Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Most Annoying Programme on BBC3

I think the most annoying thing about the years most annoying programme "Most Annoying" on BBC3 is that there's all these self appointed media watchers making mindless comments about annoying people. These pontificators live such sad lives watching people in the media. When their subjects make some cash out of it, can't the media watchers realise that it is THEM that are paying for the information? So stop watching the people in the media, stop writing about people in the media, stop making the people in the media popular enough to make other people want to buy information about them, and then they won't actually be in the media! In other words, media watchers, get a life.
It doesnt bother me that Heather Mills McCartney complained that her daughter would have to travel B class, or whatever. It it bothered you, turn the page over. Move on. Don't even buy the rag with the story in it.
It doesn't bother me that Paul Burrell messed and told lies. H did. He made money out of it. Forget it. Move on. What annoyed everyone, was that YOU, Madam commentator and you Mister pontificating pencil scratcher, wrote the crap that bored the arse off most of YOUR readers.
You found it annoying that Madonna's brother wrote a book about her sister. Come off it. Move on. He did it for the wanga. And you promoted it through medium XYX, to help make other people get annoyed not with the man, but with the magazines.
I have to say that I find the most annoying thing about the BBC 3 programme is the irritating twat who is the voice over on this programme. Who the heck are you, Mister Nobody? Your just a sour grape. Go suck a lemon. Don't make this programme ever again. You are just so annoying.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Barack Obama

Ever since his election it has irritated me no end that the media refer to him as "black". He has mixed parentage, his mother was white. His father black. If it had been the other way round, would it make any difference? African American I can accept. Forget these labels black and white. We live in an increasingly multi racial world. Get used to it.

Electric and Gas Bills

Lot of people complaining about their Gas and Electric bills on BBC Three Counties Radio. I thought I'd recheck the letters I had from Atlantic Electric and Gas. Now, my bills are always quite low compared to most people's. £22 on electric and £18 on gas. One of the key reasosn I changed away from British Gas to Atlantic was that I found their customer service second to none. They provide an 0800 number to ring through the latest reading, and you're always straight through, no hanging around.

In their letter they were suggesting that as I was £73 in credit on the electric, there was no need for my direct debit of £22 a month to change. However, this was based on an estimated reading, so I checked the actual reading. This was lower than the estimate, so I've written by e-mail saying I don't accept their finding. Effectively I'm looking for a lower direct debit.

On the gas side, they were suggesting I should change from £18 a month to £30 a month. Again, this was based on a an estimate that was quite a bit higher than the actual reading. So, I've written asking for the suggested new direct debit to be revised (downward) pointing our that I think I am £25 in credit, never mind their £10 in debt.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hemel Hempstead Magic Roundabout

Magic Roundabout
In this article it is stated "Shortly after the opening the driver of an articulated lorry failed to understand the new junction so tried to drive straight across the middle." This is wrong information. The brakes failed on the lorry as it came down St Albans Hill dual carriageway. The driver went over the "top" of the centre of the main roundabout in an effort to spare lives. A stopping area for failed brakes was subsequently improved on the dual carriageway.

Prior to this design, the roundabout had spiral lanes spinning out from the centre. The idea was that motorists drove into the middle of the roundabout then got into the lane that would spin them off. This did not work because too many just ignored the lane markings.

When the present design was introduced I worked in a building overlooking the roundabout. Very early one Sunday morning there was a head on collision because someone was driving on it like one big giant roundabout and someone else was using it how it was supposed to be used, as a series of minis.

When the present design was first launched there were queues back to Berkhamstead while people figured out how to use it. The chairman of the council, Cllr Gordon Gaddes was asked by his transport department if they should abandon it. Cllr Gaddes told them to stick with it. And they have done ever since. It does handle thousands of traffic movements every day.

Underpasses for some routes through the Moorend Roundabout might be nice, but expensive, since the water table there is very low and would require lots of water to be pumped daily. Overpasses would be nice too, again expensive, and also likely to be ugly. The present roundabout does a grand job. Traffic moves much more fluidly than any set of traffic lights might.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Shopping at Lidl's

Lidl (Leedle)
The price of shopping for food is currently being debated.

Among the things I regulary buy:
Shower gel at 13p
Squeezable Tomato sauce - around 50p for 500ml
950g Jar of Olives (without stones) - (Absolute bargain compared to Sainsbury)
Fizzy drinks
Fruit and veg (not a fantastic range, but reasonable basic range, and often slashed to half price), but watch for stuff in plastic bags that could be on its last legs.
Ready made lasagnes.
Milk - fairly standard price everywhere.
"Gold" tea (Avoid the slightly cheaper "Silver" tea) Gold compares favourably to PG Tips or Yorkshire tea.
Sweets - I build up a home sweet shop, to help the kids save on their pocket money.
Gold instant coffee - around £1.30, for 50 decent cups.
Muesli - Get the foil packs, the cardboard pack is cheaper, but the contents of the foil bags are far superior.

