Monthly Archives: May 2006

Holiday

I don’t know how much I’ll be able to blog after today. As we’re venturing into Deepest Inbred Devon we may never be heard from again. I just hope that they have TV reception and access to the internet somewhere within 15 hours driving distance.

I will be spending tonight praying for victory tomorrow over the barbarian hordes from Lancashire. Subconciously, I think that I’ve decided to go on holiday tomorrow so that I won’t lose the wheels from my car over the weekend.* The one problem with non rugby related sporting events in Cardiff, is that almost all supporters have to drive through Oldrum to get there. Our roads become gridlocked, our hotels filled and our sheep extra nervous.

Last night was our annual meeting for reports at chapel. It coincided with a visit from the Powers of Financial Assistance for their annual attack on our performance. Thankfully it went well. No one tried to kill, mutilate or murder anyone else.

However some members were a little taken aback at the words of the main visitor who pointed out that it is the duty of all members to work to the furtherance of God’s kingdom. One said to me afterwards that they felt depressed after the things we were told.

I thought that it brought home the fact that we are all, without exception, called to do God’s work. We all have something that we can contribute, even just talking to someone or making tea.

I would hope that it would serve as a wake-up call but doubt it very much.

* For those readers unfamiliar with UK regional prejudices, people from Liverpool are perported to be thieves, vagabonds and, in their own vernacular, “scallies”.

Here Is The News

Well, it looks like I backed 2 losers last night. Both ‘boro and The Badger lost in their finals. Not that I’m that bothered of course. I suppose that neither were unexpected outcomes.

In reality Badger is not really a loser. She has set up 2 companies of her own, proven that she can do what she says she can, earnt good publicity and probably found some new contacts. Still The Apprentice is not a real business programme, as its billed. Its just another reality TV series. No one really loses, unless they are a truely useless article.

In unrelated news I’ve discovered a news article provided by Best Man, the link is on the left hand side under Alligator Project. I think you’ll find it amusing.

Unrelated news 2: This Time Its Personal – Sad Sister did not get the job she went for on Monday, not that she was bothered as it wasn’t a good teaching job anyway. One of her current colleagues got it. The vacancy that arose at her present school was filled today, by someone else entirely – no interviews. I wonder why she bothers. She works 7 days a week, including evenings. Has little time for herself and the family and gets no reward for it. Yet if she didn’t her pupils would suffer.

How do they expect to get new teachers to remain in the profession?

Unrelated News 3: Massacre At The Chapel – Tonight is the church annual meeting for reports. I’m presenting one for the Youth – dropped on me by Rev. Chugabug at Sunday’s deacons meeting – and the Clerk of Works one, for my dad. Should be a fun packed evening, without the fun probably.

Still 48 hours to holiday…….

2 Finals in 1 Night

Have begun my winding process ready for Saturday’s holiday and the FA Cup Final. It still seems odd that as the West Ham supporters travel West I’ll be travelling West and South. I’ve passed instructions to my colleagues on what needs to be done while I’m away and how they need to do it.

I’m looking forward to tonight. A little bit of football as Middlesborough play Seville in the UEFA Cup Final. Not sure whether to be patriotic and support ‘boro or not. I’m not really that bothered who wins really but would like to see the English do well.

What I’m really looking forward to is the final of The Apprentice. I’m really rooting for The Badger, the lesbian from Birmingham, to win. Not only do I think that she’s the better candidate but she’s also the one who comes over best. She has her goal and she wants to get there. Michelle is fine, she’s brought herself up from low beginnings but I can’t understand why she wants it. She seems successful enough already, supposedly earning more than she’d get from Alan Sugar. Maybe she hopes that she’d make better contacts.

I do love the way that they all start stabbing each other when it comes down to the decision on firing the contestants. Then you start seeing humanity as it really is: dirty, self protecting, cheating, lying and rude. There is no place in this for the nice guys; they’re usually trampled in the rush.

Yet the one thing you always feel is a sense of despair that a company would select new recruits in this way. Ok they had 14,000 applicants to pick from but were these 14 really the pick of the crop?

Money, Its a gas.

I have been having another hard and difficukt day. Its been so hard that I’m on page 232 of Adventures in the Screentrade by William Goldman. Why is that in same way significant? Well….. I only started it at 7 this morning. There was no work to do. I was told not to go to the airport until tomorrow morning so had an almost complete day to myself. I have had to do 4 e-mails and 5 calls all day.

