Saturday, 25 June 2011

muddy waters

How are you supposed to find your tent amongst that ?

This week-end is Glastonbury festival, the most famous of all the UKs music festivals.
Obviously I am not there.
Well how sad would that be if I was, sat in my tent with a rubbish dongle connection writing on my blog. Although I have a few friends that are there and unbelievably have been posting updates on Facebook.
YOU'RE AT A FUCKING FESTIVAL ! Go listen to music, play with poi and forget your phone. We're all going to see 3466 photos of your muddy boots and toilet queues half an hour after you get back anyway.

I do love camping and I have been to plenty of festivals, but I preferred them when they were smaller, illegal, free and run by travellers. Nowadays for the most part they are huge commercial affairs, and while the money they now make means that the best bands will play at them I have no desire to get lost, caked in mud and lose my tent and my mates.

No thanks.
However this year I did consider it because U2 (who I love) are playing. But then why pay all that money for the week-end for one band ?

And the one thing that always pisses me off about live music is you wait all night for the one song you really love and what do the band do ?
Point the microphone at the audience for them to sing it. Fuck off ! If I wanna hear me sing it I can stay at home and do that anytime.

Bono has just done that . . . “Is it getting better . . . . “ *points mic at crowd and stops singing*
Yup, glad I’m not there.
Instead I am watching it from the comfort of my sofa where it is warm and dry and will be sleeping in my king size bed as opposed to a bound-to-be-deflated-in-the-morning airbed.

I hate it when that happens.
You go to sleep in a cold but otherwise relatively comfortable tent and wake up in the morning in a sauna with the indent of several large rocks in your arse because the sun came out and then the plug came out of the mattress.
Either that or some drunken knob trips over your tent ropes and the roof caves in. As much as I enjoy camping I still like my little comforts.
I have been known to take my quilt and several cushions, much to the amusement of friends. I get the last laugh though because I can guarantee if it rains them fuckers will be wanting to come and sit in my tent. Whose the smartass now and no I don't care if your back aches and you need to crash out for a bit.
Yeah right.

Talking about crashes the thing that’s annoyed me the most this week has been the death of Ryan Dunn. Well not so much his death as the apparent facebook / internet wide mourning that’s followed, and the rumours that the whole thing is an elaborate stunt. Of course it’s tragic when anyone dies, I’m sure his family and friends are devastated and rightly so, and possibly they take some comfort from the knowledge that their loved one will be missed by so many people, but I wonder how his mother will feel if people are asking her if it's real.

I have seen plenty of people saying that he was a legend and a hero.
And a couple of days ago I saw this :

You're kidding right ? Nope she's deadly serious.

But is he really some sort of hero ?
Yeah Jackass was the best thing to come out of MTV, no doubt endless repeats are going to be shown now too, that can only be a good thing.
But lets clarify a few things here - apparently the last thing he did before he got into his Porsche and drove it at 110mph in a 50mph zone killing himself and his passenger, was post pictures to his twitter account of himself drinking in a bar.

Is that the kind of person you call a hero ?
I don’t think so.
Heroes save lives, they don’t endanger others. A hero is the member of the emergency services who risks his life to save others and pulls victims from car wrecks, not the fools that cause them. If an ordinary member of the public had been driving that car they would be all over the papers for being a criminal and killing the passenger.

Nuff said.

Don’t portray him as some kind of James Dean cult celeb who was ‘taken all too soon’ - yeah, I’ve seen that statement used a few times in the last week - he killed himself he wasn’t ’taken’, but he took a friend with him. Use his well publicised death as a lesson to other idiots who think they are invincible and drive like cunts after drinking.

In irresponsible hands a car is a murder weapon.
I know - one killed my mother.
But if anyone reading this happens to attend the funeral please tell Knoxville that if he feels the need for a sympathy shag I’m happy to oblige.

Best not mention this post though.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

beware of the dog

Sometimes odd things can trigger the most random thoughts popping into my head.
Usually I find them funny but they tend to get kind of stuck there. Right in the front of my brain and I can’t get rid of them, the way a song can get stuck in your head only not as annoying. As I say often they are amusing, well to me anyway. But then I’ll be laughing about it which is fine if I’m on my own but if I’m not, well it just makes me look crazy - suddenly laughing at nothing.
And if I try to explain what I’m laughing at then people just look at me like I really am mad.

For example, there is a house on my street that has this sign on the front door.

His names Killer.

