Tag Archives: Comments

About that ‘about’ form

Minor technical hitch. All the missives thus entered via my ‘contact me’ widget have been getting sucked over the event horizon of the sites spam filter for some reason. This matter has now been corrected and those affected who were kind enough to communicate with purpose have received email apologies. Everyone else demanding my time without giving good enough reason are being studiously ignored.

Oh yes, my playlist of young ladies getting their kit off artistically increases daily. One even has a highly novel way of lighting a cigar. Yes, that’s why it’s in a sidebar section called ‘Not Safe For Work’. For those who say this is sexist, I reply, so what? There is nothing stopping you putting together your own playlists together on whatever topic you please.

Old jokes, a disambiguation

Following a little transnational cultural mistranslation in the comments of yesterdays post, I would like to offer a little clarification. Here at the Bill Sticker Institute for the preservation of old jokes, japes and facetiousness, our single becobwebbed researcher has been moved to lift his weary Jesters cap off the pages of the ‘Bumper Compendium of Auncient Fooleries‘ by Geoffrey Chaucer (1st edition). A venerable vellum tome which we alone own the copyright to, and have the last extant copy of. So there. It’s even got the one about the ‘Last goose in the shambles’. For any connoisseur of English humour, this should be a clue to it’s comprehensiveness.

One of our helpful customer service IgorsHowever, the jest in question is more recent than that, I merely mentioned that we have a copy of such a rare volume to demonstrate how seriously old jokes are taken around here. Notwithstanding, our researcher has been despatched, capering into our catacomb like archives with a jingle, a hey nonny-nonny and a blow ’bout the cheeks with his inflated pigs bladder (Which we hope is not a permanent condition). Not to find anything out, we just want him out of the way so our trusty crew of Igors can do the real work.

What they have come back with are the references to late Victorian music hall routines, where a comic actor or actress would make the statement “And my case comes up next Tuesday.” as a throwaway punchline. The focus for this line is a mockery of the various obscenity laws then being enacted, where any heretofore innocent act would reputedly result in the perpetrator being arrested and subject to trial in the various Police or Magistrates courts. Having one’s ‘Case come up’ means that one had been summonsed to appear before the magistrates on some unspecified charge of obscene conduct. The date of the appearance to be set by the teller of the joke. To wit; “My case comes up on Tuesday” is a statement that one has been accused, and a court appearance has been set for the following Tuesday. The ‘Tuesday’ is a random variable, and has no effect on the jests efficaciousness.

Therefore; “Embrace your inner Englishman.” Made as an exhortation to behave in a given fashion, would be met by;
“I did, and my case comes up on Tuesday.” To imply that embracing one’s inner Englishman, presumably in public, was a public decency offence and having a degree of obscenity sufficient for the forces of law and order to become involved. The subtext being that the exhorted would not be complying with the requested standard of behaviour.

This particular joke has largely fallen into disuse since the 1960’s and 70’s, when its last recorded use on UK nationwide Television was on the Morcambe and Wise show. Other notable users of this specific joke are Tony Hancock and the entire ‘Carry on‘ team. Researchers have also recounted how it was also a favourite of Benny Hill.

There are those of course, who will become outraged and scream like demented toddlers that such a statement is ‘anti (Insert cause here)’ because the use of said phrase implies that their chosen cause is an offence against public mores and morals, which in retrospect is probable. But these are people who take themselves and their opinions far too seriously. Therefore we should be cautious, and approach such topics only when heavily armed. Just in case.

For those of you who don’t give a fig for trendy causes, we are pleased to announce that our playlist of young ladies getting their kit off in an artistic fashion is an ongoing project, with videos being added at least once every day or two. We are happy to add that most are definitely not safe for work.

We hope the aforementioned has been of assistance.

As an appendix we would like to introduce, at least to lovers of satirical Country music; Miss Shirley Gnome.

Interesting stuff

There’s nothing like new light being thrown on old subjects. Regarding yesterday’s post, I’d like to thank everyone for pitching in and being so civil about it. I’d particularly like to thank the commenter Dan Germouse (Is that the David Jason and Terry Scott version Dan?) for highlighting the Cochrane Reviews. Rest assured, I shall try to include said reports in future reading to keep my knowledge a little less out of date. Some topics are subscription only, but the available reviews look interesting.

