Wednesday, 30 November 2011

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Time to Pack the Lappie

That's it for now, be back tomorrow on a borrowed machine but it means less to carry on the weekend.  C & H next.

Mars & Venus

Female bosses are more tolerant of employees doing personal chores during work hours new research has shown.  Instead of berating colleagues for getting errands done in company time, women are more likely to appreciate the fact that staff have to maintain a work–life balance.

They will only address the issue if employees are behind in their work when  spotted on Facebook, Twitter or shopping websites, or overhearing them making personal calls.

Female bosses are also more likely to take the personal situation of staff into account when it comes to managing and reprimanding their staff.

In contrast, male bosses were more inclined to tell employees off for letting home life get in the way of work, and admitted to having to do so on a daily basis.

College Humour

1. Whenever you find a penny or dollar bill, you hear that “Congratulations! You’ve won!” voice inside your head.
2. The prospect of any phone conversation provokes an unreasonable level of anxiety.
3. You just steal sh*t when you’re bored.
4. You know where your high school best friend’s former roommate’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend goes for the summers (Nantucket. Her cousin Becky is kind of terrible though, you can tell).
5. You find the concept of paying for pornography endearing.
6. You’ve had multiple conversations with friends speculating about the sexuality of someone you haven’t seen since you were six.
7. You’ve forgotten that watching TV on the TV used to be, like, a thing.
8. You have a legit panic attack when you can’t reconnect to your WiFi network.
9. You’ve seen all of “Felicity” despite never enjoying a single episode.
10. You hate Jeff Dunham way more than he even deserves.
11. Going to the movies counts as having a “break from technology”.
12. The phrase “follow me” does not even remotely invoke thoughts of physical movement.
13. You send emotionally complex, romantically tinged messages by “Like”-ing shit on Facebook.
14. You know far less about the Mayor of your city than you do about the Mayor of your local Panera Bread on FourSquare.
15. You think a beautiful sunset lighting up the New York skyline on a November evening just looks like a shitty desktop background.
16. You treat people who say they don’t have Facebook as if they have a horrible illness that you have to do your best to appear optimistic about.
17. You haven’t been on a date in months, but you do have a really messy, emotional shitshow “friends with benefits” situation going on in SecondLife.
18. The words “LiveJournal” or “Xanga” bring up far more nostalgia than any old home movie could.
19. Your reading responses for classes often just say: “TLDNR”.
20. You’ve gotten past the tenth page of comments on the YouTube video of that little British girl rapping with Nicki Minaj on Ellen.
21. You can name more celebrities with leaked nude photos than American presidents.
22. The last family argument you had was over Gchat.
23. You haven’t read a whole book in a year, but you have read the entire Wikipedia pages for “Sleep”, “Jon Voight”, and “Yo momma (maternal insult)” today.
24. Your day is completely made when you get a “what up my brother!!” tweet back from @mark_mcgrath from Sugar Ray.
25. You know what Da Brat is up to these days.

Toasty Toes

Great Britain leads the world in the number of pairs of socks owned per person, at 21.


As per NT:

