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Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Solution To The Public Sector Strikes


Unless you live under a rock, you'll know that the UK economy is in difficulties, has a large debt (60% of gdp or 103.5% if you include future pension commitments and a few other things) and a deficit of about 13% of gdp, ie this is what we are adding to our debt every year.

Note only Iceland and Greece have a larger budget deficit in the world.

This is clearly unsustainable.

Everyone has to play a part in getting the country working again, and back to a sustainable footing - those of us in the private sector have had our wages held down and many have lost their jobs, or have given up a month's wages or bonuses to keep their companies afloat in extreme difficulties, or worked extra hours.

Oh and before anyone says that the generous public sector pensions are due to lower average pay - this is not true any more.  The average public sector worker earns more than the average private sector worker.  By about 10%.  Along with a pension about 25% more valuable.  Oh and private sector workers are thought to work 20-25% more hours than public sector workers over their lifetimes.

Sadly the public sector trade union leaders and many of their members see themselves as exempt from having to contribute towards fixing the UK economy.

Many simply blame the banks as if it is their fault - when the banks contribute huge amounts to our economy, and the very large wages that some people are paid are taxed very heavily.

I am going to try my hardest not to loath all of those on strike, like I do their trade union leaders who I dearly despise nearly as much as people like Robert Mugabe, after all, not everyone on strike will understand the financial situation of the UK and the potential future difficulties, and some probably don't take any notice of what is going on and just get told by the union leaders that the nasty government is attacking them.

I am sure many of those on strike are probably just sticking up for what they believe in, which is exactly what I am doing now - the return of a well-run country with sound finances and a good future with a strong economy, good employment levels, low crime and more housing.  Not what we will have if we don't fix our finances.

It is after all, an idealogical battle that the trade unions are trying to fight against the Conservative party, using their members as pawns.

In an ideal world, if this continues, I would like to see my government fight back.  Remember the coal miner's strike?  What did we do?  Build nuclear plants.  No more need for coal.

Sadly I am not sure how to replace schools.  Though perhaps if a couple of hundred were shut down, especially in Labour areas, that could be quite amusing.

We could always sack the immigration officers and just let anyone in.  That seemed to be the policy of the Labour government, oh except they probably didn't sack anyone, just told them to let everyone in (so they would get more votes, goes the slightly debatable theory, though it sounds good).

But maybe we actually need a solution.

I suggest setting some targets for public finances, such as a reduction of debt - in 1990 it was just 25% of GDP.  Perhaps if we get it back down to this level (for example), then we can offer an increase in the pension contributions made by the government.  And if the debt goes back above, say 40% of GDP, then this extra contribution is then stopped.

Therefore public sector workers would have a personal interest in a sensibly run economy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful 28th June 2011

1.  I have 5 weekends in a row with really good plans; this one Martin's birthday, 9th CITP (number 6), 17th meeting my sister, 23rd having a catch up with my best friend from university days, 28th (albeit a Thursday) Nicolas Jaar at fabric, maybe, just maybe, Ricardo on the Saturday.  July looks very good :-)
2.  I had broccoli without gravy for probably the first time ever yesterday and surprised myself that not only was it edible without gravy, it was still nice without gravy.  Bonus because I don't always want gravy especially when it is rather hot, and I really like broccoli.
3.  There is a chance of a thunderstorm in Reading today.  A small chance, we really would have to get lucky.  But it is a chance.  2pm - 3pm perhaps.
4.  Just 2 days until pay-day.  I've only been counting down to this for 16 days I think.
5.  6 whole days until I am moaning about being skint.
6.  12 days until Cocoon In The Park - Seth, Reboot, Ricardo and Sven - could it be any better?
7.  Public sector workers and teaching staff going on strike on Thursday, and marching through Reading town centre.  I am also considering going on strike so I can through eggs at them.  Delighted to see very little in the way of sympathy for them in the local newspaper.  Actually, I need my wages.  Sick day perhaps?  (HR - this is a joke).
8.  Ginsters large sausage rolls.  Part of my 5 a day, they do count as vegetables, right?
9.  The hot girl at work is looking very hot.
10.  And the biggest reason of all is that it is the 107th birthday of Hull City today.  Yes the football club which has given me about 5 years of good memories supporting them, and 20 years of pain and frustration.  Joyful pain and frustration.  I asked the club if there is a fan who has supported us for 107 years - the oldest season ticket holder is 94, quite some going.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Weekend More Boring Than Work! Hurry The **** Up Pay-day!

That has to go down as one of the more boring weekends that I have had this year, and I am increasingly having boring weekends...well 1 in 4 are anyway which is way too much for my liking.  No money and no friends around to keep me entertained culminates in inevitable boredom.  I actually had more fun at work last week.

It isn't quite time for a drastic change yet, it is after all the age of austerity so I just have to get used to being increasingly bored.

