Friday, 30 June 2017

Speaking of British Trains...

Here are the ten worst excuses given by public transport companies for delays to their services.

1 Leaves on the line

2 The driver getting lost

3 Toilet troubles

4 The bus driver falling asleep at the wheel

5 The grass being too long

6 The milkman not arriving

7 The driver having a sprained eyebrow

8 The wrong kind of snow

9 The staff being left in Cardiff

10 The driver's wife throwing him out and him having to sleep in the car


Canny Lad

Loved the story of a Geordie boy who got fed up with the price of a train seat to London from Newcastle.  They wanted £78.50- and that was the "discounted" cost as he was using his student railcard.

Checking into options he noted that he could fly to Menorca, hire a car to the beach, grab a cocktail and then fly onto Gatwick. By doing so he would still have forty quid in his back bin.  As he said:

"Newcastle - London Train £78.50 

Newcastle - Menorca🇪🇸  £15.99

Menorca - London 🇬🇧 £10.99

Car hire £7.50 

Sex on the beach cocktail 🍸£4

I can have a night on a Spanish island, hire a car, have a cocktail on the beach, fly back to London and still have £40 left over..... OR I could have sat on a train What would you have rather done?"

We'll have to presume this is one way so he'll still have to get back, but I'd like to know how he got to London from Gatwick.  A quick check shows that the Gatwick Express comes to an eye-watering £19.90 for the half an hour journey.

He probably took the bus which may take three times as long but can be had for under a fiver...


News Thump

Seeing as I only just put up last week's post on the Brit heatwave, here's another retro post from NT which ties in nicely.

Nicola Sturgeon demands English weather
Nicola Sturgeon attacked England last night for sweltering under a heatwave while Scotland makes do with second-rate weather.
Muffled against seasonal heavy winds, low clouds and driving sleet, Sturgeon addressed a political meeting in Oban yesterday to draw attention to “this grotesque meteorological inequality.”
“Some of those English degrees of heat should belong to Scotland,” she told a shivering, dripping audience.
“We’ve all seen those pictures of the decadent English basking on hot, sandy beaches and enjoying temperatures of thirty degrees or more,” she said, holding up a newspaper
“Even the name of the newspaper, The ‘Sun’, is a deliberate provocation,” she added, looking at the front page.
“Many people in Scotland have never seen the sun.”
And Sturgeon told reporters she would be unremitting in her claims for fairness.
“A free Scotland would demand an immediate and equitable redistribution of temperature,” she said.
But commentators doubt whether Ms Sturgeon’s latest initiative will gain her sufficient support to make up for election losses.
“We like the weather as it is up here,” one audience member told us.
“It keeps the English out.”

No Cheese, Columbo

It's just been confirmed that no one wants to see your pictures on FB/social media.  That includes holiday snaps, pictures of your scran, piccies of your mates and certainly no selfies.

Some survey revealed what we all know in that 73% get all bent out of shape when they see other people's snaps on-line, yet 77% still persist.

My solution is simple.  I don't have any social media accounts and when I am in public and people thrust their mobiles in my face, they have a maximum of three photos they are allowed to show me before I tell them to fuck off.

And it works too- it makes people really think about what they want to show me and most of the time now, no one bothers.

If only I could get a mobile ban at the bar next, that would be the icing on the cake.

More at Metro


Pranks That Deliver A Few Good Laughs (23 gifs)

FAO Retards

Whoops, for some reason this ended up in "pending" and should have been out some time last week when it was all a bit toasty in the UK,  Sorry.

Who have no idea what to do when the yellow thing goes up for the day and it all gets a bit toasty.  Congrats to the UK for having its hottest day in 40 years and an even bigger hats off for publishing how to cope with hot weather.
  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11:00 and 15:00 (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.


Well Said

People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it.
Ogden Nash
US humorist & poet (1902 - 1971)

