This blog continues to be udated at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Final Trainers for a while

Oh man, I must STOP buying trainers. I don't think I've ever owned so many in my life. For whatever reason I've really started getting into the designs of them. I am not a fashionista, and I don't wear particularly trendy clothes, but I think wearing a cool pair of trainers makes you feel good. Some I don't wear if I go outside the house - not because I don't like them, but because I want to keep them clean and nice and new!

I've stopped looking at my Schuh wish list.

This is the last pair I will buy for some time. I'm talking YEARS, I promise!

Windows 7 PC

Originally written in January:
I've been a buyer of Fujitsu Siemens PCs for the last 10 years (4 in total). I've also had an HP which was good too. Unfortunately, the most recent FS one I bought, which was fairly high spec at the time, is lagging, slow, hangs for ages and has never, I have felt, been as good as I expected from a new PC.

So it's about time I bought a new one - I got a high spec Acer Aspire M3802. Favourable reviews on eBuyer, and QUIET they say (has to be for me as I record in the same room). 4Gb RAM, etc. It's nice, but Windows 7 feels like going back to square one with learning computing. I've gone from XP to 7 without touching Vista. 7 won't let me install my audio editing software Cool Edit 2000, and has no Outlook Express - my favourite email program for the hundreds of messages I send and receive every day.

So a bit disappointed, as I usually am with new purchases. Do I expect too much?

One thing that is FANTASTIC is the search box in every window. So quick to find files now. Outlook 2007 is pretty good too (mainly for the search facility again), but I still miss OE.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Beginning of the End of this Blog?

I know it's not that important to you and that you probably don't care, but because of the way Google are stopping support of the way I publish this blog (FTP), I will no longer be able to update it.

I started it on the 18th of October 2004, and I will not be able to update it from March 2010, so about 5 and a half years.

It's followed me through some interesting times in my life - I have certainly changed in many ways since I started it. My parents divorced, I moved house twice, I changed jobs twice, I started a new weekend job, I resigned from the job, my business took off, I lost a great friend, I made new friends (at work, only one from the blog - a nice American lady whose name I've forgotten), and got a dog.

If I decide to continue with a blog, I'll post a link to it as the final update on this blog.

I really don't think I have any followers as such - no visitors who bookmark the site to check up on what I'm posting or anything.

The visitor statistics tell of strange transient searchers who find my photos of trainers interesting (hence the number of recent updates),
the Toys R Us jingle MP3,
the video I did off my TV of the house collapsing in Emmerdale,
why David Letterman wears white socks,
Harry Hill on You've Been Framed,
the photos I took when I went to Liverpool on the Beatles tour,
my list of all the things I ever bought from Tandy,
why Bill Buckley left LBC get the idea - random stuff.

Anyway, I'll find out how to use another blog thing and let you know. By the way, if you do read this blog, please post a comment - even if it is anonymous. I know you click on the adverts because I get a certain amount of money from those every month, but no-one ever seems to leave comments. I suppose I feel a bit like I'm on a phone-in radio station and no-one's calling in.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Joel Ross

Joel Ross used to be on Viking FM in the late 1990s before his move to Key 103 then Radio 1. When I printed (yes, I know) this page from the then brand new Viking FM website, I never knew he would become nationally known as one half of JK and Joel. This 3rd generation (photo of a print out) shows his curtain dyed blonde hair style he had then. One curtain seems to have been so heavy that he had difficulty keeping his head straight. Or maybe that's just his coy look.

To be fair,I remember listening to him on a train going through Yorkshire, and he was good. Even I had curtains back then. I just can't find any photos of them to put on here. Thanks for being there Joel!

Stay tuned - I have some great recordings of Joel from Yorkshire Coast Radio in what must have been about 1993 or 4 which I will upload to this very post when I have edited them!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Puma Mid Manga 917

The Puma Mid Manga 917 trainers ended up in the sale, so they were £25 itstead of £45. I got a pair of size 11UK 'cos that's what I am in Vans, and although they initially felt too big, I ordered a size down and they were a bit too small. I read a review that the sizes were on the big side. So I've kept the pair that initially felt too big, but I've been wearing them all day and they feel perfect. I always think the sign of a good shoe is if you don't notice that you're wearing them. These are like that.

As an aside, shoe sizes are crazy. As someone once said, "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from!".

