Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Granny Herald

Many moons ago when this blog was not a blog but a series of posts on a fishing website its raison d'etre was as a commentary on what passes as a newspaper in Auckland. I thought it might amuse to return to my roots as on Tuesdays I am in the Auckland Koru Lounge pre dawn and the paper is free. This could turn into a regular Tuesday spot. Who knows? Or cares.

Well nothing has changed; the paper remains drivel. Front page is dominated (banner headline, two pictures and about 70% of the real estate) by a restaurant booking. Christchurch is about to be totally uninsured (more of uninsured in a bit) and the main news is a table for 30 down the Viaduct. And a picture of the PM snogging his wife in front of the Taj Mahal (the real one and not the restaurant). And a picture of the bloody penguin. The froggy rugby team have booked a restaurant every night for a month and this merits a headline superscript, in red no less, of 'Rugby World Cup Boom'. Unless they are paying a couple of million a night for the frogs legs and snails I would have thought 'Boom' is overplaying the hand by a large degree. A nice little short term earner for the purveyor of victuals but hardly the sort of financial investment that will pull the country out of the poo.

John Key and Mrs PM in India playing the tourist. Leave them alone. I welcome a newspaper giving tidings of the PM persuading Tata to reduce the price of Jaguar servicing but I have zero interest in what he does out of office hours with 'er indoors.

The bloody penguin. Who is paying for all this cute crap? Now I don't wish to appear heartless (well I couldn't give a big penguin's backside if I do actually) but the stance from all concerned when this obviously stupid bird turned up thousands of miles from home should have been 'Oh look, there's a big penguin'. When it started looking less than the full shilling the best line of attack would have been 'Daft bird ain't looking too flash, never mind there's truck loads of them where he came from, he shouldn't be here and he's about to die. Never mind' This should have been followed by doing absolutely nothing. But what do we get? The damned thing is taken to a zoo, has 'experts' opining on what is in its best interests and then has an endoscopy performed as a tourist attraction. Best interests. Penguins don't have interests, best or otherwise. They are birds. They eat fish, live in a horrible, cold place and reproduce so that their progeny can eat fish and live in a horrible, cold place. The aren't interested in anything. They don't collect stamps, do macrame or restore vintage steam engines. Having some weird beard DoC chap opine as to their best interests is arrant nonsense. Suppose this geographically displaced animal was an anaconda wot ate people and not a cute (sic), fluffy penguin. Would we be having the same 'best interests' tosh? I think not.

Would we have same unpleasant serpent being endoscoped in full public view as a warped freak show by one of my colleagues? Of course not. Now I have to be very careful here because the bloke what done the deed really is a colleague of mine and I have experience of endoscoping a penguin. I did the deed in private (as, to my mind, befits this sort of thing) with a finite and attainable therapeutic goal. I think yesterday's effort ticked neither of those boxes. We should move on.

Uninsured. I Tweeted incorrectly last night that the Aston Martin that was nicked in Auckland yesterday was a DB9. I assumed this because of the quoted price. I didn't (still don't) think a V8 Vantage would set you back $300,000. The owner got his very tasty motor back after a few hours after offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to its return. He is very lucky as he obviously has the intellectual horsepower of the already discussed penguin. The car was uninsured and I originally thought this to be an act of commission rather than an error of omission. I am now less certain as he left it with the keys in the ignition and a laptop and $500 cash lying casually around in the interior.

I'm sure this bloke could be easily persuaded that he needs an endoscopy just to ensure he hasn't swallowed any twigs. I'd do it for him for, oooh, $10,000

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yesterday I bought a kettle

Hold the front page, eh? This blog brings you all the world changing events and remember you heard it here first. Foul weather dictates that golf would be as enjoyable as stickng matchsticks under your fingernails so, dear reader, you have the opportunity to share this thrilling purchase.

Investment in a new device with which to raise water to boiling point was occasioned by the demise of the Sunbeam that had given about a decade of sterling service - not that it is a stirling engine. Buying a new kettle is really very easy. Stroll into Noel Lemming because you have to be there for something else anyway, saunter over to the kettle department and remove from the display anything that is not aesthetically a non starter (and there plenty of those) and is $70 off advertised price. Done.

