15 November 2018 (Thursday) - Job Lot


When I went to bed last night I arranged the duvet so we would all get fair dibs of it overnight. I woke up shivering in the small hours. I thought about trying to wrestle some of it back, but I would be fighting a losing battle, and the old adage about letting sleeping dogs lie has never been more true than at three o’clock in the morning when everyone is finally quiet. I shivered for a bit.
 Over brekkie I watched another episode of “Prison Break” then had a quick look at the Internet. A friend of mine who lives in Ohio had posted something to Facebook which amazed me. An American glassware manufacturer is giving all of its employees a handgun as a Christmas bonus. Each person gets to choose exactly what sort of gun they want; apparently “giving employees their choice of revolver as a gift is part of an effort to promote personal safety and team building”. I *really* don’t understand how Americans feel that having everyone walking round with guns makes the world a safer place.

I set off for work. Bearing in mind just how bad the journey was yesterday I again got my phone's sat-nav app to have a look at the journey for me. It said "motorway" today, and who am I to argue?
As I drove the pundits on the radio were discussing the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Bearing in mind the document only came out late last night and is over five hundred pages long I was amazed at how the people being interviewed this morning claimed to have studied the document thoroughly. I challenge anyone to pick up a five-hundred-page document, read the thing overnight, and be able to discuss the thing with any authority the next morning. (Go on - download the book "The Mote in God's Eye" (one of my favourite reads), read the lot in one go, then email me the location of Horace Bury's cabin and tell me who Angus and Brigit are. I'll give you till tomorrow morning... bet you can't do it...)
As I drove it was announced that the Northern Ireland secretary had resigned over the Brexit agreement. At tea break I saw that the Brexit secretary had also resigned. (Mind you he was a twit - he was on the news last week claiming to have had no idea of the importance of the port of Dover). By lunchtime the Work and Pensions secretary had also thrown in the sponge. And by mid-afternoon there were calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation.
Looking at the news it amazes me that anyone is surprised at this. Did *anyone* think it would go smoothly?

I drove home much easier than I thought I might; once home I walked the dogs round the block. This is a job which is much easier to write than do. Leaving aside the mayhem of four dogs, with the new “lighting” used on the streets of South Ashford, much of the pavements of Francis Road were in utter darkness.
Now that’s not “not very bright”; that’s “so dark I couldn’t see my dogs”. I’d send another letter of complaint to the council if I thought it might achieve anything.
With walk walked I refereed dog feeding time. Fudge then sat on the sofa with me, and Treacle ran in circles round Pogo who was being vigorously “gayed-up” by Sid. Sid continued in this vein until he got too breathless to continue. Fortunately (being a pug) that didn’t take too long.

My phone then beeped. The email I’d been hoping for. A couple of days ago I’d seen something on eBay of which I liked the look. A “job lot” of Lego. Three kilogrammes of the stuff including two motors, lights, gears, base plates… It looked like a rather good “job lot”. In a fit of idiot enthusiasm I put on a maximum bid of fifty quid secure in the knowledge that there must be a hundred quid’s worth there and I didn’t have a hope of winning it. I expected the final price to be about a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty pounds.
This evening I won it for seventeen quid. Result !!
Of course I’ve still got to receive the thing, but the seller looks to he a hospice so I’m relatively confident they will send the stuff.
A few years ago I had plans to make a 1970s Lego diorama with buildings and train track and stuff. I think it might be time to start that project… 

14 November 2018 (Wednesday) - Stuff


I had a rather cold night; an alliance of "er indoors TM" and the wolf-pack had most (if not all) of the duvet. I eventually got fed up with being cold and got up.
Over toast I watched another episode of “Prison Break” which is getting rather good, and then I sparked up the Internet. On Facebook I had three friend requests from rather foxy transvestites who were trying to advertise porno websites. Much as I like Facebook, the people who run it don’t do a very good job of keeping out the rather foxy transvestites who want to peddle porn. Perhaps when registering with Facebook there should be a question: “Are you a rather foxy transvestite trying to peddle porn?” It might weed out some of the undesirables.
Other than blokes in skimpy dresses there wasn’t very much going on with Facebook this morning.

