King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Tuesday, March 31

The first day of the rest of my life.

Heartless people, lonely people, people who don't believe in true love or people who aren't romantic or soppy, please skip today's post.

This is "Bertie." Staying true to my keeping relatively anonymous, this isn't her real name. Admittedly, it's her nickname of choice, but Bertie's the best thing to happen to me in a long time.

People have commented on facebook as to how good we look together. I have to agree, like one of those ying and yang images, we seem to just match each other. (I know, pass the bucket)

BLS said I shouldn't post this. Bertie said I could. I feel I have to. Bertie knows about Chris, Chris knows about Bertie, and both know how unhappy I have been for many years. This is why I have a permenant smile on my face, and those that know me have said they haven't seen me this happy for years, and in most cases, at all. Bertie is the reason I renovated my lounge, Bertie is the reason I sleep so well at night, and Bertie is the reason I can say with pride that I'm like a teenager in love for the first time. (I know, pass the bucket)

Last night, in a flood of emotion, I cried. Not just shedding a tear, but a full blown blubbering like a baby. I was on my own, it was dark,I was talking on messenger, but I couldn't hold back anymore. Like the floodgates that wouldn't open, the lock became unstuck, and the sheer relief I could be loved finally made me break down into the gibbering wreck I became for the next 10 minutes. I know I could be wearing my heart on my sleeve, I know I could be hurt, but I think I'd sense if something wasn't genuine. It's so nice to have someone want to be with me, you have no idea the relief, the full blown relief that now flows through my veins. I can see why love is associated with the heart, because mine has never worked so well, and for such a strong reason. (I know, pass the bucket)

Soppy spell over. Normal service will be resumed etc etc tomorrow.

Monday, March 30

Mobile phone tricks

A good weekend was had here, which I might post about tomorrow, if demand is high enough...

In the meantime, "Clive" sent me an email about tips and tricks for mobiles (or cells) and I thought I'd share my thoughts with them.
The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112.

If you find yourself out of the coverage area of
your mobile; network and there is an emergency,
dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing
network to establish the emergency number for you,
and interestingly this number 112 can be dialled
even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.
112 is the international emergency number. A good tip with regards to emergencies is to have a contact in your phonebook "ICE" (in case of emergency) with someone's number that can be phoned. This was used extensively in the 7/7 bombings, but is now taught at all motorcycle training centres as well.
Have you locked your keys in the car?
Does your car have remote keyless entry?
This may come in handy someday.
Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your
keys in the car and the spare keys are at home,
call someone at home on their mobile phone
from your cell phone.

Hold your cell phone about a foot from
your car door and have the person
at your home press the unlock button,
holding it near the mobile phone on their end.

Your car will unlock.

Saves someone from having to
drive your keys to you.

Distance is no object.
You could be hundreds of miles away,
and if you can reach someone who has
the other 'remote' for your car, you can
unlock the doors (or the trunk).
The remote unlocking isn't true, in fact it's twoddle of the highest order. Most cars now use radio frequencies, and all that would cover is audible frequencies.

Hidden Battery Power
Imagine your mobile battery is very low.
To activate, press the keys *3370#
Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the
instrument will show a 50% increase in battery.

This reserve will get charged when
you charge your mobile next time.
This also untrue, but like most myths there is a grain of truth behind it. All Nokias can have the quality of their calls reduced, and this is the keypad shortcut to do it. If the quality is less, then the power used is less, so the battery lasts a bit longer. Typically 5% is quoted.
How to disable a
STOLEN mobile phone?
To check your Mobile phone's serial number,
key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 #

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen.

This number is unique to your handset.

Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

When your phone get stolen, you can phone
your service provider and give them this code.

They will then be able to block your handset
so even if the thief changes the SIM card,
your phone will be totally useless.

You probably won't get your phone back,
but at least you know that whoever stole it
can't use/sell it either.

If everybody does this, there would be
no point in people stealing mobile phones.

ATM - PIN Number Reversal - Good to Know
If you should ever be forced by a robber to
withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can
notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse.

For example, if your pin number is 1234,
then you would put in 4321.