I've taken some photos for you to see:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Future Footwear

I would have bought a pair of these Gola Harrier multi coloureds in a flash, but no longer available in my size when I became aware of their existence!:

I think these are pretty funky too, Mens Puma 917 Mid Popart Trainers:

But my next buy may be something like these Vans Skink mid in black/red:

Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi trainers

I have tried some Onitsuka Tiger Tai Chi trainers, but the size UK 11 (which I am in Vans) didn't fit, so I went for the 12s, but there's like an inch of space at the toe - they'll get all stretched when I use them, so I'm still not convinced about these. The great thing with Schuh is that they do refunds up to 1 year from the date of purchase.

Converse All Stars Hi-Tops

Everyone says how great Converse All Stars are, and I have a pair of hi tops and low tops, but I don't like them anywhere near as much as my Vans. The ends of my toes seem to get cold with that rubber toe protector bit, and of course they aren't as easy to slip on and off with them being lace ups. Yes - they do look good - a design classic - but not as comfy. If you have a pair, give some Vans slip-ons a try next time you're out shopping and see what you think. Then post a comment!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vans Classic Slip-ons

Vans (as a company) are clever - they make comfy shoes, but they do them in a huge range of colours and patterns. I now have 7 pairs of these slip ons, and they are one of the most comfy shoes I have worn. My latest buy has been a black red and cream logo check pattern.

There was a special offer on a pair of white and red check I saw last night for very little money, but they reminded me of something a waiter at the Little Chef would wear as his uniform.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gola eBoy Hi-tops

I'm one of these people who won't take my shoes off unless I'm in bed. If I walk around the house in socks, my feet get really cold quite quickly. So I just leave my shoes on. The benefit is that I am impervious to pain when standing on sharp things or spillages in the kitchen, and can immediately run outside to the gate for a parcel or whatever. Aren't I a clever sausage?!

Now that it's very cold outside (snowing in fact!), I don't wear my Vans classic slip-ons outside. They make my feet cold because they are thin canvas, and if they get wet, so do my socks.

So I've been wearing my Gola eBoy hi-tops. After a couple of weeks of wear, this is what they're like now:
They look great, and the only sign of wear (aside from the white soles going dirty) is at the crease of the toe as you walk - some of the graphic imprint is flaking off. It's not visible until you get really close though.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Criminals cause energy waste

Could it be argued that criminals do not help climate change?

I've just walked down my street at 1am. I did not see another person for the full 30 minutes. Yet everyone's porch lights were on, allbeit energy saving, serving as nothing more than a deterrent against criminals. Goodness knows how many kilowatt hours were used just to provide me with the ability to see everything in orange.

Are they fitting LED streetlights in certain places? Surely this sodium orange has had its day?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Defra - are these your sausages sir? Shit radio ad

What is with the Defra "are these your sausages sir?" radio advert about smuggling meat and dairy products into the UK from other countries? Mark Heap is one of the voices.

I must have heard this advert several times A DAY on LBC for the last 3 YEARS.

Is this really the best way to spend tax-payers money? How many people smuggle sausages into the UK anyway?

I read on a forum that someone spoke to a Defra rep at a trade fair about smuggling sausages with relation to this omni-present radio commercial and the rep had no idea what they were talking about.

New Labour - New Britain.

Topping up my Three mobile broadband dongle

So, I need to top up my Three USB mobile broadband dongle. So I log in. The card that's on the account has expired, so I add my debit card. It warns me it will take £10 every time a new card is added. That's ok, 'cos I need to add £10 of credit.
Submit card.
"It takes 7 days to register a new debit card to be able to use it for top-ups. You can add a credit card if you like...".
OK, so I add my credit card - I need this topping up NOW for use TOMORROW.
"It takes 7 days to register a new credit card to be able to use it for top-ups".
So I walk to the newsagents to get a £10 top-up voucher.
I come back, activate it, then notice both my cards have now already been accepted, so I now have £30 on the account!
And they've added over 2,000 free text messages.
It's bloody crazy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New in November

I have just used a Lynx product for the first time since I was 11. Now I smell like a schoolboy.

It's only schoolboys who use Lynx isn't it? All these TV ads saying the Lynx 'effect' makes you irresistable to girls, but the average age of users is probably 13.

I calculated how much money I take home from work each weekday, and my silly spreadsheet was totally wrong. I manually worked it out to be about a quarter of what it said, and about a pound more than minimum wage. And there was me, swanning around thinking I was Simon Cowell! <errr errr> (family fortunes X noise)

Monday, October 26, 2009

5 Years of Blog

Almost forgot to congratulate myself on 5 years of this blog!
At least one post per month.

Goodbye Geocities

Geocities was the site I first used to learn how to desigen websites. It must have been back in about 1997. I remember working through their "how to write HTML" help pages on a Saturday afternoon as a teenager. Very exciting!

