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Friday, February 26, 2010

Updated Weather Forecast

Last week's forecast of a lot of rain, potential of a bit of snow and potential for some milder weather during the middle of the week, I think was pretty spot on, I'm pleased as the models were unusually confusing.

Anyone ready for Spring? Recent years have seen snow in March. And it could continue.

But first we have a possibility of a storm on Sunday. The exact track is unknown but it looks as though the worst of the winds will be in northern France, if that is the case then we could get snow in Reading. Potentially. Certainly a little further north of Reading would.

If the storm however tracks a bit further north then we would get heavy rain and severe gales.

Take your pick.

But after that it should settle down and next week will be much drier. It might even be sunny. But quite cool and increasingly cold towards the weekend with, yes, the potential for more snow showers on a cold easterly wind.

There is a tiny hope that the easterly may be a south-easterly, and if it does then we could expect after an initial cold couple of days, some pleasently mild weather. But south-easterlies are very very rare in the UK. The only reason I bother to mention it is that easterlies are very rare in the UK but that has been the source of our weather for much of the past few months...so anything could happen!

In summary, stormy maybe snow then drier but getting colder with maybe more snow.

Happy days :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life in Hull Part 1

I've just come across a story of a passenger who was upset that the bus was going the wrong way, so tried to hijack it and ended up biting the driver, and later a police officer.

Quite representative of Hull.

Her punishment was to pay £200 compensation to the driver and write an apology.

OK.

So where will the £200 come from? And can she actually write?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Dance Music Genre Title Alert

It has been a while.

My previous have been much better than the one I am about to announce in shame, backdoor trance, animinimal and semi-detached house being three of the better ones.

I am having a classification problem with certain tunes like Moda by Retro/Grade.

Are they electro? Disco? Techno? House? Well they are all of them but I tended towards techno and disco more.

So I thought, I need a new genre (for my own organisation sake - yes blah blah blah "its all house", whatever, I am just trying to organise my brain).

Anyway - techno disco became...wait for it...tesco.

I hang my head in shame.

I really do, and I am pleased that I can type whilst looking at the floor (ok I had to correct one spelling mistake).

Help!

The Importance of Cheryl Cole to Society

Yes, I am writing about Cheryl Cole.

The emergence of Cheryl Cole as the "nation's sweetheart" (so I read anyway) I predict will play an important role in reducing chav culture, reducing teenage pregnancy, increasing education levels and reducing crime committed, by the younger end of the population in the UK.

How come, you may ask?

Well my theory is that ever since Princess Diana died, the country has not really had a female figurehead to care about and follow that they can truly respect, that upholds certain standards and that the general population is able to look up to. And that your mum likes!

What we have had since 1997 is talentless vacuous slobs and wannabe chavs hogging the limelight - I'm thinking Jordon, Jade Goody and some bimbo called Jodie (I forget her last name, I think she is from Essex, I don't think her last name matters).

Hardly role models, hardly setting an example for the young to follow. Hence the downfall in societal standards and the perceived impression many have of Broken Britain (it isn't broken but that is another argument).

But Cheryl Cole on the other hand seems quite sweet, polite, well-dressed and perhaps has a modicum of talent (I cannot judge this but other people suggest she actually does).

She has the potential to grow her role as a role model for the young, and also to represent the UK internationally - pretty much like Princess Diana did.

So there - finally a celebrity I approve of that doesn't spend all weekend flying around the world playing repetitive beats in dark rooms to thousands of people off their head on a cocktail of drugs.

Though I still prefer a sausage roll.

Comments?

Sweeney Todd's Pie Chart Update

I am slowly going through all the pies that appeal at Sweeney Todds (in Reading). Here are the scores out of 10:

Chicken & ham - 8
Steak & Ale - 9
Mixed Game - 6.5 (Carrots? Did someone shoot a carrot? I should complain about false advertising, I would mind if it was sold as Mixed Game & Carrots)
Sweeneys - 4 (A mix of lamb, pork, beef and vegetables - it struggled to find a flavour of its own, hence its low score)

I think it will be Turkey & Bacon next.

Any recommendations or arguments?

Pork & Apple is rated 5.5 by Ellie

Forces of Hell

According to our chancellor (who I do not have the same amount of venomous disregard for as our prime minister), the 'forces of hell' were unleased upon him by 10 Downing Street when he said a while back that this recession would be the worst in 60 years.

Of course, he was right. Though he didn't go so far as to say that dictator Brown had caused it, or allowed it to happen.

Shame.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Historical Hurricane Path Plotting

Maybe it is just something for my interests but the link in the title gives access to the paths that hurricanes have taken in the US since 1850.

I found it interesting anyway!

Ministry of Sound to close?

So where will all London's crap promoters go if it does close?

Story link in title as usual

Friday, February 19, 2010

New Falklands War?

Well we have had two successful Gulf Wars - why not a second Falklands War?

Back in 1982, Maggie was at the height of her unpopularity (though I would argue not strictly her fault, she had a backlog of really serious problems from the second half of the 1970's to fix, and she was brave enough to fix things rather than placate people's selfish interests)...anyway along came the Argentinians and invaded the Falklands.

Maggie became a very popular Prime Minister almost overnight thanks to her tough action to defend our sovereignty.

Now the Argentinians are talking tough about wanting sovereignty over the islands, and are blocking shipping in certain areas around there. And as a side-issue there are talks of substantial oil deposits. Both the UK and Argentina have debt issues. Oil would be very useful.

Now call me sceptical but we have an election coming soon. If it made a very unpopular Maggie popular again, could it do the same for dictator Brown? And I am not an expert in Argentinian politics but I believe the Kirchner's who are currently ruling, are not popular either.

Could it even be some kind of dodgy underground agreement between the leaders of the two countries to make them more popular?

Don't Do Cake

Anyone remember the news story over the deadly drug cake? Video link in title.

Classic Sets

Check the link in the title for pages of sets to listen to that are really old. And some from 2010 too, but it is the old ones that I am pointing out

Sasha, Robert Owens in 1990, Sasha & Laurent Garnier in 1991 (yes in Plymouth!) Grooverider, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Junior Vasquez. Danny Tenaglia & Claudio Coccoluto in 1993, Deep Dish in 1998, Loco Dice in 2006 (ok maybe not so rare!)

There is allsorts - I thoroughly recommend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Updated Weather Forecast

OK, my expectation for milder weather around 20th is defunct. We will stay with the cool/cold weather, and it will often be unsettled.

On the plus side, Friday, Saturday and Sunday should stay dry and there will be some sunshine. There is though a chance of some heavy rain/snow developing either late on Saturday or Sunday - but only a chance. The nights will be noticeably cold with a good frost (unless it rains/snows).

For next week, expect a fair amount of rain. Or snow? Rain is the most likely outcome for Berkshire where I live, but some parts of England will get snow. It could feasibly happen any day.

Equally there is the potential of a milder day or two in the middle of the week, say 10'C.

I expect this cool and wet pattern to continue until the end of February, perhaps March.

Any questions?

Making Your World Better, Part 2

Ever get annoyed about the dust and dirt in between the keys on your keyboard and want to know how to clean it?

Buy an Air Duster. For intensive blowing action. Only a couple of quid on Ebay.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

David Cameron Speaks My Language (at last)

“You will not see endless relaunches, initiatives, summits – politics and government as some demented branch of the entertainment industry. You will see a government that understands that there are times it needs to shut up, leave people alone and gets on with the job it was elected to do.

“Quiet effectiveness: that is the style of government to which I aspire. And I also know that because we believe in trusting people, sharing responsibility, redistributing power: things will go wrong. There will be failures.

“But we will not turn that fact of life into the tragedy of Labour’s risk-obsessed political culture where politicians never say or do anything that really matters, or really changes anything, for fear of getting some bad headlines.”