The ATM system recognizes that your PIN number is
backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine.

The machine will still give you the money you requested,
but unknown to the robber, the police will be
immediately dispatched to the location.
As for the stolen mobile phone trick, typing *#06# brings up your unique identifier of your phone, called the IMEI number. This number is barrable by all mobile phone operators. And for the pin number thingy, I think you'll find more truth by sending me your card and your pin number, so we can test it ;-)

Friday, March 27


Only a short post to say I hate painting. The bulk of it is easy enough, but I'm like a flid in a china shop when it comes to clumsiness of fine detail. After being let down by a friend who offered to come up yesterday morning, I had to dash to the DIY haven to spend a small fortune on hard wearing dulux battleship grey with a hint of bogey (Dusted Moss in the blurb). I have now finished the painting, and whilst far from perfect, is one hundred times better then the old dirty orange/dirty green/dirty white combo I had there before. I have also painted the doors and the skirting boards, and have taken delivery of my new lounge carpet, underlay and grippers which are now stuck firmly to the floor. I have sat down to let the paint dry on the skirting board, before starting to lay the underlay. This should be fun, because I can't completely empty the room. Wish me luck, and watch out next week for pictures of the new lounge.

Thursday, March 26

Crime and Punishment

The prisons are overcrowded. The courts are unable to cope. The Police are under funded. All, in my opinion, because we need to come up with new (or old) punishments. In this country, if we are convicted of a crime, we are punished in one of 4 ways.
  1. Financially, be it a fine or compensation.
  2. Custodially, either in prison or via a big brother type watch system, mainly involving tagging.
  3. Paying the debt back to society, normally in the form of community service.
  4. A warning, saying not to do it again or next time you'll really be in trouble.
Therein lies the problem. People have no respect for the rozzers, no respect for other people around them, no respect for their own surroundings. Things like ASBOs are pointless, and statistics show this. Crimes against the community should be punished with medieval type stocks in town centres, where people can come and jeer at the perpetrator and maybe even get rid of some of their rotten foodstuffs. Only the most hardened of criminals would not respect this most degrading of punishments, and society would within a few generations be a lot better then it is today. And what about the death penalty? I personally think death is a way out for some people, and not a real punishment. If a person commits a most heinous rampage killing a dozen kids outside a school, then they should should face ten years of hard labour that would infringe on the human rights lobby, something they obviously are prepared to disregard themselves.
And my point for this rant? We all saw the terrible fires that lead to deaths as fire swept through Australia in recent months. More locally, Wales has been seeing the dry weather leading again to gorse fires. The Police issue warnings, say that anyone found lighting them will be convicted of arson. The local school kids are subjected to 'talks' from the local bobby about the dangers of these fires, whereas in reality those in the know know exactly what causes them. Farmers.
Common land is fairly common (bdum tish) around here, and farmers use it to their best ability. The free feed for the sheep, cattle and horses means they can save themselves a fortune and claim for the feed using the EEC's subsidiary program. The problem is, as the land is over grazed, all that survives is the nasty hard reed like grasses that the livestock won't eat. The easiest way to restore this? Burn it, burn it all.

This was a typical example of one on Tuesday evening. As you can see, it caused some disruption as the fire encroached on the M4, and the Police had set a speed limit of 50 in case the wind changed direction. They also had untold numbers of fire engines in the area, the trees were fubar (look it up Dad) and the farmer was stood there, pointing at the direction the 'mythical kids' had been seen leaving earlier on that day. The Police are going to take the farmer's word for it, because he's lost all his grazing land and he's a respectable adult. The kids, however, become an unsolved crime statistic because they were never there in the first place. The farmers need to have their bits burnt off in the gorse fires. Or at least placed in the stocks, where locals could flagellate their bums with burning gorse branches.

Wednesday, March 25

Compare the market/meerkat

Just a quickie...

