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Monday: Late again,today, he'd be in trouble though he'd say he was sorry
 

 

Old Man

31st May

 

This is what happened.

 

I was getting on the tram and I wasn't particularly paying attention to where I was.  I had the newspaper in my hand and was looking at the crossword.  I was standing on that bit of the tram that is bendy and when it suddenly twisted I fell over.

 

A woman sat by the bend said "Oooh look, that old man's fallen over."

 

She the turned to the man who had got on the tram behind me (who was not much younger than I am) and said "Are you his carer?"

The man said no.

"You're not much use as his carer," she said.  "You should look after him more."

The man walked up to her and put his face close to hers.  Then he said with surprising calmness, "I'm not his f**king carer."

The woman said, "Then you should be.  He's not safe out on his own."

 

Thanks for that.

 

CHANNEL

30th May

 

I was talking the other day about CHANNEL training which was meant to prepare you for identifying students at risk of becoming extremists.  You are given case studies of people who are at risk and you have to decide which one to report.  Here are some examples.

 

Student 1

During the recent cold snap Sarah has taken to wearing a scarf.  She has stopped reading Harry Potter and has taken to reading  “Le Père Goriot” by Honoré de Balzac which does not appear to be in English.  She has been overheard saying her mother ordered a takeaway chick pea balti and that it was nice.

 

Student 2

Mohammed has started randomly reading a poor translation the Koran out loud.  He answers every question with "Alihu Akbar" including "Why are you late?"  He appears to have strapped toilet rolls to his French Connection waistcoat and is making regular trips to the station to shout at trains.

 

Student 3

Dwaine seems to have come back from holiday with a dark sun tan.  He has started to say that all his lessons are boring.  He is not lacing up his trainers and is showing an alarming amount of bum crack.  He has not handed in any coursework since February and spends all his available time watching video of young men playing video games.

 

Student 4

Clint has had a swastika tattooed to his forehead and every essay he hands in is titled "My Struggle".  He has shaved his head and he is using a bread knife for sharpening pencils.  He has borrowed a large amount of ammonia from the chemistry department for the purposes of cleaning his flick knife.  He says his father has voted UKIP to get rid of all the foreigners.

 

In case you're wondering you should shop them all apart from student 4 who should be made a prefect and forced into doing Further Maths.

 

Guardians

29th May

 

Warning:  Spoilers.

 

I haven't been to the cinema for a while.  I need to go more often and to be fair, in summer I tend to have more time.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 wasn't a bad place to start. 

 

I recently watched Volume 1 and was surprised how little I enjoyed it.  The story seemed a bit stream of consciousness (and then...and then...and then) but it's rescued by Groot and Rocket and it has a happy ending.

 

And perhaps that's the problem with Volume 2, the film ends on a bit of downer.  OK, so Starlord wins and saves the Universe, but that means both his Father and his Dad die.  And he doesn't get the girl.

 

Talking of the girl, what is it with Zoe Saldana and Science Fiction?  She's in every major SF franchise.  Avatar, Trek and Guardians.  She only needs to have starring role in Star Wars Episode XI and she's got the lot.  Don't get me wrong, she's a fine actress, but surely there must be someone, somewhere, who can take a part in a science fiction film.

 

Two more things.

 

First, the music.  I get the whole mix tape thing, but it doesn't always work the orchestral score is obtrusive.

Second, the post credit scenes.  I sat through the whole of credits and there's four of them and they're all a bit rubbish.  I was hoping for something hinting at Infinity Wars and was disappointed.

 

This all sounds a bit negative, but it shouldn't be.  How can you not like a film with Baby Groot?

 

Shock Election

28th May

 

The Tories have made a number of mistakes in the election campaign.

They wanted this to be about Brexit but should have realised that the British Public are more concerned with things like education, the health service and policing.

They thought the Labour Party would implode but they haven't.   The Tory press have found it very hard to find anyone who is not towing the party line.  In fact, all the evidence shows that the Tories are the party imploding.