All is not lost as the next two weekends promise much more fun, with a trip to some dodgy restaurant in London so my good friend, Martin, can introduce us to weird South African food for his birthday weekend, and the one after that, Cocoon In The Park.

Oh and just about to book tickets to see Nicolas Jaar live at fabric on Thursday 28th July.  Also playing are Soul Clap and Gadi Mizrahi.  Huge fans of all of these - last time Nicolas Jaar played fabric it sold out well in advance so if anyone fancies joining, get a ticket.

There was one highlight this weekend - the adorable Heidi doing the Essential Selection on Radio 1 - I love her music and her positive energy that she puts into her radio shows, sadly too rare an occasion on Radio 1.  Amusingly for my little mind, she played 5 tracks in a row with the word 'jack' in - nothing to do with the fact she has a compilation CD out called 'Jackathon', I am sure.

Oh, and the sunshine was good yesterday though an uncomfortable night's sleep with a very warm and stuffy top floor flat with my windows open so tosser's could wake me up driving as loud and fast as they could especially to wake up as many people as possible, at regular occasions during the night.  Oh and now I have a stiff neck thanks to having to have my window open - happy days.

Thankfully it should be a bit cooler tonight, especially if we have a downpour later on - am I the only person to have brought an umbrella to work?  If anyone is obsessed like me, then netweather are going live UK storm-chasing streaming later today, dependent on the strength of a mobile broadband signal.  Useful for me as it seems that Reading always misses out on the good storms.  That is about the only reason I could ever want a car so I could go chasing storms!  Weather forecast tonight.  It should be fairly positive.

I did want to go down to the cafe at work for breakfast but I have just remembered that I am boycotting it as they have put a limit on the amount of sachet's of ketchup that I am allowed.

Very thankful for my blog even if only a dozen people will read this - I always seem to put a smile back on my face when I write it :-)

Enjoy your week.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Problem With Socialism Is That Eventually You Run Out Of Other People's Money (Oh, And My Thoughts About The Weekend And Exciting Things!)

Oh, Maggie, thank you ever so much.


I have just read an interview with her, back in 1976, a full 3 years before she became Prime Minister.  It is a fascinating read, if you have the time.  She really was on the ball.  So many comparisons between then and now.

Just one quote for my blog, in reply to the interviewer's question of "There are those nasty critics, of course, who suggest that you don't really want to bring them [incumbent Labour government] down at the moment. Life is a bit too difficult in the country, and that … leave them to sort the mess out and then come in with the attack later … say next year"

"I would much prefer to bring them down as soon as possible. I think they've made the biggest financial mess that any government's ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people."

Spot on Maggie - what did Labour nationalise?  The banks.  Control things?  Socialists?  Other people's money...ie China's money?

Anyway, that is my rant for now, Maggie remains an inspiration.

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Individualism.  Perhaps I need a bit more of it in my life.

This weekend, I don't have much in the way of plans, but I fully intend on basking in the very warm or perhaps hot sunshine of Sunday, down by the River Thames.  By myself quite possibly, either way I shall make it enjoyable.

And there is just a chance that we might get a thunderstorm come Monday night, into Tuesday, I do love a good storm.  There is more potential there than I have seen in years for something quite severe - but it is only potential for the UK, say 15% chance of it coming off.  It will most likely be France, Belgium & Netherlands that get to experience something quite special, albeit quite damaging too.

On the off-chance it comes our way, it should be one that everyone talks about for days, and many remember for years.  The potential is there but it is more hopecasting right now.  Maybe in a couple of summer's time - it is getting closer each summer.

Back to individualism, I booked my coach journey from London to Leeds and back, for Cocoon In The Park.

I was initially disappointed when I realised that every single person that had previously said that they were up for going to Cocoon In The Park dropped out, but they need to have their adventures, and I need to have mine.  It is a long time since I have done something like this, I am almost breaking some of my own boundaries - kind of as if I am going travelling, but only for one day!

I'm actually quite excited about doing it on my own, and I will have nobody to look after or point in the right direction - I can be free and do exactly whatever I want to do.

Enjoy the sunshine!  Weather forecast...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How To Assault Coppers And Get Away With It

You cannot say that I don't write some really useful stuff on my blog.  This will help you if ever Labour get back in charge of the UK and we turn into Greece.

If you want to assault a police officer and get away with it, follow this young female student's idea.

She noticed that the police officers were wearing helmets, and therefore concluded that it was "fine" to throw missiles at them, for a whole 15 minutes, before being arrested.

This seems an acceptable defence, as she only received a 6-week suspended sentence.  Granted it won't help her employability when it comes to trying a get a job in the future, but it is hardly punishment.

I note she is moving to Belfast so she won't have the opportunity to get involved in riots in the future.

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Just in case there are any really stupid people reading this - this is not an encitement to violence, merely a little attempted humour.