20:00 Friday – Reluctant Amputee Choir
Gareth Malone boundless enthusiasm for ‘choir as therapy’ is lost on a group of servicemen traumatized by events in Helmand province. The choir’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem gets off to an impressive start until Corporal Johnson goes off-message, rips Malone’s head off and shits down his neck.
BBC 1 [shouting/singing]
18:00 Saturday – Racist Bake-Off
A less than welcome return for the far right cookery show. Jake from Leamington Spa dedicates his Croquembouche to Rudolf Hess and Lucinda blames Jewish bankers for the collapse of her soufflé.
Special guest Nick Griffin also knocks up some delicious treats using some of the numerous foodstuffs that are thrown at him every time he steps outside his house.
On his menu today is Extreme Right Wings in a Klaus Barbecue sauce served with Potato Waffens and Egg Fried Reich
Channel 4 [big white hats and hoods]
23:00 Saturday – Police , Camera, Inaction
A look at the horrific crimes committed by people in a persistent vegetative state, featuring the inspirational story of Frenchman Claude Rocheau who, despite his incapacity, masterminded a huge international drug gang using subtle movements of his eyelid.
Rocheau’s career was brought to an abrupt halt when a cleaner drew the blinds in his room.
Sky One [frequent inappropriate voice-overs]
21:00 Sunday – Celebrity Fish Tank with Neil Tenant
The Pet Shop Boys frontman indulges his love for tropical fish by visiting the private aquariums of the rich and famous.
Neil discusses the merits of UV lighting with Brian May and Robbie Savage shows off his vast collection of Angel Fish.
20:00 Wednesday – Animal Euthanasia with Michaela Strachan
A look at the harrowing stories of people forced to end their pets’ lives as a result of the adverse economic circumstances.
Tonight, Amber a prize thoroughbred mare from High Wycombe bids a poignant farewell and Prince the Golden Retriever is given a bedtime story followed by a fatal cocktail of Temazapam and Winalot Mixer.
ITV 3 [animals and stuff]
21:00 Thursday – Eric Pickles
The rotund communities secretary attempts to preserve a variety of foods for later consumption.
Today’s instalment sees Eric trying to pickle a Black Forest Gateau and a family bucket from KFC.
BBC Parliment [frequent gluttony]
21:00 Friday – Foetal Apprentice
Lord Sugar tests the business acumen of a bunch of foetuses at various stages of development ,all of whom are competing for a £250,000 stake in their own start up company. Tempers fray when Sebastian tries to pitch on Tyler’s placenta and Lord Alan goes ape-shit when Nikki enters the boardroom without her umbilical cord.
BBC One [A bit messy]
19:30 Tuesday – Down on Abbey
Former acquaintances of model cum IT-girl Abbey Titmuss share their recollections of what it’s like to perform oral sex on her.
This week, John Leslie recalls a raunchy cocaine binge in a 4 star hotel and Andy Peters get the bit between his teeth.
BBC Three [Yes, THAT John Leslie]
21:00 Thursday – I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Her
G list has-beens from the Madchester music scene spend two weeks performing a variety of challenges while permanently encamped inside Katie Price’s vagina.
Includes an interview with last year’s winner Christine Hamilton and the bit where Bez threatened to walk off the show because of the humidity.
ITV 1 [3D, unfortunately]
18:00 Saturday – XY Factor
Those in the public eye are given the chance to share the secrets of their DNA with the nation.
Tonight’s programme unlocks the double helix of out-of-work former Bread actor, Jonathon Morris, as genetic scientists inform him he has an eighteen percent chance of developing early onset dementia.
ITV 1 [former celebrities crying]
23:45 Sunday – Extremist Sports
In this week’s thrill-filled episode Muslim fundamentalist adrenalin junkies, the Totally Radical Clerics, repeat their call for a Holy War on the West while base jumping from some of London’s most famous Landmarks.
Sky Sports 2 [Only 15 mins, but you won't need more than that]
21:00 Sunday – Straight Eye For The Queer Guy
This week Dave and Kev help 26 year old Justin from Canterbury buy a whole new wardrobe by fucking off down the pub and leaving him to it.
Sky Living [brief, and to the point]
20:00 Tuesday – The Aisle of Man
Hugely informative advice show for men, in which Dave and Kev provide details of all the latest multi-buy lager deals currently on offer in the supermarkets.
Sky Living [informative]
21:00 Thursday – A History of Weather
Phil Tufnell takes a look back through the weather forecast archives.
In tonight’s show he uncovers a forecast from August 1985 that predicted grey skies over much of the country with the possibility of scattered showers in the Midlands.
BBC Two [Tuffers]

Nasty Spiteful Witch

Tram Racist womam
The Daily Mail this morning roundly condemned a South London woman for loudly expressing the sort of opinions regularly seen across the pages of its newspaper.
The woman, who has been arrested for a racially aggravated offence, is also likely to face civil charges after the paper implied she had some how managed to get hold of a copy of their editorial calendar.
A spokesperson for the paper said, “We take our editorial stance extremely seriously, and we can’t sit idly by whilst someone simply reads from our crib sheet in a public forum like a tram journey.”
“We have a full-page op-ed piece planned for Friday all about the ‘Niggeragurans’ and their threat to the British way of life – how could she possibly know about that if she hadn’t stolen it from us?”
“We will be pursuing her with the full force of the law, unless of course she makes a public statement to confirm that the opinions she so clearly articulated were not her own, but in fact belong to the Daily Mail.”

Tram racist

Regular readers of the Daily Mail have winced at the video as the racist woman desperately slurs her way through lots of sentiments that they totally agree with.
“It’s embarrassing,” said 40 year old reader Simon Jones, “It’s like watching your five year-old singing in the school play – it’s pretty awful quality, but you can’t help being proud of them by the end.”
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre spoke of disappointment at the whole episode.
He told reporters, “Of course we were extremely saddened to see our editorial agenda reduced to the guttural slurrings of a South London moron.”
“But with a little tidying up she would make a great columnist, don’t you think?”
The vid is doing the rounds on YouTube but I won't be posting it up on here.  That "woman" is an ugly example of sheer ignorant hatred and has no place in this society.  I hope Dibble pursue it all the way and she gets the max inside.
But I sadly doubt it.  :-(

Road Works

The 13% decrease in the number of students applying for university places next year could dramatically reduce the number of traffic cones that end up in the hallways of student houses or on the heads of statues, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts has revealed.
With roadwork crime rife in areas with a high student population, Mr Willetts insists that the number of students who are put off by the tuition fees increase is “a price worth paying”.
“We are facing a shortage of cones that is reaching crisis point,” he claimed.
“Councils are in a situation where they are struggling to close off sections of road for no apparent reason.”

