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Sunday 31 May 2015

Excuses for lack of posting.

I’ve been somewhat busy for several reasons.

1. It fell to me (It always does) to arrange a holiday abroad for all of my family. On being instructed on when and where we were holidaying,  it was left up to me to ensure it happened. This meant that I was in charge of remitting the deposit which is a headache in itself attempting to transfer money abroad in euros.

It doesn’t help that not everyone would be travelling on the same dates. (14 people).

Hire cars have to be arranged. Some with child seats and some without.

Foreign currency is a must, bearing in mind that the country we are travelling to could default on its payment to the EU. (I’m looking at you, Greece).

Two villas were required and need to have a plethora of high chairs, cots etc for the little ones.

Here’s a pic of one of the slums.

And the bar.

2. Mrs FE decided some months ago she needed a bigger kitchen. This has resulted in numerous changes in architect drawings (Why can’t women get it right first time), due to changes of layout.I’ve persuaded her that there is no need to change the old kitchen into a utility room and toilet and the utility room and toilet into an office. Finally she agreed that the utility room and toilet would stay as it was and the old kitchen would become an office. (3 months it took me to make her see the logic in that).

3. Slates have been falling of the roof at an alarming rate and a new roof needs to be fitted. Unfortunately this needs to be done before the kitchen is started otherwise the cost will be doubled due to the exorbitant cost of scaffolding. I’m trying to co-ordinate roofing repairs with builders start dates. I’ve a feeling that I’ll still be dealing with that on holiday at this rate.

That’s my excuse for not posting.

To think that some years ago I looked after multi million projects. I must be getting old.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

How to give a cat a pill. Now with graphics.

How to Give a Cat a Pill
  Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby.
Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.  As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.
Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

  Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.
Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

  Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

  Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand.
Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger.  Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

  Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.
Call spouse in from the garden.

  Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.
Ignore low growls emitted by cat.  Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth.  Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

  Retrieve cat from curtain rail.
Get another pill from foil wrap.  Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains.  Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

  Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit.
Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw

  Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans and drink one beer to take taste away.  Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10.  Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed.
Get another pill.  Open another beer.  Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing.  Force mouth open with dessert spoon.  Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

  Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges.  Drink beer.  Fetch bottle of scotch.  Pour shot, drink.
Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot.  Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect.  Toss back another shot.  Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
12.  Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from the top of the tree across the road.  Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.
Take last pill from foil wrap.

  Using heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed, tie the little *&#%^'s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table.  Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak.  Be rough about it.  Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

  Consume remainder of scotch.  Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room.  Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye.  Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15.  Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1.  Wrap it in bacon.
2.  Toss it in the air.

Saturday 23 May 2015

Militant Christian bakers capture Brighton, destroy historical gay sites

Reports are coming in from the southern province of East Sussex that a fundamentalist force of Christian bakers, cake decorators and cream fillers have worked themselves up into an extreme state and seized control of Britain’s ancient gay capital, Brighton, vowing to destroy every remnant of it.
Several sites of special sexual interest have already been bulldozed, including the Pink Moustache gay bar, Glitterballs nightclub and the Pumping Muscle gym – you know, the one that..............

Read the rest here

Thursday 14 May 2015

Common warfare.

I was watching the telebox tonight and it appears that in Burundi are having a bit of a spat about who their president should be. There are so many of these types of conflicts going on and you can see why. Cheap weapons.

Most of the anti war brigade always castigate the western nations for arms sales but maybe they should be looking elsewhere. What is the most common conflict weapon of choice? The AK47

The AK-47 is a selective-firegas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known in the Soviet documentation as Avtomat Kalashnikova (RussianАвтомат Калашникова). It is also known as KalashnikovAK, or in Russian slang, Kalash.
Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year of World War II (1945). After the war in 1946, the AK-47 was presented for official military trials. In 1948, the fixed-stock version was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS (S—Skladnoy or "folding"), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In 1949, the AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces[8] and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact.
Even after six decades the model and its variants remain the most popular and widely used assault rifles in the world because of their substantial reliability under harsh conditions, low production costs compared to contemporary Western weapons, availability in virtually every geographic region and ease of use. The AK-47 has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces worldwide, and was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. As of 2004, out of the estimated 500 million firearms worldwide, approximately 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, three-quarters of which are AK-47s.[3]

Over 20 years ago my ship was seconded to the UN to assist in peacekeeping in Angola As you can imagine after 20 years of civil war the country was awash with weaponry. During our time in Angola we were mainly stationed in the southern port of Lobito. The caring and sharing UN lent the ship a minibus for use during our stay. This was used for all manner of trips including trips to a safe bar (Can of beer $2*) on a spit of land outside the town. The trouble was you had to go through some dodgy areas to get there which meant having a welsh guardsman from our protection company, having to ride shot gun. After a couple of weeks I was advised that I could obtain an asset for the minibus's protection from the local police station.

Arriving at the police station I was astounded to be offered a selection of killing means at knockdown prices. Anti tank mine $8, Anti personnel mine $5, and last but not least an AK47 with a thirty round magazine for $1. (I turned down the 4 barrelled ant-air craft artillery as impracticable for a minibus).

I took the AK 47. A cheap, cheerful, and very effective weapon.

And we all lived happily ever after.

* Bloody expensive when you consider that a medium civil servant only earnt the equivalent of $8 dollars per month.

Wednesday 13 May 2015


Yesterday I was at my local Tesco's store buying a large bag of My Dog dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.
What did she think I had an elephant? So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Dog Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but I'd lost 10 kilograms before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with My Dog nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit me.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. I'm now banned from Tesco's
Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Taxes under labour

This is what you can expect:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100...
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this...

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
The sixth would pay £3.
The seventh would pay £7..
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

So, that's what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20". Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected.

They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men?
The paying customers?

How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realised that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they
subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% saving).

The seventh now paid £5 instead of £7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% saving).

The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% saving).

The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a pound out of the £20 saving," declared the sixth man.

He pointed to the tenth man,"but he got £10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound too. It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back, when I got only £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works.

The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction.

Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible