Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Of pups and pottering!

Ok, it’s been pointed out to me that this should have been posted before the post about Cole and Cars.

Last Friday my nearest and dearest went off to Hertfordshire for the weekend, apparently there was a county show and The Little Dogs Rescue were going to be there promoting the charity and excellent work they do. I took the day off work so that I could spend time with her before she set off and go with her to catch the coach and see her off. She left at 15:30 and wouldn’t be back until late afternoon/early evening on Sunday. After she left I stayed in town to grab a few provisions for the weekend and then I returned home to the pup. Who promptly got taken out for a stroll. When we returned we settled down to watch mindless rubbish on the telly box for a while until heading out on another stroll. Nothing really exciting happened on Friday night, except for getting a call from the person Tea was meeting who told me that she could be found and wasn’t answering her phones. At this point I started to worry a bit. Trudes had been very apprehensive about going away and doesn’t take well to new environments and crowds, so learning that she was “missing” and incommunicado was more than a little cause for concern. Eventually I managed to get hold of her and she was ok and in the car, Hoorah!

Saturday was shop day; this presented me with a bit of a worry, the pup! I wasn’t totally comfortable with the idea of him being at the shop for the whole day and I couldn’t cancel the shop as Sue was going to the model railway exhibition and without me at the shop she’d lose a day’s trade, and with the current financial climate that wasn’t really an option. So what to do? Fortunately a plan was formulated and we agreed that a friend would come to the house at 08:30 and sit with the pupmiester for a couple of hours then bring him to me at the shop. So off I set leaving my wee man in very capable hands. I got a call just after 12 saying that they would be down soon and he was out for a stroll. When they arrived pup was being his usual shouty self, when his sitters departed I tried him with his calming band, which he immediately removed, clever pup! Eventually he settled down and I hardly knew he was there, apart from the odd grumbling for cuddles, toward the end of the day I was confident enough in my little man that I let him wander around the shop off the lead with me. He was so well behaved, the door to the shop is open all the time and leads straight out to Hythe high street, and he never once tried to make for the door. When I was in the gaming room with the lads he simply curled up under one of the tables and didn’t move until I called to him. Smiffy and his wife arrive and Suze fell in love with pup straight away. Well eventually the time came to head home, pup doesn’t like travelling and our only option was the bus. He was a bit whimpery but on the whole he was very well behaved. When we got home I dumped my bags and went straight back out to reward Rich for his excellent behaviour with a good long stroll. Over the course of the evening we had a few strolls. Sunday was quiet; we went out for a long stroll to the warren. More rubbish on the TV and a few more walks and then a call from Trudes to say that she would be home at 18:45. So pup and I pottered about until I went out to meet her coach. Trudes came home to a very happy pup who was very pleased to have her home, and to be honest, so was I. I missed her a lot, although I was very pleased that she had a good time and hope that she takes the chance to have another break. Maybe next time me and pup will go with her, although there is the whole thing about absence making the heart grow fonder and not appreciating something until it’s gone, by my girl doesn’t have to go away for me to realise how much I love her. I think she knows.

So there it is, my second post of the day is a little less ranty.

Ta ta

There comes a time when every man has to admit, it needs a spoiler!

Today is total rantification day, I’m not a big fan of so called talent shows, I dislike the fact that some people choose to embarrass themselves and stand up in front of the nation’s TV viewers after having convinced themselves that they can sing and dance, when in fact they have what could be called shower talent. Well the latest fiasco has resulted in Cheryl Cole being labelled racist for not choosing one lass out of thousands.

My point is this, walk down any city street and pass by homeless people who sleep in the cold and the rain, think about children being abused, starved and beaten because mummy and daddy can't afford this week’s rent, perhaps even consider the hundreds of British soldiers fighting in a conflict that they should never be involved in, spare a thought for thousands of people being held against their will and being beaten and tortured because of political or religious view.
Now before folk go getting on their soap boxes because a young lass with her whole life ahead of her got reject from a talent(less) show, and ask yourself which is a more worthy cause?
This isn't about racism, sexism, the fact that she's below a certain height, too fat, too skinny, too northern or too southern. It's about viewing figures and lining the pockets of the people involved in producing such programmes. Every time the X-Factor runs there's some sort of controversy, and every year thousands of threads are started to encourage people to stop voting/watching or buying the music. The only result is that every time it happens the viewing figures increase as people tune in to see more of the arguments and tantrums. The solution is simple, if you enjoy the x-factor, watch it and continue to enjoy. If you don't like it, change the flippin' channel. Or watch a DVD, or take the dog for a walk. The girl concerned will benefit more from not getting through than if she'd won the thing. Look at the results of last year. The lad that won is doing what? One single in 12 months, Jedward a UK tour and a TV series. So winning means nothing in the end anyway. With the right management team behind her she could be a rising star without over priced phone in votes that are fixed.

It’s not even down to Miss Cole who goes through, that’s just part of the show, a token sequence to maintain the illusion that the hopefuls are being given a fair chance. The producers decide who goes through and tell the faces of X-Factor who they want for the live final. So all these deluded fools who start hate groups on facebook need to take a good look at the real world and see that the campaigns of hate are just as bad as the racism they clam occurred. Hate does nothing more than create hate, there’s enough of that in the world without more being generated over the rejection of a child from a singing contest. There was never this much commotion over New Faces or Opportunity Knocks, and let’s face it that’s all the x-factor is. Oh I could now go on about the other talent type shows, Take strictly come ice skating for instance, take a handful of out of shape celebrities and throw them in at the deep end learning to do “proper” dancing or skating. Then when they have their first go at it, so called experts tell them how rubbish they are. Well of course they’re rubbish, they’ve never done it before. How about this for a concept, celebrity tree felling. We can get some relatively unknown TV peeps to cut down trees, from a sustainable source, but only give them 2 minutes training with a chainsaw and then when they’ve dismembered themselves we can tell them they’re rubbish. OK so probably not a good example, but you see my point. Alright it’s all in the name of entertainment, but wouldn’t it be better if the experts told them that they’d shown great improvement after three lessons rather than go for personal attack. But then I guess that’s not what these shows are about.