Great story on the BBC though. “Can you do good while making profits?” It looks at the Crypto-Capitalists, such as Bill Gates, and how they use their money to help others less well off – not all of us of course. It appears that certain people – Gates, George Soros, Google Guys – see themselves as “liberal communists”.

Now, please forgive me, but how can such capitalist icons claim to be even small ‘c’ communists? Does no one realise what the term means? Do they mean that they can exploit the workers and then because they give some money back that makes it ok?

To me what they are doing is what people should do anyway – help those less well off than themselves, financially, spiritually or physically. This is the one duty that every member of the human race, regardless of race, creed, religion or political persausion, should do. That they make it sound like something special annoys me.

Hasn’t Gates exploited the markets and achieved a dominant monopoly using means that are bordering on the illegal? Hasn’t Soros made money buy destabilising the currency and stock markets in a way that promotes personal financial gain over the best for the rest of society. Remember, everytime the stock markets are manipulated in this way affects all our pensions and investments. He is hitting everyone else, but particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, in a harmful way.

Yes, I am a capitalist. Yes, I am a conservative. However wrong is wrong. In my mind the ends do not, and never have or will, justify the means where money is involved. The only reason they can give money away is that they have way more than even some small countries would need. They’ll never spend it, they want to minimise taxes and get good publicity.

Maybe I’m being unreasonable in my outlook? I think not.

Give money away certainly. Help those poorer than you definitely. Heal the sick. Feed the hungry. Do all these things. Yet don’t do it at the expense of other people to start off with. Find fairer ways to make profits. Enable everyone to have a chance in life. Don’t run competitors into the ground so you can sell more, or earn a few more million.

At the end of the day, if you make money by exploiting others, then you’ll never gain peace or satisfaction when you try to use it to do good. You can never remove the stains of blood you’ve already put there.

YAWN!!!

Great day today. My customer are having a Culture Change session in a posh hotel in Stratford over the first 2 days of this week. This means that there will be nothing going out for those 2 days.

I’ve therefore had to resort to playing Bejeweled, reading the paper or surfing the net. My day’s work was completed in 10 minutes this morning. I’ve now just been told that I need to be out by 5 as there are no twilight and night shifts tonight as they’ll be at tomorrow’s session.

I’ve therefore booked a visit to my airport office tomorrow to alleviate the boredom. Thankfully I’m winding down in preparation for our week in Devon that starts on Saturday.

Pearls of Wisdom II

I forgot something from Thursday night and thought you’d like to hear it:

Thursday night is my first night home since Monday morning. It’s usually spent s*****d out in front of the TV recovering from a week of eating peanuts, with occasional interruptions for work. It’s also a great night for TV with House, Boston Legal, Stacked and Suburban Shootout.

Between programmes FW was making tea and hot chocolate. I nterrupted her to see something on the TV. She went back and made my Hot Chocolate. Then she went back out to get her tea. We settled down for Boston Legal.

A few minutes later I reached forward and picked up my cup of chocolate. Hand sends message to brain – there is something wrong here mate. Brain replies what, being distracted by William Shatner’s performance as the mad lawyer. Its freezing. Brain tells hand to insert finger. Yep its definitely ice cold comes the reply.

Me: “Love, my drink’s freezing cold!”

FW: “It can’t be. Hang on I’ll check my tea…. My tea’s hot. Your chocolate must be, I made it at the same time.”

Me: “No, its definitely cold. Here!”

FW: “I don’t understand this. I made them together.”

FW disappears back to the kitchen to remake it.

Later FW realises what happened.

When I, foolishly, distracted her she had just filled the filter jug and had it in her hand. Then she watched the funny thing on TV. On turning her brain says, need to pour Tired’s chocolate and proceeds to. From the filter jug. Then on returning to kitchen pours hot water from kettle into her cup.

The lesson is: Never distract FW from the task in hand.

Pearls of Wisdom

Firstly to the person from Yahoo looking for the start date of the World (Would, as they spelt it) Cup: It is on 9th June.

Now back to the real world…

This is a post dedicated to proving how entertaining my lovely wife is:

Coming up to a roundabout in Oldrum last night:

FW: “I hate roundabouts. No one seems to indicate so you never know which way they’re going!”

Me: “Pot calling.”

At which point she then turns her indicator on.

This morning prior to getting up:

Me: “What time do you have to be at training?”

FW: “Ish!”

Me: “What time’s that?”

FW in a small, weak, hesitant voice: “I don’t know!”

You Know You’re Getting Old When….

You rant like this….

I am preparing myself for this afternoon’s journey back to Wales. The sun is shining, the birds are doing what birds do and you can hear the quietness of the countryside spoilt by the sound of kids shouting/screaming in the school playground. Well I suppose that’s what kids do.