Now I do know what a chocolate Labrador is, but every time I see that sign I imagine this :

Beware of the calories.

And then I laugh.
Every time.
I have to not look at the sign now because my brain goes;

Warning against what ?

Not letting that fucker sit too close to the fire.

Dope smokers . . . Might end up with a three legged dog of they get an attack of the munchies.

Easter . . . Do they dress it up as a chocolate bunny ?

Imagine if you were a burglar, could you get anything less scary then a chocolate dog.
Yeah lets break into that house, if the dog get a bit menacing just turn the heating on and if we get a bit peckish we can snack on it.

Terrifying isn't he. . . . and that's a real one.

Must be a right pain taking it to the park.
Most people just have to worry about other dogs humping or attacking their pooch. But that one - every other dog in the park’s just gonna want to eat it.

How does it wash itself ? I heard that chocolate was poisonous to dogs.

Be handy at Christmas though if it poops chocolate logs.

I swear if I was stand-up I could do an hours worth of gags just from that sign.
I’m dreading that one day I’m gonna be walking down the road as the owners are coming out of the house with the dog because I have a habit of saying out loud what I’m thinking if there’s someone to say it to, and I know I won’t be able to stop myself from telling them all this.
Then that’ll be another person on this street that lowers their eyes so I don’t talk to them anymore.

The other thing I keep seeing at the top of my road is a car that’s covered in grass.
First time I saw it I thought all the acid I took when I was younger was finally giving me the flash backs all those anti-drug campaigners assured me I was bound to have.
But no, as I suspected the bastards were lying and there is no such thing as a free trip, but there is indeed a car covered in grass that parks on my road.

It looks exactly like this.

Could they not afford a decent paint job ?

Do they have to water it ?

Did it crash into a lorry load of turf ?

Does it need strimming ?
(Yes, I do know it’s astro- turf, but this is the way my brain works).

Is it some sort of eco car, designed to blend in with the surroundings on country roads.

Are there teletubbies living in it ?

How and why did this happen. There is no promotional stuff on the car and I have had a fucking good look.
Any other time a person was looking around a car someone would think you were trying to steal it and come out. When you wish they would just so you could ask them what the fuck is the point of this no-one does.
Maybe they are hoping someone’s going to nick it. Interesting phone call to the police that’s gonna be . . .
“Can you describe the vehicle ? “
“Yes officer, it looks like a very small hill”
And how stupid would you have to be to nick it in the first place, your mates are bound to be impressed going for a joyride in that. And its hardly inconspicuous.

Has anyone got a small lawn mower ?
I stole borrowed the picture I used off the internet, although as I’m typing this it has occurred to me that I could just take my camera with me when I go up the shop and take a picture of the actual car.

However in searching for a picture to illustrate what it looks like I appear to have stumbled on a bit of a craze, there were quite a few snaps of grass covered cars.

And I found this, click the picture to see the article it came from, there are a few grass sculptures. Pretty clever, and if it wasn’t for the random thoughts I would never have needed to search for a grass car and found it.

How amazing are they ? Apparently the exhibition is in Cornwall.

And I thought all it was good for was sitting on or smoking.

Friday, 17 June 2011

cowgirl presents . . . .#1

Dear Readers,
Today I have a surprise for you, a very special guest poster.
May I present Mr Flip aka flipaul. . . .

I am not Dirty Cowgirl. I am Mr. flip and I will be your substitute blogger for the day.
But, don't think you can just do whatever you want because your regular blogger isn't here. Oh? She already lets you do whatever you want? Carry on then; but pay attention 'cause there's a test later.

The reason I am blogging on Dirty's site today is because she asked me to. (And by that, I mean I begged her non-stop for weeks, until she finally gave in. Kinda like my high school dating career). I think there are several reasons she finally agreed. One is, we have both recently written blogs on home improvement; she hung a TV crookedly and I built a cat poop patio.

The other reason, I think, is because I am an idiot. Fantastically, amazingly stupid.
Why would she let an idiot post on her site? Once you, her readers, see how good you have it you will never complain about anything she writes about again. And also because it should be entertaining, like drunken clown hookers hitting each other with hot dogs. (For you vegetarians, hitting each other with lobsters.)

So yes. I am an idiot, and I do home improvement, AND I am writing a book about it. Think about it, there are so many books for dummies or idiots. But none, by an idiot. Who understands an idiot better than an idiot? Nobody. And, I'm tired of all those obviously smart people, writing books telling us idiots what to do. No more I say! No more of your patron..azing ising. NO MORE of your looking down on us.

Instructions to follow. . . they come ready for self assembly.
So I am going to write "The Idiot Builds Some Stuffs And Fixes Some Other Stuffs", I think it's gonna be big. If for no other reason than it's going to be big. I am going to have some tools in there. A metal thing that you hit stuff with, and possibly some pointy screw turning things.
I plan on having chapters in my book.
In one chapter I will tell you how beer bottles, 2x4's and duck tape can make an excellent entertainment center or a couch. But be careful, that you put the beer bottles upside down or you might have to go to the emergency room, and nobody believes that you "accidentally sat on a beer bottle", and it's even more embarrassing if you have to take the bus. So trust me, UPSIDE DOWN.

This person did not follow the advice given.

In another chapter, I will talk about plumbing, I plan on calling it the Plumbing Chapter. In this chapter I will attempt to get across to the readers, that if you light yourself on fire with your torch, it is really unpleasant. Really, super unpleasant. You shouldn't do it.
As a matter of fact, if you have plumbing problems, you should probably just move. There will be lots of other good advice in this book. If it is successful I plan on writing other books, a dating book maybe, and I have also always been interested in home surgery as a hobby.

An example of a failed attempt at DIY home plumbing.
I enjoyed this, maybe she'll let me do it again. Not a bleeping chance?

Funny isn't he ?
Now go read and follow his hilarious blog HILL BLOCKS VIEW !!
And Flip you are welcome here anytime . . . . saves me the bother of keeping the flock entertained. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

rearranging the furniture

Hey guys, I’ve made a few tweaks to my blog.

My recommended reading page never got a lot of views so I’ve taken it off and added it as a blog roll instead. (That expression always makes me LOL, sounds like bog roll - UK slang for toilet paper).
My intention is to set it to feature five blogs at a time but rotate which ones, you should definitely all take a look at the fabulous folk on there at the moment.

I’d like to ask a favour of you, I have a few friends who have said they are going to start a blog and asked me for advice - hence I’ve added a page of what I think are helpful hints.

I wondered if you would take a look at it and if you can think of anything else that would be useful add it to the comments.

Thanks, DCG J

I spent the weekend before last rearranging the furniture in the lounge as I bought a wall mounting kit for my television. Yup, I have power tools and I'm gonna use them.

However the walls in this house are old, and the drill bit kind of slips - but I got twelve large holes successfully bored and twelve raw plugs and bolts then attached to the bracket and mounted the TV. Once it was up I cleared up the mess then went to sit down and enjoy my handiwork.

Then I spotted my mistake.
The (now bolted to the bracket) TV is not quite straight. I have measured it - it's out by 6mm, three friends have been round and said they can't notice it at all.

But me ? I keep finding myself doing this. . . . .

My neck is starting to ache.

And yeah, before all the men chip in with the sarky comments I did use a spirit level. But the walls aren't straight.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

a dish best served cold

A couple of comments on my last post got me thinking about revenge.

You know, a woman scorned and all that.
If someone cheats on you would you stay just so you could make them suffer, or is it suffering enough to leave and make them live in purgatory without you.
I suppose it depends on the size of your evil mean streak.

Brilliant !
There are plenty of revenge websites now, mostly guys posting pictures the cheating ex allowed them to take, well you let someone do that you need to be prepared for the possible consequences, (I already wrote a post about that) but really there’s no imagination or brains in that type of retaliation.

I think us women are far more devious then that.

My favourite story of revenge is not mine.
But the sheer brilliance and cold calculation of this is just genius really. Evil genius.

If you’re a bit squeamish then you should probably skip the next paragraph.
This friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, was living with a fella and found out that he was seeing someone else behind her back. The boyfriend suffered from haemorrhoids, so badly that when he was having an attack he needed to use internal cream. We all knew about this because it was kind of funny, and also because she used to moan about the fact that it affected their sex life. However it was when he suddenly began to ‘have more attacks’ and therefore wanted less sex, that she had become suspicious of him as she noticed that when this happened sometimes he wasn’t actually using the cream.  
I don’t remember exactly how she found out the truth but she even knew the other girls name so her suspicions were confirmed.

"For external use only"
She bought some muscle rub cream ( the kind that gets hot once put on your skin) and managed to empty the tube of haemorrhoid cream and replace it with the muscle cream. She then stayed with him for another two weeks, acting like nothing was wrong, waiting for him to have an attack. Then came the night he did and was, so she said, already in pain so went to use his cream. She then told him - as he was apparently writhing on the bathroom floor in absolute agony - that she was leaving him and why.
We always thought she was a bit mental. After that we knew.
But fair play all the same.

