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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bloggles are GO...

The bloggles are back. You know, don't you. When bloggers get the wobbles.
That time when commenting on other blogs generates more inspiration than the blank pane (Windows, geddit) of an empty Notepad. Especially the taunting of that "Untitled - Notepad" which means you know it knows you can't title the file till you place some words in it to give meaning to the filename. Gah!
The Blogging Muse has bu33ered orf again.
Question: Is the word *Amuse* like the word *amoral* ?
Because being without one's Muse is definitely NOT amusing.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

This is Preshident Buschhh 'hic here, Tony.

Who'd a thunk it.
Tony Blair must be praying that George Bush has not hit the bottle again.
This video here... is probably not to be relied upon; but there are stories circulating, appaaaarently.
Late evenings are not a good time for troubles to erupt against Homeland Security.

But the video is amusing.
Except in cases of War, emergency, floods, hurricanes, obviously.
In fact... No, I won't go there.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Flowers for m'lady...

I've learned that flowers for saying "Sorry" or "I love you" or "Thanks" are always well received.
Except if they come from the garage as you fill the car with petrol.
I don't know why. Flowers HAVE to come from a proper flower shop or stall.

Monday, March 13, 2006

You are not obliged to say (er, covertly record) anything.....

a.k.a. The Secretive Policeman's Ball 's Up.
Well. Sir Ian Blair has been caught with his trousers down again, metaphorically speaking.

This time, Sir Ian Blair, the Chief PC has been found employing the un PC act of ... covertly tape-recording phone calls... to his boss at the Police Authority, the Solicitor General and even the IPCC who are investigating him over the command and control issues relating to shooting ...Jean Charles de Menezes.
At least this Blair ( not Tony Blair, of course ) has given a personal apology, but only to keep his job, methinks.

So now, before taking a telephone call from anyone like Sir Ian Blair, one should presumably caution them first. Along the lines of...
"You do not have to record anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned, something recorded, which you later rely on in court. Anything you do record may not be given in evidence."
You saw it here first.
The modified police caution to be given when being telephoned BY the police.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Steve Jobs on...Life, Loss, Love, Cancer and more...

I found this report of Steve Job's address to Stanford Uni students very interesting.
It's a powerful story with 3 (actually 4) main points, from Steve Jobs, CEO at Apple Corp.

1. He tells how he was adopted from birth....talks about dropping out of college....when, in fact, he "dropped out" of his formal course, but stayed on campus (unofficially) and just "dropped in" to the courses he was interested in.
2. He explains how Calligraphy was one of the courses that interested him. Years later, when designing the first Macintosh computer, he specifically added multi fonts and proportional spacing that we now take for granted on our iMacs and PC's; then IBM copied his multi typefaces on their personal computer as well.
Who knew that's why computers have more than the old typewriter fonts of the days B.C. (Before Computers)?
3. Jobs also says words to the effect... "In life, and work, find what you love, then go do it."
4. On Cancer and Death..... Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.
Go read this link for yourself, because IMHO it is quite profound. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
...click here to read more.

Thanks to ManilaOfficeLife for the link.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Very realistic text to speech applet.

Here's an interesting snippet of webby amusement. An online text-to-speech converter.
Click this link... and type in a few words, select the language and avatar; to try out a very realistic text to speech applet.

Thanks to www.digg.com for the link.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

15 people killed in Bomb blasts in Varanasi (Benares) India.

How terrible. More terrorist attacks on innocent people.
In who's God was this atrocity committed ?
At least 15 people killed and many more injured today.
This time in the Holy City of Varanasi - in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh; which is a major pilgrimage centre in India. Three bombs were detonated, one at a major Hindu Temple - the Sankot Mochan temple - and two bombs at a local railway station.

How can any terrorist group justify such actions in the name of their God?

I know a few Indian programmers, at least one of whom comes from Uttar Pradesh , so they will be very apprehensive till they know their loved ones are safe.
Also a UK blogging friend is travelling in the area, so hope she is safe and well too.
...click here for more details.

Can you see what it is yet ?

So, we have a regular *friendly* challenge competition in our family.
It's a traditional thing we started a few years ago.
We try and organise two or three a year.
There are three teams of two in our family group.
There used to be four teams, but the older generation now watch and laugh.
We have a proper engraved Trophy for the Winners, a Runner-up shield and a Casualty (booby) statuette for the, er, LOSERS, basically.

The rules are simple:
The basic element is for each event to be fun rather than competitive.
Some members take it more seriously than others, so the outcome must be won more by luck than skill or judgement.
This is easier said than done as spreadsheets, savants and secret practices have been known to be deployed in the past.
The winners get to choose the competition for the next challenge.
Last time WE got to win for choosing the nearest birth weight for the new baby at 6lb. 10oz.
Yes, a spreadsheet may have been used, together with econometric forecasting algorithms, but mother nature helped us to win by conveniently organising a slightly prem. birth. So, we were spot on.

