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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Congratulations, Botophucket

Yes, against all need from the poor user, the photo service previously known as Photobucket has changed so completely that it is no longer possible to navigate through it. You cannot see the numbers of your pictures, so if, like me, you are doing a string of postsworking through the pictures for an episode, you can't find the previous one without scrolling through the whole album again. When you find what you want, if you are lucky you can get the HTML code, if not, you have just wasted your time and have to go back to the beginning, because the "back" key on your browser will take you back to the beginning of the album. You then have to scroll through the whole thing (as you get to the end of each page you have to wait for the next one to load, but if you have just gone back to the album from a particular photo, this facility will not operate, so you have to leave the alcum then select it again, and so on ad nauseam). And that's just from trying for an hour or so, during which time I managed to complete 3 posts. The fourth has no photo 'cos Photobucket wouldn't let me select the code. Pissed off with a wasted evening in which I could have set up my new printer? Moi? The very thought...

The Consoler - Day 5

No use looking up to heaven, sweetheart, you're the only angel I can see.

Friday, November 09, 2012

HP - Hopeless and Pathetic

Aha, I hear you think - doesn't HP stand for Hewlett Packard? Well, maybe for you. And I was quite fond of my HP laptop till it was remastered with a Samsung recovery disc (long story).

My old printer wasn't bad for most of its life, and when it needed replacing in February I went for another HP, this time a wireless one:

It was pretty straightforward and the quality was good, though the ink for HP printers ispretty expensive. But then, in July, it went wrong. The black ink wasn't finding its way on to the paper, so colour printing was anaemic at best. B/W printing was, well invisible. Back to the shop it went, and I brought an identical new machine home. Last week it went the same way as the first one. HP couldn't be bothered to answer an email asking if this was a known fault, so I couldn't be bothered to swap it for another HP one. Time to give poor beleaguered Kodak a try. It seems to have the same features as the HP, but the ink is MUCH cheaper.

Mine is pure white, which is a bit dazzling.

All I have to do now is set it up. On three computers. And an iPad. Good thing it's the weekend.

The Consoler - Day 4

Ooh, he looks mean!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Health Care For Sale To Highest Bidder

We own our hospitals in the UK. Except for those built or upgraded by PFI. That's Private Finance Initiative - a way for our corrupt politicians to give huge amounts of money to their rich corporate buddies at the expense of our health service, and therefore our health. Private companies build them, then rent them back to the hospital at a rent greater than their total annual budget. Because of this wonderful money-making (or stealing, depending on your point of view) scheme, a group of local hospitals is bankrupt. And a commissioned report thinks that the way out of it is to close the (brand new) Accident and Emergency and Maternity services at my local hospital, which is not one of the bankrupt group. Then the people who use those services will go to one of the others, even though they are pretty inaccessible to those from my locality, and already too busy to cope with their own workloads. Not to mention there are no spare beds. Tonight there has been a public meeting at the hospital, which I have just attended (and along with a local council meeting yesterday means I have not been around the blogs for a few days) and folks are seething. How can these bastards take away what is ours? It wasn't enough for government to steal our water, gas and electricity supplies, and the oil industry and sell them at knock-down prices to their friends. There is a march on November 24th to join hands around the hospital (which, frankly, is probably too massive to manage such a feat on) but now I get to regret my decision to rejoin my opera group, 'cos we have a concert that afternoon. In an aside, you will probably be totally uninterested in the fact that 1960s pop icon Sandie Shaw with designer Jeff Banks had her first (and for all I know only) child in Lewisham Hospital. Not only was it her local - though there was a private hospital nearer - but it was one of the first to use epidurals.

The Consoler - Day 3

He knows, you know.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Resurrection Blogfest

Last week JoJo did a post about a resurrection blogfest, with people publishing posts from their first year of blogging.

I was spoiled for choice - lots of cat posts, zoo posts, and of course Vincent posts (a lot of naked pictures back then from Guy and Naked Tango!) I settled on thiis post because it represented a momentous victory for the local residents.

A developer had bought an undeveloped plot of land between the houses opposite and the railway line behind them. The site had been left wild since being used as allotments during WWII. He also purchased the house opposite me that would give him access to the site. He applied for planning permission to knock down the house (a 105-year-old end of terrace) to make an access road on to the site where he planned to build 5 houses (wittled down from 9).