They thought Jeremy Corbin would make a complete prat of himself but he hasn't, in fact despite their best attempts the Tory press haven't been able to ridicule him to the point

They've run with "strong and stable" and then let her U turn letting her opponents point out how many times she's changed her mind.

They've tried to focus on immigration despite May's proven failures in this area.

Don't get me wrong, they'll still win, but with a possible reduction in majority.  She may have called a shock election, but she may be heading for an election shock.

 

Prevent

27th May

 

The Britist COunter TErroism STrategy or CONTEST consists of four strands known as the 'four P's': , Prepare, Protect, Pursue,  and Prevent. Prepare is largely preparing for the after effects of a terrorist attack, Protect is to minimise the effects or a terrorist attack.  Pursue is to catch the bastards who did it, but It's 'Prevent' that is attracting some attention.

 

Prevent is designed to prevent Muslims becoming extremists.  It should really be called identify potential extremeists but that doesn't begin with a P.  The main way it does this a sort of shop-a-Muslim system.  If you think you know someone who you think might be Muslim, it is now your duty to shop them.

 

In schools we have the CHANNEL program and all teaching staff have been trained to identify Muslim extremists.  You we given case studies and asked to identify who was likely to become a terrorist.  In 2015 there were 466 kids identified as at risk, in 2016 it was 1355.  If the number of suspects increases threefold we'll have got the entire school population by 2023.

 

This has led to some wonderful accidents, my favourite being the child who was shopped by a teacher because he had written that he lived in a Terrorist house .  His parents and family were interviewed before they found out it was spelling error and that he lived in a terraced house.

 

But is this way to stop extremism?  Wouldn't we be better publicly challenging the extremists at every chance?  A high profile public campaign akin to the anti AIDS campaign of the 80's.  Fundamentalism is becoming more deadly.

 

Just a thought.

 

And while I'm thinking, what does CHANNEL have to say about Right Wing Extremism and all the other extremists in the world?

 

Grimm Ending

26th May

 

I've just got round to watching the end of Grimm.

 

Like the end of Person of Interest, it made me think of how much things have changed in the seven years since it started.  It also made me realise how much Grimm itself had changed.  It started out as retellings of the original Grimm Tales in a sort of Urban Gothic staging.  Some were quite clever, others were almost painfully clumsy, but the characters were likeable and the vohging effect was always well done.

 

For me the only recurring weak point was Juliette.  As Nick's girlfriend, unaware of his life as a Grimm she came across as annoyingly stupid (she was supposed be a vet), but when she became a Hexenbiest, the actress just wasn't equal to the task.

 

The last series had the feel of something that has jumped the shark two series ago, or at least had run out of ideas.  It was nice that they gave it a chance to end properly.

 

And of course the final scene paves the way for Grimm:  The Next Generation.

 

Papa

25th May

 

Donald Trump has been to see the Pope.

 

Remember that during his campaign Trump criticised the Pope and the Pope said he was mre interest in building bridges that building walls.  Then there was the bizarre bit of genuinely Fake News where the story was circulated that the Pope loved Donald Trump and thousands, if not millions of right wing Catholics thought it was alright to vote for the orange skinned bastard.

 

The meeting was always going to be odd but was quietly controlled.  Both parties maintained a sort of restrained passive aggressive stance, well at least until the Pope got bored with it and just looked ... well... bored.

 

There was a weird exchange of gifts, a rock, the collected work of Martin Luther King, what looked like a big chocolate button, and the Popes writing on how we should be nice to each other.  Autographed.

 

I would also like to point out that Melania looked good in black.

 

Just saying.

 

Oh, and Trump had a word for the Manchester Terrorists, he said they weren't evil, they were losers.  Yes, you heard me Losers.  Really.

 

Numbers

24th May

 

It hasn't been announced yet, but I'm sure that the security forces would have had the Manchester bomber on some sort of list and the press will accuse them of not doing their job.

 

Personally, I don't think a civilised society should lock up people for something they might do.  I've seen Minority Report and looked what happened to Tom Cruise.  He became a Scientologist.

 

But there's another aspect to this.  The scale.

