Monday, 30 April 2012

Mental healthy, owed dosh and a curry - or 20

30 April 2012

The flags are out in Dorktown today.  The BEEB has got the weather right again for today.  Bright sun and nearly clear skies were good to get up to.  It's shopping day too so hopefully I shall get a few new  pics today too.

It's a quiet day in the News again today as well.  Front page is a story that the Hussy Hospital has paid off a debt of £6.8m but it seems that they still have a deficit of £7.3m to sort out.  Now is it just me or do debt and deficit mean two different things these days? 

Trading Standards have been busy again.  They have visited 20 restaurants and takeaway's within Dorktown and the rest of the country to test the quality of the lamb in their curries and kebabs.  Lamb is the most expensive meat so it seems that a many of these outlets are fiddling customers by using beef, pork and chicken which are all cheaper.  Of the 20 lamb kebabs bought none of them contained just one meat, lamb.  They were made up of a mixture of all of them.  Of the 20 curries tested only three had just lamb in them.  Advice will be given to the law breakers.  But here's a point ... I thought that Asian folk wouldn't touch pork in anyway.  So how come some of the items bought contained pork?  Makes you wonder eh?

I bought one of those pens which are linked to a device that records your hand writing and converts it to typed text.  Well, I finally got to work out how the software worked with it.  A half page of my handwriting became total gobble-di-guop.  Jan and I had a good laugh over it last night and I posted the results onto a Facebook page for writers who also had a laugh over it.  The idea behind  buying the pen in the first place was that I could hand write my story and have it converted and if it fails then I still have a hard copy to hand if it doesn't work.  However, having thought about it a good bit last night I'm wondering if it turns say eight pages of hand writing into the sort rubbish it produced last night, then it's going to need a lot of editing afterwards.  In which case I might as well type it straight in anyway.  I do have eight or nine A5 pages of my new novel (yes I know, but I have to do something while I wait for the proof reading of the last one to be done), to type now anyway before I do any more.  So we'll soon see eh?

I finally found the instruction manual for my Alpha 350 after hunting for it for a couple of weeks.  And guess what?  I can't remember why I needed it now ;-))) Daft I calls it.

And so a photo ... 

one of a number I got ay the Funny Girls show in Blackpool.

The Rochdale sage has been in touch ... it's a bit non-PC but funny as heck ...

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.....
Fred and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while they were walking past the hospital swimming pool, Fred suddenly jumped into the deep end.
He sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there
  Edna promptly jumped in to save him. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse/Director became aware of Edna's heroic act she immediately ordered her to be discharged from the hospital, as she now considered her to be mentally stable.
When she went to tell Edna the news she said, 'Edna, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love... I have concluded that your act displays sound mindedness.
The bad news is, Fred hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but he's dead.'
Edna replied, 'He didn't hang himself, I put him there to dry...
How soon can I go home?'

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lost head, good reads and a name game

29 April 2012

I'm sure if my head wasn't screwed on I'd forget one day!  or maybe is just my age creeping up on me ;-)))  Whatever, I keep forgetting things, nothing important of course but things I should by now know that I should be doing and don't.  It's like today's funny.  I found it on a website yesterday and copied over to here on the Word doc where I keep all the News items.  At the same time I thought of a couple of ideas for inclusion in today's post.  I didn't make a note of them and now I can't think what they are.  Not only that I also forgot to make a note of the URL for the website where I got the joke.  Ah well ... ... ...

Every Sunday we have the Sunday Express delivered here.  The reason I decided to have sent was because there's column in it by Stuart Winter, the papers environment editor.  The column is called Birdman.  I got to like his writing when I bought a copy of his Tales of a Tabloid Twitcher, where he explains how he fits his birding in with his career.  It's a good read and well worth going for if haven't already read it.  Anyway, that's the plug out the way for today ... in today's piece he speaks of his new waterproof jacket and how good it is.  OK, fine, no problems with that.  This jacket has 13 pockets would you believe?  There's a photo of a guy (not Winter), wearing one.  I showed the pic to Jan and said it was bad for £150 - hahaha.  Jan's reaction was that the jacket looked so tight on the man he would be able to get anything in all those pockets.  Good point  love, good point.

