Monday, 30 November 2009

St Andrews Day

One day in the distant past it is said that a chap arrived in a small craft off the coast of Fife. he was greeted by the locals and educated them regarding Christianity. It is possible they were already influenced by this as he then persuaded them he had the bones of St Andrew (Peters brother) in a bag! At this place the town of St Andrews, now more famous for its golf course than anything else, including the University and the strange need of the students to wear that red cloak.

Whatever, Andrew became Scotland's patron saint until the reformation thankfully removed the idea of praying to dead people from the church. Since that time few in the UK have bothered about saints, although the Irish made a big thing of it, although mostly for the party I guess. Some now suggest St Andrews day in Scotland, and St Georges in England and St David's in Wales, ought to become a holiday. I doubt it ever will, who wants a holiday in November?

Still no reply from blogcatalog. I suspect that folk often have virus of some sort hanging around and have not realised this. It may well get a connection when they log on. Also there are always wee geeks sitting in their back bedrooms attempting to break into large organisations websites and leave 'Trojans' just for fun. Criminals also throw them out. Still, this annoys me as I now avoid logging in. Even if the bug is not really dangerous I still don't like it.

However I have been grateful that so many others have noticed this and have replied to the comments.

I came across this site recently and there are one or two very well written articles in here. Real fans writing intelligently about the game they love. Unlike the miserable, badly spelt stuff that is found in most newspapers these days. This is a particularly good one that is worth a read and possibly a comment from the intelligent reader. (No I didn't write it, it makes sense!)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Blog Catalog Problems

On Saturday morn I attempted to log in to Blog Catalog. As I did so my 'Avast' anti virus indicated there was a 'JS Downloader' virus associated with the page linked to:-
I attempted to log in this morning and found another similar warning, this time linked to :-

On both occasions I e-mailed Blogcatalog and warned them of this.
I just wonder if any other have found this warning?
Avast is quite good and indicates a lot more virii than other anti virus I have found, but I wonder if others have come across this?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Saturday Night

Yesterday I walked across the park and snapped the sky above. Today was similar, until the rain started! Chilly and sunny, somewhat like Antarctica I would say. Spoiled only by my need to shop, watch Scotland lose and rugby, and fall over the pavement in the middle of the market in front of everybody. My goalkeeping skills came to the fore as I rolled as I fell and hit the road on my shoulder, rolled over and rose as gracefully as an idiot falling in a public place can be. I was impressed by the way the crowds offered to rescue me, muttering, "What a shame no bus was passing,2 and "He is missing his Zimmer frame." Why was the sun shining at this time I ask?

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Cynic that I am I was sent pondering this afternoon about our 'Hero's,' or at least our use of the term, for our soldier boys. There are myriad US websites, blogs, and what have you, all dedicated to their 'Hero' soldiers, 'Fighting the good fight.' Whether they, or indeed the men fighting, actually understand why they were sent to Iraq to search for a man situated deep in the Pakistan hills is doubtful. However the desire to support the loved one in a dangerous situation is to be lauded.

I am a little bit concerned we are falling into this trap also in the UK. A short while ago the media was full of politicians and generals informing us that we need to 'support the troops.' What they really meant was we need to 'support the war,' but this did not fool many. For why? Well there was no animosity towards the 'troops,' in any way shape or form. Even the Guardian and other left leading papers, mags and blogs, did not attack the troops. In fact they gave the safety of the troops as one reason to bring them home from an unnecessary conflict. The 'Hero's' were not being attacked, the war was!

We however are in danger of adopting the schmaltzy Yank manner of dealing with this. Soldiers, indeed policemen who die when washed away in storms, are not 'Hero's' in a slushy sense. They are, brave, dedicated, and never rewarded adequately certainly, but not comic book 'hero's,' and ought not to be used in this fashion. This attitude feeds the platitudes of politicians and Hack newsmen, along with some of the relatives, but as a nation we do not respond so well to the schmaltz.
Anyway, thinking of the conversation with a sergeant in 3 Para where we mentioned this poem which sums up much of the truth about folks approach to soldiers. It says it all as human nature never changes!

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The 'eyes' have it!

My eyes hurt, My knees tremble, my fitness is equal to that of a ninety year old who has just fallen all the way down Mont Blanc! Otherwise all is well, except for the stink in this place, the debts, the rain clouds outside and in, the dole hassling me to take work that isn't there, and the funny looks women give me when I follow then through the park.
Otherwise all is well.
So I am not on the PC much as it hurts my eyes after five minutes, and I write this on a gray background to lessen the impact on me, plus I have already dimmed the bright screen so I cannot see what I am writing. Not that this would make much difference.

I am bereft without the PC! I attend to those things left idling but compose words for the PC as I do this but to no effect. I do find that age old problem that compositions made in the mind are very different when put down in writing! How come?

The eye is a masterful creation. Have you looked into them recently, no dear, not like that! So small inside, so complicated, and yet so marvellous. And they say it was just evolution! Ha! What fools we are.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Ban Christmas Adverts

Ban Christmas Adverts!
The telly is full of falsely jolly people bouncing out of shops, grinning inanely at one another, happily stuffing themselves, and encouraging us to rush out and join in.
STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These people made these adverts months ago, earned stupidly large amounts of cash for them, and on top of this the chances of them spending this cash in the shops they advertise is extremely low!
Reality brings crowded shops, unhappy people, overpriced gash, and short tempers and hate!
Those who stuff themselves end up steaming, arguing and fighting with one another. Peace on earth does not exist in such homes. Where love exists it is found with its head down the lavvy pan late at night or lying with a bad head in the morning. The question, "What did I do?" goes through many heads.
I am sick of Christmas already! Did you notice?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Yesterday a friend (yes I do have them) and I wandered down to the Blackwater Estuary at Maldon, eventually. It was an excellent place to be for a short time. The sun shone, the sky was blue and he cameras found one or two items to picture. The estuary lays host to a wide selection of vessels. mostly yachts of those rich enough to afford one. We did wonder if they ever got to use them or just sat there, Riviera style, and boasted of their wealth to their neighbours. There were also a number of Thames barges lined up, now used for tourist trips and special events. These were once found carrying the cargo of the day up and down the Thames, reaching up the East Anglian coast. Similar vessels, called 'Wherries,' worked the same route from places like Yarmouth in similar fashion. Few remain now and what was once a hard life of slog and little reward now is seen as fun and relaxation, if you pay for it that is!

Maldon makes sea salt further down. For centuries they have taken the sea, dried it, and left behind natural salt. Now, I hope in a cleaner environment, this trade is carried on with much success. Each year the mud, seen by the boat in the picture, is where the great 'Maldon Mud Race' takes place. A suitable part of the estuary is chosen at low tide and the cheery nutters volunteers, dressed in a wide variety of outfits, attempt to race from one side to the other through the mud. Only in this country could such events take place! I have not volunteered.

In spite of the estuary, and all those round about, being filled with yachts of all sizes and the Thames barges further along, I found this the best vessel there. Somehow this rust bucket tug, no doubt having seen much good service, appealed much more to me than all the other sailing vessels. This somewhat tarnished when the over friendly tug boat cat got under my feet in an attempt to find friends and attempted to hurl me into the Blackwater itself. I suppose it is all the hard work, tacking, rope pulling and such like that puts me off. Just switch on the engine and go, or shout at the engineer down below until she does, that's more my style.

Painted Church

On the way there we first visited this little church at Faistead famous for their wall paintings. Some of these, seen in the link, were done in the 13th century and covered over during the reformation. One large on hangs over the nave, and other small ones are found elsewhere. They were uncovered in 1890 during a renovation and renovated in the thirties. The church contains lots of Roman bricks which show an old villa once stood here, and it always leaves me wondering just how many people have passed through this building, and whatever went before. The people who 'worshipped, some willingly, and the difficulties encountered by the leaders during the reigns of kings and queens who changed from catholic to protestants and back again. Churches are never the peaceful places of myth.

Not only did I enjoy dragging my unfit fat body around, and why do they built towns on hilltops anyway? But I also journeyed with a man who has been a very good friend, and for little return, over many years. It made the day out all the better, especially when he insisted on stopping off for his latest craze, visiting a tea shop! So we sat in the Waterside Tea Rooms and stuffed ourselves with coffee and scone. I recommend this place!

Being a weary soul much of the time these days is bad enough, but at the weekend my eye decided to play up. I thought it was just strain caused by using the PC in poor light, and when natural daylight disappears it always causes a strain for my eyes. However the ache increased on Saturday and I began to see bright crescents where I had not before, and on Sunday a new type of 'floater' appeared across the eye, a dark spidery like thing that was not there before. But
naturally I searched the web, studied carefully all I found but cried myself to sleep handled the situation bravely until I saw the quack doctor this morning. He listened, all the while pinning a notice to his wall,
"Feel free to waste my valuable time"
it read, and he investigated by shining that little light into my eye blinding me as he did so. he muttered and silently fussed, asking relevant questions and refused to doubt my story even though he could see no fault. "Typical," I thought,"I've discovered a new disease!" However he typed away on the PC and gave me a list of hospitals to choose from and fix up an appointment with an opthim, othimp, optham, an eye doctor in December. It least it is not something obviously bad, just some loose matter in the jelly like substance in the eye. A real nuisance when reading as light backgrounds show it up, and I read a lot.

Good job I am not one to complain, or I would rant about it.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Burley Sacked

George Burley (Telegraph)

There is no shock that George Burley has been sacked as coach of the Scottish Football team. There is some surprise that it happened so quickly but on the other hand the Glasgow Mafia have wanted rid of him for some time. Already they are on Sky Sports putting forward Walter Smith as 'stand in manager.' How surprising is that? Nothing has been said by the OF journalists ( a word used with great care where they are concerned) regarding George Peat resigning however. The suits will always make sure they keep their jobs. So who is next? Big names will not take it, why should they leave comfortable EPL or Championship clubs where the potential is greater than that provided by being the whipping boy of an OF led press corps? Craig Levein, who would stand up to the press and sulky players, the man Clarke, working at West Ham, Eric Black I think was mentioned, but there again the list of probables is endless. Ah well, there will be no quick coronation, not until the money is sorted out anyway!

Watching the launch of the latest space shuttle I was less impressed with the machine reaching 2000 miles per hour in one and a half minutes than I was with the idea of actually seeing this happen live! We forget that the wonders of technology allow us to observe from a position on the outside of the craft as she heads towards the Mir space station. Cameras on the ground follow the craft as she reaches 13 miles high and we take this for granted, as a right, to see this! Just a few years ago I can remember the first 'Telstar' signal coming in from the US. A gray black & white picture on a rolling screen gave us an indication of the future and we were astounded. Today we watch similar on our PCs and complain only about the cost of the ISP. How lucky we are to live at such a time. However all the labour saving devices, all the technological marvels that make life so much better do not appear to make us any happier. There is more to life than possessions and the technological wonders around us, and how often we forget this and grumble.
I am just glad I am not one to complain.......

Sunday, 15 November 2009


As I passed the main Anglican church the other day I noticed the gargoyles uses as drains for the first time. I have often passed by but never bothered to look closely at the fabric of the building. This is strange as I like looking at old things,(no madam, not you, there are limits!) and this church has been there since 1199 apparently but nobody told me. The walls contain the usual mixture of stones and what appears to be old Roman bricks, those thin red flat things, but I wonder if that is what they really are. The gargoyles act as drains from the roof and are somewhat spoiled by having the pipes (iron?) shoved in their gobs I think. Still anything that stops the place being ruined I suppose. I have never actually been in there but it appears to be unusual in that the vicar and his flock seem to know their God! Now that is unusual with Anglicans! The gargoyles are often worth a look. Some churches, usually the Abbeys and Cathedrals, have many and a close inspection reveals actual workers on the sight. It must be said many are not complimentary of their colleagues and some downright unfit for such a building. Worth looking out for mind.

These Anglicans do have that horrid English habit of bell ringing. Each week, or is it fortnight, a group of campanologists gather together and ring out to their, and no-one else's, content! The bells hammering away must get right up the noses of those living nearby, but as the church was there first you just have to lump it. Were you aware that Radio 4 each Sunday morning plays a recording of church bells ringing? As I usually fall asleep listening to the radio I find it disturbing, if the radio is set to radio 4, to be woken on a Sunday by these things clanging away! What is the point? It's not as if it is musical anyway, although the campanologist near you will tell of the wonderful sound emanating from the steeple. It's just a noise to me. Ah well, it's far enough away not to be a bother here. However the other Anglican church, the Anglo Catholic one, does ring bells at weddings. Why? Are we supposed to rejoice with the happy couple? I tend at such occasions to wonder how long it will last myself....

Maybe my readers are all lovers of ringing bells, I suppose then you could say I have dropped a clanger with this?

