Saturday, 14 January 2006

Love - where art thou?

Here's a woman who is having troubles in her life.
It does seem sad that something one would think to be so easy creates this sort of situation. I merely wonder - is she just a lone voice calling in the darkness (darkness? maybe that's the problem?) or one of that monsterous Regiment of Women who is just a bit more forthright than her sisters?
I'm sure that no one is born good at sex. It is a learned science rather than a natural craft. Just as in wider life, some schools are better than others. The blogger in question is well able to express herself in the written word so has the vocabulary needed to have a face to face discussion with her partner. Even if she is unable to say exactly what will turn her on, she could surely make it clear that she is a female human being and not just some accessory you screw on the bed. Whilst the male needs are much simpler and far easier attained, no man is so pig-headed that he would reject suggestions as to how something so simple and easy could be extended with just a little effort on his part. One thing I do forecast - if she just lays there and thinks of England, nothing will improve.
I suppose I should comment on her site rather than preach away here. I think my input would be a little harsh. Say what you like about my driving, say what you like about my dress sense but do not ever dare to comment on my sex life is a adage that is best observed.

Voice of the Back Office

Brian – a police officer – reports this opening salvo for 2006 from the backroom boys of the Met Police.
Corporate Risk Management and Health and Safety naming 06.01.06 The decision has been made to re-brand the Corporate Risk Management Team (part of the DCC) and the Health and Safety Branch (part of HR Directorate) to clarify their respective roles for both team's customers.To clarify the role of the two teams for MPS staff the following re-branding will apply from Monday 9 January 2006:
• The Corporate Risk Management Team will now be known as the Business Risk Management Team.
• The Health & Safety Branch will be known as the Safety and Health Risk Management Team.
• The Corporate Risk Assessments owned by the Safety and Health Risk Management Team will be known as the Corporate Safety and Health Risk Assessments.
• The Corporate Risk Register owned by the Business Risk Management Team will be known as the Management Board Business Risk Register.
This re-branding clarifies the nature of the risks handled by each team and puts safety first.Safety and health risks are elements of business risk, the latter encompassing all risks to the achievement of the business objectives of the Service and its (B)OCUs and Departments. The Corporate Risk Management Team has an oversight role in relation to all business risks. In the area of health and safety this role is discharged through close liaison with the Health and Safety Branch and membership of the Strategic Health and Safety Committee.
Risk management terminology can be confusing, particularly when it is used in differing contexts and because it can mean different things to different people. There is some confusion amongst MPS colleagues between the terms "risk assessment" and "risk management". Furthermore, it can be confusing when we use the word "corporate" both to mean something mandated by the corporate centre or the top layer of a process that is also deployed at Business Group and OCU levels.Risk Assessments, including dynamic risk assessments, refer to operational or safety matters, whereas Risk Registers are generally part of the business planning and change management processes, when identifying risks to achievement of business objectives.By re-branding the two risk management teams and their key products we aim to clarify the nature of the risks with which each is concerned.We hope that the changes achieve their purpose.
If you have any thoughts as to how we might clarify risk management matters for you further please do let us know.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Tread softly...

The history of our country is totally fascinating. Events can be interesting as solo reading or fed into the totallity of what made this place what it is. The destruction of our history and background of influence is at risk from the one-size-fits-all policies and apologise-for-everything agenda now almost rampant.

Take a walk on the legal side

IF your new year’s resolution was to take more exercise, there is no need to travel too far to take in interesting trips with a legal flavour.

Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson have compiled an engrossing compendium of English towns and villages entrenched in some mysterious folklore. The Lore of the Land will take you to places such as Five Knolls in Bedfordshire, the site in 1667 where Elizabeth Pratt admitted to bewitching her two children at her subsequent trial; Manningtree in Essex to discover the burial place of Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General; or Alton, in Hampshire, where in 1867 a solicitor’ s clerk brutally murdered a girl in the local fields. Fanny Adams was so mutilated that her murder led to the expression “Sweet Fanny Adams” whenever a foul dish of meat was served for dinner.

IF it is fact rather than legend that you need, then Clive Aslet’s Landmarks of Britain will be a reliable guide for your travels. It surveys the history of Britain through the places where events actually happened. From the Old Bailey, described as “rotund as a barrister’s peroration, as florid as a judge’s face after luncheon”, to Shire Hall in Monmouth, the scene of the biggest Chartist trial in 1839, convened after the Newport rising earlier that year, this book is startling in its comprehensive account of the nation’s history through its towns and cities.

