Friday, November 30, 2007

Incontrovertible proof that women can’t do maths!

There’s a line of this equation missing..... unless it's round the front?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oz Jaguar

Me Mark 1 Jag. Not in Concourse condition, but then nor am I.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Atlantic sunset and not an iceberg in sight!... has been a while since m'last generated posting and I hope the senior moments have not erased the tracks!...Thus, here be a couple of piccies taken round about the level of where you used to live, Bob...sea: slight...G&T's well chilled, drunk on a private balcony with butler, (screaming), serving canopes and wearing white gloves...snow in New York two whole days away...oh so decadent indeed!...

Monday, November 26, 2007

A humble reminder that I do this solely for pleasure.

I should make it clear that these photos are not mine. I no longer post my photos here. These contributions are culled from other Blogs and places I visit on the Web. I freely accept that they may be hackneyed, clich├ęd and even jaded and furthermore recognise that they have been published in many other places. My sole excuse for posting them here is that they brought a smile to my face and trust they do the same for you, on what in the Northern Hemisphere is a depressingly grey morning.

If I have failed in this uncomplicated aim I would apologise, but other than that, as a relatively simple soul I am fast running out of ideas to contribute.

God Bless All Here and have a good day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas mini reunions..

We have several mini reunions coming up to celebrate Christmas (as if we need a reason really) - Gamston on Monday 26th - so not long.... then one for M4 area and another coming up in Shrewsbury in New Year - details and who to contact all on TWA Members site - so check them out - and if you are organising anything - let us know and send pics!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

News from across the water.

After repeated complaints of an Antipodean bias on this Blog and with flagging ratings from up there in the permafrost, we are proud to present a weekend documentary on Canada.

Undoubtedly the fastest breaking news is the unblocking of the Northwest Passage. This will doubtless bring relief to many Canadians who already suffer badly from lack of exercise, irritability and headaches in the winter months.
The freeing up of this famous waterway which falls largely in Russian territorial waters, is of course a manifestation of global warming. The two photos show the marked retreat of the ice between 1979 and 2003. (lovely pics well worth clicking on)

Hardest hit are the polar bears who are having a particularly bad time of global warming. This is of course is a timely reminder that Canada is home to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife.

Very few animals are camera shy and there are some interesting photographic opportunities.

Perhaps Canada is most famous for its bears and out in the woods they are often your nearest neighbours, as a result Canadians are always cautious about an unexpected knock at the back door.

What is less well known is that bears are great long jumpers, with the world record currently standing at 67 feet 2 inches. However, there is some controversy about this particular record and some people claim this leap was the result of sitting on a hornet’s nest.

Having said that all Canada’s creatures enjoy playing in the snow.

In a bilingual society it is not surprising that communications can sometimes become fraught with difficulty.

On this Blog we always try to feature pretty young girls and readers will be pleased to hear that Canadian girls are as sophisticated as their Antipodean cousins. This young lady who comes from a strict Christian background is trying to indicate that she is Lost.

Next week we will have an in-depth report on the Canadian national sport of digging cars out of the snow with teaspoons.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A testament to the media....

Well, there I was, putting on my socks this-morning and the TV was on - Jen was trying to get a weather forecast. The 'news' (note the inverted commas) was on. Two items struck me - and I am not making either item up!

1) The death rate among(sic) women is increasing; more women are dying now than 20 years ago.

Now, I don't know about you but I thought the death rate amongst women was pretty much set at 100% with no possibility of deviation!

2) Airports around the country are becoming crowded. In our next item, we'll tell you why.

Well, DUH! It's Thanksgiving weekend. More Americans travel during Thanksgiving than at ANY OTHER TIME. This has been the case EVER SINCE AMERICA! And this is NEWS? I wonder what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan..............WHERE AMERICA IS AT WAR!

What has not been reported is that Euros now cost more than Pounds were costing 18 months ago - and the reason probably is that most Americans haven't a clue what a Euro is, leave alone its relative value!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Wynge, wynge, wynge........

We have fibre optic delivered TV signal, internet and telephone service at our new home. The provider is Verizon - who spend MILLIONS on advertising but apparently nowhere near as much on administration. We elected for this service because the 'bundle' offer for all three was actually less than we paid for just telephone and Internet in New Orleans. The downside is that instead of 9 TV (public) channels of unmitigated crap, we now have something like 300 channels of unmitigated crap. There are a few bright spots - mostly BBC derived.

Any road up, the deal was $99.99 per month with unlimited long distance calls so we went for it.
I should have KNOWN this was not happening when I hit 'YES' on the website in response to 'DO YOU WANT TO PURCHASE THIS BUNDLE?' and got immediately back to 'WHICH SERVICES DO YOU REQUIRE?'.

