24 January 2011 (Monday) - Tree Hugging

Yesterday I mentioned about going for a walk. One of my favourite places to walk (but it’s too muddy at this time of year) is our very own Kings Wood. It’s ironic that within a couple of months of my joining the Friends of Kings Wood, the place’s future is looking very uncertain  Basically the major party in our coalition government has plans to sell off great chunks of the publicly owned woodlands in Britain.

Perhaps I am wrong to use the phrase “sell off” – the correct terminology used by our leaders was “consulting on new ownership options", but I’m afraid that I’m old enough to remember a previous government which was completely Con-servative. Back in the day British Telecom (among *lots* of other companies) was publicly owned – like the NHS and the schools, and the air we breathe it belonged to everyone. But the government sold British Telecom. It was very cleverly done: everyone had the option to buy shares, but of course only those rich enough could afford to, and there weren’t that many shares to be bought. So the whole thing was hyped up, and those that could afford the shares bought them. Those that wanted shares but found there was none left offered to buy shares from those that had some. And so they bought the shares at vastly inflated prices. Such was the demand that I knew of people who spent £250 on BT shares one day and received back £500 from selling their investment the next day.
That’s one hundred per cent profit. It’s called capitalism, and it is one way to run a country. I am reliably informed from people whose opinions I value that it is a very effective way to run a country. And having seen both Con-servative and Labour governments I find that I must concede that the capitalistic way does seem to run an efficient country.
A morally bankrupt one, maybe, but what do I know? In the meantime, I see that a lot of celebrities have joined the campaign to save Britain’s woodlands. Any tired old lefties amongst my loyal readership can save the trees by signing the on-line petition here. After all, (to quote an Old Native American proverb) "Only when the last tree is cut; only when the last river is polluted; only when the last fish is caught; only then will they realize that you cannot eat money"
Mind you, on reflection I’m left wondering if I might be smiling more on the concept of rampant capitalism had my own endowment investments not gone quite so belly-up.

Regular readers of this drivel may recall that over the Xmas period I was struggling to make a working PC out of the leftover fragments from previous PC maintenance sessions. I’ve now got a working PC cobbled together from the one that “Daddies Little Angel TMused to use. It’s nothing special, but with the installation of a network card I can back up my photographs to it. It never fails to amaze me how much the technology moves on. A digital photo from 1998 takes up 54Kb disc space. They aren’t the sharpest photos in the world, but they don’t take up much space. Photographs taken yesterday on my new phone take up 1.8Mb each. That’s over one old floppy disk’s worth. Yesterday’s album of photographs taken on my jaunt to Herne Bay takes up more disk space than all of my photos from the year 2001. My archive of photos going back to 1998 takes up just over 10Gb disk space. That’s loads!!  And it transpires that I’ve only got two 20Gb drives in the backup PC. Bearing in mind there’s some stuff on the PC we want to leave in place, backing up my photos will take up more than half my available space. And also bearing in mind file sizes of today’s photos, this backup PC will only be good for one more year’s photos. Sometime in January 2012 I will be needing to put a much larger hard drive into the backup device.

And in closing, regular readers may recall that I am on a diet. Following last week’s successful gain of one pound, it has to be said that I didn’t really bother with the diet last week. KFC, trifle, fry-up, pub lunch and a couple of pints all went down well. This morning at the grand weigh-in I found I’ve lost three pounds. What’s that all about?

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