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Ooh, here's a thought, does this mean I can throw missiles at pavement cyclists?  Happy days :-)

My Thoughts On How To Save The Euro & The Greek Crisis

There are two schools of thought on how to save the Euro when it comes to countries like Greece (which is the one currently most in the shit), one controversial, one very controversial.  Actually, there are three if you count the current one of keep lending to Greece but I'm not counting that as a solution as it is a temporary measure which to me is like a sticking plaster on a broken leg.

The controversial one, is let Greece default on it's debt, ie going bankrupt in the process, and therefore having to leave the Euro.  This is espoused by the UK's next Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (can you seriously see the public wanting Gideon in charge?  Though I do like him too).  He argues the case better than I can, but the Euro area countries did agree many moons ago to a Stability & Growth pact with large fines for countries that broke the rules on budget defecits.  France and Germany first broke the rules, and of course as the leading countries of the EU project, did not voluntarily fine themselves.

So, how do you then expect other countries to behave?

It should certainly make going on holiday to Greece cheaper - I remember going to Cyprus a few years back, seeing that it was a poor country with some really ramshackle infrastructure probably only marginally better than what was in Somalia (anyone else been on one of their buses?!), but yet many things were ridiculously expensive compared to the value I placed on them - taxis were more expensive than Reading!

Anyway, the very controversial one, which I prefer, is for the Euro countries to merge into one country, have the same parliament (preferably part of the existing European Union gravy-train as opposed to a whole new political structure), have the same polices on tax, and transfer money throughout the new large European country from the rich areas to the poor areas.  Just like we do in the UK, transferring money from rich London to the poorer north of England, Wales and Scotland.  Also known as expanding the public sector.

And I have come up with the perfect name for this country - Germany.  It may also make more sense if everyone spoke German too, it now being one country.

Those countries to the east not able to qualify to be part of this country, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia (wow, I spelt that correctly first time!), could also merge together, perhaps this area could be called East Germany.

To keep the rich West Germany safe from the poorer people in East Germany, perhaps a big wall could be built?

Anyone like my ideas?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Want To Piss In A Resevoir

This is my new hero.  A man called Joshua Seater, urinated in a resevoir, causing it to be emptied of it's 8 million gallons of water...

I had a lovely 12 hour sleep last night though I think I needed it to help me recover from the weekend, given that Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I probably totalled 12 hours too.

Work is a little quieter than normal this week so I am going to take the opportunity to catch up with my training hours.

Outside of work is also very quiet, though that is mainly self-enforced due to the lack of funds.  I really have to find somewhere cheaper to live.  I have absolutely no idea how I am going to afford a trip to Ibiza - I really don't want to have to miss out two years in a row.  Any suggestions?!

Due to this said lack of funds, I am going to have to keep this weekend very cheap.  Probably stay in on Saturday and clean the kitchen which is a mess.  But Sunday looks like being lovely, sunny and warm so I shall go down the river and have a few beers, hopefully I will find someone for company, but if not then I shall go on my own and take something to read, either way I'm happy.

The other conundrum is how am I going to get to and from Cocoon In The Park in Leeds without it costing me too much?  I am resigned to going by myself, but I'm not too fussed, I quite fancy an adventure on my own, though clearly going with other people is a preference.  However public transport and hotel will easily set me back £100 - not ideal.

Ooh, and I have just noticed that Ricardo Villalobos is playing fabric on 30th July, and the night is scheduled to finish 15 hours later at 2pm Sunday.  With a bit of luck he might be back to his best and won't collapse in the DJ booth at 10am off his face (allegedly).  Actually, balls to that, I want him just like everyone else.

Oh and back to peeing in resevoirs...sarcasm doesn't always come off so well on the internet, does it?  I don't actually have any intention to urinate in a resevoir, nor is he my new hero.  But it did tickle me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Music History - 1994/95 - Twilight FM

I've always had an obsession with at least one form or other of dance music pretty much from when I first discovered it back in 1989, though until 1994, my only opportunity to hear new dance music was via the 2-3 hours of Pete Tong's Essential Mix on Radio 1, from 1991.

Discovering Twilight FM, a pirate radio station in Hull, circa 1994, changed all of that for me.

It would start every week on a Friday evening, sometimes a Thursday if lucky, and go on through to the early hours, and then starting up late morning.  Except if they had been raided by the authorities or had their equipment stolen by smackheads.

During the day it played more in the way of house music and more commercially-minded dance music, but in the evening would get a bit more lively with rave, hardcore, a little techno and trance, and the beginnings of jungle music - my favourite forms of music during my rebellious and angry teenage years.

Rumour has it that at it's peak, it could attract 20,000 listeners - quite a lot for a city of approx 250,000 but whether this is true and how it was calculated, I have no idea!

Over the weekend just gone, I discovered a few clips of a show, and had to have a listen.  Anyone who knows me from my minimal days may be rather shocked at how ridiculously fast and lively the music was.

I may give more snippets of my musical history - feel free to comment, would be interested in what others have to say, or whether they used to be into this.

How long can you manage to cope with listening to this?!  Anyone able to guess the BPM?  And can you translate the chatter?!

Part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Roadtrip To Birmingham

Sometimes on a roadtrip, everything goes to plan - other times it is a comedy of errors and bad luck - this was definitely the latter category.


There is always some kind of calamity when my very good friend Matt is involved, and this time it involved his car gaining a flat battery before we had left Reading.

All was not lost, except a little time before we were back on the road and running smoothly - though with no guarantee that we would be able to start the car the next morning!

The weather was of course delightfully summery in a British kind of way, which never encourages people to embark on a night out, and then my Brummie friend Terry who was navigating us, decided to take us on a long tour of Birmingham rather than going directly to the venue.

I like Brummies - I don't recall ever having met anyone from Birmingham that I didn't like, and I met some more good, very friendly folk once again.

I like Birmingham too, though you can really tell that it has suffered in the recession. It has a certain air of despondency, like everyone is waiting to be rescued from the recession by a mysterious outside force. Completely unlike my adopted town of Reading with a grand total of about 3 buildings boarded up - some areas we drove through seemed like every other building was falling apart.

The pub, Hare & Hounds, was quite a good venue, sadly not that many people upstairs with the reliably enjoyable music from Matt, Terry, Dan and some Birmingham guys that were running the night. Probably part weather-related, part recession releated and maybe it was a student area and students have gone home - only guessing on that front though.

There were about 6 or 7 of us from Reading, only just beaten by the number of those from Birmingham, maybe there were 20 - and a couple of drunken rockers and punks from the room downstairs with the bands on which were seemingly loving it more than the house-heads among us!  More converts?

It ended early, assumedly due to a lack of people, and onto an after-party in this flat which was in the middle of a block with scaffolding everywhere, it was like they were converting a prison into flats. Quite weird. I did attempt some photography, but my skills aren't the best when sober and are distinctly lacking at 4am, as you may be able to tell?!




Ahem.  Normally we have a decent photographer with us.  That isn't in my repetoire of excellency.

And then to our own after-party in an apartment booked for 4 people - 6 made it in ok but it took a long time and a lot of persuading for them to let anyone else in, and quite a lot of hassle and stress from the sounds of it - I was attempting and still failing to sleep by this point - 48 hours and still going strong! Maybe not so strong, actually. And a £25 charge if we left any washing up - what the hell?

After an average of one hour's sleep each, we then managed to find the car across the other side of Birmingham - and thankfully the engine started up.

It might have been slightly lacking in organisation and/or communication at times, I am a fan of things being organised and communicated, too old for too much randomness perhaps, but that didn't stop it from being a lot of fun.

I nearly pulled out before we went and at the petrol station when we broke down, but definitely glad I persevered - it was worth it. Yet to have a roadtrip which isn't a lot of fun, and very few of them pass without incident - unless of course I have organised it - you can trust me, I am from Hull.  Roadtrip to Hull, anyone?

Thanks to all involved.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

 I've got a lot of appreciation for my Dad, I doubt he realises this, although he is stuck in his ways a bit, he has taught me a hell of a lot.  I will likely reveal more over the years of my blog - I remember him saying one thing though, and that was that there is no more two interesting things in life than politics and cricket.

As much as I love music, I find it very hard to disagree that politics and cricket are both now fascinating to me - when he told me this as a child, I don't remember what my response was but in my head it was "fuck off".

But he was well on the ball when he said that.

I remember when I was about 8, insisting that he listened to Kylie Minogue.  He couldn't stand her.  About 10 years later, he could really appreciate her.

Maybe now is about time to introduce my father to Sven Vath and Ricardo Villalobos?

Ha, ha, ha - happy father's day on the off chance that you get around to working your way around the internet and onto my blog one day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Date For Your Diary - I Think Somebody Loves Me

Before I get to it, I must just get something off my chest.  I work for a huge global corporation, who now generally only employ graduates - it being such a large building, there are of course jobs there that do not require such qualifications and business experience, such as the cleaners, or catering staff, who are all very polite and respectful.

On coming down to the breakfast bar this morning, there was a group of three...people (I cannot think of anything to class them as) causing chaos by the breakfast bar, as if they owned it, and wouldn't let anyone else get in their way, for they needed to cut the fat off the bacon and spread their arms out in an obnoxious 'this is for me and me only' kind of attitude - the thing that really got to me was when the girl said "Oh you do the tea-cakes, I cahnt take that smell up my nose".  Who the hell were they?  Please say not new employees.  I know they sublet parts of the building to other companies, but wow - the rudeness and ignorance...horrid...horrid.

So onto the thing I wanted to blog about - somebody loves me!  No, not a response from the online dating messages I sent requesting someone caring, affectionate with a passion for ironing and cleaning.

