Saturday, 20 May 2006


No - nothing to do with immigrants so those of a tender nature need not look away.
Yes - he/she does look very attractive. I am sure it will make a wonderful pet and companion.
It is a hybrid dog. These are planned matings between two clearly different dogs to produce custom-made types. This is a cross between a pug and a beagle. The desired off-shoot is "a small hybrid breed of dog created by mating a pug and beagle; thereby producing an energetic hound having: a thickset body; a short-haired, smooth coat of fawn, tan, and black coloring; a deeply wrinkled forehead; short legs; a curled tail; and drooping ears"
I had heard about this designer-dog idea. It seems to be concentrated in America. I was for a while haunted by a lady who had a thing about some sort of Labrador and Poodle cross but I bore with her on the lines of 'one born every minute'.
Knowing the power of ladies who want things in America, I Googled 'hybrid breed dogs' and was horrified to find they are all over the place. Darned near every breed there ever was has been deliberately cross bred with another. Some of these are really sad looking things - go take a look. Animals with a long tradition are being distorted because they might/maybe/perhaps look cute without any consideration of the risks.
We already have a number of genetic problems amongst 'pure' bred dogs. Little squashed faces cause breathing problems. Big strong chests lead to birthing difficulties such that Ceaserian birth is needed. Hips get displaced on big long-bodied dogs. Some breeds have endemic faults - poor eyesight, eyelash problems - the troubles are very many. A lot of pups end up in the discard bucket at birth when they are obviously 'wrong'. Crossing a breed with genetic faults with another that has other genetic errors multiplies the chances of pups that satisfy neither designer criteria.
Just another of the things on my (growing) volume of things that annoy and disgust me.

Friday, 19 May 2006


Nice to have your template designer hold your hand when it is all so scary!!

Personal freedoms

I read this post yesterday. Maybe, because I know the writer, it had a resonance.

I recognise the emotion she describes. I think I have been as upset and depressed as she is here. Dealing with Army discipline is hard. Striking out - in any way at all - at one's known oppressors is out of the question. One cultivates a hard shell but that takes time to grow. My time in civilian employment after I retired from the Forces was not all peaches and cream. Here, desire to see food on the table meant that much workplace aggrevation had to be swallowed. Both of these situations required relief and finding that big, dark and lonely mountain was an essential if one were not to collapse, dribbling, in the lower foothills.

I made some sort of trite comment but it was not for some while that I realised the freedom I now have. I am bounden to no one. Things that would once have made me annoyed, frustrated or feeling useless can touch me no more. What's the worst they can do - kill me? So what; that is on my old man's horizon anyway. If I do not like something, I have the freedom to say so. Whilst still beholden to the 'niceness' of everyday social conventions, they are not paramount. If I wish to express myself fully and frankly to someone who has not got my point the first time - fine. I can do it. I can be a nasty grumpy old man. All aspects of my life are free. I have not worn a suit in over two years. My polished shoes lie slightly dusty in the wardrobe. I rise and retire to suit myself - the dog means that I am reasonable here though. My days of looking for a private mountain are gone.

So, I can reassure my - I hope I'm allowed to call her - colleague that what she is going through is not unique and in no way self-inflicted. It can be borne. And, like all good Hollywood movies, it all comes right at the end. I suppose the trick is to make 'the end' a long-drawn out process.

Todays Guest blog

No link. The whole thing in full right here. Comes from a woman I met through this blogging thing. Red hot designer but we have exchanged a few other ideas.

Did you ever just feel like finding a mountain, the biggest, darkest, loneliest mountain, climbing to the very top and screaming until your lungs hurt and your voice won't scream any more?

Scream at your own frustrations, your lack of real control, your own impotence, your inability to find the answers, at your weaknesses, lack of insight, and at life and your own stupidity.

Scream at those that seem to take delight in making life harder than it need be, scream at the inconsiderate and selfish, the hurtful and insensitive, those who take without giving and who live life blinkered by their own need.

Did you ever just feel like finding a mountain, the biggest, darkest, loneliest mountain, climbing to the very top and screaming until your lungs hurt and your voice won't scream any more, screaming into the silence, screaming at everyone and no one, screaming at life to get the f**k out of your face and just let you be, even if only for a few hours...........

Game bird

Here's a lady after my own heart. No - given what she has done I do not mean that literally.

Big job

Our operation in Afghanistan has a hard row to hoe. They aim to act against the drug crops; that will make them as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue. Also, they are operating under NATO control in a theatre outside Europe which is a first for that organisation. NATO has shown a reluctance to get involved in the big matters.