Cone crime

Critics have insisted that pricing young people out of an education is too drastic a step to take in helping reduce traffic cone theft.
“A better solution would be to change the shape and look of traffic cones,” said NUS president Liam Burns.
“Students are currently hypnotized by a cones resemblance to a pointy hat and a loud hailer.”
“If they looked like something that students wouldn’t want to go anywhere near then it might solve the problem – Maybe a text book or an alarm clock,” he suggested.
UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook has warned the government against complacency in its fight against cone crime.
“We are gearing up for a possible late surge in applications close to the 15 January deadline,” she said.
“Students have been initially put off by the increase in fees, but the fact that they won’t have to pay off the debt until they are in work means that for most of them it won’t be for a very, very long time.”

Quality Viewing

Desperate Scousewives
After their television debut last night on E4, producers of Desperate Scousewives have told viewers that next week the cast will be addressing the Euro financial crisis and the ongoing battle for democracy in Egypt.
Despite warnings at the start of the show that “some scenes have been set up in the desperate hope of making them seem like human beings”, many viewers found it hard to relate to people that make the cast of The Only Way Is Essex look like attendees at a Mensa conference.
An E4 spokesperson said, “Critics might say that the show is nothing but an endless parade of vacuos simpletons without a single redeeming personality trait, but I would say wait until you hear what they have to say about the military control of protesters in Tahrir Square.”
One of the blonde ones was asked for their opinion on the German Chancellor and her stance on bailing out faltering economies, only to reply, “Angela Merkel? She’s the one who makes the shiny handbags, right? I want to marry a footballer you know.”

Desperate Scouswives

The debut programme has elicited a range of responses from viewers, ranging from anger to total apathy about the state of our society.
Confirmed Liberal David Matthews watched the show and told us, “Yes, I saw it, and by the end I was pretty sure I could make a reasonable argument for enforced sterilisation.”
“I’m not saying it’s the worst thing ever created in the history of mankind, but it’s a guest appearance from Katie Price away from being exactly that.”

Travel Tip # 1 255

Don't lob out your worn Braun toothbrush head that cost a fortune.  Keep it and use it to buff/clean your nails.

Try to keep that apart from your new brush used on your teeth, just in case.

No Poo, Poirot

Psychiatrists assessing self-confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik have concluded that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Anyone the slightest bit surprised at this conclusion?

Doing Time

Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of pop superstar Michael Jackson, has been sentenced to four years in county gaol.

I have no interest in the case, the people involved or the outcome, but this is nothing more than a witch hunt.  Can we now hope this will no longer dominate the headlines?  Yeah, right.

Q & A: Public Sector Strikes

The BBC advises:

Why have the strikes been called?
Because of proposed changes to pensions for public sector workers, and spending cuts. It's mainly about pensions - as people live longer, the cost of funding public sector pensions is "unsustainable", says the government. It wants most public sector workers to:
  • pay more into their pensions
  • work for longer
  • and accept a pension based on a "career average" salary, rather than the current final salary arrangement which many of them are currently on
Unions, however, say the proposals will leave their members paying more and working longer for less.

Who is taking part in the strike?
The TUC is co-ordinating the national day which will see members of unions representing a wide range of public sector workers taking part. They range from podiatrists and radiographers to cleaners and construction workers.
The unions are: The Association of Educational Psychologists, Aspect, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Educational Institute of Scotland, the First Division Association, GMB, National Association of Head Teachers, Napo (family court and probation staff), the teachers' union NASUWT, Northern Ireland Public Service Association, National Union of Teachers, Public and Commercial Services Union, Prospect, the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, the Society of Radiographers, UCAC (one of the Welsh teachers' unions), Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, University and College Union, Unison and Unite.

What impact will I see?
At least two million workers across the UK are due to walk out, with more than 1,000 demonstrations expected across the UK.
Organisers expect disruptions to courts, government offices, job centres, driving tests and council services, such as libraries, community centres and refuse collections. Highways Agency staff will be on strike, as will many Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Ministers expect two-thirds of schools to close, and although clinical and medical staff in hospitals will work - the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing are not taking industrial action - some staff in hospitals will be on strike which would cause some delays. Thousands of non-emergency operations are likely to be postponed because of the strike.
Delays of up to three hours at immigration are expected at Heathrow as border staff take part in the walk-out. The government has said no border controls will be relaxed to ease queues.
It also says it will not be calling on the Army to step in and it does not believe emergency services will be hit.
Union members will be holding pickets, marches and rallies throughout the country.

Who supports the strikes?
Not the government. Ministers insist talks over the pension changes are still ongoing and therefore it is unjustifiable to take action now.
The government says the strikes could cost the UK £500m and lead to job losses. But the unions called the figures "fantasy economics" and accused the government of scaremongering.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband - heckled at the TUC conference for not backing the strikes and attacked by Conservatives for refusing to condemn them - said he was "very concerned about the costs of these strikes". The day before the action he said he hated the "terrible" disruption it would cause, but still would not condemn it.