Saturday, 14 November 2009


The dark clouds brought lashing rain as I woke this morning. The forecast had been for high winds and lashing rain, and they were not wrong. Tonight the trees opposite are almost bare of the yellowing leaves, and the sodden ground awaits the next round on Monday. There were gaps in between the rain and I managed to get out once or twice then. In the far distance I could see bright blue sky and, as always, found the comparison between the heavy, dark gray clouds above. Alas this picture does not reflect the actual colour of the sky but you get the picture, if that is the right thing to say. An ideal day to stay in bed, alas I wish I had!

I did manage to catch some of the rugby between Scotland and Fiji, which Scotland actually won, and we don't do that often at rugby, but never get too carried away with that sport. However I did not see Scotland playing football away in Wales. The Welsh have a rubbish football side, one that all decent nations manage to beat with little trouble, naturally we are one of the leading powers in football and this was an opportunity to give squad players a chance to show their mettle. Burley instead played the MacManus, Caldwell partnership! Why? Fox, a Celtic player was preferred to Wallace the best left back in the country, and it would appear the rest of the players believed the hype that Wales were indeed rubbish. By half time we were three down, and it could have been four. How Caldwell did not have a penalty given against him I do not know?
In short there is a need for radical change. Some would dump the manager, I would allow another game, and if he persists with the numpties who are there simply because they are 'experienced' or play for the 'right club,' then he must consider his position. Mind you I remind you I did not see the game, just highlights, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Safe Computing

I have been suffering strange happenings in my left eye, and I think it is strain caused by the use of the computer. Not only the PC but the change in the light. With the sky darkening there is no natural light, the best there is, and this means the screen strains the eyes and add in closed curtains and low energy light bulbs there is a problem. It remains a good job that I am not the type to complain about my incredibly difficult and torturous circumstances aint it guv?

Thursday, 12 November 2009


I have nothing to say, so here is a picture of people listening to me talk.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Well I know one reason why I was knackered, sloth!
The bug that never leaves me does not help but not having anything stimulating the (very) little gray cells does not help. So today when I was forced out of the routine to meet a pretty young woman under orders from the Fuhrer at the dole office, I found this helped. Stimulating thought, encouraging words, and a slapping (twice) on the side of the head from a handbag (just to make sure I was listening) all added up to a nice hour. Of course we argued, I met her in a cafe and she wanted to pay! Modern wimmen need a good slap themselves sometimes! Will it help find work? No! There are no jobs for lazy, fat, slobbish, miserable gits it appears.

The remembrance service is over for this year. We have remembered the dead of the Great War, and all wars since, including the present conflicts. Yet we have seen one woman run to the 'Sun' to complain The Prime Minister misspelled her sons name in the note of condolence he sent her and she runs to the 'Sun' to complain! If the PM takes a moment from his 14 hour day to send a note of condolence, in his famously bad handwriting, (he is blind in one eye and has restricted vision in the other) and he has done this over two hundred times at least, is it right to run to the press? I am left sympathising with the loss of her son but wondering if she has received payment for this? When Brown phoned her she records his call? Not something most of us would do, at least not to give to the papers anyway. Indeed the 'Sun,' owned by Rupert Murdoch and having already made clear his desire to support the Tories in the coming election, are using a dead soldier and his grieving mother for political ends, and hope to profit from this. A disgrace all round.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Why am I so tired all the time?
Answers please on a £20 note to this address. I just want to sleep all the time, I just cannot be bothered, I am getting so unfit, and I zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Poppy

Poppy Scotland
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

The Great War of 1914 -1919 changed the world for ever. The British Army had grown from a world wide total of just over 450,000 to almost five and a half million, most of them based in Western France. The dead numbered 750,000 and almost all suffered wounds, both physical and mental. The nation at home, for the most part totally ignorant of the real nature of the war, was riven by the suffering and the effects on those at home. Afterwards the loss of so many men, fathers, sons, brothers, loved ones, was heightened by the inability to find a place to mourn them. British troops were buried in the field and not returned home. So many went missing that even now, 90 years on, some 300,000 are still missing, somewhere under the battlefields.
This left relatives with no place to mourn, and when the King ordered a two minutes silence in November 1919:-
All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness,
the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated
on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.

