Monday, March 28, 2005

A Puzzle

Three men go into a cafe, they each order a coffee and a pastry. The bill comes to £30, each pay £10 in cash. The waiter takes the money to the counter, and at the counter the head waiter says to the waiter, there has been a mistake, they were overcharged, it is meant to be £25. So the waiter goes back to give back the money, but decides well they don't know they were overcharged so much, and decides not to give it all back to them. He give back the three men £3, £1 each, and pockets the other £2 for himself. So if each person paid £9 and the waiter pocketed £2, where is the other pound £ ?

Anyone know?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all those reading this.

Today with it being Good Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to have a gym MOT, for those who don't know what an MOT is it a checkup.

Well it didn't go quite as I hoped, my work hasn't given me the results I had hoped for. I didn't lose any weight, so I still weigh 76kg, in old money 12 stone or 168lbs. I did lose 1% of body fat, so instead of 16%, I now have 15%, still too high for my liking, but I suppose progress, though when I started this 3 and half years ago, I had 14% body fat and weighed 72kg, so all that time on, not much difference, except I look a little more bulked, lol.. My lung capacity is higher by a little bit, but it will never be that high, given I had asthma when I was young, and that has always affected me since, though a figure of 510 for an asthmatic with small lungs is apparently good....

Not sure exactly what my weekend will entail, but it looks like I will be going to the movies, going out, spending time with others, so all you, enjoy the Easter weekend and have a great time

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I found out about this by a friend of mine and when he reads this, he will know who he is, so thanks for this, very useful.

To give you an idea of what it is, Feedmap provides a location based search of blogs.

Welcome to BlogMap - a place where blogs meet maps and location!

Using BlogMap you can geo-code your blog, browse already geo-coded blogs and search for blogs. Once geo-coded, you can get your own BlogMap location using a simple url!

Here is a list of things you can do with BlogMap:

Geo-code your blog feed using the submit page (and get your own BlogMap badge).
Browse blogs by location using the browse page.
Search for local blogs using the search page.
Find bloggers in your neighborhood!
Get local BlogRoll in OPML format.

I as you can see have added my blogmap to the sidebar, tried to post it in this entry but it won't allow me, which is a shame, so it has to be on the side, have a look at it, apparently I am near 41 others, though none in the very near area, mostly london which I expect.

Have a look at it, I think it is great to know the locations of others around

It would also seem that Multimap are showing geotagged blogs, this I found out from other sites today. This site explains it is better - Geotagged blogs on Multimap

They take the information from geotagged blogs which ping, so as long as you ping that site whenever you update, the likelihood is that Multimap will find you and put you on the map.

So now I have added at is says and if anyone searches the area where I live, I should show up!!

Speakers Corner - London

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Open University

I am currently undertaking a degree with the Open University, my second degree, part time as well, and it is in Psychology as well. There are many reasons as to why I undertook this course, and right now I am in year 3 of 5 years, so by the end of 2007 I should have completed the course and then who knows what will happen next.

Currently this year, I am doing Child Psychology, and I have just got back my first assignment, and it was an absolute nightmare assignment to do, I was so worried I wasn't going to well, so it was a shock to get back 69 for an assignment, so I did so much better than I thought, so very pleased with it. Hopefully I can carry this forward to the next assignment, that I am having to work on right now, fingers crossed.

For anyone, who might consider undertaking an Open University course, I would recommend it, as long as you can assign time for it, you need discipline and time, if you can do both of those, you have a chance, and I would consider it, I am very glad I undertook it, and as I said above, by the end of 2007 I should have a second degree and something to be proud of, proving my mind still works and is still able to digest and assimilate new information, that can be put to use, at some point.

Monday, March 21, 2005

HELP - Comedy Series

I have been watching this since it started and I have to say, it has stayed with me, I have been enjoying it a great deal. Last night just for an instance, there is someone needing therapy who punches the therapist and the therapist is suggesting that it best be done over the phone rather than face, cause he smacks the therapist really hard.

All the things that are happening with the characters, you can really imagine a poor therapist having to go through it all. Chris Langham and Paul Whitehouse with this comedy have a really top hit, I think it is so funny and worth more shows, I hope they do another series. 6 shows isn't enough and I am hoping that they release them for those not lucky enough to see them, those not in the UK, all those ex-pats living abroad.

Guide to HELP - The Comedy Series

Video Clip of one of the patients

There is one clip on the above link, and funny, but they need to get the series out for release as soon as possible when it finishes showing, I think there will be a lot of take up. I also think they should show it to all budding therapist/psychologist. As someone who is studying psychology with an eye to being a therapist in the future, this would give people a lot of prior warning at just some of the people who they can expect to come through their doors!!

Malaysian GP Result

Well I was stunned by the result and my preview of the result couldn't have been further off the mark, which shows I know nada on this season so far, my predictions have fallen flat...

1. ALONSO Renault
2. TRULLI Toyota
3. HEIDFELD Williams BMW
4. MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes
6. COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth
8. KLIEN RedBull Cosworth

I have to say that I am surprised by the pace Renault have been showing and the consistency that is going with it. Good for them, they deserve it, they have worked hard and have put some distance between themselves and everyone else and had Fisichella not drifted into Webber they could have had more points, but that is racing.

