Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

By the looks of it a couple of the Manx Lads have had a great Christmas. Mine was the usual getting up late, hours opening presents, most of the afternoon cooking and then an evening of family joviality where I kick ass at whatever the games of choice are. This year it was mainly Buzz and I was on fire. Of course there was beer during the day but only at a rate where I was burning it off as fast as I was drinking it. Just a normal Christmas day if maybe a slighlty earlier finish than usual because of a few people having colds.

Boxing day was all about the presents. S was working, L was on her new laptop so I had the TV to myself. I started of with Modern Warfare 2 and managed to complete it in about 5 hours, pretty much what I was expecting. Brilliant game, enjoyed every minute of it. Then I started on Assassins Creed 2. Don't like it. Not at all. I'll play through it once so that I can see the whole game but after that I doubt I'll ever pick it up again. Over hyped style of substance nonsense. Today S is working again so I'll try and put in a few hours of Lego Indiana Jones, call me a kid if you like but I'm really looking forward to it.

All in that just about sums up the last couple of days. Enough beer, plenty of nice food and some decent gaming time. Happiness all round.

On a not so merry note we watched a film last night called Idiocracy, it's supposed to be a comedy but the reality that runs through it is a scary thought, the Chavs are going to finish us all off!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Like A Real Band, With Instruments And Stuff

Having been forced to endure the Karaoke talent that tosspot Simon Cowell seems determined to enforce on the UK every Christmas it's nice to see that somebody is making a stand.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trying To Shop Local

There is a major campaign going on at the moment to try and get people to shop local on the Isle of Man. With the UK government pillaging our VAT revenue every penny that stays on island is seen to be a good thing.

In our house there is a definite split about this type of thing. I'm a firm believer in the Internet. It gives me the choice, value and here's a shocker for some people Better Buying Rights*. I do shop local, but when it suites me, for example when the local retailer hasn't doubled the price and has the item I'm looking for.

The wife on the other hand loves the whole shopping process. She likes to wander around for hours picking things up, putting them down again, being hassled by over attentive staff or ignored by staff with better things to do.

It's horses for courses and I'd never try to convince her that my way is better. It's just different. This Christmas there has again been 2 camps. I've already completed just about all my shopping, 95% of it done completely hassle free, getting exactly the items I need online, with plenty of time to spare. Mrs B on the other hand has decided that there's no hurry because she can just go to town anytime and get what she needs. Except when we did go to town last Saturday the shops had exactly the square root of FUCK ALL of what we needed to buy. Fine if you don't need anything specific, if a jumper will do and not a blue Lacoste size 10 jumper (Just an example, I'm not after a blue jumper). I was determined to get in on some shop local action so we did buy a few generic things but just about nothing to tick of the lists. Guess who spent Saturday night buying everything we had tried to buy local online?

And again today. Our daughter wants something specific, it's only a box of chocolates for christs sake, can they be found anywhere within the limits of our majestic capital? Can they bollocks. It might even be too late now to order some so thanks to "shopping local" that's something that's just not going to get bought.

This might sound like I'm being a bit of a spoilt brat, you know, expecting to find the items I want to buy and not something that's along the same lines + playing more for the pleasure. I don't give a shit. I work bloody hard for every penny I make and when I'm buying people presents I'd like to be able to either get them what they've asked for or what I think they'd like. It's not like I'm looking for wacky things, just normal everyday stuff. Completely ignoring the whole price issue if the shops don't have the choice then what are you supposed to do?

*If you buy something online but don't like it for whatever reason then you get a 14 day cooling off period where you can return it, no questions asked. It's all part of some distance selling regulations. Some shops offer the same terms but a lot don't so you may find that you've actually got better rights for returning stuff if you buy online.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why worry about the Economy?

Given Global Warming, the increase in Acidity in the Oceans, Iranian Nuclear Weapons and an overdue Ice Age, we can safely assume the following:

"The Human Race will soon be extinct"

I was watching a “TV Show” the other night. It showed the last cave where the last (known) Neanderthal community lived. Meaning, there was literally a last Neanderthal man. Who had one last day and one last sunset before dying. Cool.

I want to be the last Homo Sapien. How Poetic to be the last of a species?

On my last day, I shall stand proud (on a hilltop somewhere) and say to God and Mankind: “yay, though you might have had a BMW X5 and a holiday home in Dubai and three PHDs and....shit – I am the last ever human. You CANNOT top that – you tw@ts”

Admittedly, my righteous exultation will be somewhat wasted given that no-one will hear me. Apart from my Cat who is so stupid it won’t even realise that all of humanity is dead and that it’s been eating dead manxies for the last 3 weeks.

However, I shall feel GOOD about it. And that’s what counts.

p.s. I guess the loss of my family, friends, all hope and the utter failure of my species to survive might slightly take the edge off my moment of happiness. But hey, it's swings and roundabouts.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Island Of Moaners

Yeah I know, Pot calling Kettle black. But even too me this is extreme, check out some of those comments!

The Manx Love Spandau Ballet

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Reason I Get Angry Sometimes

It's all in this document. Personally I think it should be forced upon every public sector worker who chooses to whinge about how hard done to they are.

A couple of highlights:-

"The 2005 report concludes that average pay across the public sector is some 15% above that in the private sector and this differential has widened over the last four years".

AND

"We simply cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that the prosperity of everyone in this community is dependent first and foremost on the efforts of the wealth generating private sector".

That 15% also doesn't include a final salary pension scheme that is unavailable anywhere else. Depending on your calculation that ads an extra 10%-20% differential meaning that in fact the real pay gap is somewhere between 25% and 35%. Thanks to the governments double pay award scheme (annual increment + pay rise) I'd also bet the house on the fact that the gap has widened again over the last 4 years.

Congratulations to anybody working in the private sector, not only are you the driving force behind this small island economy but you're also doing it for much less pay than you'd get get if you opted to sit on your ass in a government office.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Not E-Gaming - It's Online Gambling

So the company I was working for had not long imploded, I was due to get married, tomorrow, and I'm trying on my suit when the phone goes. It's an employment agency asking me to go to an interview that afternoon, it's at a company that I've heard bad things about, in fact somebody I know once walked of their interview when realising the work conditions. I have nothing to lose, a wedding to pay for and a "what the hell" attitude. I go to the interview, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and just like every other interview I've ever had I get offered a job, on the top of the pay scale. I am fucking awesome at interviews even when I'm dressed like a tramp.