 

You may have heard of the Prevent Agenda.  For those of you who don't know, it's one of the four strands of the Compact Program designed to deal with the threat from Islamic terrorists.  Part of the Compact Program is the Prevent Agenda and this deals with the prevention of radicalisation.  Part of Prevent is the Compact Program which is basically a responsibility of public servants to shop-a-muslim.

 

There are five and a half million public service employees.  If one in ten reports something, that's half a million people under surveillance.  If it takes a team of 8 to monitor on e subject that's 4 million secret police.  And while I think that one secret policeman is one too many, even the most terrified mother can't want four million.

 

And on top of that Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

 

It's Kids

23rd May

 

The pattern of my bowel problem has been periods of constipation followed by a few hours of explosive decompression.  During these periods of decompression it's touch and go.  You only have to touch me and I go.  But since the colonoscopy I've returned to the constipation followed by squirty bottom syndrome.

 

I'm telling you this to explain why I was awake at 4.00am this morning and having trouble getting to sleep, I'd made myself a cup of tea and put the TV on.

 

When terrorists broke into the Bataclan Centre in France, the band playing were Eagles of Death Metal, a little know band.  The 1500 audience were all Death Metallers, largely middle aged couples or millennials.   While  not exactly terrifyng, it was worrying, because I could imagine myself in that sudience.

 

By the time I tuned into the program, they were reporting 22 dead and witnesses saying they had seen flying bolts and shrapnel.  It took some time before the reporter said who was performing at the concert.  It was Ariana Grande.

 

Oh God, I thought.  It's kids.

 

 

Whitby

22nd May

 

Before I start, can I just say that what the doctor really ordered was what to cut down on the Metformin, do more exercise and have camera shoved up my jaxy.

 

The only thing I remember about Whitby is the bleeding hills.  This time was no different.  We had a fantastic flat on the top of one of them.

 

Whitby has always had a good selection of pubs for me.  The beer is generally good and although the pubs are a bit run down, they're that way because they're genuinely old not some interior designer's idea of what an old fashioned pub should look like.

 

This was supposed to be a "Lad's Weekend", but this year there were only four of us and one of those wasn't a lad and although it wasn't the excesses of a recaptured youth, it was still a chance to get away.

 

And I needed it.

 

Work has been a bit hectic recently and I've been worried about my health and a weekend away and a little alcoholic excess was just what the doctor ordered.

 

Person of Interest

21st May

 

So it's farewell Person of Interest.

 

I've always enjoyed Person of Interest.  It had a sort of Batman vibe.  Reece had no super powers just immense training and really, really hi-tech support.  And I liked the idea that you didn't know if the number was a murderer or a victim.  Whatever, I enjoyed Person of Interest and activlely looked forward to new episodes.

 

I had feeling about how it would end.  I thought there were a couple of clues.

  1. There seems to a big matrix thing going on in genre TV.  SHEILD currently exists inside a computer game,   Dr Who had VR world and Shaw has been living in a VR testing ground.

  2. The story had become more and more focussed on Finch. 

  3. They had been running a battle between the machine and Samaritan which was currently running at Samaritan 73267283, Machine Nil.

I thought what was going to happen was that at the end of the penultimate episode we'd see that at the Machine had won a simulation.  At the beginning of the final episode I thought we'd see Finch back with Claire followed by a mass battle where everyone died the we'd find that Finch meeting Clare was a simulation inside the victorious machine.

 

Obviously, that didn't happen.

 

Or did it?

 

Another Week of Trump

20th May

 

It's been a week since I blogged about Trump and here are some of the things that have happened in Trump World

  • Sacked the head of the FBI who was investigating his links with Russia

  • Claimed it was the Attorney General's decision then changes his mind

  • He has brought the Russians to the Whitehouse

  • He did not let the American Press in but did let in the Russians

  • He has given the secrets to the Russians

  • He says they're not secrets because anything he says is automatically declassified

  • He's told us North Korea hacked the NHS

  • Coney has gone and has released a memo that says he was asked to drop the enquiry

  • Trump has tweeted that Coney is a "Nutjob"

He says it the biggest witch hunt in American History.  That should please him.  He always wants to be the biggest in everything.

