Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
It also includes this gadget which lets me monitor my energy use by money, consumption or carbon emissions. I can follow my energy use by the day, week, month or year. (Well, as I've only had it for a day, I can just follow it by the day at the moment!)
Everyone will have to have one of these by 2020, and a smart gas meter will be tested as soon as the viability of the electricity one has been proved.
I do have certain reservations, such as what will happen to the meter readers and other people whose roles will be taken over by technology. The energy company said it will retrain them, but at what point do you just run out of jobs to retrain people for?
I've been thinking about getting a third set of holes done, but kept putting it off. Well, today, I went for it. Imagine these amethyst studs as just tiny dots a couple of millimetres across and you have the idea.
Now I have to wonder what will happen if they get sore or infected over the impending 3-day holiday...
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Then there were no bins in the street, or at railway stations. They were deemed a security threat after the IRA put bombs in bins. People bought fast food and ate it as they walked along. They discarded the packaging where they stood, with no idea of taking it home with them. What we did take home went into the dustbin, which was emptied into a landfill. The whole developed world became a giant litter bin.
There are still precious few bins in the street, but what there are are often ignored, usually overfull, and do little to improve the state of our cities. The countryside is not much better, with people winding down their car windows to throw out their cigarette packets and sweet wrappers. They even throw out lit cigarettes in hot, dry weather, causing fires alongside our motorways. Most people rely on supermarket carrier bags by the dozen, unthinkingly accepted, frequently discarded before they even reach home, choking our rivers, polluting even the oceans so that the fish people eat has bits of plastic in it.
But we can now recycle much more stuff (of course, not using stuff in the first place, and the energy it takes to make it, and the energy it takes to recycle it, is better, but still) and in fact my own local council has just taken out a contract with a new, better recycling company.
But with the price of all kinds if metals so high, scrap yards are having a field day. I was glad when a load of scrap metal collected from my back garden disappeared from its pile in my front garden within a couple of days. It was intended to. I wouldn't have been so happy about it, though, if I could have foreseen how appalling the problem was about to become.
Daily, we hear about disruption to trains because electrical wiring to the signals has been stripped out. Operations in hospitals have to be cancelled because power cables have been stolen. People's phones are disabled. Church roofs leak with theft after theft of lead flashing. Scrap yards are uncontrolled, and the government, rather than push through legislation begun by the previous administration, just has to make new laws of its own, and is in no hurry to do so.
A few years ago, before the problem became so widespread and serious, a Henry Moore sculpture was stolen from a sculpture park. Now a Barbara Hepworth has been hacked from its plinth in a south London park.
Whatever its price as scrap, the sculpture itself is valued at a quarter of a million pounds.
But not for much longer.
Post Script. I just heard a load of hammering in the street and looked out to find three men with various wheeled trolleys full of metal bashing away at a TV or some such item in a skip outside a house, trying to get the insides out. They also vaulted over someone's garden wall in search of metal stuff to recycle. Given that they didn't seem to have any idea of what was potentially theirs and what was other people's, I called the police. They didn't sound very interested.
What a surprise.
And if they were the ones who stole the Hepworth? Tough.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Last week, an episode of Criminal Minds on Sky Living was in its final quarter. It was a bit odd that the scene that should be showing was in a box at the bottom of the screen while other things were going on on the main screen. But then just as the demented dad was saying goodbye to his sick, dying son there was a voice-over, loud and prolonged, advertising the next programme, that drowned the moving dialogue out completely.
I managed to find a way to email them (they make it as difficult as possible), but recorded the programme on +1 and next day confirmed that they hadn't changed a thing. So I'll never hear the tear-jerking words spoken in that scene.
And the reply from Sky? "Thank you for your email regarding Criminal Minds.I can confirm your comments have been noted and passed on to Sky Living for there attention!!!
So not only do they employ unqualified amateurs in their continuity and technical departments, they pay people to answer emails - and be their interface with the public - who have very little grasp of correct English.
And for this "service" we pay.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The fabulous Claire Bloom played King George IV's mother, Queen Mary, in the film, and we all know her part in Season 3.
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