Comedy Duos

Now, I could witter on about some of the great comedy duos. I could mention Morecombe and Wise, Mssrs Corbett and Barker, Walliams and Lucas (!). Or I could go right back to the start and possibly the most famous comedy duo of all time. A boy born in the New York area teams up with a t' northern lad from't Lake District, and they produce a film series that is as fresh and entertaining today as it was some 80 years ago. Yes, of course, I am referring to Laurel and Hardy. This is possibly one of my all time favourite scenes, along with the one trying to get the kids off to sleep, which unfortunately I can't find.

Now, like I said, no duo have had comedic appeal like that since. One double act that do come close in my humble opinion are the characters played by Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce in "Frasier." The sophisticated humour is unusual for American sitcoms, and the pairing of these two allows a truly monumental bouncing of one gag off the other consistantly throughout all the series that are sadly no longer made. I watch this every morning at 8:30, and not once have I failed to not laugh at each and every episode. Last week, however, they excelled themselves with an episode I'd never seen before, and I have to share it with you. First, for those that haven't seen it (and for God's sake, why ever not?) a bit of background. Niles, Frasier's younger brother, is a rather feeble and weak snob. Following a split from his wife, who was the most un-alluring woman ever, he now prefers to spend time either with his older sibling or swooning after their father's physiotherapist. Everything has to be perfect for him, and he always has to do something to increase his way on the social scale.
And so, my video of the week is Niles, ready for a Valentine's evening with the president of the local wine club.

Tuesday, March 24

On Spring Cleaning

Why is it we insist on spring cleaning? I am spring cleaning, but as my facebook status shows it, "on a biblical scale." I have ordered new carpet for the lounge, a nice hard wearing industrial carpet, that vaguely resembles astroturf. This should mean that the everyday passing of a 14 year old with grubby socks or shoes doesn't make it get rendered within months the the dark grey floor covering I currently have. I am also looking to do some painting, and removal of clutter including my display cabinet, which whilst nice, is just too big for my lounge. I am also picking up a new settee hopefully later today, to replace the aged 2 seater that I currently have. The lounge will have never looked so fresh, so see you all soon!

Monday, March 23

Rik, the arms dealer.

Saturday jobs were common place when I was of the age that I needed a job. My first job had been via my best mate, and I ended up working in Burton's second store in Croydon for a piffling £1.46 an hour, or £11 a day. The silly thing was the shop was less then 2 minutes walk from their main store, which at the time was the largest Burtons in the UK. This meant that after 2 months, the inevitable happened. My first ever job, and I was made redundant.
Almost immediately however, I happened to be walking past a small independent sport/hobby shop in the main shopping centre in Croydon, and I noticed a sign in the window. "Wanted, Saturday Sales Staff. Enquire within." I popped in, and the owner asked the usual 20 questions. Fortunately, one of the sport related questions was could I identify the colour dots of a squash ball, and seeing as squash was one of my sports, he was impressed when not only did I specify the colour, I also correctly specified the terms and types of squash played. I got the job.