Ahh, responsibility, trust, redistribution of power...now that is what I want to hear :-) Not that I was ever likely to vote anything other than Conservative even if a green looney was running it, such is my hatred for Gordon the clown and what he has done to the country all in the name of keeping himself in power.

Get A Job



That is all I have to say.

January's Inflation Figures

So the score is 3.5% (link in title)

Is it out of control? Or will it fall later in the year?

Will my rather wild predicition of 10% inflation at some point this year come true...after all when inflation for November reached 1.9% (nearly half what it is now...just two months later), the Bank of England said it expected it to go above 2% in early 2010.

Roll on pancakes at Casa Wintang to celebrate

You Think London is Expensive?

Reading in the Economist last night, I discovered that the most expensive city in the world is Luanda, in Angola.

Bit of a surprise as I expected it to be Tokyo.

Anyway of more interest:

A meal $100
Hotel room $500-$600
Car & driver hire for a day $500
Monthly rent on poor to average 2-bedroom flat $7,000 or decent flat $15,000

60% of the population live on less than $2 a day.

London wasn't even in the top 30 - the year before it was in the top 10.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweeney Todd's Pie Chart

I am slowly going through all the pies that appeal at Sweeney Todds (in Reading). Here are the scores out of 10:

Chicken & ham - 8
Steak & Ale - 9
Mixed Game - 6.5 (Carrots? Did someone shoot a carrot? I should complain about false advertising, I would mind if it was sold as Mixed Game & Carrots)

I think it will be Turkey & Bacon next.

Any recommendations or arguments?

Pork & Apple is rated 5.5 by Ellie

Steve Lawler at Space Closing Video

Link in the title. Hmm :-)

Pink Trilby



Without a doubt, I require such an item. Shame about the price...and the fact it is a designer label. And the guy looks like a dick. Oh well. Maybe in time for Ibiza...

Dumb Arseholes of the Week Award

I feel that The New Economics Foundation deserves an award for being completely dumb (link in title).

They argue that the working week should be reduced to 21 hours.

They claim it would reduce unemployment. I doubt it. Why would an employer want two employees working 21 hours each when one employee could work 40 hours?

All I can see is a massive reduction in productivity, and GDP, just at the time when the country needs to be more productive to attracy more investment.

They also claim it would be good for the planet. Hmm.

Completely fucking stupid idea.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Slight Weather Update

Ok, on Tuesday night into Wednesday, I am pretty sure the weather will start off with rain but there is an increasing chance of snow as there could be a slight easterly later on.

It's still 50/50 but if it does snow, it will be about 5cm overnight I suspect but fairly transient and won't last long at all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Updated Weather Forecast

Just a quick one. Cold weather to continue to around 20th February on current expectations. However the chance of snow is small. There will be a weather system coming down from the north on Tuesday/Wednesday however in the south it is more likely to be rain or sleet - or wet snow at best. But there is a chance of disruption.

Come 20th March (ish), we should get a south-westerly wind bringing somewhat milder but wetter conditions.

Summer will come eventually!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Has Luciano Upset Sven?

Link in the title as usual, Ibiza clubbing news, seems Luciano is going to do a weekly event, one assumes this is the Cocoon regular rumoured not to be playing Cocoon this season.

And apparently Sven is upset. Bless.

Give me Sven over Luciano any day. Unless I suddenly grow breasts in which case I'll surely fall in love with Luciano.

Retro-Grade - Moda

This is the most amazing disco-house track in the world, a full 9 minutes of modern day Space Terrace beauty. Youtube link in the title.

I hope you enjoy :-)

Get In! Or More Accurately - Get Out

The news today is that 46,000 homes were repossesed last year - a 14 year high (link in title).

That figure is far too low for my liking.

I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who borrowed what they cannot afford. They all pushed up house prices so many young people who cannot afford them. So they deserve to suffer the consequences of their bad decision-making (I'm not saying that I want anyone homeless, just not to be home-owners if they cannot afford it).

