Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Boys will be boys

Some of my readers know that I have kids.

They are two boys and it is fascinating to observe and runinate on the nature versus nuture debate.

I was standing in the kitchen making a cup of tea, admiring my lands when there is a fevered shout from the Garden.

Now, my garden has trees, sticks, sheds, climbing frames and all sorts of stuff to divert a young mind. I generally leave them to it, as I was, when I was their age. There is something satisfying knowing that they are out there, playing, digging and generally do what boys do in roomy gardens. I.e Generally not being wrapped in cotton wool, collecting scrapes, exploring and making swords from sticks.

The shout came and my thoughts ran from scrape, to a cut, to a fully fledged visit to A&E.

A face appeared round the door.

"Dad, come and look at this. Quuuuick"
"In a minute son and heir of mine" I replied
"No, its really cool come NOW!" quoth 6 year old

Dad stumps out to the garden dragged to a bit where i find younger son crouching down.

I espy a large starling that is really quite dead and getting to be rather high in the heat.

The boys are fascinated.

Young son asks if it is dead (amazingly perceptive for 3). I reply that it is indeed dead and he reflects that this is sad and reaches out to stroke the dead bird. (Which i found quite touching).

"Dont touch" i said - thinking of maggots, fleas, mites and so forth.

"Ok dad" they both said in unison as i went to get a bag to remove said creature.

As I rummaged in the kitchen for a bag and something to scrape up its earthly remains there comes a question.

"Daaaaad?" says older one
"yes" says i wondering what was coming.
"Can I poke it with a stick?"

I leapt into the garden to see eldest with a 5ft bamboo cane prodding the dead animal to see what happened.

For some reason i found this strangely funny. And in a way heartwarming.

You see, when i was a kid and many of my generation will agree. Summer holidays meant long, lazy afternoons with nothing on the telly (well there were only 3 channels and they didnt start till the evening - unless the test match was on - my poor brutes have to put up with about 600 channels on 24/7) and we made our own fun. Much of this would just be "mucking about". I know for a fact that a dead bird would elicit exactly the same response from a boy of 6 in the early 70s.

Prodding it with a stick. Preferably with a view to flinging the dead animal at your brother for maximum amusement.

It is reassuring that some things never change, and boys will be boys. Bless em

Saturday, 11 August 2007


Listen old chap, I'm aware of your gradual decline into the status of deck-chair, but time has surely come to say something......

Friday, 27 July 2007

And the waters shall cover the earth

Now, those of you that know these things will be aware of my proximity to the innundations that have beleagured our west country counties.

The cynic in me marvels at people pulling together in the blitz spirit. The rampant profiteering, the good natured looting, the bureaucratic bungling. Just like the dark days of the last "big do".

However, my mind wanders to the crushingly inevitable.

Will rationing be imposed by gordo the broon? I bet they have discussed it in the name of "fairness" . I can just see tokens being issued to ensure that everyone gets their fair share of mineral water.

Also - I wonder - and i would be amazed if there is concrete evidence to the contrary, if the voting history of Cheltenham and Gloucester was discussed when central government started talking about flood relief?

And another point - did you notice that the locally based responses worked amazingly. TA units filled sandbags, Local emergency services worked wonders, local councils kept the electric running and the water supply only got turned off when the pumping station found itself under 12 feet of water. On the other hand - what of the central government response? Squat, rien, nada, diddly. Says it all - the local empowered model is more effective at delivery of services.

Another post on the shift left of resources to point of consumption is coming up.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Harry Potter-

Important - No spoilers here

Now i travelled to town today to shuffle papers, change zeros into ones and generally leverage cross programme interface opportunities. The train was festooned with fools reading Harry Potter.

Here is my cut out and keep guide for the cunty fucktards who parade their puerility to all and sundry

1) Harry dies
2) So does Fred Weasley
3) And Snape, Tonks, Lupin, Mad eye Moody and a whole cast of minor characters
4) Voldemort loses
5) Ron eventually marries Hermione, they have two children
6) Harry comes back to life (complex crappy plot twist)
7) Harry gets it off with Ginny Weasley and has 3 kids (James, Albus and Lily)
8) 85% of the book is drivel
9) I lied about the spoilers

Now get on with your lives you mouth breathing, window licking knob-ends.

Message ends

Friday, 20 July 2007

Chop chop busy busy work work bang bang

No post for a while busy up to my tits in a big re-org at work.

Still gives me the opportunity to settle a few scores.

Till then - gotta run

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Round the bend

I was driving the other day.

As I circumnavigated a roundabout, reading a map, yelling at a lackey down the phone and eating, a thought occured.

Why do the police prosecute those of us capable of multi-tasking?

Are we all at the level of the mouth-breather?

No. But I have a theory...

