, where he can almost guarantee lateness, is afforded the opportunity to get certain things out of his sytem.   Flatulence for one, the chance to forget the punchline to the terrible joke that person X from the office told him, some time to check the football scores and basically the chance to remember that he is meeting you…not one of the lads.   That said, any more than an hour and he is likely to forget why he is there and wander off, like some sort of forlorn lost puppy.

10. Unless necessary, don’t take him shopping (Don’t be a pouty puppy when shopping with her)

By necessary I mean if you are shopping for a) Him, b) a computer, c) a car or d) a BBQ.   There is no other purpose (with the possible exception of his credit cards, but you should have already gotten him to provide you one of those).   If you have what is referred to as a “Gay Boyfriend” (not to be confused with a gay friend)   and he is able to adequately recommend clothing that looks good on you, feel free to push, prod, pout and cajole until he agrees.

11. Find out what his favourite team is (Find out what her favorite flower is)

I am not just talking about the name here, you have to know at least 3 players, their various team colours (home and away etc) and how the scoring system works.   Under no circumstances should you be asking “Which one is your team?” and “Who is winning?”.   This will lead to head shaking and possible loss of control.

12. If you like him, then don’t buy him a computer game; it will be the wrong one (If you like her, then don’t buy her shoes; it’s bad luck)

The obvious exception is if he has told you specifically what version, the shop to go to and preferably the serial number on the back of the case he wants.

13. To a man, smiling and nodding is the same as listening (Smiling and nodding aren’t the same as listening)

Contrary to popular belief, men do listen.   The important thing missing from the “teach our sons” article is that listening is not the same as understanding.   There is no help here for this although some women report that raising the voice about 4 octaves and about 20 decibels has had some effect in certain cases.   The most important thing to remember is that you don’t actually need him to listen and understand…you just need a sonic reflection device.   If your man is out, a large sheet of cardboard will give you the same sensation.

14. It’s never OK to cry in front of him (It’s OK to cry in front of her, but keep the blubbering to a minimum)

As said in point 13, he wouldn’t understand anyway.   Also, crying onto his shoulder and unburdening yourself is simply a way of reminding him that he is necessary to your daily life.   If he begins to realise this, you can kiss goodbye to the credit card, compliments and gifts that you have managed to secure on a daily basis.

15. Knowledge of sport and/or computers goes a long way (Personality goes a long way)

Men aren’t really interested in looks, they claim to be but they aren’t.   Sure, if they can get the looks too, they are happy.   What they want is someone that won’t start yawning the second they begin excitedly discussing that penalty decision from the TV or the shot they made in Game X.   Personality suggests conversation, men don’t want conversation where possible.

16. He will never be as important as your Dad (At some point she’ll be more important than your mother)

Your Dad will never approve of this man, or any man.   In the event of any kind of argument or emotional turmoil created either by him or both of you, your father is where you will turn.   He is allowed to criticise your choice of partner…Your man, on the other hand, understands this and is simply using it a learning experience until he is in the position of Father and will then be able to exact his revenge for years of abuse.   The first recorded incident of a woman not feeling her father to be more important than her partner was Deirdre the Dodo….and we all know what happened there…

17. There is nothing to understand about men (You will never completely understand women)

It’s true, by and large they are simple creatures with simple needs that are very easily controlled.   They spend their whole lives trying desperately to understand you, they have no time to become complicated enough for you to worry about understanding them.   If they are sad…beer and/or sex.   If they are happy beer and/or sex.   If they are indifferent…beer and/or sex.   Are you detecting a theme here?

18. Oh yeah, and no woman will ever be good enough for my baby!

There is one peril though, and that is “The Mother”.   You must remember, “The Mother” was a daughter once, and has been well schooled in these instructions.   They will be able to predict your moves and, will probably accept them…unless she was not blessed with a daughter of her own.   In these cases, the mother may be overly protective of the son and you have to tread carefully.   In these situations, be the daughter she never had….just be subtle about it and you will be ok.

Oh, and for the record…I am not saying that these are my personal beliefs….they are, however, my personal belief as to what women learn as they are growing up.. important difference.

Grin