Really, the Bank of England should have put up interest rates many years ago when the bubble was forming. Regulatory authorities should have had their eye on what the banks were doing to allow this. And the Labour government should have spent some of their vast sums generated from stamp duty on new council housing stock, thereby increasing the stock of housing and reducing demand (yes a Conversative saying build more council houses!).

Of course, the Labour government would not dare upset the middle classes whose votes they depended on for re-election in 2001 or 2005, by introducing a policy which may have made their houses worth less.

Hence we are in a bit of a pickle with the old economy. All of the above are to blame for the recession. Not just the bankers. Not just the government.

Magic Roundabout

Who remembers it?!

Still hasn't lost its charm :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pound - Euro Exchange Rate

For a while I have been expecting the pound's value to plummet against the Euro, possibly to something like 80p to the Euro, thanks to our huge budget defecit and well, screwed economy.

But I forgot about the effect of countries like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain on the Euro itself.

Those countries are closer to economic collapse than the UK (as we just spent £200billion on papering over the cracks to try and help Gordon Brown get re-elected Hugo Chavez style) and had they not been in the Euro their currencies could well have been devalued by now - at least in the case of Greece anyway, and then the others could follow suit as market jitters went elsewhere.

Hence worries about several Euro-zone countries could lead to the Euro becoming significantly weaker.

Whether that would translate into cheaper holidays to Ibiza or worries about the UK economy would just translate into both currencies equally losing value, I'm not sure.

If I remember correctly, The World Bank thinks the long-term Pound-Euro exchange rate is circa 1.3. It would be nice if it got back to that level.

Time to cheer that we are not the only very badly run economy in Europe :-)

The link in the title goes to some very mis-guided opinions on the BBC website about Greece being bailed out by the EU.

Which I am fully against.

It is like me taking out loans for £50k, spending on prostitutes and cocaine, and then asking my friends to bail me out when my creditor's want their money back.

Not that I am incinuating that those high up in political institutions in any country would ever spend their (taxpayer's) money on prostitutes or cocaine.

Lost The Game?

I just lost the game.

In case you don't know the rules:

You are now in the game
The object of the game is not to think about the game.
If you think about it then you must announce your defeat.
Then you are back in the game.

Facebook group in the title.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Rotterdam Termination Source - Poing

I think this was the very first techno track that I appreciated. Released in 1992, I was aged just 12.

Thankfully techno has matured since then!

Click the title to have a listen

Making Your World Better, Part 1

One of the reasons that I write this blog is that I want to enlighten my reader's lives.

This is a very practical measure.

The self-scanning machines at the likes of Sainsbury's are excellent for efficiency, I find. However I do not need to be constantly talked through the whole process. I know what I am doing. Please place item in bagging area. Have you swiped your nectar card. Insert cash. Shut the fuck up.

Well, to my delight, I discovered that before you start scanning, you can change the volume - a few clicks can mute the voice so all you hear is the satisfying bleeps as you scan your purchases.

At least at your till anyway. Enjoy :-)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Efficiency

I like efficiency. I really do.

Whenever someone asks me what do I want to do with my career - part of my answer is to make processes more efficient.

So imagine my current displeasure in the advice that a task I do 2-3 times a day on average, and takes about 5 minutes, now needs a labourious amount of extra paperwork attached to it, so each of these tasks will now take about 20-30 minutes.

For reasons unexplained. I only have the instruction. No explanation is available to me.

I am fighting it.

But on the plus side, it gives me something else to moan about, so really, I could not be happier :-)

Richly Yawning

I came across this today. Now I do like Richie Hawtin's music, not as much as I used to but still I do like it. However...

CONTAINER is an event series seen at the intersection of conceptual ideas between the electronic labels m-nus and raster-noton.
In the last ten years both labels have set high standards for sound and visual performance.

With a strong affinity to minimalist design and a compelling musical catalogues, the collaboration between Richie Hawtin, Olaf Bender,
Carsten Nicolai and other label artists breathes new life into the electronic music scene.

CONTAINER events introduce an experimental platform of performative interaction that promotes the labels' overlapping conceptual structures to form a unique laboratory of sound and visual expression.


Were it a little later in the day and myself more awake then I would write a somewhat more elaborate descreditation.

For now, all I have to say, is...

BULLSHIT

Thursday, February 04, 2010

When Times Are Hard, Ask David James For Advice

I am copying from the BBC website here, forgive me

* * *

Pompey and England goalkeeper David James told BBC Radio 5 live of the "frustration" felt by the players.

"You try and tell the lads that you do get paid even if it's a week late, 10 days or whatever - we are getting paid one way or the other," said James.

"We're not sure if we've got anyone else to sell to get paid.

"The fact is we do get paid and there are other clubs with players who aren't getting paid and historically there have been other clubs that players haven't got paid, so it could be worse."

* * *

Its me again. If you click the link in the title, you will see it is in relation to Portsmouth Football Club's financial situation.

I am commenting on the player's financial worries. Yes, I agree with David James, it could be worse.

Now maybe because I earn roughly an average wage, I just do not understand the financial pressures on these footballers. See I thought ahead when financial bad times hit, and saved a little money just in case I lost my job (though I was always completely confident in my employer's financial stability).

It seems that David James is saying to the other footballers at the club, "don't worry if you don't get your £10,000.00 (maybe I am over-estimating their wages but I suspect not) that you are owed for this week's hard work...it will come some time".

If I was on a wage of £10,000.00 a week , and it wasn't paid on time, oh my what would I do?

Kick something?


Oh and don't even get me started on his grammar.

Music To Download/Listen in February

Each month I intend on compiling a list of sets that I have found that I am downloading, or have been recommended to me. I will update it as the month goes on rather than have lots of individual new posts. Please feel free to make suggestions.

The first is a discovery by my very good friend, Matt Powell

Joris Voorn Part 1

Joris Voorn Part 2

Mikhail - I've never heard of him previously but this is the future - minimal disco

Loco Dice at Warehouse Project

Timo Maas

Marc Romboy

Ripperton


Ivan Smagghe at Fabrik (he was fantastic at fabric's 30th birthday!)


Italoboyz

Magda & Heartthrob at T-Bar on NYE

Seth Troxler 5 hour set part 1

Seth Troxler 5 hour set part 2

An hour of Ricardo Villalobos from fabric - listen live

Troy Pierce

Christian Smith Essential Mix

Loco Dice

Damian Lazarus

Seth Troxler listen live or download

Heidi on Radio 1

Zip & Raresh

Marc Romboy

Josh Wink

Marc Romboy

Thanks to my delightful friend Ellie Gibson who assisted me with the html stuff!

John Terry to become a Zulu?

The news story in the link suggests that the leader of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has 3 wives and has just fathered a child by another woman.

And he is the president.

Apparently, Zulus, of which he is one, practise polygamy.

So, problem solved - if John Terry explains that he is a Zulu and this is expected of him, we can carry on regardless.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Power Shortages

Just in case you didn't realise how useless our current government is - they have allowed a situation to develop where we could have power black-outs in the UK within a few years.

Though if the recession gets much worse then industry will use less, people will less be able to afford it so will use less, and all will be good :-)

(Link in title)

John Terry - My Opinion

From what the newspapers say, it seems that John Terry has been having extra-marital relations with one of his England team-mates partners.

Hull fans last night were not too impressed. Perhaps a little infantile, but well, my sense of humour is willing to go down-hill - footballers are hardly upstanding members of society usually.

Some were quite predictable such as "Terry, Terry, where's your wife"
And "Ashley, Ashley, watch your wife"

But my favourite by far was "Mrs Bridge is going down"

Wait a minute though...if that was me who was lucky enough to have had relations with two hot women - I would get a slap on the back. I would get kudos. So why the clamour for John Terry to resign as England captain?

If you ask me, he should run for Prime Minister. Alternatively he should be given a peerage so he can sit in the House of Lords.

There is a precedent - remember Bill Clinton?

Valentine's Day Suggestions

Now according to House of Fraser junk e-mail I received, this catching ornamental birdcage is the perfect present for someone on Valentine's Day.

It can also be used as a hurricane lantern for pillar candles.

What the fuck?

(You need to click the link on the title)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Gordon Brown's New Referendum

So Gordon Brown has promised a referendum on parliamentary reform.

Is this the same kind of referendum promise as the referendum on the European Constitution?

The Meaning Of Work (or not)

I really do not know why I bother.

Well quite often I don't bother, especially on a Friday.

Today I chased an internal department for an answer to something, which yes might be a little time consuming, might take them 30 minutes or so when most of my queries to them take about 2 minutes.

But my original request was dated 23rd March 2009. It is 2nd February 2010. I think this is the 7th time I have chased.

Granted I have an e-mail dated 24th September 2008 that I am yet to respond to, but I spent the best part of two days in 2008 only to conclude that there was no debt to recover, just a myriad of time-consuming credit notes to raise, hence I am ignoring it.

Come September 2010, I can write-off the whole balance on this particular account.

If of course I still do this job. Which clearly I don't want to. And haven't wanted to for quite some time now. Motivation is low, but I still achieve. Just a little less than when I was motivated.

I blame the recession. It persuades people to stay in their current role, as it is safer, so therefore there are less other open positions to be able to apply for. And means that people enjoy their same old jobs less, and are less motivated to do a good job.

I better go collect some more debt.

The True Meaning Of Class

Monday, February 01, 2010

Cartoon

A little cartoon :-)

Top 100 Clubs

Guess what I voted for?!

I'll give you a clue, it wasn't Mango.

February 1st - Weather Forecast

My original long-term prediction of a cold and snowy February, made many months ago, may have got off to a surprisingly accurate start.

However I now need to amend it however as milder (and wetter) weather is likely to be the dominant force for the next 7-10 days.

But I am still sticking to my guns for the remainder of the month, with much colder weather from around 10th-14th onwards.

I do fancy a relatively dry start to Spring, though a wet and warm May. And summer? Much drier than the last few years for most of it (probably one wet month, most likely July), but far from the 2004 heat-wave.

My Lack Of Motivation - Documented

I was in the mood for an argument this morning, and I achieved this within an hour of work.

The comments in my appraisal document are somewhat different to the appraisal meeting where there was nothing negative. So I have fought back.

Although James is in general a very bright and efficient team member and usually a good performer, this year he lacked motivation and drive, despite several team motivational endeavors and support made available. It is a fact that the workload increased this year. However, despite the extra aid supplied to James to ensure his workload is set to a more manageable and effective level, James's performance dropped significantly in 2009 as he recognized it himself, which is already a step forward to the route of improvement. A Senior Management deadline has also been missed (BPP) . Year end figures against his 2009 financial target will however only be available in the end of December.

My response:

I am very happy with 2009, I think I have made an excellent contribution towards all of my targets, the team targets and the company's imperitives as a whole. I admit that I have somewhat lacked motivation at times in the second half of the year, but this was due to the significant amount of stress received due to the previously deteoriated relationship with my manager (now thankfully repaired and working well) and the exceptionally long time that the grievance procedure took to resolve it, the lack of objectives, the frustration over the lack of support from other departments such as AR and many continually unresolved issues such as hundreds of accounts missing from Collections Management, poor responses from Atradius, amongst other grievances.
The deadline was missed for BPPs, however I would like to think that it would not have been had I received the instruction to complete them two months beforehand as I believe I should have done.
Overall though, I do believe that I have performed very well, given the circumstances, and expected improvements within the department and a focus on resolving the difficulties that I face in being as effective as I would like, will be resolved to allow for another very good year, and hopefully further improved year, in 2010.

-----------------------------

Anyone else fancy an argument? I am well up for it :-)

The amount of shit I had to put up with last year thanks to ineffective management and the lack of response and support from other departments, makes me seriously wonder why I bother at all. And why am I still here? Oh yeah, annual bonus payment so I can afford to go to Ibiza. They better be paying one!!