Take it home and the fun begins. Open box and remove appliance after discarding the environmentally sound packing; I haven't the time or incliniation to dwell on this aspect. And then what do we find? An instruction manual. Remember I have not just purchased the Large Hadron Collider but a kettle. This instruction manual is, wait for it, 16 pages long. We start with this tome telling me I have just bought the Breville Comfort Kettle. Eh? Slippers are comfortable as is an armchair. A soothing hand on a troubled brow gives comfort. A kettle boils sodding water; and it does nothing else. Alright, Page 2. 'Congratulations on the purchase of your new Breville Comfort Kettle'. I am going to be ropable before we get anywhere near page 16. Page 3. Contents 4 - Breville recommends safety first. 6 - Know your Brevile Comfort Kettle. 8-.... I can feel the red mist coming on.

I can't see myself getting past Page 4 but we'll give it a go. 'Remove and safely discard any packaging material and promotional labels before using the kettle for the first time' No shit Sherlock. However it doesn't say you can't stick all the labels back on and fire it up in its box second time round does it? What an irresponsible comapny Breville is turning out to be. 'Remove the protective cover fitted to the power plug of this appliance'. So that's why I can't fit the plug in the wall socket. 'Always ensure the kettle is properly assembled before use. Follow the instructions in this book'. Right. There are two bits to this appliance; there's the hollow cylindrical bit wot you put the water in and this sits on the base from which electrons flow. That's assembly? That's assembly that requires following instructions? 'Do not touch hot surfaces. Use the handle for lifting and carrying the kettle' If you can't work that out for yourself you shouldn't be allowed to buy food let alone nasty, horrible, dangerous kettles. 'Use caution when pouring water from the kettle, as boiling water and steam will scald. Do not pour water too quickly' I'm starting to get cross. 'To protect against electric shock, do not immerse kettle base, power cord or plug in water.' Enough already, but we must soldier on in the interests of allowing this highly dangerous piece of kit to achieve the purpose for which it was purchased.

All of the above is just getting you warmed up for the centre piece of the book which is half way down Page 5 - you can tell by now we aren't going to get to page 6 or any further into this load of rubbish. 'The appliance is not intended for use by persons (including children) with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities, or lack of experience or knowledge, unless they have been given instruction concerning use of the appliance by a person responsible for their safety' At this point I am seriously tempted to take the kettle back to Noel Lemming and tell him he can stick it where water never boils. Blind - I'm sorry visually impaired - people cannot buy a kettle? The Human Rights Commissioner will have a thing or two to say about that, I'll be bound. People with one leg are denied the pleasure of boiling water? No pots of instant noodles for those with schizophrenia? Government funded kettle use courses at night school for the socially disadvantaged with follow up supervisory visits carried out by Hi Viz jacket clad Kettle Supervisors?

The world has gone bloody nuts but I'm off for a cup of tea. Might make it standing in a bowl of sulphuric acid just for a laugh.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The route to a Mac centric life

The title of this blog is obald@home and I am moved to pen a few thoughts on just that - home. I am a sucker for all sorts of tech things. I like machines be they mechanical or electronic. My life seems better when I am surrounded by technology. Living in the country one has to have a barn and I have a rather spiffy one. My barn is my second favourite part of Obald Acres and just one corner of it houses a carefully crafted collection of machines of the mechanical variety

A Myford Super 7 lathe and an Arboga U2508 vertical milling machine with all their attendant bits and pieces. These machine tools are from the 1970s and are in my possession and are used for reasons we can go into at a later date.

As the 1970s moved into the decade of big hair and shoulder pads my technical bent turned to computers. I had a Sinclair ZX80, a Radio Shack TRS80 numerous IBM clones and was a slave to Bill Gates for most of the eighties and nineties. I knew no better. My younger daughter wanted computer for school about a decade ago and very specifically said she wanted a Mac 'cos they are good for photography'. I certainly knew better than to argue with a teenage daughter and a G4 iBook was produced. I thought no more of it as I did what I wanted to do in a bit and byte sort of a way on my Dell thinking that Windows XP was the business. Needed to go overseas (this was before I was good at this overseas business) and commandeered the iBook for the trip. I was absolutely amazed to discover that it was bloody good. It did all I wanted which for that trip was just too have the ability to edit some presentation slides. I gave it back to its owner on my return. But the damage was done.

Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of days before Xmas and the Dell threw up its fifth blue screen of death in an hour courtesy of the garbage software from Redmond and I had had enough. In the car, down to Magnum Mac (no Apple Stores in the Land of the Long White Techno Backwater) and I walk out with a 20" G5 iMac. When was that? Eight or nine years ago I should think and I haven't had a major computer hang in all that time.

I have totally sold my soul to Steve. He's got me and I don't mind admitting it. I am so smitten that my favourite part of Obald Acres, my office, this evening looks like this.

Silly? Probably but who cares. We have from Uncle Steve a Core 2 Duo 24" iMac (this just runs Tweetdeck and Skype - how gloriously and unnecessarily extravagant is that?), a Core i5 (Sandy Bridge) 27" iMac - the main machine - and a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. A couple of keyboards, two Magic Meeces and a Magic Touchpad. Oh and there's the iPhone 4 charging quietly between the two iMacs. A set of Altec Lansing computer speakers, sub woofer under the desk (highly recommended add on to get a decent speaker system for one's computer), a 1Tb Lacie hard drive to run Time Machine, an AirPort Extreme to run the houses's wifi and that's about it. I also have a lump of software (Teleport) installed on all three Macs so that I can run the cursor across all three screens from the trackpad and drag files around willy nilly. Marvellous. The original (for me) G5 iMac is still going strong and running Tiger in Mrs O's office downstairs - which I can access over the home network.

The more observant will see I'm lying. There is a fourth (well fifth really as the iPhone is a computer) computer on the desk, a Lenovo ThinkPad. It is there under sufferance. It is not mine but belongs to the New Zealand taxpayer. It is a Ministry laptop and I have to have it in order to VPN into the ministerial servers. I offered to install Parallels on the MacBook and do it from a Windows partition and was looked at as if I had farted in church. All it is good for is downloading email; and then only some of it. It is a fairly good bit of hardware but it has the software from hell on it. Windows XP, this was released in 2003 remember, and we have been recently upgraded to MS Office 2004. Give me a break. But all that pales into insignificance when you realise that you have to use Lotus Notes. At least we have a reasonably recent version of this but it is still Lotus Notes. But it gets worse. This laptop has been configured so that it will not under any circumstances connect to the internet. If I get an email, even from a jolly important ministerial type wallah, and it contains a weblink I can not open the link. Barking.

Very secure but it completely destoys the whole point of all this techno nonsense which, to my mind, is to make ones life easier. And fun. And that is what surrounding myself with more Mac kit in my office than I need is. It is great fun. I could probably do all I need to do with one machine with considerably less specs than any of them, but where's the fun in that?

Am I an Apple Fanboy? Well it is not the sort of thing you would admit to in public is it, but I probably am. And I don't care. I reckon Apple makes good kit, it works effortlessly, doesn't fall over, looks great and I like the way the company thinks.

Oh, I hear very strong rumours that I will be getting an iPad 2 for my birthday in a couple of months. Do I need one? Probably not. Do I want one? Hell yes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The smart way to get from AKL to WLG

I hate public transport. It is what other people should do. My recent three weeks in London being a commuter have only reinforced this position. Overpowered motor cars are the way to go and bugger the expense and the planet.

However one has to go through life with a measure of pragmatism and when just over a year ago my employment changed a tad and I had to work two days a week 400 miles from Obald acres even I had to accept that using the twin turbo charged V6 diesel was not going to work. Bus and train (and ferry I would think) are out of the question and so I found myself looking at a weekly airline commute.

I like aeroplanes and I like airports so we must put some strategies in place so that this affection does not turn into hatred. If I am to be a regular plane user I have to do it right and over the last year I have honed the recipe to perfection.