The next day I get married and go away on honeymoon. Over the next week or so I get several phone calls from my new soon to be employer asking when I'm going to be back. Call me a pessimist if you like but already my warning bells are going off, to be honest I'd never had any real trust in e-gaming (it was an e-gaming company, or as I like to call it online gambling) and even less faith in companies whose balance sheets tell you they are only surviving from venture capital. Yes I REALLY do this type of research before accepting a job, unfortunately the rushed nature of this meant I didn't really have much chance to do my checks. I wondered what could possibly be so important that they need my input, keeping in mind that I hadn't even started working for them yet and certainly wasn't on the payroll. Anyhoo, I kept with the nice demeanour and soon the honeymoon was over.

My first day wasn't exactly as I'd planned. For a start my uncle had died whilst we were away and that meant I had his funeral to attend the next day. He was my closest uncle and an usher at my wedding so it was a bit if a head fuck in what had already been a fairly messy year. It did get worse though, my first day also happened to be the lad I was replacing last day. He'd decided to jump ship early. At the time this didn't bother me in the slightest, the job I'd be doing was essentially a bit of web stuff and some database management so as long as the database was rationalised to some sort of accepted standard there would be no problems. The only possible reason I'd need any sort of a handover was if there database was a complete cluster fuck. Can you see where I'm going with this?

Over the next week I spend all my time familiarising myself with a database structure that just doesn't seem right. There was a lot of manual process going on in getting data out and my first thoughts are for automation. Two weeks in to my new job and the automation is complete. On the other hand my role (which is essentially to assist marketing) has now been expanded and I seem to be spending a lot of time with the IT department, headed by the biggest oaf I've ever worked with. A man so inept at everything his only redeemable feature is his ability to spew forth mountains of management bullshit. Of all the people I have worked with he was the one who clearly had the least clue of what he was talking about. He once bored me to the point where I was physically sick on leaving his office, I promise you that's true. Underneath he had a manager who was not far behind, clearly the company was being run on a premise of employing friends and family, or maybe just fuckwits. Even in saying all this there's always that niggle with a new boss that maybe it's just me that needs time to adjust, so I was more than happy to play the nice employee. Right up until the 3rd week of my employment that was.

In one morning I had 2 conversations that would result in me going out for lunch and never coming back. The first was from one of the big money backers, he received my automated reports each day and recognising the new name on the e-mail thought to contact me. He wanted somebody on the inside of the business who was out of the "loop" to report what was really going on. As far as he was concerned money was being thrown away hand over fist and he was wanted know why, he wanted to meet me that week and was coming over from Ireland. These are not the sort of games I get involved in. Then shortly after that the IT manager asked me to pull a report from the database showing the gambling turnover for last year. For a start I didn't work for the IT department and secondly I'd spent the last 2 weeks telling everybody who would listen that their database was a nonsense. My marketing manager was somebody who loved his data and would often ask for queries to be run, I'd do it and then he'd say something like "But when xxxx was here I'd see 5 times that number of signups". And I'd reply "Yes, that's because the database is crap and he wasn't doing it correctly". Why did nobody notice that with so many new customers they still couldn't make any money? But it gets better, not only did they want a report they also wanted me to sign it off as being accurate for company account purposes. Screw that. I was only the lowly database admin, I could now see why the other bloke couldn't get out the door quick enough, he knew it was coming up to that time of year. A morning of being asked to explain to a shareholder why the company was haemorrhaging money followed by being asked to make up some magic figures to reconcile with the bank account was enough for me.

But why even bother mentioning this? I suppose there are lessons about not rushing into things and the old if it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and flies like a duck then 9 out of 10 times it's a duck thing but more importantly the man responsible for all the technology in that business at that time has just gone on to win some business bloke of the year award. I shit you not, it's not what you know, or to some extent even who you know. It's the amount of irrelevant dribbling bullshit that you can come out with that really matters.

ps Within 3 months of me leaving the entire front and back end gambling system was ripped out and replaced with a recognised system. I like to think that the report I left them on ways forward for them as a business had some influence in that decision.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

National Insurance Contributions To Increase On The Isle of Man

Actually happened yesterday but the local media can't be bothered reporting on something that impacts on every single working person of the Isle of Man.

Isle of Man NI Increase

The good news is that the money has been allocated for Health Services, although with my knowledge of government accounting I wouldn't like to say what the actual chances of that happening are.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Non Stick Toilets

With all the inventiveness out in the world, why hasn’t someone invented a non stick toilet bowl?
Surely a Teflon coated bowl would prevent the perennial problem of skiddies on the bowl?
It seems simple enough to me.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Great Rice Crispie Shortage

Can't find anybody with them in stock, happened before about a month ago. Has there been a problem with the rice crispie harvest?

I wouldn't mention it except it's the only cereal L will eat that isn't coated in sugar/chocolate.

Friday, October 23, 2009

How To Rescue The Isle of Man From The VAT Shortfall

It's headless chicken time on the rock. Government finances have just been shafted by our bigger, tougher neighbour and now it's "tough times ahead". In all the doom and gloom though people are forgetting about one thing,no, not Investing - I'm talking about the internet.

The Department of Trade and Industry have got us all covered, so no need to panic people! You see all we need to do is setup home businesses doing thing like...I dunno maybe making homemade greetings cards or painting stones and then via the power of the shopiom.com portal we can sell them to people all around the world. Even people in France have the internet, crisis, we'll make a killing? The Isle of Man could become the cottage industry centre of the world, all powered by Venda, it will be awesome.

So for anyone who finds themselves in financial shit creek because of what's going on my advice is pickup some stones (we have plenty), buy some paint and get cracking. Tough times my ass, shopiom.com is all we need.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How Not To Deal With Debt Part 2

Do not spent £100 on a pillow. Even better, don't buy 2.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How Not To Deal With Debt

1. Do not borrow even more money, surely that's just common sense?

2. Do not start selling of what you've bought for a fraction of its value

Anybody want to copy Labour in?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ukraine vs England - Not On TV

Ukraine vs England is on Saturday. The nation that invented the game, has the buzz from early World Cup qualification and is generally regarded as one of the most football mad countries in the world doesn't get to watch their national teams latest world cup qualifier live on TV? That's seriously screwed up. It's bad enough when only pay per view channels get to show the national team but to not show it at all? Mental.

What's even worse is if you want to watch the match online you're looking at a one of price of £4.99 up until Wednesday I think, and then a piss taking'ly marvelous £9.99 after that. £9.99 for a single online streamed game! So what will happen is that a load of people will either forget or pray that something will happen to show the game on TV and end up desperate on Saturday and pay £9.99. Except there is a flaw in the plan of the schemers behind this, the online bookie Bet365 also have the rights to show the game and signing up with them is free. So it may not be as good as watching it from the comfort of your sofa on a large TV but at least if you're having to watch it online you can do it for free, just sign up at Bet365.