Some people say "they sell foreign brands, and therefore don't trust them".
I say, "Try them. And be surprised. Go regularly, and each time buy something you've never tried before. You'll gradually build up a strong list of favourites "

They charge for plastic bags. Good for the environment. Take my advice. Invest in some of those plastic crates and it gets easier to stack them in the car afterwards.

I do shop around, Tesco and Asda some weeks, but I frequently regret that I am shopping there when I see how much their price is when I know how much cheaper Lidl's price is for a comparable product.

I think Tesco's "buy one get one free" is frequently a con, especially when you only really want to consume one, with Lidl's standard price for a comparable product half that of Tesco's.

For the past 6 years I reckon I've easily saved £5 a week when I have shopped at Lidls.

Yes, Lidl's do take Debit Cards, but not Credit Cards. And they do take cash.

One final point, Farmfoods and Iceland offer good savings on frozen food.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Shaved Head for New Homes

A couple of guys doing a very worthy stunt to raise cash for new homes in Guatemala. Donate now. More .... Donate here.

Saturday, 1 March 2008


Webshots andibandi has been one of my favourite photographers for a long time. Just watched his show on China. Some awesome stuff here Andbandi on China.

Friday, 22 February 2008

How To Choose A Band Name, Album Title, And Cover Picture

1 - Go to
random wiki

The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to Random quotations:

random quote

The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album (you'll need to refresh the page).

3 - Go to flickr and click on "explore the last seven days"


Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Put it all together, that's your first album.


Band: Plantinga
Title of Album: Treated With Great Caution
Image Location of Album Cover: image location

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Little S***t

From the Dunstable Gazette comes this Frank Batt ode:

They changed the name of Shitlington
In Queen Victoria's day
To guard her sensitivities
If she rode by that way.

But changing terminology
Creates a name of mystery
And the altered etymology
Just mucks up all the history.

For the Anglo-Saxon origin
Was changed to 'Shillington'
Which kept the 'ling' diminutive
And the homestead word of 'ton'.

But now they should
bring back the name
To the one that truly fits
For the place that we
all know and love
As the home of little S**t.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

I knew a girl that was so stupid...

Doing the rounds is this Spam email: I thought it was quite funny, anyway...

I knew a girl that was so stupid that....... She called me to get my phone number.
She spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice box because it said 'concentrate.'
She put lipstick on her forehead because She wanted to make up her mind.
She tried to put M&M's in alphabetical order.
She sent me a fax with a stamp on it.
She tried to drown a fish.
She thought a quarterback was a refund.
She got locked in a grocery store and starved to death.
She tripped over a cordless phone.
She took a ruler to bed to see how long she slept.
She asked for a price check at the Dollar Store.
She studied for a blood test.
She thought Meow Mix was a CD for cats.
When she heard that 90% of all crimes occur around the home, she moved.
When she missed the 44 bus, she took the 22 bus twice instead.
When she took you to the airport and saw a sign that said 'Airport Left' she turned around and went home


While installing stuff on my new PC, I discovered PicLens - an Add-On for Firefox. Love it. This has the WOW factor. Takes browsing images on sites like Google Image Search, and Flikr, to 3 dimensions. I feel bowled over by it. And whoever else I show it to is equally amazed. PicLens for Firefox.

Techno Blues

Finally got my new PC to understand how to collect my emails (It was my fault- In Outlook Express I'd put in the SpamPal port to go through, but I never thought to actually download and install SpamPal). Still struggling to figure out why the Windows ME machine won't go on-line, even though its recognising the router via Wi-Fi. Daughter got her XP PC to connect Wi-Fi last night via the router, but today it doesn't want to know. I feel very frustrated. You're kind of reading bits of "HELP" that lead you down blind alleys. When I finally get it sorted it will be more down to extremely good luck than following any specific instruction. I suppose that's what will count in the end: i.e., figuring our which specific instruction is the right one.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Pubs and Drinking

Today I am invited to go to a monthly "pint and politics" meeting. I won't attend this P&P as I very rarely go to a pub. Much prefer a bottle at home; its a darn sight cheaper.
Drinking and driving used to be ok 30 years ago, but we're all a bit more restrained these days.
When I lived in Hemel Hempstead, until 6 years ago, I had 8 pubs within 10 minutes walking distance. And in Luton, between 6 and 1 year ago, probably the same, or more. I'm afraid a walk to Dunstable and back would be out of the question, particularly at this time of year.
Hope they all have a nice time. I suppose I should get taxi...