The big teams that were expected to make an impact - Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are lagging behind for various reasons. Raikkonen would have probably been on the podium had it not been for the unlucky tyre problem, that was such a shame, I think he really could have gotten Trulli as well, but that as they say is racing.

Roll on the next race, and one has to say that it is getting interesting and I do doubt that Renault will keep this up for the whole season, and I hope they don't, I would like to see Williams and McLaren pushing them hard, and even BAR if they ever manage to get an engine that works. If this keeps up, my understanding the clause in Buttons contract would mean he would be gone to Williams for 2006, and with each race that is looking more and more likely.

PPP - London Underground (Tube)

There was a report by the commons select committee at the end of last week which criticised the (PPP) private-public partnership.

Report criticises Tube shake-up

Well, for those who lived in London 5/6 years ago when all the furore was going on about PPP and the problems that we all foresaw and that the MPs of London at the time, especially the Labour ones who said it wouldn’t be a problem, well guess what, you never listened to a word us locals said, and shows how out of touch you were, and why do you think Ken got elected the first time, because he stood on one issue, to scrap PPP, well unfortunately this government wouldn’t listen, and now I like many Londoners can sit here and crow and say we told you so. I mean the words “No shit Sherlock” come to mind when I read the report. This was predicted from day one, and what we all know as well, is that the targets set for the PPP scheme are lower than what the Underground were set before they were privatised and anyone thinking it wasn’t privatised is deluded. PPP or PFI as another way to describe it, is backdoor privatisation, and we saw the screw ups on National Rail and despite that, the government of the day, which is the same one we have now, decided that going ahead was still a good idea. Can anyone see back handers in this, this government furnishing the pockets of their friends and friends companies, when if it had spent the money that it is now giving them, directly, the work would be done faster, and more value for money, without giving 100m of profit to these companies.

This part of the above article, spells it all out

Committee chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody said: "I welcome the fact that the government is at last putting real money into the Tube. But I cannot see why it needed a PPP to do it."

The committee said government spending on the Tube - disregarding the cost of the Jubilee Line extension - had risen more than twentyfold from £44.1m in 1997-98 to £1,048m in the current financial year.

Welcome to the world of dodgy finances and broken promises of a government that is supposed to be socialist.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Being Deaf

I thought it would be a good idea to try and have you the readers of my blog, understand the way my life is, and how to some extent I cope with what is basically a silent world for me

Some weeks ago, I find the below article whilst reading the Observer newspaper, and whilst it isn’t quite exactly my situation, it is close and will hopefully give you more of an insight to what goes on in my world.

How I learnt to love my silent world

Acclaimed author Bella Bathurst began to lose her hearing after a car crash. She ignored it at first but then started the long and emotional road towards an appreciation of life in the quiet lane

Sunday January 23, 2005
The Observer

I went with a group of friends on a cheap last-minute skiing holiday in the early Nineties. So cheap, it turned out, that the resort had forgotten to include any snow. Each day the runs were sprinkled with a thin dusting of artificial snow; every night it froze. This was not conventional skiing, this was skating on planks. One morning, when I was skiing alone, I slipped on the ice, lost control and crashed headfirst into a rock. When I regained consciousness, the ice around me had turned scarlet and an itchy trickle was blurring my vision.

I picked myself up, wrapped my scarf around my head and set off down the mountain. The next half hour was wild. I had hit my head with such force that I had effectively trepanned myself. Everything those old acid casualties from the Sixties said is true: there really is no hallucinogen more effective than smashing a hole through your own skull.

Tripping crazily, I somehow made it to the bottom of the run and found a doctor who sewed me back together, leaving - I thought - nothing more than a neat curving scar running from the centre of my forehead up into my hairline.

Several years later, the ice and I met again. Driving back home from Edinburgh one wintry night, I skidded on the frozen road, my car somersaulted and slammed into the verge, ending upside-down with my head separated from the road only by a thin strip of bent metal. I was taken to the local accident and emergency ward, had concussion for a few days, and returned home apparently undamaged.

In the months following the second head injury, however, I noticed that I didn't seem to be able to hear as well as I had. I wouldn't hear the phone or the doorbell. I kept blanking the neighbours' cheery greetings. Once or twice I failed to hear a car's approach when crossing the road and nearly got run over. Friends started making jokes about ear trumpets. Conversation became a game of consequences: I'd grab for the one or two words in a sentence that I had heard, and guess the rest. At first, I did what most mature, evolved individuals do when confronted with an unpalatable medical fact: I pretended it would all go away. It did not go away.

Finally, after a year of prevarication, I made an appointment at the local audiology unit. They gave me a brain scan and strapped me into an Orwellian headset through which they played a series of low and high frequency tones. The test results showed what I had suspected: because of those two head injuries I was losing my hearing. 'You're not deaf,' yelled a friend when I told him, 'you just don't listen!'

It's always tempting to see illness or injury as metaphor: people get cancer because they live a cancerous life, people go deaf because they refuse to hear. Maybe he's right, I thought; maybe this is payback.

