Monday, April 26, 2010

As part of my long running series – what I like to call my “police are Fuckwits” series here’s one from the BBC News – they actually believed the Loch Ness monster was real and committed resources to protecting it.
The letter from William Fraser, the chief constable of Inverness-shire, to the Under Secretary of State at the Scottish Office, raises concern about the arrival of a hunting expedition in Fort Augustus in 1938.
It says they are "determined to catch the monster dead or alive".
The document goes on to describe how the party claimed they were having a special harpoon gun made and would return with 20 "experienced men" to track the monster down.
"That there is some strange creature in Loch Ness seems now beyond doubt, but that the police have any power to protect it is very doubtful," the letter concludes.
"If you have any suggestion to make or can offer any guidance in the matter, I shall be grateful."

Oh no. everyone’s panicking about there being a hung parliament. We’re being led to believe that the country will grind to a halt in the event of such an outcome. Really? Do politicians have that much day to day influence on the way the country operates? Do politicians have to turn a key to start the trains and buses? Do they have to sign their permission before commuters can set of to work in their car or by bike? Do civil servants await orders for their every action? Do the courts, and the police require political affirmation before they can do their job. I’m hard pushed to think what a politician does that can impact on a day to day basis; that will cause the country to grind to a halt.
I accept that eventually, after some months, if you haven’t picked a prime minister then there will be some problems. But again, I’m hard pushed to think exactly what those will be except in the area of public relations and interfering with the business of others. In the British system politicians micro manage – and can get involved with minor planning decisions in, say, Okehampton, or overturn a judge’s decision because the Daily Mail didn’t like it. But in that case surely the system will work better without an executive branch of the government?

When teachers snap! I’ve seen it myself – they can take only so much and then – well, it’s not pretty.
"Mr Harvey grabbed him by his collar and started dragging him out of the classroom.
"He threw him to the ground and armed himself with a 3kg dumbbell and began to hit the boy about the head with it.
"He struck at least two blows to the head which caused serious injury, really serious injury.
"At the time the blows were being struck Mr Harvey was only heard to say one thing.
"What he was saying was 'die, die, die'."

Goodbye floppy diks, I mean disks. I have a box of them in my office full of information, which I had the forsight to copy onto a hard drive a couple of years ago, but I’m still struggling to get rid of the discs. I’m putting a few into the bins most weeks. They’ll all be gone by xmas.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


When I first started my new role as an environmental advisor I imagined that I'd be one to oneing with badgers and networking with bats and newts. So it's with some level of personal joy that this week I met with an officer of Natural England to discuss a strategy for a little badger related problem we have on the far end of one of our railway lines.
These badgers have in the last five years succeeded in burrowing underneath the railway, and although it's a remote possiblity our engineers are worried that unless we fill the holes in the ground might start shifting underneath the rails, meaning we'd have to shut the railway.
The officer inspected the sett and immediately voiced the opinion that the setts are almost certainly unoccupied, which came as some relief to me. I'd promised the engineers that if they did this through me - and not an external company - I would bring it to a speedy and inexpensive conclusion. Of course if it turned out that badgers were in occupancy this would not have been the case. It may turn out that badgers are in fact still living there, and that would have left me having to eat my own's a gamble worth taking as I'm hoping that I will be in a position to deal with all the other sites that engineers have flagged up as "badger related problems".
So I am to be granted a license to carry out "soft blocking" of the setts. this is where you pile loose earth into the entrances of the tunnels and monitor to see if the earth is moved. this will signify badger occupancy. If this happens then we'll be forced to wait till the end of the breeding season, and then install one way doors to force the badgers to move on. I'm hoping we this won't be necessary.
So, yesterday was badgers, today was setting about understanding our new GIS data system and corresponding biodiversity data. It's a pretty marvellous system, though a little cumbersome to use. You have to really know what it is you're looking for. I'm going to put together a list of all outstanding sites where badgers might be an issue, get the engineers to put a priority rating on them, and work through applying for licenses to move badgers out where necessary.
This way, I believe, we can protect those badger groups on the system who are not causing a potential hazard, and encourage those that are, to move elsewhere.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I was out doing an on location inspection of a great big pile of rubbish in one of our West London depots. It's been put there gradually by staff over a year or two, won't be there much longer.
I cycled there and made it in astounding time of 1 hour 45 minutes - arrived 10 am on the dot.
Dreamt that the world had ended - with a whimper not a bang. It was just announced one day that the big institutions couldn;t continue - somehting had gone wrong and they all had to stop. I had this image of someone mending the financial system with a giant piece of sellotape.
With the last of my money we were getting the car converted to a sort of pick up truck and filling the car with what we could and getting out. Only I took a look up the coast and noticed that a relaly nice bit of New York was virtually abandoned, so we moved into a big house there.
I kept asking questions relalted to our situation such as wonder how long we'll have all these tv channels for - pointing out that eventually the satellites will start falling out of the sky and we won't be able to replace them. I predicted only one national tv station, and then only local ones.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My blogging has tailed off alarmingly lately for various reasons. One is that the chances of me getting a decent internet connection the same time I want to write something is virtually never. 3 Mobile has informed me that I have used up my fair use policy internet allowance for April - the so called unlimited option which i managed to use up in one day! - and my other option, an Orange dongel, seems no be able to provide me with much of a connection except in the middle of the night when i'm too knackered to think of anything to write.
The other reasons are more personal or work related -the main ones being not having access to my personal email at work, and me being too tired to do anything by the time I arrive home some time around 8/10 pm. On top of that my annual sinus issues have returned and aren't going anywhere, so I'm not sleeping properly either.
At work my company are scrapping their ISO14001 commitment and moving over to a bespoke management system which should be as tight or tighter than 14001. So we're in a confusing state of transition. Again. At the same time I need to advise people - which means second guessing where our parent organisation will need us to be in a year or two years' time. In general this is not a problem as things will be broadly the same, however the specifics are awkward so I have to keep emphasising that nothing is to change until we hear that things have changed, though also try to be honest that things are likely to change so be ready. How? Don't know.
I've now delivered my first ever presentation to a group of managers. I did it with a blocked up nose sounding like a working class low brow Melvin Bragg. I got a snort of derision from one guy when I mentioned climate change, but didn't rise to it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weak end Weakened Weekend