One topic that comes up regularly is the assertion that banning the advertising of Alcohol or related products would reduce public consumption. Read the brief review here. Make up your own minds.

Off the same list, I also had a brief run through the reviews on Green Tea and weight loss, and Cranberry Juice and Urinary Tract Infections.

The news that Statins are effective as a prophylactic against MI’s (Heart Attacks), but makes no case for scattergun mass medication as proposed by some politicians. I would cite the cautionary example of mass use of antibiotics and the subsequent development of hard to control MRSA type infections. Longer term studies needed methinks. Sister in law and husband got put on a course of Statins and had to stop because of the side effects. They’re still on a low salt, low everything diet, but the last I heard their cholesterol levels hadn’t changed that much.

One thing I was amused to note was the conclusion that while vitamin D supplements do not help safeguard against falling in older people, but exercises which help develop poise and balance like Tai Chi do. Must keep up the old Judo exercises then.

Overall, as regards information I consider myself schooled. However in this instance I am quite relaxed about the experience. Primary sources without having to dig through reams of guff? I’m good with that.

As a reward, here’s a possibly NSFW video playlist of young women getting their kit off in a very artistic fashion (Well I happen to think so) for all you gentlemen out there with the odd red blood cell still ranging around your veins. Or ladies with girl crushes. Hey, we don’t judge. Any complaints, keep ’em to yourselves.

Orphans down and up again

Dropped by ‘Orphans of Liberty‘ this AM to see what Julia, James and Mike have been digging up, only to be diverted to some nonsense pet site about dogs. It’s not the first time the site has been interfered with to my certain knowledge. Apparently someone who doesn’t like what they say over at Ool and instead of simply passing on by, did the petulant toddler thing and diverted all incoming web traffic to another site. Which is very mature and sensible isn’t it? The Violet Elizabeth (“I’ll thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick”) approach to web discourse. “I don’t like what you say, so I’m going to shut you up!” Giving us an insight into the alleged saboteurs state of mind, or lack thereof.

As for sabotage, there are whole ‘how to’ sections on how to sabotage a web site out there in Interwebland, and you don’t need much in the way of brains to use them. As anyone who has worked in tech support knows, any bloody fool can and often does screw up a system, but it takes real brains to fix the temporary chaos they create.

Notwithstanding, upon discovering the divert I dropped Julia and James a quick email to let them know something was amiss, and by the time I finish typing this post all should be well once more. Which it is. As a one time contributor, I have the greatest respect for ‘Orphans’ and what they’re trying to say. Working on the premise that if someone is trying to shut them up, I think perhaps they’ve hit a nerve. Far from deterring their efforts, it should encourage a more spirited effort at finding out what it is some cretinous arsehole doesn’t want discussed in public.

I know this comes from the church of stating the bleeding obvious, but if anyone disagrees or takes issue with what others say on a blog, that’s for the comments. The idea being to make a point in a cogent or even witty manner, and perhaps people will listen to what you have to say. To discuss, debate, examine and dissect. Simply shouting others down or sabotaging the blog simply makes the saboteur look like an incoherent ignorant dickhead with all the social graces of an incontinent three year old with Alzheimer’s. Because in the final analysis what has he or she done? Created a temporary annoyance, that’s all. Regular readers will come back after the temporary glitch is fixed and the saboteur has achieved precisely nothing, well, apart from increase the blogs readership. Why? Everyone likes a little drama, and will turn up just to see if there’s any blood on the carpet, figuratively speaking.

No doubt the offender will break cover in a fit of characteristic vaingloriousness, they always do, but all they’ve actually done is proved to everyone else is what a total cunt they are. It’s so very, very sad and so are they. Time for breakfast.

A small note about Search Engine Optimisation

Achtung MinenTo all those Search Engine Optimization companies out there; please stop trying to spam my comment threads. It doesn’t work and I’m not interested. Not one jot, not an iota, or any other unit of measurement too small to be worth mention. All your advertisements and solicitations end up in my clever little spam trap, which is the waste disposal for this blog. Rather like a Septic Tank, it needs the turds clearing out from time to time.