Some of the landmarks noted in the book are contemporary. The Blind Beggar pub, 337 Whitechapel Road, London E1, is described as the “Nemesis of the feared Ronnie Kray”, where he shot George Cornell, a South London gangster, three times in the head, and the Grand Hotel in Brighton also demands an entry where at “nearly three o’clock in the morning of October 12, 1984”, the Brighton bomb became “the IRA’s worst atrocity on the British mainland ”.

But there is always the opportunity of retreating back in time if our recent history is too unpalatable — visit the Market Place in Wells, where in 1685 Judge Jeffreys, Lord Chief Justice of England, presided over the Bloody Assizes where 2,600 of the rebels who fought against the King were tried and mostly executed.

ENGLAND, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, edited by John Lewis-Stempel, should accompany both of the works mentioned above. It records 2,000 years of English history in the words of people alive at the time.

As you visit Canterbury Cathedral, one of Aslet’s Landmarks of Britain, read Edward Grim’s account of the murder of St Thomas à Becket. Grim was Becket’s attendant and describes in detail the end of the Archbishop: “Then the third knight inflicted a terrible wound . . . the crown which was large was separated from the head; so that blood white with brain . . . dyed the surface of the Virgin Mother Church with the life and death of the confessor and martyr in the colours of the lily and the rose.”

If you visit the Grand Hotel, take some time to read Norman Tebbit’s account of the outrage. Read Kenneth Tynan’s report on the Lady Chatterley trial at the Old Bailey in 1960, “Gerald Gardiner, counsel for the defence . . . prowled up and down like a wounded lion, waiting for those 12 inscrutable citizens to come to their conclusion”, one of many examples of the most articulate of their age giving us the temperature of their times.


Here is a scary item. I am not a great chocolate eater but when I do get the urge, I tend to go for complete satisfaction in the one big handful. Mars bars or Snickers go down well. The idea that the porky police had forced their withdrawal from sale almost led me to the barricades.
Then I saw the date of the item. Not April 1st but way back in 2004 so it seems the daft idea was - to make a small pun - shelved.
I'm off to celebrate with a Big Un.

The Challenge

Mr Cameron needs to be challenged over the fact that the ostensible centre ground to which he is laying such noisy claim is nothing of the kind but is rather the forward salient of a lethal assault upon the foundation values of British society.

Unless this hijacking of the centre ground is acknowledged and redressed, we will continue to be locked into hopeless confusion over language, concepts and policies.

British values are under siege. The freest and most tolerant society on earth now leads the way in intimidation, moral degradation and lies. The need to identify, reclaim and defend the real centre ground, in order to rescue the progressive ideal of social justice which has been taken hostage, is the single most urgent task in British politics.

Thus speaks Melanie Philips. That nice but dim Mr Cameron owes her a drink.

First? Second? Dead heat?

I have wanted to understand more of this debate of Intelligent Design that is flourishing in America. However, the approach is, for me, difficult. The basic 'truths' one has to accept to get to the outer rings of the matter, are ones I do not recognise. However, this guy seems to have made it a bit easier. Just a bit. I'm struggling with the concepts and the pro and con of the matter.


If one subscribes to the school of divine retribution there is a quandry in this event. Is it 'our' God punishing them for some unknown sins or are the deaths the work of their own 'God'? I suppose Dr Hook who is now on trial for terrorist offences would find the retribution concept easy to justify if it applied to others.
Mecca Stampede Kills 345 People Amid Hajj Pilgrimage (Update1)

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- At least 345 people died today during a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, the Saudi Arabian health minister said.

Many of the 289 people hurt in the incident were released from hospital after receiving first-aid treatment, the minister, Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Maneh, was quoted by the official Saudi Arabian news agency, SPA, as saying.

The security spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Mansour bin Sultan Al-Turki, said that the incident occurred at the eastern entrance of the Jamarat Bridge in Mena, a valley outside Mecca, just after sunset, according to SPA. The pilgrims were performing a ritual in which pebbles are cast at pillars to symbolize the stoning of Satan.

Millions of Muslim visitors are in Mecca, birthplace of the prophet Mohammed, for the Hajj. As the fifth and final pillar of Islam, every able-bodied adult Muslim must undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lives.

Crowding has been a factor in many deaths during the annual event, including the 1990 Hajj, when more than 1,400 died, and in 2004, when about 250 were crushed in Mena.

The stoning of Satan is the riskiest part of the Hajj as pilgrims jostle to make sure their pebbles strike one of three pillars, and weaker ones risk being trampled on by the masses, Agence France-Presse reported.

