Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fun times ahead!

Potholes feature again in today’s news as there are so many of them. It will take about £10,000,000,000.00p to repair them all in cash and about eleven years in which to do it in times. By then cash will have devalued to about half of what it is now and so it will cost more like £20,000,000,000.00p. Not to mention the fact that by then no one, except oil sheikh’s, will have cars anyway and those will be pulled by camels.
So perhaps it’s time to start digging-up the tarmac and replacing it with grass – a nice green (oh yes!) carpet for horses to tip-toe along serenely as they pull our future coal-wagons.
As oil and gas not only run-out, but are taxed out of existence, nuclear modes of energy, still at the ‘light the blue touch-paper and run’ stage in our development of them, are really a no go area. So that leaves wood and coal – and, marginally, that romantic fuel of the wattle and daub peasant – Peat. (On basic grounds of sanity Monty-Pythonesque Wind-Farms simply can’t be included) Strangely, for those unfamiliar with this spadeable hillside fuel, peat is wet. It resides within deep bogs around wild places and its collection, without crampons and thin-air oxygen breathing apparatus will be difficult; its steam and smoke producing qualities make bus engines look positively harmless!
Peat is, in effect, the halfway stage – perhaps not quite – between wood and coal and once set alight, as many hillside bog-dwellers may already know, is an absolute bugger to put out! (In pre-historic times the hillside camp-fires of friendly, neighbourhood eating Neanderthals, not conversant with fire-drills, spread like wild fire ( 🙂 ) and whole counties went up!)
At one time peat spading, carting and sales were a major industry in these cold northerly wastes but, as so much of it was shifted, cartographers – folk wealthy enough to have coal fires and live further south than Stonehenge (ancient-British for Sainsbury’s Butchery Dept.) – couldn’t keep up with the map changes. So peat burning was outlawed – the peat companies simply frozen out.
All of these superb fuels, soon to make dynamic come-backs, do have a serious downside, they make literally tons of air-clogging steam, fog, hisses and smog, all of which give those forced to use them, chronic nasal and bronchial problems not to mention the impenetrable opaque effect they have on the atmosphere.
But, as ever, when an ailment strikes a remedy is often found and believe it or not many ailments of the respiratory system were relieved by the inhilation of the fumes from roadside hot melted tar!
So, long-term then, as the oil and gas run out, potholes may be a bloody godsend!
In a more romantic, peasantlike vein: I have been invited to a meet-up of several people that usually chat together at an online message-board.
The meet-up is to take place locally at a pub-eatery which has a page or two on the Internet and, as all I’ve not frequented the place before, I took a look and read of the said pub.
The usual copy about food, drink etc. was fine but then I sat spellbound – for, and I quote: “…the still existing panels of wattle and daub…” was there for all to read.
Mmmm, a ‘Mail-Order’ style letter has just arrived from that nice Mr. Miliband. He wants me to tell him, and I quote, “…how we could do things differently…”
A coupon, at the bottom of the letter, says, “That’s why I’d like to invite you to be part of our policy consultation.” and then I’m referred to a web-site. (Sorry Ed, web-site links are £15 a month! Real world here chuck! It’s a tough old world being an Affiliate.)
Doubtless Mr. Miliband has adsense etc. at the said website to pull a few quid back in – Mail-Order shots cost a bundle lately with Royal Mail postage costs!
But sady, I must decline any ‘Consultancy’ work as, being self-employed, I must unfortunately charge for any work which, unlike yours Ed, must realise a profit element and is, therefore, relatively and you may conject, vehemently expensive, or I simply starve; and what with the deficit in your sector, pay must be upfront.
And, more importantly of course, I simply don’t write for anyone else.
Aw, the poor dear. But it’s oft best ascertaining direction before you hit the trail rather than hoping to find it as you go!

All in fun!

Sometimes, on the local flea-markets, the price of a new old item for sale would be difficult to assess. No bother as a rule, you’d just start nice and high, say a fiver (?) and over a few days come-down to whatever the punters (if there were any!) would pay – say fifty-pence. Job done. It’s a kind of civilised, silent haggling.
So it’s just a matter of time before Statoil and that nice Mr. Osborne agree on a tax-percentage.
The fact is though that now we have that nice Mr. Cameron urging us to invest cash we haven’t got into ‘business-ventures’ (pure gambles) that probably won’t pay-off and, if they do, nice old George is in the wings ready to invent and impose new ‘special’ and specific taxes on the profits of each and every attempt. The beach and the deck-chair call ever louder!
To be sued in a court must come as a bit of a bombshell to anyone, but I’m just glad, that two years ago, a comparison of two cars: One a petrol-driven Lotus; the other a battery-driven Tesla, on a TV show, highlighted for me, as a potential customer of any car, a most important fact.
I’m hardly interested (some are of course) in nought to sixty in three seconds or six hundred brake horsepower as I know not really what they mean.
But I was interested in the fact that the petrol-fuelled car cost about £27,000.00p while the battery car cost £87,000.00p.
Momentous figures for one deemed to earn still even while in the twighlight of compus yet very real money-making life. Figures that even then devalued any car, as a viable asset, from any further ‘business’ ventures. These excellent machines (oh yes!) are fine, particularly around the back-lots of some tinsell-inflated world somewhere but sadly, in the real one, neither has much meaning.
But do Tesla do a van? Or a lorry? Cheap?
Do I hear a distant ‘DOH!’

This isn’t funny.

There’s nothing really earth-shattering going-on today – unless you count the really earth-shattering work done by archaeologists and scientists in York.
They’ve been digging around the York area and have found – now hold tight there – a human brain.
Normally, in Great Britain, it’s pretty damned hard to find any bloody human brain, but this one we’re told, after carbon-dating and all that steam-age-stuff, is over two thousand years old.
It is said, and transplant surgeons around the country stand with ears twitching, that the brain is in remarkable condition after being buried for so long.
And therein I feel is the nub of the (grey) matter as it seems that even in those archaic flint napping and bison-chasing times, anyone with a bloody brain was buried beneath a mass of something.
Be it earthy sand as in this case.
Or a sea of burok…beuroc…red-tape.
Word also reaches the ears that those EU folk in Brussels have come-up with an earth-shattering plan to rid our cities, in forty years, of petrol and deisel driven cars.
The mind, already boggling at the fact that these folk are actually being paid, (far more than I am too!) tends to wrestle with the possibility of any bloody car being around in forty years! It’s not a fuel thing its simply a cost thing. They’re simply too bloody expensive.
Unless of course you happen to ‘work’ for the said EU in Brussels.
And for a real laugh the term ‘Mansion Tax’ takes some beating. But for a test I’ll write, ‘Glass Tax’ here and wait and see if some damp-squib actually proposes it!

Fun ahead!

That nice Mr. Cameron urges the entrepreneurial to act now and set-up a business as times he says have never been better and a £1500.00p carrot is dangled.
Hey, perhaps it is time I borrowed half-a-million quid and set-up a…well, for that kind of money…a chip-shop and sold thirty-quid’s worth of fish and chips every day in order to pay the loan back!

I think not eh?

But time will tell and I’m looking-out for the rush as folk dive-in and take the self-employed plunge…
Come on guys, plunge….come on…
Oh well, back to the drawing-board.

As I write a call comes in for bike servicing. It’s not that hard is it folks…you know, this entrepreneurialism – it’s spelling it that’s the problem…
And reading The Z Files might be a word to the wise!

No fun today!

I watched the ‘anti-cuts’ demonstrations and the boat-race on TV yesterday – with the myriad ‘public-speakers’ and legions of highly-paid reporters etc.
That’s a lot of mouthes to feed so I’m having a rest today – in protest.
Mind you I did take a look at me back-yard yesterday with a view to growing more bloody food!