Match Report

It was over before it really began. Two goals in the opening eight minutes from the tournament breakout Leon Goretzka secured Germany a place in the Confederations Cup final on Thursday, and even a valiant fightback from Mexico could not revive the game in Sochi.
Despite leaving almost a dozen of their best players in Germany – including Manuel Neuer, Marco Reus, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng – the world champions’ next generation were at their clinical best during the semi-final. Timo Werner added a third in the second half, before a late goal from Ajax’s Amin Younes eliminated any thought of a Mexican fightback after a stunning long-range strike from Marco Fabián briefly lifted Mexico.
On a humid evening by the Black Sea 37,923 spectators took the Fisht Stadium towards capacity for the first time this tournament. Germany threatened from the opening whistle and within six minutes they had taken the lead. Benjamin Henrichs, 20, made a dangerous run down the right side before picking out Schalke’s Goretzka, who calmly finished from the edge of the area past the Mexicogoalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa.
A mere 109 seconds later the goal scorer doubled his tally. Werner embarked on a weaving run through the midfield, dispatching an incisive pass to his team-mate and Goretzka again beat Ochoa. Werner, another youthful member of this Germany squad at 21, has been the object of fan abuse throughout a Bundesliga season where he scored 21 goals. “Kobe Bryant has also been booed everywhere and he has always been the best,” Werner said defiantly pre-match, and his red-hot form continued in Sochi.
But Mexico, who came from behind in all three of their group-stage games to snatch two wins and a draw, refused to roll over. Neither team had managed a clean sheet at the tournament and it was evident why. The remainder of the first half was unceasing end-to-end football, with both sides unlucky not to score. A chip from the former Manchester United striker Javier Hernández sailed just over Germany’s crossbar, while the Die Mannschaft goalkeeper, Marc-André Ter Stegen, tipped a Héctor Herrera free-kick wide as the break approached.
The chances resumed early in the second half, with Mexico threatening on several occasions and a cross-cum-shot from Germany’s Werner rolling across the Mexican goalmouth. The world champions extended their lead in the 59th minute when an elaborate passing move found Jonas Hector alone on the left side of the penalty box. The winger sent a cutback to Werner, who looked offside on the preceding pass, but the Argentinian referee, Néstor Pitana, elected not to review the striker’s subsequent conversion.
Mexico refused to give up in the final stages, a looping header from Benfica’s Raúl Jiménez going close and Ter Stegen forced into a reflex save from a corner. Finally they were rewarded for their efforts when the substitute Fabián hit a stunning consolation goal from 35 yards. Ajax’s Younes found a fourth for Germany in injury time to put the game beyond doubt.
The 4-1 final result reflected harshly on Mexico, with the Concacaf representatives making 25 attempts on goal and enjoying 58% of the possession. The manager, Juan Carlos Osorio, who was an assistant at Manchester City in the early 2000s and once studied at John Moores University in Liverpool, defended his team’s performance in the post-match press conference. “They are fair winners,” the Colombian said. “But I think the score line seems like we were too far away and I do not think that was the case.”
The Germany manager, Joachim Löw, concurred, admitting that “despite the score it was a tough match”.
Germany now fly to St Petersburg to prepare for the final on Sunday against the South American champions, Chile. Mexico will face Portugal in the third-place play-off at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium. After two semi-finals dominated by attacking play, both matches promise to be exciting affairs.
Löw was cagey about his plans for the final, where his side will try to improve on a 1-1 group stage draw with Chile. “There is no doubt at all that Chile is the most powerful opponent in this tournament,” he said. “This football season is drawing to a close, and that means that people are almost hitting a wall when it comes to their physical performance. We will be trying flat out to pull it off again, and I hope – I am actually quite positive – that we can do that versus Chile.”

Made the Final

By all accounts not quite as one sided as the 4 - 1 scoreline suggests, but Germany make Sunday's final and face Chile, whom the drew with in the qualifiers.  It could go both ways and I remain hopeful, but it's been a quite splendid performance with a very inexperienced side.  It's looking good for the future, that's for sure.


A whale's penis is called a dork.

Black & White

Checker Shadow Illusion

Probably one of the most unbelievable illusions out there, this one was first optical illusions pictures published by Edward Adelson, a professor at MIT. Although the square labeled “A” appears to be darker than the square labeled “B”, they are actually exactly the same shade of gray. It’s okay if you don’t believe it, we didn’t either, but Photoshop proved us wrong.


The latest batch of jerky is complete but it is still drying out far too quickly and so the best option is to get a less powerful fan.  That said, it tastes rather good and should keep me going for a few days.

Speaking of Body Doubles

WTF happened to Inspector Lynley's wife?  One minute moody, ugly, bint with as much intelligence as the FBI, the next she's all pretty, friendly and become a professor.  She looks nowt like the old burd and once more, there is no explanation or grounding.  Mind you, couldn't stand the previous moody old bag, well happy she's been offed.

The Mummy Series

Sometimes you just fancy a film (or series of films) that you've seen before but fancy a re-watch as it is lazy, comfortable and you know what you're getting.

The first is simply brilliant, the second is marred by some little twat of a son and weak story but the third?  Oh dear, what a turd that is.  The son has grown up to be even more of a wanker, Brendan Fraser just shouts about like a typical blow hard Yank, and Rachel Weisz is replaced by another actress and no one seems to even notice.

John Hannah is about the only reasonable one there, making it clearly obvious why- he wanted to trouser some pension money.  God, even Jet Li makes a cameo and then leaves it to a CGI clay version of himself to complete 9/10ths of the movie.

Quite shocking.