Why? Oh heavens to Betsy this is a blog, FFS! A sort of mental gym where I flex my satirical muscles from time to time. It’s not something I generate any income from, nor expect to. One which receives on average fewer than twenty unique hits per day. A level which I’m quite content for it to dip below. Mainly as it means less work for me. I’ve got quite enough real life work ta very muchly and I’m very happy for this state of affairs to continue.

Read my comments policy page if you’re that bored.

TTFN

Sometimes……..

Those of us who blog are often accused of being “Some guy in their Mom’s basement who lives in their pyjama’s.” by ‘professional journalists’.

Now I wish to make a clear and unequivocal statement to distance myself from this foul calumny. I do not live with my Mother (as followers of this blog know, she passed away last year and I have not lived with my parents for many years). Furthermore, my Mother never had a basement. Garden sheds, yes. Attics, yes. Basements no. Mrs S and I did have one basement in our last UK property, but that subterranean space was used as the laundry room and as an occasional workshop. With the advent of Wi-Fi, I’ve even blogged from the conservatory, and yes, our garden shed when the kids were having a party. Besides, our last house was an old Victorian building and far too damp for electronics. In addition to which is our mutual dislike of dankness, we prefer the sunshine. Yes, I will occasionally concede that I have written partial posts and managed comment threads whilst in my dressing gown and PJ’s, but 99% of the time I am properly attired for the days travails.

However, here’s a challenge; ‘Like’ this post if you’ve ever blogged naked.

No pictures, animated Gifs or video clips in the comments please. This isn’t Tumblr.

Oddities and space

I’ve never understood why certain people feel compelled to approach obviously busy strangers simply to indulge in ‘social’ chatter. Don’t know about the rest of you, but I like my personal space. Especially when working. To totally focus on a task to the exclusion of all else, detesting unnecessary distraction. I’m not totally asocial, I’m just picky, that’s all. Life has taught me that not all conversations are safe. Got something meaningful to say? Unload your soul in the comments (if you must), it’s what they’re there for. I may reply. I may not. Depends how busy I am. Yeah, I’m a party pooper, so don’t invite me, okay?

While the kids were growing up I made allowances, and always tried to respond to their anxieties / questions, hug when needed, and sometimes exercise extra care when getting up in the morning as Youngest had a habit of sneaking into our bedroom and sleeping on the floor next to our bed. Poor lamb, I almost trod on her one morning when I was new to the game of married life and every day was an ‘adventure’. Those were the days, eh, Bill? Clucking bell. Never mind, despite all the humps and bumps, both stepkids have turned out relatively okay, and I love them both dearly, so maybe I got it right. For a given value of ‘right’.

The future of social mediaOtherwise the whole multi tasking thing has rather passed me by, apart from when I’m cooking. It’s probably why I killed off my Farcebook account (twice), and while I do have a Twitter feed and ID, never Tweet. Why? Because they’re both time killers, distractions. Filling up empty lives with fluff and replacing actual thought. Hmm. Now there’s an interesting notion. Maybe social media will eventually evolve into some kind of electronic hive-mind for the ‘connected’, leaving them wide open to manipulation. An unwitting zombie army to be directed onto non participating ‘unbelievers’ or ‘deniers’ who don’t agree with the goals of the manipulators. I’m sure Leg Iron could twist that into one of his excellent scary stories or use the concept to taunt one of his drone co-workers.

As for me. Others might consider my relative standoffishness odd, but I’ll give the whole social chatter thing the go-by. Life is too short, and I have a flight to catch.

Yes, I’m evil, so sue me….

Firstly a small declaration of interest; I am a landlord. An owner of property in the UK which is rented out to others. A ‘parasite’ in the words of those whose grasp of economics is considerably lower than that of a heavily sedated slug. A ‘blood sucking vampire’ whose untimely passing shall be rejoiced at by all the lefties doing X-talentless dance challenges on his grave. If they can drag themselves from in front of their taxpayer-subsidised video games to be bothered. Please be advised; dancing on my grave may prove difficult, as my will stipulates that my ashes be scattered outside territorial waters. But chaps, don’t let that stop you trying.

Okay, that’s that out of the way. I’m out of the closet. Yes I’m an evil landlord, so sue me (Good luck with that). Now to the meat of the subject. In the run up to the UK general election there’s a lot of talk about ‘Mansion’ taxes on wicked and predatory ‘buy to let’ landlords. As prophesied many times in this blog and elsewhere across various forums and comment threads of the jolly old Interweb, this is a mark of the mainstream politicians desperation. They’ve spent all your money, and your grandchildren’s money buying votes, now they’re coming for private property. The public cupboard is bare and the pollies* are desperate, and anyone with any assets at all (unless they can afford really good tax accountants) is in their short sighted target area.

