Monday, June 26, 2006

Panic and chaos in the Cotwolds



Imagine the scene…house full of guests, BBQ cooking away, sun shining and a football game, England versus Ecuador. All we need is a win…so temperature is rising, flag is hoisted (The Cross of St George of course). The crowd draws into the living room, admiring my new Samsung HD LCD and my new Telewest TV Drive, on which I have watched the World Cup in High Definition. Switch on TV, then TV Drive and…nothing…nada…not a pipsqueak…dead as a dodo…

Time to panic, what does one do in this new media environment, well you log onto the web and get the game on a pc…fat chance mate…the web is alos supplied by Telewest so its down….

Call Telewest, ask them what is going on? “No answer at Telewest, there is a high volume of callers.” Well what do you think dipstick…England is about to clear the Guniea Pig eaters, in their quest to conquer the World Cup and you decide to shut down shop"…of course there will be a high volume of callers, and they won't just call to ask if they can help out but to tell you what they think about you and your company.

It appears that two main frame fibre optic cable had been severed in the Bristol area, leaving 100,000 customers in Bath, Bristol and the Cotswolds without as much as a test picture to look at. Apparently the police are looking for some culprits wearing “I Love Sky HD” t-shirts…

I know what you are thinking, listen to the wireless…Well I am sorry it is like telling someone, go and see a movie where a bloke is hammering his piano, throughout the film as it did not have sound…it won’t do…

Well I was prepared having a couple of Freeview boxes attached to some other tellies, so now we watched it in the kitchen on my 21” analogue Samsung…It taught me that I should run a cable from the loft down in the living room as the big screen has a Freeview decoder built in, we cannot operate on one system alone…and the score…well you know but it is so nice to say that Beckham delivered so the Guinea Pig eaters had to go home flatten some Guinea Pigs and we are taking on the Sardine Eaters…

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mr Muscle Grand Cru 2006



Today I am more pissed of than ever, as stupidity has taken a new foothold.

Our hard earned money, £87,000,000 to be exact, is going to be paid to European winemakers. Well what is wrong with that you might say, EU pays the winemakers and then we all get cheaper wine, or even get a bottle free sent to you via the post…Get real…They are paying this money, which is part of a total £335,000,000 spent annually on winemakers to do what???

Turn unsold, not undrinkable but UNSOLD wine into FUEL AND INDUSTRIAL DISINFECTANT!!! Yes you read it correctly FUEL AND INDUSTRIAL DISINFECTANT!!!
It appears that our European friends France, Italy and Spain produce 50% of all the wine in the world. The problem is that most of us like wine from the New World as they are easier to understand, the labelling is not so confusing and before you start telling me that I am too stupid to understand do you know what all of this means;

Domaine
Chateau
Appellation Controle
Grand Cru
Crianza

…though so, smarty pants…You see selling wine is not just about the price, it is about look and feel, otherwise how do you think customers choose their wine in the supermarket, or where ever they buy it. A bottle of Kumala Shiraz, label on the back says "good with meat or as a drink on its own"…Clear, easy and taste bloody good. The New Worlds export have risen 19 fold when the EU has only risen 5 fold in the same time.

Now there are some arguments that the way of making wine in the New World is not fair. Short-cuts such as flavouring using woodchips, rather than wooden barrels, is currently banned in the EU, but then on the other hand EU winemakers use sugar to increase the alcohol in crap wines. So if you don’t like it bloody change it!!! No one is going to die if EU winemakers start to flavour their wines with wood chips rather than wooden barrels…are they!!! Apart from some French Frog Winemaker who refuses to change anything...he doesn’t need to…he makes as much wine as he wants, stores it in his own cellar and sells the rest to the EU via a grant.

Does this mean that I am in favour of having 908,000,000 bottles perfectly good wine turned into Mr Muscle Kitchen Cleaner or fuel!!! Not in a million years.

What I want is who ever decided to pay these clown wine makers, who produce more than they can sell, any idiot knows that, from the day we had a lemonade stand selling on our street back home to anyone who made too much pasta at dinner only having to throw it out after they have had macaroni three days running, to be held responsible. They should be forced to sit and drink all the 908M bottles in one afternoon, you hold them and pour it down their slimy, political, greedy, little, EU necks…If you overproduce, let me tell you what you can do, sell it cheaper, change labels, make it sexy and if that fails you should go bust and not rely on a bloody EU grant...What is that all about?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

ComDotCom...