Our home was built with fibre optic connections and wiring so, really, all Verizon had to do was plug in outside and we were hot to trot. They couldn't do it! Took 'em two days!

Then, they expect me to pay extra to rent converters to read their signal (unlike cable, they don't come in the TVs yet). Now, I would have thought that advertising a service for a price but then expecting you to pay more for essential stuff which enables you to receive the service was misrepresentation - bit like hiring a cab and having to pay extra to get a driver.

Nonetheless, all this lot has been connected but NONE of the bills we have received in any way represents the $99.99 a month we were signing up for. Each bill requires a phone call, endless button pressing to get past endless and irrelevant options and profuse apologies and platitudes from people who are apparently employed to apologise and placate. The bills are fixed.....but NOTHING ELSE changes because the next bill is even more confusing than the last! My latest was for $203.34.

So, last night I called again...the number on the bill next to 'questions about this bill?'. There are five other options on the bill, each with its own telephone number. Why, then, do I have to listen to this list again with 'if you require whatever, press whatever' before proceeding? Why also, I wonder does the account number - appended to each side of each sheet of the bill - mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the person I eventually reach after 10 minutes of bloody button pressing and inanity? And then, why does the person say to me that she has no knowledge of this bill, it must be another department, when I have called the number against 'questions about THIS bill'?


The wonders of modern education and technology!

The more I deal with automation, the more it seems people behave like automatons. Finding someone with any experience 'outside the box' has becomes a quest rather than an expectation.

Still, Verizon has yet to put me through to Bombay for 'customer service'!

I suppose I should be thankful for small mercies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where have all the flowers gone....?

By the cringe, it's quiet in here today!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Crashing computers...

So, Jen's computer crashed.

Now guys, you know how this plays out........."You remember when you used MY computer in 1986? ...........WELL, NOW IT'S NOT WORKING!"

How come it's always OUR fault? There is no way to defend! NOTHING you say will be right! The ultimate 'Catch 22'!

"Well, my sweet.........were you on E-bay for less than your customary eight and a half hours? Did you Google 'Christmas' the other day and get 2,946 pages of response, ALL of which apparently merited a look? What was it you told me....something to do with more spam than junk snail mail...? Have you been trying to buy Ormolu clock combination fire extinguishers on-line?"

"YES! But it wasn't that that! IT WAS WHEN YOU USED IT IN 1986........on June 4th.......after's been getting progressively slower since then - AND YOU'VE DONE NOTHING ABOUT IT!"

"Oh! Right!" (thinks: Where was I last week, never mind on June 4th, 1986?)

"SO! NOW I NEED A NEW COMPUTER!.......I saw a pink one the other day....that would be nice."

"Pink, eh? What operating system, RAM, hard drive capacity, processor...?"

"I've no idea about any of that....but it's pink and I'd like a pink computer!"

"When was the last time you tried 'clean up disc' or 'defrag'?"


"Well, my pet, obviously you need a new computer..........the colour on the casing of your old one IS beginning to show its age and I'm sure you'll come to terms with Windows Vista JUST as quickly as you made the transition between Windows 2,000 and Windows XP." (Wry grin to the side)

"What ARE you blathering about? Just lets get a new computer. I NEED a new computer!"

At this point, I NEED to remind myself that 'need' and 'want' in Jenish are actually the same word - as in German.


"Here's the pink one - isn't it cute?"

"Light of My Life, this is a TOY! It's a ridiculously expensive kids toy! It's not designed for endless sessions with vendors and extended IM sessions."

"IM.....what's IM?"

"Why not look at this one - it has 2 gigs of RAM, a decent processor, more hard drive than even you could use and it comes with a microphone as well as the speakers?"

"What's a 'gig'? Why do I need 2 of them? I can't talk to a computer.......and it's not PINK!"

At this stage, we're still negotiating.....and I'm trying REALLY HARD to retrieve the operating system on the old PC. I've managed to extract the important stuff and save it so now I'm going to go for reinstalling the software and starting from scratch.

THEN, I'll buy a can of pink spray paint!

Who ate all the pies?

Now this is what I call wearing trousers (or shorts) way too high... apparently a new book is out explaining how various sayings originated - and the song Who at all the Pies - started way back in 1894 and Sheff Utd sang it to their goalie - Fatty Foulkes - no idea why he was called that of course - would have the PC brigade on their backs these days..

Monday, November 05, 2007

missing persons.......

Whatever happened to Stormin' and Alan.........conspicuous by their absence, if I may say so. Somehow, sudoku doesn't present the same challenge as Alan's prose and Stonmin's sardonic repartee (mind you, in 'Ull, sardinic might be more appropriate) is a question with no question mark or, dare I suggest (question mark omitted), a dangling participle.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Battening down the hatches...