C & H

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Viz Bits

Loyalty Cards

Just been reading about a couple of chippies in Bruges that offer locals a discount on their bag of chips.  Apparently a tourist demanded a 10% reduction too, but was told no way.

We're used to two tier pricing in Asia where tourist usually pay more compared to locals.  I have no problem with this, we are guests and it is only right and fair we cough that bit extra.

But this rule is not the same.  It is a loyalty scheme aimed to reward the locals and students, which is more than reasonable.  Why should they pay the same as someone on a day trip and only buying frites once?

More at TInd

PS:  That said, paying 7€ for a bag of fried spuds?  That's over six quid.  Bog right off.

TInd Speaks

It's never too late, but it is.  How can this take nigh on thirty years to go to court?  Let's hope the case is tried more rapidly and we can get true justice.
Twenty-eight years after the shocking death of 96 football fans at Hillsborough football stadium, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided that charges should be brought against six individuals in connection with the disaster.
Among them are former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, match commander at the fatal FA Cup semi-final, who faces 95 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence. For legal reasons he will not face charges in respect of the death of the 96th victim of the tragedy, Tony Bland, who died in 1993. What’s more, before he can be formally charged the CPS must apply to the High Court to lift an order imposed after he was prosecuted privately in 1999. A senior judge will rule on that matter in due course.
Sir Norman Bettison, the former Chief Inspector of South Yorkshire Police, faces four charges of misconduct in a public office over alleged lies told about the culpability of fans. Two other former police officers, a retired solicitor and a former Sheffield Wednesday club official also face charges.  
Without question this is a highly significant moment for the families and friends of the Hillsborough 96. They will be relieved that, at last, individuals will face a criminal trial in which their testimony and other evidence can be properly examined. As the chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, put it: “This is definitely the start of the end.”
Plainly though, it is a remarkable fact that the CPS decision comes almost three decades after those terrible events unfolded in Sheffield. Nobody in Britain – least of all those who were affected directly – will forget the haunting images and television footage of the disaster; but it is also true to say that the actual events are now beyond the memory of anyone under the age of 35. It is a sad indictment of the speed at which the wheels of justice can move in this country.
The question of how we investigate major incidents involving mass deaths is topical, of course, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London earlier this month. Only time will tell whether any individuals are ever brought to trial over the blaze which killed at least 79 people; but if the Hillsborough timeline were ascribed to Grenfell, we could expect to find out in 2045. That, quite clearly, would be unacceptable to the extent that most would regard it as a bad joke.
Indeed, of all the lessons we have learned from Hillsborough it is that inquiries into significant public tragedies must not only be thorough but timely. In the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe at Grenfell Tower, the Prime Minister offered reassuring words suggesting that a judicial inquiry would begin imminently. Two weeks on and a judge has not been identified to lead the investigation, despite the overwhelming pressure to get started. Jeremy Corbyn raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and will continue to bang the drum until Theresa May provides a satisfactory answer. He is right to do so.
For much too long after Hillsborough, families felt they did not have support in their quest for answers about how their relatives died. They were seemingly brushed off by officials and told by sections of the tabloid media that it was the fans themselves who were to blame for the disaster. It was only through the sheer persistence of those who lost loved ones, and the efforts of some notable legal and political figures, that the narrative began to change.
Now, at last, they can look forward to a day in court. It is absolutely imperative that those left bereaved by the Grenfell Tower disaster do not have to wait decades for their own losses to be fully explained and accounted for.

Time to Get Stuck In

I have been rather amiss at making my next batch of jerky and cannot put it off any longer.  I have all the necessary things ready and plan to make some this morning, but I want to go back to basics for the seasonings.  I fancy salt and pepper, chilli, garlic and some Worcester sauce.

Hopefully that will turn out as delicious as it sounds.

How Sad


Michael Bond has died at the golden age of 91.  If you haven't heard of him, shame on you- there's a clue in the picture as to why he was so beloved.

He published over 150 books for children and adults, some of which were translated into 40 languages.

John Wick Chapter Two

John Wick

Highly Amusing

Not sure why or how we haven't seen this before but we watched both movies over the past couple of days and what a load of laughs it was.  Good duff ups, no plot to speak of, not many acting skills required (ideal for the cliched cast) and lots of gory action and deaths.  Thoroughly enjoyable way to while away a lazy afternoon or two.

Kill counts in both filums next.

Solving the Penalty Crisis

It's oft been said that Team Eng-er-land cannot practise their penalties because "they cannot create the pressure of taking them for real".

It's also a well known fact that bored and pampered footballers love to gamble and with money falling out of their arses, they like to play for higher stakes.

I think I may have a solution.  Combine the two.

Introduce a betting culture to taking penalties and let the stakes become more outrageous as the penalties go into sudden death.  Make sure every team squad member takes spot kicks (including the goalie) and let them at it- winner takes all.

