Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Worst Birthday Card Ever

I don't normally link to other blogs, but this is genius. Found on the ever brilliant b3ta

Worst Birthday Card EVER

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Slightly Weird Request

Okay, for the past week I've been looking for hotels in London that have fantastic to-die-for bathrooms. So far I've found this site and this site, neither of which actually give that much information about bathrooms and the facilities therein.

So, does anyone have a recommendation for a hotel with a stunning bathroom?

I know I'm weird. I just so happen to like having a nice big bath.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Back From South Africa

Flew back into London last night after 7 days in South Africa. Taking a little while to get used to being back here, to be honest. Like thinking a £10 note is worth £7 like the R100 note is at the moment.

The scenery out in Cape Town and the surrounding areas is AMAZING. Never really seen anything like it, although it did remind me a little of a more dramatic version of the Scottish Highlands. The Highlands however, are a little light on the penguins of the Cape itself: incredibly used to people to the extent you can nearly touch them. And only a four hour drive from seeing lions.

Obviously there's huge contrasts between the extremes of wealth and poverty there - gated communities separated by huge shanty towns - and this does lead to a high crime rate and an even greater fear of crime. But things are changing. I'm not sure it's necessarily for the better (having read the local newspapers) but things are definitely changing.

The building boom ahead of the 2010 World Cup is in full swing and property prices are already beginning to climb (albeit from a very low starting point). While public transport is notable by its absence, now would be a great time to start a car rental company in Cape Town - as on Monday they'd run out of hire cars in the city and were already getting more in from outlying areas.

They could also do with more hotels as, again on Monday, I spent two hours schlepping round the city trying to find a room, as there was one conference on in town and 90% of the rooms were already taken (which serves me right for not booking somewhere in advance). If that had coincided with a large sporting event, however, I'm guessing a lot of people would have been sleeping on the beach. The one I did stay in was very good and will be very close to the new stadium.

I'd probably go back for the vineyards alone, though, as a quick drive through the areas on Tuesday was enough to convince me. We went to three wine tastings and I can honestly say that the wine they don't export from South Africa is better than most of the £5-£8 wines we get here.

And, just to complete the British Airways tale, the flight was delayed for over 1hr on the way back, although my television did work this time, so I did get to see "The Prestige" which I heartily recommend.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Welcome From South Africa!

Hey, got here on Wednesday morning after an interesting flight from Heathrow. First of all, my bag was tagged to fly to Montreal and I had to identify it at the gate before I could get on the plane. Then we sat for an hour on the runway for no apparent reason. Then when we took off, the television in the seat back didn't work.

As I can't sleep on flights I thought "oh well, at least I'll be able to read". Think again, as the lights above the seat weren't working either! So after the meal, we were plunged into complete darkness. I went and stood in the galley area and read there, then when I was asked why I was there, explained about the tv and the lack of light. "Why didn't you call an attendant?" "I tried, but that button doesn't work either."

So I spent the entire flight on the jumpseat at the back of the plane by the toilets, reading using the light they'd switched on especially for me. Not a comfortable seat by any stretch of the imagination. Thank you British Airways.

Still, got to Cape Town in one piece which is the best you can hope for really.

It's the wedding tomorrow - at some point in the afternoon, I'm not sure when but I'm sure someone knows - and I have to find new accommodation on Monday for two nights as the fantastic villa we're in is only rented until then. Until the next time....

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Cheap Vista Upgrade

The Register are reporting how to install Vista on ANY PC. Handily, they're using the instructions given by Microsoft MVP Marc Liron in this article.

Sorry this is a bit geeky, but hey, you may save yourselves several hundred pounds.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Democracy In Action/Inaction

I'm passing on an email I received today, which relates to something I posted on here a few months ago. This also seems a better way of protesting than sending letter bombs to the DVLA:

"Sarah Kennedy was on about this proposed car tax scheme on the radio this morning. Apparently there is only one month left to register your objection to the 'Pay as you go' road tax.

The petition is on the 10 Downing St website but they didn't tell anybody about it. Therefore at the time of Sarah's comments only 250,000 people had signed it so far and 750,000 signatures are required to stop them introducing it.