The shop itself had three main product ranges. Models (of the Airfix variety, not the Abi Titmuss variety), sporting products, and guns. The guns were my main interest, and on my first Saturday I was taken under the wing of my new boss, who took great pleasure in teaching me all about the variety of firearms available, ranging from the sublime (the Webley Hurricane) to the ridiculous (the Gat Gun) and even some of the firearms that fired real bonefide kill people bullets. As time went on, I started to work with these guns on a regular basis. I learnt about the physiology of an airgun, about the air chambers, about the pressures, about the common faults. I also got my firearm certificate (aka gun license) meaning that I could now legally sell these firearms. The boss moved me to their other shop, one of the largest public armouries in the UK, where they sold nothing but guns. I started there a lot more then a Saturday boy, and even though I was still very young, I already had the respect of my full time colleagues because I knew and understood not only how things worked, but which weapon was best for which task.
After 6 months or so, I got promoted again. I was introduced to the boss's son, who up until that point had always been in the sidelines. He was the main maintenance person, and people would bring back their guns to have them repaired. The workload was extensive, and the idea was that with my understanding of things, Rob would teach me how to repair the air weapons. This was, at this point, probably one of the most exciting jobs I would ever have. I was taught how to repair and upgrade air guns of all levels. We had to build the new workshop accommodating the shooting alleys, and two separate soundproof and impact proof facilities, one for air guns, the other for conventional weapons. This took about 2 months, and in that time I was everything from a labourer to a roofer to a chippie. The big boss had really taken a shine to me, and I was invited up to his family home a couple of times for dinner after work. I had meanwhile started college and was working all the hours I wasn't at college. My pay wasn't reflecting my level of hard work, but in hindsight I didn't care. I was loving it. My day would start normally about 9, with a bacon buttie and a cup of tea, paid for by Rob. I'd beaver away diligently until lunchtime, not even noticing the time. Normally Rob would stick his head around the door with the word "pub" and take me for a quick Coke. No, really, Coke was the order of the day because you wouldn't want to work with guns after a pint of anything stronger. We'd return and take 20 minutes to half an hour, just practicing our marksmenship in the newly built alleys, before returning to our solitary workshops for the afternoon, and then I'd either catch the bus home or sometimes he'd even give me a lft. One weekend I even managed to shoot myself in my left forearm (don't ask) and a gentle whimper followed by a cry of "Rob, would you mind calling an ambulance" calmly, and Rob knew something was up. The thing about airgun injuries is there isn't a lot of blood. The heat from the compression of the chamber causes the pellet to cauterize the flesh and blood vessels on entry. It didn't hurt much either, just stinging slightly. I did however take heed to my training, and knew shock would set in. It did, and Rob was by my side as I started to shiver.
It was a good time. Home life was positively dreadful at this point, and so when I broke my hand, I popped into see the big boss. I told him how bad life was, and that I'd probably be moving away to my father's. He assured me he understood, but if I did stay in the area I'd always have a job there. I returned to see him about 4 months later, and was greeted by Rob, the son. Ken had been involved in a shooting accident one weekend, and had unfortunately passed away. Rob was now sole proprietor. The repairs had been stopped. 2 years later, and I returned, to find the shop now a travel agents. The armoury a bit further out of town still exists, but was sold to a new owner. The workshop I'm guessing is still there, but probably converted to flats.
I miss the job.