No more excuses about the lack of pressure and no more whinging on about being bored.  Simple, just like your average player.

A Bit One Sided?


Graphic showing England's record in penalty shoot-outs


Well Said

Money doesn't always bring happiness. People with ten million dollars are no happier than people with nine million dollars.
Hobart Brown

News Thump

England U21s lost on penalties to Germany
The England U21 squad have gained the valuable experience needed to lose on penalties to Germany, setting them up perfectly for a senior international career.
Having ended extra time 2-2, the penalty shootout was won with crippling inevitability by England’s greatest footballing rival Germany, which pundits have agreed was probably for the best, given what the future always holds for the young English squad.
Assistant coach Simon Williams told reporters, “What a great result for the team and for our country as a whole.
“We are getting better and better at losing on penalties, but to do so against Germany was terrific, and I’m so proud of everyone for making our highest hopes a reality.”
Crisp salesman Gary Lineker described the results as depressing but necessary, saying “The lads played brilliantly and gave it their all, but at the end of the day losing on penalties was probably the best for everyone involved.
“These chaps will grow up, some will join the adult national squad, and they need to be fully emotionally prepared for losing on penalties to Germany on a regular basis, so this will stand them in good stead.
“With more results like this under their belt, who knows – they could end up losing on penalties to Germany in a World Cup final.
“But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

Round and Round

Rotating Squares

At first this optical illusion picture may be hard to see, but if you begin to scan back and forth across the image you will notice that the squares in your periphery begin to rotate. As soon as your eyes stop moving, however, rotation will cease.

Kodi 2

I wonder if they do home calls to Bangkok? More to the point, I wish I knew one end of the box from the other.
With all the chaos and upheaval in the Kodi addon scene recently, many 'pirate' devices have stopped performing as they did before. This is a problem for the thousands of people who bought their devices ready configured, since they have no idea how they work. Enter the traveling 'Kodi repair men,' who will fix your box in the pub or even your own home.
Earlier this month, third-party Kodi add-on ZemTV and the TVAddons library were sued in a federal court in Texas.
The complaint, filed by American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network, accused the pair of copyright infringement and demanded $150,000 for each offense.
With that case continuing, there has been significant fallout. Not only has the TVAddons repository disappeared but addon developers have been falling like dominos.
Of course, there are large numbers of people out there who are able to acquire and install new addons to restore performance to their faltering setups. These enthusiasts can weather the storms, with most understanding that such setbacks are all part of the piracy experience.
However, unlike most other types of Internet piracy, the world of augmented Kodi setups has a somewhat unusual characteristic.
Although numbers are impossible to come by, it’s likely that the majority of users have no idea how the software in their ‘pirate’ box actually works. This is because through convenience or lack of knowledge they bought their device already setup. So what can these people do?
Well, for some it’s a case of trawling the Internet for help and advice to learn how to reprogram the hardware themselves. It may take time, but those with the patience will be glad they did since it will help them deal with similar problems in the future.
For others, it’s taking the misguided route of trying to get the entirely legal (and probably sick-to-the-teeth) official Kodi team to solve their problems on Twitter. Pro tip: Don’t bother, they’re not interested. are not interested in piracy problems
It’s likely that the remainder will take their device back to where they bought it, complain like crazy, and then get things fixed for a small fee. But for those running out of options, never fear – there’s another innovative solution available.
In a local pub this week I overheard a discussion about “everybody’s Kodi going off” which wasn’t a big shock given recent developments. However, what did surprise me was the revelation that a local guy is now touring pubs in the area doing on-site “Kodi repairs.”
To put things back in working order using a laptop he’s charging $25/£20/€23 or, for those with an Amazon Firestick, a $50/£40 trade-in for a new, fully-loaded stick. Apparently, the whole thing takes about 15 to 20 mins and is conveniently carried out while having a drink. While obviously illegal, it’s amazing how quickly opportunists step in to make a few bucks.
That being said, the notion of ‘Kodi repair men’ appearing in the flesh is perhaps not such a surprise after all. Countless millions of these devices have been sold, and they invariably go wrong when pirate sources have issues. In reality, it would be more of a surprise if repairers didn’t exist because there’s clearly a lot of demand.
But exist they do and some are even doing home visits.
In many cases, these “repair men” are actually the same people selling the pre-configured boxes in the first place. Like pirate DVD sellers, PlayStation modders, and similar characters before them, they’re heroes to many people, particularly those in cash-deprived areas. They’re seen as Robin Hoods who can cut subscription TV prices by 95% and ensure sporting events keep flowing for next to nothing.
What remains to be seen though is how busy these people will be in the future. When people’s devices stop working there’s obviously a lot of bad feeling, so paying each time for “repairs” could eventually become tiresome. That’s certainly what copyright holders are hoping for, so expect further action against more addon providers in the future.
But in the meantime and despite the trouble, ‘pirate’ Kodi devices are still selling like hot cakes. Despite suggestions to the contrary, they’re easily purchased from sites like eBay, and plenty of local publications are carrying ads. But for those prepared to do the work themselves, everything is a lot cheaper and easier to fix when it goes wrong.