I know another woman who found out her husband was cheating with a work colleague. He had a lot of expensive suits - she took all the trousers to a tailors and had the legs of every pair taken up by two inches.

Very clever.

And me ? I’ve had my moments of inspiration too.

The first time I ever lived with a guy, which if I’m honest wasn’t because I loved him - more he had his own flat and I needed somewhere to live, was when I was about 19. We both worked full time, although I got home an hour before him. At first I was cooking every day when I got in, the kitchen in the shared house I was in before was always a mess so I enjoyed having a clean and tidy place to cook in.
But after a couple of weeks the novelty wore off.
mmmmm . . . .meaty chunks

So on probably the third day of coming home to no food the soon-to-be-ex decided to pick a fight, based upon his idea that a man should come home to find dinner waiting for him. The next day I took the day off work and moved my stuff round to a friends then went back to the flat and made him pie, I even made the pastry from scratch.
And the filling ? Dog food.
He gets in “something smells nice" . . . . it did. I put it on a plate for him and once he was sat down and I knew he was going to tuck in said I had to pop out and left.
Never to return.

I’ve also tipped someone’s very expensive aftershave down the sink and replaced it with my own piss.
That was a good one.
Another ex once tried to tell me that I couldn’t go on a night out because he had nothing to do, so I pretended not to mind and then said if I had to stay in I wanted to get kinky.

He agreed.
So I tied him to the bed then went out anyway. Although I made it up to him when I got in. . . . a lot later.

Some people just ask for it.
There was this guy about a year ago, I got chatting to him on a dating site. We were talking to each other for a couple of months, he didn’t strike me as being ‘my type’ so whilst I was happy to chat online I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it. He also lived a couple of hours drive from me. But anyway this particular day we were chatting and I mentioned that my plans for the coming week end had been cancelled, he suggested coming down and taking me out instead. After a bit of discussion I agreed, bearing in mind that he would need to stay over if we had a drink, on the understanding that he will be sleeping on the sofa.
Unless I decide otherwise . . . . .

He arrives and he is MUCH fitter then his pictures. Happy days. But all he talked about ALL evening was the fucking Foo Fighters. Now I’ve got nothing against them, but do I want to hear a song by song account of every fucking time you’ve seen them live ? No.
But anyway, he’s fit, he’s definitely giving me interested vibes and I have needs, so I decide to kill two birds with one stone and shut him up by jumping on him.

Ten disappointing minutes later he tells me he needs a drink, so I told him where to find the juice in the kitchen. His underwear came off with his jeans so I didn’t see it at the time but when he put them on to go get the drink . . . .Oh My God . . . . Horrible old fashioned nylon Y-fronts. 

Pulling pants ? Only if you're blind.

Being me I start laughing - who wouldn’t, and I said that it was a good job I never spotted them sooner because had I seen them first I never would‘ve wanted to get in them. Poor fella looked kinda distraught, he just stood there and said “what’s wrong with them ?” but the more I looked at those pants the more I laughed.
In the end - just so I could compose myself - I went to get the drink. Still laughing so much I was nearly crying.

By the time I poured it I heard him shut the front door on his way out.

Now - I know I maybe shouldn’t of laughed, and I did kind of criticise his ‘performance’ too . . . . well I said “ is that it ? ” But to just leave ? Not so much as a goodbye or even a lame excuse.
Bruised ego and small (well certainly not impressive) man syndrome.
And very fucking rude.
Ok me naked might not be exactly Kelly Brook but being blunt here the only thing I’d removed was my underwear. Yup. That quick.

One thing I did pick up on was that he rather thought he was gods gift.
To Dave Grohl maybe.

I had a second profile on this dating site.

The following week my alter ego found him, chatted him up, told him all about how horny she was and the empty house she was going to have that week-end.
Loser lapped it up.
Gave him my old mobile number, and an address (that I checked out and was a chip shop 3 hours drive from him) and arranged for him to come round on the Saturday.

There's something fishy going on here...

About 9pm I get a text.
“Think I got your address wrong - I’m outside a chip shop lol - can you send me the right one”
I turned the phone off.
He never did get a reply.

Bitch ? Maybe, but serves him and his horrible pants right.

No wonder I'm single.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

newsworthy ?

