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Monday 31 December 2012


Happy new year from the FE. I hope you and your’s have a prosperous and happy year.

Raise your glass and…………………


Saturday 29 December 2012

Thursday 27 December 2012

The momentous event for my family this year.

The man in question in the Daily mail article below is my Son in law.

'He's the best present I've ever received': Man given 5% chance of becoming a father after battling testicular cancer twice celebrates his son's first Christmas

  • Huw Allanson, 26, lost a testicle and had several gruelling rounds of chemo after being diagnosed
  • Told he and fiance Lizi had just 5% chance of conceiving naturally due to poor quality sperm
  • But just a week before starting IVF, realised they had conceived naturally
  • Baby Ryan was born in April this year

Huw Lizi and Ryan

The full article is HERE if you want to have a read. It was momentous news to all of us in TFE household.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas day No drink left edition.

As usual your host got up at the crack of dawn to prepare for the day’s festivities (At least I think 8:15 is the crack of doom dawn). Mrs FE had beaten me to it by getting up at 6:30, and when I ventured down I found her in the kitchen muttering arcane spells of the like “20 minutes to the pound and another twenty minutes…………”, and playing with strange things that purported to be vegetables. Promptly left that area of my in expertise.

I was left to stick to what I know best. The alcohol. Arranging the bottles and glasses to be ready at hand for the guests before they arrive.

Done. All is in order.

Fast forward 10 hours.

White wine lake : Empty.

Rose wine lake : Severely depleted.

Brandy: Left orbit just after the Christmas pud was finished.

Beer/lager: Red flashing warning signs signifying imminent collapse of stocks.

However all is not lost. The Whisky I hid has not been found. Yet.

What I would like to know is how do seven people drink eight bottles of white wine (includes a Grannie aged 91)? And they’re still imbibing the rum, gin, vodka, and anything else they find in my drinks cabinet.

It defies the laws of physics I tell you. I blame it on the Higgs Boson.


Monday 24 December 2012

Have a merry Christmas


christmas tree

I will now. The presents are finally wrapped.

Friday 21 December 2012

Christmas carols.

This is what the Elf (Seasonal) and safety executive have to say about them.

“While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
And Glory shone around.”

The Union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches Health and Safety Regulations to insist the shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided. Therefore, benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs must be available. Shepherds have also requested that, due to inclement weather they should watch their flocks via CCTV cameras in centrally heated shepherd observation huts. The Angel of the Lord is reminded that before shining his/her Glory all around, the shepherds must be issued with glasses capable of filtering out any harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory lighting.

“Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road,
Got to keep on plodding onwards, with your precious load.”

The RSPCA has issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry. Also in the guidelines are permitted feeding breaks, and at least one rest break in a four-hour plodding period (A Tachograph must be fitted). Due to the risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary & Joseph are required to wear facemasks. The ‘Little Donkey’ has expressed his discomfort as being labelled ‘Little’ and would prefer to being simply referred to as ‘Mr Donkey’. Comments upon his height or otherwise are considered to be a breach of his equine rights.

“We three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, Moor and Mountain, Following yonder star. ”

Whilst the gift of Gold is still considered acceptable – as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations as ‘Cash4Gold’ etc – gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh are not appropriate due to the risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. An acceptable alternative might be a gift voucher. It is not recommended that traversing Kings should rely on star navigation, and would advise the use of AA Routefinder or Sat Nav. Both can provide the quickest route and advise on fuel consumption. As in the case of Mr Donkey, the three camels require regular rest and food breaks and facemasks for the three Kings are obligatory due to the likelihood of desert dust disturbed by the camel hooves.

“Little Jesus sweetly sleep, do not stir, We will lend a coat of fur, We will rock you, rock you, rock you, We will rock you, rock you, rock you, ”

Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants due to the risk of allergy and for ethical reasons. Therefore, false fur, a cellular blanket or, perhaps, micro-fleece material should be considered alternatives. Please note that, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal Records (CRB) bureau check and have enhanced clearance will be permitted to rock Baby Jesus. Persons must carry their CRB disclosure at all times and be prepared to provide three forms of identification before any rocking commences.

“Dashing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh,
Over fields we go – laughing all the way.

A Risk Assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to ride. The Risk Assessment should also consider whether the use of only one horse in appropriate – particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Permission from landowners must be gained before entering any ‘Open Fields’. To avoid offending those not participating in the venture, it is required that only ‘moderate’ laughter is used and not at a noise level likely to be of nuisance to others.

