Saturday, 15 October 2005

Google magnet

Autumn seems to have flashed here and gone. The trees went through the yellow to red phase very quickly – I suppose it was a dry summer though it did not seem like that at the time.
I’ve been digging down into my hit counter again. Seems that I got found by Google quite a few times. Mostly for what would seem extreme reasons – “naked girls Scotland” is one that comes to mind. Looks as if one could seed the actual blog with strange choices so as to attract those who look for exotic phrases. I’m going to try with a few so real readers can stop here – what follows is for Google and Co.
Sex. Dogs. Goats. Big fish. Ducks. Partners of disparate sizes. Quadriplegic. Self abuse. Verbal abuse. Big bed. Wet bed. Anally retentive. Marbles. Marbella. List of losers. List of winners. List to starboard.
That is enough for now.

Friday, 14 October 2005


Sorry about yesterday's deprivation of wit, scandal and provocative chatter.
Truth is that I went through the whole day in some sort of mixture of trance and complete lack of any sense of motivation or responsibility. It was quite nice really - sort of spaced out. Cannot think what inspired it so it looks as if I'll not be able to get back to it.
I've also been having some really weird dreams. Not the night horrors but ones where two or more situations that I have actually lived through get all mixed up together and I cannot work out what to do - in my dream. Cannot be cheese late at night as I have dumped cheese as part of the idea of eating a little bit more healthily. After the fluttering-heart thing they increased my statin drugs so it might be something to do with that.
Is it only me or does anyone else think we are going over the top a bit with this earthquake thing? Surely we know that an earthquake makes buildings fall down. It is not too much to deduce that if a building falls on top of people, the people suffer. After a while, suffering turns into death. Still we have the TV anchor man running the news from the scene of the disaster and telling us that buildings have fallen and that death have resulted. The exact figures cannot be established but it is difficult to comprehend the sort of disaster they are tring to get across to us. Repitition does not make it easier.

Thursday, 13 October 2005


Well, that's got to be a first. Gone through the whole day without finding anything to blog about.

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Not in our back yard!!

This from a Bahraini blogger. Hope it is something I wrote that upset them!

Saudi blocks Blogger and Flickr
Tue, 04 Oct 2005 21:18:56

In a country that is renowned for censorship, I fail to understand why people make it easier for authorities to switch them off. That's truly like putting all your eggs in one single basket.

No wonder really then that the Internet Services Unit, the only internet supplier in Saudi has switched off both popular services, and I really really doubt that they will switch them on again no matter how much entreaties and "pressure" is applied. Saudi is a bit more remote than Mars, so authorities don't give a tinker's cuss what the "world at large" think of them or their practices.

But, in the spirit of applying judicious international pressure in order for someone up there sits up and takes notice, here goes nothing:
Reporters Without Borders today called on the Internet Services Unit (ISU), the agency that manages Web filtering in Saudi Arabia, to explain why the weblog creation and hosting service has been made inaccessible since 3 October, preventing Saudi bloggers from updating their blogs.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that censors the Internet the most, but blog services had not until now been affected by the ISU’s filters,” the press freedom organisation said. “The complete blocking of, which is one of the biggest blog tools on the market, is extremely worrying. Only China had so far used such an extreme measure to censor the Internet.”

Reached by Reporters Without Borders, the ISU recognised that it had blocked access to but did not give any reason.
Reporters sans frontiers
hat tip: Global Voices

Try this?

Your IQ Is 115

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Above Average

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Tuesday, 11 October 2005

My dinner party

I think I have discovered a branch of the Government that might be described as a useful asset. Certainly, their PR department works well as it may be a little too soon to assess their actual performance. This probable paragon is The DFID – department for international development. They have been helping out with aid for the South Asian earthquake. All the interviews I have heard figured the Minister Hilary Benn, son of Tony Benn. He obviously reads his brief and gives answers without the usual ministerial guff, waffle and self-glorification. Well done him. I enjoy listening to his father Tony who is able to dredge up something interesting from the past to make or amplify his points but I am not sure about what history will write about Dad’s contribution to the socialist movement. His writings are well worth the time spent on them.
With the time spent driving about with my dog whilst Norma was doing her quilt show thing, I had extra time to think. I usually spend this sort of time planning things I know will never happen or what I would do if I were to win big on the Lottery – something else that will not occur! Once I got past being the only man to survive a shipwreck with a boatload of female film stars, commissioning solicitors to buy the ideal house regardless of whether it were up for sale (send them there with impossibly unreasonable sums of cash in a big suitcase) and having a car, a yacht and a ‘plane individually fitted-out, I got down to my ideal dinner party in my new house. Usual rules about being able to invite anyone, living or dead. Having sorted out the menu, table décor and the wine list, I got down to guests. Norma and me plus eight. Easy bit first – a stone cold banker of an invitation. Sophia Loren. Surely the most beautiful woman around and one who has had a real life and not just some plastic representation. So, that is the lady on my right. Things arranged so that the ladies do not have to withdraw when the men get dirty over their brandy. The males I thought of would be above that sort of thing anyway. There is a place for boasting and rude tales but not at an event of this importance. A second woman would be Eartha Kitt. She had a dreadful start to life and spent much of her time on black emancipation in USA. We here have little idea of what that involved.
The men. My maternal grandfather. He was a warrant officer in the Army in the late 1800s and early 1900s through to the end of the Great War in 1918. Much of his service was abroad on what we would call active service. They were hard times that generated hard men. Next would be my claimed look-alike Orson Welles. He had a dark and brooding presence but a very quick wit.
Rudyard Kipling would have to be there. Not just his story-telling and verse but the fact that he was a very keen observer of our Colonial past and was able to view it from both sides – master and servant.
I was always entranced by Peter Ustinov so he would have to get a seat at the banquet. His range of experiences and skill as a raconteur were unique. I think that the wealth of talents already gathered would need someone to keep them under some form of control. That means Michael Parkinson. Surely the best. Just one place left. I am not sure how this might work but I would like to have one of my great great great grand children there at, say, the age of 25. No demands as to the line of descent. Just to get an insight into the world that far ahead and see how the genes had lasted against dilution.
So, that is it. Quite an early start to things. Drinkies in the ante-room and all that. Gossip afterwards in a warm room with really comfortable club chairs. Continuation of fine wines and incredible cigars. Maybe something short and appropriate to each guest in the way of a film show. Champagne breakfast. Dispersal back to their ethereal and spiritual worlds. Perfection.

