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Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Frostie reception

Some issues are so hugely important they stop you in your tracks.  For a moment you are speechless which is just as well because you have stopped breathing. This is serious. Things are going to change. Things aren’t going to be the same. Some things are going to be lost forever.

This happened to me last weekend. There I was driving a trolley around the biggest Asda in the world when we came to the cereal shelves. Now the cereal aisle used to be a very important place. There was, and there still is, a huge number of differing cereal types and flavours, however, when I was younger there were other considerations to make. Which cereal came with the nest free toy!

Many a time I would choose a cereal on the basis of the toy whilst having to swear that a) I really did like the cereal I’d chosen and b) no I had not just chosen it on the basis of the free toy. There were times, after I’d got home and the new cereal was opened, and the toy was at a retrievable position which did not require the entire bag of cereal in the box to be emptied somewhere else, when I couldn’t eat the cereal. It would taste so dreadful there would be no way that I could possibly eat it.

Much shouting and gnashing of teeth by my mother. Dire warnings of this never being allowed to happen again. What fun.

The cereal aisle isn’t as much of a draw for me now. I’m an adult you know. I do adult stuff. Who is that tittering at the back and saying Harley Davidson? Hah! That doesn’t count.

Anyway, since I am an adult I now eat adult cereal. Mrs TT has real, hairy, stick to your ribs porridge. It has pretend sugar added so Scottish Granny would have had a hissy fit if she’d seem that but it’s still a real, sensible and nourishing start to the day.

I have Granola which contains nuts, honey and raisony sort of stuff and, oh yes, exotic fruits also. I generally have Greek yogurt with honey in it too. How adult is that?

Back to the cereal aisle then.

Mrs TT imparted a fact she had recently heard or read. She told me that Frosties were in danger of being banned. For me time stopped. I must have misheard. Who and why would anyone want to ban Frosties. Are they mad? Do they not know that following  the apocalypse there is only one food which would keep you from starving. Frosties. You can eat Frosties as a sweet, a supper and lunch and even for breakfast too. Okay you’d have to have milk but that long life milk would do the job.

Whilst other scavengers would be fighting over tins of spam, baked beans, soups and such like I’ll be casually taking bags of Frosties out of their boxes and putting them into black bag bin liners and then long life milk into other black bin liners.

I’ll be sorted.

So why would some people to ban Frosties? Because they make you fat or so they say. The thin Gestapo, the Gestapo aren’t all thin but they expect the non Gestapo to be thin.

Too much sugar they say. Obesity epidemic they claim.

Anyone want to join the close the BBC Gestapo Party? How about the close the money losing Guardian Gestapo Party? The list could be endless.

If only I’d kept some of the toys I’d been so desperate to get from those cereal packets in the 60’s. Some of the toys had elastic bands on them so you ping things at people, some were toy guns and some were wee cars. Nothing namby about those although in the wrong hands they could kill or maim.

So Frosties are now dangerous, dangerous enough to be banned. How absurd can this be? Banning a product is tantamount to relieving people of the right to make up their own minds and their right to stop eating when they choose.

Ban Frosties and save lives.

What next?

I know.

Ban leftie, greeny, nannying people along with the political class ands the morons that support them.

Goodness I may have gone over the top there a bit! It was their fault they made me do it officer.

Stop press. They are now pushing for additional taxes to be levied on fizzy juice. Idiots. GET A GRIP!!!!

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in BBC, Health, Science

 

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Supply and demand.

Lots of stuff in shops are subject to supply and demand.

The farmers have been bemoaning how rubbish the weather has been over the past few months and the effect this has had on their crops.

The effect has of course been that the crop yields have been much lower than expected which is tricky for the farmers. Their overheads stay the same, relatively, whether the crops fail or it’s a bumper harvest. The market still expects to receive the same amount of crops but at times receives much less and whilst buying from overseas sources helps it generally means that prices go up. By the same token if there is a bumper harvest the price goes down.

We also see this happening with gas supply prices, petrol prices etc. etc. Supply and demand. Now there are bad men out there who take advantage of supply and demand as they are able to manipulate the market in order to make more profit for themselves. They generally buy up enormous quantities of a commodity and them sit on it until the price rises due to lack of market required supply. We then have to pay more for the commodity or for stuff we want which contains said commodity. Or the Mars Bar economy reduces the quality or quantity so we pay the same money as we did a week ago but we get less one way or another.

Supply and demand economy. It mostly works. Mostly.