How to fly from Auckland to Wellington and back - cooking time about three hours


One aeroplane Airbus A320 preferred, Boeing 737-300 acceptable

Internet connection

Air New Zealand Airpoints membership

Tutto cabin bag


One motor car Jaguar is the best brand here.

Lounge Membership Initially Koru Club required, as you progress this is no longer necessary and vaporises

Taxi card These can be found in the terms of employment; if not then complain

Large vat of Jetstar repellant

Spare vat of Jetstar repellant You can't be too careful


Make sure that bookings are made well in advance by whoever does this for you. This is to ensure that the next step has a good chance of success. Under no circumstances perform step one yourself as you will stuff it up; this is dangerous work best left to the experts. Next check that the itinerary has no mention of Jetstar. Anywhere. The slightest hint of Jetstar anywhere in this recipe will mean that the whole thing will not work. You will end up in the airport where you start from, you will miss meetings, you will be angry and you will have to buy coffee with money.

Next use your internet connection and Airpoints Membership and mix well together. Find your flight bookings and select your seat. This only works well if you have followed the instructions in the first step to the letter and in particular have paid attention to the timings. If your booking wallah leaves it too late you will end up in 13B. This ruins the whole dish. There are only about eight seats on the plane that will work. Any seat with a number greater than 2 is not acceptable. 1D is probably the best seat on the plane but 1F is good. 1A, 1B and 1C have their own special charm on the A320 (more of this later) but do not exist on the 737-300. 2A and 2C are good here; 1E and 2B are also acceptable.

Whilst you are still connected to the interweb you need to book the car parking for the Jaguar. Air New Zealand parking is the way to go and don't bother with the facilty at the Terminal; the Freight Place/shuttle bus is fine and half the price.

Pack your bag. I was put onto the Tutto cabin bag by a colleague and have only had mine for three weeks. Bloody marvelous but with the downside that you have to send your daughter to New York to get one and I will not deny that this puts the price up a tad. Used to have a Delsey prior to the new acquisition which I thought was good but the Tutto makes it look and perform like a steamer trunk.

Leave home. Now this may seem obvious but there is more to it than meets the eye. I live on the other side of Auckland from the Airport and therefore the Auckland traffic can ruin the dish. The answer is to leave absurdly early and get to 3 Freight PLace before the rest of Auckland have tumbled what you are up to. Time arrival at 3 Freight Place for just after 0600 so that the shuttle gets you to the Domestic Terminal after Roy, the oddly named female Koru Lounge barista, has started work.

Now take the iPhone you have prepared earlier. This you do by downloading the Air New Zealand App mPass and loading all your flights up.There is a caveat here as the most recent version of the App doesn't work as it doesn't generate the barcodes you will be needing in a moment. Try and get the first version. Walk up to the Koru Lounge, swipe the iPhone barcode on the barcode swiper bizzo and you are ushered in to the next most important part of this recipe after avoiding Jetstar at all costs.

The Koru Lounge is the key to all this. No milling round with the great unwashed queueing up for McDonalds for you. No its three black doris plums and a bowel of yogurt, a cup or two of double shot long black and as much free wifi as you can eat. Even the necessity of paying for Koru Club membership disappears after a while as you inexorably gain enough Airpoints to gain Gold and then Gold Elite status. Sit there with a healthy breakfast (or one designed to send you to an early coronary grave if you so desire) and read the paper, do some work, watch the world go by or write your blog. I love Koru Lounges and have now been to every one in New Zealand and they deserve and will get a post to themselves.

Flight time and you use what is left of the previously prepared iPhone to get a boarding pass; ensure you do this in the first wave of boarders. If you don't the overhead locker above rows 1 and 2 will be full and the Tutto will have to go in the next locker back - a dreadful inconvenience as I'm sure you'll agree. If you have seat 1A, 1B or 1C on the A320 there is an extra treat in store. There are no video screens in front of these seats (meaning you unfortunately miss the inflight Trivia Quiz) and so you can't watch the Richard Simmons aerobics. For safety reasons (see last post) you have to have the the safety spiel so a hostie sits in front of you and does a private show (not that, you with open sewers for minds) for just the three of you. This is even more amusing if you can persuade her to do the dance - they all know it off by heart. All you have to do now is sit back and go to Wellington.