The reason behind this post is me getting into a minor comment thread spat in the Tellytubbygraph with one of the ‘Entitled’**. In a mildly robust exchange of views I posed the question; Does anyone remember the late 1970’s and early 80’s before people could buy their council houses so readily?

I do. I have clear and vivid memories of vandalised and derelict council housing throughout the industrially declining UK West Midlands. Whole streets of them. Whole council estates even. A little like a genteel version of modern day Detroit. Post WW2 semi-detached properties (for a North American equivalent – think ‘Duplex’) boarded up like wall eyed ghost towns. Broken side doors where unruly kids, copper thieves and the down and outs had broken in to leave devastation, illiterate graffiti, human faeces, decay and piles of syringes in their passing. In short, places where no one cared now made uninhabitable through lack of maintenance. There are still instances of houses, especially in Liverpool and similar, where whole streets are in this condition. And the equation is simple; Economic stagnation = few or no jobs = fewer people with less money = Lots of unwanted housing.

Throw left-wing, ideologically stifled bureaucracies into the mix and there you have it. ‘Managed decline’. The default position of big government. Empty houses in economically stagnant districts with no-one who can afford to live in or maintain the existing properties. Which might as well be bulldozed and the whole site left to turn into unproductive scrubland and swamp, thence woodland, followed in a century or two by the Greens favourite; ‘Ancient Forest’ full of Bambi and friends, but very few humans. Hooray! Or rather not. As a side note; putative Bambi’s should take note that ‘Ancient Forests’ are not full of pixies, elves, gnomes and pretty ickle flutterbies like in those cute animated Hollywood movies but rather home to Mr B B Wolf and friends, whose name for Bambi translates loosely as ‘Lunch’.

So what’s the answer? Government subsidies and plane loads of immigrants to provide a future tax base and spend their money on improving the housing stock? Which won’t do much good if said migrants don’t have the skills or motivation to build a better or economically active society. Or whose imported culture means they spend their disposable income on new religious buildings. Ending up dependent upon handouts from an ever more cash strapped country where the cupboard has been bare for quite some time. Because no-one is actually innovating, trading or making things. So more migrants will be needed. Who will bring their own baggage. And not much money. So the slow spiral of decline will continue. Until some far sighted politician (Unlikely to be elected, never happen) decides to take the wheels off said cycle, or the whole lot burns to the ground. BTW: The riot and burning strategy was tried in UK city centre riots of the early 1980’s (Which didn’t work – see the economic ‘broken window’ fallacy).

In these blighted areas, where councils can’t or won’t maintain and rent out the properties in question, the buy to let landlord becomes a tool of regeneration. They will put money into vital property maintenance and indulge in the necessary day to day negotiations and arguments with tenants. Where there is a market. It’s how we Evil Landlords make a living off our investment. If there are people with jobs and money, they need places to live. That is what we provide. A ready base of operations, especially for a highly mobile workforce.

To call someone who actually spends money on a building to make it fit for habitation a ‘parasite’ is rather ungracious to say the least. The tenants did not wish to invest time, effort, and twenty (possibly thirty!) years or so in their own bricks and mortar, but are happy for others to risk doing so, no problem. For property investment is a risk, one of the largest anyone will ever make. A hint about renting; treat it as a business arrangement, and all will be well. Mess things up then bleat like an entitled sheep about how ‘unfair’ it is that you have to actually pay for the roof over your head, then the Gods of decay and desolation will never be far from both your and your landlords door. I’ve heard it said that houses are not built as slums, they are made slums by the very people who live in and own them.

At this point I would like to introduce my reader to some useful Evil Landlord rules.

Rule 1: Never rent to male students, people on benefits or those with extensive skin art.
Rule 2: Insist on direct debit for rent. Avoid anyone who wants to pay by cheque or cash.
Rule 3: Never get involved in anything longer than a 6 month ‘Shorthold Assured‘ tenancy.
Rule 4: Keep in touch with your tenant on a monthly basis and make any non tenant incurred repairs promptly. Agree regular maintenance schedules in the tenancy agreement and stick to them.
Rule 5: Avoid entanglement with Social Services or any Local Authority body as much as possible.
Rule 6: Trust nobody and use lawyers.