But supply and demand isn’t just for various commodities, goods or services it happens in other ways too. I’d like to introduce one of the most ridiculous examples of over and under supply, which has been happening in our economy for years, making life difficult for our young people and is getting more and more ridiculous.

It’s education.

I’ve banged on about education previously and how it needs significant and revolutionary change to enable each and every child to achieve their full potential. At the moment the education system is aimed at getting as many students/learners/pupils to university as possible.

Is this a good thing? It should be but the realities seem to tell a very different story. First of all we have all the soft cuddly courses. Dare I even say the art courses? Universities line up the courses they offer and people roll up to fill them.

The thing is that our economy requires people with certain skills who will help the economy grow. It’s a difficult balance however, since a shortage of one skill can’t be addressed immediately and it can take years for that to be addressed and then when it is addressed, far more people have gained the skills than are required.

Mix in skilled people coming from overseas and a larger than necessary skill pool and suddenly people can’t get the jobs they thought they’d spent 4-5 years working for. The skill glut reduces salary levels for everyone with those skills, which is great for the employers.

Those who miss out find themselves thinking back to all the statements made by tutors etc. which suggested that gaining a degree would guarantee a real job which would pay them good salaries for their entire career.

The present system does not take account of supply and demand. The universities and colleges lay out their courses and people queue up to take the places on offer. A hierarchy exists which grades students depending on results and perhaps other elements, which undoubtedly are considered by employers and may help them when making decisions on the most suitable candidate for the job.

With no link between the number of students, the number and quality of courses available and the number of jobs which will be available when the students graduate then supply and demand plays no part, apart from depressing salaries and unemployed students.

Could be organised better?

You would have to hope that it could. However, there are so many vested interests involved it may be more than difficult if it were ever considered.

 

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Frying pan or fire?

I had an email from Wee Nippy (Nicola Surgeon) last night. Now she’s a busy woman and has serious stuff to think about and to do. Her diary will be full, she will be in demand and she will not have enough hours in her day, yet, she sent me an email.

She sent it to loads of people though and when I say sent I mean she will have agreed with the text that someone else wrote and “signed it off”. The emails will have poured out and landed in mailboxes all over Scotland and maybe even beyond.

She was just relaying the fact that she has started a new blog. I suggest that she may have been advised that a new blog with her name on it would be useful to the cause by the same people who wrote the email. The blog is about the “Yes” campaign. It’s here if you want to see what Wee Nippy is up to.

Like Captain Ranty – Lawful Rebel I also have reservations about how to vote come the Scottish Independence Referendum. I will definitely vote YES because it’s the best and only way forward.

However, I don’t agree with the biggest policies of the SNP and when I’m voting YES I won’t be voting for the SNP.

VOTING YES FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE IS NOT A VOTE FOR THE SNP!!!!!!

I don’t want a new and shiny independent Scotland to sign up to the EU. The clue for everyone is that we are voting for INDEPENDENCE. If we join the EU we won’t be independent now will we? Norway has the best way of dealing with the EU. No doubt they would be very keen to help Scotland find the true path, which can only be independence.

Then we have the environmental guff that the SNP are so excited about. Look Eck it’s guff. It isn’t helping anyone. Hydro is fine but needs to be situated without damaging our natural environment but wind power is just so much cold air. As for solar panels? Ask the Spanish and the Germans.

Then we have all this Scotland will lead the world guff. Yes more guff. We want to be Independent. It will take time for us to get over that and to be able to take part in the wider world. But… but… we do not want to lead the world. We should not be aiming to lead anyone far less world. The only driving force we should be acknowledging and aiming for is that Scotland should be a fabulous place to the Scots to live which is affluent, provides a truly wonderful education for our children and seeks positive progress which improves for generation upon generation.

The social justice stuff the SNP keep going on and on about has to be revisited and should be made to be fair on the basis that it is supportive where support is required but does no more. We don’t want sheeple we want strong, responsible citizens.

To achieve anything post a YES vote we need to cut the size and cost of all levels of government, regulation and taxation. Yes we even want our two big banks back The Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland and we also want to keep all the financial service companies we have. They have a part to play in a mixed economy. We will also want to use the shipbuilding and engineering skills we have and to expand them dramatically.

Universities will have to go back to being places where people go to gain an education which has a use in the wider economy and Colleges will have to go back to being places where vocations and apprenticeships are delivered and supported.

