Saturday, 21 April 2007

Got any spare change?

In keeping with my curmudgeonly image, I do not give money to beggars. I have been known to find, buy and donate a can of dog meat for the poor animal they often have with them. I subscribe to the prejudice that claims much of the money is spent on drugs and alcohol. I do not condemn them for these habits but I will not encourage them. Buskers who actually do something when looking for money are a different breed to me and they get whatever I have as small change.

So, with this background, I welcome the new initiative regarding donations to beggars. Let us hope the claimed benefits are achieved and the idea spreads.

Rough Justice

This latest comment on the Iran situation (No - not our damned Naval saga this time) reveals the mind set of those in that Islamic country. My skin prickles the most at the last sentence in this essay.

Friday, 20 April 2007

This just HAS to be here

What more comment is needed?

Isn't science wonderful

I find myself less than impressed by what is claimed as advances in techology. I suppose I should be reconciled by now to the fact that I will never ever never be an IT-capable great-grandad. With the right label on the index icons (nowadays in BIG type), I can just about get around things or even hack things but understanding what I am doing is well beyond me.

I have used Thunderbird as mu email thingy for about seven or eight years. If that makes me seem an early adopter or whatever the geek word is, don't think that. I have a son who can do all the necessary malarkey and he put me onto it. I liked it and it stayed with me. Never let me down. Never failed to reappear from where I put it away at night when tidying up my toy box. I even begain to think I knew something about things and I recommended it to folks.

Yesterday, I read that there was a new version - 2.0. Not a beta as I have been warned to avoid these like the devils spawn. Full of trust at seven or eight years of loving partnership, I downloaded it. Smooth as silk. Lovely. Tried out the new features. Neat; more for the hard-pressed businessman with '000s of mails per day but I used to wear a suit so I kept it. Not much choice really once it had installed itself. The display after installation was used and then put away - closed.

I opened it up this morning to find that Dr Hyde had turned into Mr Jekyl. It first refused to come when called by my hot key. Then it got half-way through a message and killed itself. Little note about telling Big Momma about the fault. Got it back and it got the overnight stuff from the Wells Fargo of wherever. Quick. Breathing of Aged Parent resumed. Minimised it and went on to read my bloglines. Up flashed a 'You've got mail' sticky. Um - nice. Tells who from and the first line. I clicked to open it. Flash. Bang. Weird sound effect. Crash Message to Momma. And so it went on.

But then I am not as daft as I used to be. I sought out an old version and downloaded that. So. I'm not the hep cat April 2007 user of Thunderbird v2.0. Thank goodness for that say I.

This message was brought to you by our sponsors so that you might save yourself some aggro. You will thank me.

Follow-up. Tagging the old idiots

Seems I'm not the only one who noticed that the control freaks had me targetted. Thankfully, Baldermort, not with a Glock.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Weather report

After a week of lovely sunny weather we woke up this morning to this sort of thing.

Global warming - bring it on

Bless Google

Someone asked me how one man could kill so many people with just two handguns.

Answer - simple. Ask Google and it comes to the rescue.

I'm over here

Seems that the Scots Government is worried about the power of us old people. It wants to track us as we gather together to plot some new anti-social tactic.

I already have a tag on my MediLert necklace that says "Hi. My name is John. If found lost or confused, please ring Norma on 01361 882***" I did it as a joke (I have a T-shirt with the same message) but it looks as if I am ahead of the cutting edge of innovation.

I suppose I'll go for tracking if they throw a sat nav and speed camera warning programme in with it for free. I might just be naughty and stick it on the dog so they can track her.

Street Theatre

I came across this the other day. It is a synchronised street performance somewhere in Japan. The word appears somewhere and a large crowd gathers and goes through the routine. Seems the masks are from characters in the comic magazines that Japanese love. The dance reenact passages from these comics.

Yes - interesting. And no more than that. But, see the ending. All of a sudden the game is brought to an end and the participants melt away. Why? Just two police may be the answer. I do not think that a group of London teenagers would have shown the same reaction. Not sure whether I prefer that thought or the way the kids reacted to their police force.