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows,
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names, They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games. ”

You are advised that, under the Equal Opportunities Policy, it is inappropriate for persons to make comment upon the ruddiness of Mr R Reindeer. Name-calling contravenes our Anti-Bullying policy, and further to this, the exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from any reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found guilty of this offence. A full investigation will be implemented, leading to imposing sanctions such as a ban from hanging up stockings or enjoying Christmas dinner.

“Away in a manger – no crib for a bed … ”

Refer to Social Services immediately

Thursday 20 December 2012

Slave Labour at Christmas

Another public service message from TFE.

This must be shown to the Cheeeeeldren to stop this cruelty NOW.

(And to save me money).

Wednesday 19 December 2012

A prayer for the Christmas period

Being a religious normal person I felt I had to pray for you. Here is my offering. Kneel. (Or fall over in the gutter, if that is your preference).

beer prayer1

Dear drinks cupboard may ye be replenished by the Lord Tesco Home delivery tomorrow.

Forgive those that have trespassed. Namely Mrs FE, The Son and nearly me who have gone to bed tonight absolutely pissed out of our brains.


PS. We are all scheduled to die anyway according to to the Mayan calendar. So WTF.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Shove this in your pipe and smoke it. You anti-smoking zealots.


Reproduced are the thoughts of a smoking doctor. I’ll give you a few paragraphs relating to why we are not dying of tobacco, and his reasoning.

I'm sick and tired of the anti-smoking culture that has taken over the entire world. I have had enough of hearing "don't smoke, it's bad for you!!" The ignorance that betrays such remarks is utterly abysmal, especially coming from people who should know better. So for all those who have asked me why do I actually smoke, I'm going to explain my reasons in this article.

I have found anti-smoking activists to be intolerant, judgmental Authoritarian Follower types. They believe and parrot emotionally charged catchphrases taken straight from government anti-smoking propaganda. Doctors and non-smokers alike are guilty of this. They feel righteous when providing such 'advice' yet fail to take notice of how ill they themselves look, and forget that, in many cases, their own health issues went downhill when they stopped smoking. Thanks to some pretty convoluted thinking, if they are some day diagnosed with a serious disease, they will later blame their 'smoking years', while overlooking the real culprits of today's modern diseases: junk diets high in carbohydrates and the industrial-scale toxicity that has choked our environment.

That’s pretty good for a start. But then he goes on to state what we might actually be dying from.

Yes, tobacco has its pollutants, but they are found in the water we drink, the air we breathe, in baby food, you name it, in even higher concentrations. A conservative estimate is that over 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced into society since the 1800s, only a few hundred of which have been tested for safety; this doesn't even take into consideration nanotechnology and GMOs, which are already pervasive in the food chain. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released annually by large industrial facilities. And the authorities are worried about a plant that produces the learning and memory-enhancing, natural chemical nicotine? It really is laughable. You see what mainstream education indoctrination does to your brain? You breathe thousands of chemicals every time you inhale air, whether you like it or not, and whether or not you are sitting next to a smoker.

Outdoor air contains some of the nastiest cocktails of pollutants. Most people tend to think of air pollution as having effects on the lungs, but exposure to road traffic and air pollution may also trigger heart attacks6. But people are right: air pollution does cause lung cancer. A much-anticipated government study of more than 12,000 miners has found that exposure to diesel engine exhaust significantly increases the risk of lung cancer. For NON-smokers, the risk was seven times higher. The authors of the study say "we also observed an interaction between smoking and 15-year lagged cumulative REC [marker for estimation of diesel exhaust exposure] such that the effect of each of these exposures was attenuated in the presence of high levels of the other.7" What does that mean? It means that research suggests that people who smoke are less vulnerable to the toxic effects of inhalation of diesel fumes than people who don't smoke.

Undoubtedly a breath of fresh air blowing away the fog of fear mongering by those who seek to ruin our simple pleasures in life.

The whole article can be read HERE. Well worth the read. 

Hat Tip to Grandad

Monday 17 December 2012

Minimum price for alcohol.

My son drove down to spend the Christmas period with us yesterday.

Against my better judgement, himself and Mrs TFE decided we should nip out to the pub for a drink or two. (TFE, never one to allow drink to escape his lips) I had to reluctantly agree to accompany them.

