Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Things I'm not impressed with:

1. The UK Government. Perhaps I'll get 'renditioned' for this so if you don't hear from me for a while, you know what's happened. The Freedom of Information Act was set up and implemented by the current Government. In theory, people could get access to 'stuff' if they requested it. If they didn't ask, then disclosure is not required. The minutes of 2 Cabinet meetings pertaining to the legality of the Iraq war were requested and judges decreed that these minutes be released under the Freedon of Information Act. These minutes would shed light on who said what and what was the legal basis (or otherwise) of going to war. It could have pointed the finger at Blair and others. This past week the - the ironically named 'Justice' Minister stood in the House and announced that he was vetoing the releasing of these minutes as it was not in the public interests. This is the same Justice minister who was invloved with anti-government protests back in the late 1960's. Oh how cheetahs change their spots. 'Not in the public interest?' What a faff. A farce. A whitewash. Call it what you will but it is a disgrace. How can it not be in the public interest. The country went to war based on what was said during these meetings. That means 50 million + people that have an indirect 'say' on it. Now tell the dead soliders and their families that this information is not in the public interest. I put it to you that it is a huge cover up. The Minister and his cronies know full well how it would look if that kind of information was made public. They would be hung, drawn and quartered. Their 'legacies' in tatters. What are you so afraid of? The truth? Remember if you hadn't been voted for by 'us' you wouldn't have been in any position to even be having those meetings. We are your masters and not the other way around. I sincerely hope that those minutes will be leeked or someone has them already. We need to know what was said in order to find out the real reasons and not the ones we have been drip fed.

2. The 'pension' of the ex RBS chief. Nearly £700, 000 per year for the rest of his life. He's only 50 and he's been responsible for the biggest corporate loss in UK history. £26 billion. If he had any morals or dignity left...again, people have suffered because of him and he is essentially being 'rewarded' for his crapness. Perhaps I'll be 'crap' at Emirates and by the same logic, I'll get paid handsomely for the rest of my days.

3. Hmm, think that might be it for the moment.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I think in our family, we have been particularly lucky in the sense that deaths and funerals have been kept to minimum. It might be the genes or perhaps just luck. In the last 10 years, there have only been 3. Of course, that is 3 more than would have been preferred but you can't have everything. On those 3 occasions, 2 were from my dad's side - my grandfather and my uncle and the other was on my mum's side with her sister's husband passing away. Going back longer, I can recall attending another 2.

That record has been obliterated of late however. In the 2 months that have comprised this year, we have had 2 deaths some 30 days apart. The most unbelievable aspect of that is the fact that the 2 were both my grandparents. On January 1st, I had 3 and now I have 1.

My grandfather had been in poor health for a while with a few visits to hospital. Mentally, he was a sharp as ever however physically his 90 year old frame wasn't so tough. It is sad, no question of that, but in some ways his passing wasn't a major shock. That's not to say it wasn't a shock to hear the news because it was. The major shock was still to come. My grandmother was perhaps not quite as sharp as she could have been but was fully aware of what was going on. She had just lost her husband of 60+ years. I don't think I can really express what that must feel like so I won't even attempt to paint that picture. I'm not exactly sure what happened but it appears that she had been getting 'dizzy'. One afternoon after lunch she went for a lie down but in the end, she never did wake up. I got a text in the middle of the night about it. I was shocked into being fully awake. I mean, losing one grandparent could be considered careless but 2? In a month?

In some ways, both passing so soon after the other was predicted. Whether or not that was just 'talk' or if there was a feeling that that might happen is up for debate. Either way, to get to near 90 as they had done is no small achievement. I think they can both be proud of themselves and I hope that they have found each other wherever they are. I'm sure they will be chuckling about it all. Gone, but not forgotten.



Oh the football.

European football is back but sadly no Scottish teams are involved this season. Given that only 1 game was won by a Scottish team it can be no surprise that they are all out. Indeed the league itself is not going to be remember as 'vintage'. It's been crap in all honesty. After Celtic defeated Rangers just after Christmas it looked like that was it but somehow Celtic have been unable to win away from home. Not only that, but they are incapable of even keeping a clean sheet. They seem 'flat' with the strikers, well, not striking. It could be simply a lose of form but I wonder if there is more to it, particularly in light of Boruc and McGeady having to be pulled apart in training. Now Celtic are playing catch up to Rangers who really aren't that great. If it wasn't for Boyd they wouldn't be anywhere. He's scored 24 goals already this season for goodness sake. As for the others, Dundee Utd looked decent until they got a nosebleed from being at the giddy height of 3rd. Hearts can't score, Aberdeen are Aberdeen. Hibs, for all there attacking 'riches' aren't too hot. And what of Motherwells pitch?! A farce. Don't care who wins this season and don't care about who goes down.

It is interesting to note that a winter shutdown is being muted. I think its a great idea although a month shutdown has been discussed, I'm not sure that that is required. I would shut the league down during January. It might be that February sees the worst of the weather but January would be best. I daresay crowds are often much lower then in any case. It might mean a longer season but at least the pitches will not be paddy fields and it might be that the players are less prone to getting injured. For standards to improve, we need to be forward thinking and this would be step in the right direction. So long as the clubs don't get all selfish, self-centred and veto it all.