No picture for this one (maybe tomorrow), we are on high alert here for hurricane Noel to make a visit to the Atlantic provinces tomorrow, starting in the morning with high winds getting higher as the day goes on (up to 130km ph) and heavy rain. Could be up to 100mm, warnings to stay away from the coastal areas and to fill up containers with water. According to latest forecast the storm is getting bigger, but not faster, but we are definitely going to get it. Howard has had a call from the Red Cross to be available all weekend in case of need. Looking out of the window now its had to believe what is coming, it is such a glorious fall day.

Mein hut Irhr hat drei ecken.........

I have no idea what that means, of course.............Just returned from a ridiculously frantic mini trip to the Old Country to see the Olds (Jen and I still have a full set of folks). You'll be pleased to hear that the 'Alert Status' at US airports is still orange.....and that neither Jen nor I has any idea what that means. I'm also very pleased to report that we managed to resist the temptation to purchase the combination fly swat/bird bath offered in Sky Mall Magazine for some ridiculous sum on every flight we took. Ho hum! How refreshing to arrive in UK and hear, "Don't leave your bags unattended. If you do, they will be taken away and may be destroyed" Rather than the verbose, multi-coloured bollocks (which, apparently NOBODY here understands) we have to endure here in USA. God forfend against bureaucracy.......PLEASE!

We both loathe living out of suitcases and are becoming too 'mature' to enjoy kipping in strange beds one night at a time. Nonetheless, neither of us is yet American and we'll defend our heritage to the last man or woman standing.

I've long been a champion of East Anglian beers - must be the water - and have now 'discovered' a new Adnams (Southwold, Suffolk) offering called Broadside - a real cask heavy bitter and, to my palate, even better than Greene King Abbot Ale (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk), my favourite until now.

Also happy to report that the food in our pubs remains generally amazing in variety and average in quality. I suppose it will be a while before the apparent need to satisfy every international taste is surpassed by the ability to create, say, 8 or 10 REALLY good dishes and stop trying to appeal to England's amazing ethnic diversity - much of which does not visit pubs in Suffolk!

The 'Olds' are still functioning. My Pa at 86 is as nutty as a fruitcake - he just opened a new bank account with 'high interest' - and funded it with a loan with even higher interest. Well.....we'll all get there some day, I suppose. Some of the food in Ma and Pa's garage freezer predates Christ and Pa still persists in running the broken fridge in the garage to keep his beer in - the motor works so he's convinced it's still functioning even though there's no freon in the system (more holes that a flute) and he readily concedes his beer is colder in the winter than in the summer. He's just been given back his driving license after a medically imposed ban - and now terrorises the neighbourhood both in his car and on his electric three wheeler. He can't see a bloody thing more than 10 feet away. Thank God they live in the middle of nowhere! Gotta love it! Jen's folks are comparatively normal. Pa-in-law has impaired sight in his 'aiming' eye due to a bout with shingles a couple of years ago. He now shoots left handed - mostly skeet these days but still the occasional critter on the local golf course. Not bad for 83. God's teeth, I hope I can still stand when I get to that age!

Hatfield Forest - long the favoured hunting ground of kings - has now become a rather expensive side show thanks to the National Crust. Bloody shame. Some of the oldest natural forest in England, it now costs four pounds twenty to park in what was, until the National Crust took it over, common land. I'll bet there's a charter dating back to Henry VIII's time to that effect which could be invoked to challenge the parking fee! Mind you, friends of ours had their Essex house compulsorily purchased a couple of years ago to make way for near by Stanstead Airport's third runway - and there it sits, in all its 17th century thatched glory, inglenooks and all, the subject of heritage listings for the time they lived in it, now slowly decaying and awaiting demolition - along with the rest of the ancient hamlet of Bambers Green - Google it, it's really quite lovely.

Grandson Quinn (10) came with us. He manages to dump his Louisiana accent for a very passable, multi-purpose English job as soon as he gets off the 'plane. Conversely, our youngest David (30) sounds Texan through and through and makes no effort to drop his 'cow speak' in UK. Jen and I just consider ourselves lucky to still have the power of speech..... "What? Why are you whispering? It's no good you flapping your jaw with your head facing away from me, I can't hear you unless I can read your lips!"

Enough, already. Bed time. G'nite all!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Who were those masked bandits???

After the Trick or Treaters left, these critters showed up on our front doorstep. Five of them altogether - they like crisps!
Dont get too close, matey! And hurry up with the treats!
Arent I cute!? And look at my buddys eyes in the background.
We had 57 trick or treaters at the door between 5.30pm and 8pm, some would have had over 200 in other areas of the town. Good luck I say!!

Halloween, 2007

My two favourite Spidermen! Grandchildren Cody and Lauchlan with their friend Lake.
My decorations aren't as lavish as some, but the kids liked them anyway.