I am beyond fed up with hearing about the extra marital exploits of Ryan Giggs.

I made him a new shirt.
First we had all the ‘who is it ?’ fiasco about this ‘super injunction’ that was supposed to keep us all from finding out who had the affair with a Big Brother “star”…ie bint who kept her name in the papers once her five minutes of BB fame was over by getting her tits out for lads mags.
Thanks to Twitter and the power of the information highway that didn’t stay secret for long - although there was already enough speculation, but then if nobody knew it was him how did they know it was her ? Most people forgot who she was a long time ago, well apart from the followers of her glamour 'career' (why is it called glamour modelling when you get your bits out and just modelling when your wearing designer clothes ? I know which one I think is more glamorous) but Giggs is very well known - even I know who he is and I make a point of NOT following football.

Apparently his lawyers are planning to sue Twitter.
Here’s a thought Ryan - maybe you should’ve just kept your cock in your pants ?
Whose the really guilty party here ? Not Twitter that’s for sure.

No secrets.
Then his brothers wife decides to spill the proverbial beans and let's it be known that she’d been fucking him ‘on and off’ (ha !) for EIGHT years. All the while married to his brother. This sorry piece of ass is now whining that her marriage is over. Really ? You are quoted by a friend as saying that you just “couldn’t get enough” of your husbands brother then expect said husband to stay ?
And no doubt only confessed in the first place because you got an attack of the green eyed monster when you heard about the BB slapper. Your cheating lover can't be trusted ? Who would've thought.
What a fucking bitch.

Meanwhile back at the ranch some other floozy has decided to come forward and tell us all that she has also been shagging Giggs. I'm surprised his knobs not fallen off. According to the news item I’ve just seen she rang the sister-in-law and said you’re not the only one. No doubt with a reporter from one of the tabloids listening in.
Wonder how much she’s getting paid for her story.
And I wonder how many more women are going to come forward now, because any man that can cheat on his wife with his brothers wife clearly has no morals or respect for anyone, and you can be sure there are others.

He’s also obviously stupid, no surprise there then. But most people that cheat at least have the common sense to realise that there’s a reason it’s called playing AWAY from home.
And given that Giggs is a premiership football player you would think he could understand the difference between home and away.
Yeah, stupid.
Family get togethers are going to be interesting now.

The only person in all this who I felt any amount of sympathy for is Giggs’s wife, bad enough finding out your husband has cheated with a fame hungry bimbo who no doubt thought she saw an opportunity to fuck her way further up the ladder of non-entities and threw herself at him.
But to then have to hear all the other shit. Including your sister in law ?
I’ve never understood women who find out they’re being cheated on and want to take it out on the other woman, she wasn't the one cheating was she ? He's the one deserves a bobbit.
But in that situation I think I’d be round her house stamping on her face.

And yet the wife is apparently ‘standing by him’.
That I don’t understand - why stick with someone who has pretty much publicly humiliated you ?
If your husband has been having an eight year affair along with various other indiscretions wouldn’t you think that your marriage was a lie.
Love is blind I guess.

He’s not the first and nor will he be the last public figure to be exposed in this way, and if you live your life in the public eye then you can expect the public to be just as interested when you make a mistake as when you score the winning goal or bring about world peace. More so really. I think as much as we love to worship at the cult of celebrity we love it even more when they are caught with their pants down and proved to be far from perfect.
These fame hungry wannabe’s who set out to court the press and bring attention to themselves for whatever minor talent they have, (usually showing their tits), then scream injustice when it turns against them are hilarious.
Having the tabloids discover your affairs or criminal record is the modern equivalent of a public stoning.

Are there any women here today ?

Gossip sells magazines and papers, and if it’s gossip about the sex lives of the rich and famous even better.
It bothers me though that these items seem to get far more coverage then the really important things that are happening in the world. Sometimes I wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy between the media companies and the government.
“The economies going to shit, soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and the world is still at risk of impending nuclear disaster from Japan but keep feeding them information about Giggsy’s cock and they won’t notice“.

When was the last time you saw an update about Fukushima on the news ? Or the thousands of people still homeless and suffering as a result of all that happened in Japan. I have been following a spreadsheet via The Guardian, an intelligent paper’s website, regarding the state of the reactors. If you want to know click here. Be warned though, it’s not good.

Thanks to the internet and satellite TV we are no longer limited to what our own countries press choose to feed us, it’s quite interesting to look at foreign news sites and see how different stories are portrayed. Newsreel propaganda did not end with the second world war, and it isn’t just confined to the far east.

