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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shimmy Sham Sham

Everyone needs a little Shimmy Sham Sham this year I think - click the title link for a fantastic beautiful house tune. Hello sunshine :-)

Updated Weather Forecast

I think I was spot on for last week.

Those of you that follow my updated weather forecasts on a regular basis may recall that I have consistently been saying that winter isn't quite finished.

I think this will be the case next week, with noticeably colder temperatures from Monday onwards - think hats, scarves and gloves.

But first we have a weekend to get through, with average temperatures. Friday will see showers, Saturday less showers and could be quite pleasant.

Then it is all downhill with rain on Sunday and possible Monday too when it starts to get colder.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be noticeably colder, unsettled and pretty shit really. And it might even be cold enough for snow, or at least snow mixed in with rain.

Towards the Easter weekend it will get less cold, and also drier.

I'm hopeful that by Easter Sunday and Monday it might be quite pleasant.

And then that will be the last of winter!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Facebook = Casual Sex?

According to a professor, Facebook has given people a new way to meet multiple partners for casual sexual encounters.

I am still yet to see my increase in casual sexual encounters. On the bright side I do not have any new sexually transmitted diseases, which according to the story in the link is a minor down-side to increased sexual encounters.

Higher Alcohol Prices

According to researchers, higher alcohol prices would lead to health benefits for all drinkers.

I disagree.

If the price of essentials such as alcohol and beer was increased, then I will have less money for nice-to-have's such as fruit and vegetables.

Therefore I will be less healthy. Just waiting to see how expensive alcohol becomes after today's budget - thanks Gordon Brown and Labour for destroying the country and our economy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

4000 Tunes

I like my music. And I think it quite apt that the 4000th track that I have added to my iTunes library is by Sven Vath! No planning went into it, I just listen to tracks in order as how I downloaded them, and this is the 4000th one I have kept.

Link in title

Updated Weather Forecast

Well I promised you warmer weather for this week :-) Granted I also said Monday would be cold and it wasn't really...I also said I thought next weekend could (and I did say could) be really warm but now I think I got a little over excited about what was realistically a slim prospect.

We are going to get some rain at times over the next few days but be thankful as this is what has brought the nicer temperatures. For those that don't know, winds circulate anti-clockwise around a low pressure so if low pressure is sat to our south-west like it has been, it will suck up air from the south-west or even the south which tends to be a warm direction. But then the low pressure system wants to move across us which it is now doing, bringing some rain.

The next week will be more unsettled but good temperatures will continue and I either expect fairly moderate rain or sharp showers, when it does rain.

There will be sunshine too, but not as much as of late. Tuesday and Wednesday look quite pleasant, albeit not necessarily dry.

I'm still thinking late taste of winter for Easter though...fairly dry April, wet but warm May, mostly dry June but with some very wet short periods and not overly warm, and much drier summer than the last couple. Increasingly confident that there could be some really hot weather at times - though my confidence was originally very low so an increase isn't too much to get excited about yet! Also thinking cold winter again for 2010/11.

Screw You Holiday Inn - I Win

You may remember I wrote to the Holiday Inn asking them to explain how they would ensure the all attending the London Olympics in 2012 would have an unforgettable experience. Here is the response:

Dear Mr Winfield,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Guest Relations regarding the London 2012 Games.

Please allow me to advise that as IHG are the official hotel sponsors for the 2012 Games we would ensure that every guests stay is satisfactory.

It is IHG’s goal to consistently provide superior service and accommodations therefore your comments are very important to us. We appreciate the candid feedback we receive and welcome any opportunity to make improvements.

Once again, Mr Winfield, thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

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So there we have it. They will only ensure that every guests stay in satisfactory. I believe this falls short of unforgettable.

A satisfactory steak is far different to an unforgettable steak.

Making Your World Better Part 3

If you are ever unsure which way around to put letter-headed paper in the printer, put 4 sheets in at once, each a different way around, and print 4 copies - 1 is guaranteed to be correct and it will save you walking to and from the printer.

Making Your World Better, by James Winfield

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ugly Managers



So Iain Dowie has been employed as Hull City manager.

The man who helped relegate Newcastle, did relegate Charlton and got sacked shortly after, and recently got sacked at both Coventry and QPR. And is known for playing the long-ball game. Oh and is horrifically ugly.

Oh and last time we tried to employ him, he turned us down, quote "it would be a slap in his families face if he were moved to Hull".

