Archive for the 'Rambling on…' Category

Hang on, let me see that map again

Posted by on August 21st 2014 in Bargains, Rambling on...

Looks like Mr. Virgo's O-Level Geography classes were wasted on me:


Posted by on June 12th 2014 in Rambling on...
Tags: ,

Well, it's taken a few days, but here's proof that he does, occasionally, sleep:

I'll wager that in less than 15 minutes he'll be recharged and ready for another six hours of mayhem.

Here we go again…

Posted by on June 10th 2014 in Rambling on...
Tags: ,

Ever since we lost Bob last spring, Elvy has been a single cat. She's enjoyed undivided attention and a clear run of the house, and she has become a fine affectionate friend.

This weekend, however, saw a small addition to the household. Elvy's not too chuffed about it.

We named her Rosie - both me and the seller agreed that it was a Queen, there being no signs of the tell-tale Tom bits...

but one of those bits dropped during the night and the next day the vet proclaimed that she is a late-dropping he.

So now we've named him Loki, after the the Asgardian God of Mischief.

So far, it's been a quite appropriate name.

Sinister, dexter

Posted by on March 22nd 2014 in Rambling on...

Due to complaints from readers, I find myself forced to blog more often. Looks like I'll have to scrape the bottom of the barrel once more... let's start with some politics.

I took this interesting little test and it produced a mildly-surprising result - I thought that I "dressed to the left" with a liberal tendency, but the output says otherwise. I can see that I may have to reassess my stance:

 This might be a bit of a game-changer.

Wade along now, nothing to see here.

Posted by on January 26th 2014 in Rambling on..., Weather

You've not been holding your breath since last November, have you?

I'll see if I can scrape together enough stuff to make a half-decent post sometime soon.

And now for the weather. Or rather a question about weather...

How is it that the Norwegians can forecast our weather more accurately and in more detail than our own Met. Office can, and provide better charts to boot?

Here's theirs (click it to go to the website for the Full Monty):

Yep, you just copy the URL for the chart and paste it into your website as an image, it updates as required on refresh. No sign-up required. And it's usually very accurate. Good, eh?

And ours? Well, if you register with the Met. Office you can make a basic widget:


This Hinckley weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

Or you can go to their website to view their registration-free (but usually not-so-accurate) up-to-date chart which you can't copy/paste. Not so good, eh?

Go figure.

Welcome to 2014.

Bring yer wellies and thermals.

Following the Heard

Posted by on April 8th 2013 in Campaigns and Petitions, Rambling on...

You know, it's not often that you'll find me in agreement with Wee Eck's policies, but I reckon he's on the right track with this one.

I hope he gets his way, because if he gets his .scot TLD, there can't really be any objections to us getting our .eng and to the Welsh getting their .cymru and/or .wales, can there?

It shouldn't be a problem. After all, ICANN (the overlords of the TLD system) deemed it right and proper to allow the creation of TLD .hm for Heard Island and McDonald Islands, a tiny, remote and barren island group that has a human population of...


Surely 60-something million Brits deserve more internet-respect than a bunch of seals and birds.

Dot Eng - The Campaign for a .eng domain name

Seasonal growth (updated)

Posted by on March 28th 2013 in Rambling on...

There's a growing "in yer face" problem here. It's the Bearded Git's beard.

Let me explain...

In the course of a normal year I cut it short in the spring, keep it in check during the summer, leave it a bit longer during the autumn and let it wander wild and free during the winter to provide natural protection and insulation when up on the snowy fells. After all, it's a functional beard, none of yer designer-stubble rubbish. The aforementioned spring cull is undertaken only when I'm fairly certain that the last of the extreme wintry weather has ended. That's usually sometime during late February.

This winter's weather, as you know, is showing no signs of abating. As a consequence, now that we're almost in April, the chin-thatch is becoming a tad unruly. Indeed, there's now more on my face than there is on my head. It's taken to snagging itself in zips, stealing my food and catching fire whenever I spark up a smoke. I think it has developed a life of its own:

See what I mean?