Of all the above, please note that Rule 6 is the most important. Keep it brisk and businesslike. Anything else invites disaster.

*Pollies; Lamestream politician. So called because of their characteristic repetitive parrot like squawking.
** Entitled; someone who thinks they should be given a free ride off the backs of others, in short, a parasite.

Man down

Yes, Captain Ranty is gone. Last heard of on his Twitter feed 6th March 2015. The augury was not good. Now via Henry Crun and JuliaM we have the news of his passing. No whys or wherefores, just R.I.P. Colin Grainger.

Despite our differences, I always held Ranty in high regard. His blog sent a lot of traffic my way, and for that I’m grateful. We’ve corresponded privately on various matters from time to time and I actually developed a genuine liking for the man. For no matter what you think of his views, the one thing he didn’t lack was integrity. For sheer bull headed stubbornness, he never minded taking the biscuit, sometimes the entire lemon meringue. He was an entertaining fellow and regrettably this has become an alas-poor-Yorick post. There were too few of his calibre in this world and I know we’ve all got to go sometime, but not without a bit of serious kicking and screaming in the process, eh?

Now please Death, no more of our friends and favoured ones for a while, yes? There’s been too much dying of late, and frankly I need a break.

atque in perpetuum frater ave atque vale

Comments reactivated.

An Internet fable

The Troll and the pixie dust

Once upon a time, oh best beloved, there was a young blogger who painted his thoughts, such as they were, on the magic pages of the Interweb. A happy frolicker in the fields of dreams that forms the blogosphere. His name was Bill, and he loved the idea that people being free was heaps better than anything ever invented. Better even than the wheel, good whiskey, or fresh black olive bread with lightly salted butter and a nice chunk of Camembert. Or even the entire Interweb itself. Although not as good as sex (Well, we all have our own criteria.)

Most days, young Bill would take his blog down to the village of freedom ideas, deep in a small corner of the Interweb, and put up his board with what he had written on that day. Sometimes he would sit all day in the village of ideas and no one would come and talk to him. Occasionally he would stroll over to another board and scribble a note, sometimes serious, sometimes meant to amuse, as a comment on the other postings. More rarely Bill would return to his obscure little blog to find comments written by others. Sometimes he would reply, at other times he simply read and laughed at his friends cleverness or their enemies stupidity.

One day, Bill came back to his message board to read an angry comment from a fellow blogger, a wise man who went by the name of ‘Ironlegs’ which read; “I hate you, and don’t want you playing on my board any more. Go away forever and ever.”

Mildly upset at the vehemence of this comment, Bill erased the links as requested, and with a heavy heart wondered if he would ever read the wise sayings of Ironlegs again. A few days later, another comment appeared on his message board while he was out chatting to friends and drinking coffee. He returned to read “I don’t want to talk to you any more, and you can’t play with me.” From the Captain of Ranters from the far side of the village. Now Bill actually knew the Captain of Ranters and a few of the other members of the village to talk to, so sent a magic message to him which no one else could see or hear, then he took a short walk over to the Captain of Ranters message board, and asked what the problem was.

“Hello Bill.” Said the Captain of Ranters. “Sorry about that, but there’s a silly troll who has found a magical chameleon cloak. He’s using it to pretend he’s other people and go round writing foolish messages telling us not to talk to each other any more.”
“Why?” Said young Bill. “What’s the point?”
“Could be because he’s simply a weapons grade twat.” Commented the good Captain sourly. “Go talk to the Rider.”

So young Bill sent a magic message to the Rider, who stepped off his iron horse and sighed. “Sorry Bill, this silly troll who can neither read nor write properly has stolen a piece of the Interweb wizards magic chameleon cloaks. We think he’s doing this to us so the Wizards of the Interweb will think he’s jolly clever and ask him to join them. He hasn’t a hope.”
“Why is that?” Said Bill.
“Because the wise old Tea Witch knows of him. She says that without the magic cloak he’s a fat, blubbery pointless loser with all the grace and panache of a masturbating twelve year old. The Wizards of the Interweb all think he’s stupid as well.” Sighed the Rider, sadly. “He’s becoming a pest, so we’d better put out the Pixie dust, which he will tread in, and show us exactly where he lives.”
“Then we go over and beat him to a pulp?” Suggested Bill, then caught a stern reproving cough from the Inspector of Gadgets, who happened to be passing by.