This was about 4 years ago, and we ended up with our saviour, Phil Brown instead.

I wonder why Mr Dowie is now interested in the post? I have been to Hull since he originally turned us down and I can confirm with certainty that it is even more of a shit-hole than it used to be (recessionary effects - lots more closed businesses and shops, lots more unemployed people, etc). Perhaps his family have now dis-owned him?

However his saving grace seems to be how ugly he is. He will fit in well as the people of Hull are not especially known for their beauty (I think I can get away with saying that as I spent the first 18 years of my life there).

Oh and we were quite used to the long ball game in the many many years of shit managers that preceeded Phil Brown.

I have to admit, I did rather enjoy the Championship. And there are 8 more games of football each season.

Plant Food

I note that the death of two young people is being attributed to Mephedrone, with a side mention that they were drinking heavily into the early hours.

But as drinking kills thousands every year and hospitalises thousands too, maybe tens of thousands, that would hardly be a sensational news story, unlike something fluffy sounding like Meow Meow as The Sun calls it.

Oh and if anyone needs to feel a little more intellectual than they are, have a look at the message board on The Sun's website. Hilariously inciteful into how the under-class think. Albeit worrying too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One Brown Gone - One To Go

Sad news yesterday as it was announced that Phil Brown has been relieved of his managerial duties.

I can understand it in some ways thanks to his bizarre substitutions, team choices and desire to defend when we are an attacking side. Or maybe he is far too implicated in the Paul Duffen scandal and had to go? However the time to get rid of him was in October, not now.

I feel the need to post to celebrate his achievements.

1. Rescue us from almost certain relegation to League 1 in his first half season.
2. Take us to Wembley for the first time in our 100-odd year history.
3. Win at Wembley to get us promoted to the highest division for the first time ever.
4. The miraculous start to Premier League life, beating Arsenal, Tottenham etc and being the talk of the league.
5. Somehow keeping us up even though nobody ever expected us to finish above bottom.
6. Annoying Arsene Wenger.
7. Taught thousands of people how to sing.
8. Kept a mass of sunbed companies in business in Hull.
9. Allegedly persuaded a girl not to jump off the Humber Bridge.
10. Defending Bulland and Barmby for fighting in front of 100 woman from the Women's Institute on International Women's Day.

Oh well relegation here we come.

Now, how do we get rid of the other Brown?

I Would Rather Be Friends With A Sewer

My idea of a Facebook Friend, is someone that I have at least met, and have some vague connection with. Maybe someone I work with, a friend of a friend who joined us for drinks, etc etc. Or a girl I want sexual favours from. Or someone I just recognise from going out - as long as they are human beings.

So I got home last night to find that not only a self-storage company had requested my friendship, but Expressgyms. A gym, for fuck's sake. Do I look like I would ever have a drink with a gym? Go clubbing with a gym? Shake hands with a gym? Hug a gym? Enter a gym? No.

So a quick message was sent - "I would rather be friends with a sewer".

Of course, I received a message back:

"Thanks James , sorry to hear that could you please take the time to tell me why? My name is Steve Brown I am manager and sales director of Expressgym. I take it you may have had a bad experience in the past? All I am doing is trying to promote my business through this network and I am sorry to have bothered you.
Steve. "

I do feel slightly bad now but still I feel aggrieved for a company abusing my potential friend-ship. I haven't sent my reply yet, I am still thinking.

Oh and to top it all off last night, I receievd a friend request for the purpose of being a neighbour in some Farmville-type game. If she was hot then perhaps but she was quite the opposite of that definition.

Friday, March 12, 2010

27/28th March Weather

Just a note that it could be 20'C and sunny for the last weekend of March. I want it noted in case it comes off. I'm quite hopeful though it would be just a couple of days.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Updated Weather Forecast

Last week was very easy to forecast, and I got it right - and we should get our 10'C this weekend that I predicted, and maybe even 11'C!

But on Monday the winds swing round to the north-west and blast some cold weather down again, though this will be transitory, and might not happen until the evening.

And then we have the prospect of some very welcomed early spring warmth. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday are my favoured days where there is a good chance of us actually reaching 15'C - a temperature not seen here since November.

However I am not so sure of what the conditions will be like. There is no significant rain in prospect, though there could be showers on Sunday.

The warmth of mid-week might be a cloudy warmth but I do hope not.

And into next weekend I think there is a good chance of a good sunny Sunday.