The creation of the timber cenotaph, for the Victory Parade in 1919, caused such a stir that it had to be made permanent by 1920. Thousands marched by seeing in the cenotaph the only place to mourn their dead, not just the nations. The fact that riots in places such as Luton and Manchester in 1919 were caused by returning soldiers being unable to find work, often jobs promised when they enlisted were refused by manufacturers on the grounds of 'time lost,' or 'changing situations.' All lies! Also in 1920, on the 11th of November, the 'Unknown Warrior' was buried in Westminster Abbey. This also brought thousands to London, many convincing themselves that this was their son, husband, brother, father. The sense of loss was deep and a permanent scar left in the hearts of many. My aunts mother in law, who died around 1960, kept the letters her son, shot by a sniper in October 1918, had written to her in a handbag found only after my aunts death. Many others kept such mementoes all their lives.

During the conflict a Canadian Army soldier, Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae, had written the poem:-
In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
an American lass called Moira Michael wrote an answer to this

And now the Torch and Poppy Red during the war
We wear in honour of our dead.

She then started to wear a poppy, and sold others to raise money for wounded soldiers. A friend from the French YMCA, Madame Guerin, liked the idea and made artificial poppies to raise cash for war orphans, of which there must have been many in France after 1918. By 1921 the British Legion began to sell them and now raises millions each year through the sale of plastic poppies.

Originally we remembered those who did not return from the Great War, soon we commemorated those from the second war, and by the sixties we lost concern for war and the memory thereof. In spite of the 'Cold War' and the closeness of mutual destruction, we wished to live in the prosperous 'here and now' and ignore the military side of things. Vietnam meant ban war not commemorate it. 'Make Love Not War!' was the cry, although in reality it was more 'Make Tea not War.' However, Ireland, the Falklands conflict, the Gulf war and the Iraq and Afghanistan adventure have once again brought home to us the cost of war and engendered a respect for men of the armed services, whether we agree with the war or not.

However sometimes I wonder if we remember correctly. Those who served will remember what they went through, and the comradeship such difficulties produce. However it appears today we promote an almost idol worship of the dead. The parade through Wootten Bassett, the lowering of flags, while intended as respect appears to enlarge the grief and uses the dead as objects rather than commemorates them. Some also appear to be looking for a remembrance, not of the fallen, but of a situation of their own imaginings. Possibly a longing for the past empire, or a world as they wish it to be rather than the one that is. All are wrong. We need to remember, just remember, the dead. From the Great War and those that followed, and today we can remember also the dead on the other side also. For many who were there 'doing their bit,' it can even seventy years on be hard to forgive or forget, but for us we can remember all the dead. Whether we will regard Taliban dead, or those who attack our forces anywhere in the world today in this way is less likely,but it is time to consider all the dead in conflict, and fight to bring such conflicts to an end, not just to remember.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Old Newspapers

Probing around through the dust I came across an old 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper and an even older copy of 'The Times' given to me on one of my birthdays. I suspect they came via the 'Historic Newspapers' company, or at least one very like them. Fascinating stuff these old papers. You can find out what is in the news on the day you were born, or if the date has no significance for you the news is often interesting in it's own right. Naturally the obvious thing is the fact that news never changes. While the layout becomes more colourful, the style follows fashion and the terminology attempts to speak the language the readers desire, news itself never varies. Shock or sentiment is the main ingredient. Horror, war, trouble and strife, scandal and exposing the famous sell papers. That never changes.

In 1951 the Korean War filled the headlines, truce talks being uppermost. Iran was upsetting the British by having the temerity to take over their oilfields. Ptah, how dare they! Don't worry, we soon sorted them out, and they are the Yanks problem now. Energy was in the headlines as there were fears of a coal shortage by winter. A simple statement, but it conjures up images of the whole of the UK living under a permanent cloud of smoke from one end to the other. Today we fail to realise how mucky the nation had become because of pollution. When I grew up in Edinburgh all the building were blackened by years of smoke, 'Auld Reekie' indeed! However the whole nation suffered this way. It caused smogs in many places, smoke was brought down by rain and got into the lungs increasing bronchitis and cancers, ruined women's washing even on a clear summers day, and saw the 1970's given over to high pressure hoses, at great cost and nuisance, used to scrub clean Edinburgh's buildings.