Monday, 10 October 2005

New kid on the block

'Hip' journalists and other assorted old farts have been earning their money (huh!) by directing attention to the 'new' phenonama of blogging. If one believes their hype, in a short while half the world will be writing blogs whilst the other half will be reading them. Tell that to the people in Kashmire.
As owner of an iPod (gloat gloat) I have been listening to verbal blogs - podcasts. Whilst - by their name - these are intended for tiny-sized music players, they can be found, downloaded for free and listened to by anyone who can get music onto their hard drive. Originators range from BBC and major enterprises to Shane and Kristel in Kristel's room. Just as with blogs, quality and content covers just about everything in reproductions from abysmal to medium-fi. Rather more so really, to record a podcast requires absolutely no reedin skils, kompasitun or grmmer. Think back to the days of reel to reel or cassette when we first recorded 'Allo - this is me' and were amazed to hear our voice coming back at us.
That said, I have spent some time in podcast central. Anything you find can be downloaded for posterity. Rather like panning for gold I suspect. 5 drams gold in 10 tons dross used to be thought profitable; it seems that the recovery ratio is about the same for podcasts.
So - instead of worrying if the plod will be able to recover your porn site visits, get ahead of the game and be able to sneer when in a year's time you read 'podcasts take off'. They already have and are halfway to Mars.

Berufstätige Frau

I have been watching with interest the outcome of the German elections. Seems to me that what they have got is a bit of a curates egg. Both major parties said in the run up to election just what they would do if elected. Now, hardly any of their promises will be kept as both sides will have to compromise now that they are trying to work in harness. It could easily degenerate into a Punch & Judy show.
I had expected to see more inventiveness. They could have put the Chancellor contenders to a real test of performance. Instal one in the old Eastern zone and the other in what used to be the Western. Whoever achieved the best results in, say, nine months gets the job as overall Boss. Best could be decided in percentage terms of - say - reducing unemployment, lifting GDP and other markers of German efficiency.
I am available as a consultant.

What your computer does at night

Don't suppose my machine is very much different from the standard but one thing that really pishes me off is leaving it running perfectly well at night and then coming to it next day to find it all buggered.
Maybe it is because of this?

Sunday, 9 October 2005

Bloody cheek!

Have just about calmed down enough to write this.
Norma was on the third day of her Quilt Show today so we were left on our own. Rather than mope about all day indoors we went out for the day. We found ourselves in North Berwick at just about 'late lunch' time. Too late to go for a sit down meal where all that would be available would be something that had been festering in the bain marie since dawn so we decided upon the chippy.
I got a large portion and went back to the car. I sat in the load space and Sable sat alongside me. I used one hand as a plate. She would pick out something to eat and then I would choose something. All very organised and civil.
A marshmellow-shape woman walked past and stopped to watch us sharing our meal. She then said, "Giving a dog human food! Don't you know that there are thousands of people starving?"
At least one thousand retorts ran through my mind in less than a second. All but one contained the f-word and the c-word in quantities. I satisfied myself by replying that I most assuredly would not feed my dog on dog food.
This story will really only be appreciated by those who know me and my qualities of charm and tact but all readers should be assured that I shall remember the woman's face and just hope I meet her again in the area of some road-kill that I might offer her for her starving friends.

That's OK then

Tomorrow the M(ental) P(atients)s go back to the asylum after their long long holiday. To me, it says a lot that the country has functioned quite well during their absence. Off blagging with their Big Business mates scoring free holidays and, doubtless, female researchers-to-be.
Seems that the major ideas in their collective brain boxes will be two supposedly main new sets of legislation allegedly concerned with anti-terrorism. ID Cards. Detention without charge for up to 90 days. The civil libertarians are against both measures on the claimed grounds that they interfere with our personal freedoms.
The ID case strikes me as especially weak. We have to have one. We do not have to carry it at all times. No one seems too sure as to when we will be asked to produce it or what circumstances will permit the police to hold onto someone until their identity is proven. So, not having one does not lead to draconian treatment. Given the large number of moonlighters and illegal immigrants who cannot be traced for deportation one can expect that a large number of people will not bother with an ID card. The first few caught and detained will inevitably consist of some who pose absolutely no threat and we will have all the publicity about "£10,00 spent detaining man who let dog off lead in park" There are supposed to be sophisticated anti-forgery measures. If someone has worked out how to implement these, within a very short time someone will have found a way to circumvent them as part of a lucrative trade in forgeries. We are told that identity theft is a major crime. How many valid ID cards will be issued to persons with a false identity?
I heard a lot of hot air on this week's Question Time about the 90 days detention. The talking heads were against it with exception of one who said it should be 100 and 90 days. Noone gave the obvious reason as to why we should allow for the detention. If the police want it in fighting terrorism, that should suffice. It is a bit like telling a PC to arrest a violent drunk but barring him using hand-cuffs, baton or police holds. The 90 days is basically needed to check out documentation which is notoriously tedious work requiring very painstaking efforts. The fact that someone came to police attention meriting arrest justifies the deprival of liberty. If they get it wrong - sue them.