I have known that for some time that there has been such a thing as a beer duty escalator, but when I bought the first (and only) round, I realised that the pub had found some way of engineering the escalator to approach the speed of light.

I’d ordered two pints of bitter and a glass of Pinot Grigio and pulled out a tenner from my wallet, (The moths had left it alone thank God) and expected the damage to be around the £8 mark.

FFS, you could have knocked me down with a packet of pork scratchings. The till rang up £13.30 (They don’t actually ring up these days, just have a smug smirk).

I know that publicans have been hit by the smoking ban, but surely they’re not going to attract customers in, for that sort of price.

We just had the one drink and left. So Mr Publican, I can get absolutely bladdered on decent whisky at home for the same price. Why do I need you? Your business model is I think, fatally flawed.

Times are hard, therefore customers will adjust their drinking habits to suit.

PS. What about a smoking shelter?

Sunday 16 December 2012

Saturday 15 December 2012

The luck of the draw.

I seem to be getting the shitty end of the stick at the moment.

Three weeks ago I succumbed to a bout of Norovirus.

Ten days ago I came down with a bad bout of the flue. I’m just recovering now.

Two days ago I buggered my back. I keep moving around the house muttering Ouch Ouch.

What else can happen in the run up to Christmas?

Of course I may be saved from any more misery if the end of the world happens next Friday, as supposedly prophesied in the Mayan calendar.

Friday 14 December 2012

Letter to Santa. (Litigation version)

santa in bar

Dear Santa,

How are you? How is Mrs Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas,
* *

Dear Little Johnny,

Thank you for you letter. Mrs Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn't want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I'll bring you something you can go outside and play with.

Merry Christmas,
Santa Claus
* *

Mr. Claus,

Seeing that I have fulfilled the Naughty vs. Nice contract set by you, I might add I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn't want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don't you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?

Little Johnny
* *

Little Johnny,

While I have acknowledged you have met the nice criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorneys have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.

Very Truly Yours,
S Claus
* *

Now look here Fat Man,

I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I'm about to tweet my boys and were gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I'm taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN!

* *

Listen Pizza Face,

Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe.He sees you when you're sleeping; He knows when you're awake. Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you'd throw up your Totino pizza roll all over the carpet of your moms basement. You're not getting what you asked for, but I'm still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia.

S Clizzy
* *

Dear Santa,

Bring me whatever you see fit. I’ll appreciate anything.

little Johnny
* *

Little Johnny,

That’s what I thought you little bastard.


Wednesday 12 December 2012

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Santa. Why he can’t exist, Kiddies.


From an Engineer’s perspective.

I. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per house hold, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming that there is at least one good child in each.

II. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th. of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting toilet stops or Starbuck breaks (Just to be topical), means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second,  3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a leisurely 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

III. The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the flying reindeer could pull ten times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with eight or even nine of them  Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

IV. 600,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second crates enormous air resistance. This would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion Joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vapourised within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 m.p.s. in a milli-second, would be subjected to  forces of 17,500 Gs. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.

V. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.

Just saying. I tried this on my kids and they just produced formulae stating that due to quantum mechanics and string theory, my thesis was flawed. I’ve yet to be convinced.

My argument is “Why should kids in their thirties expect a stocking from me”?

Their reply:

“ Cos You’re my Dad”


Kind regards

The Filthy Scrooge Engineer

Monday 10 December 2012

It twas in the bleak midwinter

Well, early winter to be exact.

log fire

I live in an old house and over the last few years where we have suffered lower temperatures in the past (Global warming anyone?), I have always wondered why downstairs has a poor heat balance, even though I changed the positions of the radiators. The sitting room would be warm but the kitchen would be a tad chilly.

Over the last few years I’ve draught proofed just about everything in the house that could be draught proofed.

It wasn’t till I went to my daughters newly purchased house that I realised the elephant in the room. They had boarded up their fireplace.1

On getting home I held a sheet of the Guardian newspaper* against the fireplace opening and nearly had it ripped out of my grasp by the updraft. It’s a good thing I hadn’t given the job to an infant chimneysweep.

The upshot is that I bought a device like a balloon that you partially inflate, stuff it up the chimney and then fully inflate. It was noticeably different almost immediately. Everywhere is now warm quickly, with no draughts.

There was a couple of problems with the device, you need at least three hands to fit it and one more to hold the inflation tube.

You need to work how much partial inflation is required to begin with, otherwise it won’t go up the flue or it will fall out while you’re trying to blow it up to full pressure.

