Saturday, 2 July 2005

Male bonding

You just have to go look at this.
I'm sure it would have helped me remember a good day with my father - maybe this explains why I cannot?

Beginning of the beginning of the end

Well, one day nearer the demise of this Make Poverty History hysteria that is flooding our media. We seem to have survived one Edinburgh march without sheep being seperated from goats and The End Of The World As We Know It. Doubtless there will be much news attention to the great unwashed as they set up their wickies and prance about. It seems their intention is to draw people's attention to the poverty. OK - thank you; you can all bugger off now. I've got the picture. I'm sure even the eight of the G will have gathered something of the problem and the message. They have only been debating it for some five years. Incidentally, why just those eight? Other than Japan, not a single Asian, Latin American or African is a member of the team. Where is China? Where is India? Also, if it is the hangover from colonial days that is to blame - how did Ethiopia get into the caccky? I was there some 45 years ago and Addis Ababa was full of do-goody NGOs and UN bodies. It was the TV report from there that set-off the last fund raiser.
I caught only a bit of the G8 concert from London. It did not strike me as being as good as the last concert. Oh yes - one other question. If increases in aid were any solution, what came of the monies generated in that first concert. Were we transferring funds from rich people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries? The racial-opportunistic crowd got into act by wanting to know why - if the cause was African, why were there not more African musicians? I understand they were given a bone in some venue outside London. On their reasoning, if we had something to raise awareness of HIV, only Jimmy Somerville and Holly Johnson would be automatic choices.

Friday, 1 July 2005

Perth

Off today to the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Castle inPerth. The bossy navigator lady got us there with no problems. It's the third year we have been there so I know the way really but she showed us another route.
I like Perth. It is beautifully situated with a river and rolling hills around. We had good weather - a bit cloudy but that kept the worst of the heat away and we got the full benefit of a good breeze. The stands were up to their usual standards and seemed to be doing good business. One of the plusses for me is that almost everyone there seems to have a dog - or even dogs - with them and one gets to see some rather rare breeds. Plenty of chat whenever one stopped. It is not so 'truly rural' as the CLA Game Fair or the Scottish Show. The only immediate difference is that the tractor park and implements yards are much larger at the Jock Show with very many more animals. On the whole, I prefer the Scots Game Fair. The catering is dire with much attention to burgers - even though they are venison, wild boar or Aberdeen Angus they are still burgers. The small dog got quite freaked out as she is no longer used to seeing so many people and other dogs. I sat down on a bench to wait for Norma and the silly dog jumped up on my lap - much to the amusement of the owners of real dogs. Even finding one Picasso in the vast car park was easy as we had a little yellow duck on the aerial which meant we could see our vehicle from a long way away.

Thursday, 30 June 2005

See what I mean

Just have a look at this

Another BigJohn

Nice to find another elderly blogger with something of an attitude that I can recognise. Only problem seems to have been his RAF association though.

Sombre thoughts

My mind seems very solemn today - don't know why but I'm thinking of blokes who died before their time. Even found the piece of poetry that I used to know off heart

No Man's Land (Green Fields of France) - Eric Bogle

Well, how'd you do, Private Willie McBride,
D'you mind if I sit down down here by your graveside?I'll rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
Been walking all day, Lord, and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
I hope you died quick and I hope you died "clean,"
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?
CHORUS:Did they beat the drum slowly, did they sound the fife lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered ye down?
Did the bugles sing "The Last Post" in chorus? Did the pipes play the "Floors O' The Forest"?
And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger, without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?
Well, the sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still No Man's Land;
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.
And I can't help but wonder now, Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "the cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
Our business in the field of fight,
Is not to question,
but to prove our might.
I firmly believe that the old wars were the best. The bosses who stirred things up and decided to send men into battle led their forces from the front. Now, they skulk at home with mealy-mouthed semi-excuses for the decisions they took that have caused grief and suffering for so many. And, let's not forget, many innocent human beings have died as a by-product of the politicians' wrong-headedness. The soldier realises it is part of his contract to die - that does not make it any better when they do but surely the employers' side of the contract is to show due care?

Relationships

My designer (hope that does not sound too pretentious) comments today on a number of coincidences amongst people with whom she has been in cyber-contact. This reminds me of study that claims we all know one another through a ring of - I think - seven people. I know A, A knows B, B knows C and so on until we get to the seventh person. Obviously, any layman testing of this is bound to be inconclusive for we cannot identify every seventh person and then check backwards. I chose some people in the news and found that I could get to most of them in the seven steps. Some of this was a bit tenous where I had to resort to having met the Queen or Mother Therasa. I'd like to get some reference to the scientific explanation of this but Google and I are not conversing today. I did find this which is somewhat along the same lines although it seems to be based upon actual friendships rather than mere contact.
Some concern on the distaff front chez Wood at this mornings weather. We are due to go see Scots Game Fair at Scone Palace in Perth tomorrow but SWMBO thinks we will have to forego if weather is bad. No mention as to her plans for her Saturday away-day if dodgy weather flows over to then. No problems for pointynose and me - I have plenty of wet kit left from tramping hills and she does not care about weather. She is just reluctant to take the first few steps in rain but once out she carries on as usual.
Seems that the saga of people in Wales originating from Russia is solved. The people who run my counter made a mistook when they assigned one of the identities to Russia and it has run on from there. Good to know - I didn't want a load of spooks descending on me and blaming my computer for the cock-up in Iraq.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Wet wednesday


Can't remember where I got this so cannot give a credit.
The spell of sunshine broke today. We had a good start and then it went all wrong. Still, doubtless the farmers will be happy.
I wrote last week about getting a contact report from someone in Russia. I was sufficiently interested to follow it up when it came up again today. The quoted weblog owner writes from Wales and denied knowledge of Russia. I've set The Bond Girls onto it just to see where we get.
Passport is back OK so that is another tick in the Get To Germany planning.
Pointynose is well aware that moles sometimes come to the surface and bimble about. We were doing the walk at the picnic area when she suddenly came alive and started tracking a smell of some sort. She went round into a spiral. At the middle was small gentleman in velvet waistcoat. Sad to say, he didn't get underground quick enough.
Trying to get my lady navigator lost has led me onto some really small and isolated roads - little more than tracks. I got onto a road that I do not recall ever using before and noticed that the roadkill was hedgehogs. Whilst there is a Harrod's Foodhall of game on most roads, I have not seen Mrs Tiggywinkle figure in the stock. Don't know why it was but there were about six in some 300 yards.
Paddy goes for job interview. Recruiter does not want to offer hima job. Sets him a test with paper and pencil to graphically represent 99. Fergal licks pencil. Draws three little trees and colours them in black. Recruiter says what's that then. Paddy says that is the 99 you wanted. Explain says HR bloke. Well says Paddy, that is a dirty tree. Dirty tree and dirty tree and dirty tree makes 99. OK says recruiter, see if you can do it for 100. Paddy makes a small mark at the base of each of the three trees and puts the pencil down. Asked to explain he says that mark is left by a dog. Dirty tree and a turd and dirty tree and a turd and dirty tree and a turd is 100.
I'll get my coat!

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

Surely this cannot last?

Someone e-mailed me this with comment that not all enhancement is bad. This, of course, is little Katie Price a.k.a. Jordon. In pure monetary terms,she has done very well for herself and had little to start with. This money has come from the Great Unwashed of the British population. I have rather more time for her than the other Paxo-ed girls who strut their stuff.
The 'Cannot Last' of the title comes from the weather. It has been just perfect for the last few days. Everyone seems so much better tempered when the sun shines.
Slightly sicko jokes don't take long to surface do they? One I heard today was ref Whiteley of Count Down who died of pneumonia. Does he get a bonus for using all nine letters?

Monday, 27 June 2005

Have to see this!

I thought I was finished for the day but I was just browsing through the RSS feeds I have set up and came across this.
What a wonderful idea! Sort of asset control mechanism. Ain't technology wonderful.

Poverty


We will all have seen the original TV report that started Live Aid. Since then there have been many further reports that show just what being abjectly poor can mean. I suppose my own experience of this was the Star of the Sea orphanage in Korea. The durability of kids there was amazing. The place relied on charity - in my case, rations and basic comforts cadged, scrounged, bartered and sometimes just plain stolen. Maybe it is because of this that the sight of kids starving is just about the worst for me. These kids in the picture above are living on rubbish thrown out by others who have a much better life style just a few miles away. It does not require the sort of suffering seen country-wide in Dafur or the tsunami for poverty to exist - it can live cheek by jowl almost anywhere. What is really needed is not such money as filters down through the corruption filters but just for someone to care and decide that this is not acceptable.

How's my image looking?

I've read a couple of posts about the new Blogger image up-load not working and valuable works of art getting lost in the miasma of the internet. Well, there cannot be a more virtous Web-virgin than me, so I suppose I should be happy that it seems to work for me. I get the impression that the Picasa2 and Hello route had stopped doing the business and that was correct so far as I am concerned - who know why? So, who cares now we have this - and we didn't even have to upgrade to a paid service to get it!

What a world!

The way in which people can treat animals never fails to amaze me and I already have a very biased view of human nature. I see someone has just treated a hamster to first class travel. We recently had the story of the woman who had over one hundred dogs in a ordinary house and there was the rehoming exhibition of some 200 animals from another hell hole. It seems that the latter two cases involved some poor confused souls. OK – but just how many houses are there in this country that do not get visited by someone or other who should have noticed what was going on and ending it?
But then, given the back-up publicity to the debt relief initiatives, we seem to be unable even to guarantee human beings a proper life. Braw Bonny Brown claims that the debt is cancelled and that is good says he. As I understand it, there are a number of actions that the indebted countries must fulfil if they are to qualify. So, who will help them with that – the planning and the implementation will be quite complex.
The financial and management skills available in some African countries have not been shining examples in what we have seen so far. Will the cancellation of past debts allow the ex-borrowers to come back for more? Most African leaders are proud people who would resent overt outside supervision so what will be done to ensure that past corruption does not bite into fresh funds? The question of debt relief has been kicking around for some while and I do not think it is over yet.