Note:- I've just been contacted by the company running this game and have been asked to promote it - for a price. It looks like I've made a massive mistake here, it's not £9.99 they are going to charge but actually £11.99! Yes, el-ev-en pounds and 99 pence to watch Ukraine vs England online. Not in 3D, not in HD, not an actual ticket to the game but to watch the game streamed over the net. Jesus H Christ, anybody paying that is stupid, anybody paying that when Bet365 are showing the game for free is clearly a mental!

Monday, October 05, 2009

People Who Pick Up Dog Shit

Was on the bus this morning and as we were heading up the hill we happened to go past some woman walking her dog. That's not quite right, cos at that point she wasn't so much walking the dog as fondling its shit. What I'm wondering here is what is the correct response to this? On the bus it looked like 90% of people diverted their gaze to straight ahead and locked it that way. The other 10% continued to stare out the window at the lady playing play-dough with turd. What are you supposed to do?

I should point out that I applaud people who love their animals enough to walk around after them picking up crap. Its reason enough for me to never own a dog. It's certainly a lot better than the other filthy bastards who just leave their dogs to shit everywhere for us to walk in. The Isle of Man used to be some sort of dog shit capital but it has gotten much better, far from perfect but better. It's just....you know...the whole picking up shit thing with your hands...with only a thin piece of plastic for protection. Doing it can't be great, watching somebody else isn't great either. Think I'll stick with being a diverter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Natural Selection in Reverse

Bin Men in my day were something to secretly admire. They were smelly granted yet you had a grudging respect for these men that was left unsaid. They rose early in the morning combing the village and emptying your rubbish (no reuse, recycling in those days). They were hulking muscled men as well as they had to tote large bins crammed full of rubbish up and down lanes and drives and then heave them into the back of the lorry.

Just driving to work this morning and we were held up by the Bin Men (mind you they are probably called Refuse Collection Officers or something like that) and to a man they were all weedy individuals. All the bins now days have wheels, and even when they get it to the lorry, they simply push a button and it’s lifted automatically and emptied.

It’s a shocking state of affairs. Darwin will be turning in his grave. What happens when technology lets them down? How will they be able to cope without the muscular skeleton capable of great feats of strength?

It’s the children I feel sorry for now, for all the bin men have left is the smell!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All I want is a Hand Held Vacuum

Right all I want is a hand held vacuum to clean the car etc that’s it. However living on The Rock makes it impossible. I have researched and found this to be the best model the Black & Decker VH780 it also has the added value of being able to inflate which is handy when guest stay and we need the airbed.
Right, so that is the hard part over, the research and reading reviews, now the easy bit of buying it.
Looking on the B&D site the only local store is B&Q. However a visit to the store and website shows they don’t sell them. Never mind I’ll try the Isle of Man Shopping portal. No such luck as I couldn’t find it in Google (well not on the first 5 pages).
Right, let’s try Google Products or Pricerunner (my favourite): Success I’ve found 4 places that sell it. No let’s just sign up to the websites and go through the shopping cart….. HANG ON!!!!
UK mainland Delivery is £5 and they want £25 to the Isle of Man…. That’s 80% of the cost of the item….
Why can’t Play.com sell everything? They manage to get 37” LCD TV’s to my door for NO delivery..
Fookers the lot of them!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Doing The End 2 End In Style

Because when you're one of the Manx Lads riding from one end of the Island to the other isn't challenge enough, you have to do it 1 handed whilst holding your breath!



Well done Mikey!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Providing Some Balance

So that last post may come across as being a bit harsh. It might be harsh but it's also true. A lot of people just aren't suited to University or even the sort of high paying jobs that they dream of post university. Get over it, I wish the Government would and maybe cut back on some of the money being spent on sending people away to go on the piss for 3 years!

Saying that I do actually feel sorry for those looking for work now. We've had it drummed into us for 15 years that if you're not at Uni you're a nobody. Normal jobs are for scum. Even your average school leaver with half a dozen GCSEs expects to walk into a bank job on £15k+ a year. They've never heard that all work is honorable and there's no way they'll go looking down the ladder at the type of jobs that are still available. So you end up in a situation where the job centre is advertising hundreds of jobs, there are hundreds of people on job seekers and yet there's no movement.

Then again I don't feel as sorry for them as I do the generation that is to come in another 4 or 5 years. Just wait until the recession that we've borrowed outselves out of now really hits in a few years time :(

Didn't Get The A Level Results You Wanted?

Well I guess you either didn't try hard enough or you've simply not got the brains? Shit happens, not everybody is suited to study. If you've screwed up your A-levels chances are that if you go to Uni you'll screw up there as well, pissing away even more tax payers money. So for christs sake please stop dreaming of University and instead start thinking about trying to get a fucking job! Thankyou.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anybody who thinks....

...that the Isle of Man is immune to the financial problems gripping the world right now really should go and check out the queue outside Markwell House at 9 o'clock on a Monday morning.

I remember when the queue was 2 people sat on the bench, I think that's what they were waiting for anyway. It seems to be getting longer every week.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Didn't Know The Isle of Man Had A Post Code Lottery

But it seems like it does when it comes to broadband (that old chestnut again!) I have ranted long and hard about how crap our broadband speed is. Well it seems as though Manx Telecom decided to do something about it, they've put in a rIsam no more than a mile from our house. We should be getting at least 4-5 meg now.

If only things were as simple as that heh. You see we live on the outskirts of a council estate, in a privately owned house (as if it matters). On the other side of the council estate is a large estate of 4-5 bedroom private houses - Farmhill. Think doctors and advocates. This is where they've located the rISAM. I've just heard back this minute that only certain circuits are eligible to go on the new rISAM, see if you can guess? Yep, only those living in their big houses in Farmhill. Everybody else gets to enjoy their fucking shit broadband for a bit longer. It's good to know that the class system is still alive and well on the Isle of Man.

Why does this bother me? Because I know a few people who live in Farmhill and know for a fact that their broadband speed was already quicker than ours before the rISAM was put in. Once again Manx Telecom, priorities you bunch of dickheads.

Here's a recent report on the UK's broadband speeds:-
UK ISP Review

I currently pay £28 a month for an 8 Mb service that delivers at less than 2Mb, much much worse than even the worst UK ISP. Nice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jeremy Paxman - What A Cunt

I don't normally watch News Night but stumbled across it yesterday. Can anybody explain why the BBC is still giving this fuckwit our license money?

He was doing a piece on Afghanistan, they had various experts including somebody from the Afghan foreign ministry, an ex commander etc etc It would have been quite interesting as well if only after asking a question JP would let the fucking EXPERTS answer it without braying and naying like some sort of demented sheepgoat. We'd like to hear their opinions without you shouting "no no no" every 30 seconds, please please please will somebody just hit him the next time he insists on rudely interrupting and answering his own question?

Friday, June 26, 2009

25th June 2009 - A day we'll never forget

I doubt anyone could have missed the Media Circus that started late yesterday?

Farrah Fawcett, one of Charlies angels and (more importantly) ex-wife of the Bionic Man himself has died. I think this will put into perspective exactly what six million dollars will buy.

RIP Farrah (so famous they named Jeans after her).

It's a bitter pill to swallow, especially as it follows so soon after the death of Elvis 'Aaron' Presley.

When will they finally make death illegal?!

God Bless our Celebrities - every single one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recommended On The Isle Of Man

As anybody who as ever read more than two of my posts could figure out I'm a right whinging bastard. That's certainly how it comes across anyway. In reality I like to think of it more like I'm a very simple person. ALL I ever want is the path of least resistance - I want people to do what they say they are going to do at the price they say they are going to do it. Anyhoo, this doesn't seem to go down very well on the rock - as our attempts at finding a plumber this week have born out - so I figured what the hell, why not start a list of companies that meet my ever so stringent standards (i.e. they do what they say at an agreed price). So here you go, for the benefit of the other Manx Lads and the 3 other regular readers we have the beginning of the "Recommended On The Isle of Man" list (please feel free to add your own) -

ISPs
WiManx - Why? Because they are cheaper than Manx Telecom, they don't throttle your bandwidth, a free static IP and most importantly their support team respond.

Plumbers
A to Z Plumbing - Why? Fuck me, a plumber that turns up on the day they said they would (they same day we phoned them). Were willing to buy what we needed from the merchants and take away our old one. Came and fitted a new toilet (no not a whole new bathroom) in an hour. No leaks, no fuss, no need to get them back. 100% the opposite of every other plumber I've dealt with.

Action Services - Wanted our old back boiler replacing and a new condensing combi boiler fitted. Gave Steve a call, he came around priced the job, gave recommendations for where best to put things and then arranged a date to have it done. Date came, work started, 2 days later we had a new boiler with no hassles or problems and cheaper than the couple of other quotes we got.

Painters & Decorators
DP Cowley Painters & Decorators - After looking at the same wallpaper for 10 years it was time for the living and dining rooms to get decorated. I don't do wallpaper. Got quotes and were frankly fucked about from asshole to breakfast time with what they would and wouldn't do (I did a post on this somewhere) Contacted DP Cowley, Paul arrived on time to do the quote, gave us the quote in writing the next day, was happy to do or arrange everything (yes including removing the radiators), was honest about when he could start the job (i.e. no false promises), arrived on time, cleaned up after themselves and then most importantly the finish we got was better than anything we could have possibly hoped for.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Manx Telecom Customer Service - Why Bother?

The old broadband whinge, it's coming back again. I see that Manx Telecom are upgrading the network to ADSL2, those in the south of the Island already have it and the roll out will cover Peel, Ramsey etc soon enough.

Me? Oh no I'm still on a connection that is under 2 meg, certainly not the 6 my brother who lives in the middle of nowhere (aren't remote ISAMs great?) gets or for that matter the 7-8 meg that most of my friends get. Still pay the same though.

It's not like I live out in the sticks either, Douglas post code, Douglas rates, we live in Douglas. I'd prefer not to but that’s a different rant. Even worse we probably live in one of the most densely populated parts of Douglas and yet our broadband service is utter shit. I've contacted Manx Telecom loads of times about this and I know for a fact lots of other people around here have to. This isn't my whinge, it's a whinge from a lot of people living in a built up area, in the capital, that believe their broadband speed should be equivalent to the rest of the island. It's always the same answer from Manx Telecom, nothing they can do (they can't justify putting in a remote ISAM, even though it would service the needs of far more people than the current remotes). But I suppose we should just be grateful to have some sort of working broadband, tough shit that you're paying the best part of £30 a month for crap all.

When the new ADSL2 finally hits Douglas (we will be last, we're always last) mine will top out at about 3.5 meg. Awesome. I'll still be paying the same as the rest of the island though the majority of which are averaging between 10 and 12 meg. So please Manx Telecom you monopolising bastards, would it not make sense to provide some level of reasonable service to ALL your customers before splashing the money on upgrading those that currently get the most anyway?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Venda On The Isle of Man - A Rant

I was going to sign up and post this over at Manx Forums but I figure what the hell, why waste good content on a website I don't own? (It's the little details that make the difference between a successful website and one with no traffic ;))

It seems that sarcasm is well above some people and that this little post was taken literally. I thought the give away would have been the suggestion that a bunch of Manx retailers group together to take on Amazon. Nobody see the sarcasm in that? I guess not because my little rantings and ravings have somehow been taken very seriously and been presented in a way to defend the whole Venda situation.

So just to clear things up for those that are not technically minded here's some straight forward opinion about the whole Venda on the Isle of Man situation.

What is Venda? It's a hosted service that lets you easily build shopping websites. Each website is hosted by Venda and for this you pay them money. Simple as that.

Is Venda unique? Absolutely not. There are literally hundreds of competitors for what Venda offers. Some hosted, some you can install on your own server. Some cost money but many are free. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED VENDA HAVE NO USP.

Could local IT suppliers offer what Venda offers? There is no need for them to. Web applications are easy peasy to program, any developer worth his salt could knock out a shopping based CMS but why bother? Why re-invent the wheel when there are so many free or cheap (globally recognised and top of their game) systems out there that can easily be altered to suit any retailers requirements. Plug this into a rich content website and you stand a chance. Every Manx web company can or should be able to easily do this.

Will Venda make Manx retailers more money? I doubt it. Having a website that creates a profit requires so much much than just chucking a shopping site on the web. The retailers will need the support of experts in the field of internet marketing to stand any chance online. In that regard Venda is simply an added expense with no ROI. Hosting doesn't cost £50 a month.

Was I impressed with what I saw in the backend of Venda? Not really. The only bit I liked was the template wizard, but they are 10 a penny these days anyway. The most alarming side was the complete lack of integration in the stock management side. Retailers will sign up on the promise of the all-in-one hands off Venda solution and end up spending hours dicking around with spreadsheets. The presentation I witnessed made a strong point of emphasising the SEO benefits of Venda and yet when I searched for the clients website they were using as an example using some popular target phrases they were nowhere to be found. Submitting a sitemap doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

Could this be done better? Absolutely. I have no invested interest in this at all. I'd certainly not be bidding on the work, screw that. But there is a chance here to create an optimised, working community of websites for small retailers on the Isle of Man. It could be done with a fraction of the money the DTI are about to give Venda. Use the money and give it to local IT companies so that the retailers can have their websites not only setup but also marketed and managed for them. Any IT companies not up to the task or any retailers whose products aren't a success online get pulled. Not all websites are profitable - fact. Use the resources of the Isle of Man, use various web developers, various hosting companies (with different IP's, not all stuck under Venda) and knit it altogether in an online community that leverages the links and traffic in the best possible way. This is how networks of related websites naturally grow on the web and this is what is needed to ensure traffic for the retailer’s shops.