And you do need to check that it is not deflating, and pump up as required

However if we do get arctic conditions next week it will be removed, as there’s nothing better than sitting in front of a log fire.

* It was actually the Telegraph. The Guardian is only fit for emergency toilet paper.

1 And I call myself an engineer. 0/10 FAIL.

Christmas cheer

Christmas decorations.


I haven’t even thought about mine yet.

Sunday 9 December 2012

HTML for juniors.

As you can see my Grandson is engrossed in it.


Job opportunity.

job opportunity

Must have a skill that enables them to find and target TFE’s spammers.

Typical example:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Minimum pricing.":

Wow, incrеdiblе blog layout! How long have you beеn bloggіng for?
you made blogging look eаsy. Τhe overall looκ οf your web site is magnifіcent, as wеll as the сontеnt!
Visit my website -
  (Insert spammer of your choice)

Your mission if you wish to accept it. (Pays minimum wage).

Saturday 8 December 2012

Flight safety and Hobbits

Air New Zealand has a novel approach to safety on their aircraft. Sit back an enjoy a safe flight.

H/T Theo

Friday 7 December 2012

Bugger the Bankers

H/T to the Wasp's nest where I shamelessly purloined it.

Wednesday 5 December 2012


Will Greenies never learn? First they were told that DiHydrogen Monoxide was a deadly killer (Water to you and me), now they’re being led to believe that wearing a breathing mask filter will save the planet from their CO2 emissions.
“Every human being exhales about 2.5 pounds of CO2 per day and 7 billion people equals 14 billion(ish) pounds of CO2 daily that is exhaled. So this mask would filter CO2 from your breath. Which is kind of cool, because it would reduce your personal carbon footprint on the earth.”
Would you be willing to wear that for a few hours a day? While you sleep? How about your children? Pets?
Alas, science.

Makes you wonder about the gullibility of some people

Monday 3 December 2012

Those gracious days.

Those were the days when smoking was the norm.

Up to 70% of men smoked and a sizeable coterie of women did so also. Every home was littered with ashtrays, even those whose occupants didn’t partake of the pleasure. You only had to say “Do you mind if I smoke” and a plentiful supply of  ash trays would appear as if by magic. Even the bedroom was not out of bounds.

In those days smoking was permitted everywhere. Cinemas, buses (Top deck only), offices, pubs (Natch), trains, aircraft, & just about everywhere.

Then about twenty years ago the Nu puritans started to gain the ascendant. Slowly but surely they pushed the line that “Smoking kills”. Regardless of the fact that smokers knew the risks and accepted  as a fact of life, smokers might one day be struck down with lung cancer.

As the Nu puritans, showered with government money, became bolder, more and more diseases were added to the list of smoking related diseases. Cardiovascular, cancer of the Asoephegous (supply your own spelling if you’re a nosy nu puritan reading this post), gum disease, etc. Nothing was off limits to the nu puritans.

Slowly but surely the creep of prohibition set in. Bans on public transport, planes, etc. Then private offices were to have smoking rooms, etc. The evil of second-hand smoke

Of course the governments of the time, seeing their tax revenue falling, jumped on the band wagon of nu health, and vowed to save the nation by increasing tax on tobacco. This of course gave legitimacy  to the nu puritans, who have since redoubled their efforts to de-normalisation of the smoker.

So then they came for the pubs and clubs. The hysterical cry arose “We must save the bar people from dying of second hand smoke”, Of course they didn’t care that they would put thousands of staff out of work, many who smoked, and the rest, glad that they had employment. The government seemed to fail to understand that pubs are actually private premises. But then again when have you known an intelligent politician.

Of course the nu puritans have won the battles so far, but the hardcore  of us proud smokers will never give in. Unless the government bans tobacco completely (Do you think they will want to lose the £11.5 billion in tobacco revenue? If you do then find another planet to live on), then the nu puritans will have lost the war.

It’s a war of time and resolve. We can get through the display bans and plain packaging and though I may not see it in my life time we shall prevail.


You’re next fatties, drinkers, salt likers, etc ,etc,etc. The template is in place and now being used.


arnott v harbutt

Can you guess which one is the nu puritan?

Is it the ASHen faced one on the left or the comely wench on the right?

(The clue is in the text)

Saturday 1 December 2012

Minimum pricing.


A very good rant over at the The thing is on the iniquities of minimum pricing. Well worth the read.