For the second year in a row, Hull City are away at Reading on my birthday weekend.  January 21st for the game.  22nd for my birthday.  On the off-chance that you don't understand my excitement of this, I shall remind you that I was born in the slightly neglected but beautiful city of Hull and spent the first 18 years of my life there until I came to Reading, saw how good this place was, and never left.

Someone is looking down on me after all :-)

Oh, if anyone is bothered about what I am doing this weekend - tonight is a roadtrip to a pub in Birmingham with a couple of good friends DJing, sounds like a good venue.

Oh and I have just discovered this gem, I used to stay at the Catalina Apartments in Ibiza, I did have a grim experience there come to think of it...

Ibiza...I so want to go...but how?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sainsbury's & Their Crap Plastic Bags

I refuse to lay down and take these crap plastic bags that Sainsbury's have introduced, so of course, I wrote them an e-mail to complain...

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Subject: Shit Bags

Dear Sir

I don't know if I was having an off-day but the quality of your in-store orange plastic bags that I used for my purchases today, was very low and I did not enjoy the strain on my fingers when using them to carry my shopping home.

One of the reasons that I avoid Tesco is for their shoddy, cheap plastic bags.

If this is going to be a re-occurring thing, then this will discourage me from using Sainsburys.

I know that there is an argument that I should take a decent shopping bag with me in the first place, and when I go out with the intention of going shopping, then I generally do so, but much of the time, I have not had the intention of going shopping in the first place.

Please sort it out if you require my continued custom.

This was from the Broad Street store in Reading.

Kind regards
James

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I got a pretty non-committal response, but at least they know of my concerns.  I have not yet been back to test their bags to see if they have re-instated the decent ones.  They do at least appreciate me taking the time to contact them.

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Dear James


Thanks for your email. I’m sorry that the bags you were given during your recent visit were of bad quality. I can understand your disappointment as one of the reasons you shop with us, rather than with our competitors, is the quality of the plastic bags.

I’ve forwarded your comments to the appropriate department for consideration. We’re always looking to improve on the quality whilst decreasing the environmental impact of our plastic bags, and your feedback helps us do just that.

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and look forward to seeing you in store again soon.

Kind regards

Henrik Thornqvist
Customer Manager

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Midweek Report

What have I got to report?  Not a huge amount really, just plodding along, trying to be productive at work and home before the inevitable happens towards the weekend and I become incapable of anything other than rolling around and mumbling incoherently - you love me for it, I am sure.

It has been a better week for finding new top tunes, much better than last week.  And I am trying to eat a bit healthier this week - I normally do eat fairly healthy with plenty of fruit and veg, but I am a sucker for sausage rolls and bacon and egg sandwiches - my financial situation is kind of stopping me from wasting money on things like breakfast at work - £120 to last 15 more days.  Oh shit.

And I have agreed on a roadtrip to Birmingham on Friday, oops.  I'm not backing out though, I would probably spend something similar in Reading going out somewhere, so I may as well have added fun and excitement of a roadtrip and also be guaranteed excellent music - something which happens in Reading once in a blue moon.  If I get trashed enough on a cheap bottle of vodka or similar and need to spend all day Saturday recovering and therefore feel too hungover to go out, that should mean I save money.  And then just one weekend until pay-day.  Though it seems miles away at the moment.  What am I going to do to achieve an improved financial situation?

The only other thing of note is that it is now more expensive than ever to escape Hull - the Humber Bridge is now to become the most expensive bridge to cost in the UK. Jokes about discouraging folk like me from infecting the rest of the country welcomed.



It is actually quite an impressive structure, and until a few years back was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. Perhaps it was the only one? Similar to The Deep - the world's only submarium.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How To Spot A Raver

This is a guide by Christwire, some Christian website I assume to be in America, and is probably the funniest thing I have read all year.



My favourite quotes include:

"Raves didn’t start becoming popular in the States until the late 1990′s when a new style of music called “Happy Hardcore” was created...The first popular Happy Hardcore song in American was called “Groove is in the Heart” by a Los Angeles band named “Deee-Lite”.".

Erm...not quite...

"Each candy kid collects beads, these beads are signs of how many bi-sexual sex orgies they have been apart of.".

"Mostly made up of “Yellows” and blacks, Jungle Lists goto these parties to stir up trouble, cause fights and rob other ravers. This should not be a surprise as we know communist Asians and blacks due the same thing in American society."

Anyway, I'll leave the rest of it for you to read - truly hilarious :-)

What Is A Raver

Monday, June 13, 2011

Defending Wayne Rooney

A few weeks ago, I got very upset when I heard that Coca-Cola would not be renewing it's contract with Wayne Rooney to promote it's products, following his behaviour.

I thought I should write a letter to explain and defend his behaviour...