The weekend arrives too late to rescue me as usual. I needed one on Wednesday this week, though usually get through to Thursday OK. Friday is often a complete write off.
I should be cycling but feel that I have too much I need to sort out at home first....that and I need to recover from the last few days' stress, which translated into a rollercoaster adventure of stress, panic, and complete lethargy.
I thought I'd lost loads of my things. All I wanted to do was put the radio on in my room so I could clear it up and have a bit of a tidy up/ organise. But I couldn;t find the radio so I put my MP3 player on which went off because of a low battery. Couldn't find the charger. So I worked in silence. There was briefly a panic about my debiot card and work pass. I picked up all my dirty clothes off the floor; hung up the clean stuff; threw away piles of old paperwork and piled up the useful stuff either to scan or read. Then I could see the floor.
Gradually my lost things turned up - radio, charger, phones, various bits of paperwork.
In the evening I ended up getting some work done on my long term project (or book as I used to call it)....and played "The Settlers" PC game till 3 am.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Election Rant

Elections are extremely tedious for anarchists; and I have to keep my mouth shut. everyone falls for the same old shit. "Oh trust us, we won;t betray you this time, honestly." and "isn't that Mr Clegg nice" - people wetting their knickers over all that hung parliament bollocks. So what if we do get a hung parliament - we know that it'll be either Brown of Cameron heading an ineffectual government until they can hold another election to increase their majority or lose outright. I only have one thing to say...

Go fuck Yourself!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Rant 2

I managed to find my letters from the Inland Revenue at the weekend - a remarkable feat of organisation for me. Tried to ring them today and got the message - "we're too busy. Piss off and try later." Imagine what they would say if I tried that. What was worse is today I received a letter from the Revenue warning me that I need to fill in a tax return for this year.

The chances of me getting this sorted out by next pay day is starting to look less likely.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Funny Dream

I had a bit of a funny dream last night. I dreamt that the universe was folding in on itself and we were stuck inside trapped in one moment of time which was to go on forever, like some science fiction vision of hell. It wasn't nice. I remember waking up distraught and thinking this is the most frightening dream I've ever had.
Two stories may have prompted this. The first about a study which showed that people who believed in free will acted less selfishly even though free will probably doesn't exist:

The second, the lastest in a long line of breakthrough that are helping unravel the secrets of our existence. Where will it end?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tax rant

Got my pay slip today - those bastards at the Inland Revenue have taken too much - about a hundred pound too much. This despite the fact that I rang them up a couple of months ago to sort out the THEIR error! The wrong tax code has been applied. They think I earn £140000.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Massacre in Afghanistan

This story appeared in Alternet a few days ago. It confirms everything I've been led to believe about our war in Afghanistan. It does seem that the US and the UK are the actual terrorists. Who will save the world from us? Click on title for full story.

Shocking Admission on Killing Civilians by Top US General Almost Completely Ignored by Corporate Media
"We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat," says Afghan commander McChrystal.