Today communication is on the up and up. More people than I know is calling, texting to say England will win tonight…have we watched the same World Cup? My Niece S, contacted me via messenger, which was nice. Good to catch up with her, she is studying media and will be Sweden’s new Lasse Hallstrom, but much prettier.
Come on SWEDEN…it is a win or nothing…

Monday, June 19, 2006

Pants.com



It must have been very difficult being a camera man in the Friday game between Holland and the Ivory Coast. You would be faced with a dilemma; do I film the action or the 1000 fans watching the game in the underpants?
If you have yet to catch up on this story it is where a commercial decision gives you global coverage unintentionally. Bavaria brewery created Lowenhosen, combination of the Dutch Lion and Von Trapp style German Lederhosen, all in Orange, of course, with a fitted Lions Tail. What in the world could be offending to the officials who asked “Lowenhosen-wearing-fans” to strip down to their underpants, in order to get into the game?

You see it also had the name of the brewery printed on them and of course since it might have offended Budweiser, the official sponsor, they were asked to strip or miss the game…

I bet you anything that there is laughter and a lot of smiley marketing faces at the Bavaria Brewery this morning…they can’t believe their luck. And next big sporting event sponsored by Budweiser will see rows of half baked nude fans, who’s been told to strip all in the name of corporate sponsorship…who needs football just film the crowd…What is that all about?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers Day via sms!

Today is Fathers Day in England. It is a day when the children take time out of their busy schedules and spend some time with their fathers. What could you expect on a day like today…A bottle of something stronger, a pair of socks, perhaps being taken out for lunch or even just having the chance to spend the day with your child, excellent thought…
I got a text message “Happy Fathers Day, sorry I can’t be there.” Very sweet, if your daughter lives in another country, or even in a different place, tied up with work…but when they live 20 minutes away it is a bit poor…What is that all about?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Stupid Swedish MAN!!!!

Ättekulla, Helsingborg, Sweden 15th of June, 2006 approx 16.34:
It is not often that I report about news items that are just there and stupid but today a new record was set in Swedish stupidity (I write this before we play Paraguay). Imagine…You are on your lunch break, you see you car stolen so you would think you would call the police…No Way Jose, you climb into the trunk (the boot) and from this excellent position you call the police. When the car goes over a railway line the boot flies up and down again with such a force so it locks…you are now trapped in the boot of your own car driven by someone, who could be an insane killer, a vegetarian with an issue, fossil fuel glue sniffer or of course just someone wanting to trap people in the boot of stolen cars. So Mr. Plod sets out to chase the stolen vehicle with you in the boot. Clever!
The latest news on this story is that the car has been recovered; the boot of the car had to be broken into by the police to release the trapped owner as the car thieves had legged it and are now hunted by police on foot with dog patrols.
This guy deserves a Darwin award for stupidity. Is a car worth dying for and will it now increase his insurance premium??? I will let you know what make of the car it was…

A Garden Show!