I had a site for my hospital radio show I used to do while I was at school. But in those days domain names were hundreds of pounds, so I had to read out this hilariously long email address or something because you weren't allowed a custom address back then.

Thank you Geocities.

As someone said, the sites on Geocities are like the cave paintings of the internet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mysterious Cities of Gold DVD Box Set

I'd been umming and ahhing about whether to buy this for the last two weeks for £39.99 from the HMV website (where you get all the exclusive extras in the box). It was out of stock - stock due in 7 days.

I clicked refresh today to see if it's in stock, and YES it is! BUT it's now £49.99! Argh!

Silly me always waiting too long and thinking things through too much.

It has happened 3 times this week. I saw a nice pair of stripey Paul Smith socks on, bookmarked them, thought about buying them (£14 - which works out at £7 per sock), decided to buy them, and they were no longer on the website (or any others I could find). The other time was a nice chair from Boss Design - again mentioned several years ago on this blog. I want another one. I asked if they were still made back in April. They said yes. I bottled out. I asked this week. They said they may be able to cobble one together from spare parts...I am waiting for them to get back to me, but it doesn't sound too good!

Gola eBoys - to splurge or not to splurge?

Now it's getting cold, I'm wearing my Gola eBoy hi-top trainers shown in a recent post. They are so cool. But now I want more. At twice the price, the ones below are tempting me.
Someone suggested I should think about the £10 sale pair of Vans I got, and how, if I bought these, the average price of each pair of trainers would be just £45. Clever! I feel so guilty splurging on extravagances like these. I have lived on no money for at least a year now so I am out of practice in spending, and shoes seem to be the only thing I'm buying.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bye bye Bill, he's off to the BBC

So the great Bill Buckley has gone to BBC London 94.9.

It's a lovely day here, but I'm on my own, so feeling at a loose end. I don't need to do anything in the garden because we have a pair of gardeners who look after it now. I do have to water the new turf next to the new path, but only once the sun has gone down.

I might eat a Snickers bar.

Yes. I'm eating it now.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bill Buckley leaves LBC overnights

LBC's hidden gem Bill Buckley announced he's leaving weekday overnights next Wednesday.

This means I will be re-thinking my sleeping habits! Who will replace him?
Not much new talent on the cusp - Nick Conrad is too young to be interesting, and Marcus Churchill has already been on LBC and has views I do not agree with which aren't condusive to a pleasant evening's listening.

When I first started listening to LBC, Iain Lee was doing drivetime. Now I'll probably only ever listen to a bit of James Whale in the background when I eat my dinner. It's all rather formal and news-driven now, which is boring because they discuss the same things again and again. I enjoyed the unpredictable straight-to-air sessions with Iain Lee and Clive Bull. I suppose when management get Anne Widdecombe to act as a fill-in presenter, they've given up caring what the listeners think.

I will miss Bill.

Will LBC miss me?
(I fear not, as I don't need to: buy OAP chairs from the Chair Centre, any Sky subscription packages, ever want to use any no-win-no-fee solicitors, ever smuggle sausages through customs, ever bid in the 'how low' auctions, etc.)

LBC Presenter Hand-overs

The part I enjoy the most is presenter hand-overs - mostly betwen Clive Bull and Bill Buckley. There's real warmth between those two, and it's a pleasure to hear.

Tonight however, Nick Abbot (sitting in for Clive) chatted to Bill Buckley. You can tell they aren't mad keen fans of each other, so there's an underlying tension of formality and unease.

On the topic of water meters, Nick quotes Ken Livingstone's advice of "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down"
Nick then advises, "if you let it mellow for too long you can grow potatoes in your toilet".

On the topic of oysters (Bill had just been to some sort of oyster tasting party)
Nick opines, "I had an oyster once, and it was like the sea had coughed up in my mouth"

Maybe you had to be there (if so, download the podcast from today) but those two rattley old puffin comments made me laugh out loud.

As an aside, I met Nick Abbot a few times in person in the office at Virgin Radio, and although it was about 9 years ago, he didn't seem grumpy or as ratty as he sounds on LBC today. But he was getting paid a large amount to play music there. He was highly amused that I thought the station was computerised (it wasn't - it still used CDs and Sonifex's future of tape carts - 'discarts' (3.5" floppy discs that acted like carts).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vans Slip Ons - conclusion

Vans slip ons made in Vietnam seem to have a wider fitting at the heel (so they feel like they are slipping off on each step) than the Vans made in China. A difference to the extent that I had to send a pair back because they didn't fit.