Friday, March 20

Busy busy busy

I have John's review at his school in an hour, and I'm still sat at my desk. So, Being quick and lazy, a nice joke for you.

A mother took her five year old son with her to the bank on a busy lunchtime. They got behind a very fat woman wearing a business suit complete with pager. After waiting patiently for a few minutes, the little boy said loudly, "Wow, she's fat!" The mother bent down and whispered in the little boy's ear to be quiet. A couple more minutes passed by and the little boy stretched his arms out as far as they would go and announced, "I bet her bum is this wide!"

The fat woman turned around and glared at the little boy. The mother gave him a good telling off, and told him to be quiet. After a brief lull, the large woman reached the front of the queue. Just then her pager begins to emit a "beep, beep, beep."

The little boy yelled out, "Run for your f***ing life, she's reversing!"

Thursday, March 19

Swings and roundabouts.

Now I'm not a deeply religious person. I'm not going to go into a spiel about how if you are good you are rewarded, and if you are bad you are punished. I'm also not going to talk about ying and yang. But I am starting to think that the big man upstairs is looking down on me at the mo. Last week, as you saw, was a particularly lousy week. Food poisoning on Monday, the car broke on Tuesday, and on Wednesday I was told that I was no longer legal in my own house and classed as a squatter. Thursday, not surprisingly, I stayed in bed.
Yesterday, however, was one of those days that you'll never forget. I had to be at hospital for 9 o'clock, and unfortunately the hospital is directly the other side of Swansea. Now those that have been to Swansea will testify to it's bad road layout. It has 3 roads, all converging in the city centre. All of these roads are exceptionally congested, and in a car it would take me between 90 minutes and two hours to get to the hospital. So I took the bike.
The bike, as you can see, has now been re-christened. "The Nutter Scooter." People imagine a scooter being nothing more then a little put-put 50 cc hairdryer, whilst this thing is a behemoth. I stuck on the sat nav, put on the mp3 player, fired up the bike, and had a delightful ride. The traffic must have started 10 miles out, car upon car sat waiting by green lights as the world just stopped. I meanwhile, carefully went down the outside at a sedate 30 mph, and yet it still only took me 35 minutes to do the trip door to door. The sun came out, the bike was performing most excellently, and for the first time in month, I felt a smile inside.
The hospital trip was very boring. I had another MRI scan, and yes, they did find a brain. No, it wasn't doing much. Yes, I know we're not surprised. I popped into a job after, which was a nice job involving verifying a laptop that had a printer dropped on it was borked. I then popped up to the delightful Debbie's for a cuppa before heading over to John's school for his parent's evening. Again, I was greeted with smiles, and compliments on John's temperament. He's working very hard, and he looks like most of his subjects are on track for GCSEs but it's early days. The teachers were all upbeat about his education, and again, I could feel my self smiling from inside. I got home, had my first drink of 3 days, and sat down. Then, without going into detail, someone special to me got in touch, and I'm seeing them very soon. Again, I smiled inside.
Last night, I was exhausted. I retired early, and found I couldn't sleep. The damn smiling inside me was now being a pain. I was too happy to sleep, and anxiety set in. Still, once I fell asleep, I slept well. This morning I have to go out on the bike again (it's such a chore) and the sun is still shining.
I feel like the kid waiting for Christmas Day, all over again.

Wednesday, March 18

Another advert, I'm afraid.

I have to say, I love this ad. Following on from the success of the waterslide advert by Barclaycard, are we looking at the new Honda when it comes to awards for adverts? The latest in their series is a guy called Bill Shannon, who works under the pseudonym of the "crutchmaster." Whilst is is very fluid, and almost hypnotic and mesmerising, you cannot fail to sit and watch with a smile on your face as he hops skips and jumps across a city. More remarkable is that it isn't CGI, this guy can really do all of this. Helped by the most excellent backing track, all in all I personally think it's better then the waterslide, and one of the best adverts I've seen in a long time. Now, if only the "no win, no fee" solicitors could take a page out of the producer's book...

Tuesday, March 17

Questions, questions, questions...

First of all, the answers to last week's questions.

1. In which film did Elvis Presley play the role of a boxer? Kid Galahad

2. Which outlaw was killed by Bob Ford? Jesse James

3. Who was Tsar Nicholas II's youngest daughter? Anastasia

4. In the Bible, whose parents were Zacharias and Elizabeth? John the Baptist

5. Tariffs and quotas are some of the weapons used in which kind of war? Trade

6. If you had tinnitus, from what would you be suffering? Ringing or buzzing in the ears

7. Who was the creator of fictional detective Mike Hammer? Mickey Spillane

8. In which sport has Stephen Roche achieved success? (being the world's most boring commentator?) Cycling.

9. Which country is the home of feta cheese? Greece

10. Larry Hagman is the son of which actress? Mary Martin

11. What was once called a brimstone? Sulphur

12. Whose autobiography was entitled "Is that it?" ? Bob Geldof

13. What does a protractor measure? Angles

14. Who said the famous phrase 'An army marches on its stomach'? Napoleon

15. Fats Waller was famous as a player of which instrument? Piano

16. What name is given to the person authorized to vote on behalf of someone else? Proxy

17. Which well-loved cartoon animal made his debut in 1937? Bugs Bunny

18. Iceland and the United Kingdom broke off diplomatic relations in 1976. What particular problem caused the split? Cod-fishing rights

19. Who defined democracy as 'government of the people, by the people, for the people'? Abraham Lincoln

20. In which war were the battles of Bunker Hill and Brandywine Creek fought? War of American Independence

And I'm pleased to announce that new reader (or existing lurker) Katy is the winner with 15. Give yourself a pat on the back.

