30 January 2011 (Sunday) - Here and There
I am often amazed by the criminal element in society. Thuggery and violence must be condemned, but I must admit to a sneaking admiration for bare faced cheek. A few years ago a friend who worked at a
hospital told me how a TV was stolen from a staff rest room in a secure area. The thief just walked up to a locked door and banged on it. When a member of the staff came to answer the door, the thief calmly announced he’d come to service the TV in the rest room, and asked directions. He got himself taken to the rest room, where he picked up the telly and carried it out. Just as he was about to leave the building another member of staff got suspicious and asked for some identification. At this point the chap dropped the telly and ran. London
Something similar is going on over at Amazon. You can get the details here: in a nutshell what’s happened is that if you call up books written by one Peter Michelsen, you’ll see the chap has written a lot of books, and is selling his wares. However if you look closely at the books he’s selling, you’ll see he’s not actually the author. He’s blagged loads of people’s work. Take for example this book. You can clearly see the author’s name is not Peter Michelsen. And if you click here you can get the book for free.
I must admit I’m not at all impressed that a good friend is having his work blatantly stolen for profit. And the chap perpetrating this scam isn’t overly bright – after all he’s not even changed the authors’ names on the pictures of the books he’s lifted.
But whilst I think that what he’s done is theft, is wrong, and must be punished, I’m afraid that a part of me can’t help admiring his nerve in doing what he’s done. I'd never dare try something like that.
This entire episode has made me think though. Some of the pictures on this blog are blatantly blagged from elsewhere on the Internet. In my defence I’m not making money from anyone else’s efforts. And quite often when I do blag someone else’s pictures I do spend quite a bit of time adjusting and re-colouring them.
Take for example today’s picture. One is the original, lifted from the web page at http://bio150.chass.utoronto.ca/oif/app-cite.html, one is the same picture after I spent ten minutes tweaking it. Am I wrong to be doing this?
Meanwhile back in my world, with brekkie scoffed, once “Daddies Little Angel TM ”and her chauffer had arrived we set off on the day’s mission. First of all to the International Hotel where the Invicta Arachnid club were having a show. Breeders and spider enthusiasts were selling spiders and all the kit you’d need to keep one.
Whilst I had no plans whatsoever to buy any spiders, it was something that doesn’t happen very often, so we thought we’d give it a go. As did half the population of
, judging by the crowds in the place. But we got to see mantises, stick insects, scorpions, and some HUGE spiders. And I met up with an old friend from the days of the snake club. There was one very nice terrarium for sale – complete with tarantula the whole lot was up for sale at twenty quid. Had I not spent a squillion quid yesterday on my new telescope I would probably have bought that spider. Kent
And then onwards. To the Isle of Sheppey and Whelan’s. I’ve waxed loquacious about Whelans in the past. Today they let me down. I was hoping to get some flat paving slabs I could lay down in the back garden to make a flat area for my telescope (when it arrives). But they don’t do paving slabs. They did do a very nice garden table with a chess board marked on it though…
Whilst we were in the area the Rear Admiral wanted to make a visit to Eastchurch for sentimental reasons. The soppy old thing (!) Whilst he revisited old haunts I realised I was getting peckish. I must admit that I’m not very familiar with the Sheppey area, so I downloaded the McDonalds Locator app for my phone. It downloaded, but didn’t work. But we found some McDinner easily enough. A quarter-pounder with cheese, some fries and a toffee sundae (all washed down with a banana shake) made for an excellent, if unconventional, Sunday lunch.
Our next stop was Herne Common (as opposed to “Bay”) where we mooched around the camping shop and the Rear Admiral got a camping chair. Or he claims it’s a camping chair. It looks like a “camp” chair to me, but what do I know?
Almost next door to the camping shop is Vanishing World, probably the best pet shop for miles around. We looked at the fish and fluffies, and I got very gooey over the snakes. And the chap showed us the Leopard Geckoes. I have never seen such a selection of Leopard Geckoes: I had no idea they came in so many colours and patterns. And they were offering a bargain whereby you could get a vivarium and all the kit and one Leopard Gecko all for £135. This was something else that had I not spent a squillion quid yesterday on my new telescope I would probably have bought.
Home, where we sampled my latest batch of home-brew beer. It’s only been in the barrel for a day, so it was probably rather early to be trying the stuff, but it’s got promise.
And then the parrot threw up. I’ve heard of the expression “sick as a parrot” – now I’ve seen it. It’s my opinion that she drank too much tea. I never see her at her water bowls, but she does like a cup of tea. I’m hoping it's nothing serious and that she just had too much tea this afternoon – after all what she honked was all fluid, and she seems as perky as ever.
But I'm worrying that I shall be nailing her corpse to the perch tomorrow.
Oh – and “Daddies Little Angel TM ” ’s cat now has a blog….