We also need to encourage art, literature, music, movies, architecture etc. etc. etc. so our built environment and our wider culture punches even higher.

What we also don’t want is Eck and Nippy and their mates telling us what to do. We will decide what is right for us and if that means we smoke, drink or eat as we please. We don’t have a problem with smoking, alcohol abuse is historically low and there isn’t and never was an obesity epidemic.

Politics and justice will have to change as instruments developed and delivered to support the Scottish people.

The message on Wee Nippys blog and the SNP in general should be two fold.

ONE.

VOTING YES FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENCE IS NOT A VOTE FOR THE SNP!!!!!!

TWO

Following a successful YES vote the sovereign people of Scotland will be consulted and asked to take part in shaping our country for the future.

Good places to start looking for working exemplars are Norway and Iceland.

 
 

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It’s Harley stopped snowing and raining for me to get out on the Harley.

It’s all very well having a big shiny Harley nestling in the garage when it should really be being used for the odd trip at least. It’s been way too cold, it’s either been raining or snowing, it’s been wet roads and when it has been dry the roads still had salt on them. Apart from that’s it’s just fine.

Well I say everything is fine but I did hit a further wee snag. I ordered a bike lift so I could jack the Harley up off the ground. It’s a heavy bike and that may well not sound a sound thing to do. The lift was delivered to next door and I had to go and retrieve it which was easier said than done given that it’s a heavy bit of kit.

I unpacked it in the house and then carried it down a few bits at a time and built it in the garage. It was freezing cold in the garage but needs must with the need being my cleaning of the Harley and doing a few bits and pieces on it. Once I built the lift I wheeled it over to the bike and positioned it appropriately. I then pulled the bike up to the vertical since it rests leaning to the left as it were.

No problem. I could easily hold the bike and manhandle the lift at the same time. Except it wouldn’t go under the bike as the bike was too low. My defence is that the bike is a new model and no one seemed to know it the lift would be okay or not.

Plan B then. I’ve a scaffolding baton, which I will cut a length off. I will then cut another smaller piece. The longer piece will then be cut from the edge at a reasonably shallow angle that will leave two small ramps.

I shall then place the ramps appropriately along with the other piece placed in the correct place for the side stand to sit on. The Harley will then be pushed onto the small ramps and I shall then position the lift under the bike and pump it up.

I shall then lock the lift and get the polish and cleaning stuff out and clean the bike to my standards. I shall also use a special pen to pick out the Harley Davidson lettering on each side of the tyres. OCD satisfied I shall feel more comfortable with the Harley which will be shiny and well presented.

This may well take place when the temperature reaches a point at which my fingers will not go white and freeze in a matter of seconds. This will also reduce the amount of bad language used due to said cold fingers being painful and not being much use for anything apart from placing on a warm body.

Harley Davidsons are cruisers, which, conjures up hot sunny days on a Californian cost highway. The reality of “cruising” in Scotland may well be a little bit different from that however.  No matter.

Harley Davidson owners are, according to non Harley motorcyclists, poseurs. This is backed up by the fact that the actual motorbike itself is not fast, does not make much use of modern technology and is less dynamic than modern motorcycles be they super sports, tourers, commuters, enduros, trials, motocross etc.

I bought the Harley because I LIKE them. I like America and Harleys are deeply rooted in the American culture. I really don’t care what people think about me owning a Harley or riding a Harley. I just like them. I own it because I want too.

Having said that I read a description of what Harley riders do when they “ride out” as it were. We ride to where we want to go and then we park. We then enter an emporium of some sort and sit at a table, which provides a very clear view of our Harley. We then partake of the emporiums offerings before riding back home. On arrival we may also careful clean the bike before tucking it back up in the garage or similar.

This is true. I have done it. Lots of guys do it.

Whilst Mrs TT has shown some disregard for the following idea I’ve had it will not stop me harbouring a desire to make it happen.

If at possible, and if I had enough room, I’d like to keep the Harley in the lounge or the dining room or a room laid aside for such a purpose. Why? To keep it warm dry and clean? Partially maybe. No that’s not the real answer. The real answer is – A Harley is a piece of art and should be recognised and enjoyed as such.

Wish me warm days and dry roads.

 

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Uniformly speaking…

I bang on about a lot of things and this is one of them.

Let me set the scene. I’ve already read the official biography of Steve Jobs, or Steve Jobbie if my Mac is playing up. I decided to read the unauthorised version also. It’s not been particularly shocking or providing new information.