My next rant is very far removed from the above, cars! What the heck do car designers think they’re doing? The government babbles on about how we should be more eco friendly and join Greenpeace and all become ecomentalist. They tell us we should drive green cars that use alternative fuels. Have you seen the option available? They’re ridiculous, they can’t design cars anymore, it’s all done by a computer that takes a ball of plasticine and squishes it about a bit and ends up with something that makes the Jetsons space car look high tech. Why these people think we want to drive around in four wheeled bubbles is beyond me. The thing is they can make a cool looking electric car, they proved that with the Tesla. Seat have a concept called the IBe, it looks a bit like an Astra but it’s electric, Jaguar have designed the C-X75, it’s rather nice. We then move on to Kia’s endeavour in the field of battery powered cars, it’s called the Pop, and from the look of it, it very well might, Bubble #1. Bubble #2 is the Toyota FT-CH, Toyota take bubble #3 with the FT-EV II both TOYotas are along the same lines as the monstrously hideous Prius. A brilliant idea, an engine that runs on petrol/diesel and electric motors that are charged by the engine, the drawback is that it makes for a very quiet car; this means that people are more likely to get splattered because they never heard the car coming. Back the bubbles, Peugeot have a concept they are calling the BB1, oddly that almost spells bubble, it is hideous! No really, it’s the most ridiculous looking thing I’ve ever seen. I thought the Smart for2 was stupid, but the BB1 out stupids even my idea of a three wheeled wheelbarrow for carrying you’re drunken mates home on a Friday night. Other bubbles include the Renault Twizy which looks like a cross between a smart for2 that been shrunk in the wash and an action man tank. Not quite a bubble but still rather stupid looking is the Nissan Townpod, it’s a chunkier version of the Note, but a bit rounder.

Before I go I would just like to mention Lotus, with Rover and Jaguar owned by BMW and Aston Martin owned by Ford, the last bastion of British car design is probably Lotus, although they’re owned by Proton they still count, just! Lotus has, in the past, made some fantastic looking cars, the Esprit, the elan and the over powered go-cart that is the Elise. Looking at their concepts it seems that they’ve stolen the front end from every Lamborghini ever produced. Except for one car, the City Car. It’s not even original, it’s nothing more than an overpriced Toyota Yaris, Google it it’s an insult to the whole of Lotus’ history. Two blokes called Percy were sat in a shed in Norfolk and thought lets rip off the Japanese. Whatever happened to classics? They’d have done better if they put an engine and a spoiler on a grand piano.

Right I’m done,

Hopefully I’ll be in a better mood for my next entry.

Ta ta

Just when you thought it was over, what is with the new trend of putting the letter “I” in front of everything? Not to mention all the different pods that are about now. It’s not as though we’re peas! Or should that be I-peas

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Who ya gonna call? well someone with a bit of common sense would be a start!

Those of you who know me well will be aware that I have more than a passing interest in the paranormal, and I have long been interested in conducting an investigation in an alleged haunted location. I have considered various places to carry out such activity and have considered many factors, the first being access. Ideally the location should have free and unlimited access and fairly isolated from built up areas, so as to rule out distractions from traffic and public activity. So somewhere off the beaten track would be a good start. The location would also have sufficient parking or be well within walking distance of such parking. Once a location has been agreed upon by all interested, we should carry out a daylight visit to risk assess the place and decide on the areas that warrant particular attention. The main issue here would be equipment, I have a DVD camera that has a night vision facility and, if I ask nicely, access to a video tape camera that also has night vision. I don’t see any issues with cameras, almost everyone I know has a digital camera, and considering that most mobile phones feature a fairly good camera we should be able to get plenty together. I also have access to a rather good 35mm still camera, although I would have to ask permission to use it. Considering that such investigations normally take place at night, a good supply of torches and batteries would be a necessity. One piece of kit I would like to have is either an EMF meter or a K2 meter. These are available to buy, but I can’t warrant purchasing one if it isn’t going to get used regularly. Another useful bit of kit to have at hand would be some form of audio recording equipment. Again I have 2 of these, one is powered by a single AAA battery, the other has a built in rechargeable battery. Of course the most vital part of any paranormal investigation is a group of investigators. A few friends have expressed an interest and I’m quietly confident that I could muster the troops for a Friday or Saturday night effort. Where locations are concerned, one place that has intrigued me is a place known as Oxney Bottom. It’s an area of woodland between St Margaret’s and Ringwould on the road from Dover to Deal. It has the remains of a 16th century chapel and a ruined manor house. I grew up hearing many tales of the area, including the legend of the grey lady, seen by motorists; many of them claim that the apparition forced them off the road. There is also a claim that a small boy ran away from home, made his way to the woods where he fell down a well. Apparently there is a capped well in the area; it would have served the manor house and small village. There are rumours that the boys’ remains are still at the bottom of the well, and he has been seen running through the woods. The only issue with an investigation here is that I suspect the wood surrounding the remains of the chapel are private property and that police were investigating the removal and damage of the no trespassing notices. An obvious choice for a location would be Pluckley, but I think the locals take a dim view of people running around the village with camcorders and torches. Of course if any of my readers have any suggestions for a good place to visit leave details here or mail me at the usual address, you can, of course, contact me via facebook.

Well that’s it for this entry, sleep well.