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I am shocked at the reports that Coca Cola have confirmed that it will not be renewing its £600,000 a year contract with Wayne Rooney to promote its products.

This just comes a couple of days after Wayne Rooney swore at TV cameras in a football match, and also I read that senior figures at Coca Cola were disgusted with the allegations that Wayne Rooney slept with prostitutes whilst his wife was pregnant.

I think you mis-understand your target market in the UK. Sleeping with prostitutes is something to be admired in the UK. Large groups of men take holidays to established red-light districts such as Amsterdam, and those who sleep with the most prostititues gain the highest kudos.

Prostitution is also at large in society through less direct forms - those of us who are a little less brazen, still have to spend large amounts of money of buying drinks, flowers, shoes, etc in exchange for sexual favours.
Also, having a full command of the English language involves being able to emphasise your points adequetly, and if you have suffered from poor education standards then it is often necessary to use swear words to
articulate your message.

I for one, now no longer believe that I want to drink Coca Cola, as it no longer represents what I believe is great about UK culture.

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I eventually received the following rather pathetic and unhelpful response...

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Thank you for contacting The Coca-Cola Company. We appreciate your interest in our Company.


Although you may not be aware, our Company manufactures beverage syrups that are sold to a network of bottling companies in the United States and overseas. These bottling companies are local businesses. Consequently, this is a matter that would need to be handled by the Coca-Cola division office that serves your area.

You may wish to contact the Company division office responsible for your area at:

Consumer Information Centre
Coca-Cola Great Britain
1 Queen Caroline St.
London
W6 9HQ
Tel: (44) 20 8237 3000

We hope this information is helpful. Should you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

Jamia
Industry and Consumer Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company

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Sorry, Wayne - I tried.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Want Never Gets (at the moment/keep on dreaming)

1. I want it to be 5pm.
2. I want a beer.  And 3 bottles of wine.
3. I want a big hug.
4. I want to be wonky.
5. I want to go to see Heidi in London do an 8 hour set on Saturday.
6. I want to go see Jamie Jones at fabric on 2nd July.
7. I want someone to go to Cocoon In The Park with me on 9th July.
8. I want to grope that girl's breasts, preferably with permission so I don't get reported to HR.
9. I want a pay-rise.
10. I want to find the money to be able to go to Ibiza.
11. I want to win one of the 200 competitions for holidays that I have entered.
12. I want someone to tell me how to record on Traktor (maybe I should look when sober?).
13. I want a decent thunderstorm, not just a thundery shower.
14. I want summer to return - but not until July as I have just done a weather forecast saying summer is over so I don't want to look too stupid.
15. I want Maggie to be Prime Minister again.
16. I want to go to Cocoon opening at Amnesia on Monday.
17. I want to win the Euromillions jackpot.

Keep on dreaming, James.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

My Letter of Resignation

Don't worry - I'm not stupid enough to resign from my current job and company.

This is my letter of resignation from when I worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland many years ago.

I didn't take life that seriously then either.


Yes, I did use to believe all those years ago when RBS was making huge profits, that they were a force for evil - some would argue I was right.

I should probably also point out that I got the monkey I requested.


I did, however, once get questioned by management after I put a suggestion in the suggestion box for helper monkeys.

Why Reading Is A Great Place To Live

Another day, another blog.

After Tuesday being possibly the most boring day of the year - yesterday should really have been the same as nothing fun or exciting happened, yet I got much more enjoyment out of it.

The only differences were finding one top tune (perhaps the main reason given that music fuels my happiness levels like very little else) and a good chat to my parents, and also my grandma.  My dad said thanks for cheering him up - which was nice :-)

Sadly it took until about 3am this morning to get to sleep - 4 slices of toast shortly before seemed to do the trick.

Highlight of the day today will be free food.  The finance director is taking us out for lunch, about 18 finance people in total.  And buying us lunch!  I have come across many poor people in management in my time so it is quite refreshing to have someone very high up which I enjoy listening to and can connect to, and who is also very open to communication with all levels of staff.  And actually appears to do a really good job from my viewpoint.  If only all managers were the same.

Tomorrow evening I am going for drinks for a good friend's birthday.  Looking forward to it as haven't seen as much of her in recent months - one of the few people that will actually grant me a conversation on politics - or at least listen to me with interest.

Not much else planned for the weekend, trying to spend as little as possible.  I'm sure there will be some wine or beer involved at some point.

Have a roadtrip to Birmingham planned next weekend.  If any of my friends fancy it, there should be transport available.

Anyway, onto the subject of my blog - why Reading is a great place to live.  Our local MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma, presented to parliament a debate on why Reading should be a city.  It makes excellent reading for anyone who needs a reminder of why Reading is such a good place to live.

And this story tickled me - some woman dropped her finished and still lit cigarette on the floor, and someone picked it up and shouted at her not to throw her litter away and threw it in her shopping bag.