So does that clear things up? I see Venda as nothing but a huge waste of money brought on by a clever sales pitch and the usual government consultants throwing opinions around on things that they don't have the first bloody clue about. Also see the need to upgrade to Vista and the cutting edge accounting system sold on the basis that "it works like Excel" as further examples. The end.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perspective




I can't really remember us losing our own home and moving into a council house, I was too young.

I can remember us buying the second hand Talbot Sunbeam, I think it cost £900. I certainly remember the sacrifices that had to be made to afford it.

I can remember the regular visits by the catalogue person, just about everything we owned was paid for on the drip from the catalogue.

I remember our first and only family holiday. A week in the Butlins park at Pwllheli, Wales.

I remember my dad holding down 3 jobs, us hardly seeing him except when on his 9 days and I suppose what it eventually did to my mum and dad.

I remember the guilt of going away with the school when I was 11 and just how much it cost.

I can remember my dad’s dream of owning a "decent" boat. By decent I think he meant one with a cabin. The excitement when the bank said he could borrow the money, all £1500 of it. It was paid back at £80 a month if I remember correctly.

I remember the company I worked for going tits up a matter of months before I was due to get married. Of being out of work without a penny to my name and if truth be told – without a care in the world deep in the belief that it would sort itself out.

As I sit here now in front of 5 grand’s plus worth of computer equipment, in the house my wife and I own where I work, creating content for my own business where I choose what hours I do and don't want to work, I feel like a right selfish prick. Why? Because the only thing in life I've got to worry about is the fact I know my reserves are going to dip below 12 months of salary in the next few months - and it's giving me sleepless nights. I was brought up during the eighties when nobody really had much, but I can never remember my mum and dad having sleepless nights or freak outs over money. Note to self - get a fucking grip fella.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Great White Shark vs Killer Whale, Who Would Win In A Fight?

When not pondering what makes the world go around these are the things I like to occupy my mind with. You can't beat a good old animal fight.

In the red corner we have the Great White shark. As far as sharks with teeth go it's a true heavyweight but when you compare it to the Killer Whale it's probably more a super-middle. Full of teeth and aggression, grrrrrrrrrr!!! In the blue corner we have the somewhat girly looking and placid Killer Whale. It's only when you go further than skin deep though that the real potential winner in this fight shows up. In terms of speed, power, agility and probably most importantly intelligence the Killer Whale has it hands down. The only possible doubt in this fight being the Killer Whale’s nature, or what we perceive to be its nature. You know it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog and all that? Still if I was a betting man I'd put my fiver on the Killer Whale every time. This video backs that up:-



This whale is known as CA2, not much of a name but you obviously do not try and steal her chips cheese and gravy! And we thought cows were dangerous.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Wrong Was I About Venda?!

Having seen the guts of the system - wow wee, she's a beauty! Does the lot, I'd definitely use it for my online store. Maybe the Manx retailers could group together and by the power of Venda challenge Amazon for that number 1 e-tailer spot, I reckon it could happen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When Governments Go Wrong

What's £300,000 between friends? I suppose when it comes to government spending it's bugger all, especially on the IOM. That's the amount the DTI are willing to spend of our money on providing local retailers with a web presence. They've gone with an off-island supplier so in a creative double whammy not only are they chucking 300 grand of tax payers money off island but are also taking away business from the local website designers at a time when they need the business most. I'm not a website designer by the way, I don't do clients - well except the very privileged :)

What really really fucks me off about this more than anything else though is who made the decision to go with Venda? What qualifications do they have to justify making an educated decision on an ecommerce supplier? I'm going to talk about 1 aspect, the 1 I know best, SEO. Search Engine Optimisation, the Venda product has been sold to the IOM Government I'm guessing on the basis that is will provide excellent search engine visibility to the local retailers. My entire living is based on search engine traffic, if my websites don't get traffic then I don't make a penny. The mortgage doesn't get paid, food doesn't get bought etc etc It's an ass twitching industry. I guess that makes me qualified to at least have an opinion?

My opinion on Venda for SEO, it's shit. The first alarm bell is something that takes 5 seconds to figure out. Do a Google search for "ecommerce solution" (their primary keyword target) how far do you have to go down the results until you find Venda? I gave up at page 7. IF they can't rank their own website then they sure as hell can't guarantee great search exposure for the retailers. Maybe I'm wrong though? The next thing to do is to have a look at their existing clients - I'll pick 2 at random, Superdrug and Arsenal Football Club.

This is really basic stuff for anybody sourcing a website supplier, lets have a look at the source for the web pages created by Venda for these big name clients. I know that 85% of search ranking will be dependent on the link profile of the websites but if the on-the-page stuff isn't correct then no amount of links will compensate. Any CMS needs to create search friendly HTML in order to stand a chance. The search engines will punish or even at worse ignore shit. Venda was sold on the basis that it does SEO, let's see?

From extra white space characters in the title tag (enough to break some search robots), descriptions that are far too long, or too short, missing keyword values, duplicate keyword/description values. URL's that don't include the product name, instead using a product ID to the single biggest sin in on-the-page SEO - using the same description across the entire site. If you're not going to create a unique description for each page then don't include one at all! I've spent 5 minutes looking at this across their clients sites and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, they are dishing out some of the most search unfriendly websites that I've seen from any CMS. And we're going to give them £300,000 for this?! If their clients rank it's only because of their branding and the natural links that it attracts. Manx retailers will not enjoy that branding power.

If they've bullshitted on 1 aspect of their sales pitch then what about the others? They may be big, they may be well known, they are also very over priced for what they do and just love public sector money. Local retailers are going to sign up for this (subsidised by you and me) and expect to find their products online through the search engines, it's not going to happen. Don't believe me? Do a Google search for Arsenal shirt (that's gotta be the most popular term in terms of traffic for the Arsenal store?) and see where the official Arsenal store powered by Venda appears?

In 6 months time it's going to be another 300 grand down the drain and nobody ever mentions it ever again. So who made the decision, and how were they qualified to make it? More importantly why didn't they ask me, I would have at least gave them an idea of what they should be looking for, for free.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Super League: Super Fans

I’ve just spent the weekend @ the Super League Road show event: Murrayfield Magic in Edinburgh and what a fabulous weekend it was. All 14 Super League teams play over the 2 days, so from £12.50 you get to see 7 matches.