Yesterday, was one of those days when we guys, do the things women want…you know what I mean, a conversation would be like this…”Darling lets go to the soft furnishing store and look at new cushions for the sofa”…”but there is nothing wrong with cushions they are fine”…”no they are not…they don’t match and you brother dribbled all over the blue one last time he was here”…but honey, he was upset, she was leaving him”…”and why did she leave him?”…”cause she was an insensitive cow”…”Nothing to with you and him and two bottles of Famous Grouse, a mobile phone and drunken lets tell her what we think conversation”…”But that had nothing to do with it, she was seen in town with another man...John told me so”…”Is this the John we are talking about who had no idea who her brother is and he that he was visiting from out of town”…”John is a mate…don’t you say anything bad about him”…”Why because he gets you free green fees at the golf club?”…”No he is a mate”…”OK, what is wife’s name?”…”I don’t know do I? She doesn’t play golf!”
This goes on and on and in the end we give up because we run out of things to say…which of course women never do…So yesterday I spent the day at Birmingham NEC for the annual BBC Garden Show. Now before you guys start on about “What a sucker”… I like the garden…I like my BBQ area, the sweeping lawns (excellent for chip and put, and the odd drive) I also like to sit in the garden with my music blaring out of the pool house speaker system, going from the pool to the lawn soaking the rays, bottle of Rose or two, with the smell of BBQ marinated meats, cooking gently on the Sunlegend 4000 or the Canadian Sterling (we are a two BBQ family) days like that cannot be beaten. Bring me the Nile, the Amazon or GOD forbid Lanzarote and I will beat any of them.
Part of the enjoyment are the colourful displays and varieties of flowers which brings this place to life…but it is the stuff in between which I don’t like…the weeding, digging, watering and bloody hard work. So when you see the Dermot, Monty and Alan blabbing away on telly, don’t be sucked into the wife’s comments “look how easy it is”…”no Honey it is not…they have a contract with JCB, a staff of 5,000 standing by, paid for by BBC license fee’s and when the camera is switched off this army of people come and do the boring stuff. Alan, Monty and Dermot sits down and sips Pimms whilst the minions are digging away…That is how it works.”

Back to the NEC, I thought that I could go to the BBQ sellers, the Honda, Stihl and Husqvarna exhibitors, which I did and guess what??? Disaster…In my looked up alarmed garage (just in case you intend to visit when I am not home) I have a Westwood, Stihl, Black & Deckers and Husqvarna…proper stuff, man stuff, petrol, two or four stroke, none of this girlie cables electrical Barbie stuff.
In my garden when I do gardening you can smell burning fossil fuels and if you are lucky you might even have a go…it is a dream for city folk coming to the country for the weekend…So when I entered the Stihl exhibition I expect a bloke who can talk horsepower, attachments, gadgets and saying things like …“this will cut through a 27 inch log like butter on a sunny day!” …because at the end of the day…women are not going to be talking to these guys about getting a ride-on-mower for your 100ft garden (I personally could sell one to anyone, just on the basis the when I am finished you would think that you need one, if not for cutting the grass, ride it down to the Co-Op, it’s the country and it is cool). So these guys looked more like they would be happier at the Barbie section at Hamleys than selling power tools to guys at a Garden Show. Who trains these people…health and safety???
Don’t they get it, wives will bring their husbands and whilst they are dealing with crocus and tulips, the next colours in gardening, guys looks at shiny things…their stand was shiny but that was all…run a sports bar for the guys (it is the World Cup after all) buy a chainsaw, get free drinks watch a game whilst the Missus is shopping green stuff and soft furnishings for the garden and they would double sale…I would have bought a road sweeper from them they had it been on sale yesterday, sales is about marketing and capturing your audience. What did you guys need yesterday to sell a Road sweeper? A bunch of Barbie salesmen dressed in Stihl shirts at a shiny stand with visible product placement and easy access…NO not at all you needed a bar, plasma screen and some “Totty” to serve…THAT is what it is all about?

Communication update 15 June

Well a lot of action here today. We have had communication from two camps, namely Daughter Z and Brother M.

Daughter Z: Contacted via mobile using SMS, asking if she could borrow money as she doesn’t have any left. I asked why she did not ask the boyfriend to help her out she answered “He has to pay rent, his mobile and petrol”. I am telling you she will go far…

Brother M: Called this morning on his mobile, left Vienna this morning for a holiday back home in Sweden, and he thought of me, decided to call and share some brotherly love??? No, “Could I check on the internet which petrol stations take his BP fuel card in Germany, as there are no BP fuel stations!!!!”

He did however call later to say that he stopped at an Autobahn Rastplatz and on entering the café he was met in a colour of red…namely Paraguayan football fans on their way to the Sweden – Paraguay game. Not a place he felt inclined to advise them all that he was Swedish…coward!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Communication Update 13 June

Well here we go...No calls, no emails and no Skype events to report...I did however hear from JDW who feels that Sweden's efforts against T&T were less than adequate, I do of course NOT agree and tomorrow will tell us if he was right or not...JDW...I got your number so watch out...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Communication

It is time to get a bit personal, so I apologise to all of those of you who do no know who I am or what my family setup is so in the spirit of decency I will use code names for all of my family members…

Background: We have a very good communication setup in our family; we live in three European countries and speak every week. Last week I had rubbish “conversation” with my daughter via text (sms) and based on that I decided to start an “experiment”. I am getting a bit annoyed that I am the “Communicator of the family” and I have decided that I have now had enough of being the “Communicator Instigator” so from today I will not call anyone (in the list below, unless in an emergency of course, I am not a moron, or if Sweden win the World Cup, when I will need to share my happiness with someone Swedish...my wife English).