Luggage, which fell from moving buses, caused the pilgrims to trip, al-Turki said, adding that security forces cordoned off the area in an attempt to rescue and provide aid to the wounded. Al-Jazeera television showed the bodies of dozens of pilgrims covered in white shrouds.

Almost 60,000 security, health, emergency and other personnel were involved in organizing this year's Hajj, in a bid to prevent a stampede, AFP reported.

After today's ritual, Muslims will make a final visit to Mecca's Grand Mosque.

Why bother

This is from someone who purports to support T Bliar on punishment and Laura Norder. If he attracts the support of morons such as this - can there ever be any hope of him changing his style?

Why Tony is right.

This is in response to Talk Politics's criticism of Tony Blair's respect speech.

I'm sorry mate, you are wrong and Tony is right.

A man found with 10,000 in cash late at night with no reasonable explanation DESERVES prosecution regardless of whether the police can actually PROVE it is the result of wrongdoing.

If I went out tonight and got blind drunk and caused a nuisance in the street and I was consequently fined 100 pounds, I would deserve it. I would prefer that rather than being prosecuted through the court system for a year (EVEN if I was eventually proved innocent). We are talking practicalities here, you are not living in the real world.

In theory you are spot on to say it's the bureaucracy of the criminal justice system that is the problem NOT the process, BUT you forget 'due process' necessarily involves a high level of bureaucracy, the two are interdependent.

It terms of low level punishment for low level crimes, it is BETTER to punish the innocent than to let the guilty go free.

Being innocent and getting a 100 pound fine is not the end of the world. Dishing out fast and proportionate punishment to the guilty benefits us all by lessening the chance of them progressing to worse crimes.

This is just not possible if you are going to give them the the full legal process which is necessarily expensive and time consuming.

I'm sorry but, principles and tradition mean nothing here. You are going to have to prove to me why, for instance, trial by jury is important in complicated fraud cases when they drastically increase the expense and reduce the success of trial completion let alone prosecution. Prove to me that 'trial by jury' is more accurate. There is a strong scientific case that people like Dawkins have made to show why the jury process is flawed.

Is it good for civil liberties that defence lawyers pick jurors of the basis of whether they are likely to acquit rather than whether they are likely to be fair?

I am not in favour of removing the choice to have trial by jury in serious cases and neither is this government but these questions have to be asked.

Caption Competition

Given that this blog seems to wend its way through the ether without drawing any comment, I feel safe in setting this competition.
No prizes - if there are any readers they will see just how perceptive you are.
Anyone caption this?

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Bloggers' World

I suppose this guy is saying what I think here.

I’m stealing the idea from Acidman’s thoughts on blogging. This year I didn’t make one wish or resolution to keep. I could lose a few pounds, work out every once and a while and study a bit more but in reality, I’m happy with my life. I’ve quit smoking, hardly drink, have a beautiful wife who clearly loves me. It would be nicer to make more money and not have to go Iraq but my previous post shows, there are worse things in life then the small problems I have. People wig out over the small things in life then hide away from the big ones.

I’ve been blogging almost 2 years now, my fotopage has been around for 2 and a half, when I started, there were less then 30 milblogs out there, now there are well over a thousand. Milbloggers from every walk of life, different services from all over the world. What have I learned?

1) There was a time when I was writing to an audience but that started feeling like work. After a blogging for a while, you start to realize, blogging isn’t about your audience, it’s about loving to write and sharing your unique prospective on the world.

2) There are millions of bloggers out there and as Rob says, most of us are crap. Each time you look around the blogsphere has changed it’s shape. Myspace and xanga are causing some of the great changes bringing a younger generation of people who are cutting a new swath through cyberspace, which is going to be next? Yahoo 360? Their websites are running parallel to our older sites but like the red and blue, we rarely touch each other.

3) Bloggings tough, surf your way though the some links for a while, even the good bloggers fold, I’m happy with my almost two years and don’t plan on quitting in this life time.

4) Good reasons to blog? For a geek like me, it was a great tool for meeting people. My wife found me through the blog and I haven’t met an asshole blogger in person yet. When I was overseas, I had a voice, I knew there were people that cared about what happened to me, I wasn’t a number. When I say this blog made a world of difference in my life, I would not be lying.

5) It’s going to be hard to pick up new readership on your blog unless you have a vibrant, fresh blog and can keep an audience entertained, there’s too much information floating around the internet. But there are exceptions to this rule, ways to get a large readership? Break a good news story and the MSM picks it up, do a heinous crime and have a blog or have something interesting happen to you (go to war, have an earthquake, hurricane, forest fire hit where you’re at write about it).