The way I lost my hearing might be unusual, but the fact of losing it is not. According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, around nine million people in Britain have some degree of hearing impairment, of whom around 700,000 are severely or profoundly deaf. In most cases, hearing loss is linked to age and natural wear and tear.

On average, people are born with about 17,000 individual cells rising vertically from the surface of the cochlea - the spiral tube that forms part of the inner ear - like the tufts of a rug. With time and age, the rug begins to wear out and the cells' sensitivity diminishes. But the rug does not wear out evenly. Hearing is measured across a range from high to low, and most people lose high-frequency sensitivity first. I had lost about half the sensitivity across all ranges in the left ear, but kept some high-frequency sensitivity in the right.

In practical terms, losing my hearing can only be as bad or as good as the remedies for that loss. The best analogy is with eyesight. If you become short or long sighted, you go to the opticians and they fix you up with a pair of glasses or contact lenses; clever, low-tech devices which - if they're fitted well - replicate normal eyesight with such fidelity that most of the time the wearer doesn't notice them. If you start losing your hearing, you can either live with it, or - from April - you can queue for a couple of years or so and get a pair of battery-powered digital hearing aids free on the NHS.

The digital option is usually the more effective. The human ear is an instrument of immense elegance and precision which separates the sounds you do want to hear, such as the person speaking to you, from those you don't (the traffic near by). The old NHS analogue hearing aids were not much more than miniature microphones which amplified all sounds, useful or not.

Digital aids discriminate between different types of soundwave, prioritising variable waves, such as the human voice, and shunting other noises into the background. They are adjusted to suit the individual, boosting the hearing in frequencies with heavy cell damage, and leaving it unaided in places where the cells remain intact. They aren't perfect, but they're a damn sight better than getting run over.

So do I mind going deaf? Of course, I mind; I mind like hell. Wouldn't you? If you're born with all your immaculate senses present and correct, and if one of those senses dwindles away to a whisper, you do tend to mind. Initially I minded because of the connotations of hearing loss. If you are short-sighted and wear glasses, you are traditionally perceived as either very stupid or very clever. If you go deaf, you are traditionally seen as thick, or old, or both. You're dumb, you're slow on the uptake, you're a few crucial beats behind the rest of the world. I spent most of my childhood being mistakenly seen as stupid, and I didn't like the reminders.

I was also sharing an ailment more usually associated with the elderly. Only about 2 per cent of young adults are deaf or hard of hearing, but in people over 60 that rises to 55 per cent. Apart from stairlifts and tartan carpet slippers, hearing aids must be the only products advertised using octogenarian models. No offence to the old folk, but when you're 28 that hurts.

I mind now because I am dependent. I mind because the first objects I would save in a fire would not be rings or photographs or sentimental things, they would be a pair of glasses and two small pink plastic hearing aids. Without them I would - as an audiologist at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, put it - be a 'psychological jellyfish', hermetic, isolated, incapable of interaction with the rest of the world. I don't like being dependent. I don't like special pleading.

And nor do I like being unwittingly rude. The aids work well, but they can't cover all situations. I still occasionally walk out of the room just as someone introduces themselves. I still fail to respond to a question. I still miss vital conversational links. It's one thing to knowingly make enemies, but quite another to involuntarily offend half the people you meet.

I've also developed a couple of old-age complaints. Oddly enough, digital hearing-aids make the wearer more acoustically aware, not less. There's a reason for this. No one actually hears with their ears, and no one actually sees with their eyes. The ears and eyes are only mechanisms for gathering messages conveyed through light and sound.

The brain then decodes and translates those messages. It takes about four months for an individual to adjust to a pair of digital aids - not because the ears can't cope, but because the brain has to re-educate itself into a whole new way of hearing. When it has done so, it will have re-learnt the different sound frequencies. In the past six years, the degree of cell damage in my ears has remained more or less stable, but my brain's ability to compensate for it has improved.

Which has some practical drawbacks. The Nineties' passion for furnishing bars and restaurants in wood, slate and steel makes eating out an aural nightmare. Digital aids can't cope with sound over a certain decibel level. They stop filtering sound and develop instead a frantic high-pitched whine. Leaving them in is like listening to a succession of RAF Tornado jets landing at the next table. Taking the aids out makes it impossible to hear the person I'm with. My ears now dictate my eating habits; if it isn't possible to hear, I'd rather get a takeaway. It's the same with music. Background music - at home or outside - makes for an ugly sonic mess. No one is listening to it, but nor are they properly listening to each other. Far better either to give the music your full attention, or not have it on at all.

But there are compensations. Huge ones. You could say that partial deafness is the ideal 21st-century urban disability. In my new two-volume existence, I can have the world outside, with its mobile phones, car alarms, sirens, roadworks, helicopters, lorries and drills. And then I can have another world: a world of total focus. I don't hear the trains in the nearby station. I can sleep soundly through gales, storms, pneumatic drills, the neighbours' parties and most of the Today programme. I never complain if someone snores. I can have silence in the middle of the city. I reckon it's a privilege.

And, despite what my friend said, I do listen. I listen with all my strength. I listen not just with what remains of my hearing, but with my eyes and my instincts. I see sounds, I hear with the whole of me. The diminution of one sense traditionally amplifies another.