Has the government changed its offer at any point?
Yes. In October, ministers proposed a new offer, saying it would guarantee no-one within 10 years of retirement would have to work longer or see their pension income fall and includes the promise of more generous rates of accrual - the rate at which the value of a pension builds up.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said there was "no more money on the table" to settle the dispute and the government had made a "very good offer". There have been suggestions that revised offer could be withdrawn altogether if no deal is agreed by the end of the year.

What if my child can't go to school and I have to work?
Parents' rights depend on their employment contracts. If you are an employee, you have the right to take time off to care for a dependant in an emergency - but given that most schools have given several days' notice of closures, this is unlikely to apply in many situations. Prime Minister David Cameron has urged employers to allow staff to bring children to work where possible.
Other options are to
  • make use of flexible working arrangements, such as working from home or altering working hours
  • take a day's paid leave, or
  • ask for a day's unpaid leave
Will parents be able to volunteer to help at schools?
Parents who have passed a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check for the school in question - for example if they already volunteer there regularly - would be able to help. But CRB checks usually take several weeks.
But during a previous strike, the National Association of Head Teachers warned its members against using volunteers in place of trained staff, even if they have the necessary CRB documentation, because of a host of issues ranging from first-aid training, to insurance, to behaviour management.

How can prison officers take part if they are not allowed to strike?
Prison officers are banned from striking because it could compromise the safety of prisons, but peaceful pickets outside workplaces are lawful.

What is happening with public sector pensions?
The government wants public sector workers - bar the armed forces, police and fire service - to receive their occupational pension at the same time as the state pension in future. Many can currently receive a full pension at 60. The state pension age is due to rise to 66 for both men and women by April 2020. Under government plans, workers - on average - would have to pay 3.2 percentage points more in annual pension contributions phased in between 2012 and 2014. But low-paid public sector workers on less than £15,000 would not face any increase in contributions and those earning less than £18,000 would have their contributions capped at 1.5%. There have been some claims and counterclaims over what this means for public sector workers.

Why are these changes needed?
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has suggested that the gap between contributions and pensions in payment would double over the next four years to £9bn. One key reason for this is that people are living for longer. The government commissioned Lord Hutton, the former Labour Work and Pensions Secretary, to investigate the situation. Many of its proposals are drawn from recommendations in this report.

What do the unions want to happen?
Trade unions have voiced strong opposition to their members paying more in the form of contributions to their pension. It is not clear how opposed they are to changing schemes to a career average version, or to the plans to raising the retirement age to 65 or 66. They were also unhappy that the government announced its plans for pensions while negotiations with the unions were ongoing.

Don't public sector workers get paid less because their pensions are better?
This is a myth, according Lord Hutton. His interim report says that "there is no evidence that pay is lower for public sector workers to reflect higher levels of pension provision". Although 85% of public service employees contribute to a pension, he said that these pensions were far from "gold-plated", with the average pension in payment currently at a "modest" £7,800 a year. About half of public service pensioners received less than £5,600 a year. Some private sector schemes are worse than this, but he said that should not affect public sector pensions. In the private sector only 35% of workers sign up for a pension.

How are other countries tackling the pensions shortfall?
There are many different systems in place across the world. In France, for example, public sector workers typically retire before 60, but there are plans to bring them in line with the private sector. In Chile, there are mandatory defined-contributions in public and private sectors. Employees pay 10% of their earnings, with top-up benefits for the poorest 60% of pensioners.

Everyone Out

Apparently 2 000 000 "workers" are due to strike today over pension reforms.  I don't like unions and have always felt if you don't like your job, leave and go elsewhere.  Either way, it's going to cause misery for the (wo)man in the street and another reason why I prefer to live elsewhere.  Luckily the post office is not involved.  As the lady told us when we asked, "we're not civil servants".

Quite right, post office staff are neither civil and rarely serve...  ;-)

Last Chance


1 PAOK Salonika 4 3 8
2 Rubin Kazan 4 3 7
3 Tottenham 4 2 7
4 Shamrock Rovers 4 -8 0
Apparently Tottenham/Redknapp care about this cup and want to win tonight.

"Tomorrow is a must-win game. We are a point behind PAOK. You can see Rubin beating Shamrock, so we need to win."

I really don't care if we can retain 3rd spot in the Premiership next year...

Burds Bite Back

The BBC SPOTY list is getting some stick from the ladies as there aren't any included, it's all gadgies.

I don't care, so long as it is decided on merit, which I am sure it is.  It's not the judges fault if the ladies haven't done well enough to be included, is it?  However, one of the comments me me laugh:

Chrissie Wellington, who won her fourth Ironman* world championship title in October, has also criticised the make-up of the list.
"No women in @bbcspoty top ten," she wrote on Twitter. "Its not about me, its about the need to celebrate achievements of so many female GBR athletes. Disgraceful."

