Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Net Ninnies

Today I was talking to an 'ex-colleague' about 'Net Nannies' - the things organisations have to prevent their staff being subjected to 'the language of the snooker hall'. He'd asked the IT department if they employ some some spotty oik to plough through the e-mails deciding whether it's OK to pass them on or that they must be censored. It turns out that they do!

I have a simple question - how can you be expected to contact the Council without using the word TWAT!?

Gas! Gas! Gas!

“British Gas have the lowest CO2 emissions of any major supplier.” I’m so glad they’re spending my money on telling us all. Presumably the hole in the ground they buy from has cleaner gas than the hole in the ground the others use. Either that or it’s a marketing stunt designed to sell us more gas or to tell us it’s OK to use gas because their gas is cuddly non polluting gas. Or maybe they just want to feel good about themselves or for us to love them.

Either that or they’re bunch of twats!

The only good marketing twat is a DEAD marketing twat. I say gas ‘em all. Since the gas is so clean and friendly it could take ‘em ages to die! Sad.

Friday, March 23, 2007

On the Amazon

For reasons too boring to go into I recently wanted to buy some 'Pen Drives' / 'Memory sticks' / 'whatever silly name they haves'.

Co-incidentally, I got an advert from Amazon. I followed the link. They had some 2 Gigabyte ones at £6.34. I decided to buy three of them. This comes to £19.02 with free postage (I thought).

I was wrong. The postage they wanted was £17.86. Really! I weighed the 'Flash Drive' I already have. It weighed 15 grams. So three would weigh 45 grams. I thought it was a mistake and queried it. I was told that it was OK because they were selling them on behalf of another company (like they make their own books in the cellar?) though they did admit that they set the postal rate. So, instead of charging me the postage at 84p (which would get me double the weight posted) they wanted to steal another £17 from me.

Anyway, I try not to do business with shysters and crooks so I'm not using our Amazonian friends any more. I feel strangely 'empowered', though I'm getting sick of being wound up by these kind of people. I'm quite relaxed when not being wankered by badgers (or is it badgered by wankers? whatever).

I sent them the message below (no swearing now, that makes them slime onto high horses where they clearly have no right to be. In fact they hardly have a right to be mucking out the high horses. They should in fact be helping the advertising guys eat the high horses pooh - or poo if you prefer, never been sure about the spelling here).

anyway, here's my heroic message for which I'd like some credit please...

Hello. I just made a query about your postal prices. I got an answer quickly so that was quite good. It didn't however explain why you were charging £17.86 for a weight that Royal Mail would send for 84p (3 flash drives that weigh approximately 15g each - small packet rate) This is comically outrageous and I will tell everyone I can about it as quickly as I can, principally via my blog but also in person. Sorry but I don't have 'mug punter' tatoo-ed on my forehead just yet! Yours a quite angry but also amused John Parkes

MY MY MY Passport

Did you know that your passport is supposed to be the 'property' of 'the Crown' or the state or somesuch. Seems they can take it back if they want like it was some special favour being allowed out. Those of us who refuse to sign up for a snoop card (the ID card containing all your microchipped private details which the government 'will never abuse') will no doubt have theirs confiscated.

Well, I say it's my passport and you're not having it! The arrogance of the bastards! I've had this 'privilege' attitude before from some arsehole at Dover years ago who thought he was doing me a big favour letting me off a boat into Dover (of all places).

I think I'm turning into an anarchist Anarchism incidentally is, in my experience, just an excuse posh kids use so as not to have to pay their share of the gas bill - but that's another story. You write a nice letter to their parents and get a cheque by return of post - remember to exaggerate the amount...

Come on then Yerfuckkkurs!

It's about time I broke a proper legal agreement I think. It was signed by myself, my former employer and a solicitor. The solicitor incidentally charged £400 for a 10 minute phone call during which they read out the agreement (which I'd read).

Anyway, I got made redundant last year. I got a redundancy payment the details of (and probably the existence of) I am legally obliged to keep secret. The agreement didn't say who I could tell, if anyone but I'm sure it must have said not to mention the Big Lottery Fund or the fact that they stole money from the pension fund to pay redundancy money to the staff they'd shafted when they centralised operations.

It may not be very exciting to you but LIVE LAW BREAKING HERE ON-LINE NOW is quite exciting.

By the way 'BIG' (as they like to be called) - I'm not giving you the money back because I spent it on guitars! - On whihc I write songs slagging the likes of you off!


Too Late for International Rescue

You may have been wondering what’s been happening on 'the swimming pool front' recently. The answer is ‘not a lot, really’. However, I did go to the ‘International Pool’ in Leeds again recently. With it being convenient for buses and city-centre workers to use in their dinner hour and with swimming being good for the ‘obesity agenda’ or whatever they call it, and with fitness generally being a good thing, and with drowning in muddy ponds a bad thing, what do you think they should do with it?

I know….close the fucker down and build a new one - in Middleton! The office workers can do a brisk 15 minutes walk to the bus stop, wait ten minutes for a bus, spend 40 minutes on the bus to Middleton, go swimming and be back in Leeds in time to go home. Brilliant! Or maybe the new pool will be mainly patronised by the teenage Mums of Middleton? – course it will! No more fat kids in Middleton then. Victory for the Council.

I’d just like to make a quick prediction here – that the financial worries about the new place will start in about 18 months to 2 years time. I’d just like to say ‘I told you so’ here and now. Let’s hope a big slum-of-the-future office block with a really stupid name is built on the site of the International Pool instead. A place where no-one really lives or a place where people do pretend jobs in ‘finance’ or something. There’ll be lots of security though so that’s good.