 

 

Prince Philip Again

19th May

 

Last year if I'd forgotten to make notes for a blog entry, I did a Star Trek review.  This year, I've added to an earlier blog post.

 

When Prince Philip retired I compiled a list of favourite gaffes.  Some of the text comes from the Daily Telegraph

 

1.        "I declare this thing open, whatever it is." (on a visit to Canada in 1969).

2.        "If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane, and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it." (at a 1986 World Wildlife Fund meeting).

3.        "It looks like a tart's bedroom." (on seeing plans for the Duke and Duchess of York's house at Sunninghill Park in 1988)

4.        "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?" (to a driving instructor in Oban, Scotland, during a 1995 walkabout).

5.        "You are a woman, aren't you?"(In Kenya, in 1984, after accepting a small gift from a local woman).

6.        "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed." (to British students in China, during the 1986 state visit).

7.        "Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease." (in Australia, in 1992, when asked to stroke a Koala bear).

8.        "You can't have been here that long - you haven't got a pot belly." (to a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, in 1993).

9.        "You're too fat to be an astronaut." (to 13-year-old Andrew Adams who told Philip he wanted to go into space. Salford, 2001).

10.      "I wish he'd turn the microphone off." (muttered at the Royal Variety Performance as he watched Sir Elton John perform, 2001).

11.      "Do you still throw spears at each other?" (In Australia in 2002 talking to a successful aborigine entrepreneur).

12.      "You look like a suicide bomber." (to a young female officer wearing a bullet-proof vest on Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in 2002).

13.      "Do you know they're now producing eating dogs for anorexics?" (to a blind woman outside Exeter Cathedral, 2002)

14.      "There's a lot of your family in tonight." (after looking at the name badge of businessman Atul Patel at a Palace reception for British Indians in October 2009).

15.      "The Philippines must be half empty as you're all here running the NHS." (on meeting a Filipino nurse at a Luton hospital in February 2013)

16.      "Just take the f***ing picture." (losing patience with an RAF photographer at events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain - July 2015)

17.      "I'm just a bloody amoeba." (on the Queen's decision that their children should be called Windsor, not Mountbatten).

18.      "I hope he breaks his bloody neck." (when a photographer covering a royal visit to India fell out of a tree)

19.      "If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she's not interested." (on the Princess Royal)

20.      "Where did you get that hat?" (supposedly to Queen at her Coronation).

 

Second Semi

18th May

 

Something went wrong with my booking of tickets and we ended up being sat on the front row.  There was plenty of room to stand at half time and I could have reached out and touched the players but you couldn't really see what was happening.

 

Both teams seemed to playing for penalties from the start and the first half was cagey.  After we scored, we sort of took control and it only seemed like a matter of time before we went two nil up.  I always say we play well if Bannon plays well and for half an hour he had a stormer.

 

Then they scored.

 

It was a poor goal to concede, a comedy goal.  Their player didn't kick it, he just sort of fell on it and it sort of trickled over theline.  Tome stood still during that moment as I hoped against hope hat a defender would get back and stop it.

 

No-one did.

 

Then it was penalties and there was only going to be one outcome.  Rhodes didn't take one but Forrestieri did.  I still haven't seen it.  I couldn't watch.

 

Ho-hum

 

Virus

17th May

 

When they said  virus was affecting the health service I assumed it would be MRSA or some other superbug.  I wasn't expecting a price of Ransomware.

 

It is the way things work in DaveWorld that I had just taken two sachets of laxative and spent nearly an hour on the toilet before coming downstairs and turning on the TV to find that a piece of Ransomware had crashed what appeared to be most of the health service.  There was good chance that I had emptied my bowels for nothing.

 

Apparently, if you've got Windows from 8.1 onwards or just kept Windows update going, you'd be fine.  Any free virus checker, AVG would do, would have kept you safe too.