Erm, Ironman?   If you're going for the sexist angle, sort your discipline out.  And can this competition really be regarded in the same way as say, F1, a Test match, a Cup Final an Open or whatever?  It's more like a C4 Saturday afternoon filler than a world recognised event.

Not that I am suggesting it is in anyway easy or second class, just that it's hardly headline news.

If It Works

78% of email addresses are composed of the owner's first and middle initials and last name.


I mentioned that it's cold here but on reflection it's not that bad, considering tomorrow is December.  I think we're still in double figures and it feels mild if the wind drops.  As said though, I don't hold out much hope for Durham this weekend...

Price Watch

Some items are horrendously expensive here in England (accommodation, eating out, beer- the leisure side of things) but others are excellent (electrical goods, some supermarket food items, clothes, books) and so we're making the most of it.

I still can't get over the£1.25 price tag for a 500 ml bottle of Zeros though and fags?  I am so glad I packed in years ago.  Smoking in the UK does kill; your bank balance.

Puma? Cool

I needed a thicker top now that we're back in the UK and it's much colder than in Izola (and wait until we head north) but baulked at the £35 + price tag of simple adidas sweatshirts.  So I ended up finding a neat black top which fits well and is all warm and snuggly for a bargain sale price of £16. 

Dead chuffed, even if it's by arch rivals Puma.  :o)


Basic spec

Features and specifications are subject to change without prior notification.
Image sensor Type 1/2.3" (Approx. 7.76mm) CCD
Effective Pixel Approx. 16.1 Mega pixel
Lens Focal Length Samsung 5X Zoom Lens f = 4.7~23.5 mm (35mm film equivalent : 26~130 mm)
Digital Zoom Still Image mode : 1.0X ~ 5.0X (Optical x Digital : 25.0X)
Play mode : 1.0X ~ 14.4X (depends on image size)
Focusing Type TTL auto focus (Multi AF, Center AF, Face Detection AF, Smart Touch AF, One Touch Shooting AF, Object Tracking AF, Smart Face Recognition AF)
Image Play Type Mode : Smart Album, 3D Album, Slide show, Magazine
Type : Single image, Thumbnails, Slide show, Movie Clip
* Slide show : Slide show with Effect & Music
* Smart Album Category: File, Date, Face
Physical Specification Dimensions (WxHxD) 91.9 x 53.1 x 17.0mm (without protrusions)
Weight 106.9g (without battery and memory card)

Full spec

Features and specifications are subject to change without prior notification.
Image sensor Type 1/2.3" (Approx. 7.76mm) CCD
Effective Pixel Approx. 16.1 Mega pixel
Total Pixel Approx. 16.4 Mega pixels
Lens Focal Length Samsung 5X Zoom Lens f = 4.7~23.5 mm (35mm film equivalent : 26~130 mm)
F No. F3.3(W) ~ F5.9(T)
Digital Zoom Still Image mode : 1.0X ~ 5.0X (Optical x Digital : 25.0X)
Play mode : 1.0X ~ 14.4X (depends on image size)
Viewfinder LCD Monitor 3.0"(7.6cm), Wide Full Touch Screen
Focusing Type TTL auto focus (Multi AF, Center AF, Face Detection AF, Smart Touch AF, One Touch Shooting AF, Object Tracking AF, Smart Face Recognition AF)
Range Normal : 80cm ~ infinity(Wide), 100cm ~ infinity (Tele)
Macro : 5cm~80cm (Wide), 100cm ~ 150cm (Tele)
Auto Macro : 5cm~Infinity (Wide), 100cm~ Infinity (Tele)
Shutter Speed Smart Auto : 1/8~1/2,000 sec.
Program : 1 ~ 1/2,000 sec.
Night : 8 ~ 1/2,000 sec.
Exposure Control Program AE
Metering Multi, Spot, Center Weighted, Face Detection AE
Compensation ±2EV (1/3EV steps)
ISO Equivalent Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Flash Modes Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, Red eye fix
Range Wide : 0.2m ~ 3.5m, Tele : 1.0m ~ 2.5m (ISO AUTO)
Recharging Time Approx. 4 sec.
Effect Sharpness Soft+, Soft, Normal, Vivid, Vivid+
White Balance Auto WB, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom
Shooting Still Image Mode : Smart Auto, Program, Scene, Simple shot, Vignetting Filter, Beauty shot, Magic Frame, Photo Filter, Night, Close-up, Object Highlight
* Smart Auto : Portrait, Night Portrait, Backlight Portrait, Night, Backlight, Landscape, White, Natural Green, Blue Sky, Sunset, Macro, Macro Text, Macro Color, Tripod, Action, Fireworks
* Scene : Landscape, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Beach&Snow
Drive : Single, Continuous, AEB, Motion Capture
Self-timer : Off, 2 sec., 10 sec., Double
Movie Clip * 5X Optical Zoom enable (Max Recording time : 20min)
* Smart Movie : Landscape, Blue Sky, Natural Green, Sunset
* Due to the noise while optical zooming, user can select to record sound or not. (Voice recording selectable : Sound Alive On/ Sound Alive Off/ Mute)
Storage Media Internal memory: 10 MB
External memory: Micro SD Card(up to 2GB guaranteed), Micro SDHC (up to 8GB guaranteed)
* Internal memory capacity may not match these specifications.
File Format DCF, EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
Still Image : JPEG
Movie Clip : MP4 (Video: MPEG4.AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC)
Audio file : WAV
Image Size 16M : 4608x3456
14M P : 4608×3072
10M : 3648x2736
12M W : 4608×2592
5M : 2592x1944
3M : 1984x1488
2MW : 1920×1080
1M : 1024x768
Image Play Type Mode : Smart Album, 3D Album, Slide show, Magazine
Type : Single image, Thumbnails, Slide show, Movie Clip
* Slide show : Slide show with Effect & Music
* Smart Album Category: File, Date, Face
Interface Digital Output Connector USB 2.0
Audio Microphone : Mono
Internal Speaker : Mono
Video output AV: NTSC, PAL (user selectable)
DC power input connector 4.2V
Power Supply Power Source Rechargeable battery : BP70A (740mAh, Min.700mAh)
Charger : SAC-48(AC Adapter), CB20U05B(USB Cable)
Connector Type : 20pin
* Included items may vary depending on sales region.
Physical Specification Dimensions (WxHxD) 91.9 x 53.1 x 17.0mm (without protrusions)
Weight 106.9g (without battery and memory card)
Operating Temperature 0 ~ 40°C
Operating Humidity 5 ~ 85%
Software Application Intelli-studio (Built-in)
Voice Recording Voice Recording (max. 10 hours)
Voice Memo in Still Image (max. 10 sec.)
Date Imprinting Off, Date, Date & Time