Kodi 1

It seems the loopholes for streaming and downloading have now been re-defined and it seems in Europe (?) they are now both illegal.*

Investigators could start exposing users of illegal add-ons for Kodi in “the very near future”, the head of a major anti-piracy group has said.
Kieron Sharp, the chief executive of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), says authorities could soon target ordinary Kodi users, and not just sellers and developers.
While Kodi itself is legal, third-party add-ons built by developers can enable users to illegally access copyrighted content through it. 
Though it’s currently difficult to work out who is using the software for legal purposes and who is using it for illegal purposes, Mr Sharp says sellers of so-called “fully loaded Kodi boxes” could hold the key. 
More at TInd

*In April 2017, the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that anyone who uses a media player to stream copyrighted content is breaking the law. Previously, it was only illegal to actually download the content. 

Question:  If the UK is leaving Europe, does this mean they can ignore this?  Yeah, right...

Tommy, Tony & Tyson

3 x "T"s spell 3 x Trouble.

My excuse for my absence yesterday.  I'm sure I won't need to draw you a picture...

Yew Wot?

In his book The Sense of Style, Harvard cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker explored the most common words and phrases that people tend to trip up on. 

Here are 10 of the most commonly misused, along with meanings and explanations from the author of the word origins guide Haggard Hawks & Paltry Poltroons, Paul Anthony Jones:
1) Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.
Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.
PAJ — Bemuse and amuse both derive from ‘muse’, meaning ‘to ponder’ or ‘to be lost in thought’. But the be– of bemused essentially means ‘extremely’ or ‘to excess’, as it does in words like bewitched, bedazzled, and befuddled. So if you’re 'extremely lost in thought’ then you’re utterly confused. 
2) Disinterested means unbiased and does not mean uninterested.
Correct: “The dispute should be resolved by a disinterested judge.” / Why are you so uninterested in my story?
PAJ —The trick to remembering this one is that disinterest is a word on its own, while ‘uninterest’ isn’t. If you ‘disinterest’  yourself, you remove your ‘interest’ or concern in something, whereas if you’re just not interested in it, then you’re uninterested. 
3) Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.
Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We're homing in on a solution.
PAJ — The best way to remember this one is that ‘hone’ is also another word for a whetstone (a stone used to sharpen razors and knives), and the verb ‘hone’ derives from the image of things being ‘sharpened’ on it. 
4) Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.
Correct: “I appraised the jewels.” / “I apprised him of the situation.”
PAJ — Appraise and appraisal come from the same root as price, and so refer to cost or money. Apprise comes from the same root as apprentice, and so refers to knowledge or information. 
5) Enervate means to sap or to weaken and does not mean to energize.
Correct: That was an enervating rush hour commute. / That was an energizing cappuccino.
PAJ — Whereas energize derives from energy, enervate derives from a Greek word literally means ‘to cut the nerves’, and so is used to mean ‘to weaken’. 
6) Staunch means loyal, sturdy and does not mean to stanch a flow.
Correct: Her staunch supporters defended her in the press. / The nurse was able to stanch the bleeding.
PAJ — Despite their different meanings, both stanch and staunch derive at length from a Latin word meaning ‘watertight’ (and in the sense of 'something that has no outflow’ are etymological cousins of ‘stagnant’). While stanch is usually only ever used as a verb, however, staunch is always an adjective; the sense of ‘loyal’ or ’sturdy’ is thought to derive from the reliability of watertight containers. 
7) Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.
Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.
PAJ — If you’re ‘credulous', then you’re liable to believe something no matter how ‘credible' it might be. Both words derive from the Latin credere, meaning ‘to believe’, as do credit, credentials and incredible (which literally means ‘unbelievable’). 
8) Refute means to prove to be false and does not mean to allege to be false, to try to refute. [Note: That is, it must be used only in factual cases.]
Correct: His work refuted the theory that the Earth was flat.
PAJ — Arguing against or alleging that something is false is rebutting it, not refuting it. The two are similar but very subtly different, with clues to their meanings hidden in their etymologies: refute comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to drive or beat back’, while rebut comes from the same root as ‘butt’ (in the sense of a knock or blow).
9) Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.
Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.
PAJ — Strictly speaking a fortuitous event can be either good or bad, whereas a fortunate one is always good. The best way to remember the distinction is that in order to talk because ‘fortunate’ always refers to good things, it needs its own opposite, ‘unfortunate’. ‘Fortuitous’ can be both good and bad, and so a word like ‘unfortuitous’ doesn’t exist. 
10) Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.
Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.
PAJ — Like appraise, depreciate comes from the Latin word for ‘price’, whereas deprecate comes from the Latin for ‘pray’ and literally means ‘to pray against or for deliverance from something’, so is now used to mean ‘to express criticism of’.