I appreciate my hypocrasy here given that when I was a smoker many moons ago, I used to do exactly the same.

But I am a condescending ex-smoker and all I have to say is "ha-ha"!

One thing not so funny is the likely weather for the rest of June.  I'll do my proper forecast tonight but apart from the odd day next week, we seem very much to be stuck in a pattern of rain, wind and showers for a while.  It is the same pattern that characterised the last 4 summers, and took ages - weeks, if not months, to change.  I am becoming increasingly gloomy about the likely weather for the rest of the summer.  Sorry!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Honestly, I Am Not In The Slightest Bit Bored...

This very second anyway.  I enjoy writing a blog post.  Even if only 9 people on average read them - unless I put a picture of a hot young woman in a bikini, in which case it will get about 200 viewers once it comes up on a Google Image search.

I have to say that yesterday was possibly one of the dullest days in a long time from start to finish. I wasn't expecting anything in the way of excitement or fun as I had prioritised getting things done both at work and home and generally being productive, and it did end up being successful in that way.  As is the plan today.

I am trying to limit the amount I spend during the week and also stay sober. This isn't so fun.  I need to find something cost-less to enjoy during the week - I have a couple of things in mind that I am investigating and may say more about them in the future.

One of the most disappointing things about yesterday was listening to about 40-50 new tunes and not wanting to keep any of them, let alone post one on my top tunes blog. Music is the one non-human thing that can normally guarantee me a smile but yesterday - nothing! Just discovering one new top tune makes such a positive difference to my day.

But even on the dullest days, there are always a few things to make me smile - like the spelling on this Labour rosette from the recent local elections.


And the possibility that I could have won the Euromillions allowed me to dream about who I would take to Ibiza the next day to live it up - I think I would just have to take all the people who have kept me entertained and nearly sane during working hours over the past month. I think that is a fair reward. I'll let you know if you qualify when I win the £60million jackpot on Friday. This is a hint to e-mail me at work and talk to me to keep me amused ;-)

I would also buy this bus.


But I wouldn't buy somewhere to live in Hull.

But I would employ this man for a private party. In a villa in Ibiza of course.

 
 

I'll keep on dreaming, it should keep me amused.





Actually, let's see some women in bikinis...





Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tourism In Hull

I have a long-standing dream of taking all of my friends for a weekend in Hull, if only to remind them of how good they have it living in and around Reading.

But there are actually a couple of things in Hull which attract visitors, apart from a large amount of people willing to engage in violence and the possibility of getting a pint for less than £1.50.

Firstly, The Deep, the world's only submarium.  Yes, I appreciate that there is no entry in either Wikipedia or http://www.dictionary.com/ for such a thing, but this doesn't stop the linguistically challenged of 'Ull from using such vobabulary.  It's even won a gold award this year.  The first thing from Hull since a fish and chip shop back in 1978 to win any kind of award.

Secondly, Hull City, the fantastic football club that I support, are going to open a museum.  One item is the Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup that we won in 1984.  Yes, we won a trophy once.

 
Next, tourism bosses have been to Paris to try to to persuade them to run part of the Tour De France in Hull in 2016.  Apparently two billion people will then see Hull.  Do two billion people seriously watch the Tour De France?  And what kind of deluded folk in Hull really think the French would ever risk their cyclists go through the council estates of Hull?

According to the Lonely Planet guide to Great Britain, Hull has has an uncompromising and rowdy nightlife, and is rather tough.  Anyone up for a night out there?  I believe that you can still buy a vodka and orange for 40p in one nightclub, Spiders.  Though last time I bought a vodka and orange in an establishment in Hull, I was given undiluted orange cordial.  Lovely.  The Daily Sport once voted Tower Nightclub the easiest place to pull in the UK.  I'm not sure if it is still open though.  It was certainly the best place to find 50-year old woman in very short skirts.

And if you like Hull so much after your visit, why don't you buy a house there?  One recently has become available in Victoria Villas for just £7,500.00.


So - who is up for the road-trip?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Oh Monday, Thou Art Not In Love With You

I really did not want to get out of bed this morning. I have quite a comfortable chair at work - but I like sleeping.  I could do with a week off - it is a year since I had a full week off from work. Every time I get drunk I keep thinking about booking flights to Ibiza - but I need to remember that I cannot afford it! Later in the year, perhaps, if I can save some money.

I had a pleasant, and perhaps more importantly, a relatively cheap weekend.

So glad I took Friday afternoon off - what a gloriously sunny day that was. Sitting in the sun, drinking with my very good friend, JP - and then I went to meet my old boss for a couple more beers (the good one that I used to work for, not the clueless disturbed one that was eventually disposed of).  All good.

Saturday I went to Eat Reading Live. It was enjoyable, I especially enjoyed the cider and wine on offer, a little too much as I found myself being rather too drunk and ended up going home and not going out in the evening - that and an internal disturbance from eating food from weird countries that stopped me from having any sustained periods of sleep throughout the night - I hope that teaches me a lesson. I am a pie man. Nothing else.