Camera Sorted

We also found time to buy the Samsung T95 which we looked at previously.  It's a simple auto-everything camera which allows novices like me to take some more rubbish pictures for the Blog/Flickr/YouTube as we continue our tour of this planet. 

Good price, it has all the bits I needed and is much smaller and travel friendly than our five year old Panasonic, which is still going strong  but now on holiday in Izola.

More Shopping

Of course.

It was our last day for packing yesterday as we're dropping off our bags at my brother's in a couple of hours so we headed back to Hofer, which in the UK is Aldi.  I now have enough salami to last at least a couple of months and so am more than happy.

Wifey has also stocked up on veggie pate, gravy granules and exclusive items from Boots UK (not available in Thailand oddly enough) and so we are now good to go.  More amazingly, it looks like we have a little space and weight available, so we may still buy some stuff in Durham- if we have any cash left.

When You're Up,

You're Up.

Having finished with the bank, I was looking through a pile of second hand books (Leigh is full of charity shops) and did a double take.  There in the masses lay a Jasper Fforde novel which was the next one in the line of Jack Spratt NCD series.  Having loved The Big Over Easy, I can now look forward to The Fourth Bear.

And for just 10 pence?  You're having a giraffe.

The Eagle Has Landed

Using the rather good tracking reference and post office website, we have had conformation that our passports and visa applications have indeed arrived at Hull.

Now all we need to do is wait until tomorrow, ring them to see what our return reference is and track our precious package back.  If this comes off, it will be the best ever Christmas present.

That's More Like It

After a disheartening day on Monday, yesterday took a turn for the better and ktelontour started to make progress. First port of call was the Nationwide to discuss my concerns and fully expecting more of the same bollocks, I was more than surprised at the reception.

I was seen immediately and told that after much effort (over three hours on the telephone apparently) they could now guarantee that we no longer be receiving any paper correspondence again (as we had before anyway) and they apologised profusely for their error.

No point flogging a dead horse (despite their claim it was a "legal" requirement, which I took issue over) and so I thanked them for their resolution and left them too it.  In and out in under 10 minutes and everything back to normal.

So much for "just leave it as they don't listen".  It seems they do if you are determined enough.  :o)


In a recent poll of United States civil servants, 86% could not describe the difference between a #1 and a #2 pencil; 57% did not know #1 pencils exist.

Let's assume # refers to HB in the UK, OK?


"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
- Tom Robbins

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Big Brother and His Cohorts

Researchers have found that more than half of Brits admit to keeping an eye on their neighbours’ comings and goings and regularly snoop on them to see what they’re up to.

Watching from the window, listening over the fence, looking through their rubbish and Googling how much they paid for the property are just some of the ways we keep tabs on our neighbours.  40% of adults polled said they can’t resist having a nose if another resident on their street gets a delivery or has guests to visit.

A quarter of people say they know if their neighbours are having relationship problems and half even keep track of new guests and visitors they haven’t seen before.