In summary, mostly dry with some rather pleasant days mixed in.

I think that is a good weather forecast :-)

Though I still think we haven't seen the last of winter...I'm waiting for April now.

How Many Things Can Annoy Me In One Day?

08:20 - Me. I left my mother's birthday card at home and had to go back for it, missing the bus.
08:50 - The bus driver didn't give me a free journey, I thought he might as the ticket looks like it wasn't used yesterday.
09:05 - No decent sized glasses left in the kitchen at work...though if I were on time...
09:58 - The TV license people now know of our existence.
12:02 - An e-mail at work that I did not want to see which ruins months of preparation, investigation and work.
12:12 - Someone external not correctly reading my instructions, thereby causing a loss.
12:20 - Sven Vath definitely not playing Fabrik in Madrid apparently.
14:06 - An arsehole of a debtor rudely making unreasonable demands.
14:54 - I just discovered that I bought Philadelphia Light rather than full-fat. How dumb can I be?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

David Cameron's HQ Responds

Now for those of you not so familiar with me, I like to write to complain or give advice. This time I thought I needed to advise the Conservative Party on their campaigning (I'm sure this went down well with career politicians and people who probably spent years studying politics, but hey at least I got a response. And only 10 days after I sent my message).

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

I thought I should give you some feedback.

Throughout my group of friends, of whom few care about politics like I do, they are generally aware of what damage Gordon Brown and Labour have done to the country, but things are not really bad enough in their lives for them personally to be upset enough to be motivated politically.

As much as they would like rid of Gordon Brown, they don't actually think it would make any difference.

I believe that they understand why it needs to change and that it should - I don't think you need to hammer the message any more of what has gone wrong.

If the Conservative party want to win the next election, they have to advise people why to vote for them - not why to get rid of Labour/Gordon Brown as people already know why they want to get rid of them.

I expect currently most of my friends will not bother to vote.

Anyway, that is my feedback, I hope it helps as I would prefer a Conservative government (though I am also not convinced despite naturally being a Conservative!)

Kind regards
James

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

Dear James,



I am writing on behalf of David Cameron to thank you for your e-mail. We certainly take on board the points that you raise.



First, let me assure you that we are under no illusion as to the challenge that awaits and, of course, people are anxious about the forthcoming election and the state of our country.



We all know that with Labour in charge our country is heading in completely the wrong direction. We can’t go on like this. That is why there is a clear choice at this election between five more years of Gordon Brown’s tired government making things worse, or David Cameron and the Conservatives with the energy, leadership and values to get the country moving.



As you will have seen, David Cameron, George Osborne and the whole Conservative Party are working to make this a year for change. Change to get the country back on its feet. And change based on the Conservative values of responsibility and aspiration. This can be seen in our six key priorities for government:



1. Act now on debt to get the economy moving: we will deal with the deficit more quickly than Labour so that mortgage rates stay lower for longer with the Conservatives;
2. Get Britain working by boosting enterprise: we will cut corporation tax rates, abolish taxes on the first ten jobs created by new businesses, promote green jobs, and get people off welfare and into work;
3. Make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe: we will freeze council tax and raise the basic state pension, recognise marriage in the tax system and back couples in the benefits system, support young families with extra health visitors, and fight back against crime;
4. Back the NHS: we will increase spending on health every year, and make the NHS work for patients not managers;
5. Raise standards in schools: we will give teachers the power to restore discipline, and create new smaller schools;
6. Change politics: we will reduce the number of MPs, cut Whitehall and quangos by a third, and let taxpayers see where their money is being spent.



This isn’t some election it would be nice to win. It’s an election that for the sake of our country – for the sake of our broken economy, our broken society and our damaged politics – we’ve got to win. And if we all pull together then this country can have great hope for the future.



The choice is clear: five more years of Gordon Brown or change with the Conservatives. I do hope you will join us as we seek to change our country for the better.



Yours sincerely,



Lara Moreno Perez

David Cameron’s Correspondence Unit

Conservative Campaign Headquarters

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It is probably all generic and they just tick boxes mostly relevant to the topic of the e-mail but maybe they might take notice of my feedback.

And don't forget that a vote for David Cameron is also a vote for William Hague and Boris Johnson, two more likeable politicians!

Unforgettable Experiences

I saw a beer mat recently in the Holiday Inn, which stated:

"Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express will help to ensure that everyone attending the London 2012 Games, whether from the UK or abroad, whether an athlete or a fan, has an unforgettable experience."