Yesterday I did go out for half an hour.  We were hoping to get out do some more snapping but it was too bloody cold!  I went because I wanted to go to t Waterstones to buy a new dic'n'arry and I wanted to have a look at them first.  I bought one at £8.99.  I also noticed a paperback book called Dead Like You by Peter James.  I'd just that morning read an article about James in the current issue of Writing Magazine.  So I also bought that book too.  And it's not a bad story so far.  It's an easy read too with short chapters while mine can be long, sometimes over 3000 words.  Methinks I might need rethink that a wee bit.  Do you remember me saying I bought three books there not so long ago and was surprised that they were hardbacks?  Well, I've finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage and I'm half way through The English Monster.  Both are good reads and well worth the dosh for them, but I like The English Monster most though.  It moves between the 19th century investigation of a couple of murders of two whole families and the 16/17/18th centuries following the exploits of one man.  And that's all I'll say in case I spoil it for you.  Worth buying though folks.

My own writing is at a stop right now.  My latest effort is currently being proof read so sometime today I will start a new one.  But this time I am going back to my OU days and hand writing it first.  Just to stretch your memories again, do you remember me buying one of those pens that records your writing and uploads it to the 'puter?  Well, I'm going to make an effort to learn how to use the software that came with it.  The basis of the story is a photographer who turns to murder and snaps his victims - that's all your getting for now.

And talking of photos ... 

This one is from a trip to Cambridge.  I got this one on Jesus Green.                
And here's the funny at last ...

Murphy, O’Shea & Mulligan go for a job on a building site, but have been told beforehand that the foreman dislikes the Irish.  Murphy suggests to the other two that they give English sounding names. O’Shea goes in first to his interview, the foreman asks him his name, O'Shea looks out of the window & sees a book shop
"My name is W H Smith"
"get out" shouts the foreman.
Mulligan goes in he gets the same question he looks out of the window and sees a shoe shop, "my name is Freeman Hardy Willis"
"get out" shouts the foreman.
Murphy is last in, an exasperated foreman asks what’s your name? Murphy has a good look out of window and replies "Ken"
"thank goodness for that" says the foreman, "Ken who?"
"Tucky Fried Chicken" says Murphy.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dummies, fare dodgers and students

28 April 2012

Today's Dorktown Telegraph is full of interesting stuff.  To start with there's a small item about MPs being taught first aid.  OK, no problems with that at all - but the headline says, "Life-sized dummies in House of Commons."  So they are going to practice on each other then? 

On this day in 1603, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth 1 was held at Westminster Abbey; in 1789 the Mutiny on the Bounty took place, and today is the 86th birthday of writer Harper Lee.  Don't forget these things - they will help you get a decent night's sleep tonight.

The 'In the courts' column throws up what to be an anomaly.  Three men from Rugby and three from Coventry were in court for fare dodging on the trains.  One guy was given a fine of £105 plus costs and compensation.  But all the others were given fines £300 plus costs and compensation.  On the face of it this looks to be justice not being applied fairly to everyone.  However, it could well be I suppose that the one fined £105 was a first time offender.  But if so then perhaps that should have been mentioned.    

The weather today seems to be dry but I've just been out to our bin to get rid of rubbish and I thought it was rather chilly.  I was thinking about us going out to the market to get some new photos but I have a feeling the Boss won't be up for it.  To be honest though, neither am I really.  Far too cold and with dull flat light makes it difficult to get any decent photos.  The Boss has just popped back in from her visit to a friend across the road and said its brightening up and she wants to go out this afternoon ... ah well ... ... ...

There's an article in the current edition of Writers Forum that says that people who get up before 7am every morning are happier, more productive, generally don't suffer from depression and a list of other things too.  That may be true but I won't be joining them!