Everyone knows Antioch in California because of the weirdo people who kidnapped that girl, but I know it as the name of the spider in the Rock a-fire Explosion animatronic show! (named after a shopping centre where one of the first sets was installed).

Dave Gorman, commercial voice-over on Homebase TV ads

I'm glad Homebase has seen the error of their ways and ditched Dave Gorman (a comedian who few people have heard of, let alone recognise his lispy-forgettable voice) from their TV adverts.

Surely paying him as a 'recognisable voice' did not pay off. He's not immediately associated with showbiz, glamour or DIY. Best have a generic voice-artist I would have said. And cheaper.

He gets some great reviews on Chortle, including, "Smug, bland, self-satisfied wanker". Other reviews are less kind, calling him "a monumental bore".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

British Tax, and why try harder?

After my annual meeting with my accountant, it seems that as a business owner, it really isn't worth paying yourself more than £30,000 per year as a dividend from your business. Why? Because from next year, anything over this figure will be taxed at 50%.

Bear in mind that profits from the business are already taxed at 21%. So any profit you make get taxed 21%. Then you can pay yourself a dividend of the net profits of anything up to 6k at zero tax, then 24k at 20% tax but to pay yourself anything over the 30k would really hurt.

So you keep the profits in the company account.
Or buy a nice Bentley as a company car which is what I feel like doing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sky TV football

Sky's latest blanket media advertising says "Football. We know how you feel about it. Because we feel the same"

So, total and utter contempt and tedium then?

Yes, me too.

Strange, then, how you have about 14 channels devoted to it and insist on including it in news reports on your news channel. I wouldn't say sport was news because it is irrelevant and boring, particularly so to any viewers who do not care for it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shoe Review

My new shoes are now naturally selecting themselves.
Further to my last post, I have returned one pair and am considering returning another.

The multi-coloured Converse All Stars, pictured in the previous post, look great. Super cloth colours - you could just wear normal socks with them and they'd look so colourful. However, there doesn't appear to be enough structure on the heel to keep the shoe attached to your foot, ie the heel support is too low to actually 'grab' on to your foot, so they feel like they are perpetually falling off. So unfortunately they have been returned.

The blue suede Vans slip-ons with the cool retro box look great, but I am currently assessing whether they are actually too loose. Which is odd. I have 4 pairs of size 11UK Vans slip-ons. They all fit perfectly. When you first get them, they are a bit stiff, but you wear them for about a week and they soften up and expand a bit like all new shoes do, and then are super-comfy. They have a cloth upper and are made in China. However, the suede ones are made in Vietnam. They feel a little bit tighter, which is natural because the suede is a thicker material. But they move on the heel too, as if they're not clinging on as much as they should be - it feels loose, even with thicker socks. Is this down to a difference in manufacturing procedure in Vietnam as opposed to China?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vans, Converse, Golas - shoes!

I'm going through a shoe buying phase at the moment. Upon reflection, I do now have a lot of shoes. Almost all trainers and 'leisure shoes' as I don't have to dress formally these days. Unless I'm in court - haha, just kidding.

I got some corkers recently.

I now have a total of 5 pairs of Vans slip-ons (above). Why? Very comfy, and because the tops are cloth, they let your feet be cool. Probably not too great for winter or wet weather though, so I got a pair made from suede (below). Office had a pair on offer for just £10, but they're normally about £35. Lots of colours and patterns to choose from. Very 'in' at the moment.

Very retro 1980s box, I thought.

I also have one pair of white Converse All Stars lo-tops (or whatever) from amazon. Everyone goes on about them, and you see them everywhere - the most popular shoe at the moment? Anyway, they're ok. They squeak at the heel after you've worn them for a few hours. I'm testing wearing them more loosely to see if that helps. And different thickness socks. A few people I know have them and they squeak too.

I splashed out on a new pair from Schuh which have a multi-coloured rim so it looks like they're made from about 10 different colours of canvas. I'm toying with the idea of getting some orangey/yellow hi tops, but I think I've spent more money than I actually have on shoes this month.

I also got some very cool limited edition Gola eBoy hi-tops. Look them up - they are well w00t!

Spitting Image book

I started reading an old Spitting Image book on the toilet this evening. Circa 1986, spin-off comedy books from TV series I really do find amusing! Gems I have read include the aforementioned, the League of Gentlemen (excellent place names on the map of Royston Vasey) and the Fast Show. I have another Spitting Image one which is all comic strips. Very 'of its time' naturally, with the
lampooning of political and TV figures. No celebrities, because they didn't exist in the 1980s - only people who were famous for having a talent....if you know what I mean!