Just to get you view of what communication devices are available and fully active, plus the family members involved…they are as follows:

Me: 2 landlines, Mobile phone, Skype, MSN, Facsimile and email
Daughter Z: Mobile, MSN
Brother T: 1 landline, Skype
Brother M: 1 Landline, Skype, Mobile
Brother C: 1 Landline, Mobile, Skype
Mum and Dad E. 1 Landline, 1 Mobile

Now this is not going to be a scientific test where we peddle the results in how breakdown in family communication is the denominating factor why we are better one another this is only going to be a test about who calls who and why…

Background update:

Daughter Z: Just moved in with the boyfriend and communication is bad (mum is really upset).
Brother T: Just moved to a new job and is between company mobiles emails and who is paying for it all.
Brother M: Accepted my contract negotiations and is stressed at work, normally calls when stuck in traffic.
Brother C: New baby and work is putting a strain on communications access calls when he needs a new recipe for the BBQ.
Mum and Dad E: Mum knows how the phone works but waits for us to call. Dad waits as well and should ask to use the phone (needs help with dialling and but once on the phone is a treat and I miss the fact to hear “Your dad is on the phone….

Communication…What is that all about?

Monday, June 12, 2006

So the world isn’t mad after all…

What did we do before the world invented Health and Safety or The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents? I tell you what we did…We drank water direct from the garden hose, we climbed trees, played with bows and arrows, shot stones with catapults and picked apples from the trees and eat them. We went to school by foot and by bicycles, fell off, scraped a knee, bled, cried a bit and a nice lady put a plaster on our knee. We had knives which we used to carve sticks into spikes and those kids that were good at it, played football and guess what…sometimes they got hurt, sometimes they were picked for the team and sometimes they were not…character building you could say.
Most of you sane people out there will say “I do remember that and I do agree with you…but today’s society is filled with weirdoes so you must look after your kids… can’t let them out of you sight and so on”. I am sorry but I don’t agree…most weirdoes are other parents who will sue you because your kid hit a football at their kid…or when your kid fell off his bike no parent will assist, just in case they get sued by you. It is a vicious cycle. But now there is someone fighting back. Hats off to Gonn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden the authors of a book entitled “The Dangerous Book for Boys”!!! It is on the best seller list and I hope that parents are buying it because they want their kids to have the pleasure of falling out of a tree, it will do you good, just look at Keith Richards…he fell out of a coconut tree and as far as I know isn’t suing anyone…what an example to mankind that is…

Seriously we need to get the kids out of the Nintendo, play station, cable TV infested bedrooms and get them to fall out of a coconut tree. I have friends who has never hit their thumb with a hammer, never broken a window with a ball, or fallen of a bike…how is that possible??? The Royal Society for The Prevention of Accidents (I am not kidding it does exist) wants to earmark £124,000,000 of lottery money to create playgrounds where there is a “controlled risk”…what is that all about?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cross of St George

I cant really let this go as it is starting to irritate me so much…The world has gone mad…it is now official!! Mr Plod aka Clive Wolfendale, (English by birth), The Deputy chief constable of North Wales Police Force has been interviewed and put out a statement, “England Fans flying the flag on their cars could antagonise Welsh fans”. Isn’t that a bit like saying - Volvo car fans are antagonised by seeing Saabs driven around. What an absolute piece of s**t!!!

How come these high powered public servants are such a bunch of pratts, where do find them? Is there a special breeding programme going on, do people honestly believe that seeing an English flag on a car is, according to Mr Plod, “precursor to behaviour which is violence, racism and hooliganism of the very worse kind”.