Deja Vu

Sorry, but this did make me laugh.  U21 semi final with mini Team Eng-er-land facing Germany- the Brits lost on penalties.

Match Report

We have definitely been here before. Southampton’s Nathan Redmond joined the long list of England penalty shootout villains as Germany progressed to the finalof the European Under-21 Championship after a thrilling encounter in which Aidy Boothroyd’s side were outplayed for large periods.
That they survived an extra-time onslaught from opposition who appeared to possess superior fitness despite having two days fewer to prepare is a testament to the spirit of the side. But that will not make it any easier to bear after they suffered the same fate as the teams of Bobby Robson and Terry Venables at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.
The shootout was in the balance when Yannick Gerhardt and Tammy Abraham both missed with the second spot-kicks. Lewis Baker, Ben Chilwell and James Ward‑Prowse all slotted home, yet it fell to Redmond, who arrived in Poland as England’s most experienced player in his third tournament, to become the fall guy as his tame penalty was saved by Julian Pollersbeck to send Germany through.
“We are absolutely gutted,” said Boothroyd, who replaced Gareth Southgate in September after his promotion to the senior side. “It’s a mixture of being sick of losing on penalties after going so close, but also very pleased, that this is not just one game. A lot of hard work went into this tournament, a lot of players have given everything.
“With all the practice we have done, their goalkeeper made two very good saves. We learned lots of lessons from the past, and worked on penalties, but the fatigue, the energy expended and the fact we fancied ourselves means we are very disappointed.”
Pollersbeck, who revealed before the match he had not featured in a penalty shootout since his junior days, consulted scraps of paper stuffed down his socks in an attempt to outfox England’s players. The ploy worked as first Abraham and then Redmond appeared to be a bundle of nerves as they approached, with the Germany manager, Stefan Kuntz – England’s nemesis in the memorable Euro 96 semi-final at Wembley – admitting the goalkeeper had made specific plans for each taker.
“He told us he was going to study the shooters and if he believes a shooter is very self-confident he will pick a side and if he doesn’t, he will concentrate on the ball,” Kuntz said.
After the victory at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, this defeat was only the second England have endured in 21 matches at various youth levels this year, having suffered a similar fate in the Under-17 European Championship final against Spain last month. In truth, England were second best after Abraham had put them ahead early in the second half as they dropped deeper and deeper in an attempt to hang on to their lead. Having gone ahead in the first half through Davie Selke’s header before that was cancelled out by Demarai Gray, the substitute Felix Platte’s equaliser with 20 minutes to go took the game into extra time and there looked like being only one winner as Germany pressed forward.
With seven players who were eligible to play in this tournament in action at the Confederations Cup in Russia, this is rated as one of Germany’s best generations of recent years, which is certainly saying something. They probably should have had the chance to take the lead after 90 seconds when Calum Chambers clumsily clipped the heels of Selke in the box but the referee waved away his protests.
That close shave seemed to wake up England and within six minutes they had created three golden opportunities for Abraham, Nathaniel Chalobah and Gray. They were the sort of chances teams can live to regret and so it proved.
The loss of Chelsea’s Chalobah – who had passed a late fitness test on his groin – just after England went ahead shifted the balance in midfield, with the substitute Nadiem Amiri and Yannick Gerhardt both going close in extra time.
Boothroyd introduced the Wolves defender Dominic Iorfa at the halfway stage – the first time a new rule that permits a fourth replacement in extra time has been employed – as his side seemed flat out on their feet and desperate only to hang on for a penalty shootout, despite their additional recovery time.
“The problem we had was that we played that many shapes tonight as we tried to get a foothold in the game,” Boothroyd said.
“We started with our normal diamond, which worked well to start with. Then we tried to use our front players in a back six to get some whip back in the game, which we did. We put the wide players really wide. And we tried to go to a five. When you see chances go begging for them you start to think it might be your day. Unfortunately not.”
Chambers and Abraham could even have won it late on with half-chances but, in the end, it was left to the age-old method of deciding England v Germany semi-finals. One day it might just work out differently.

