Archive for January, 2011

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Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Those of you who’ve been following Gottleblog for a while will remember the Gruntmobile tracker, a page within the site where you can see where I am, or at least where my car is, and where it’s been over the last three days.

The service stopped working for a while after I replaced Grunty with Evie B, but a couple of weeks ago I finally motivated myself to get it working again, so I installed the kit and it seems to be working. You can check out my latest doings by following the “my bits and bobs” link over on the right, and then choosing either “Gruntmobile Trace” or “Gruntmobile Tracker”. Unlike the previous incarnation the transmitter won’t be on all the time – a chap needs some privacy and this is mainly about proving the technology – but at least it’s working again :-)


Monday, January 24th, 2011

Keep CalmNo, this isn’t the world’s latest blog (or even the world’s most late blog, since of course at the moment of publication it WILL be the world’s latest blog) ahem, anyway, this is a blog about the lovely (slightly late) Christmas pressie my Mum gave me yesterday.

She’s clever, my Mum, isn’t she? Clicky the picky for a big version to see her cleverness in even more detail.


Monday, January 17th, 2011

In the news this week, reports that Edward Woollard – the yobbo who threw a fire extinguisher from the roof of a 7-storey building during the recent university fees riots – has been sentenced to 32 months in a young offenders institution. With good behaviour he’ll serve about half of that.

As Edward’s a local boy the story has hit the local “newspaper” (link to the online version), generating the usual range of badly-spelled and poorly expressed comments. A small number of these are of the “he’s a poor misunderstood lad who loves his Mum and he’s been victimised by the Police State” type, but most take the line that it’s a fair sentence for what he did, bearing in mind it’s a reduced sentence from the maximum allowed because of his previous good character and the fact that he pleaded guilty.

And now there’s a Facebook campaign to have him freed, another to have his sentence reduced, and a third just extolling his virtues as a jolly fine fellow. His crime is claimed to be a moment of madness: moment? In that moment he

  • Decided to go to the riot
  • Travelled to London and found where the riot was happening
  • Gained access to the Millbank office building and trespassed his way up to the roof
  • Picked up a 25kg lump of metal and decided it would be a jolly wheeze to throw it down into the crowds below.

At any time in that process he could’ve decided not to take part in the whole process and go to college that day instead. That’s a heck of a ”moment”.

What I want to know is, he’s 18: Where’s the Facebook Campaign to get him to serve his time in an adult prison?

Reason to be Hopeful

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Education Secretary Michael Gove has written to a selection of authorities on the subject of music teaching. Apparently the NSPCC and Musicians’ Union – among others – had been advising music teachers that they should avoid touching pupils at all costs to protect themselves from unfounded accusations of abuse, and the Secretary – displaying a refreshing attitudeto common sense – has told them

By telling your music teachers that they should avoid any physical contact with children, it sends out completely the wrong message. It plays to a culture of fear among both adults and children, reinforcing the message that any adult who touches a child is somehow guilty of inappropriate contact. We must move away from this presumption and the Department for Education is taking steps to restore common sense to this whole area.

(Full story, and a link to the full text of the letter, on the Department for Education website here).

I know – and so does Michael Gove, if you read the full text – that children need to be protected from the tiny minority of bad people in the world, and it’s the role of every adult – whether a parent or not – to be part of that protection. But a society which regards every adult as suspect is doing nothing to identify, and protect children from, the genuinely dangerous ones.


Monday, January 10th, 2011

According to a story in tonight’s Evening Standard,

iPhones and other smart phones are feeding the rise in street crime

Further investigations shows that more and more people are nicking smartphones, leading to an increase in recorded street crime. But are the phones themselves responsible for this rise?

No, of course they’re not: What’s feeding the rise in street crime is an increase in scrotes nicking stuff. What’s feeding THAT is another discussion, but you certainly can’t blame the phones themselves for being desirable. Is it the credit crunch causing people to be less affluent, leading them to steal things they can sell? Possibly, but there must be a corresponding rise in wealth somewhere, for people to be buying the phones so they’re available to be nicked.

I’m being a bit contentious here, but is there a link to “The X-Factor Generation”? It’s claimed in several sources that the spread of X-Factor style programmes is making it look too easy to become famous, and apparently kids are now telling their teachers they don’t have to learn stuff at school “because I’m going to be a celebrity”. Although there were kids at my primary school who were convinced they didn’t need to learn maths because they were going to be footballers, so even that is nothing new. I’ve just got a vague feeling that a raft of programmes where you can be famous for NOT being able to sing, or where you can become a minor celebrity by knowing nothing – or at least pretending to know nothing – and being slightly racist 1 is feeding the something for nothing culture that’s the real cause of the rise in street crime.

1 I know that what happened to Jade Goody was a tragedy and shouldn’t have happened to anyone – but “knowing nothing – or at least pretending to know nothing – and being slightly racist” is a fair reflection of how she first became famous.


Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Gosh, I haven’t blogged for a while have I?

I’ve had an exciting time: Christmas Day was split between my ancestral mansion and that of m’lovely Purple Fred, and then New Year was a quiet time a deux – we’d have slept the New Year in if it hadn’t been for the fireworks, we thought the Royal Artillery had set up camp outside!

There’ve also been a few caches but the best geocacharama was today, when I not only hit eight caches with PF and MiniFred, but we took our chum Adam along on his first caching trip. We think he’s hooked :-)

Happy New Year everyone.