6) Make sure you mean what you say when you talk bad about someone, remember every bad thing you say can and will be googled. So if there’s a chance you might meet that person in the future or work for them, don’t talk bad about them. (hint military folk, be careful about getting involved in politics and blogging about it, that asshat could be your boss next year)

7) Internet romances do work, marry a blogger. You can google his or her entire life. What kind of personal ad can give you that? Worked for me!

8) Don’t try changing the world with your blog, be happy with the small things, kind comments, dates with cute chicks and such (please no more emails asking for dates, I'm a taken man!). I’ve gone all over the world and have met people who have read my blog, who knows maybe when I grow up, I can use this network to find a job.


"The looting was really bad you know.... I have just realised they have even nicked my mouth organ out from under my nose - literally!"

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Grit them teeth girls

How can one tell that these are porn stars? Look OK to me. Seems they
are at their version of the Oscars -

Isn't science wonderful

I read that makers of the official Viagra in USA are packaging it with a musical anti-theft tag.
So, now we can have the National Anthem that the old soldier can stand up for!

Well done Borders NHS

Today was appointment day for the Cardio clinic at Borders General Hospital. I’d been waiting for this since my fibrillation scare last August. My determination to see a specialist had been heightened by the attitude of the Saturday Girl temporary doctor at the Knoll Clinic.
I’d been asked to get there a bit before the appointment time so as to have an ECG, blood pressure check and other measurements so my five minutes before time of parade thing was fully indulged. The ECG was normal – normal for everyone or normal for fat old oxygen thieves was not declared. The blood pressure did its usual thing and embarrassed me by being almost off the top end of the scale. I had my record of readings though and this demonstrated that my pressures are variable give or take 80 points.
I was called forward to the registrar bang on my appointed time. First shock was being seen by a black doctor – a Nigerian gent with a name suffering from and excess of vowels. I have obviously been here a bit too long if a black doctor surprises me; I thought they were all in the South. Anyway, spoke better English than I do so origin was not a fault. At least I didn’t have to describe my problems in Arabic as happened in Kent.
Very early on in his history-taking I made the point that my concern was avoiding – so far as is possible – the risk of stroke and my not wanting to rely on a 13 amp plug and electricity for birthday presents. Seems this was a thing worth mentioning as the priority determines the treatment. Before deciding that the heart would have to do its own thing though, I had a echocardiogram and a chest x-ray. Again, requisitions written up there and then. Off to the respective departments before back to see the man of vowels. By the time I had got there he had received the echo results on his desk screen and the x-ray pictures came through as I sat down. Reading was that he heart is mechanically OK and can be left to its own devices at the present time. We then had a long discussion about reducing pressures and it seems that warfarin is the drug of choice. I have heard some very bad reports on warfarin or rat-poison as it may more commonly be described.
Super-doc then hand-wrote a report for my GP and off I went; 100% satisfied and amazed at how things can be done within the NHS when everyone is trying. In Kent, each examination would doubtless have entailed a wait of weeks to get followed by weeks to get an interpretation. Then a further delay to discuss things with the specialist.
My Boys Day Out At Hospital was not yet over however. My escape route took me past the Audio Clinic and I thought I’d see just how my luck was riding. I poked my head in, removed my plastic ear and told them it had stopped working – did I have to start over again with the GP or could they help? Fixed an appointment there and then for two days ahead! Beat that ANYONE never mind those in the South.

Sunday, 8 January 2006

Gay Reds

Some while back I wrote about gay cowboys in the early days of beef herding. (Looks as if I'm going to have to be careful here!). My thoughts have always been that in a rough world bereft of soft skin and wobbly bits, it was not to be wondered at that a certain amount of homosexuality creapt in.
Now, in the wider discussion in the wake of Broken Mountain, it seems that my mind was not the only one going down the Chisholm Trail. Even the native Americans were at it.


I think there is much to be said for meditation. The little bit of cloth that was lifted for me at my Buddhist retreat was into the world of Zen and they are big on meditation. The position one adopts, the posture when in that position, working on control of breathing, tingling bells to start and finish - all have their place. They say that meditation can be undertaken seated (the position one most sees depicted), lying down or walking. I would not recommend walking meditation along Oxford Street. We all started off with a 30 minute target. I did all the procedures and got - nothing. However, after a while, 'something' came. I found it relaxing even though it is something I had to work at to achieve. If I've had a bad night, I do little session before I get out of bed and it seems to help relieve the concern as to why sleep was banished. It is not an easy gig but, from my experience, it can be done and it benefited me.