Wandering round the recent exhibition of David Dawson's photographs of Lucian Freud, I thought Freud looks as if he's deaf. As far as I know, Freud's hearing works perfectly, but Dawson had taken a series of images of someone whose whole being has become so concentrated in the act of seeing that his other senses have become almost redundant. Musicians do sometimes say they see beats, and artists claim they can hear light. Perhaps it's no coincidence that I've become increasingly interested in photography since going deaf. Or that I've become more alert to silent forms of communication and to the kinds of conversations which don't need words.

Try, if you like, a couple of experiments. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, remove them. If you don't, then squint hard. Ask someone else in the room to cover their mouth or turn away from you, and then to say something. You might be able to hear them, but you won't be able to hear them as well. Then try something else. Next time you're in a bus or a car with all the windows closed, watch the passers-by. What they're saying to each other may be inaudible, but you can usually tell at least some of the content; he's arguing, she's tense, he's jealous, she's angry, he's tired, she's lying. Everyone lip-reads, and everyone is fluent in the language of the body and the face. You don't realise it until you try.

In most cases, hearing loss is for life. Once you're deaf, you're deaf, and that's how you'll stay. Perhaps in the future they might be able to do something fancy with gene therapy or cochlear implants, but if someone offered me back my full hearing now I don't know if I'd take it. True, I'm not much use without the hearing aids, and true, there are disadvantages. But I like my new two-tone life, and the silence doesn't scare me. I am immensely lucky not only because I survived those two head injuries, but because I was born in an age where the remedies for hearing loss have become almost as sophisticated as the human ear itself.
I don't like the idea of becoming profoundly deaf, but at the moment I can work with what I've got. Besides, I reckon I want radical surgery about as much as I want a hole in the head.

· Bella Bathurst is author of 'The Lighthouse Stevensons' and 'The Wreckers' and the novel 'Special'.

The scale of silence

· The most famous deaf person in history is probably Ludwig van Beethoven, who lost his hearing in later life but carried on composing. Celebrities with hearing problems include Halle Berry, who is partly deaf in one ear, Sylvester Stallone and Sting, who suffer from tinnitus, and President Bill Clinton, who was fitted with a pair of digital hearing aids in 1997.

· In the UK, about one person in seven - nine million people in total - is deaf or hard of hearing.

· According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, most of the deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK have suffered more hearing loss as they get older. From the age of 40 onwards, a higher proportion of men than women become hard of hearing.

· Some two million people in the UK use hearing aids, 1.4 million on a regular basis. Around 50,000 people in the UK use British Sign Language as their first language.

· Sudden deafness, a condition where people can unexpectedly go deaf in minutes, affects 5,000 people a year.

Now back to my take, my situation is different because I was born profoundly deaf and so didn’t have a hearing to lose, yet I suffer a lot of what the author above has. I am one of only 0.3% in this country and if you equate that into figures about 180,000 people in this country and I am not entirely sure, but a lot of those are not young as I am. I don’t get the simple pleasures of sound that the majority of people do, I miss large chunks of conversations, and sometimes that why I look like a grinning idiot because I missed what was said. I can miss the nuances of a conversation and then say something that makes you go, what the f**k, yep, that is me mishearing and then saying something so different to what was being said.

I am totally reliant on my hearing aid, without it, I have no verbal communication with the world, and it can be the most frustrating experience, especially if I suffer an ear infection which means I am caged like an animal because I can’t interact verbally with others.

Not hearing can lead to funny moments, when I seem to drift away and be with the fairies where in fact, I have taken nothing in, because I heard nada.

What makes it harder is the attitude of others, I have throughout my life suffered prejudice and I will continue to do so until the day I die, in most cases it is ignorance, and stupidity on part of the person I am trying to communicate with. I have been in my eyes very lucky, 99% of people I know and who know me, know my limitations and the restrictions I have and make allowances for me, and those people I thank every day, because if they weren’t so understanding it would make it very hard to keep a level head.

I wish I was able to hear music like so many of you do, hear the pitches, melodies in the way you do. I wish I knew what your voices really sounded like, rather than a mechanical sound that I do hear, heck I don’t even know what my own voice sounds like. When I was on the See Hear program last year and heard my voice, I sounded so deep and it stunned me, because in my ears I hear a much higher pitched voice, and supposedly you all hear what was on the programme, and to me I can’t equate the two. I also wish I was able to hear because each night I go to bed and I am at risk of fire, because I won’t hear the smoke alarm if a fire started in my house, when I am asleep, just like I wouldn’t know if I my house was broken into, because I wouldn’t hear it, that is how poor my hearing is. I am also sure my neighbours must love me, with the music up loud so that I can hear it, I am still waiting for a noise order to be issued…..

Despite all these difficulties I face daily, would I change it, that is such a hard question to answer, on the one hand, yes I would clearly love not to be beholden to a piece of machinery to live my life, worrying that it might breakdown and I be left vulnerable. On the other hand, all those experiences that I have lived through have made me the man I am today, someone who is sensitive, caring about others, open minded, backing the vulnerable, wanting a world where people treat others as they wish to be treated, and despite people claiming they do that, I have been on the end of too many incidences to say that is true. What I have received on the one hand through a disability, I have had taken away as well.