A few years back i blew my meagre bonus on a pilot's license. As part of the 40 hours it took to pass (you cannot take the test until you have your hours) the instructors gradually increase the workload on the aspiring aviator. They start you with general handling, when you have just about got the hang of that - they throw in navigating, when you are nearly on top of both they throw in communications. Just as you are putting it all together, the emergencies creep in. Engine failure after take off, Surveillance Radar Apporaches etc.

Thus after your training of 40 hours. You can move an aircraft doing 120 miles an hour in a 3d environment, while reading a map, while talking on the radio, in bad weather, in crowded airspace towards a narrow approach vector. At the same time, you would be expected to handle instrument failure or some other "problem" the examiner will throw at you.

Now, the point of this is not to say how hard this all is, but rather how easy. A bit of concentration, a bit of focus and spending some time "in the zone" and it all slots in. Most people do this in about 45 hours.

Now turn our attention to driving. Most people learn to drive in about 25 hours of lessons and practice. Yet clearly Nanny thinks that handling a car in a two dimensional environment is more than our fragile brains can handle. Thus she has legislated that reading a map, yakking on the phone are not allowed because we cannot concentrate on our driving and may mow pedestrians down.

This is utter tosh. If I, or if anyone lets be honest, can handle the 3d scenario above, then doing the same with a car should be easy.

So what to do?

Well, obviously the level of concentration required to chat on my mobile, read a map and drive is beyond some as if they can't pick it up in 25 hours -they never will. So I propose a 3tier driving license. you would be able to apply to any level and take the appropriate exam. Permission to drive a certain car or use things like phones should be on ability. Hence make the exam much much harder.

Level 1 - "Driver". May drive a car that can exceed 70mph and carry passengers. Has demonstrated cognitive capability to read maps, talk and drive in exacting scenarios. Licensed to drive upto 130MPH as conditions permit.
Level 2 - "Mouth-breather". Can carry passengers. Not allowed to navigate, talk or touch the radio. Smoking and/or eating prohibited. Limited to 70MPH whatever the cicumstances. Car must have a sign indicating "MORON ON BOARD" to warn Level 1 drivers.
Level 3 - "Tree-hugging fucktard". No passengers, cannot exceed 45mph ever. Banned from Motorways, not allowed to tow anything. Must stay off A roads in daylight. Barred from overtaking or owning a phone or map. Can only own a 2CV. Identified by a sign reading "nuclear power-no thanks" on the back windows. Must give way to all drivers at all times. Raod fund licence of £5000.


Talented drivers will get about faster and the cretins will be forced off the road.

Oh and no more caravans

I see this as a win-win.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Is it me, or is the recent series of Doctor Who simply brilliant? Apart from the very high production values (why not in HD? - Torchwood was) and the necessary corridors to run down - there has clearly been some planning.

Those of us who grew up spending saturday nights behind the sofa will recognise Russell T Davies (head honcho) as fellow traveller from this period. The stories are scary, the monsters realistic, the special effects pretty good for a telly programme made on a budget by BBC Wales. (Battlestar Galactica it aint, but the budget that new series had would run the beeb entirely for about 3 months). Oh and it has Daleks & Cybermen - together, fighting over the earth - genius!

There has been a lot of debate over the BBC and impartiality, and on the license fee. But when they produce 3 series of Dr who and one of Torchwood (with one in the pipeline) that are this tightly written, this well produced and this well acted - you have to admire them. It has spawned a raft of copycats over on the commercial channels - but they don't bear scrutiny well.

Oh and the fact that Torchwood was based in Cardiff -lovely touch. Saved money on the sets, had mountains and quarries nearby for explosions, alien invasions and the like and was generally a nicer, rougher feel to it. Before you ask, why would an organisation like that be in Cardiff - well it wasn't. Torchwood one got zapped by the cybermen, and the daleks.

Torchwood background data

But the true genius lies in the embedding of story arcs. Take "Bad Wolf" from the last series - it culminated in the battle of canary wharf and the tasty Billie saving the universe. But the latest story arc has been running throughout this series, through a series of Torchwood and even back to some of series 2.

Of course we are talking about Mister Saxon - or the Master - played by Derek Jacobi and John Simm. Towering actors both - playing the most evil man from Gallifrey - how could they resist?

The embedding of the arc is seen in overheard snatches of conversation "Fire on Mr Saxon's orders". or "Mister Saxon insists ...". It is seen in election posters in Torchwood. It is seen sprayed on the walls in backdrops in early episodes. It even has its own website http://www.votesaxon.co.uk/ .

Clearly this is no accident. The final 3 episdoes of the series have been planned, written and thought through from the very beginning of at least series 2. This shows an attention to detail in the production and the writing that is of the highest calibre in my opinion.

And while i may be over 35, I may have far too many responsibilities. The series may be as camp as christmas, (viz Capn Jack trying to shag anything that moves) but i am proud to say...

This saturday evening - I will not be going out - I shall be watching Dr Who.