However, there was a very telling picture of Steve at secondary school. Long hair, jeans and a colourful shirt, just what you would expect really. He was a free spirit after all. No uniforms at that school then. No uniformity. No conformity.

This also got me thinking about what the purpose of uniforms actually is, AGAIN!

Another visual prompt from a TV prog made me think a bit further. The prog was the first episode of Utopia. Utopia should not be viewed by people who want to understand what’s going on. Mrs TT is frighteningly bright but she can’t understand any of Utopia whilst I can sail through it whilst falling well within the dangerously dim category. It’s written by geeks who spend a lot of time on line following up on conspiracy theory stuff. That’s not me but I may dabble a bit. A very small bit. Really. Honest.

The prompt was the young boy who is to be very important in Utopias plot going into his school and standing at his open class door. The teacher doesn’t know who he is but his classmates recognise him. He hasn’t been to school much and he’s dirty and unkempt. All of the other kids in his class are in uniforms. They are clean, regimented, segmented, measured, steered…

Uniforms are handy for armies though? Well maybe not, maybe not anymore unless you’re trooping the colours and such like at Buckingham Palace etc. Our latest terrorist enemies, which we’ve funded, equipped and supported don’t wear uniforms. They do when they want to infiltrate our armies. No one shoots at them, they wear the same uniform as our troops. They shoot our troops however.

When is a uniform really handy? Maybe in a shop? You want help and you ask a person with a uniform because they know stuff or they should anyway. Maybe a badge would do the same thing. You see the badge and know the person wearing it works for the store. Unless… unless… they are from a competitor and have infiltrated the store to spread the wrong information to customers who need help but will end up not buying because they have been misled.

The Police? Well since they started to dress in a paramilitary style they seem less approachable. Their new uniform is to protect them from crims who have knives and guns. That’ll be the guns that are banned then. The guns that are available fairly easily to the crims who know that we, the law abiding public, do not have guns. That’s handy for them is it not?

The crims don’t wear uniforms either. They blend in.

Doctors wear, or used to anyway, white coats, which were really introduced to keep the blood, vomit and other unmentionables off their clothes. Seems pretty fair really. Now they have plastic peenies, which may be letting down the sartorial elegance which doctors at times display.

What about firemen? Well they wear protective gear so that when they go to put out old Mr Smiths chip pan fire around midnight on Friday night, they don’t scorch their body parts. That’s fair enough although fire fighters helmets have obviously become fashion accessories. Who gets to wear the brightest with the best badges on or who gets the silver shiny one?

Mind you the ladies may not be as attracted to firemen without their uniforms unless of course their house is ablaze etc. On second thoughts they’d probably be very keen on firemen not wearing uniforms. Good grief.

But I digress. I just can’t see a good enough reason for kids to wear school uniforms. They look cute? People know they are from a particular school? Are we really suggesting that we should keep all our kids the same so the poor ones don’t stand out from the rich ones? Kids are so much smarter than that.

But we are adults and we can make up our own minds. If you want your kid to wear a uniform, follow uniformity and generally conform carry on.

If you don’t then carry on also.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Children, Education, Family

 

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How much more global warming, weirding and climate change can we put up with?

If you’ve been out recently you may well have noticed that global warming has been falling pretty quickly especially if you are in England and Wales. Global warming has been closing schools, causing accidents, making planes late and all manner of inconveniences to pretty much everyone.

The shock is, of course, that we were told that snow and cold winters were a thing of the past, that children would no longer go sledging and skiing would not be possible even way up high in the Scottish mountains. It looks like this isn’t the case.

It’s no surprise that things haven’t worked out as some of the climate alarmists thought it would. None and I mean NONE, not a single one, nada of their game console climate models has been even close to replicating or predicting what climate has been like in the past, been like what has happened with the climate since 1979 and what is actually happening on a day to day basis even now.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they were embarrassed or came on TV during the weather forecast and said sorry, sorry, sorry. It wouldn’t be so bad if the stupid, silly and arrogant additional charges that have been added to our energy bills to pay for windmills and the like had been stopped. It wouldn’t be so bad if the “scientists” stopped banging on about “facts” which have been proven time and time again to actually not being “facts”.

They might also like to explain that the only source of heat on Earth is the sun, that it is impossible for a warm body to transfer heat to a warmer body and that no one has ever, yes that’s right, EVER demonstrated the theory of “the greenhouse effect” in the atmosphere. They have in the lab in a test tube but it’s hardly the same thing is it?