I have seen this happen very close to home.
I worked with a kid who whilst out with friends had accidentally set light to a bin shed under a block of flats.
No real harm was done, when the boys realised what was happening ( they threw a cigarette end in the bin thinking it was out ) they had called the fire brigade before running away. However this particular boy was known to the police because he often tried to run away from the home, and as there was CCTV footage he was arrested. Because of the ‘criminal code’ he refused to ‘grass’ the other boys with him and so he alone was taken to court.

When the local newspaper picked up on this story it was reported that he was a dangerous arsonist who had tried to endanger the lives of the residents in the flats, and that he was in care because he was out of control.
Luckily they were not allowed to print his name.
He was in fact a very scared 13 year old boy who was in care because his mother was a heroin addict. And it was his voice recorded on the 999 call to the fire brigade.
That used to be the only paper I would buy, I’m not interested in the tabloids - but after that I stopped.

It’s one thing to write damning reports about politicians, pop stars and footballers with scandalous affairs and corruption, but a child ?

As for the attention seeking celebrities - I guess they get what they deserve, I just don’t want to hear about it every fucking time I turn the TV on.
There are way more important and interesting things happening in the world right now.

wish i was there

A few days ago I wrote a post in which I spoke about my lack of need to see friends all the time.
Since I wrote that, in the space of a week, I have found myself thinking that there are three people who I would dearly love to be able to see right now.

What stops me is that all of them are people that I have met through the internet. Two via blogger who live the other side of the Atlantic and one from Facebook who is the far North-West of England (I‘m on the South coast). The way I feel about my inability to be there for these people - pretty fucking redundant as it goes - at least confirms to me that some friendships formed across the web can be just as real as those made in real life.

Of course we can be in contact via the mediums where we met, but it’s not the same as being able to pop round for a coffee and a proper talk. And this *hug* is never going to feel like being able to physically lean on someone.
As it happens one of these people has been completely out of contact since the occurrence that made me wish I could just be there, and when that happens there is NOTHING you can do. Except wait and hope that they are simply working through whatever they need to. However the absolute absence of this person from my cyberspace is not making me feel anything other then worried.
And useless.

Another friend - and of course some of you know who I mean - has just gone through a traumatic experience with her partner, and I just wished that I could go and sit with her. Even just for an hour, if only so she wasn’t by herself on that beach.
My instinct is always to put my arms around people when I know they are in pain, and I couldn’t.

The third person is a single parent of three young children. She has just lost her only parent to cancer, just a matter of weeks after the diagnosis and doesn’t have much of a support network. Her at least I have spoken to on the phone, but I wish I lived closer. Her kids are 5, 3 and the youngest is just a baby, soon after he was born she found out that his father was having an affair and she was just starting to recover from that when this latest tragedy happened.
Sometimes you just wanna share a coffee and let a person cry.

I have always said that the thing I love the most about the internet is the way it allows us to make friends all over the world.
I guess sometimes that can be a disadvantage.
The fact that those friends are so very far away.

On a lighter note I received another blogger award from Anna over at Number Eleven.
Usually I just add them to my award page but as this one comes with the power to change three things about the world I’m going to put it here first.
And for now I just want one privilege, I’ll save the others until I need them.

This is what I want, all pageview counts can be converted in to Air miles to be used for discount flights to meet blogger friends.
Good idea huh ?
Lets petition Google.

I'm supposed to choose people to pass the award on to. . . but I think you're all pretty special, so if you could use three special powers to make the world a better place then feel free to help yourself  :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

read me

My sister asked me to order my niece a Kindle as she hasn't got an amazon account.

I actually didn’t know what it was until then.
Now I keep seeing the adverts for them on the TV, clearly meant to demonstrate how convenient they are but the bit that concerns me is the woman on her bike with it in the basket on the front.

Aren’t you supposed to be watching where you’re going ?
Who in their right mind is gonna be reading a fucking book whilst riding a bike.
That’s just asking for trouble, if I get run over by a demented bookworm on a bike I’m gonna sue Amazon.

And yes, in case anyone thinks I’m stupid I do realise that the point of that is to show how portable the thing is…..Wow ! How original.
Yeah ‘cos nobody ever realised you could take a book anywhere did they.
Thing is I know what I’m like when I get my nose stuck in a good book, I don’t want to put it down. However the fact that I need my hands to ride a bike and/or hold a book means that I can’t do both at the same time.
Now if only someone would invent a hands free book…..oh wait….yup, bad idea.