It was much different in my day. We had rickets, TB, Bubonic Plague and head lice. We didn’t have Gameboys, X-Boxes, MP3 Players and videos, mainly ‘cos they weren’t invented and we wouldn’t have had the money to buy them anyway. Kids don’t know how lucky they are today.

My other reason for complaining is that my customer’s factory has been invaded by Year 12 kids on a Business Studies day out to learn out manufacturing. Lord help them coming here.

First I heard of it was as I arrived behind a mini-bus and 3 cars full of kids and teachers. They seemed more interested in seeing the old git driving the cool sports car than the impending factory tour. Well you can’t blame them for that, I would have as well at that age.

As my sister is a Business Studies and IT teacher back in Oldrum I feel for the teachers. If they are like some of her students then Lord help them. How does a teacher manage to obtain and maintain their interest in things these days? It was bad enough when I was a kid. Many of them seem to need to have their hands held at every step and to be nannied into completing their work. Then again I always assumed that homework was an optional extra, so what’s changed, yet I still managed to stand on my own two feet.

Maybe I’m just getting old(er). My hair is thinning, my stomach is expanding and my tolerance is reducing an exponential rates. Soon I’ll become…..

MY DAD!!!!!!!¬

The Da Vinci Code

I was reading the BBC website – I seem to do a lot of this – when I come upon an article in which it was announced that the Anglican Church in Sydney will be running a short video in 250 cinemas during screenings of the film of the book of the court trial.

Personally I thought that the book was a load of tosh. It wasn’t just a badly written but badly plotted and plagerised piece of nonsense. It was essentially a rewrite of Angels & Demons – his previous book – with just the artist and location changed. The rest, the central character, the attractive foreign assistant and secret catholic society were present. This was a book that seemed to be written as a “tick every box” thriller – you know the type, where the author runs through a list of plot developments and scenes in a set order and thus ticks each box as its done.

Now I’ve had enough of the hype surrounding the book, both from the author, media, publisher and the church. If you don’t want people to see/read something then have an initial protest and then let it die. Public inertia will do the rest. If the cries of “heretical rubbish” hadn’t been so consistently shouted then maybe he wouldn’t have sold a zillions copies.

Yes, use the various Christian resources to refute the book/film’s claims. Tell people that you personally won’t go to see it but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t protest outside cinemas. Don’t write to newspapers or ring radio shows.

If the film is good then people will go to see it for the entertainment value. If the film is bad then they’ll stay away, unless the furore continues and then they’ll go out of curiosity.

We, like sheep have gone away. If you don’t give the sheep something to follow then they’ll go back to quietly grazing instead. No one wants a few thousand sheep descending on them – with the exception of my loveable but sheep obssessed sister!!!

Today’s Rant

I saw Dave’s entry regarding his e-mail to Google complaining about the BNP using adsense on their site. Then I read Ruth’s comment regarding their revival.

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

With regards to Ruth’s comments the BNP are gaining support because they are praying on the minds of the elderly and socially disadvantaged. The Greens do not have a strong policy on immigration and this is what is scaring people, the fear of the unchecked barbarian hordes waiting to enter the country.

In addition, many of the main parties are turning people off politics because they have too many similar policies and standpoints. There is a growing dislike of mainstream politics and politicians caused by the frequent failure to deliver on promises, the ignoring of voters’ views and the arrogance that goes with a long period of one party government.

The rise of UKIP should show that the public have a need for parties to listen their views on such matters. There have been many reports of meetings between the leadership of UKIP and the BNP and former BNP members holding positions within UKIP. I’m not saying that UKIP are a racist party but their retoric is a step in that direction.

They are also helped by parts of the UK press that over inflate news stories and lead people to believe that small infrequent events are in fact daily occurences. Just listen to radio talk shows and hear normal people talking about the “free ride” that immigrants get. Priority council housing, benefits etc etc It bears no resemblance to reality but because the papers say it happens they believe it.

As a Conservative Party member I recognise that even my own party play politics with the race issue. We may not be as extreme as the BNP but we have to answer for our actions as well. Yes, there is an immigration problem to be faced. Yes, we should welcome immigrants to our shores, whether they are fleeing persecution or have skills that are of benefit to us. Yes, we should limit the numbers accepted. What we should not do is use them as a political footballs to kick around or use to score goals against the other parties.

As Christians we have a duty to raise our voices against such elements in society. To often in the past the church, as a body, has remained silent.

Here endeth today’s rant.