Sunday with HitchCOCK

I'm gradually working through all the Alfred Hitchcock films we got for Christmas. I think my fave so far is Rear Window. The worst is The Trouble with Harry which I watched last night, and we both fell asleep. It was a black comedy and different to his usual film style, so maybe that was why.

There was some good TV on this afternoon for a change! I watched a well made documentary about the staff of a US Air Force aircraft carrier. It was on Nat Geo HD, a new HD channel we now receive. At the end I wondered, why I felt it was so good. NO NARRATOR. The staff themselves led the story.

Then we started watching the Pirates of Penzance - an outrageous(?!) stage version filmed in Australia. The first few scenes were laugh-out loud funny - more the actors than the songs though.

We curtailed this to tidy up for tomorrow's installation. Hopefully, unless swine flu has struck their staff, we're having automated gates and intercom installed tomorrow. Not cheap things I have discovered, with every add-on (light sensors so they don't close on your car, keyfobs, etc.) being 3 figures!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sarah Kennedy - we love you!

Just read this, and why shouldn't she say that?

I think she's great.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Cursed Trampolines

Curse B&Q for offering £40 off their trampoline. My neighbour bought one, and what was usually a peaceful Saturday afternoon was filled with 4 hours of incessant children screaming.

Then the rain came and they buggered off inside. Bless the rain and may more of it come every time they are about have a session.

Noise really gets to me. I think I'm hyper-sensitive. But I have been told to think positively about it - at least it is the sound of kids having fun, and it's through the day. Not a noisy party or drinking barbeque going into the early hours. When you look at satellite photos of this area, there's almost a trampoline in every other garden. My neighbours is like an Olympic sized one. I wondered if they'd thought the measurements were in feet not metres.

It's like David Niven when he gave instructions to French builders to dig his swimming pool before he went off to film a movie. Niv gave the measurements in feet, and they dug in metres. In the end he had the deepest swimming pool in all of Europe!

Re-discovering MJ's music. I have Thriller and Bad on cassette tape, and HIStory on CD. I ordered the Live in Bucharest DVD. There's not many DVDs of his concerts. I think I saw the Bucharest one live on TV when it was on. I think I was 12. Bless him though.

Summer thoughts

I tried Twitter, but I like being able to type more than 140 characters. And no-one seems to care - unless you have thousands of followers, everyone just seems to follow you so that you will follow them, as some sort of self-promoting marketing. Silly really. No-wonder no one has bought the company yet.

It's funny that on Facebook, the only friends who have been clearly outraged by the BNP enough to join some sort of ousting group have all been white. None of my Indian or Asian friends really care. And indeed why should they - they are born British and doing very well for themselves as doctors, bankers and scientists.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peter Jones from Dragons' Den

If Peter Jones from Dragons' Den is such a successful entrepreneur with so many hundreds of millions of pounds, why is he doing
adverts for

If I had millions of pounds, I wouldn't be doing some crap CGI advert to be played hundreds of times a day on TV getting on
everyone's tits.

Perhaps he ain't as loaded as he reckons he is?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Business Serve - height of incompetency

Aahhhh, I'd forgotten how totally shit Business Serve were until I read an old email from 2002. I had complained that, for no reason, they had deleted all the website files from my customer's website without reason, warning or even letting her know - over a month ago!:

Any compensation / refund requests must be made in writing to Shane Fisher, Customer Support Manager ( ). I should point out however; that according to the terms and conditions ( ) Clause 1.13 - we do not compensate for loss of service.

Kind Regards

Geoff Collins
Business Serve Support Team

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Woodland Trading, Doha, Qatar

Jimmy Joseph of Woodland Trading in Qatar owes me money he promised he would pay me and hasn't.

Be warned anyone dealing with Jimmy Joseph or his brother, Babu Joseph of Woodland Trading of Doha Qatar.

He is a liar.

Voice-overs on TV adverts in the UK - crap!

My God, the lack of voice-over talent in the UK is really obvious...

The latest Homebase advert uses a lisping Dave Gorman - bearded nerdy twat with a boring voice and no delivery style to speak of.

Then there's Jane Horrocks doing the Tesco advert, talking to us like we're 3 year olds about how even though Tesco are more expensive than Asda, they're not and we're all stupid to believe Asda's adverts. Even though Asda are cheaper.

Now she's doing UK Road Tax adverts on the radio.

Sky 1 continuity announcer woman who literally SHOUTS all over the end credits of the programme you've just watched. What on earth they were thinking when they get her in is BEYOND me and surely every viewer must hit the MUTE button - her voice is like fingernails down a blackboard. NOTHING going for it at all.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Companies House website CLOSED at night?!?!