As they stood and chatted, Bill noticed a number of the villages other inhabitants wandering over to talk with the Rider. Ironlegs, Richard of the Coated Puddle, High James, The Captain of Ranters, the wise old Tea witch. All the visitors to the village dropped by to discuss what to do, and how to stop the troll being so annoying. One thing was certain, thought Bill, the troll was going to be very unhappy because some of the villagers were talking about using Billygoats. Not that the troll would understand the folklore reference, because he was a very poorly educated, unimaginative and pointless troll, but that Billygoats were very bad indeed for trolls in general. They hurt a lot.

“Okay.” Said the Rider. “Here’s what we do. We scatter the pixie dust, which will only stick to the feet of invisible fairies like trolls, then use it to track it to its lair.” A number of the village bloggers took the pixie dust and scattered it around their message boards. Shortly afterwards, trails of glowing footsteps could be followed from board to board as the troll continued to leave silly pointless messages.

“What is he trying to do?” Asked the Wolf of the Snow.
“I think he’s trying to stop us talking to one another.” Opined Bill. The Captain of Ranters looked at the other villagers and smiled. The Rider picked up the smile, and then all the villagers began to laugh amongst themselves at the abject failure of the stupid troll, because, oh best beloved, all he had managed to do was to make the villagers co-operate more closely. After the laughter died down, the Wise Tea Witch said “Let’s see who we’re dealing with.” And all the villagers trooped off to their far seeing scope, following the trail of pixie dust coated footsteps to the trolls real home in the fabled poisoned woodland of Anglia.

As they looked closer, the troll came bounding out of his lair and roared at them very fiercely indeed, waving a club that was almost half his height long. The villagers stopped and looked at each other in astonishment. “Goodness!” Said Bill. “Hasn’t he got big feet!” Sure enough children, the troll had the biggest, ugliest, most scabrous feet ever seen on a fairy creature.
“Doesn’t match the rest of him.” Giggled someone else. And all the villagers stared at the tiny and very ugly troll with the oversized feet as he danced with impotent rage, waving his teensy weensy twig of a club at them.
“I think the Billygoats might well be overkill.” Said the Wolf of the Snow.
“I don’t think there are any Billygoats quite small enough.” Remarked the wise Tea Witch.
“Gosh, he’s really fat and ugly.” Commented someone else. “No wonder he’s got no chums.”
“Dirty too. He really should take a shower.” As if to make the point, a passing Woodland pig took one sniff at the troll and turned away in disgust.
“How could anyone love a thing like that?” Remarked someone else.
“I think that’s why. Nobody loves him because he’s so deformed and unpleasant, so he creates mischief instead.” Commented the Rider. “He hasn’t anything worth saying either, so all he can do is disrupt. He hasn’t got any worthwhile reason for existing at all.”

With wise murmurs of agreement, everyone turned away and went back to the village and carried on as usual. Of course dear children, this did not stop the troll leaving pointless messages, but now everyone knew who he was, no-one cared, so he became even lonelier and sadder than he had ever been before. Eventually he became ever more deranged and developed an obsession with collecting used pizza boxes and filled his tiny house with them. What is sadder still, when the troll died prematurely of a massive heart attack because he spent his life behind a keyboard, pointlessly taunting people and getting no exercise, nobody really cared. Not even the trolls mother, who was already hiding in shame for giving birth to such a sad creature. Not even the council workers who had to dispose of his maggoty decomposed remains or the tons of smelly pizza boxes. His noisome cadaver was eventually shoveled into a cheap chipboard box and burned at the crematorium as a health hazard. Because he had been so nasty to others in real life, there was no-one to cry for him at his funeral. No one even to put up a headstone to say who he’d been, or if he’d done anything positive with his life.

The moral of my little tale, children, if morality means anything; is that if you treat others like morons, then they will feel no need to even consider your point of view, and you will eventually die alone, ignored and uncared for after an unfulfilled life. Your brief sojourn on this mortal coil will have been wasted. Here endeth the lesson.