Cue an e-mail to the Holiday Inn.

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

Dear Sir

I was in your Holiday Inn, Reading South, hotel on Friday 5th March.

I noticed in the bar, some beer mats which stated the following:

"Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express will help to ensure that everyone attending the London 2012 Games, whether from the UK or abroad, whether an athlete or a fan, has an unforgettable experience."

Now I have nothing again the Holiday Inn, it is a perfectly reasonable hotel chain, if a little bland.

But I do not understand how a somewhat bland hotel chain is going to ensure EVERYONE attending the games has an unforgettable experience.

How are you going to influence the lives of those who don't even pass through your hotel?

I would love to know, as it may affect my future decision making.

Kind regards
James Winfield

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


I must say that every time I have been in a Holiday Inn, it has been utterley forgettable. I think this may be false advertising. I do not understand how they can make such a claim.

I will let you know if I receive a response.

Morning Smells

This is advice for anyone who wishes to spend time with me, especially those who would like to interupt my reading of the political situation in Iraq.

Please refrain from smoking immediately before placing yourself in very close proximity to myself. Please also refrain from using half a bottle of aftershave to disguise the smell.

That is all I ask. I will even conduct conversation with you.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Updated Weather Forecast

I'm happy with my previous forecast - not spot on as my maybe's didn't come off as I thought they might but overall it is good.

And further to that if you check the forecast I made on 1st February - I predicted a dry start to spring - 4 days in and no rain!

And guess what? Miracles of all miracles there is no significant rain in this forecast. Or snow. Just a small chance of a little light rain tomorrow and a small chance of a wintry shower over the weekend.

Plenty of sunshine, some cloud at times though. However it will remain cold with a noticeable easterly wind, and overnight frosts at times. So it is still behaving more like winter than spring.

It will gradually become less cold next week and into the week after, from 5'C this weekend to maybe 10'C by next weekend.

Following that I expect the jet stream to have finally moved north from its very strange winter residency of the meditteranean, bringing its milder but wet weather back - probably around 15th to 18th onwards. Assuming this happens then on the sunnier days where it doesn't rain, it should reach 15'C by the end of March.

Note many previous years recently have seen very pleasent temperatures of 18'C to 21'C in March for a few days. I would be shocked if it happens. It might not even reach 20'C in April. I still think winter has unfinished business with us.

Enjoy the next couple of fine weeks :-)

House Prices

According to the Halifax, UK house prices fell 1.5% last month.

You may wonder why after house prices started to rise last year. Some people are blaming stamp duty rises, others blaming snow.

Nobody, at least that I have seen so far, seems to be blaming quantitative easing.

This was the programme which deeply unsettled me when it was announced where the Bank of England pumped £200 billion into the economy. Yes, it got credit markets working somewhat, it reduced the cost of inter-bank lending and probably stopped the recession being more severe or longer.

But I think this has more substantial negative impacts than anyone is letting on. And I still have my suspicions that it was engineered to make Gordon Brown more popular as he 'saved the economy' (or the world as he once stated in Prime Minister's Questions). One was a fake rise in house prices. All this money sloshing around in the system had to go somewhere - with interest rates at near zero there was little point in putting it into structured savings accounts or government bonds so investors bought more property, pushing up the prices.

But as quantitative easing has ended (hopefully), there is not this spare money to invest in property.

There is also lots of this money flying around in currency markets, part of the reason for the increased volatility of currencies.

Finally it also pushes up inflation - 3.5% so far. Despite the Bank of England a little while ago expecting it to peak at 1.4%.

I still thoroughly believe house prices have a long way to fall. Especially with much higher interest rates potentially around the corner.

The weakness in Sterling and ever-increasing inflation must encourage interest rates to rise...surely? Maybe not to 10% this year as I wildly predicted a while back but any kind of interest rate rises will force more homes into repossession and house prices lower.

Recession number 2 is well under way in my eyes.

Any questions on the economy for me?

Shorter Days

Thanks to the massive earthquake in Chile, the length of a day is now believed to be 1 millionth of a second shorter.

I'm going to round this up to a minute and leave work one minute earlier today.

Though critics of my time-keeping may argue I already do leave three minutes before I really should...

A Sven-Like Present

In the link you will find a website with an hour long Sven Vath video recorded late last year at the Amsterdam Dance Event

Only a month until he plays matter in London too :-)