On a final note, I wouldn’t wish deafness on my worst enemy

Sex diet

It has come to my attention that there is something called the sex diet

Sex Diet - This is a transcript between the author of the book and members on the website. Interesting reading!

I came across it because I have been wondering if I need to do a diet myself. I am 32 years of age, and I have been noticing of late I think I am getting a little more rotund than I want to be. In my family we have a history then when the men hit their 30s, the pouch starts to appear. I eat well, I exercise well, heck I even started swimming again, so now I go to the gym 5 times a week, and exercise for about 7 hours a week. Enough I would hope that to make a difference. When I started the swimming again, I found the shorts I had were a little loose, they aren’t tight enough around my waist which made no sense especially with the pouch, the only other pair I have are like a pair of Speedos and I look like something from the 70s with them, obviously without the ‘tache. I can’t wear them, as they leave nothing to the imagination, something I found out some years back when I got back from a holiday in Malta and saw the picture taken by then girlfriend of me in them on a beach in Malta. There I was white as a ghost, black swimming shorts and doing my impersonation of Linford Christie, that is when I realised why she liked me wearing those shorts, lol.

I am sure KLite, can recall the comment made at the time that I looked like I was ……. from the 70s.

So I have been looking at what I can do in terms of diet that would keep me interested and lose weight and have fun at the same time, which is when I came across what is called the sex diet. For all intents and purposes, it sounds a wonderful idea, keeps you going physically and mentally, all those endorphins released and at the same having pleasure. Well I have a snag with this diet, I have no one whom I can do it with at the moment, not good. So I am hoping you kind people out there, who might be on this diet, would be able to tell me whether or not you are having success, cause I would love to know, so that should I be in a position to do the diet, I will know whether I will REALLY enjoy it, and lose weight and have fun at the same time.

I want to be sure I don’t end up looking like Skippy in later years as other members of my family have managed to do, for those in the US, that means looking like Homer Simpson, except not being Yellow…..

The budget

I want to comment on the budget that happened this week. There are a lot of things that happened in it that were a waste and a bribe in the best possible way. That is nothing new every government does that before an election.

There were some things that when looked at are strange and don’t provide any common sense at all. The one that comes to mind straight away is the fact they are going to give 16-18 year old £75 a week for staying on in education. Now I can see some of the logic in this, the idea that by paying them they will want to and should then stay on and be more qualified. But if you look at this in the real sense, this has nothing to do with increasing the skill level of young adults, this is all to do with keeping them off the jobless figures. If this was about increasing the education/skill level of young adults, they would then pay the same amount of money to those who are studying degrees, and no, they are making them pay for getting a degree, but to just continue studying until they are 18, they are paying them £75 a week.

This is more money than a single pensioner gets, this is more than someone gets who is on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), more than a single parent gets who is on JSA, more than a disabled person gets on JSA

So why is it deemed okay to pay 16-18 year olds £75 a week to do something which is beneficial to them anyway. I am more than sure that pensioners, those on JSA have more bills, more allowance for that money than 16-18 year olds. A pensioner has paid in all their life National Insurance contributions, and many of those on JSA have also paid National Insurance contributions as well, yet they get less. Someone on JSA will get £58 a week to survive on, compared to £75.

I don’t see the logic, I really don’t. If they want to make sure that those over the age of 16 go on further, just raise the age of leaving to 18 that then forces them to stay in education no matter what. I am all for educating more people, and not just by traditional means, vocational as well, but this government really has this totally screwed up.

I give another example of screwed up, if you are unemployed and wish to undertake a part time degree say with the Open University (OU) they will pay for the course, only as long as you don’t already have a first degree. So those who are trying to change careers from one sector to another by further educating themselves and are unfortunate enough to be unemployed, don’t get funding by the government, because they deem it not of use to have someone train for another degree.

This governments policy on education is totally wrong, and amazingly enough we have let them get away with making it so that those who wish to study for degrees have to pay, whereas those say MPs who sit in the commons now have had their degrees paid for by the state, that is called hypocrisy no matter how you look at it.

This budget was a bribe budget, and I personally believe most people have seen it for what it is, a bribe and don’t believe that anything has gotten better for it. I hope we punish this government for its dismissive views of those who voted for it last time.

Malaysian GP Preview

This is my thoughts about what will happen in the race on Sunday. In the last week there has been a lot written in the press about the pace of the Ferrari especially as it is last years car. Well I have to say, I do share a lot of the concerns that others do, because that car was second in the last race and it is basically a year old and if that car is good enough to come second this early on, imagine what the new car will do when it is released.

This weekend I have to believe, that it will of course be down to the McLarens, Ferraris and Renault, but I think you will see KR, JPM and MS battling it out for the race win, and the others left standing. I am hoping that McLaren are able to take the fight to MS and Ferrari.

Malaysia has in the past been painted red a great deal, and it will take a lot for it not to be again.

Putting my neck out, I think JPM, MS, KR are the top three.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dave Allen

For those of you who don't know Dave Allen, the Irish comedian died just before the weekend.