Fun time march?

There’s supposed to be some protest march about government spending cuts today but government spending has actually risen not fallen???
You know, I think I’ll join them, I’ve not had a job for years!

And, (yawn) is it the bloody boat-race today? Oh, good grief, stay clear of London folks, why not give Blackpool a go – there’s a Tower just like London, and, at one time there was a place, on the Pleasure Beach, called The Fun House – but it lost a lot of money so they had to close it.
Now there’s a solution for you! And there’s another at Kindle!

Fun is brewing!

Of all the news stories today one stands out from the many in the mediocre pot. It is simply that traditional English tea – from a bag or loose leaves – is in decline.
I look back sadly as, for years tea has been a literal staple of my and many other worker’s lives.
It was always there in night shifts lonesome middle when neon-lit machines needed a twelve-hour watchman to load and set and then nit-pickingly control, eke-ing-out something like financial credibility from the whirling, banging and rattling of umpteen tons of rolling steel.
Or when the shift had ended and again at home a ten minute brew before morning’s bed calmed the sleepless night nerves.
Or, as now, when the words must flow, the occasional mug is ever there to keep the content pleasurably and eccentricitally English in demeanor.
On the action-front, to stave-off this national-decline, the drinking habits of a new, albeit fictitious hero, will change from what might be termed ‘the American Way’.
In a few minutes that is, when I’ve made a bloody brew!

More fun!

After a yawn at the budget I smile as the news of a £1,500,000.00p bus-lane in Norfolk is deemed too bloody small and narrow for busses to negotiate.
This is where my tax-cash floods willy-nilly down the drain of stupidity.
But I have to have a daily giggle and herein is just one source!


Oh, this’ll be fun!

I read today that in order to cure the ever-increasing public-sector deficit that nice Mr. Osborne will tax the so far un-taxed ‘private-jet-use’.
Oh lordy lordy how will I manage?
No more swift flights down to asda for me baccer, no more days-out at Blackpool for the kids! (Mind you they are getting on a bit by now!)
Now this is okay of course unless you are a go-getting, daily-jetting cash-pulling employer of possibly hundreds – even thousands of more earthy folk just needing a fairly modest minimum wedge of wage every week.
The go-getters can, if the job becomes a form-filling yawn, pack-up and sit on a beach – hence unemployment.
And so far, in the history of all taxation, the collection and distribution always costs more than what is collected – hence the deficit.
Simples eh?
Me top picture is of a beach.

This is fun!

Like everyone else I pay vast amounts of hard-earned for minimal amounts of electricity and gas. In this otherwise freezing outpost of northern Europe it’s the only way, for a normal Homo Sapiens (on the council estates Hono Dontevictus!) to survive. I.e. I need an internet connection in a warm room.
From time to time I get a multi-page, multi-coloured wad of desk-top-published propaganda, that costs a fortune in design and production and is written in codes that Champollian could never understand, purporting to inform me of how my energy bill is calculated.
Herein lies the clue to the total demise of British Industry and General Commerce for I’m advised today (by a bill-raising costly quango no less) that by now there are ‘an estimated’ 40,000 different price ‘tariffs’ for electricity and gas.
This means that in order to arrive at so many complicated and infinitely variable tariffs the number of mathematicians involved must equate to (and therefore feed, house, clothe and BMW-ise) at least the population of Wales!
Bearing in mind that the whole energy industry (?) has blundered and blathered its way for ever using the concept ‘estimated’ as an opt-out against setting a rigid and businesslike ‘price’, (apparently no one out of the millions involved knows how!) and the mind of this simple Market-Trader is well and truly boggled!
My booklet ‘Pricing for Beginners’, hand-scrawled in pencil on the back of half of an energy company price ‘excuse’ sheet, is on sale at an embarrassment-saving £1,000.00p right now!
(Sorry, no estimates here!)
(A good advert D.M.)