This time, each team was provided, by us, with identical metal holders filled with identical selection of natural fibres, suitable for bird nesting material.
These nesting materials were synchronously deployed in three separate gardens at 10.00am on Feb. 14th.
The winners will be the team with the least amount of nesting material left by Easter.
Already, strategic decisions have been taken on most *suitable* spot in each garden for birds to see and remove nesting materials.
Team M have sited their container near the bird bath and blue tit feeding patch.
Team J have sited theirs alongside a massive bird table with all sorts of birdie treats.

I contemplated farming our container out to a neighbour's garden who has masses of bird visitors.
I was overruled, so Team Luke have deployed bird fat feeders near our container to encourage the birds.

Watch this space..............

Monday, March 06, 2006


test plug-in

Friday, March 03, 2006

A bed-time story about Three little Bears.

Daddy Bear (played by the masked Mr.B.) is a secretive Italian V.I.P Bear. He doesn't have a speaking part in this narrative.
Millsy Bear (played confidently by David Mills) is an important International Lawyer who specialises in Tax Avoidance schemes for rich clients.
Baby Bear (played winsomely by Tessa Jowell - she's so sweet) is a young innocent housewife who doesn't *do* paperwork (except in heavy red despatch boxes) and signs any form her husbands asks her to sign for him, "...without question, Dahling."

This bed-time story has lots of twists and turns, so the *elevator pitch* (this could be a film script, you know) goes as follows:
  • Once upon a time, Millsy Bear is given a gift of £344,000 for *special* favours to an Italian V.I.P. Bear.
  • Millsy Bear (also husband of a Cabinet Minister) spends some time trying to pursuade Inland Revenue that this money was a gift and not taxable.
  • Eventually, Millsy B. agrees to pay tax on this sum of money, which has been filtered (anonymised ?) through a series of complex hedge funds and offshore trust funds.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Millsy B. serially mortgage and redeem mortgage charges on their houses. Often mortgaging and then paying off mortgages within weeks. Very *New Labour*, are these kinds of mortgages. Especially when Millsy Bear want to *invest* in serial get-rich-quick money-washing schemes.
  • Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Millsy Bear (Baby Bear - aka Culture Secretary) never discuss this large sum (£344,000) of money over breakfast, lunch or pillow talk. "...Oh, No. Dahling. Never, Ever."
  • Suddenly, the Big Bad Wolf (aka media/press) realises that all these old folk tales about Millsy Bear and his rich clients who dispense their largesse in large wads of cash, must be true, because Baby Bear (aka Culture Secretary) is busily signing mortgage forms for Millsy Bear; as a means of helping to siphon offshore funds into UK and vice-versa.
  • Baby Bear (a real-life VIP Cabinet Minister) is never aware of potential conflicts of interest, because she simply has no idea where all this money is coming from. The money simply roars in and out of their bank accounts like a series of monetary tsunami's.
  • "...Doesn't everyone have money swilling around their Trust Funds, Dahling ?"
Ms Jowell told Sir Gus O'Donnell, she had first become aware in August 2004 that her husband had received a sum of money (£344,000) in September 2000 "which he thought he had reasonable grounds to believe was a gift".

The END:
The moral of this story is...

  • If you are ever given a large sum (£344,000) of money as A GIFT.
  • and you stick to the fairy story script
  • and you have friends in high places
  • and you are a clever VIP politician, with heavy red VIP despatch boxes
  • and you have the ear and heart-strings of a very sympathetic Prime Minister (Billy -No Mates- Bear)
  • and the Ministerial Code (for Cabinet Ministers) is quietly shredded to tiny, tiny, invisible ickle pieces.
All the Bears keep their money, their jobs, and live happily ever after.
Although, a week is a lifetime in politics!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sod's Law.

Physics Law: Matter can neither be created, nor destroyed.
Luke's Law: However, it can be lost!
Typically if stored somewhere on a hard drive.
And you need it in a hurry.
Especially if all the keywords you can think of cannot dredge it up.
Not even Google Desktop search....
Oh, Bugger. Bother.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Linda Smith - R.I.P.

Linda Smith, comedian, writer, broadcaster and humanist has died of ovarian cancer aged 48.
Linda was well known on the comedy circuit before turning to radio (Just a Minute, News Quiz) and many TV appearances on topical or current affairs programmes like Have I Got News For You, et al.
Click here to read the Guardian obituary ...
Linda Smith, 1958 - 2006. will be sadly missed by her family, friends, colleagues and fans. R.I.P.

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