And now, some really hard questions. Answers, as usual, in the comments box thingy. For those that don't know there is a comments thingy (yes, they do exist) click on the sheep reference under this post (probably where it says A furious flock etc etc)
  1. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
  2. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
  3. Why do steam irons have a permanent press setting?
  4. Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
  5. Does the Postmaster General need a stamp of approval?
  6. Why is the word abbreviation so long?
  7. Is it possible to be totally partial?
  8. What's another word for thesaurus?
  9. If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?
  10. If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off?
  11. When companies ship styrofoam, what do they pack it in?
  12. If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?
  13. If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
  14. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
  15. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
  16. When it rains, why don't sheep shrink?
  17. Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  18. Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?
  19. What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
  20. Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?
  21. Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?

Monday, March 16

Did you know? (Lazy blogging)

It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.

One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lb).

The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.

Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.

There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.

Women blink twice as often as men.

The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.

Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

Dad's still busy checking his thumb.

Sunday, March 15

Science news.

Scientists for Health Mexico recently suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption, considering the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.

The inference had been that drinking beer makes men turn into women. To test the finding, 100 men were fed 6 pints of beer each. It was then observed that 100% of the men:

Gained weight
Talked excessively without making sense
Became overly emotional
Couldn't drive
Failed to think rationally
Argued over nothing.

All Scientists unanimously agreed that the Beer successfully converted men into women.

Friday, March 13

Gratuitous swearing day.

In this modern world we'd have a large list of deitys that we'd worship much like the ancient Greeks and Romans. This got me thinking recently that what would they be the gods of, and here are my conclusions.

The father figure of all the Gods, much like Zeus, he looks over everything. This would be why when something breaks, it is either 'fucked' or it's 'fucked up.' He has control over everything he looks down upon and this is why, when we care about something, we 'give a fuck.' Most of all, when something has gone well however, we 'thank fuck' for it.

The modern God of love, who deals with everything to do with matters of the heart. This is probably my father's favourite God, because he does everything according to his 'cock.' The God of love can also step in at inopportune moments, not always associated with love, but normally with such affection. These are the moments that we all consider 'cocked up."

The God of war. Brimming with testosterone, he (it had to be a he, didn't it?) he shows great aggression towards his adversaries. This will be why when you get frustrated, you pray to him to give you inner strength, normally with the cry "Oh bollocks." Of course, being a man, he also sometimes says the wrong thing, which is why sometimes people say that someone is "talking bollocks."

The God of the antipodes/lager. Right hand man to Bollocks, this meagre God is always there to finish off whatever Bollocks didn't want to do. It is for this reason that we pray to him for the same things as Bollocks, but without the aggression. Like when you stub your toe, and say "Oh bugger," because the aggression would just make it worse. Bugger can also be mischievous and cause things to break, which is why you'll sometimes 'bugger' something.

The God of relief. The day of worship is normally a Saturday, where people all over the world take up praying at the altar in the toilets. This is normally assisted by large amounts of alcohol, and Piss returns the worship by allowing free flow of relief. Sometimes you can need relief, and exclamation requiring the knowledge of the negative effect of this relief is along the lines of being "Pissed off." Of course, the 'merkins don't understand things negative, so they consider themselves to be "pissed," which is of course when you are at the point of extreme relief and very happy.

The God of all things backward/Men. Sometimes this is mistakenly pronounced like a donkey, but this is believed to be because the God is making fun of those that can't pronounce it correctly. Arse is famous for being in the way of things, and this is known to cause great pain to him (again, it had to be male, didn't it?). Sometimes he lets his lazy influence cause great lethargy over his subjects, meaning they sit around on their 'fat arses.' Also, they can be too lazy to think about what they are saying, meaning they are 'talking out of their arse.' To remove this feeling of lethargy, the best remedy is to 'kick them up the arse.'

Thursday, March 12

On servicing laptops.

Back in the mists of time, if someone said to me "my laptop's broken, is there anything you can do with it?" the concise reply would normally have contained the word "off." The fact is laptops are notoriously difficult to open, and more specifically, notoriously difficult to put back together after. Normally, you'd spend an hour, undoing screws, prising off bits of plastic (normally breaking them in the same process), finding more hidden screws, losing the screws when you turn over the laptop, and then you find that it's the main board inside that's broken and it's not worth repairing. Then, and only then, the customer comes back with "Well, if you could just put it back together, I can just buy a new cd drive/keyboard/mouse and use it that way." That is then the point where the now disassembled laptop is the size of your average football field in front of you, and you have to fit it all back into a case the size of a small jiffy bag.
That was until recently. I happened upon an extremely useful, but not for the faint hearted, website that has full service manuals for most devices, but I use it most regularly for laptops. I thought I'd share it with you, because then some of my customers might read it, and think "F**k it, I'll just buy another." And hopefully this time, they'll learn that maybe the pc that's small and discrete is the better option in the first place.

