Saturday, 24 December 2005


Time to start out on that great End-of-Year experience where I sort through the stuff in my study (out of bounds to wives with Dysons). I think it is wonderful how the people who make mice designed them to work when less that 10 sq cm is available outside the swelling tide of paper, cd disk covers, cigar bands, letters to be answered, assorted 'toys' and all that other detritius that insists on self-preservation on just my desk top. That ignores three spare laptops, Palm pda stuff and printer cartridges. Who knows? there may be a sovereign's ransom here if I could be bothered with e-bay.

Friday, 23 December 2005

Most men's dreams come true?

This guy seems to have achieved what must surely be the dream of those who do the lottery.
Mind you there has been the joke version of this. Chap wins £30 million on lottery. Goes home, tells wife the good news and tells her to hurry up and get her things packed. She says, "Where are we going?" He replies - "Go where you like - just get out!"

Thursday, 22 December 2005


This is the time of the year when the Darwin Awards are announced. These recognise the most idiotic manner in which someone has lost their life through total and utter stupidity. I have always thought that many of the contenders have had something of the Urban Myth about them - funny though they are. This year, I have commenced the Oh My God Awards. These recognise when personal stupidity has conspired with Murphy's Law to create a particularly horrendous error of some sort.

The winner this year - so far - comes from Japan. I'll post it in full rather than give a link as the parent site is littered with pop-up, slides, wipes and just about everything guaranteed to distract from the message of the url.

TOKYO (AFX) - The Financial Services Agency (FSA) said it has told Mizuho Securities to improve its operations, after a botched trade in the shares of a newly-listed company jolted the stock market recently.

On Dec 8, a trader at Mizuho Securities punched in an order to sell 610,000 shares in newly listed J-Com Co at one yen each, instead of the intended one share at 610,000 yen, which resulted in an estimated loss of 330 million US$ for Mizuho Securities.

The order for the shares of J-Com was more than 42 times the total number of J-Com's outstanding shares, making it difficult for Mizuho Securities to settle its position.

The FSA issued an administrative order demanding that the stockbroker review its system for placing orders, improve its computer system, establish an appropriate risk-management system and report on its progress by Jan 20.

'We would like to apologize for causing serious inconvenience to those concerned, and would like to make utmost efforts to prevent a recurrence,' Mizuho Securities President Makoto Fukuda said in a statement.

Mizuho Securities recently set up a committee, comprising five legal and audit experts, to come up with a plan to prevent any recurrence of such incidents. It did not say when the committee is supposed to finish its work.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has admitted that a fault in its system prevented the Mizuho trader from cancelling the order after he realized the mistake.

Last week, the FSA issued a similar administrative order to the exchange demanding that it ascertain the cause of the botched trade, take measures to prevent a recurrence, review its market surveillance system, clarify where responsibility lies and report on its progress by the end of January.

The exchange announced this week that its president, Takuo Tsurushima, had resigned to take responsibility for the botched trade.
Ever since I first came across this, I keep having flashbacks. It seems that the selling broker made desperate efforts to stop the transaction but it took over four hours. My mind sees little Japanese functionaries hitting ctl-alt-del. Then the Big Red Button is invoked. Then there is a rush round the building yanking at every computer wire in sight. New keyboards delivered to replace those ctl-alt-del'td to destruction. Lifts melting under the load of messengers sent hither and yon. The broker getting home - sad faced - and wifey saying "Have a good day at the office dear?"

It would be nice to think that those who participated in the frantic buying would unwind the deals but exchanges do not work like that. You sell it - it's sold. There are trading positions where traders "go long" or "go short". I reckon this guy has just created another - go dead.

Somewhere overseas

Just think on this guy's blog whilst you are sitting down to that first ice-cold gin and tonic after all the hassle of fighting your way through the Christmas rush. Just before wifey complains that you forgot the macademia nuts.

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

A Strange World, My Masters

The court of appeal has ruled that the government must allow an independent inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian allegedly killed by British troops.