What are they gonna invent next - a device to install Kindle on your Sat Nav ?
Oh sorry Officer, I didn’t see the little old lady crossing the road because Harry Potter was just about to kiss Hermione.

Personally I don’t think a Kindle can ever replace a real paper book.
I love to read a good story but there is also something about the smell of a new book, or even an old one.
And no matter how old fashioned it becomes I will never tire of thumbing through pages.
I still have some of the books I read with Son when he was little, had they been on a hard drive no doubt by now the files would’ve been deleted and replaced or lost on a crashed device.
I plan to read those books with my granchildren one day.

I really don’t see how a small grey electronic screen could ever replace a brightly illustrated children’s book.
Kids learn the stories through the pictures and that is the first step to reading, associating words with pictures and then beginning to mentally connect sounds with letters.

You’re never going to do that unless you can capture and hold their attention and I don’t think a Kindle will do that for a three year old.
It doesn’t do it for me and I’m way past the age when I need pictures in a book to follow the story.

Well unless it’s porn.

As much as I appreciate the technology available now I do think that we are in danger of losing out. It’s nice to get emails but for me there is still something special about a hand written letter that can never be replaced.
I had a friend that died in the tsunami in Thailand and I have a letter that she wrote to me whilst travelling. I treasure that letter, had she sent me an email I might still have it saved but I would not see her writing or be able to hold something she had touched and keep it in my box of memories.

I’m sure that servicemen and women appreciate a handwritten letter far more then an email too. I know you can recieve an email the minute it's sent, as long as you have access to your email account of course. But you can’t carry it with you or keep it under your pillow and read by torchlight if you’re feeling homesick, lonely or just because you want to. And if you have childen who are too young to use a computer they can't send you a scribble or a drawing by email.

The other thing that concerns me is whether having access to so much technology is actually going to have an adverse effect on the education of our children. Who needs to learn to spell correctly when spellcheck can do it for you, or when you and your mates converse lyk dis.
There was no text speak until teenagers all got mobile phones.

When there is so much information readily available online at any time will we get to a point where people think there is no need to actually learn anything, other then how to turn a computer on in order to ask google. I suppose that isn’t always a bad thing, I have to be honest here and say that nowadays if there is something I want to find out it’s usually the first place I look. However there is also a lot of misinformation on the internet, any idiot can have a website and put whatever garbage they want on it.

Fuck sake even I have one now, and look at the amount of crap I put on it.

But I do worry that we are too reliant on the new gadgets and in danger of forgetting basic skills.
Many years ago I worked in a nightclub and we had to total up the cost of drinks in our heads, and give out the right change. And the rule was if your till was out by more than a pound you were sacked. Our tills were usually spot on to the penny when cashed up at the end of the night.
Nowadays you wouldn’t even need to enter an amount - just press the button for the drinks ordered and the till does it for you, any idiot could do it.

Last week I was in the Supermarket and there were two young lads in front of me, as they were getting served they asked the shop idiot assistant if they would be able to use their cards to pay half each.

When their bill was totalled it came to £104.50. She said
“that’s ….ummm…..errrr…….” after two very painful minutes one of the lads said,
“£52.25”… to which she replied,
“are you sure ?” and got a pen and then spent another two minutes trying to check.

Fucking hell, how thick ?
Even I worked that sum out the minute she said it and I am SHIT at maths.
I was trying not to laugh, as was one of the lads but when I caught his eye he had to turn his back.

Clearly you don’t need any level of even the most basic education to work in Tescos, which is good news for the dumbasses of the world I suppose. But where is the incentive to learn to add up in the first place if you always have a calculator to do it for you.

Fine I suppose until your batteries run out.

Or there’s a power cut.
Then you’re screwed.

I'll just get a candle and read a book.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

care . . . ?

Last night there was a documentary on TV about residents being abused in a UK care home for adults with learning difficulties.
To say it was shocking is an understatement. Thankfully today the news is saying that 15 staff have been suspended and four people have been arrested.

This programme was made because a former member of staff, who had informed the relevant authorities about what was happening there FOUR times without any action being taken decided to take the story to a TV company instead. They sent in an undercover reporter who secretly filmed the footage shown. That in itself is shocking enough - that nobody bothered to even look into this persons reports.
People complain about the media but without their involvement here nothing would’ve happened and the systematic physical and mental torture in that home would continue.