 

I've encountered Ransomware  before.  An acquaintance of mine who was an Apple Mac inherited the systems his Father used in his business and somehow got this machine hijacked.  The ransom was a couple of hundred so he paid it.  He saw the entire incident as mark of how crap PCs were and spent three grand transferring things over to his Mac Book Air.

 

1st Semi

16th May

 

I don't know what to say.

 

Today was a little bit of a celebration for me.  There were no nasties in my bottom and it was my first real chance to have drinkipoos.  The snooker club (where we've taken to watching matches was selling four pint jugs of Guinness for eight pounds.  I had two in the two hours of the match.  THe problem was everybody was buying jugs and we were taking too lung to serve so when Barrie go the second round he thought it was good idea to get jugs.

 

I'm spending a bit of tie talking about beer because the match itself was a bit of damp squib.  It was as if both teams were playing for penalties on Wednesday Night.  There were literally no shots on target.  The statistics may show that there were two chances for Huddersfield but both of these came after a piece of comedy defending and weren't really chances.  The first was when a defender (not sure which) air kicked and the Udders player kicked it straight at Westwood.  The second came of a defenders back and the Udders player just clipped the post.

 

You've got to say we've got the upperhand.  Carlos' tactics seem to be to size the up in the first half and spank them in the second and I suppose this like a long first half.

 

But we could have done with at least one attempt on goal.

 

Eurovision Final

15th May

 

This was a bit of damp squib.

 

I usually host a bit of do for the Eurovision, but this time, because of the the state of my arse, I thought I was a bit risky.  Fortunately John and Fran stepped into the breach and kept me topped up with munchies while I made sarcastic comments about the acts.

 

Interestingly the reason I started staying in to watch the Eurovision song contest was because the subtitles on Telext had translations of the foreign language songs and you couldn't record subtitles.  This wouldn't have mattered this year as the subtitles were in the native languages and most of the songs were in the English.

 

The UK managed a creditable eleventh but only got five votes from the general populace.  We need o take it more seriously.

 

And the result?  It was pretty obvious after the semis that it was going to be one of the man childs (man children?) and it turned out to be Portugal.  He gave a embarrassing speech about how this was good for music, that after years of manufactured pop a true talent had won it.  I'm not a violent man, but even I wanted to slap him

 

Poo

14th May

 

Yesterday I had to have the old bendy camera up the botty. 

 

It's hard to see how how much this has bothered me.  It's not been the procedure itself, but the possible results.  I really don't feel strong enough to fight cancer at this time.

 

I had seen that mixing the laxatives with flavoured water but suddenly realised I had bought bottle of sparkling water.  I used them anyway, but theresult of this was that as well as pissing through my arse, I was farting and trumping like a rhino.

 

This meant taking four sachets of laxatives the day before.  I took the first two and it said not to take anymore until I'd poo'd.  I waited for two and a half hours and realised that the instructions said if I hadn't gone by two, I should ring them.  Obviously, the hospital was shut by this time so I wonder whether to ring NHS direct.  I decided to text Patsy as she has some medical training but I got as far as "I wonder is I should..." but then I was up and running.

 

The procedure itself was relatively painless, but I was sedated and took more than my fair share of Gas and Air.  And they found nothing.  A couple of polyps which were painlessly removed.  According to the guidance, 996 out of 1000 have polyps.

 

Time to get back on with things.

 

 

Trump and Coney

13th May

 

OK...

 

I was trying very hard not to blog about politics but for ffs.  Is there anyone in the world who thinks he has fired the head of the FBI because he was getting too close in his investigations?  Even Fox News are struggling to explain it away.

 

Trump then claimed to have tapes that proved Coney needed to be scared of.   This tells the world that Trump has had some conversation with Coney and not that Coney had done anything wrong, just that Trump thinks he has.  General thinking seems to be that he refused tp swear allegiance to TRump and drop the investigation.

 

In other news Trump claims to have invented the term "Priming the Pump.  He said

 

"Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven't heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It's what you have to do."

 

To quote the man himself again, "I'm the President.  Can you believe it?"