Now, it seems, a supposed ally is giving aid and comfort to the Taliban. Why Pakistan cannot just stick to selling atomic secrets and running 24 hour convenience stores, I don't know.

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Akin to UFOs

We in this country do not seem to have been caught up in the debate about what may or may not have happened on 9/11. In America - as one would imagine - there is a massive conspiracy theory. I suppose one has to look at the Who Shot JFK saga and the reports of Elvis driving a bus at Disneyland to realise just how much they love this sort of thing.

To me, the fact that 9/11 seems to have played such a major part in getting us to the sad state we are in today, leads me to look at what these people are saying. I can detect the false reasoning in much of it. Details are taken out of context and set against things not - to my satisfaction - proven. Go read - see how much you can stand.

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The biggest Who Done It of our times

Magic Man

This guy is magic. Don't know why you all don't just put him on you own bloglines and keep up with him direct.

People don't bounce

The image in UK of the 'doorman' (aka bouncer) is low. Steroid inflated thickos mainly. No idea of customer relations. Bent and prone to backhanders where drugs are involved.

Things are beginning to improve with registration by police.

These comments from a New York doorman show where we have to improve and open a world I suppose few of us know exists.

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A doorman who takes few prisoners

Settle back softly

Way way back - when working for an American company - I had the idea that it might be nice to get a retirement place sorted out over there. The finances would have worked. It's didn't come about as retirement was a long way down the mental highway. They do have some nice houses out there. I saw one Goldie Oldie place in Arizona where visits by kids were rationed and all village travel had to be in a golf-cart sort of thing. There was a shop that sold customising kits and go-faster mods for these carts.

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This is a nice comment about the difference in USA between the - er - bodily wastes of the great unwashed and those of the afflient. There is an offer to visit a real estate site and look at some of the cabins. Take up this offer!

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Hutton Report

Someone sent me this url as a follow-up to my snide comment on Government reports.

Guilty until proven so

Yorkshire Lass does some blunt speaking.

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Is there such a thing as innocent until proven guilty?
Now this is a senstive area and I will not be suprised if the argument in this post causes offence to someone. The more serious the crime someone is arrested for, the more they are assumed guilty until proven innocent. Not only that, but if they are then found innocent in court, then the charge of guilt is still assumed. While it may be a natural reaction for whatever reasons, it is still wrong.

Take for instance this case in the news today about comedian, Chris Langham who has been charged with 15 counts of making indecent images of a child. The BBC report reads like an obiturary of his career, already assuming guilt. The case is adjourned for the police to compile a forensic report, although that raises the question of why this forensic evidence was not used in his arrest.

Not the Pirelli Calendar!!

Looks as if some of the chaps are having a great time on the beach. Posted by Picasa

Truth will (leak) out

The US report as to what was really going on in Iraq at the time of the last invasion is a lengthy read. Given the sort of thing that sometimes happens to government reports and inquiries, it might be well to have a small pinch of salt handy. Even as fiction though, it makes interesting reading. I'll leave it to others to assess how this 'factoid' relates to what our masters chose to vomit out at the time.

No comment needed

Opus Tony

Something I noted on my wandering around the alternative circuit. This comes from the F-word Blog which flags itself as ‘Contempory UK feminism’. It poses a situation which I can understand might cause concern. That is, were it not regarding a politician. I’ve given an answer at the end of the extract.
Does Equality Minister believe homosexuality is a sin?
Well, she has refused to answer the question. But given that Ruth Kelly is both a Catholic and a member of the dodgy religious group Opus Dei, and given her voting record, who could blame us for drawing our own conclusions?
Kelly has insisted repeatedly that any private views on this issue are outweighed by her "collective responsibility" to implement government policy and the will of the Cabinet. But how hard will our Equality Minister push for equal rights for all, if in her heart of hearts she does not believe in it?
Worse still, Kelly has an appalling record of voting on gay rights issues. According to the Independent, she has missed "a series of votes of equal rights" since Labour came to power in 1997. She failed to turn up to vote on whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt and on whether to drop the age of consent for gay sex to 16.
Here are some choice quotes:
I don't think it's right for politicians to start making moral judgements about people ... What I think the question is, is what are my political views? Those are the ones that I'm accountable for to the public. As a politician I think everybody should be free from discrimination.
Look, people have private views which they express in the House of Commons on votes of conscience in the usual way as members of Parliament. As a member of the Government, I have collective cabinet responsibility...
The Equality Minister should be absolutely committed to the cause; should be able to push hard to get these issues on the agenda. There are only so many issues that government can tackle in any one Parliament: how can we be sure that a minister who voted against gay adoption on principle will have the desire or ability to cajole the government into making fresh advances or defending the line?
She is also going to be responsible for implementing key legislation that will put discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation on a par with discriminating on the grounds of race or gender.
How can she attack negative attitudes to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens she is meant to be representing, if she shares them? The answer is she looks to be utterly incapable of any such thing.