Go Harehills!

The Leeds minicab drivers’ competition is really hotting up. It’s all been a bit low-key and secretive so far but it’s obviously about to 'break big’. I’m afraid I can’t tell you exactly how it’s organised or how it’s scored but it’s pretty clear that it follows one of two main themes:


1. Breaking as many traffic regulations as possible


2. Breaking as many rules in the Highway Code as possible

I guess you earn points for breaking as many rules / regulations as possible in the shortest possible time. Or perhaps it’s the total over a set period? The Holy Grail would be breaking a huge number in a single manoeuvre. It looks like there’s a weighted scoring system in operation so most drivers are going for a combination of approaches.

Tell you one thing though, the mini-cab drivers of Harehills PISS over the opposition. They are going to WIN, no contest.

Wonder what the prize is?

For whoooom are you sorry!?

Before she dies I thought I'd admit that on occasion I feel sorry for Margaret Thatcher.

I mean, you put in all that effort and end up with two comedy children...

...and I'm thinking of her real children here not the 'New Labour' Millipede brothers and the rest.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Small Victories

Turns out the staff in Sound Control don’t think I’m mad. This cheered me up (see previous) They sounded like they agreed that the parking attendant at the Aireside Shopping Centre shouldn't be allowed to prevent me from leaving the carpark on foot after him and his mate have spied on me, 'warned' me and demanded £10. Too many bad memories to repeat this.

Anyway, after visiting Sound Control I had to walk across the crossing at the notorious ‘steaming through the red light like an arsehole’ junction. There was a women waiting to cross on the same side as me and 4 people on the other side. The lights changed, the cars carried on, the green man came on and 6 people stepped onto the crossing – the arseholes in cars were forced to stop! – Victory! People power, no violence necessary and arseholes who drive like arseholes forced to back down!

Incidentally, these are my favourite phrases to shout at drivers driving across pedestrian crossings when you've got the right of way. They both avoid use of the word 'fucking' or 'cunt'.

They are
  1. 'Am I getting in your way?'
  2. 'Is it the wrong shade of red for you?'

I also recommend walking in the middle of the road when some twat has parked their car in the middle of the footpath. Fair swap I reckon. Bit dangerous but hey, doing the right thing can be!

Toot toot.

Have I said this before?

I might have done this one. But....if you want an excellent definition of a 'deprived' area its anywhere you see an adult riding a kid's bike.

I guess you could make this a more sophisticated 'modelling tool' (in some people's lives this is nothing to do with a hobby shop or knives of any kind by the way). You could add...

  1. Are they standing up?
  2. Do they have a dirty white jacket?
  3. and baseball cap?
  4. Apparently moving as far sideways as forwards?
  5. Are they riding diagonally across a dual carriageway?

Well, I haven't got time to develop the idea but if it's all the above its a very deprived area. Incidentally, what you do with a deprived area is this...

  1. Take out a million pounds in tax and lottery tickets
  2. Give 5% of it to a variety of 'regeneration initiatives' and organisations to spend on having meetings with each other.
  3. Make the residents jump through hoops and fill in forms to get tiny grants they must account for.
  4. Make the representatives of the regeneration initiatives write reports to ensure they're 'accountable to the public'. This must say either a) We've done something useful, honestly; or b) 'Gosh its complicated, its not all that easy to fix' is it?
  5. Continue to redistribute wealth to the rich.
  6. Wring hands and / or crack down on the poor scum you've just shafted once again.
  7. Remember to make the poor people account for that £5,000!

Something Informative to Try

Here's an idea....

  1. Buy a MacDonald’s
  2. Take it home
  3. Put it on a plate
Ridiculous isn’t it?

Just looks wrong. Doesn’t even pretend to look like food.

...and wasn't their advertising from a few months back fantastic? - all those happening chicks chatting cappuccino salad. I went in and asked after them as is my wont. Enough said...

'Stealth Taxes' A History

Na then....

Long ago the Tories (as well as dealing with Apartheid, housing foreign powers' WMD, using the police as their private army, putting everyone on the dole for a crackpot economic theory and the rest) decided that 'indirect taxes' like VAT were 'a good thing' because we had 'the choice' whether we paid them or not. This of course only worked for people who could choose whether or not to spend their money (i.e. those with a lot of it); the rest of us just paid more tax to give to rich people as an incentive to 'invest' (in the Cayman Islands). Indirect taxes are 'regressive' i.e. they distribute money from the poor to the rich (New Labour didn't invent it you know). That's why they liked them.

This was in the days of course when there were politicians (even parties) who seemed to disagree with shafting the poor and even mentioned 'equality' once in a while (it's still in the dictionary, just don't look in the New Labour dictionary). Anyway, what I want to know is when did the indirect taxes they love become 'stealth taxes' and something that was 'bad'. Funny bunch politicians really aren't they?

Sorry, it's more of a history question really isn't it?

More Buses

Having accused 'Firstbus' of racking up fares by 10% a year, someone at work reminded me that it was less than 2 years ago when the fare into town was 80p. It's now £1.40 (hey, could be £1.50!) What's that then, about 45% a year worth of fare 'changes'? It's now loads cheaper to drive 2 (never mind more) people into town than it is to go on the bus.

Why do the government talk about 'green issues' when their transport policy is very clear - 'Buy a car, stand in traffic' It is their fault because they didn't do anything to reverse the 'free market' (i.e. private monopoly) in buses when the bus companies were going to be racing each other into town cutting fares all the while with that lovely Tory logic that we'e all now supposed to believe in.