Wednesday, March 11

"The worst week of my life."

Not really, but it's going seriously downhill. What with food poisoning on Monday, and now the car has died (the alternator's no longer alternating), I got to thinking how good this series was. The tale of mirth and woe of a guy trying to marry his fiancée, and everything that can go wrong, does. In one of those great moments that's up there with the Germans in Fawlty Towers, or Fletcher in Porridge mentioning his bad feet, the highlight of this series was when he had to break into his best man's flat to retrieve his suit for the wedding. To see this particular scene, you'll have to fast forward to 3:44 to see it, because I couldn't find it as a single clip.


Tuesday, March 10

Q & A

Thanks to the skiving done by yours truly yesterday, I now have loads to do today. For this reason, I'm going to give you a nice easy quiz for you all to answer. As usual, don't google, do comment away!

1. In which film did Elvis Presley play the role of a boxer?

2. Which outlaw was killed by Bob Ford?

3. Who was Tsar Nicholas II's youngest daughter?

4. In the Bible, whose parents were Zacharias and Elizabeth?

5. Tariffs and quotas are some of the weapons used in which kind of war ?

6. If you had tinnitus, from what would you be suffering?

7. Who was the creator of fictional detective Mike Hammer?

8. In which sport has Stephen Roche achieved success?

9. Which country is the home of feta cheese?

10. Larry Hagman is the son of which actress?

11. What was once called a brimstone?

12. Whose autobiography was entitled "Is that it?" ?

13. What does a protractor measure?

14. Who said the famous phrase 'An army marches on its stomach'?

15. Fats Waller was famous as a player of which instrument?

16. What name is given to the person authorized to vote on behalf of someone else?

17. Which well-loved cartoon animal made his debut in 1937?

18. Iceland and the United Kingdom broke off diplomatic relations in 1976. What particular problem caused the split?

19. Who defined democracy as 'government of the people, by the people, for the people'?

20. In which war were the battles of Bunker Hill and Brandywine Creek fought?

Monday, March 9

Does anyone have a hedge.

In hindsight, the chicken pasties in the bargain bucket at the local supermarket weren't such a good idea. I am writing this from my phone whilst lying in bed after spending most of the night ejecting my hoop, and even standing up causes more scenes not dissimilar to the Exorcist. Please talk amongst yourselves.

Friday, March 6

Far flung facebook

More on facebook I'm afraid. I know my father doesn't use it much, and neither does Ricardipus. Pseudonymph, however, lives on it. She must update her status at least, oooooh, 4200 times a day. She now has her son on there, politely requesting if he can be my friend (of course) and to say hi to John for him.
"John, Josh says hi."
I find more and more people coming out of the woodwork, from all angles. I had one girl from school email me, "You're on all my friends lists, but I don't know your name. Should I know you?"
I replied in the positive, telling her my name at school. I also added "You probably wouldn't remember me, but I was the fat nerdy kid that was always in the art block or computer room." She then said "of course I remember you!" and proceeded to tell me what's been going on in her life. I remember her for one thing however, she had a birthday on leapday. I don't remember sharing any lessons with her, I didn't fancy her (one of the few), and that was about it.
I also had someone I last saw nearly 5 years ago track me down. Now I have to admit I did fancy her, but who wouldn't fancy a tall busty blonde who agreed to let you take her to lunch? I have now more worryingly however got customers also appearing on there, and asking me questions about their pc. This is good for business, but not good when I'm trying to chat up the tall busty blonde. And then the old school colleague chimes up with "do you remember that time you hacked all the teacher's details?"
It's only a matter of time until I get the chat windows mixed up, and tell a customer I've always fancied them, tell the old school colleague I have the perfect program for fixing viruses, and worst of all, tell the tall busty blonde that I was a nerd at school, and still am.
It'll all end in tears.