 

Eurovision 2nd Semi

12th  May

 

This was a lot less fun than Tuesday’s offering

It has

 

Much publicity has been given to the Romanian Rap/Yodelling collective, but the most eye catching bit of their act was the two rubbish canons that did nothing.  Perhaps they will do something on Saturday.

 

The Belarus thing with the two singers in a hovercraft was catchy and got good audience response.  San Marino had two pub singers, one in a glittery tracky.  Croata had guy who sang falsetto when facing left then bass when facing right.  It was a bit like Tommy Cooper when he was dressed half as a woman, half as a man.  The Bill Maher had a tirade about anonymous DJs in masks.  Norway obviously hadn’t seen this as their act had three of them. Hungary came across as odd but you can imagine that home they were seen as brilliant.  Cultural diversity, eh?

 

More cute young men (Bulgaria, Ireland) in this round with mixed results.  Bulgaria won, but Ireland went out despite forcing the young lad to stand in a balloon.

 

My favourite is still Moldova from the first semi.

 

 

 

Concorde Cloud and Re-appearing Beach

11th May

 

It's been nearly a week since I've had a political rant and I'm not starting today.

 

I'm thinking of buying a new weather station because the one I've got is broke.  The problem with the old one was the the outside sensors ate batteries.  I could have connected it to the mains but there's no easy power source in my garden.  If anyone has a solution to this, let me know.

 

There's been two weather related stories in the news this week.  First is the Concorde Cloud.

 

 

I guess it's some sort of Cu Len, but locals thought it was a ghost Concorde.

 

The second story is the magical re-appearing beach.

 

 

 

Nature is indeed awesome.

 

Eurovision 1st Semi

10th May

 

It’s often said that Grande Britagne don’t get many points is because people don’t like us (?), but the fact is we just don't take it seriously enough.  We spend more time mocking the others than backing our own lack-lustre performances. 

 

Look at Montenegro, with its metrosexual chic and his three foot plaited pony tail should have been in with a chance, but the song and the performance weren’t good enough.  .

 

I really liked the winner, Moldova.  They also had an interesting take on the Bucks Fizz skirt-comes-off thing and the weird stampy dance was really effective.  It was flash and catchy, but there was no way that bloke was playing the saxophone.  

 

Some of the odder ones did survive. Azerbijan featured a horse on step ladder and a singer in a box made from blackboards.  Sweden had dancers on treadmills a la OK Wow.  Greece had a homo-erotic performance by two semi-naked men in a paddling pool.

 

Cute young men with long hair and little beards seemed to be in with a chance (Australia and Poland) when I was younger I had long hair and a cabby beard and nobody voted for me.

 

I’m still a bit confused how Belgium got through.  Rubbish song, rubbish singer.  Perhaps it’s because she cried.  Lucy should give it a go.

 

Marathon

9th May

 

I don't do enough exercise.  I'm not proud of the fact and I know I really, really should, but at this moment in time I just can't.  My pulse rate doubles if I blink two energetically.  I can just about manage a wink.  Someone has just done a marathon in 2 hours 20 seconds.  It set me thinking, so I've set my students this problem.

Given

Time taken 2 hours 20 seconds

26 miles 360 yards

1 mile = 1760 yards

1 yard = 0.91 yards

How long would it take the runner to do 100m?

 

The answer is 17s.  Consistently. Four Hundred and Twenty times.  Wow.

 

I did some exercise once in 1977.  I didn't like it so I'm not doing it again.  The closest I've been to exercise in the last few years is occasionally driving past Myrtle Springs Leisure Centre.

 

Fulham

8th May

 

Let me say first that I wanted Carlos to rest the first team. 

 

This was not necessarily because I thought the players needed a rest but there was always that chance that If he played the first team and they lost then the psychological impact of the defeat could have a lasting effect on the playoffs.

 

So Carlos made 10 changes.  Yes 10.  Only one person who kept a place in the team was Lee and he was substituted after an hour.  In fact, the only other two outfield players who are likely to feature in next weeks 18 were substituted half way through the second half.  I read somewhere that we had five players who had played apart in less than five match this season, including three that had not played this year.