In amongst the world news come the usual, yet equally important tales of 16 year old lassies being swept out to sea in a boat, and brought home late at night, an MP upset at not being invited to meet a Princess because he was a Socialist, a DC-6 plane crashing in the States, a not uncommon event at the time, and of course the cricket, and even worse, the dreaded tennis results! However this summer paper did offer fur coats for a mere 10 gns, though you could pay more if you liked. The 'Guinea' was an absurd amount of £1 1/-, One pound and one shilling, used for many years for selling racehorses long after it had gone out of fashion elsewhere. Fur coats also have disappeared, and also the Fox stoles (2 gns) that were once so common. How do they keep warm today I wonder? In 1951 they could buy a 'Gamages' electric blanket for 69/6d or an electric massage vibrator for a mere 52/6d, a bargain I would say.

Fascinating, but in the end the world of the past is just the same as the world today, as human nature does not change so the world it affects will not change. A brief look through history shows that it was ever thus.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I Don't Understand!

Two men, independently and unknown to one another, sent me this today! I do not understand why?
This is a BBC report on an Australians research which has left him with the idea that being 'Grumpy' is good for you! What has this to do with me you ask? I have no idea! This Australian psychologist, and those two words put together ought to bring your cynicism to the fore I suggest, this man claims the 'grumpy' make better decisions, are less gullible and think more clearly. Oh yeah?

"While cheerfulness fosters creativity, gloominess breeds attentiveness and careful thinking, Professor Joe Forgas told Australian Science Magazine."
"The University of New South Wales researcher says a grumpy person can cope with more demanding situations than a happy one because of the way the brain "promotes information processing strategies."

Now how on earth does he come to this conclusion? Well as a 'psychologist' you will understand he conducts experiments which will lead to results, he says. His volunteers (who they? Students looking for cash for booze I suspect) were required to concentrate on either good or bad things in their lives (that opens a few doors I would say). Then the tests asked for 'eyewitness accounts' and judgement of 'urban myths' (what myths?) among other things (what things?).

This Aussie, a psychologist by the way, comes to the conclusion from this that miserable folk make better judgements and decisions. So how come folk think of me? Does my situation remind you of someone who has made a correct decision? Does our benevolent Prime Minister look at the world through happy clappy eyes and find himself loved by all? No of course not! he is a miserable git who only smiles when, er...I will come back to that, and where is he now? He has the lowest popularity rating of anyone, his chances of election success rate less than my chance of success with Beyonce (whoever she is?) and every decision he takes comes back and smacks him in the face! Australian politicians, as the psychologist would know if he came of of his privileged University world, are a miserable, course, rude bunch of cretins that make the English parliament look polite! Yet he doesn't know what a mess they make of things?

In spite of his efforts I refuse to accept his findings. Cheerful folk make better decisions because they are relaxed, less worried, and unhurried. Miserable folk do not make good decisions because they are depressed, care nothing about the outcome, and suck lemons for rest and recreation. I have on occasions helped out in psychology experiments. One showed us lots of words on a screen, one at a time. Then lost of pictures in a similar vein. Later we were asked, in a controlled manner, to say of we had seen the words or objects during the second run through. The result? We learned that words are harder to remember than pictures! Wow! That was well worth the experiment. Some may claim they realised this long years ago, the cavemen did while drawing bison on the walls! Another bright young lass showed eight photograph slides. Only one of those who attended pointed out that the first four were black and white, the second four colour. Or was it the other way round? However that was the test. We all noticed but thought nothing of it! She got a degree from writing a million words about this!

I'm depressed now, I think I will go away and think! I've just thought, was George W Bush cheerful? He had his hand on the nuclear button. What did you think of his decision making?
The two that sent me this are cheerful also......

Monday, 2 November 2009

Monday Evening

I discovered around lunchtime yesterday that it is now November. One day Autumn was changing the colour of the leaves, although not as much as this picture has, they ought to be bright yellow not sullen brown, and yesterday the rain came! It was so bad that Dundee United had to abandon their game at half time! Now that doesn't happen that often these days. The weather was not so bad here, it stopped raining occasionally, but winter has set in. This of course gladdens the hearts of those greedy utility company folk. The electric and gas people will be rejoicing like a banker who has found a fifty pence piece, and already there are grave noises about price increases. While it is true Russia increases the prices there is no doubt who makes most profit. Still, mustn't grumble I say, just rejoice and get on with it like I always do. I'm not one to complain you know.

Our good friend Rob at Mulled Vine has been doing some writing recently, this in spite of the three females in the house and a job to do! His completed work, in the form of a diary, has drawn admirers to him like pretty young girls around a rich, senile old man (no not me, the four letter word shows that is not likely to be me!). Read this and see if you can do anything for this talented writer. He does not want to be rich, just 'comfortable.'