Archive for December, 2010

Joke. But it isn’t funny

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Here’s an old joke from back in the pre-PC days…

“Did you hear the one about the Venusian1 who went to a drive in movie? He didn’t like the film so he slashed the seats”

1 Insert risible nationality of your choice – Irish, Andalusian etc, whoever they make jokes about in your community.

Did you see the “student protestors” in London on Thursday? They reminded me a bit of that joke – we don’t like the way the country is going so we’ll smash up public property…which belongs to us anyway, and will be repaired using public money which we can’t really afford.

Of course most of the violent ones weren’t actual student fees protestors at all, they were just professional yobboes looking for an excuse to cause trouble. Not that that totally excuses them – everyone knew there was going to be trouble and violence at Thursday’s demo, so even the “innocent” ones who weren’t there to cause any trouble were validating the trouble by their presence. And as for those who thought that the causes of poor students would be furthered by smashing up the Cenotaph and terrorising pensioners, burning public property, throwing rocks and banners at Police horses, and scattering poorly-written graffitti everywhere, I’m lost for words.

For the student fees themselves – yes, it’s tough on the students of the future. Meanwhile, the changes in public sector Ts and Cs are hard on public sector workers – those who still have jobs. Increases in VAT are going to hit everyone (although the better-off slightly harder), commuters are being hit by reductions in fare subsidies, and austerity measures are going to make life less glamorous for all of us. The pain of austerity must be shared equally among everyone – and that includes students.

And while I know she’s not representative, I can’t help quoting one student who spoke on the news last week: Following the announcement of the approval of fee increases, she complained “This means I can’t afford to take a year off before I start university”. Well, I couldn’t afford a year off after I finished my A levels, and after thirty years working I still can’t. So excuse me if I think there might be bigger problems.

Cheap

Monday, December 6th, 2010

What’s the most important thing that anyone learns, very early on, about buying tools – for work and hobby? No doubt every single one of you is nodding wisely and saying “Don’t buy cheap tools, they’re a false economy”.

When my second-best tool set was nicked out of the boot of the car – by the same scumbags that pinched my TomTom – I replaced them fairly quickly. The original was a little kit I bought to keep in the car, so that if I found myself at the caravan and I’d forgotten to take my main tool set, I’d at least be able to do something. So I didn’t think to spend much on replacing them, and in the caravan shop I spotted a budget set and bought them without much thought. And today – having a day off work to spend on the caravan – I used them for the first time.

I’d’ve done better with a plastic My First Tool Set” from ToysRUs. The wirecutters don’t cut, the wire strippers don’t strip and the crimp tools don’t crimp. The gas spanner is more wobbly than Portsmouth’s position in the Championship and the screwdrivers seem to be made of some kind of soft metal/Plasticene alloy.

I might start shopping around for some new tools. I won’t be buying them from the caravan shop.

WIDWMW

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Well, I had a weekend at home that I wasn’t expecting, thanks to the cancellation of TdT – and while I was disappointed at not doing the event, I had a great time; we dealt with a slight domestic crisis in the boiler division, but after that it was Pizza Hut, B&Q (yay!) and sleeping. And today I’ve done church, pub and gym, while m’lovely PF (whom I love very much) did exciting things with MiniFred.

And now – much better rested than I expected to be at this stage – I spot that Stephen fry is presenting a programme called “Wagner and Me”. That would be so much funnier if it wasn’t about a German composer.

Off

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Well how about that.

Remember the event I couldn’t do because they changed their CRB policy, and then I could do because they changed it again?

After all that, it’s cancelled. Apparently the conditions for walkers are no worse than normal for the event (i.e. bloody awful), but the forecast for the roads means that the checkpoint teams and safety crews wouldn’t be able to do their work safely.

Ah well, there’s always next year..

Oops

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Apologies for the lack of bloggage. The sad thing is, i’ve dozens of things to write about – just not the time in the evenings to do any of the subjects justice.

I hope to return to something like usual service next week. but I may not.