I wasn't lucky enough to see everything he did, he was already well established by the time I came into this world, but I do recall some of his stuff when he was on in the late 80's early 90's especially the teenager routines and how they acted, they always seemed to be so spot on. He made you think, he made you laughed, because he could see the absurdity in a real life situation, and that is where the joke came from, you just had to take it to the end and you almost knew yourself where it would go and what would be said, but he dressed it in a way that was so funny.

Because I don't have all the knowledge of everything he did, I refer you to links instead so that you can read what others think as well as the tributes and his comic quotes as well

Dave Allen: People's Tributes

Dave Allen: Comic Quotes

I think the quote a lot of people remember is this one -

"We spend our lives on the run: we get up by the clock, eat and sleep by the clock, get up again, go to work - and then we retire. And what do they give us? A clock."

The passing of another great comedian.

London: Disability rights

I live in London as this blog clearly shows, and this is the life of myself and what goes around in London. Well there is a show in the UK called the politics shows and they have a part which is for London, of course. Well this weekend they had a part of the rights of those who are disabled, and they were showing despite the fact the DDA has been in for nearly 6 months, nothing has literally changed.

Read the link and then I will go on to more

London: Disability rights

They interview the minister for the disabled, and I hope you will forgive me all for swearing on this, but she was an absolute bitch, she was so pathetic, so woolly in her attitude and so much turning it that the disabled had to sue companies, people, etc to get them to change. That wasn't the point of the legislation when it came in, it was meant to create rights for those who need it. The interviewer and I give him his dues, he really was gunning for the minister over her pathetic, downright offensive attitude and asking questions like why don’t we have a minimum standard of service and expectations, can’t do that say the minister, not fair on businesses and people, crap it isn’t, it is all about giving people equal access regardless of sex, race and disability. Disability is the one main area where people are let down, and yes being disabled I do have a right to get angry about this, because I have suffered it twice in just over two weeks at my local jobcentre, where they questioned my disability, they actually questioned my hearing. I am profoundly deaf, have been since birth and they had the cheek to suggest that I wasn’t. I won’t go into it all, but to give an example that might be easier to understand, it was like saying to a wheelchair user, come on, get up and walk, you don’t need the chair. Some people’s attitudes are disgusting, and whilst I never wish bad on someone, I hope these two people lose their jobs, because such a lack of respect is never warranted.

Back to the programme, it also transpires that disabled will have to wait until 2020 before anything is even close to decent, and why in the UK we treat people so badly with disabilities I have no idea. Another example of stupidity when it comes to disabled – London Underground is being upgraded, slowly mind, but upgraded, they are doing the stations, they have done North Harrow station on the Metropolitan line, and they had the opportunity to make it accessible for those with wheelchairs, and have they, no, perfect opportunity whilst doing the station up, and they fail to do the job, no excuses, this could have been done, but no, too short sighted, too arrogant. As for this minister, the sooner she is sacked and replaced by someone who clearly understands the issues for the disabled the better. The only MP I can think of who would be in such a position is David Blunkett and I am not a fan of him, but at least he would have a strong position to champion the cause of the disabled. I give another example of problems for the disabled, I own my own house, and it is specially adapted for my disability, I have special alerters so that I know the phone goes and the door goes, otherwise I wouldn't know, well in the DDA that was passed, landlords are supposed to make adaptations that disabled people need, well there is a clause, only if the landlord is willing, what is the point, apparently if the landlord thinks it will affect the value of the property they don't have to do it, in other words, the part of the act that says adaptations are meant to be carried out, is toothless, ie no power.

It is a soapbox issue for me, it really is, where is the idea that everyone is given an equal chance, and those who through no fault of their own are disadvantaged, with physical or mental disabilities, society should be there for them. But then this government in its pathetic wisdom is also closing special needs schools at a rate of knots, and then forcing the children into mainstream schools, which is an okay idea to a point, only if the resources from the special needs schools are then ploughed into the mainstream schools, but is it, not a chance, it is a way of saving money, so we are going back to the pre-war attitude of those with disabilities, and that attitude was – sod you, we don’t care, we consider you scum, so fuck off. I so hope those who aren’t disabled, never suffer a disability, because you will have a rude awakening to just how terrible things are for those with disabilities, so extremely terrible. I have an article from the Guardian which I will reproduce at a later date, and you will see what I mean, not nice.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Well yes I am not Irish, but I went along to the Parade in Central London yesterday. I didn’t actually see the parade because I didn’t get to town until 2pm, so I only saw the part in Trafalgar Square, where they had a stage two big screens so that you could see what was going on. I went along with Z who I was with on Friday, see blog entry about Friday if you aren’t sure who Z is, the Slovakian lady.
With it being Irish celebrations, I had to drink Guinness, cause an Irish friend of mine said she expected me to do so and partake in the spirit of the celebrations, so I had a pint of Guinness, oh my god, I tried it over 10 years ago and wasn’t a fan, and I will never be now even more, not a great taste and my god it is so heavy on the stomach, I felt so bloated, so seriously bloated. I am very much a spirit drinker 99% of the time, so this thing was weighing me down!! I felt like I had expanded to the size of Jabba the Hutt.
I have some pictures from the day, but as I don’t have a digital camera, I can’t put them up until processed, which is going to be a while, so the pictures will come at a later date, if they come out alright. The fountains in the square were putting out green water in honour of the day, and there was typical Irish behaviour, though I didn’t see any leprechauns.
Me and Z spent a fair bit of time at the Parade, she had already been to Hyde Park where it started before meeting up with me, so she had some pictures of the goings on if the Park. I had a good time with Z, very good time, if you are curious as to what she looks like, think in your mind Minnie Driver and Z has a face similar to Minnie Drivers. I don’t have a picture of Z I can put up, not sure it would be fair on Z for me to do that, especially right now, but I hope my description helps give an idea.
And yes, I will be seeing Z again, hopefully next weekend, so fingers crossed…