Been Busy

Well, I haven't but wifey has.  We've she's now booked up our accommodation for our mini trip down the Rhine before we get to Frankfurt to visit our cousins, J & J.  With our train also sorted out for the transfer to Slovenia, we're nearly all done and just as well.  I can't believe it's now under six weeks until we leave.  Nice places here:

Hotel Star am Dom Superior

Hotel Silberne Rose

Hoteltraube Rüdesheim

C & H

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

UK Airports- Happy Holidays

BBC England's data unit found:
  • International flights from UK major airports were delayed by an average of 21 minutes last summer.
  • The longest delay was a chartered flight from Manchester to Dusseldorf, which was delayed by 779 minutes, or almost 13 hours, last September.
  • Gatwick Airport experienced the most flight delays last summer, with 30% - or 107,825 - of all flights from that airport recorded to be delayed by over 30 minutes.
  • Our analysis also found that delays across all airports were more likely to take place in June, compared to the other summer months.
  • Three-quarters of the 40 most delay-prone popular routes out of the UK last summer were to European countries. Popular routes are defined as those that ran at least one flight a day on average.
  • The non-European destinations with high numbers of delays were Ghana, Canada, US, Israel, Ukraine and Pakistan.
  • The most delay-afflicted route was from Heathrow to Accra, Ghana. 85 out of 122 - or 70% - of flights on this route were delayed by over 30 minutes last summer.

More at the BBC

News Thump

A magical tree on which government money grows has miraculously been found in time to secure a deal with the DUP, a government spokesperson has confirmed.
Whitehall spokesperson Simon Williams explained that the eleventh-hour discovery of the mythical tree made the confidence and supply arrangement possible.
He told reporters, “The tree was believed to be fictitious, and many government officials went to great lengths to criticise Labour for pledging to rely on it during the election campaign, so the realisation that it is real after all has shocked many of us in government.
“I’ll be honest; I personally thought a magic tree which dispensed cash whenever it was politically expedient was nothing but a fantastic fairy tale created by lunatics.
“But here it is, plain as day, chucking out billions of pounds now that the government needs it to satisfy the DUP.
“I’m shocked, but also delighted – who wouldn’t be.
“Thank God the electorate didn’t find out the tree was real before polling day, or we’d all be out of a job.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster said she was delighted by the discovery of the tree, and insisted it was further evidence that some fairy tales should be believed.
She concluded, “But not the stupid ones about dinosaurs and homosexuals, obviously.”

Abby & Floss

Image result for happy birthday humor images

Assen MotoGP

Cor, what a race.  This classic meeting had it all with crashes, fairing knocks, rain, non-stop overtaking and a number of DNFs.  Real shame Crutchlow couldn't podium in the end but what a dust up by the top half a dozen riders.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi claimed victory for Yamaha in the Dutch TT at Assen as Andrea Dovizioso took the lead in the MotoGP title race.

It was the Italian's first win since May 2016 but Ducati's Dovizioso, winner of the previous two races, was fifth to open up a four-point overall lead.

Previous leader Maverick Vinales, who began 11th on the grid, crashed his Yamaha with 14 laps remaining.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow was fourth for Honda.

More at the BBC

Dutch MotoGP result:
1. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Yamaha) 41 mins 41.149 secs
2. Danilo Petrucci (Ita/Ducati) 41:41.212
3. Marc Marquez (Spa/Honda) 41:46.350
4. Cal Crutchlow (GB/Honda) 41:46.392
5. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 41:46.476
Championship standings:
1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita/Ducati) 115 points
2. Maverick Vinales (Spa/Yamaha) 111
3. Valentino Rossi (Ita/Yamaha) 108
4. Marc Marquez (Spa/Honda) 104
5. Dani Pedrosa (Spa/Honda) 87


Titchener Circles

Also known as the Ebbinghaus Illusion, there is still a debate in psychological circles as to the exact mechanism and implication of this effect. Essentially, the orange circle on the left appears to be smaller than the one on the right although in reality they are the same size.

Well Said

He talked with more claret than clarity.
Susan Ertz

Frankfurt to Ljubljana

Wifey has been busy and is looking at options for our trip to Europe.  We land in Koln and need to be in Frankfurt a few days later and then we have to to Slovenia.  We have a little time and so will take the train all the way to Ljubljana which we have done before and is more relaxing than you can imagine.

The eight hour trip had two options; one direct the other with one transfer in Munchen.  They only allowed 10 minutes for that so we felt it prudent to go direct and pay the extra 10€ a head.  Then an offer popped up we couldn't decline.  For another 10€ we could upgrade to first class.

All in, with insurance, it's costing us about £110 to get from Frankfurt to Slovenia's capital, first class and without needing to change.  Flights would be at least double that and not that much quicker considering transfers to and from airports and the hours of security checks.

Very happy with that result.

Happy Memories

They did us the honour of playing at our wedding and then my brother's wedding (in fact Wolfie and his crew also did a huge gig in Southend for our 10th non-wedding anniversary before that).

We were regulars at both the Castle and World's End and loved getting pissed up with the boys on a Saturday afternoon listening to their sounds. 