Record weather events? Yawn. Even the greatest climate alarmist James Hansen of NASA fame admits it’s impossible to measure a global temperature. It’s virtually impossible to measure temperature at the same location at the same time and build up a record. Things change. These sites are supposed to meet standards, which remove elements that could influence the recordings. Badly cited, badly maintained and badly interpreted.

But you say “We saw it on the news”. Yes you will have as have I.  Do you remember the dreadful rain and flooding, which almost submerged some power stations in England a few years ago? Yes. The report on that flooding, which a government department prepared, found that the flooding was down to alterations made to river courses and building on the flood plains etc.

The BBC have a vested interest in reporting weather events as extreme and hyping up weather in partnership with the MET Office who have their spanking new coloured weather warnings.

Global warming is dead.

Get used to it.

By the way, when we are on the subject of snow. You may remember a blog last year when snow was the topic. I also bemoaned the fact that I’d bought a snow shovel for it to just hang in the shed. Being mean I could well have saved some of Mrs TTs money by not getting one at all as there wasn’t enough snow to use it.

Snow fell last weekend and I looked out the window and thought it might be snow shovel time. I looked out a few minutes after and noticed the snow was clearing by itself. Not long after the path was clear.

It may well be that the snow shovel has become some sort of mystic charm which is keeping the snow away. £12 for a mystic charm!!! That sounds like a bargain in anyone’s money!

I might offer the shovel to the Met Office of BBC Scotland. If it keeps snow away it’ll help them rant on about the figment, which is global warming or climate change.

 

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Stop horsing around would you?

Some people quite enjoy the odd beef burger or bit of chicken etc. and why not? I know the health Nazis say to only eat one red meat meal a week and the chicken has loads of salmonella on it but both are reasonable sources of protein.

Now whilst some of these sorts of foods might be bad for us we are looked after by lots of people who make up the most wonderful regulations to help us remain healthy. It starts as soon as you enter your chosen food emporium. A man or a nice lady is dressed appropriately to serve you and is charged with keeping the work area really clean. When they cut your meat or chicken or even just lift up the bits you’ve asked for onto the scales or into a poke it’s untouched by naked human hands.

If you buy something pre-wrapped it’s the same or you trust that the system makes it so, you might get loads more packaging then you want which you then have to recycle but hey, it’s all for the best is it not?

If you buy something already pre-packed you can read all about the stuff that’s in it and you can also read about the calories, which are in it. That’s very helpful is it not? You don’t have to heed any of it, as paying customers or even adults we are still allowed to make our own decisions although some might wish to restrict that a teensy, weensy wee bit. Some very bad men might want to reduce our ability to make choices for ourselves much, much, much more but that’s another blog post entirely.

We take it as read that the food we get is pretty much what we expect it to be and if any supplier deviates from that they may well end up getting a dreadful spanking in the wallet department or even be invited to spend some time at her majesty’s pleasure where the showers may prove challenging shall we say.

So everything is fine. Well no it’s not. Just a few days ago we found out that horse meat had made its way into beef burgers and the like. I can’t say that I’d noticed. I may have avoided that addition. I don’t think that anyone has been hurt because of this so far. The professional offended are of course offended. It’s a whole world of difference eating dead animals within certain parameters but a different thing eating animals which are not deemed for such purposes due to cultural issues. That’s fine.

Yet there is another issue lurking out there in food production land. Meat and poultry sources have to go through certain processes of which one of the most important is being slaughtered in the right way. This is done within regulations which are aimed at ensuring the animal is subjected to the least level of stress and pain possible.

But now we have a proportion of meat and poultry going through the halal and kosher systems. I’ve not heard or read anything from the RSPCA on this subject and they are very, very vociferous generally now adays.

This came to my attention when I visited a fast food restaurant owned by a certain military chap. It’s not a place I tend to frequent but Mrs TT and I thought we’d give it a wee try. There was a big sign above the ordering points saying that all the chicken prepared was halal. Halal is not part of my culture and neither is kosher. I’m quite happy that those whose culture requires halal or kosher should continue as long as their methods of slaughter meet the required animal husbandry rules for animals in this country.

The food chain is probably prone to various abuses. The EU have probably made this worse as have the supermarkets as they drive prices down and by us all as we try to buy at prices which suit or pocket.

What will the next horror story be?

Who knows but I bet that the supermarkets are pretty ticked off, and just when beef burgers were positively galloping off the shelves as well…

 
 

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