30 June 2021 (Wednesday) - Rise of the Machines (Pah!)

As I wandered to the bathroom this morning I was conscious of a rather odd sound coming from the dishwasher. Usually the only sounds it makes are those of plates getting a good seeing to. Which is as it should be. There are two schools of thought when it comes to dealing with dishwashers, as expounded on the "Extreme Dishwasher Loading" Facebook page. There are those who pander to the machines, filling them with salt and rinse aid and regularly cleaning the filters and generally sucking up to the devices. And there are those who feel that the machine should know its place and do what is expected of it (or face re-programming with a mallet!)

I am firmly in the second camp. Trying to keep the dishwasher sweet is just prolonging the inevitable collapse of humanity when the machines eventually rise up. I maintain that if we rule the machines with a rod of iron they will know their place.

However, overnight the dishwasher had suffered some sort of malfunction. Five minutes with the thing in pieces soon revealed the problem. Its out-pipe was blocked absolutely solid with congealed fat. I can only assume that er indoors TM” had tried to wash half a pound of lard in it.

With fat scraped out and chucked down the toilet (let's hope that don't block up too) I set the dishwasher to the "hyper-scrub" setting with a triple dose of dishwasher tablets and left it to do its thing.


I watched half of an episode of "Fresh Meat" then peered into the Internet. The photo I had posted last night of my Lego piccie had got nearly ninety "likes" on Facebook.

There were a lot of comments about "it's coming home". Presumably "it" being the football trophy for which all sorts of teams are currently competing. "It" might well be coming home, but I thought better of making the observation that it is a shame that the same can't be said for shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables.

There was also a minor squabble kicking off on the Facebook page for fans of the  1970 TV show “Upstairs Downstairs” in which some people had become rather abusive toward each other – over “Upstairs Downstairs” !!! Some people go onto the internet to follow their hobby, others just go to argue… Mind you I think that for a lot of people, arguing *is* the hobby.


And talking of arguing about hobbies, it is no secret that I’m not a fan of keeping geocaches going for ever, but there is one just round the corner from home that I hid seven years ago and it is still going strong. It is a liar’s cache. In order to claim a find you have to make up a story (in your written log) making out how hard and difficult the thing was to get to. It is a good bit of silliness, quite a few people follow it, and over the years it has garnered sixty favourite points. A few years ago someone from central Europe asked if they could copy the idea. I was very happy for them to do so. To be honest it wasn’t my idea in the first place. I shamelessly blagged it from someone else. And liar’s caches are allowed for in the official rules anyway.

Yesterday someone else asked if they could use the idea. Again I had no problems with it…

This morning the first person sent me a message saying that the second person lives just a mile down the road from her, that the second person’s geocache is a load of crap, that the second person is a b*stard, and that I should tell her she can’t have a liar’s cache.

I’m tempted to say “not my circus, not my monkeys” (because it is not my circus and certainly isn’t my monkeys) but I suspect the phrase would lose a lot in translation. I shall keep quiet and hope it all blows over.


I set off to work. For all the talk about shortages of lorry drivers, they were out and about in full force of the motorway this morning. Is it my cynical imagination, or do they *really* slow down and bunch up in the slow lane as they pass the slip roads? Are they deliberately not letting cars on to the motorway? It certainly seemed that way on the M20 this morning at junctions nine, eight and seven. And since when have they been allowed to drive at fifty miles per hour in the motorway's fast lane (as they were this morning)?


I got to work, did that which I couldn’t avoid, and came home again. I came home to a letter from a landowner who is quite happy for me to put geocaches on his land – provided I told him exactly where I put them. I spent a little while fiddling about with maps. It struck me as odd that the chap wasn’t interested in a precise set of GPS co-ordinates or plots of locations; instead preferring a best guess hand-drawn on a pdf. 

er indoors TM” boiled up dinner, and with it scoffed I set the dishwasher going right away. It worked as it should… which is just as well for it bearing in mind that I won’t take failure from it lightly…

29 July 2021 (Tuesday) - Awesome !!

Another restless night… I only seem to get a proper night’s sleep just after a night shift. I slept like a log last night up until two o’clock, then woke every twenty minutes.

I got up, made brekkie, and as yet another negative COVID test incubated I watched half an episode of “Fresh Meat” before having a quick look at the Internet. It was still there, but not a lot was happening.

I got ready for work and set off..


As I walked down the road to find my car my phone beeped. A message from the Munzee clan. I stepped down as Munzee clan leader last month (I wasn't feeling it what with Fudge having gone and Sid looking very ill) so someone else took over from me. In all honesty there wasn't much to take over, but this morning I found out that my successor has made even less effort than I have this month and so the clan isn't going to reach its target (and consequently not get the rewards). All rather trivial in the great scheme of things, but quite a major issue if sticking bar codes onto lamp posts is what floats your boat.