At the other end if you are not first off the plane you are not paying attention. Use the taxi card and go to work; fresh as a daisy and in a ripper of a good mood. Coming back is much the same but remember to get your loyalty card at AirNew Zealand parking punched with the little aeroplane cut out so that they will wash your Jaguar for you for nothing every nine weeks.

Remember the key points; the Koru Lounge and no Jetstar. Got it? NO Jetstar. Nothing, nix, nada, zero, not a trace, not a mention. It is a poisonous company that has every bit earned its evil reputation and will leave you where you don't want to be, grumpy, late for everything and scarred for life. Ignore this piece of advice at your peril.

There is no reason not to travel like this - all you need is a little planning. I have got to the state where public transport moulded to my liking is a real pleasure. You still won't catch me on a bus though - they don't have 600nm of torque at 1500rpm

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hi Viz

I have the fashion sense of a pithed cat but even I know that fluorescent yellow, orange or green is not good. Anywhere. I once (like 1967) had a sweater that could pass as fluorescent green and I regretted buying it the moment I walked out of the shop. How prescient that my realisation of a style faux pas should come about forty years before it was required.

This what we are talking about; bloody safety jackets - and as we shall see it doesn't stop at jackets The first image (I'm afraid there will be more) shows no less than thirteen people kitted out in the foul kit in one place. I can almost, almost mark you, see the point of it here as they are working on a construction site and were the bloke up in the tower crane not concentrating avoiding lowering an RSJ onto a fluoro orange object might be easier than avoiding a bloke atired for duck shooting. But even here do all these people have to be dressed like traffic cones? I would imagine that in excess of 99% of the world's current building stock came into being constructed by blokes wearing ordinary clothes. And I would also wager that a vast majority of them lived to tell the tale. When I was buying stupid sweaters builders wore woolly jumpers in the winter (bobble hat if really cold) and tee shirts in the summer. And they were fine.

If we can sort of see why this obsession for this foul clothing started in the construction and perhaps roading industry then why the hell has it spread like a cancer across all sections of society. This horrible stuff is bloody everywhere; it has infiltrated places where even damned Health'n'Safety can no longer be an excuse. More of that in a minute. First though we shall see some examples where safety is used as the stick with which to beat the great unwashed. Safety is used as the argument that can have no rebuttal for all sorts ofthings. It is everywhere. I am penning this in the Koru Lounge at Auckland Airport. The PA has just announced the you are only allowed one piece of carry on luggage weigh no more than 7kg 'in the interests of your safety'. Bollocks this is just a bare faced lie; it is in the interests of the airline saving fuel costs.

So this lady in Cardiff has to wear not only a Hi Viz jacket but a whole Hi Viz ensemble.

She is standing at an intersection controlled by traffic lights with pedestrian crossing red and green men lights and has a perfectly adequate old fashioned lollipop. And she needs this stupid fluorogear as well? I don't think so. How many lollipop ladies were mowed down during the course of their duties prior to the Hi Viz regulations (you can be sure she is not wearing that hideous raincoat out of choice) coming into play.? I'll give you a postage stamp and a builder's pencil with which to do your calculations.

More safety nonsense. Most of the pictures in this post were taken a recent trip to the UK - in my estimation Hi Viz capital of the world. I went and watched the All Blacks give England a good seeing to at Twickenhm. 82,000 spectators and Plod quite sensibly had the crowd control horses out in force.

I apologise for the poor picture (iPhone, 82,000 people remember) but you get the idea. A horse wearing a safety jacket for God's sake? Horses are bloody big things and if it is only three feet from you even Mr McGoo could see one. In fact this is a very unsafe horse as most of them were also wearing Hi Viz ankle socks. And of course Plod sitting atop horse, backside about seven foot off the ground, also has to wear a Hi Viz coat this time embellished with reflective stripes. Just so you can see him.