Thanks here to Amy who emailed this extra bit of information. Strengely, similar point of interest to mine. Spooky.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Mystery waves

Don't know who she is, the band, the station. Nothing.

Just looking at blogs and it had a 'click here' thing. Evere obedient, I did just that. Quite like it.

A host of golden rap rap

Turn the speakers down and then see what this does for you.

I suppose if it gets even one person to go look for the original work, this would be worth while. How long before we get Land of Hope and Glory the same way?

Time marches on

Some of you (one of you two) may remember the fuss that was created when the Y2K scare was unleashed. Whole countries would fall off the edge of the civilised world as computers turned the page and found the next page was blank. All because some programmer in 1896 or whatever was unable to contemplate a year 2000. As I remember it, nothing much at all happened except that some shady programmers made shed loads of money with claims of Eureka. I solved the problem by having my cheapest IT bloke come in just about midnight and manually check all the clocks. He had to reset one only.

However, the problem of clocks and IT time is amusingly (for us) dealt with here in the report of a student detected by his Miss Marples look-alike principal. To me, having been a sort of policeman, the best part of the story was in her judgement of his claims of innocence. Right on Maam.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Rush Hour Blues

Some of the people I have heard playing in Underground stations and other public places have great talent. Has to be great if I am to recognise it. I look at the coin gathering cap and do not see a lot of money. Is this because my fellow travellers are unsympathetic or just in too much of a rush? Is the income worth the effort? Why is someone who can trot out a mean tune not in employment? I would think any one of them could do better playing in a pub that has a licence.

So, this experiment interested me. Hasn't added a whole lot to my questions but caused me to wonder even deeper.

Run for cover now

We are about to be swamped by a veritable tsunami of "learned comment and opinion" on the university killings in America. The Pro and Anti gun lobbies will run white hot. Switzerland's high level of gun availability but low gun crime will be teased out once more.

So, it was good to find a comment that is short and sweet and cuts to the heart of the problem. In fact, I think it is so good that for me it says all that needs to be said. Here, In MY World, no more will be written about the deaths.

Monday, 16 April 2007

One of the greats

Don McCullin had great fame during the Vietnam War as a war photographer. His work shone out even beyond the many other photographers in his line of work. The stresses and strains meant that he cut short his work and, for a while, specialised in landscape images. He has just been out to Darfur of Oxfam and some of his exposures are published today. He has been to Africa before.

He has retained his craft. Given the excellent range of tones in the images displayed, he still uses the 'old' 35mm cameras and has eschewed digitals.

Whither Iraq?

Long story but well worth your time. After all - what else have you to do?

Image hosting by Photobucket


I like it because it says many of the things that I believe have been overlooked

You would not believe it

One of our Ministers has been spouting off in America about the War On Terror. In the heartland of the operation, he rubbished the idea. He attributed his belief to some high powered thinking on the part of the enemy. One would have thought that his father might have explained that the heart most often rules the brain in extremists and the thought processes he describes were never present in the minds of AQ, Taliban, Sunni, Shiite or those myriad other enemies we have created since 9/11.

What he now claims as Government attitude seems a perfect example of 20::20 hindsight. There were many back in, what, 2001 who advised more subtle approaches than Shock and Awe.

I despair.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Mark Steyn

Don't know whether you two readers of this blog have already found him but, if not, let me treat you to the man.

This is about a year old. Gives the opportunity to check out his forecasting. I get a lot of enjoyment from him so I hope you can enjoy it.

Ashes 2 Ashes

A2A is the follow-on for Life on Mars. Set later and with the lads moved from Manchester to London. Given that the attitude of Met CID that Manchester is some 3rd World, this should be great for the script writers where they are doing the one-liners.

This teaser trailer had me digging into the grey matter any number of times.

A reporter

I think we sometimes forget that Jon Snow used to be a very competent war correspondent.

Good to see him back to his roots