Meanwhile, in another dusty, fusty room………

Relatives of British soldiers who died in Iraq failed on Tuesday in a legal bid to force a public inquiry into the government's decision to go to war.
One of the country's top judges ruled that debate over Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision -- the most hotly disputed of his premiership -- belonged in the political arena, not the courts.
"The only purpose (of an inquiry) would be to try to make a political point, or show the prime minister did not tell the truth," Judge Andrew Collins told the High Court in London.
The government was accountable to parliament and ultimately the electorate for its actions, Collins said.
Blair won a third term in office earlier this year, although with a sharply reduced majority partly due to anger at the war.
The government has insisted the 2003 U.S.-led invasion was justified under international law as Iraq's then-leader Saddam Hussein had repeatedly breached United Nations resolutions.
It has also said several independent inquiries have found ministers innocent of any wrongdoing despite repeated claims by opponents that they exaggerated the case for war.
Pressure group Military Families Against the War, which says it has the backing of 14 families who have lost loved ones in Iraq, vowed to press on with its campaign despite the ruling.
"The families believe the decision to invade Iraq was based on deceit and lies. Our sons and husbands were sent to their deaths on the backs of these lies," said Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Iraq in 2004.
"Their deaths were unnecessary as were the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi people," she added.
Obviously, any inquiry about the deaths of our personnel should be set against the same question as for the Iraqi civilian – how were they killed? They will get the answer “Can’t tell you – there are still investigations in place”
But, same situation exists with regard to the Iraqi. Several soldiers are under investigation about his death following arrest at a hotel.
All very correct I’m sure – as if the law would bend over to help Tony (Butler, Hutton anyone) – but it is all a bit too complex for a young lad like me.

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Waal - lookie here

Hollywood's got a new film coming out, Brokeback Mountain, about two cowboys who spend a magical summer up on the mountain and learn a lot about life, love and all that stuff. They have some kind of bonding experience, or maybe overcome some kind of problem. As a result the world and their wife is going mad about this flick. The movie doesn't seem to be about making money — although, doubtless, all that wind could translate into millions — but more about getting some new concept out there in time for the Oscar competitions. Though it's about gay cowboys, many Christian groups claim they won't protest or boycott the movie. That does not, of course, mean they will form lines to pay and go see it. How will such a story go down (no pun intended) in George Bush's "God speaks to me" America?
Somewhere I had the idea that same-sex couplings were not unknown in early cowboy communities. Certainly, the movies seem to show that the whores with hearts of gold did not come out West (no pun intended) until after the railways arrived. The other idea - which I find quite funny - was about the way that cowboy was coined. Seems that a considerable number of the pioneering sons of the saddle were black - hence boy. Any calumny I have foisted on the guys with wide-brimmed hats - please excuse; it's just I like these two facts/theories

Law laughs

I see that they now want to mess about with "what is murder?" legislation. Idea is to ease off on what some people get in the way of imprisonment. At present, murder means a life term. Oh dear! that might be a bit much for some people. Nevermind that only the most Silence of the Lambs type killers do much more than half a life anyway before someone lets them out on licence with proven risk they will kill again. The priority should be on the safety of the general public. Yes - great shame if someone kills another but what I want is not compassionate treatment for him but protection for me and mine. Seems one of the new proposals is that if killer did not intend to cause death, it is not murder. Guess what the excuse will be now where Mr. Nasty chops up Miss Live-in Lover and spreads her bits about like manure on rhubarb. "I never meant to kill her".

Had another thought today on my memento mori-sort of thing Ten, nine, eight. The sort of family I have are quite likely to want a knees-up. They will say, "Sod him - he's dead, Lets have a funeral" If that be the case, all I will really insist on is that comedian Bernard Manning does my eulogy.

Monday, 19 December 2005

Dirty digits

Have just broken off from my reading of all the blogs I keep up with.
Much jubilation on the US in Iraq ones about the latest round of voting - how democratic, how civilised, what great hopes for the future.
Looking at the situation we have here, I cannot see what the deal is. We had an election, one in a series of them going back many years. The clowns who got in had - I'm told - the support of just 1.2 in every 10 registered to vote. So, that is democracy.
Don't tell me we were at fault for not participating. Democracy, universal suffrage and all that is supposed to keep us so involved and keen that they should have been fighting to get us all in on time at the right place.
Iraq is - possibly - in a worse situation than we are. I say possibly as they still have significant oil on stream and do not have quote Leaders unquote who give away significant sums from those subsidies that have been included in Budget calculations for forthcoming periods. So, what will they get from this marvellous new idea called voting and democracy?
Coca-Cola and McDonalds; I bet you.
Oh - and possibly Satchel-mouth Cherie looking after the rights of working mothers. Big deals all round.

Sunday, 18 December 2005

Longfellow - short thoughts

So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.


This is from an Urban Dictionery I get every day - keep up my street cred!
Now I know how to describe myself on the next census-form - a Jedy Eldercut.

When an elder member of the human race doesn't feel the need to wait in line. (usually a buffet of some type) Either because their time is running out, or they have given up on any social grace.
My goodness was that an eldercut....did that old person just cut in front of me at the buffet line? Well, I guess I will let them get away with it, because they can't hear me anyway.