 

And despite that, we still gave a good account of ourselves.  Down to ten men after a red that should have been a yellow at worse, we held Fulham for most of the game.  I don't often complain about officials, but these literally did not have a clue.  There were pauses in the match while they shrugged their shoulders before making a random decision.

 

I've said that Fulham will be easier to beat a Wembley than in the semis, but on this showing, the press are wrong to put Fulham as runaway favourites.  I can see Reading beating them.

 

Phil the Greek

7th May

 

Phil the Greek is retiring.  He's 95.

 

I had just been to the hospital and put the radio on to hear what seemed like an obituary.  It wasn't until I was nearly home that I realised he wasn't dead.

 

One thing you can always say about Mad Phil is he has always stood behind the Queen.  It's hard to imagine what that must have been like in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.  Men simply did not stand behind women.  And he had to.  Any other thing would have destroyed the monarchy.

 

I have a couple of stories about PP that probably aren't true but I like them non the less.

 

The first was that he was a licensed taxi driver and owned a black cab.  According to legend he would take to the streets unaccompanied and pick up fares.  I wonder what name he had on his license?

 

The other story also involves going off piste.  Apparently, when he wanted to play golf he would book a tee time like everyone else.  He would dismiss his guards and play a round on his own then take to the nineteenth hole for the odd snifter.  One day, he found himself talking to a member of the nouveau riche who had come to the course to show off a brand new new Rolls Royce.  Noticing the greying gent in the corner was attracting some attention, the young tried engaging the scruffily dressed prince.  Eventually he offered the Prince a lift home to Windsor.  With a twinkle in his eye, the Prince accepted hoping to se the young man's reaction to turning up at the castle.

 

"I bet you've never been in one of these," said the young man, proud of his new car.

"Not in the front seats, no," said the Prince.

 

I'll tell these stories again when he dies.  Which might not be long.

 

 

 

Fads

6th May

 

I couldn't remember what they were called but I thought it began with an F.  I typed f into Google and straight away it gave me Fidget Spinner.

 

I first encountered the spinners a couple of weeks ago when one of my students with a history of anxiety had one.  Most of the class were curious and tried it but none of then seemed particularly interested.  I tried it and thought it could be used as demonstration of precession.  I tilted it and could feel it pulling at an angle perpendicular to the plane in which I tilted it.  But that was about it.  I had exhausted its play potential.  But now the world has gone mad for them.

 

I remember other Fads.  I never got into clackers and at least two of my school mates broke their wrists playing with them.  My tamogochi died of neglect within a few hours nd although I'm a chronic hoarder, I never collected football cards or pokemon or yu-gi-oh (I didn't play pokemon go either).

 

The only fad I can ever remember treasuring was a Rubik's Cube.  I'd worked out a way of doing  it apart from the last four pieces which formed a cross on the top.  I could get them in place but couldn't always get them the right way round, then someone showed me I should ave done that before the corners and then I got it sussed.

 

Two jokes from that time

 

What's hairy and square - THe pubic cube

What's square and hairy - Rubik's pubes

 

Tickets

5th May

 

Well, I've got our tickets for the play off semis, but it was a bit of a faff.

 

The problem was that when I signed up for membership it was a long time ago and I'd forgotten the password.  Unfortunately I'd used an e-mail address that I know longer have access to and e-mails regarding the password reset were sent there.  An e-mail to the club got it sorted out.  First world problems, eh?

 

The seats are fine.  South Stand, towards the Lepp and about halfway up.

 

Of course, I don't know when we're playing.  I hope we don't win on Sunday because I'm going to have a colonoscopy on Saturday and I would miss the match.  Also, I think Fulham will be the hardest team to beat home and away and the easiest team to beat at Wembley.  We've already beaten Hudders Home and Away and they seem to have been on holiday for the last couple of weeks.

 

But playing like we're playing, we can beat anyone.

 

Spot the Difference

4th May

 

This election is not going the way I expected.