The atmosphere was brilliant with loads of people in fancy dress and having a laugh and of course a few beers. It was great to see 14 different sets of supports all mingling and joking about each other’s teams. Then when the matches started they would all run back to the stands, often sitting next to each cheers cheering and booing side by side. Then back to the beer tent to top up on alcohol and rib each other about the match.

It just felt good to be a Rugby Supporter.

Could you imagine if the Premiership did something similar? They would need a separate beer tent for each set of supporters and lines and lines of police between each group. On the whole weekend in Edinburgh I saw TWO coppers, laughing and joking with the crowd…. That is all. Two coppers to police 60,000 supporters….

I love Rugby….

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu (What Recession?)

This is starting to get on my tits now. Flu kills a percentage of people that get it, fact. That percentage has and will always be higher in third world back waters like Mexico. Here are the symptoms of Swine Flu (from the BBC):-

"Swine flu symptoms are similar to those produced by ordinary seasonal flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue"

No limbs dropping off, no spewing blood, no eyes seeping black pus? IT'S JUST PLAIN OLD NORMAL FUCKING FLU! Only a tiny percentage get seriously ill from it, even fewer drop dead. Chances are we will all get it at one point or another, thanks to modern living standards a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage will die. Some people will probably die in the UK from it, then again some people died from flu last year, and the year before. The media are cunts.

But in the mean time we can all panic about something new and completely forget that the elected fuck wits of the world have fucked us over and plummeted us into financial meltdown.

People in third world countries need to worry about Swine Flu, the rest of us have got other things to worry about.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Joy of Self Employment

There is one thing that I couldn’t live without – and therefore why I wouldn’t consider working for “the man”.

Singing. I love singing.

Currently, I’m bellowing out Star People (George Michael). And I mean bellowing. Not like that half-hearted mumbling I did at my last job (sorry to all the staff there).

Closely followed by:
Michael Buble – It had better be tonight
Take That – Shine
Bobby Darin - Mac the Knife
Etc.

In fact, I have an actual Playlist called “Singers” which contains all the songs I THINK I can sing. And who cares if I can’t. I’m in a converted attic in a Victorian house with 3 foot thick walls and all the neighbours are out, working for “the man”.

I think I’ll add REM – Losing My Religion – I bet I can sing that.

M.

p.s. Praying for Time – another Georgie Michael tunette just started! I might have to stand up for this one. And then I'm gonna put some clothes on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UK Budget - An Advert For The Isle of Man

As anybody who knows me will tell you, I'm no huge fan of the Isle of Man, well that's not fair exactly, it's not the island as a whole that I don't like, rather just the moronic imbreds that have positioned themselves in power via the old boys club. Anyhoo, it's not like me to big up the place but having just watched the UK budget I feel like I've got to do my part.

If You Earn More Than £150,000 A Year You Must Move To The Isle of Man!

I'm being serious. The UK budget sees a 50% tax being levied on those that earn more than £150k a year, can you believe that? Before you even get started with NI or VAT (or simply just plain old living) you get to hand over half of your wages to the tax man. Fuck that. That's knocking on the door of communism.

I'm in the lucky position of working for myself so I have some understating of what it takes to start a business from the ground up. I'm not in the UK and I certainly don't earn more than £150k a year so I'm not being biased here. It takes a shit load of work, commitment and sacrifice. Behind every successful business there is a story - usually involving struggle. Labour have decided to ignore that. They have worked on the assumption that everybody earning over 150 grand a year is unworthy of it and should have it taken from them immediately. What about the people who have spent 8 years studying law? Those that have spent 12 years training as surgeons? You fuck them and the entrepreneurs, business owners, risk takers over in order to make life better (the truth as they shall will be in the pudding of this) for the people happy enough to plod along in life. The western capitalist world is based on a notion of risk and reward, sure it can get out of hand but it is based on the idea of free will, we all set our own levels of risk that we are willing to accept. To punish those that succeed (and at the same time bring about the opportunities for those that prefer the easy life) is fucking stupidity of the highest order.

What incentive is there to run a business in the UK? What incentive is there to push yourself harder, to work harder for that pay rise? £150k a year is not a ridiculous amount to earn, not when you consider that any old shit for brains with a GCSE C in English can easily earn £30k plus in the Civil Service. The majority of the people earning big bucks in the private sector have earnt it, they bring value, if they didn't they soon get let go. Of course there is the odd piss taker, the recent economic crisis has taught us that, but they are the con men, the dirty salesmen, they are the minority not the majority of high earners.

So this is why I'd suggest anybody running a business or earning more than £150,000 seriously consider relocating to the Isle of Man. Besides the superb quality of life we enjoy our upper personal tax rate is 18%, not 50%, 18%. On top of this there is a tax cap of £100,000 in place meaning that you will not pay more than £100,000 in personal income tax. Just think of the savings for a minute. I'm not going to go into the various advantages of running your business here, that's perhaps a post for somebody from the DTI to make.

The Isle of Man government has tried to attract exactly the sort of people that the UK seems determined to punish for a while now with not much success. This budget may well provide the Isle of Man with the influx of creative, intelligent businessmen and women which it craves.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Twazmuppet

And so what is a twazmuppet? Glad you asked! First, you take a large banking corporation (such as the Royal Bank of Scotland), then, with cutting edge idealism that you learnt in your youth (the 50's were such a good era), burden said corporation with ridiculous loss-making purchases (don't worry - accountants count debt as a good thing! All those creditors look good on the balance sheet) and gather amongst yourselves a droneful of yes-men to your board and switch to smug-mode as the economy soars!

Whatever you do - jump ship before any economic wobble - or else a plummet in share price will follow and you'll look a right twazmuppet. But don't worry - with the right exit strategy you'll land yourself a sweet, sweet pension deal and probably some sort of golden parachute leaving bonus.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Good News For The Isle of Man

Woo hoo, we are a white tax haven! Maybe to mark this we should rename the Isle of Man the Isle of Wh.... oh hang on a minute.

Here's my uneducated take on things. We managed to avoid a OECD tax haven black list that ONLY has 4 countries on it, Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Phillipines and Uruguay. Notice that none of them seem to have any real connections with the major world players? I wonder what you have to do to get on that list?! hmm

Everybody else has been bunged into 2 lists, a white list and a grey list. The Isle of Man is in the whitelist so what does that mean for us? Actually bugger all, there is no reward for being white instead of grey. We do not get a Brucie Bonus. The only difference is that we have implemented some stuff for information sharing instead of "committing" too. We have been very busy running around kissing asses. So if you're a wealthy ex-pat looking for somewhere to LEGALLY put your money you have a choice between the Isle of Man (who will squuueeeaaalll your details at first asking) or a nice "grey" tax haven that is treated the same as the Isle of Man but won't be so obliged to share your details with every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. Now where would you put your money?