I agree that if you are out in Cardiff a Saturday Night, a few drinks under the belt, dressed in the English team outfit, walking into a pub possibly called the Red Dragon home of Wales football shouting the “Welsh are Crap” after they’ve take a humiliating beating by England 5 – 0, then you should expect some type of problems. But then on the other hand if you are that stupid you should not be out in the first place. You should be working on you exams to become Police Chief in the secret breeding programme… What is all that about?

Where are the police when you don’t need one?

The other day I participated in a small thanksgiving to Mr Kenneth Livingstone, for you who don’t read papers, listen or have access to London News or don’t know who he is, he is the mayor of London. He sits in some very posh offices by the Thames…well if you are in charge would you put your offices in Peckham??? Anyway the thanks to Kenneth were to pay £8 in the congestion charge as I had to enter London for a meeting, at Stratton Street to be precise. I brought Mrs E with me since the vicinity offers both Regent Street and Oxford Street to browse, and to have the rare occasion to mingle with visitors to our lovely capital. We entered the West End at approx 1.30 pm via the A4, the flyover by Hammersmith, past the natural History Museum, The French Embassy, Harrods, Hard Rock Café and finally Glitzy Ritz… My meeting went well and some 2 hours later we decided that the expectation, excitement and parking charge £12 for two hours at an NCP was enough, so we headed out, the same route as we came in. However we decided to have a look at our old house in Putney/Barnes. Driving over the beautiful Hammersmith Bridge reminded me why we pay to enter the London, bring a small car…who designed the crappy access to the bridge, he should be sent to work at Kenneth’s place.
Late lunch at JT’s in Putney before heading out back to the wilderness of the M4 towards the Cotswolds it struck us…We had not seen a single police officer on patrol. Not one! Walking, Driving, Sleeping, Eating, Directing, NOT ONE…since we entered London.

Now don’t get me wrong we lived in London long enough to find our way without Sat Nav and asking Bobbies the way, but it occurred to us, that after our recent trip to New York, how NICE it was to see boys in blue patrolling, keeping things under control, assisting smiling and every now and then telling people “Have a Nice Day”…or simply telling them to move along…
I know that my eight pounds to Kenneth did not increase the number of patrols on the street but he has said so, nor did I feel that we were offering a service to all those visitors coming to see our proud city. I have close friends working in the police force, and they are protecting important dignities like Kenneth or busting crack houses in Peckham, but when I come to London town I expect to see Bobby…Where is he or she???…What is that all about?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Recycle

You know what? I like the environment and I like the word “green” especially now since it is cool to be green, no offence Mr. Cameron it was not you that made it cool. We don’t need to have woolly jumpers, beards with braids in them and wipe our “botties” on yesterdays Telegraph or Sun (there will be Daily Mail readers saying that it is the best paper as the ink does not smudge). It is also much easier to be green nowadays since local government has had their wrists slapped by those in government, who had their wrested slapped by those in Brussels, who had their wrists tied to a blond in a club paid for by someone rich in recycling and just happened to have some photos taken at the right moment...
So all we have to do is to fill our boxes with the recyclable material that should not go to into landfills. The idea is simple, reuse, recycle and then we save planet, and to be honest, it does make you feel good to say…”I did save the planet…!!! Now, so far so good. The curtain twitching is now more aggressive than ever, neighbours are spying on each other telling tales “I saw Mr Jones put a bottle in the bin”…”No he never…” and so on…So what happens to our wonderful efforts, BTW, we are only just starting to catch up with what Sweden and the US, has been doing for years. Well to start with I am paying £26 for a “brown bin” (that is the colour of the bin, in which I can only put green things…makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it…The bloke from the post office, who can answer a phone but not speak designed the colour scheme before they found out that he is colour blind…) and the idea is that the council (who also takes £200 a month form me, for the library, police, waste disposal and so forth) will come around every two weeks and empty the boxes (green, the colour where I put glass, metal and paper) and the brown bin (the green stuff…keep up). When they eventually turn up there will be nothing to pick up…the brown bin with the green stuff have turned to compost and the green bin with the brown stuff has turned it to unusable paper, the bottles are homes to ants and bees…but then eventually when they do arrive what do they do? They empty contents into a black bin liner which is then taken to a processing plant packed and shipped to China, where they convert the plastic to pellets sent it back to us to make bottles and other plastic items like black bin bags in which we can have our recycled material put in…What is that all about?