My good friend, Benski was doing some presenting on stage, I am sure that he will have a write-up on his blog at some point. There was a Mexican band playing too which were enjoyable to watch.

And Sunday, the state of my flat was starting to annoy me so I gave it a really good clean. With the help of a bottle of wine, of course.

Finally, I just remembered the story of the Orange Juice Man of Ibiza. Not sure if it is just an urban myth, but worth a read, it did tickle me.

Roll on Friday...or maybe Thursday, he he :-)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Plan For Today And Ideas For The Weekend

The first task of the day was to admire just how right I was in predicting this sunny and warm interlude quite far in advance on my weather blog, and then to feel very smug about it.

The second task was to get to work and request the afternoon as holiday.  Mission accomplished.

The third task was to find someone to have a beer with.  Hello JP.

This is such a ridiculously lovely day that I just have to find time to appreciate it fully.

No plans as such for the weekend, but I have ideas.

My very good friend, Ben Zagorski, is doing some foody stuff for Eat Reading Live, so I will go down on Saturday to Reading town centre, I believe that he is outside the Town Hall, though the itinery of who and what is on where completely confused me so I am just heading there for 1pm (ish).

Saturday night's in June for fabric members like me, means free entry!  And £10 for my guest.  Art Department are playing.  I want to go, but nobody else seems game so I guess it won't happen.

Better start enjoying the sunshine...there might be some 'enjoyable' rain this time next week.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

James' Shock Ketchup Announcement

During my 31 years on this planet, most of those have included an addiction to ket chup, and I have always consumed Heinz Ketchup, as this has always proved superior by far.


I have tried other brands of ketchup, especially when finances have been low, but always found them unsatisfactory.

Until now.

Yes, thanks to the ever increased price of Heinz Ketchup (nearly £3 a bottle now - and I go through a hell of a lot), I took the plunge and bought Sainsbury's Tomato Ketchup.



And I prefer it.

I prefer the taste and the price is very much lower. And also I don't seem to use quite as much.

I hope you understand.

I trust that we can still be friends.  I am still the same person.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

May Blog Stats Update

My main blog, thoughts predictions and rants has seen a very large increase in visitors. From 299 in the month of February, to 1,058 during the month of May.

Sadly, much of this increase is just because I blogged about the demise of the Daily Sport and included an upskirt picture of Cheryl Cole that was featured on the last issue.

Total since I started it is 4,451 from 100 different countries/territories.

The most popular other post in May in the Sven Vath at fabric review which got 152 visitors - delighted with this.

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Next my top tunes blog, slight increase from last month to 238 visitors. Well down from December's 400 - that was the excitment of Walk & Talk by Benoit & Sergio, where I used to be the top listing on Google searches for this very popular track.

Still the second most popular track, the most popular being the Jamie Jones remix of Art Department's 'Without You'.

A total of 2,119 visitors in total from 81 countries, pleasingly popular considering the work that goes into discovering new tunes.

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Next is my new little baby, the weather blog. Only 53 visitors in May but I expect it to increase in time. Since I have separated the weather forecasts from my main blog, I have increased my average visitors per forecast a bit.

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And finally my very newest one, DJ mixes. Sadly only 3 unique visitors so far, but I only first mentioned it last week so it will take a little while to generate awareness. I don't think that I have mentioned it on Facebook yet which is one of the main sources of visitors.

I have tried twittering some pages but only ever had a handful of visitors to my blogs from Twitter so yet to be convinced of its use.

Hull City's Brilliantly Crap New Shirt Sponsor

One has to laugh at the repeated crapness of my football club, and it's team, Hull City. I cannot take them too seriously.


First we go on a record-breaking run of 30 away games without a win (or was it 31?) and then follow that up immediately with a new club record away games without a defeat of 17 games.

However, I think we have outdone ourselves with the new shirt sponsor for next season.


Yes - you saw that right - Cash Converters.

Possibly the most popular shop in Hull outside of Poundland. The perfect place for all the smackheads to sell their electric goods that they acquired last night.

I do have to add that the club haven't confirmed that they are our new shirt sponsors - but more tellingly, they have not denied it and those on the Hull City message boards which seem to have inside connections to the club believe it is true.

Undeniably classy.

And another quick Hull City piece of stupidity from one of their players, Richard Garcia. He was offered a new contract 3 months ago, delays signing it - and is now injured for 9 months. Clever.

One final piece of Hull's stupidity - there is a new plan from Hull City Council to install solar panels on 5,000 council houses. Yes - solar panels in Hull. Even Manchester gets more sunshine than Hull.

Any idea which political party runs Hull City Council? Yes, you guessed it, those most financially prudent of political types - Labour.

How long before the smack-heads take them to Cash Converters?