I reckon this bit of free marketing is going to do wonders for Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Phillipines and Uruguay (cos there will always be a black market). The countries on the grey list will probably do OK out of it as well. The tax havens on the white list - not really much of an incentive to use them now is there?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Best April Fool So Far

Has to be some sour faced bint by the name of the Badger on GMTV preaching to the new hoard of recently scrapped dole-ites. Her top tip:-

If you want your CV to stand out from the crowd, use coloured paper!

Genius I tell ya!

I also have some tips to add to Ruth's expertise:-

1. Use a different font for every line of your CV
2. Headers need to be BIG, anything over 80pt preferably
3. If after all the above your CV still doesn't stand out enough for your liking consider drawing small shapes like stars, butterflies and houses in the corners (and trees, everybody loves trees)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Un-Fucking Believable

A pay rise is not your right, you should ONLY get extra pay for WORKING HARDER.

Private Sector - Unemployment Up

Public Sector - Pay Up

But is was a 3 year deal? Fuck that, when a "fixed" deal goes against the employee's side all hell breaks lose in order to have some work around sorted out to give them more. The employer's side (that is supposed to represent tax payers) will just pay up without a grumble. That deal can now be quoted by every other public sector group in pay negotiations - public sector pay just goes up and up whilst the mugs paying for it scramble around shitting their knickers over just keeping their job.

In other related news a private care home in Peel have told staff that their hours are being cut, it's either that or some staff are let go. When will the dickheads in charge of running this island come down from their ever so high fucking high horses and take a little look-see in to the real world?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All Aboard The Gravy Train

[]
The Four Cats


Four men were bragging about how smart their cats were.

The first man was an Engineer,

The second man was an Accountant,

The third man was a Chemist, and

The fourth man was a Government Employee.

To show off, the Engineer called his cat, "T-square, do your stuff."


T-square pranced over to the desk, took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle.

Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.



But the Accountant said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said,

"Spreadsheet, do your stuff."


Spreadsheet went out to the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 cookies.



Everyone agreed that was good.



But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, "Measure, do your stuff."


Measure got up, walked to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces without spilling a drop into the glass.


Everyone agreed that was pretty good.



Then the three men turned to the Government Employee and said, "What can your cat do?"



The Government Employee called his cat and said, "CoffeeBreak, do your stuff."



CoffeeBreak jumped to his feet.......



[]



Ate the cookies........



Drank the milk.......


Sh*t on the paper.......




[]

Screwed the other three cats.......


Claimed he injured his back while doing so.......

[]

Filed a grievance report for unsafe working conditions.......

[]

Put in for Workers Compensation...............and



Went home for the rest of the day on sick leave............



[]


AND THAT, MY FRIEND IS WHY EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!!

Friday, March 06, 2009

As _____ As A Witches Tit

It's something my dad used to say but I can't remember what the hell the blank was, any ideas? What exactly could a witches tit be?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Why Do We Put Up With Our Banks?

There are 2 things that can really piss me off, 1 is being treated like a dip shit, the other is being lied to because you think I'm a dip shit.

Mrs B has had a problem with her bank account lately, it's a long story but the short version is it got blocked for security reasons. The first part her fault for not remembering her memorable words (doh!) the second part not her fault because the muppet in the call centre blocked the account after only 2 security questions 1 of which shouldn't have been asked. Then to make thing worse when she went in a month ago to get the info she was originally after they assured her the account was unblocked. Yesterday it turns out they lied.

So I decided to go with her to the bank today and get it sorted out, morale support. I was quite happy to let Mrs B do the talking and sit their quietly, right up to the point where the highly trained personal banker came out with the old "it's for your own good" spiel. I've worked in enough banks to know that it's fairly standard that no matter what the circumstances under which an account is blocked you must always tell the customer that it's for their own good. In this case it wasn't for Mrs B's own good at all.

Thinking enough was enough I decided to chip in. Mrs B had been very humble in explaining what had gone on and was just looking for an explanation on why the account was blocked without having been asked the 3 security questions and why wasn't the account unblocked when they said it was. It had caused a lot of inconvenience. Personal banker had got very defensive with a pinch of patronisation thrown in for good measure. So I asked about the second security question Mrs B had been asked. It was about the last transaction on our joint account. That's an impossible question to answer cos there's no way you can know what the other signatories on an account have done today/yesterday. You might as well ask when was the last time your partner farted? They are supposed to ask about the last transactions YOU did. Big difference. They are trying to identify you. Personal banker would not have it, defended the banks stance that they can ask whatever they like about any account they like for a security question. What she was actually doing was lying. Treating us as stupid people and fobbing us of with lies. I wouldn't leave it and eventually after much goading she slipped, only to back track as quickly. So I picked on the fact that Mrs B wasn't asked 3 security questions. She lied again. They can block an account anytime they like, they say it will only happen after 3 questions but they can do whenever they like. That's not right,it shouldn't happen - I just phoned the call centre to confirm that's not their policy, nor is saying you unblocked an account when you haven't.

Why lie about this shit? It's partly Mrs B's fault for forgetting stuff, fair enough, but it's also the banks fault for not going through with their own security procedures. Somebody deviated from the script and mistakenly asked an impossible security question and then blocked an account when they shouldn't have. The call centre monkey screwed up, that's all. It caused inconvenience to a customer. All you need to do is apologise on behalf of your colleague, unblock the account and the jobs a good un. Why start trying to defend a mistake by acting like a big shot and lying? It's about time that personal bankers were taught to think for themselves and have the stock answers taken away. A tiny bit of humbleness and customer service ability would have gone a long way in sorting this out. You'd think with all the crap going on in banking at the moment that customer service would be seen as being quite important?

When I was a wage slave there were tonnes of times where I've had to apologise for somebody else's mistakes, it's just part of working for big companies. Don't know what it is with UK banks and a lot of their staff but they seem incapable of grasping it. In my overly long and not remotely illustrious finance career I'd worked in enough banks and dealt with them day in and day out to know the score. It was always the UK banks that had problems with bullshit. I used to dread phoning them, I still hate dealing with them today. It's why the first thing I do with a new bank account is setup Internet banking. What is it with the lies and bullshit people?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Never Buy Somebody Game Vouchers

Game, as if anybody needed any more of an excuse to hate the Game chain then I've just found one. Whatever you do never suggest that somebody gets you Game gift vouchers as a present, they're a total pain in the hole to try and spend.