Once you've given your details (you don't have to give your full address, just house number and postcode will do), they will send you an email with a link in it. Once you click on that link, you'll have signed the petition.

The government's proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car and paying a monthly bill to use it.

On top of this massive increase in tax, you will be tracked. Somebody will know where you are at all times. They will also know how fast you have been going, so even if you accidentally creep over a speed limit in time you can probably expect a Notice of Intended Prosecution with your monthly bill.

If you care about our freedom and stopping the constant bashing of the car driver, please sign the petition on No 10's new website (link below) and pass this on to as many people as possible."


Adverts Yet Again

It's the new Halifax advert that's bothering me now. I've been annoyed by their use of their staff - who obviously work in a bank and not on a stage for a reason - for a while now, but the new one takes the biscuit.

Unfortunately, I can't find the damn thing online, so you're going to have to trust me on this. There's a girl from the Sheffield branch (can't remember her name) poncing around in some American street scene, singing a parody of Aretha Franklin's "Think". Lots of extras - who can dance far better - and lots of nice expensive CGI - including two animated skunks(?) - then, just when you think it can't get worse, fucking Howard appears.

"Dear Halifax, could you please stop using your staff in your adverts and get some people in who can actually sing and dance instead? Then you wouldn't have to spend as much money making the backgrounds so interesting that viewers don't look at your staff in pity."

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Going To South Africa

From next Tuesday (13th Feb) I will be in Cape Town for a week or so. As I've never been to South Africa before, any suggestions of what to do/see would be greatly appreciated.

My plans so far include the Robben Island museum, taking the cablecar up Table Mountain and probably having a look round at least one winery. Apart from that, I'm open to suggestions. As I don't have a credit card, however, I won't be able to hire a car, so if you could try to make any suggestions in and around Cape Town itself, that would be even better.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How To Get Anyone's Details

Okay, maybe not everybody's information, just those who own a car.

If you set yourself up as being a private landlord and say you want to prosecute people parking illegally on your land, then all you need to do is send vehicle registration details to the DVLA. The DVLA will send you back details of who the vehicle is registered, and where.

And that's it. Nothing else. The DVLA is bound by the Freedom of Information Act to provide the information. And there's nothing you can do to stop them!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Another Becca/Bob Post

Hey, just a quick post to say that there's a new update on the Beccabob site if you'd like to take a look.

Also, and this was something that I noticed from the logs of people who look at that site, if you could put something like "Be an Angel in 2007" and the blog address in your online signatures when you're going on forums, that really would be very appreciated.


If Carlsberg Made Nightclubs

Okay, I know it's not a recent advert, but if you've seen this there may be something nagging at your mind. So. Carlsberg make great nightclubs? How come all three blokes leave without a single female between them then?

Also, and I've been looking for the new McDonald's advert (hikers on the moors looking for a missing member of their party, who they then discover in a McDonald's) as I wanted to say something like "McDonald's: food for selfish wankers". Unfortunately I can't find the advert, but the motto still holds true.


Friday, February 02, 2007


Saw an advert last night for DulcoEase, which "softens stools" - not something I've ever thought of as being a major problem, which shows what I know. It's not so much the product that bothered me (although...) it was the whole "Sex & The Shitty" (do you see what I did there?) plot device. Decide for yourself here

On a much more local level, I drove past a Vet's in Friern Barnet which proudly offered "Cut Price Neutering" and that made me chuckle.

And, for long-time readers, you'll be delighted to know that the advert recommending that it's okay to run over children is back!


Spam Mail Of The Month

I received yesterday the following title:

"Loose waight fatty"

So I replied to it (setting my "reply to" address as theirs) saying;

"Use a dictionary, fuckwit"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blair Interviewed By Police Again!

Following on from Tuesday's arrest of Lord Levy, it was revealed today that Tony Blair was interviewed by the police last Friday but the interview was kept quiet at the request of the Metropolitan Police for "operational reasons".

According to this piece by the BBC, the PM was questioned as a witness, not under caution and without a lawyer (although as he is actually a lawyer I don't really see the point of them mentioning this). Which suggests to me that he has said (or not said) something in that interview which led to the re-arresting of his close friend and ally, Lord Levy. Although I could be reading too much into the timing of that.


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