And so there's a dilemma. To leave it long for a few more weeks just in case we get after-Easter snow, or to crop it and be damned/cold.

If I mow it, the current cold weather will continue. If I leave it be, the summer will be upon us faster than you can say "Factor 5000".

Perhaps a graft would be a better idea.


UPDATE 31st March 2013

This just in from Chris, another beardy bloke who lives over the road:

Thanks a bunch, Chris.

No peace for the wicked

Posted by on March 17th 2013 in My vids, Rambling on...

So there I was, sitting in a car-park in town after dropping-off one daughter to meet the other for some united retail therapy. While waiting for them to return I was enjoying a rare moment of peace and quiet until this little fecker decided to shatter the peace and take umbrage at me and my car. It didn't hassle anybody else and I've no idea what I'd done to upset it but it was barking like mad while chucking nutshells and bits of stick at me and the car. It wouldn't shut up or leave me alone until I'd recorded its noisy antics on the phone and then played it back at max volume:



I'll have the little sod next time - I'll take my catty and some ball-bearings and then we'll see who's the boss. He'll go well in a game casserole  🙂 

Line in the sand

Posted by on November 7th 2012 in Rambling on...

An employment agency found a job that they thought would suit me. Local Company, precision engineering, quality department, all stuff that I've done before with both hands tied behind my back. Acceptable salary range, three months probation as an agency-contractor then the Company would have the option to offer me a permanent job at the going rate. I told the agent to put me forward for consideration.

Now, I've been a Domestic Engineer for some time now and the agent thought it best if I was to be put in at £2k less than the low end of the salary range (pro-rata) for the duration of the probation period, this to demonstrate my willingness to get my foot firmly back on the employment ladder. A show of commitment, if you like. I agreed to this concession, sometimes you have to give now to receive later. I'd bagged an interview.

The interview went well, I liked the Company and, according to the agent, the Company liked me. I told the agent that after actually seeing the place and the work I considered the job to be worth a minimum of the low end of the salary range so I asked him to ditch his £2k concession idea. He got back to the Company and I was informed that they understood that I didn't want to sell myself short. I was in the mix.

Today is the Company's decision day. They have a short-list and I'm on it.

The agent called me again and asked if there was anything I could do to demonstrate that I wouldn't jump ship if a better opportunity came along. It seems that the depth and range of my previous experience is a sticking-point - I consider it a useful bonus for the Company, as in times of need I'd be able to cover for others in roles above mine, but allegedly the Company thinks it makes me more likely to leave for greener pastures. I'd have thought that it would be up to the Company to try to retain me, it's called "market forces", nobody knows what opportunities and calamities the future will bring and only a fool would agree to rebuff a better offer from elsewhere. The ensuing conversation went a bit like this:

"After the probation period, would you contract to stay with the Company for n years, no matter what?"

"Well, would they contract to keep me on for n years, no matter what?"


"Well my answer's "no" too. Commitment is a double-edged sword, it cuts both ways."

"How about one year then?"

"Contracted both ways?"


"Well, tell them that my CV clearly demonstrates my commitment and loyalty to previous employers. I'm trying for a job in engineering, not taking the Queen's Shilling!"

I considered my options and suggested a different concession on my part - I told the agent that I would agree to having a no-leaving clause in my contract with the Agency during the probation period but not in any subsequent permy contract with the Company. That seemed fair.

That wasn't good enough.

I suggested a third concession - ditch the agency-contracted period, the Company could set me on as a permy at the low-end salary for a full year, then review the salary after that year. That would demonstrate commitments from both me and the Company.

No, that wasn't good enough either.

I've no more concessions in my bag but I'm happy to let them have the stick that I've used to draw my line in the sand. I'm not willing to buy myself a job and then sell my soul to keep it even when I no longer want it.

Time will tell if I'm back in the rat-race.

Fusion food

Posted by on September 26th 2012 in Rambling on...
Tags: ,

Some things are just plain wrong:


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