I was thinking of the Parade and why we don’t have a St George’s Day Parade and I got to thinking, how can we, what exactly would we celebrate, cause no one seems to know what being English is. I would love to hear people’s comments as to what they think a parade could encompass as to St George’s Day. The things that come to mind are the following – alcohol culture, hooligans, and people walking around thinking we still have an Empire, walking around with flags and claiming land, I claim this land in the name of England, I mean that is how we did it in the past, and so wouldn’t be anything different and saying words like dash and cunning. We should have a St George’s Day parade, but I will be damned if I could think of anything which would be truly English, other than the ability to say sorry a thousand times, and our dry sarcastic wit, which stumps Americans, Europeans, and the fact we never seem to smile!!!, so please folks, ideas on the comments, maybe we could send it to our Mayor and push for a day for us locals.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Well, an evening out that has ended sadly, and I had a wonderful time out. For those who don't know, I am currently single and looking to meet new ladies and maybe if I am lucky, I might get to know one special lady much more.

Well tonight, I met a lovely lady, spent four hours chatting in a bar, she is a good looking Slovakian, 25 years old, so that is 7 years younger than me, yes, thank you for those who have been keeping track, she is an au-pair/ childminder, lived in London for a couple of years and is also undertaking an English language course as well, on top of that, she already knows three languages quite well, I say quite, she is fluent, and she knows bits of two others as well, so quite a linguist.

She is good looking, have to mention that again!!! and despite her slightly broken English, and it is so very slight, she is wonderful company, has plenty of stories to tell, and a lot of different life experiences, very different to mine, but we did seem to get on very well tonight.

Do I hope to see her again, you betcha, I of course find her attractive, I also enjoy chatting to her, being in her company, talking about all manner of things, find myself blushing a lot too for no good reason, other than it just happens, lol. Will anything happen, mmm, that I am feel a little unsure, for a number of reasons.

1) I am not sure she knows I am deaf, though I don't know if she does know whether it will make a difference, I am doubting it will, but it certainly hasn't come up yet.

2) I am 7 years older than she is, and I wonder if that will cause a problem, she is a mature 25 year old, and I am not exactly a mature 32 year old!!!

3) Can two people who got to know each other via the internet chat site, have success, sustained success that is.

4) Will I manage not to be too overeager, and blow a chance with a lady I think even though it is only one meeting and two/three weeks of emails/texts is a really lovely lady, and someone whom I never would have gotten to know otherwise if it hadn't been for the chat site.

5) Can I contain my desire to kiss her a lot, that is already hard work.....

I am hoping against hope that I have found a lady whom I am clicking with, and whom I do respect a lot, and am attracted to as well, for a joyful ending. I am off to sleep, so nite nite readers

Monday, March 07, 2005

Baby badge for pregnant commuters

I saw this today on the news, and I was admittedly ashamed that this action has been needed on the Tube. The story is basically, that the tube are going to hand out baby badges for pregnant commuters because people are refusing to give up their seats for pregnant women. The badge says baby on board, which is a humourous way to tackle this, but the fact that a badge is needed, shows just how far things have gone, and how far as londoners our manners have disappeared.

Baby Badge for Pregnant Commuters

I see a number of reasons for this,

1) The tube is always so packed, some people don't see the fact someone is pregnant

2) Since the equality, people especially men, are willing to give up seats for ladies now, the argument being you wanted equality, you have it. Well okay fair point, but pregnant ladies are a different kettle of fish all together

3) The age of chivalry is long over, and men these days in general are not being gentlemen, numerous reasons why, some is to do with the fact, that those who try to behave as gentlemen get no thanks for being polite and kind, ie holding a door open, when was the last time you heard someone say thanks, it is also to do with the fact ladies don't seem to want men who are gentlemen, despite all their words, they don't like men being gentlemen

4) It is part of London, where people are always in a hurry, they have no spatial awareness of what is around them, they may as well wear blinkers, cause their actions certainly indicate that they do so, and thus behave in such a manner, that shows they have no idea who is around them or what is happening

5) People in general don't feel anyone should get special treatment, and on the tube where you are lucky if you get a seat, most don't want to give them up.

I know if I saw a pregnant lady with no seat, I would give mine up, but then I was taught as little boy to do such a thing by my mother, and when you have that fear in your head your mother would tick you off if you weren't a proper gentleman, the wagging finger, etc, you do tend to remember to be polite and nice to others when you can.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Australian GP

Well after having watched this race, I have to say congrats to Renault with the result, well done. I knew that they were considered by some to be favourites to challenge Ferrari, and they showed that they could do that. Okay the grid was a little topsy-turvey, and some people were out of place, but Alonso showed that it was possible to move up, and so did others. It was a shame DC didn't managed to get a podium after all his efforts, and probably at the races that come he won't be quite so high up, but still a good race all round.