I set off for work. Bearing in mind just how bad the journey home was last night I asked Google to direct me to work. I knew things would be bad when it said to avoid the motorway. Three miles up the A20 there is a bridge over the motorway. As I drove over it I could see all the work-bound traffic queued up and at a standstill. I've played that game too much recently!

As I drove I listened to the pundits on the radio. They were all discussing the Brexit deal which the Prime Minister has finally agreed with the EU. She's now got to agree it with the UK, and this is proving to be tricky if for no other reason that the whole thing is one big secret and no-one know what it is.
Various windbags were either pontificating on the matter (or talking out of their backsides depending on whether or not you agreed with them). All were contradicting each other with their baseless speculations, but one of them made me sit up and take notice. I wish I could remember her exact phrasing, but her basic message was that any Brexit deal is pretty much meaningless in the long term as the UK will probably be re-applying for EU membership within a generation. Much as it wasn’t a popular thing to say, none of the other windbags seemed to want to disagree with this.
There was also talk about the fate of whistle-blowers in the NHS. For all that NHS workers are supposed to be able to speak up and point out failings in the system, it seems there are a *lot* of whistle-blowers who have been made to suffer for their actions, and there are precious few who haven't been made to regret opening their traps.
I wonder if the trick for successful whistle-blowing is to give serious thought as to exactly to whom one might squeal the faults of the system. Perhaps squealing to the very individual who is ultimately responsible for those faults you've found might be a bad choice? Talking totally hypothetically of course, this might be why some people were left high and dry whilst others received a medal from the Queen? Not that I'm bitter...

I got to work after an hour and a half, and had a relatively good day. The journey home was far easier than the journey in, and once home I got the leads on to the dogs. We walked out of the door just as "er indoors TM" was pulling up outside. That was a result; walking four dogs is a challenge so I was glad of the help.

With dogs walked they had their tea then ran riot whilst "er indoors TM" boiled up a rather good bit of scran. We scoffed it whilst watching the most recent episode of “Doctor Who”. What was once family entertainment has become politically correct claptrap.
Such a shame.

13 November 2018 (Tuesday) - Nectar Card


I had a better night last night, possibly because I went to bed an hour earlier than usual and got some sleep before the hounds descended on my pit. Mind you the dogs didn’t have *that* many issues overnight; I can vaguely remember a shouting match with new-next-door’s dogs in the small hours, but it was all rather vague.
Over brekkie I watched the most recent episode of “The Good Place” (which isn’t really going anywhere at the moment) then sparked up my lap-top to see what I’d missed on the Internet overnight. Marvel comics supremo Stan Lee had died. Whilst there had been a massive outpouring of grief on Facebook overnight, the chap was ninety-five years old. There was also a petty squabble kicking off on one of the American geocaching groups; some chap regularly goes trolling there and *always* manages to stir up a fight.

I got dressed putting on my new pants and socks, neither of which were very substantial. The socks were on the thin side and the pants did a frankly pathetic job of keeping my “junk” in place; I can't see any of them lasting very long. I then set off to work. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about a squabble between Italy and the E.U. Some Italian minister or other was being interviewed. He made me chuckle when he said the dispute would be resolved quicker if there were a few less tweets from either side.
And I heard that the TV fishing celebrity John Wilson had died. I believe my brother once told him to get knotted.
Today's "Thought for the Day" was from some professor hailing form Canterbury who was banging on about how gospel music has "sold out" in that it is no longer exclusively sung in churches but is features in some adverts. My attention was wandering as I found myself thinking "who cares", and I couldn't help but wonder how many thousands of listeners turn off at that point.

I stopped off at the petrol station this morning, It is a penny cheaper per litre than it was last week. As I paid the chap in the till asked if I had a nectar card. i said no. I always say no. I have done every week for the last year or so. But today this chap asked if I'd like one, and he gave me one. Result!

Work was work; getting home was fun! I have no idea what the hold-up was, but it took half an hour to get out of the works car park, and a further three quarters of an hour to get to the motorway. I came home to an empty house; "er indoors TM" had taken the hounds round the park.
I took a few minutes to register the Nectar card that the nice man in the garage had given me this morning. I’m not quite sure what I did, but I didn’t register it; I set up a new one. Woops. I *think* I’ve now connected it to my eBay account (not that I buy much with it these days).
I wonder if I will remember to use the thing.