But lets face it, it will all come down to money as it always does.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We had a Group wide 10-pin Bowling competition over the weekend. Somehow I'd been 'persuaded' to join one of our Departments team. The Department had 2 teams in total. I wasn't very optimistic since I hadn't played in ages and ages and also because we were up against other teams that were full of serious bowlers. So long as we beat the other Departmental team though!

The competition itself comprised of 30 teams. The top 8 teams with the highest combined scores would go through to the next round. Each team of 4 having to bowl 3 games of 10 ends each. Hardcore. Often 2 games is enough for me...

The first game went well. I somehow managed to fluke 142 and by 'fluke' and mean fluke especially given that I scored 90 in the second game. The third game was slightly better with 105 scored. Disappointing however.

So, the results came through yesterday. Sadly, our team didn't get into the top 8. It would have been a minor miracle had we done so. In the end we had to settle for 18th out of 30. Not bad, but not great. The second Departmental team sucked. They were last. Not just by alittle, but by alot. The irony is, when the resulted were emailed to everyone in the Department, people wrote back to say 'congratulations' or 'well done champs'. Eh, am I missing something? Is this a cultural thing? but we were crap. We were 18th and 30th out of 30. Mince, pish, rank - choose your word as there is no getting around it. I'm certainly not 'congratulating' myself for that. Ok, it was the taking part that matter. Whatever.

Alas, there is next year. So long as we beat the other Departmental team...

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The sand made quite an appearance over the past few days. It's everywhere. Outside, in the air and in the house. There is no escaping it. It's been windy and this ensures that the sand is whipped up into the atmosphere and deposited as a rather thick blanket on every single surface. You can feel it in the air and its awful. My eyes are all sore because of it. Bloodshot and mingin'.

I have experienced it back in Korea - they get the 'yellow dust' drifting over from China but that was nothing compared to the past few days.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


This driving lark. What is all the fuss about?
It's really not all that exciting. So much so, that in the month that I've had a car I've only driven 230 kilometres. That's it. Total. In fact, I only use it on the weekends. I do wonder why I have it?
Perhaps it will get used more when the summer heat and humidity kicks in. I might even use it to get to and from work. At this rate, it's going to take me 4 months to get to 1000 kilometres and when I reach that milestone I get a free service. The Toyota garage will just laugh at me 'how come its taken so long?! I might lie and tell them that I've been on holiday for 3 months and that I've done a 1000 kms in a month. Honest guv.

I'm quite relaxed when I'm driving. It's a shame that others aren't quite as relaxed. I was waiting at a t-junction. I couldn't go as there was too much traffic and I couldn't even be cheeky and move into the gaps between the cars. I had been waiting for about a minute and still no significant gap had appeared. This guy behind me then started honking his horn as if to say 'hurry up you numpty'. What a knobhead. I mean, did he want me to move out into oncoming traffic just so he could move? In the end, I just stayed put to annoy him further. There was one or two gaps which I could have move into but the thought of annoying him was too great. It felt like a victory of sorts against Mr. 4x4. I think I'll continue with this - so long as no-one gets out their car and tries to beat me up!

Monday, February 09, 2009


Been awful at updating this. Shocking. Must try harder.

I guess its a case of not having any motivation to update. That, coupled with a lack of much of interest to say. /like that ever stopped me/

The first thing that has been bothering me is my Bank. RBS. Once a perfectly acceptable institution which is now nothing but a faff. I'm having difficultly reconciling the fact that I have an account with them. Why should I? After their total and utter mismanagement. And lets not put to fine a point on it, these men who oversaw all this are criminals that should be arrested and tried in a court of law. They took my money and millions of others and used and abused it. Theft for starters. Can you be arrested for being incompetent? There is another charge. Misleading its customers which in my book is akin to lying. But its all 'ok' because they quit and are not getting a bonus and their shares have nose-dived. Well, if you were making a million a year then why should you care? What about all these thousands of staff that will now have to be sacked because of it. Are they on a million a year. Are they even on 20, 000 pounds a year? Do they have shares? Perhaps.

The irony of it all, is that before the 'fall', when all this expansion and stuff was happening - not only with RBS but other Banks in the UK - that the man overseeing it all was the Chancellor. And who was the Chancellor? Mr. G. Brown. And who is the P.M now - the 'saviour' of the country and indeed the world due to his efforts? The very same Mr. G. Brown. Would all his efforts now have anything to do with his conscience getting the better of him? Or perhaps trying to get himself out of the hole by painting himself as a 'saviour'?

It's a nonsense. All the Bosses of the Banks were up against a host of M.P's during the week as the inquest began. I don't recall any of them actually saying 'sorry'. If they had any decency they would suggest that they were sorry whilst going on to say that they failed, they were crap and they were nothing but a bunch of greedy bastards. Profit and loss. They chased the profit.

Not impressed and morally, can I continue with RBS?