 

By now I expected the press and the internet to be full of disunity in the Labour Party.  I was expecting to see everywhere how the party was a disorganised mess.

 

Tories try to pacify their own party and sweep their differences under the carpet.  It's why we've come out of Europe.  Cameron had to offer a referendum to his own back benchers to keep the rift out of the public eye.

 

But this is how democracy works.  You exert the pressure of numbers to get your own way, and if you don't you either shit or get off the pot.  The Tories understand this and sometime shit and sometimes get off the pot, but whatever happens, supported by the press, they keep their internal differences out of the public eye.

 

And maybe Labour have got the message.  They seem to be keeping on message.  They're fighting this election on things that matter.  Housing, the fairness of the tax burden,  NHS, defence and public services.  Maybe it's the Old New Labour's (see 25th April) fear of de-selection but at this moment in time they're managing to keep their petty bickering out of the news.

 

Let's hope it stays that way.

 

Ill

3rd May

 

One of Les Dawson's favourite jokes (and supposedly the Queen's) is "One special mention for Edna Watana who couldn’t be here today – she is 111. No, sorry, she is ILL.

 

Yesterday, I was off work ill.

 

Being off is a big thing for me, due to a variety of illnesses I've spent a lot of time off work and I don't like it.  I feel the world is passing me by, I worry that any students will do nothing and so we both have loads to catch up.

 

But it's also the fact that I've been ill so often that worries me.  I slip into ill mode and sometimes that's really hard to come back from.  Some mornings I get up early and go to work because I know if I don't, I'll never get up again.

 

The one thing that keeps me off work is not sleeping. What with one thing and another (rubbish hotels, coughing fits), I'd not really slept for the last few nights and although I'd had some sleep I found myself awake at 5.00am.  But the bizarre thing is the thing that was keeping me awake was worrying about whether I should ring work or not.  As soon as I'd rung, I slept for four hours.

 

Whinge

2nd May

 

I don't often use my blog to moan about things that directly affect me but today I'm going to make an exception.

 

On Saturday I was going to a fiftieth birthday party.  I was going to crash at the host's house but by the time it got close it was clear I wasn't in a fit state to sleep on a couch and didn't think I fancied driving home and back so I went onto the internet and booked a hotel using booking.com.  I said I would get there about five. Not feeling well, I spent most of the day on the bed watching the snooker, then listened to the first half of the match before setting off.

 

I was about five minutes out when they rang me.  I didn't answer the call because I was driving.  When I got there I was told that there wasn't a room for me.  The reason was "We don't check the internet when we're busy"

 

So for once, I'm going to name and shame, 

 

Oakfield Lodge

38 Arkwright Road
Marple
Stockport
Cheshire
SK6 7DB

 

Do not try to book this hotel online.  They do not check for online bookings is they are busy.  They will not contact you until you are there.

 

To be fair to booking.com they tried hard to sort me out, but there was no suitable alternative.  I decided to crash at the party, but that meant staying up until the party wound up.

 

The party was great and I got to see some people I haven't seen for a while and meet new ones.  I enjoyed the party, but I haven't enjoyed the sleep deprivation.

 

FANGs for the Memory

1st May

 

I heard a new phrase today.  FANGs.  It stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.  Twitter must be pretty pissed off that they're not included, but that would have made it F'tang which bespite having a Monty Python feel to it isn't actually a real word.

 

FANGs aer the most powerful companies in the world, but they're new and young.  They don't pay taxes because they don't think it's fair.  They don't protect their users because it's not their problem, caveat emptor.  They understand that they are just part of the world, they think they're bigger than it.

 

But the fight back may be starting.  Today the Home Affairs Select Committee said social media firms are "shamefully far" from tackling illegal and dangerous content.  The report says that social networking companies should be forced to pay for the work of police forces who deal with such content as hate speech, terrorism, murder and pornography (especially sexual images of children).   Elsewhere Google and Amazon are having to "renegotiate" their tax arrangements.

 

One of the defences for their tax evasion is that the internet is worldwide, it is nation free, it "belongs to the world".  So how come all the FANGs are American?

 

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