Despite this, most Brits don't consider themselves as nosy, instead saying that they think it is neighbourly to keep an eye on what's happening on their street.

Name & Shame?

Hair Balls reports the oddest, funniest, and most puzzling names we come across in Harris County official record- usually but not always the crime reports.  As always, a couple of disclaimers are in order. Not all, indeed not necessarily any, of these people were convicted of a crime. Additionally, the crimes they are accused of -- those that have been accused, that is -- are in some cases as minor as driving on a suspended license or possession of small amounts of pot.
And so, without further ado:

Patronne Dextrexxe Brooks: Puts us in mind of both tequila and porn.
Pearlie Mae Cobbins: Now this is just a classic -- if I still had my 1976 Caddy Coupe de Ville, this would be her name.
Anal Exceus: Oy.
Tito Kunta Hunt: Someone like both Roots and Yugoslavian strongmen, but the resulting name comes across as naughty.
Whithworth Treasure: Sounds like the leading man in a romance novel written by a sixth grader.
Willie Nelson de Ochoa: Only in Texas.
Shi'tia Alford: Might as well have alerted CPS the day they put this on the birth certificate. That name is child abuse, pure and simple.
Heavenleigh Flores: Not super classy, but I kind of like it.
Dacodunn Ahito Dante Antoine: Wow. Read it out loud. It sounds like some awesome foreign language. Fun name.
Stylz Montavian Murry: I got stylz, baby, Montavian stylzzzzzz
Aristotle Onassis Harris: Who knew some Houston mom would find a Greek shipping magnate so inspiring?
Chastity Spotts: I learned about those in health class.
Charmin Crew: No squares in stall two. Send in the Charmin Crew.
Petrono Tum Pu: Sounds like stomach medicine you'd find in Indonesia.
Joey Perfecto: Sounds like someone Eugene Levy would have played on SCTV.

Not Guilty

94% of websites have not been updated during the past week.

We hope to carry on Blogging, but our lappie will be packed up and off to Hillingdon tomorrow as we're dropping our luggage off at my brother's.  He's not far from Heathrow and we'll be staying overnight with him next week.

Hopefully we'll have access to a pooter of sorts as we'll be travelling ultra lightly until Bangkok.

Fick, Innit?

Frequently heading a football can lead to brain injury, warn doctors who say they have found proof on brain scans.

Ferdinand, Rooney and Terry proves that emphatically, surely?

More at the BBC

Snack Time

A large-scale clean-up operation is under way after a tanker carrying more than 20 tonnes of Marmite overturned on the M1 last night.

Just bring hot buttered toast...


The BBC announces its contenders for the annual SPOTY award.  Find out more about this year's top 10 contenders:

In pictures: Sports Personality top 10
Mark Cavendish
Darren Clarke
Alastair Cook
Luke Donald
Mo Farah
Dai Greene
Amir Khan
Rory McIlroy
Andy Murray
Andrew Strauss

In a Timely Manner

Terry gets interviewed by the Fuzz (painful?) almost a month after the incident.  The FA cannot/will not begin their investigation into the alleged affair, so perhaps we;ll see some kind of resolution by Christmas. 


Weekend Footie

Saturday, 3rd December 2011- Barclays Premier League
Newcastle v Chelsea, 12:45
Blackburn v Swansea, 15:00
Man City v Norwich, 15:00
QPR v West Brom, 15:00
Tottenham v Bolton, 15:00
Wigan v Arsenal, 15:00
Aston Villa v Man Utd, 17:30 
Another Newcastle draw would suit me fine and a sneaky 1-0 against Bolton would see me happier than ever in Durham this weekend.  Trouble is, I can see us losing out to a strong team lower in the league.  It's not the first time, nor will it be the last, it's just the life of a Tottenham, fan.


The Need For Speed

I’ve got nowt funny to say today. Not one word humorous comment. Some of you’ll reckon there’s no change there, then.

If you think of Gary Speed you think of a chest-out midfielder with a great left peg; you think of the classic football cliché of a lad who had a great leap for a small man; you think of a Leeds team that somehow won the Premier League; you think of a committed international footballer and a manager who recognised that Wales have a generation of young footballers headed by Bale and Ramsey who are capable of doing special things.

And even the most heterosexual of men can acknowledge that the man was as easy on the eye as sun sparkling off a Spanish sea.

You’d have thought that with all that going for him the man would have every right to be the sort of cocky wanker that sometimes appears to blight the modern game.
I know in such circumstances you’re not going to hear a bad word said about someone, but even then some wiseacre’ll say summat out the corner of his mouth if there was anything that you needed reminding of. To be fair that’d usually be me.

But no, Gary Speed was adored. What makes this tragedy deeper is the fact that he was so deeply loved by all who played with him and watched him.

That’s a pretty hard ask when he played for a fair few clubs. Club loyalty is not what it was and football fans don’t have much time for the modern mercenary who tears around from club to club in his latest playing-card-thin Italian sports car, his agent trailing behind him with an open suitcase to collect the £50 notes that are streaming out of the boot.