First things first there is the problem of knowing how much you have to spend, it's a swipe card type thing and nobody ever thinks to write the amount they've put on it for you. There isn't anywhere you can check online either so the only option is to go in store, either buy a game and take a chance or stand in the queue to find out. Then when you find out you've got enough to buy a game there's the problems of finding a game from the limited local selection and then justifying to yourself spending way over the odds. I've found the prices in Game shops to be 10%-20% more than what you can find online at places like Amazon.co.uk and Play.com At times when the online retailers are having specials you can save up to 60%. It fucking guiles me to my core to not be paying the best price.

Secondly and more importantly there is the stupid rule that you can't use your Game gift vouchers online. What the hell is that about? Because Game online do happen to have some decent discounts from time to time and being able to use your vouchers to buy these might just about make them worth having. You've obviously got the option online of being able to search for a game you want as well. It's a lot easier than shifting through piles of stacked on top of each other boxes. It's not even like they bother to put them in any sort of order in the shops to help you either. By not making Game vouchers usable online they've made them more trouble than they're worth.

I'm not going to buy any "shop local" shit here either. For a start it's a national chain, we don't even get the VAT from it, then there's the over pricing, then there's the not being able to get through the door without getting hassled by staff and finally there are the dickheads that do shop in there who can easily spend half an hour returning games to fund their next purchase. Game, it's shit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

4 Out Of 5 Schools On The Rock Are Really Good...

...obvious then that we end up in the other one. I ask you what are the odds? (Yeah okay, 5-1)

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Day You Lose All Your Family Photos

It was bound to happen sooner or later, old hard drive in old PC containing 10 years worth of photographs. Of course I'd done the sensible thing and had them backed up, loads of times in fact, spread across god knows how many DVDs over the years. It's just a case of putting them into some sort of order and recovering them I suppose...

Or maybe not, a little while back I was looking into online backup as part of work (work from home) and came across a company (Mozy, same name as my best man) offering 2 gigs of free storage for "personal" use. That was more than enough for all our pictures so over the shiteness that is the MT upload limit (256k) I spent the best part of a day uploading the lot. It was worth it, cue intstant (well shitty MT 2Mb) recovery onto the new NAS box.

There are times in life that I think I was born unlucky (how many people have a hard disk just stop altogether on them?) but if you look at it the other way how lucky was I to have backed the lot up only a couple of weeks ago? As an added bonus I can now go through and bin the shit loads of DVD's I've got lying around with god knows what on them.

Backing up, it's a pain in the ass right up until the day something goes wrong.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Halo Wars Demo On X-Box 360

All work has ground to a halt, at least for the next few hours. The much anticipated Halo Wars demo has finally made it onto x-box live. I'm currently at 33% downloaded and willing my broadband to work quicker. Damn you Manx Telecom with your shitty service!

I'm more interested in playing this than just about anything else that's hit the x-box in the last 6 months. First of all it's being heralded as the first ever RTS on the x-box that will actually play like an RTS. The others all seem to have fudged controls and it makes using any strategy almost impossible (Highlight all, click on baddy). Secondly, I've already pre-ordered and paid for a copy so if it's a pile of shit then I'm £40 out of pocket.

Please be good.

Note - It is very good! In fact it's probably the best demo ever to his x-box live, just a shame any silver subscribers don't get access until the 13th.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

Why is it always the same every bloody year? Whilst I always welcome a Chinese, why is it that I only desperately need one when it's Chinese New Year? 2009 has been no different, aching for Chinese grub and there's not a one open. Bugger.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cocaine Trains, 24 Hour Licensing and Not A Chippy In Sight

The lads got together last night for a bit of a beer and rant session. Attendance was excellent with five of us showing up.

I got a taxi down, being the only out of towner. It wasn't the cost that alarmed me though, the taxi driver was one of those chatty English blokes and was happy ranting away about this and that. He mentioned how he was out last week and the pub closed at 11. WTF? What sort of hour is 11 o'fucking clock to be closing your pub in the land of 24 hour licensing. Anyhoo I took it with a pinch of salt, maybe it was just a one off?

When I arrived at Bar Gay..... I mean Boy George.... I mean Bar George...everybody was already seated. The nights of the round table. At about 2 beers in everybody loosened up and the rant was flowing freely. From the human race to teachers I think we just about covered it all. I learnt something as well, Cocaine Trains. There were a bunch of pin-striped toss pots (not that Iprejudge people of course) sat close to us who were regularly taking it in turns to go to the toilet in groups of 3. I just assumed they were bummers but in fact it's something called a Cocaine Train. The give away being the smug, back slapping looks they come back with.

So just as the night was really warming up for what could have been a better than great session time was called. At 11 o'clock. People left, chairs were put on tables until there was only us sat there. I was CONVINCED that it was some sort of a joke. Apparently not. Left to wander the streets it was decided that a chippy was the next order of the day, we wandered long and far, looking for anywhere that had a sign of life. Not a bloody one open. What sort of a shit hole island is this? I demand the right to be able to drink later than 11 on my thrice annual nights out and I also demand the right to go to a chippy on the way home, as I've done for the last 13 years. All this talk of credit crunches and shite is all great until you can't go to a chippy on your way home.

It was a great night, great company and shoddy lager. I've just crawled out of bed with a head that is begging me to puke my guts up to feel better. Now that wouldn't have happened if I'd had some chips to put on top of the dirty nasty lager.

Here's a picture of us in Boy George.....I mean Bar George:-

Friday, January 16, 2009

Insensitive

Is when you're laughing and joking with a mate about how you're considering getting another job "just" to fill your time, you walk away and only then realise that he was being a bit quite cos he's working for a company that has just announced huge layoffs.

Bugger.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Katrina Darrell - American Idol

I've never been a big fan of these make me a star shows like American Idol. However every now and then a story comes out about one that grabs my attention. Take Katrina Darrell for example who recently auditioned on American Idol in only a bikini. I don't know what it is about this girl that gets my attention....





The question is how would this translate to the UK, how would we feel if the average English munter turned up in her bikini on Saturday night TV? Do we have any Katrina Darrell's out there?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oh my God! There probably isn’t one.

Atheist adverts declaring that "there's probably no God" have been placed on 800 buses around Britain after an unprecedented fundraising campaign. Well my point of view is neither here nor there, but I unquestionable know there isn’t one.

And if you needed proof, just look at the psycho bitch that was my first wife, no God would allow me to do that. Then there is the complete Cluster Fuck that is the world at the moment and in all likelihood since man managed to drag himself out of the primordial slim and pick up a pint.

Man’s inhumanity to man is legendary, whether it is the in name of some deity, some cause or just for the sake of power.

Yep, there is no God. The final proof is Chicks with Dicks… WTF?

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Gladiator Siren

Those bastards over at Sky have binned my favourite Gladiator Ice! Thoughtfully though they have seen fit to employ some even fitter totty - I give you Siren (Amy Guy)!