Schumi didn't exactly do well, and causing the accident as he did, he can only have himself to blame. It will be interesting to see if BAR get away with what they did, by making sure both cars didn't cross the line so that they can change the engine for the next race, I wonder how long it will take the FIA to clamp down on that one, especially as they admitted it on live TV as well, that might not have been the most sensible move going.

As for the McLarens, what on earth happened, they were totally outshone by the Renault and Ferrari, KR and JPM really didn't perform at all, and wasted a golden opportunity to strike whilst Schumi was struggling. The McLaren does look a fantastic car, beautifully done, but all of that is going to be worthless if the drivers don't use the car as they should.

Not a fan of the qualifying at all, I don't like the aggregate timings, I don't think it is good. The idea to run a session on Sunday morning, yes that is good. Why they don't do what they did in Japan last year, by having the important qualifying on the Sunday, just hours before the race, I don't know, that would make it much more pressured and thus more enjoyable for those who go to the races, and a more full day of F1, instead of all the support races, which they have to watch, and most likely not interested in either.

Next race - Malaysia, this should be interesting, if the weather doesn't play a part like this weekend, then we can expect it to be closer and the top teams to be more on the ball, so expect Ferrari, McLaren, Renault to be battling it out, I think Williams, BAR and maybe RedBull will be the teams behind them for the more minor placings. So roll on and it will be another early start for the race fans in the UK, but maybe, just maybe this season won't be the redwash it was last year, here is to hoping!!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Children - damn expensive

For those of us without children this probably isn't a shock, but for those with kids, a warning, that little adorable human apparently in its first five years of its life will cost you about £53,000, yep you read it right, £53K, that is a lot of money.

Now I know you can't put a price on a child's head, but wow, what are they feeding them, and how on average are they managing to chew up that much money. It might explain why a lot of parents after having their little ball of joy, end up drained, looking like hell, and that is before they see the financial hit.

Don't get me wrong, I think children can be lovely, heck I want to have kids in the future, though after seeing this figure of average for the first 5 years, I think I am going to have to either get out a loan in advance or get a very high paid job.

Here is the article to show what I mean, amazing, that those little cherrubs can be so draining on the wallet
£53K children

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

F1 Season 2005

Well the season starts in earnest this weekend, I wish I was in a position to say that the Red Baron wasn't going to sweep to another title, but that would be false. Even with him using last years car to start with, he is going to be cruising I think to another title.

There is plenty of chances for challengers, but none will be able to sustain a challenge, once the Ferrari team and the Red Baron get going, it will be over. I am hoping against hope that McLaren, Williams, BAR and Renault are able to mount some challenge.

I am looking forward to the commentary too, not so much James Allen, he is okay, but Martin Brundle is really good, and I can't wait to see how many other quips and nicknames he gives to Schumacher, those are always a laugh. As for the qualifying it sounds like it is going to be a disaster.

For those of you who think you know who will win and enjoy predicting what the results are, and thinking you know better than the rest, then go to this place and test your mettle against others. I didn't do well at all last year, but the year before I got to 103rd out of 3913, so I was dead pleased with that, so go on have a look and see if you can cut it

Enjoy the season, hopefully it won't be a redwash

Council Tax - London

This isn't probably going to be a shock for a lot of people in London, but a leaked report came out today with regards to council tax, that tax we all hate so much.

Well, and in my own mind, this has been coming for a while, the report is predicting that when the update is done on banding for the system, most properties in London especially, will move in a higher band by at least one band if not more. That means that most people will be paying more than another £300 on top of the money that are already paying. So in London where the average is over £1000 already, that is a 30% increase, and the grant that London councils get will be reduced, so instead of central government doing its bit, the locals will have to stump up more.

This is so typical of this government, they have ever since they moved into number 10, taken aim at those living in London especially, bleeding it dry to the point where London pays so much more into coffers than any other area, and gets so little in return. The nearest thing I can think of that relates is in the US where California for every buck it gives in taxs, is lucky to get 80 cents back. It seems London is doing the same, so we are keeping the country on an even keel, but by bleeding London so dry to the point where London is struggling with transport, education, health, etc, the list isn't exhaustive.

This government doesn't understand that you can bleed something dry to the point where it just gives up and then you have nothing left to bleed dry. London is the driving force of this country, you destroy the engine, you destroy everything else. This government has hated London ever since it came to power, it has done its best to make Londoners pay for its shambolic practices, and has lied about many things we were due, like an electable mayor who would have powers, anyone care to remember PFI for the Tube, that was forced on us, and we are going to pay for that for the next 30 years, because they didn't want London to get something decent.

This is really a situation of taxing by stealth, which usually is the only means of doing so, because they don't have the balls to say it up front that taxs need to rise, but a 30% increase in bills, who do they think they are kidding with this, this re-evaluation was done with one purpose in mind, to squeeze Londoners even more dry than they are now.

The sooner this bunch of wasters are removed, the better, but sadly there is no one even close to being any better, so people won't make the effort to vote them out, or even give them a bloody nose.