Man on the roof

For you who doesn’t get to read or see the British news, yesterday a suspected car thief was chased upon a roof, what looked like, a three storey private residential building!!??? He stayed there for some 20 hours, entertaining a crowd below by throwing bricks and tiles on cars and of course the police who was there from the start. I know what you thinking... swat team, stun guns, a BIG MASSIVE POLICE OFFICER with an excellent right hook, snipers, fire hoses to flush him down…!!!! None of the above my friends…a cherry picker with a family sized bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with a two litre bottle of Pepsi, aha you say...they used sleeping tablets or a sedative…No…just normal KFC and Pepsi. Are we to believe that the human rights act does not allow us to shot, (if you want to see where it says "give KFC and Pepsi" read http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/19980042.htm )or sedate a complete pratt like this guy and that we should talk gently to him for 20 hours in order to get him down, who is paying for this? Cannot be him, as he could not even afford a car, he stole one…What is that all about?

Guarantee of Crap Craftsmanship

I recently purchased a lawnmower, a petrol-driven one so I can do the edges and corners where my ride-on mower is too big. You see I have a Stihl-strimmer, petrol-driven as I would need an electricity cable longer than 500 metres to cover my grounds, but this does not do the job as quickly and neatly as I want, and before you start it is not down to the operator. So I set off to one of large DIY chains to look at a particular mower more than adequate to do the job. Priced at some £100 this is an expense which is not taken lightly so after research, I bought this neatly packaged, never used, push not self propelled, shiny green and blue 3.5hp marvel. Got it in the car home and unpacked…cool all I need to do is to fix the folding handle add oil, petrol and off we go.
It started not so well with the handle screws which were like plastic taps cracking and falling apart in my hands…well I though I got plenty of screws in the garage so two new fitted and off we went. The mower cut nicely and did the job, just as it “says on the tin”. A week later time again for this marvel to have a run and what happened? Two wheels fell off…Called the service number in the instruction book to be told “The model is too new so we don’t parts for it yet”, “take it back to the store and change it”. Fine…If you don’t have parts, how did you build the bloody thing??? I returned the mower as instructed and got a full refund, no way was I going to take that thing home again what will happen next time? The engine falls off?
So here we are three weeks later and we had to go to London for the day, on our return a little card is in the porch advising us that a parcel to big to fit in the letter box was delivered so please call this number to arrange redelivery (no this is not the scam about parcels delivered, which you call up and get fleeced on a premium number). So I spent best part of Monday morning trying to get through to the post office…Is everyone at the post office incapable of answering phones or is that illegal due to health and safety? On Tuesday, I was trying again only this time on my mobile as the power went and my phones won’t work without power. Someone with English skills far less than a three year old answered (he was hired because he known how to answer the phone but they forgot to ask him of he could speak). Today, my unexpected parcel arrived, no note, no sender address, no packing slip, no nothing apart from two used, slightly damaged wheels which would not have fitted my mower, which in any case was back at the store…What is that all about?

The World Cup

So here we go...The test is starting in a couple of days and we are so pleased that it is. This lead up to the WC is getting extremely silly, the British press have made the England team Champions already, however GOD HELP YOU, if you are caught flying the flag...Now, we have seen in other countries where the flag is flown the pride that people take in belonging to something or someone, especially when a World Cup or other sporting event is going on. Where I come from, Sweden we are proud to have a our flag flying at national and personal events. It might even help you to remember that it is someone’s birthday when you see the flag flying…note that there has been stories of people flying the flag when it is not their birthday just in order to get visitors…
In England, I am leaving Wales and Scotland out of this, it is a hideous crime to fly the St Georges Cross or to identify yourself with being English, I will therefore fly the English flag on those days when England is playing and proudly fly the Swedish flag on those days when Sweden (and of course when they play England, Sven-Goran Eriksson might take pride that in a small corner of England the Swedish flag will fly) are playing fly the blue and yellow with pride. I will also like to see all people getting proper flags and flagpoles and defy the silliness of political correctness and take back what belongs to the people, namely the right to fly the flag. Is some jumped up “little-know-nothing” is going to tell us weather we can fly the flag or not…What is that all about?