Just tried to file my annual return on the Government run Companies House website.

The website CLOSES at midnight until 7am every day.


Which century is the government living in?!?!?!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaky - update

The plumber came back, good on his guaratee promise, to fix the leak causing the large and increasing damp patch on the porch wall.
He had accidentally pulled the basin and bidet waste pipe out of the main stack when fitting the basin, so all waste water was pouring down the inside of the house. Luckily I don't wash very often! No water damage visible inside the house, and porch brick wall now drying.

Then the bidet started leaking, so he came back another day to fix that - the bit on the bottom wasn't screwed tightly. (technical term!)

Now it's just a corner of the shower than leaks intermittently onto the floorboards. I think I will just squirt more sealant on myself. Want it all to be right before getting a carpet laid in there (yes, I like a carpet in the bathroom. I don't piss all over the floor like some people!)

The main bathroom is still to be done, but another plumber says we need a bath with pre-drilled holes for the taps, as the one we have bought [and is waiting in the garage] has no tap holes (because of the odd modern tap we've bought for it - a large mixer tap and a shower head that slots into the bath top next to it. So the bath in the garage will probably end up on eBay like the old fittings from my bathroom (got £167 for them!).

When 7 deliveries arrive in one morning

Poor Tom Daley getting bullied. I bet if that American swimming gold medalist Phelps was at school he'd be the school mascot.
Britons just don't seem to like anyone who is successful. Maybe everyone is jealous? A jealous nation? Meh. That's why I'm a recluse.

Constructed a cross trainer today. Will it be used or become a clothes horse? Time will tell! (There's already talk of buying an ice cream machine, so perhaps more mind-set changing needs to occur first!). I had a go on it and now I can't walk.

I now have a 24" widescreen monitor in both my upstairs and downstairs office - posh eh? No more squinting for me! I bought my mum a 23" one - they're certainly worth getting just to see everything a bit bigger. They're all Samsungs - my only niggle is that upon reducing the brightness they all start buzzing which is quite noticable.

Today was hilarious. We had 7 deliveries from 7 different courier companies. By the afternoon the hall was full so we were getting them to leave stuff on the porch. I also have a thermal gel colour printer now from Ricoh. Massive and heavy, but only £53. I discovered today that my office is now full and I have nowhere to put it! I need to re-arrange things on my desk. What a boring end to a blog post!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Just read that Tandy's demise in the UK was down to the Carphone Warehouse (silly name for a mobile phone shop these days) buying Tandy UK to easily buy a high street presence. They shut down 269 Tandy stores, replacing them with mobile phone shops. I don't know if Tandy UK was doing well or not, but it was sold because head office in Canada wanted to focus on domestic stores.

Maplin took over where Tandy disappeared. Maplin used to be the place where the electronics hobbyists went for cheaper components and kits. Tandy was more mainstream. Now Maplin, whilst not turning its back on the hobbyist, has certainly gone mainstream compared to say 15 years ago.

Sad though that it was seemingly a strong brand, and the UK's second largest electrical retailer at the time.

I bought my first CD hi-fi (Amstrad) there (£180 in about 1992),
along with outdoor horn speakers (£8), LEDs, buttons (£1.08),
a laser pointer (£35),
Genexxa audio mixer (£60), audio leads,
Realistic Pro 47 radio scanners x2 (£200 each), DC transformers,
Realistic Mini Amplifier SA-155 (£40 - still going, on my garage workbench),
arcade challenge game (£15),
130-in-1 electronics kit (£30), soldering iron,
red microphone and stand (back in the 80s - my first of many, many microphones!),
Genexxa omnidirectional microphone (£35 - still have it in my mic bag),
Realistic tie clip mic, pillow speaker, headphones,
Realistic SCP-31 playback cassette deck (£40, but took it back after realising there was no record button!)
cassette carousel (£3),
tape head demagnitiser (£9 - still have)
AM/FM pocket radio with speaker (listened to it on the bus going to school in about 1995 until I could drive, £18)

...and that's just from looking through the Tandy 1997 catalogue I keep on my shelf for nostalgia!
Certain items in it I still long for - the wood veneer 10 watt Realistic speakers, the Realistic walkie-talkies.....
Everything seems rather expensive compared to today's prices - which is odd when inflation is taken into account. Surely prices should be higher 12 years on? But no, it's like prices have dropped by 70% for most items in today's world.


My muslim neighbour didn't notice me returning from a walk with my dog and shouted out of the window "Jesus, give me some air!". I shouted back to them, "Have you converted!?"