Speed played for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle... not clubs where temporary residence is welcomed. And still he commanded respect and adulation.

There’s nothing about this story that leaves you with anything other than a sense of sadness and even despair. Second only to his friends and family will be the players he was managing at international level.

Welsh football has had a fickle old relationship with its gaffers for many years, with John Toshack popping up like an unwelcome uncle at a family wedding. Speed, after a not-too-successful stint at Bramall Lane, took over and the change has been really something.

He leaves a team brimming with belief, immensely capable, and as pleasant to look at as the manager himself. Lord knows who’s going to keep that going, but I hope that that legacy is not lost along with the way.

As a side-issue, one of my least favourite pundits has come out of this with renewed respect. I heard Robbie Savage on the 5Live phone-in and what came across was a genuine friend in a state of utter grief. And given what folks say about Speed it’s unlikely that he’d form such a firm friendship with a pillock. Savage has been honourable, sincere and his bewilderment at this loss just compounds our collective sense of shock.

It’s impossible to even speculate as to what might be the reason for his suicide – and that’s not for the likes of me to consider any road. His death has, however, come at a time when the Leveson enquiry has unveiled case after case of immoral pillaging of people’s private lives in search of a scoop.

And once the shock has faded, the questions will be asked, and let’s just hope and pray that the phones will remain untapped, the bins untroubled, the kids unpestered. Let’s face it there’s been some devastating tragedies in recent years that have had your average reptilian hack salivating like a komodo dragon with a poisoned buffalo in its vicinity.

RIP. Let him rest in peace. Let the family grieve in peace. They will want to know why he took his own life, but the rest of us don’t need to.

Like I say, I’ll remember Speed as a footballer. Those that know him remember him as a great colleague. Football isn’t that important, but it’s good, even in those tragic of circumstances, that it can be populated by some dedicated, gifted and thoroughly decent human beings. Though whether there are any better than Speed is highly unlikely.


Silk, when compared to a filament of equal diameter, is stronger than steel.

A Spade is Still a Spade

Whether you agree with his views or not, this is how to say what you mean without pulling your punches.  I'd like to have heard the replies, but can't seem to find them.  Anyway, Farage (accurate name) in full flow and how refreshing that a politician is not too cowardly to call it straight.


The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

Big Then

The electric bellows that blows air for the pipe organ at the Ely Cathedral in England could fill the Hindenberg with air in 18 hours and 4 minutes.

And Another Thing

Another letter fro the bank saying that as we were such loyal customers, we were going to have our credit cards upgraded to "platinum" cards.  Having just received them, we didn't want them, but as you've guessed, we don't have a choice.

So once more we have to arrange safe passage of these unwanted items to reach us in Asia which is a major hassle.  Why enforce this on us?  Do we no longer have freedom of choice?  It's sooo frustarting.


"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy."
- Robert Anthony

24 Hours

After having travelled through all of Germany on the train in just one month and after having lived in Slovenia for three months, I have had more problems in just one day in the UK. 

And it's all so unnecessary.  Why can't people be happy?  The majority have a privileged life compared to most of the world and yet it seems all folk do is whinge or moan. 

Enjoy life, it's not going to last forever.

Say Cheese

We'd decided on which camera to buy and went into the High Street Currys.  Another "yoof" who at first seemed eager to please but rapidly lost interest when I wasn't swayed by his attempts to buy their "special" offer.  How difficult is this?  On being asked if I needed help, I replied, yes please- a camera.  I need the following:
  • 3" screen
  • 5 x optical zoom
  • 10 million (minimum) pixels
  • battery charged in situ (as in no additional charger pack)
  • £100 max
It has to be a 3" screen?

No, I just thought I'd say it to throw you off the scent.

We have this, which is nearly 3"

No, it's 2.7" and not what I want- I would like to check out this one (Samsung).

He reluctantly unlocked it from the shelf, dropped it (good shock absorption, then) and fumbled around with it without letting me even pick it up.  He offered some half-arsed spec flannel which only highlighted his ignorance and then tried again to flog me something entirely different.  Again.

I got bored of his Aussie whine and asked to let me have the Samsung.  I took a test shot and was informed (OSD) the memory was full/no card and so asked for one to befitted.  Scrabbling around he eventually said they didn't have one and took another camera (different manufacturer) and tried to show how the picture came out on that one, "because it was a similar spec".

"So, you're telling me that despite being an electrical store selling cameras and associated items, you're not going to get a memory card to let me try the goods?"

Embarrassed silence.

"Well, thanks for you time, good-bye" and off I walked.

A shambles from start to finish, but does anyone seriously chuck out 100 quid without even testing the goods?  Would you buy a bike or car without a test drive?  Do me a favour.

Anyway, looks like I'll be camera hunting today too.  :o)