Regular readers of this bog will know I use a Sony Alpha 350 DSLR.  It's a good camera and I'm very pleased with it.  Even so I keep up to date on what extra kit Sony brings out that might be good to have to extend its usefulness.  So I read that Sony had brought out a 500mm telephoto lens.  That could well be useful for snapping bird images.  I then saw a photo of AP editor Damien Demoulder having a play with one them on the AP website (  So I asked if it was available for purchase here in the UK yet and what price it is.  The answer was, "Yes - at £9,000!"  Hmmm ... I have a 70-300mm lens that I'm happy with and if I buy at 2X converter for around £250, I'll have an extra 100mm reach.  OK, maybe the quality might not as good as the 500mm but I have friend in Lancashire who has a saying I like ... "There's difference between farting and ripping your arse!"  I shall leave you to decide which is which in regards to that lens.

Actually, when I think about it, I do have a 500mm lens here.  I keep forgetting about it because I've hardly ever used it.  It's a Samyang catadioptic (spelling?) lens, or a mirror lens to non-techy folks like me.  The problem with it is that it  is a fully manual lens which means that I have to set all the controls and do the focus myself.  That is the biggest problem with it, focusing.  My eyes are not as good as they used to be.  I've just spent 10 minutes looking for some of the shots I got with it but can't find them.  Sad that cos they ain't bad really.  And all for a price of £199 too!

So then, a photo is now called for ... 

an artic tern snapped while we were in Ulster a couple of years ago.

And for today's funny ...
50 Things that change after University
1. 6:00 a.m. is when you get up, not when you go to sleep
2. Having sex in a single bed is absurd.
3.You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. Your fantasies of having sex with three women with lesbian tendencies are replaced by fantasies of having sex with anyone at all.
5. You don't volunteer for clinical trials at the local hospital
6. You know all of the people sleeping in your house.
7. You hear your favourite song in the lift at work.
8. Informative TV does not include Richard and Judy.
9. The bank manager doesn't write threatening letters any more.
10. You carry an umbrella.
11. Seven-day benders are no longer realistic.
12. You don't go to Tesco with all your friends.
13. You have standing orders and direct debits.
14. The heating works in your house.
15. Your friends marry and divorce instead of get together and break-up.
16. You pay the government thousands of pounds every year.
17. You go from 130 days of holidays to 20.
18. Jeans and a jumper no longer qualify as 'dressed up'.
19. You're the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
20. You get out of bed in the morning even if it's raining.
21. Washing up is not an annual ritual.
22. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
23. You don't know what time the kebab shop closes anymore.
24. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
25. You feed your dog Pal instead of McDonalds.
26. You don't get ideas for drinks from local tramps.
27. You don't put half-finished curries in the fridge to eat later.
28.You don't spend half your day strategically planning pub crawls.
29. You "hate scrounging students".
30. You no longer have a strange attraction to road signs when drunk.
31. Sleeping in the lounge is a no-no.
32. You can't persuade your flatmates to 'Drink till dawn'.
33. You don't spend Wednesday afternoons in the pub.
34. You always know where you are when you wake up.
35. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 p.m.
36. A fire in the kitchen is not a laugh.
37. You go to the chemist for Panadol and antacids, not Condoms and pregnancy test kits.
38. A ?3 bottle of wine is no longer 'pretty good stuff'.
39. You can remember the name of the person you wake up next to.
40. You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time.
41. You don't have mice living in your kitchen.
42. Grocery lists are longer than pot noodles & cans of lager.
43. You don't go to Liquor Save to buy Vodka.
44. You have hoovered.
45. Breaking the law means doing 40 in a 30 zone.
46. 'I just can't drink the way I used to' replaces 'I'm never going to drink that much again'.
47. Over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
48. You don't experiment with banned substances.
49. You don't get drunk at home, to save money, before going to a pub.
50. You don?t find a "dump" left in the toilet hysterically funny anymore.             