Unicef doorstopped us today. "A massive vaccination campaign". I think we should really focus on ourselves and this county at the moment, instead of giving so much away. Charity begins at home. I thought this doorstopping was illegal anyway. AND I don't remember the last time Africa did a fund raiser for our people in need.

The joiner I mentioned two posts ago has not returned to complete his job. He is Bob Deano from Deano's.

The plumber finished my bathroom. Yesterday I noticed a number of damp bricks in the wall on the porch below my bathroom, so something's leaking. He'll return tomorrow under his 'all work guaranteed' clause, presumably to rip out the entire shower......

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Organic Foods - a step backwards

We accept exactly the same technology (as GM food) in medicine, and yet in producing food we want to go back to the 19th Century.

Dr Fedoroff, who wrote a book about GM Foods in 2004, believes critics of genetically modified maize, corn and rice are living in bygone times.

"We wouldn't think of going to our doctor and saying 'Treat me the way doctors treated people in the 19th Century', and yet that's what we're demanding in food production."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Plumbers and bathrooms, joiners and doors

My bathroom consists of a shower cubicle, basin, toilet and bidet. They were fitted by the previous owner of the house, so the toilet is free standing about a foot from the wall, the sink is on the wrong side of the room and the shower cubicle doors frequently fall off. He was a bit of a bodjer.

The plumber was here for 10 days and had to leave to go into hospital to have his varicose veins removed. In that time, he took the old bathroom furniture out, took off the grotesque 'enchanted sea' tiles to reveal another hidden layer of tiles beneath. He took these tiles off too, with which came lumps of plasterboard. So he ended up re-plasterboarding the whole room which set him back 3 days and cost me £450.

The shower tray's waste was in the opposite corner of where it should be, so he was complaining about what 'bad plumbing pratice' it was to have the waste pipe going under the tray, making the water travel a long distance. Then he fitted the sliding shower enclosure door the wrong way around, so I would have to squeeze past the toilet with about a 5 inch gap between them to get into the shower. I told him, he removed it and fitted it the right way round. More delay because of that.

Then he discovered that the Splashwalls from some company in Perth which had been delivered a few weeks beforehand were all damaged - scratched and cracked. It seems the laminate company who send them out think that one sheet of polythene is enough to protect a 2.4m x 1.4m white gloss screen from couriers throwing them around! WRONG! In the end we had to go for the PVC cladding, which actually doesn't look too bad. My only worry is if any water gets down the 'sealed' joins between each strip, I don't know where it goes.

The plumber then plastered the room, tiled the room, fitted the toilet and had to go off for his operation.

The shower is great, but because the wrong rated RCD is in the fusebox (32A not 40A), it cuts out after about 10 minutes. The sliding door surround leaks so I have to shower in one corner and have a towel ready to mop up the leak. Water seems to enter via one of the joins in the sliding door frame.

We've just had a joiner round for a day. He's been fitting 8 interior doors upstairs. His apprentice was with him yesterday. He was a tall chap who drove a BMW...and seemed to do a better job than the joiner. The joiner came back to finish up this morning, but before he could dash off, I checked what he'd done. There were still large ugly holes in the door frame where the previous door's latch fitted in, which he didn't seem to think I'd notice. He hadn't taken off the nailed-on frame surround in the bathroom which had split, or fitted a towel hook on the back of either bathroom door as requested. He's gone off to get the filler for these holes.....let's see if he ever returns....

I'm a bit pissed off with both of them really. Especially the joiner at his total lack of finishing off. Beutiful oak doors - bloody big ugly holes in the frames left there as if we wouldn't notice. Idiot.

The plumber will return on Monday - perhaps - after recovering. He will fit my sink and bidet and tower radiator. Then start work on the main bathroom................

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Buzzing phone

I've eventually found why my phone buzzed like there was a dildo on the other line whenever anyone called me. It was some old cordless BT phone that's about 7 years old. Great phone, but if it makes a noise like that at the start of all conversations, it makes me sound a bit tinpot.

Upon reflection, a busy week. Unfortunately, in busy weeks lots of little jobs get left by the wayside, so I'm trying to catch up on replying to emails - translating my response into Japanese and French so far.

My sleeping pattern was rubbish this week. I didn't get any more than 4 hours sleep each day (I usually prefer 8). Last night though I slept for 15 hours in total with a 2 hour interval.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Footwear compliment

A busy day today.

I had my big TV mounted on the wall in my lounge. Major feat of engineering getting it done properly! Superb now though, because I can get rid of the TV unit which ate into the space. Also had my Bose Panaray 502As mounted on the wall with it. My 10" subwoofer (which I got for £95 instead of £486 - surely a pricing error!) compliments the system.