Unfortunately we lost all contact and our collection when we hit the road on a world tour that started in 2006 and is still on going- we are now in Bangkok and can't seem to leave. 

Thanks for the vid, a lot of happy memories from some very good people who didn't take life too seriously and had a lot fun along the way. 

Oh, and the music weren't half bad either.

Get Stuffed

My enquiry on how to bring back a top of the range helmet (>£500) from Germany has resulted in the following response.  I love the way the don't even offer a reason as to why.

Looks like I will have to buy locally as there is no way I will leave a lid in cargo, packed or not.

Dear Sir

Thank you very much for contacting us and for your interest in our company.

We have looked at your issue and we regret to inform you that motorcycle helmets are not allowed on board of our aircrafts.

If the helmet is well and safely packed, it is possible to transport it as Low Fee Charge luggage. Our personnel will be glad to help you.

Of course we are happy to assist you personally with your booking with Eurowings and settle all questions arising from this booking.

New Look Tesco-Lotus

T-L continues to refurbish its supermarket and surrounding complex and the food hall is now looking very chic and continental.  Internally the move about is causing some chaos as everything is being relocated and so they have taken on school girls to guide people to where they need to be.  You can't miss them, beaming smiles, mobiles in hand and standing out in bright yellow aprons emblazoned with "Can I help you"?

Meanwhile just up the road from us the new 7 - 11 is also going up at a rate of knots with the foundations and floor down and the walls now being erected.  It won't be long before we have yet another option to shop around the clock.

Germany - Mexico Semis

I hadn't forgotten about this and can happily report that Germany are through to the semis due on Thursday.  If we can get past Mexico I suspect we shall face Portugal so nothing is taken for granted.  I am impressed at how they have been playing with a new look side and hope they can indeed lift the trophy.  We shall have to see.

Match Report

A 3-1 win against 10-man Cameroon means Germany will face Mexico in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup after topping Group B.

Kerem Demirbay marked his full international debut with a brilliant goal and Timo Werner hit a brace as Germany booked their place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win against 10-man Cameroon on Sunday, but the game was marred by more Video Assistant Replay (VAR) confusion.

Chile's 1-1 draw against Australia means Germany top Group B and the world champions will now face Mexico in Sochi in the semis on Thursday, avoiding Euro 2016 winners Portugal.

Following a tepid first half Germany opened the scoring with a moment of magic shortly after the interval, Demirbay completing a finely crafted one-two with Julian Draxler by blasting home.

After a VAR review saw Ernest Mabouka eventually sent off for a high tackle on Emre Can after Sebastien Siani was initially mistakenly dismissed, Germany quickly extended their lead through Werner's first international goal.

Joshua Kimmich's right-wing cross bounced before it reached the RB Leipzig striker, but Werner dived to divert a header neatly beyond Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.

Vincent Aboubakar halved the deficit but Werner soon slotted in his second of the game and victory means Germany coach Joachim Low has now won 100 of his 150 matches in charge, with his team unbeaten in their last 13 outings.

Germany only needed a draw to book a place in the semi-finals but they made a slow start, while Cameroon boss Hugo Broos made a late change to his team, replacing Georges Mandjeck with Arnaud Djoum to name the same side for all three group games.

Can had shaken off an ankle injury to start the match and he had the first effort of note, creating space for himself just outside the box but bending a shot narrowly wide after 20 minutes.

Germany were finding their rhythm and Kimmich should have converted Marvin Plattenhardt's fine left-wing cross after finding space six yards out, but he misjudged his header.

The first shot on target arrived in the last minute of the half, when Marc-Andre ter Stegen was alert and acrobatic to tip over Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's effort from Mabouka's cross.

Germany broke the deadlock just two minutes after the interval, though, with a fine team goal.

Demirbay fed Draxler, the Germany skipper returning the pass with a backheel through the legs of Siani to send Demirbay into space, with the Hoffenheim man hammering a superb strike into the top-right corner.

Aboubakar and substitute Nicolas Ngamaleu shot wide in quick succession around the hour mark as the African champions tried to find a way back into the game.

But their hopes of a comeback were effectively extinguished when Mabouka was eventually dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Can, referee Wilmar Roldan first booking Siani and then producing a red card for the midfielder before reviewing the footage a second time on the protests of Cameroon players.

After more farcical scenes involving the new technology, Roldan eventually got the decision right and sent off Mabouka, with Cameroon still reeling from the chaos when Germany scored again moments after the resumption.

Werner stooped to send a diving header past Ondoa from Kimmich's bouncing centre but the world champions were pegged back after Ngamaleu's cross was headed through the hands of Germany goalkeeper Ter Stegen by Aboubakar with 12 minutes to play.

Benjamin Henrichs then set up Werner for his second goal, cutting the ball back for a straightforward finish to make sure of Germany's win.