Also in the UK all the London Transport people manning the ticket halls in the Underground wear the ghastly kit. Why? Why do you need to wear high visibility clothing if all you have to do is look after a ticket machine 100 foot underground in a well lit public concourse. New Zealand. I travel on domestic airlines a lot. If you fly into smaller places, Gisborne for example, you don't go in an Airbus A380. No its a Beech 1900D where there are but two members of staff on the plane the driver and his mate. They have to do everything including on the tarmac stuff like making sure the propellers haven't fallen off prior to take off and that sort of thing. When they leave the cockpit they cover their very smart pilot gear with a bloody Hi Viz vest just to stroll around the tarmac. Why? There is no one in Gisborne so they are not going to get run over and they can't get bowled by the plane because the driver is wandering around the tarmac......in a HI Viz Vest.

But it all gets worse. The Health'n'Safety wallahs have so infiltrated the world that high viz is now considered desirable where it is obviously just plain daft. Oxford Street, October 2010.

Note the reflective strips so you can get a tan after the sun has gone down.

Regent Street October 2010

The relevance of Hi Viz clothing to golf? I can't think of a single golf club that would grant him admission dressed like that. Maybe he's there to help out with the roadworks going on behind his left shoulder.

Well, no he's not. We fast forward to June 2011

He's still there and the road works are finished. See he now has eschewed the use of the winterised hood of his hideous suit and has taken to an equally ghastly summer Hi Viz truckers cap - plastic. I promise you it's the same bloke standing in exactly the same spot. I asked him if he had been home for a cup of tea and a lie down since I'd last seen him in October and he looked at me as if I were mad. I looked at him in the same way.

Can it get any worse? It already has. Chelsea FC's away strip season 2007

Can it get even more worserer? I'm afraid it can and almost certainly will.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chance would be a fine thing

We all have to die - death and taxes and the like - and I would like to think with the genetic hand I have been dealt I am but about two thirds through my allotted span. Thinking about this occupies absolutely zero of my thought time as the final curtain is a) hopefully a very long way off and b) there is bugger all I can do about it - apart from eating my greens, cutting the fat off my pork chops and only spreading butter on my soldiers when Mrs O is not looking.

A premature truncation of one's life can be accidental courtesy of a vehicular accident (or choking on an inhaled fish, or being struck by lightning or.......) and the New Zealand Police get severely exercised by this come every long weekend off occasioned by a Public Holiday. We get the mandatory interview on the Friday night with the National Road Policing Manger type chap (who at the moment is a wimmin) who stands on a bridge over the Wellington motorway wearing a Hi Viz jacket and tells us all that speed kills and that plod will be out in force on the random breath test front. Yawn. We have had a new 'measure' that will cut down the carnage on the roads for the last year or so. Tolerance for exceeding the 100kph top limit (seriously I can't get my car into 6th gear at 100kph - I've paid for a gear I'm never going to use) will be reduced from 110 to 104 just for the weekend. To ensure this draconian stance has 'impact'. They can't seriously expect anyone to believe any of this can they?

Well yes they do. The Queen's Birthday weekend just gone killed no one. Moving right past the stupid tortology of that statement we shall examine the official reaction to this entirely satisfactory state of affairs. Top Transport Police Woman Type Person takes off her Hi Viz apparel (and mercifully stops the disrobing process at that point) and gives a full view of her dental work. Gushing praise of how all the speed kills policy has at last had an effect. The New Zealand driver is at last paying attention and the message is getting through. Because of strict policing over the weekend no New Zealanders are facing the week with sadness at the loss of a loved one. And so on ad bloody nauseam. Stupid woman.

How many people do you have to have in a room so that there is a greater than 50% chance at least two of them have the same birthday? 365 days in the year remember; add in a leap year or two to make the calculations a little more interesting. Answer? 23. Surprising? Maybe, but it is true and has its roots in very simple mathematics and the really quite cute theories surrounding probabilities and chance.

There is no reason that no people were killed by the recent Queen's Birthday weekend other than chance. Oh and the fact that calendars don't kill people unless you get sconed by a jolly big box full. It was equally likely that three or six people got killed. Then what would silly woman on the over bridge say? 'We are disappointed, obviously, but it is gratifying that none of the deaths appear to be speed related'. What if the equally likely random event (and that is what zero road deaths is) of 17 people getting mangled in the BMW had happened? Press statement still wearing the Hi Viz would probably be called for. 'The message is just not getting through. For Labour weekend the discretionary speed will be reduce to 101.76 kph as New Zealanders just have to wake up to the fact that speed kills.'