I drove through the drizzle up the motorway with my piss boiling as I listened to the radio. Shop workers all over the country in little corner shops and in large supermarkets (Morrisons, Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys were all mentioned by name) are getting rather fed up of being physically assaulted by customers and the police are doing absolutely nothing about it.

I can't say I'm surprised... Well, I'm rather shocked that this is happening, but (quite frankly) the police's response is exactly what I've come to expect of them. I've mentioned before how I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever in the police to do absolutely anything at all that you might traditionally expect of a policeman. Yet again they do nothing when a crime has clearly been committed. Which isn't to say that the police do nothing at all. I've had coppers victimising me personally twice in the last year. (Once for daring to visit my Dad just after my mum died, and once when I was supposedly at fault when some strange passer-by decided to whip Pogo with brambles for no reason whatsoever).

It would seem that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Serving policemen do too.

Perhaps if we had a police force  that kicked arse where arse needs kicking (rather than picking on those who arse does not) perhaps society might be better...?


I got to work and cracked on with the early shift. At tea break I finished the e-book I was reading. "The Supernova Era" by Cixin Liu was rather good. I've always liked post-apocalyptic fiction and this book was not too shabby at all (to quote “My Boy TM). Imagine "Lord Of The Flies" on a global scale. A colleague recommended the e-book, and now I've finished it I've downloaded another by the same author. So far I'm quite impressed with what I've read of his books. He seems to be an up-to-date Chinese Arthur C Clarke.


I came home via Lidl. I got a bottle of wine which cheered up an otherwise dull shopping basket, and then spent an hour longer than usual trying to get home along a bunged-up motorway. I had planned to take Treacle for a little walk, but it was raining rather hard when I finally got home.


er indoors TM” boiled up a very good bit of dinner then vanished off upstairs to Zoom at her friends. I opened the Lego pressie that my colleagues had given me on Friday. The sensible part of me said to keep it unopened and pristine in its box and to sell it for an absolute fortune in a few years’ time. But it is no secret that “sensible” has never really played a large part in my life.

The set took about forty-five minutes to build. From a Lego builder’s point of view this is one of the best sets ever. Bright colours, straightforward build, unique pieces… it’s got pride of place in the living room above the telly between the SkyQ box and the DVD player…

I *might* take it apart and rebuild it with the orange and yellow swapped over with the black and the brown. At the moment the darkest part is on the edge and it doesn’t stand out as well as it might.

28 June 2021 (Monday) - This n That

Lacking any suggestions for anything worth watching, I started watching "Fresh Meat" (on Netflix) as I scoffed toast this morning. It wasn't a bad show... it wasn't good. It kept me occupied early in the morning.
Being on an early shift I skipped my morning trawl of the internet and set off to work.


The deputy leader of the Labour party Angela Lansbury was being interviewed on the radio as I drove. Making the most of the opportunity to stick the knife into disgraced ex-health secretary Matt Hancock she was now trying to dig the dirt on Gina Coladangelo (her who Matt Hancock has been allegedly porking recently). Ms Lansbury didn't do herself any justice on the radio though. I've mentioned before that (as a life-long leftie) the Labour party is a disappointment at best, and in reality is something of a joke. Rather than coming over with authority and conviction, Ms Lansbury came over as “Karen from Facebook” and would have done far better to have taken care to pronounce her words better (if not properly) and shrieked a little less.

There was also an interview with someone who was once something big in security circles who was intrigued by the photos of Mr Hancock's grabbing of Ms Coladangelo's arse that have been all over the media recently. Bearing in mind that once upon a time top ministers’ offices were routinely searched for bugging equipment, she wondered how a closed-circuit TV camera had gone unnoticed in Mr Hancock's office (let alone how  the tabloids had access to it).

There was also talk about how a load of top secret government documents have been found laying around at a bus stop but this didn't seem anywhere near as interesting to the pundits on the radio as dishing the dirt on a disgraced minister


I got petrol, and went in to the early shift. Work was work. I did my bit, I did e-learning and digital morphological QA (as one does).  In years gone by the mere mention of the word "work" in a blog was sufficient for a manager to issue me with a formal written warning (for bringing the place into disrepute) but things are different now. So different  that said manager has even sent me a friend request on Facebook.


With work done I drove up to Beckenham to visit Terry and Irene. We’ve not met up for a couple of years. It was really good to catch up (if not under the best of circumstances). We shall meet up again soon – Beckenham isn’t far from work – and it is a straightforward drive too.


er indoors TM” boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we watched whilst watching “The Great British Sewing Bee”. I used to be a dab hand with a needle back in the day.

Treacle is currently walking round the living room with a chew treat, crying inconsolably as she is trying to find somewhere to hide it. I can’t work out why she is so distraught.