I did have a very ugly JVC hi-fi with incredible bass response (went down to 20Hz!) but as with a number of JVC hi-fis, after a while they just 'crash' all the time and don't respond to the remote until you 'reboot' it by unplugging from the mains. This one started having intermittent problems with the aux in connection too.

The young and trendy delivery driver who delivered my Sony amp complimented me on my cool multi-coloured 'demon' Vans slip-ons. I don't get the trial by jury I used to where I worked, so it was nice to hear I'm trendy.

Islamic BBC Radio 4 for Muslim fanatics

I think the programme controllers at BBC Radio 4 are trying to get rid of their core audience. All I ever hear on there is discussions about Islam and Muslims.

Unfortunately, the number of people I know who were core Radio 4 listeners now don't listen because they GOT SICK OF HEARING ABOUT ISLAM ALL THE BLOODY TIME.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Judge Spencer is a moron

Trying to find some grey Vans in my size - harder than it should be! Bit of
a battle to find them, but got some in the end. Why they call them "Steeple"
and not just "grey" is anyone's guess.

The court case was today where my tenant, who has not paid rent for over 3
months (£1,800) was instructed by the British judge to pay me. Good you
think? Hmmm. £3.07 per week. So it will take over 11 years for my tenant to
pay me what she owes me, without interest. Excuse me if I conclude that the
judge is a cunt and my tenant a twat.

Let's hope March gets better.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Classic Facebook Group


i was on the tour ride taking a video then the fucken shark thing popped out
at me and my fone went flying into the ocean pool thing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Too many commercials on TV

Moving Wallpaper is back on ITV1 and superb. Nearly Larry Sanders standard. Really enjoyed it. And no Echo Beach to follow it.

I don't wantch much TV these days. Anything I do watch, I record it so I can fast forward through the huge number of adverts. They relaxed regulations regarding how many adverts could be played per hour on UK TV, and by doing this makes 18 minutes of adverts terribly irritating, for me, making commercial TV essentially unwatchable.

I have had a busy week. I am doing my arm excercises to try and stop the RSI pain in my hands I've had for years. It does seem to work but I so often forget to do them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Faith, Hope & Charity

Recevied a lovely bouquet of flowers, wine and chocolates from Marks & Spencers today. Someone had forgotten my birthday last month and suddenly felt guilty!

A busy month. Everything arriving by courier for the new bathrooms - a few deliveries each day for a couple of weeks. Hilarious when more than one arrives at once.

Listening to these voice-over people who advertise on Google, they sound so rubbish! Is it a pity that the internet has given them the opportunity to showcase their mock-up Capital FM idents and pretend global cosmetic brand adverts they paid a recording studio to put on a CD for £300?

Am on the verge of switching to Asda mobile PAYG - 8p calls and 4p texts beats Virgin I'm afraid. Just have to get my phone unlocked somewhere.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to Janvier!

My optician tells me I have 20 20 vision when I squint. With glasses, BETTER than 20 20! He was a trendy young Indian guy with Chelsea boots and hair like a pelt. I'm not that old, but I have more fun telling people what I think, so I told him he was smart.

Last weekend I painted my bedroom, then the hall, stairs and landing in 8 hours. I was aching the next day. I have to do the 2nd coat sometime. I don't think I've recovered yet.

They're going on about the BBC not showing some appeal for money for that Israel war victim thing. Well get this, I'm sick of being asked for my fucking money wherever I bloody go, whatever I watch or listen to, whatever I read - in this country. We have our own problems - crime, old people freezing to death in their own homes because they can't afford to heat them.
Think about those people before you send money to some waring douchebags who you've never met. Would they EVER do a collection for us? It's all pay out. They can get screwed.

Things have quietened down this month after a frantic final quarter of 2008, so I have time to do jobs now.

Hope you are well too!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nameroute in a pickle

It's sad to see how bad Nameroute / Hostroute's customer service has become since it was taken over.

Their move over to a 'portal' system to manage domains has left me with several logins, plus many more I don't even know.

I pay for domains to be renewed, only to check and see that they haven't been.

Their helpdesk allows you to submit tickets, then for them to never appear on the list and disappear into the ether.

Their billing department seemingly invoicing you for random amounts - or if it's the same amount, with different VAT amounts even on invoices sent on the same day, post-15% VAT rate.

I don't know what's going on, but after a good 6 years with them I'll be moving my names away as they come up for renewal.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

LBC's New Studios