I find statistics textbooks not to be ripping good yarns. I need to have even rudimentary number crunching refresher courses on a regular sort of five yearly basis to keep me on the straight and narrow. I do this because it is part of my job to be reasonably competent when confronted with great screeds of data. I would like to think that people involved in other fields, especially those spending my money, are similarly equipped. The fact that decisions are made on the back of Statistics 101 from the front page of The Herald is just not good enough.

But the great unwashed lap it up. Remember Economy Class Syndrome? Sit in row 55 on a flight taking you further than Brisbane and you will die of a pulmonary embolus as you wait for your suitcase at the luggage carousel. Fork out loadsa dosh and luxuriate in 9A and you'll be fine. THis because you are four times (from memory) more likely to get a DVT sitting in Economy than in Business. Multiply an infinitesimally small number buy an integer and what do you get? An infinitesimally small number. Getting a DVT from sitting on a plane is incredibly bloody unlikely where ever you sit.

Will all this bollocks stop anytime soon? Of course it won't. The only answer is to travel up the front of the plane because it is just better and not because it prolongs your life. And we need to build lots of nice concrete roads and make the tolerance on the 100kph limit about 150 so I can use all the gears in the Jag I paid for.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We shall see, shall we?

The stirrings to resurrect this blog have been nagging at me for a couple of months now and I think I may just do it. Winter is upon us (not that current ambient temperatures would tell you that) and lots of changes have occurred since I last put finger to keyboard on a regular basis. I have done the unthinkable and bought a diesel car; that will get its own post in a wee while. I am comfortable that my weekly trips to the Nation's capital and being a blogger don't have to be mutually exclusive. I have become an airline snob. I have tired of Top Gear. I have been back to the UK and found it still hideous but the origin of QI. I still hate left wing politicians and followers of that ilk continue to attract my utmost contempt. However the urge to just hurl opprobrium at anything on the lefthand side of life's road has waned a little and I really want to avoid this blog returning to its political roots. Having said that though there is a general election in the offing and the temptation to point the borax will I'm sure prove too much on occasion.

We shall see where my new found urge to scribble may take me, shall we? If the urgings to blog again have been bubbling under for a while the catalyst to actually breaking out the keyboard has come from a most unexpected quarter. I was perusing a few old posts and looked at the counter thingy at the bottom of the page. Just over 16,000 page views in just over three years. Now this is not world shattering stuff is it? Many reasons for this of course; the principal of which is probably that the content is drivel and no one would want to read it.

So I thought I'd try a little experiment. A spot of Twittering. Resurrect the Blog on the back of a brand spanking new Twitter account and see what all this social media nonsense is all about.

Just over a year ago I opened a Facebook page just so I could get one for my lure selling business. The medium appeals to me not at all. I found (and, indeed, still find) the whole Facebook thing horrible. I don't like 'friend' concept at all. I have shut down the personal side of the Facebook thing in as much as I never go there and just try and keep the 'Business' side of things ticking over; put 'Marine Surprises' in the Facebook search bizzo if you are remotely interested. The idea of course is that the game fishing world will beat a path to my virtual door and I will receive an avalanche of orders. Well, it doesn't work. Maybe I am not doing it right, but all I get is requests to be friends from people who I have never met and am never likely to. Granted all these people have pictures of beeeg fish or flash looking game boats as their avatars and I have a couple of hundred of these new close mates now but none of them buy any sodding lures.

After reflecting on this failure of an idea that has made a bloke a billionaire I have been mulling oveer the Twitter idea for a while. I think I find it a little more appealing. The idea of just announcing things sounds quite good and I think (hope?) I will have a bit more control with what I want to do with it. I am a bit scared that I might turn into a Premier League footballer and the havoc that could wreak on my life but I am reassured that I have an IQ greater than 13 and I don't drink.

So obald@home is going to be linked into Twitter. Should be good for a lark for a wee while n'est ce pas?