Thursday, March 5

On interesting spam.

I get an email in my inbox.
"Dear Mr. Rather Mundane World of the Rikaitch,
We read with great interest your web log, and we were wondering if you'd like to do us a review. We at Peloop think our product will benefit from a review on your website. For you to do this, we're either prepared to pay you a sum of money, or send you a free sample which you do not have to return."
So there you have it. I can get me a free penis ring, in the shape of a cable tie. And no, I haven't accepted their kind offer. For this to happen, I need to have real sex with a female lady, with mummy bumps and everything, something that is sadly lacking. My father would say to use my hand, but then the cable tie isn't going to benefit anyone.

Wednesday, March 4

More on Silly Ads

You can't fail to have seen the infamous Barclaycard ad over here. Admittedly, if you're over there then you can, but it's a bloke on a waterslide, leaving work (following a wedgie) sliding through the library, supermarket, and winding up poor punters at the bus stop before finally arriving home. I got an email yesterday, asking if I could highlight Barclaycard's competition to spoof the advert, with a £10,000 prize for the winner. So far, there aren't many entries, but there is one that tickled me.


Tuesday, March 3

On talking long distance b*ll*cks

Whilst talking to my sister about yesterday's post, she highlighted a great Americanism.
"How far," asks I, "is it from you to Atlanta?"
"8 hours," she replies.
You ask any 'Merkin how far something is, and they'll tell you how long it takes to get there. There are flaws however with this system. First and foremost, not every road will be at 65mph. This does not then mean that it takes 2 hours to do 130 miles. And what about breaks. How do you know you'll not stop for an hour and have something to eat or a 5 minute break where you needed a pee. And most importantly, you don't know how long it'll take until you do it for the first time. By the same level of thinking I'm about 4 hours away from London. Or 90 minutes if I put my foot down in a 2.7 litre Rover which blows up outside Cardiff, or 13 hours because my fuel pump relay blew up on the Mercedes meaning I have to get a tow home and a replacement car.
BLS said "it'll be cheaper and quicker just to fly" but the point is I don't want to. I want to see a bit more of the U.S. then the clouds above it. Us Brits know how far apart everything is. Sat Nav tells us that we'll reach our ultimate destination in 216 miles (Bryn) which might take us 3 hours at 70 mph, but more likely about 5 hours because it's not motorway all the way. I'm starting to realise that car rental companies don't like cross border thingies, so it looks like I might be catching a train from Toronto to Windsor, which isn't too bad.
Which apparently takes 2 hours. I have no idea how far it is however.

Monday, March 2

On planning a plan for a plan to plan

I'm testing the water here, but I'd like some input from you guys. My father will tell me I'm mad. BLS already has done. Here's my (loosely formulated) plan.

Fly to Toronto or Chicago. Ideally Toronto, so I can meet the Ricardipii clan. Then I'd like to hire a car, and drive over to Chicago, maybe to meet anyone around there, before heading south to a friend in Indiana. Then another trip south, hopefully this time to spend a pleasant evening in the company of Debi, before heading down to the deep south (pick-up at the ready!) to Joy. Finally a night or two with my sister's in-laws in Atlanta, where BLS and Cuz'n Doug will meet us. We'll dump the rental there, and get a lift back to St Pete where we'll spend a nice few days sunning ourselves.
Then we'll do something completely hatstand. Getting a lift to Orlando, we'll catch the train (!) to New York with our own little cabin. Overnighting in New York, we'll rise stupid o'clock to catch a train back to Toronto. This stage of the journey has been priced. In the UK, as most of us know, the trains aren't cheap. The service is crap. The timetable is pointless. This means that I thought it would be nice and reasonable to take this long journey.
$774.50 is not reasonable. $774.50 is f**king expensive. But, like I said, this is where you might have ideas. I'd like to do it around spring time, so March/April/May, but obviously avoiding Easter. Please, comment away.