How can she do it? Easy. She is a politician. What have her beliefs to do with anything? All she has to do is follow the party line regardless of principles or honesty.

Biting the hand that feeds

Small story about problems of being p.c. with a pc. The crime detection figures for the Avon & Somerset police are poor. Not too much official concern about that other than promises to do better.

However, this efficiency problem comes just after the hoo-ha regarding positive discrimination at recruitment where suitable white males were denied consideration because “the force already had too many”.

Maybe this is just a reversal of the old adage? Employ monkeys and you get peanuts.

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Getting sorted

Some lift from the miseries of the last couple of days by acquisition of a cordless keyboard and mouse. First thing was amazement at its installation. Just about the first thing I've ever had that is truly Plug & Play.

I have now discovered that the keyboard has all sorts of toys and tricks. Most useful. I'm slowly learning what they are about.

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I don't know whether to envy this guy or mark him down for some midnight vandalism of his desk. He is a guru on how to manage the demands upon one's time and attention. At the moment, it seems, there is a reversion to paper-based aids rather than the pda systems. When I see things like this desk, I wonder if the support is based upon actual benefits or the fun of just getting everything together. Sort of paper-clip porn.

Monday, 15 May 2006

Soft writing

I'm not feeling much better as the day wears on. And now it has started to rain!

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I once achieved a sort of fame (notoriety?) in writing up the diary of my Labrador. Maybe it was the insight gained then that makes me like this blog allegedly written by the pet elephant of two Gentlemen Who Live Together.

Duvet day

Not a lot going to happen today. Yesterday, I was top of the world. Great walk with the dog, fine appetite and interesting day.

Today? Whatever could be wrong, dodgy or off-tune is. Reckon I'll have to have a day under the duvet.

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What Fred is talking about here is, obviously, The American Experience. However, a lot of what he says mirrors what we are seeing here. I think I'd like a new mirror.

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Back in the days...........

My Army service, whilst extensive for it's day, was never as good as The Master recounts.

I do know what he means though!

Brain laid bare

This looks very complex. Just short bursts of seemingly unconnected thought.

Where it grabs me is that this is - to me - exactly as I see my brain operating. I can follow this stuff as if it were written 10 feet high and lit from within. It's an mp3 of my thoughts.

See what it does for you.

Extreme measures

The motive for distributing free drugs that have been cut with dangerous substances is not known. Still, it's America so just what motive is needed anyway?

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Seems a pretty desperate way to deal with addiction!

Mining the data

The insight into our intelligence capability as indicated by the 7/7 Reports is scary when it discloses the limited capability to follow-up all that comes to hand.

The Americans have disclosed just what steps they are prepared to take to get the raw material for analysis. Phone record data mining and line taps are causing much contraversy. How on earth does one get stuff out in time for it to be useful. Just one example - the day before 9/11 they came across two phone conversations from interesting locations. Both said - in effect - "the game starts tomorrow". In retrospect, incredibly valid information. Would they ever have solved what game and where in the 24 hours available? Better than any TV serial eh?

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Just imagine the work needed to x-reference all the information that phone tapping would lead to


Little bit out of date but I doubt if the thinking and possible methodology has changed. Read it through and tell me how it is possible for the free world to deal with this attitude without itself sinking to levels we abhor.

The Albuquerque Tribune is the only place you’ll find this AP story, with an unusually forthright and accurate headline: Iran uses Israel as hostage.

Pakistan’s former army chief says Iranian officials came to him for advice on heading off an attack on their nuclear facilities. He in effect advised them to take a hostage - Israel.

Retired Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg said he suggested their government “make it clear that if anything happens to Iran, if anyone attacks it - it doesn’t matter who it is or how it is attacked - that Iran’s answer will be to hit Israel; the only target will be Israel.”

Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, was quoted last week as saying that if “America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel.”

The headline has now been sanitized everywhere else, reduced through liberal application of PC filters to: Iran Sought Advice in Pakistan on Attack.

What interest us

I have been playing with Google's new toy 'Trends'. One enters a couple of terms or names or whatever and it graphs the incidence of searches it has made on those parameters. I looked to see what relationship there might be in sex, pleasure and crime. The way in which two of them turned out to be so very similar is interesting. Shows why some newspapers are such crap.