Put this alongside the recent story in our news about super-injunctions and footballers worrying that their sordid sex secrets are going to be exposed and I’ll take the over intrusive media thanks very much.

As someone who has worked in residential homes I find it hard to believe that things like this can still happen. Of course my experience was in children’s homes not adults but the regulating bodies are the same, and the checks undertaken on staff are all done via the criminal records bureau. The things these people were doing was like something you read about from the 1960s before staff were checked and homes inspected.

The neighbours must’ve thought I was the one having a fucking argument instead of them for a change because I was shouting and swearing at the TV.

From what I saw last night the staff in this place are a gang of bullies. I am still struggling to get my head around how that could happen. A couple of times in my jobs I encountered staff whose methods were questionable, although nothing like those people - but when that happened myself and the other staff spoke to our managers and appropriate action was taken.

If you witness a person being abused and turn a blind eye are you not also guilty ?
It seems as if all but one person did just that, although now the proverbial shits hit the fan other workers are talking to the papers about the main protagonists.
Guilty conscience ? Much. And no doubt worried about implication.

How can you work in a caring profession if you don’t care ?

I have worked with some very challenging young people but what enabled me, and the people I worked with to do so was being able to see beyond the behaviours to the child inside and knowing the reasons why they were in care.
None of the young people I met wanted sympathy, but if you couldn’t feel any compassion or make allowances for what they had been through then to my mind you had no place being with them.
Yes we dealt with situations where there was a potential for danger, but we only used physical restraint when all other options failed and that really wasn’t that often. Skilled, experienced people who understand their clients will have a wealth of techniques that involve no physical contact other then for reassurance once the distressed person has calmed.
And if we did have to resort to holding we were all trained how to do so in a way that meant no-one got hurt.

We never pinned anyone under a chair and put a foot on them - that’s what was happening at Winterbourne.

Getting to know our clients was key. The best tool to have is the ability to know when something’s about to kick off and diffuse the problem before it starts. One day we had three lads starting to argue in the lounge, previous experience said that if allowed to continue these three would end up fighting. I walked in the room, put the telly on and asked them to either argue quietly or go outside as I wanted to watch Eastenders. They all just looked at me for a minute, waiting no doubt for me to tell them off but I just sat down. They were so shocked at the non-reaction they stopped arguing and sat down with me.

But then we were never the cause of the distress in the first place, the morons in this programme were actually winding the residents up like it was a game. They put a woman in a shower with her clothes on, put another out in the garden, poured water on her and the senior worker, a man, was offering to fight her. Unbefuckinglievable.
One woman would not get up so two men actually dragged her out of bed.

Picture from Daily Mail - click for full article, not pleasant reading.
Nowhere I worked would a male staff member enter a girls room unless he had a female with him, and even then not when she was in bed. That is standard practise across all sectors of social care and is for staff protection too, with young people who had been sexaully abused there was always a need to be aware of the risk of allegations against staff.

Just because you cannot live with your family does not mean that you aren’t entitled to privacy and dignity.
Sometimes more so actually.
It might be embarrassing if a member of your family walked in your room without knocking and you were naked - but these things happen in families. How would you feel if that happened but you shared your home with strangers.

Sometimes we had kids that would refuse to get up, we’d just keep banging on their door every 10 mins or so, or my favourite trick was to get the vacuum out on the landing. But even then if you knew they’d had a bad night or were tired you let them sleep - just like you would your own children.
I always saw my role as being a substitute parent, that’s how it should be.

There many different jobs for people working in care professions. But while social workers and those above them often get paid a good salary, they have the least contact with clients. It’s the people that work in the homes and in projects who deal with the tough every day aspects of behaviours, attend to basic needs and give the real care and nurturing they need. And for the most part those jobs don’t pay very well, but those of us that do it do so because it’s a vocation that we love.
And although when it’s tough it can be draining emotionally and physically, when it goes well and you have a great day or a breakthrough with a client it’s an amazing feeling.

Which just makes me question the motivation of the bastards I saw last night even more. They’re never going to get any breakthroughs with clients that are terrified of them, in fact they are pretty much guaranteed to have a tough day every day and the money is shit. Therefore they must be there solely to abuse the people they work with.

Bullies. . . picking on the weak and defenceless.

But just HOW did so many people with the same sick attitude all wind up working in the same place.

Nope, still don’t get it.

I just hope when they get to court they lock the bastards up with the kind of people who will show them what it feels like to be on the receiving end.