Friday, 27 April 2012

Jury service, lost books, flattery and balls

27April 2012

Now there's a surprise folks.  It seems that in 2004 there was a change in the law regarding who can sit on a jury.  It seems that a MP can now sit on a jury. Today's News carries our Muppet Person's weekly mumblings in which he expresses his disappointment in not being able to do his duty.  His plan was to do his duty on jury service and then go on to Muppet House and do his normal job there.  Well, it seems that on the first day the case he was due to here was postponed so they were released until the Wednesday of that same week.  When he returned he and his fellow jurors were discharge because the second case was going ahead either.  All well and good I suppose but he goes on to say that he also missed out on the chance to sit on a committee to oversee something to do with the budget.  So the poor old dear missed his chance to do his duty twice in one week - oh dear, how sad, what a pit, never mind.

Actually though, I have done jury service and found it very interesting.  Jurors are not allowed to speak of the case they sat on, even 20 years later so I can't say much at all about it.  I think I am safe in saying that I sat on two shop lifting cases, one of which I could give information contrary to what the defendant gave.  So it does pay to have local people on jury service.  It was the start of my interest in seeing the law being applied in the courts.  After just service I began to go and sit in the public gallery of a number of the local courts - including the Old Bailey one time.  I haven't been to any of them in a long time now though.  Perhaps it's time I began to go again.  Warwick Crown Court however is a nightmare for anyone with any sort of mobility problems.  That was why when Jan had her summons come through she was discharged from it because of her spina-bifida.

This morning I had an email form Google telling me I need to update my blogs to something to do with Google accounts.  Appartantly I was suppose to have received an email about this 12 months ago.  Strange that seeing as i didn't write any blogs 12 months ago.  Anyway, I have until the end of next month to do the job, whatever it is.  I'll look at it properly when I log on in a wee while.  I have my email addresses linked to my Blackberry so I get them all through on that.  Any from friends I reply to on there too but things like this one this morning I leave until I am on me 'puter.

My work station is a real mess.  I've been looking for my camera instruction manual for ages and couldn't find it.  Last night I did find it - under all the mess and magazine and papers on the shelf on me 'puter table.  I suppose at some time I shall have to get it all sorted.  I even found a paperback book I had been looking for under there too.  Ah well ... ... ...

The fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square has had a number of different art projects put on there.  Here is one of them that I liked ...   

It was difficult to get a decent shot of it seeing as it was so high though. 

Now there's a thought ... no, sorry, not to do with the picture but one time when I was standing close to there taking photos of the people round about, I became aware of a really nice good looking young girl come to stand close by me, I do mean close by me.  Now, come on, I was 60 when this happened and you've all seen photos of liddle ol me ... so what would such a good looking young girl see in coming to stand so close to me!  Well, as I said, I was 60 at the time and even then I was a bit long in the tooth to get caught out like that!  I had a rucksack on my back; so once I had seen her I turned to the left and there was young man of about the same age.  "OK, right," I thought.  so I took a few steps backwards and stood looking from one to t'ther.  They walked off, minus whatever they thought they would get from the old man taking photo's and too busy or flattered to take any notice of what was going on behind him.  Not that it would have done them any good anyway.  All I had was a bottle of water, my note book and a load of pens in there.  I had the taken the rucksack because I had intentions of buying some large arty-farty books from the National Gallery, and I hadn't done that yet.

So then, today's funny ... well, sort of funny ...

Ronaldo, Luis Figo and David Beckham are standing in heaven before the throne of God. God looks at them and says "And so here you face your Lord and maker. I shall ask each of you a question."  Addressing Ronaldo first he asks "Ronaldo, one of the world's greatest soccer players, what is it that you believe brought you here before me?"
Ronaldo looks God in the eye and says passionately, "I believe soccer to be the food of life. Nothing else brings such unbridled joy to so many people, from the slums of Rio to the bright lights of Madrid. I have devoted my life to bring such joy to people, with little else, who stood on the terraces supporting their team."
God smiles and offers Ronaldo a seat to his left.
He then turns to Luis Figo. "And similarly you, Luis, a hero to so many, what do you think it was brought you to my throne?" Figo stands tall and proud, "I believe courage, honour and passion are the fundamentals to life and I've spent my whole playing career providing a living embodiment of these commitments."
God, moved by the passion of his speech, offers Figo a seat to his right.
He then turns to Beckham: "And you, David. Presumably you want your ball back?".