He still owns the land and the house he wanted to demolish, but so far he hasn't reapplied to build on the site.

Round 1 To Us

The good news this week was that the developer who wants to tear down a house to make an access road, and build nine others on some wild land, has lost the first round. He has the right to appeal, but the very least he has to do is get all sorts of reports done on the site he wants to destroy.

The aerial picture, from Google Earth, shows the land between the houses and the railway line. The house two down from the one with the blue paddling pool in the garden is the one for demolition. The land is the big green blob in the middle.

He said he didn't have to chop down any trees to build his houses...

Congratulations!

Now the rest of the world can  stop holding  its breath.

Well done Good Sense USA for re-electing Obama.

The nuts are back in their box for a few years more.

Thank you!

The Consoler - Day 2

Bullshit monitor fully operational.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fire With Fire

Just a little snippet of Vincent being as mean as only he can - when in character, of course.

Remember, remember...

...The fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
There can be no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
 
 
Bonfire Night. Guy Fawkes Night. I'm not sure if my readers abroad have even heard of them, or of the gunpowder plot.
 
On November 5th 1605, with the new King James I of England and VI of Scotland just two years on the throne, a group of plotters planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament when James was attending the state opening. They were Catholics appalled that there was another Protestant monarch in the kingdom.
 
The plot was discovered because one of the plotters warned his brother-in-law not to attend. The plotters were caught and tortured.

Guy Fawkes was one of the plotters.



You can see the effects of his torture by comparing these before and after signatures.

 
Some of the group were hanged, taken down alove and disembowelled. Fawkes and another were hung, drawn and quartered. They were not burnt at the stake, but this is the fate to which Guy's effigy has been subjected ever since.
 
When I was a child, we used to make a Guy by stuffing some of dad's old clothes with newsaper. The head was a stuffed stocking, on which we put a Guy mask, made of pressed paper, and  bought at Woolworth's.
 
 
 
 We'd put our Guy in a pushchair (stroller) and park ourselves on a corner to ask passers-by for a "penny for the Guy", and with what we collected we bought fireworks for November 5th.

On the night, we had a bonfire and fireworks party in our back garden, with friends and relations in attendance. Dad would build a bonfire and stick Guy on the top. The fireworks were kept in the outside toilet and each one was carefully examined with a torch before being safely set off by dad. There was never an accident of any kind - though we might have been unlucky if my sister's best friend's boyfriend (later to become a copper) had done things his way, such as putting jumping jacks near our feet to chase us up the garden. 

Potatoes were baked in their jackets at the base of the bonfire, and at the end of the evening, we would go inside and draw patterns in the air with sparklers, then tuck in to our potato supper. It's one of the many wonderful childhood memories that has stayed with me through over 50 years.

These days kids don't even seem to know the slightest part of the Gunpowder Plot story. They have embraced Halloween, and beg treats for just going and knocking on doors and threatening havoc if not rewarded. A strange celebration for a country where fundamentalist Christianity has such a strong hold. Wonder if Romney would ban it if elected?

Well it's one tradition from across the pond I wish we'd shun.

Fireworks used to cause a lot of injuries, and their sale is now severely restricted. But there are always professionally run official displays on or near the night. I remember one years ago where they did burn the Houses of Parliament - in effigy. And the then Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher too.

Sadly, last year a rugby club put on a display too near the M5 motorway, which led to a crash that killed 7 people. Almost a year on, the organiser has just been charged with manslaughter.

Meanwhile, the time for keeping my cats safely inside is upon us. November 5th being on a Monday this year, I think we might have 3 days of disturbance, on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Rispetto - Day 16

Why don't they look happier now the job is done?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

What everyone's watching

Saturday nights are useless on TV. If you don't like The X Factor, a hospital drama that must be a century old, or some action thriller movie, you might be reduced to switching off. Or you could do what most people I know seem to have done, all independently of one another, and watch Inspector Montalbano...
 
 
It's a most understated cop show. The hero is not handsome, but he has little trouble pulling. The stories can be nasty, and as the show is set in Sicily, there is often a Mafia link. The scenery is stunning.
 
Criminal Intent it isn't, but I've been enjoying it immensely. Next week is, sadly, the last, so heaven knows what I'll watch after that.
 
Anyone else been watching?

Rispetto - Day 15

And boom! there goes the perp, little twerp!

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