Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wobbly Bottom

There are a couple of adverts floating about at the moment: The Credit Expert one - Experian - and the family tree one - Genealogy.com. These are two examples of companies attempting to get you to pay for something via a monthly direct debit scheme that you're not likely to need more than once.


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Adverts piss people off, so now we have a situation where you can pay not to have adverts. If you don't want to pay, aren't you more likely to search round for an alternative that isn't advert led rather than pay not to have them? Or, if you're like me, you're just likely to ignore the advert, turn the sound down (on your speakers, because the crafty buggers have worked out people do that and it freezes the advert if you're on line) or just exit the programme you're in and... go and find an adless alternative.


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Designer underwear for kids is just a bit silly and not even an advert for affluence; however spectacles are! Why do some parents stick their kids in glasses that are just going to attract ridicule? The Fishwife has a child who is a bit myopic; the boy's glasses look like something out of a nightmarish Tim Burton kids' film. So now not only does the kid's foghorn voice attract attention, but his 21st century Timmy Mallet glasses attract more attention. I swear if calipers were en vogue, he'd have some of them.


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Even the government can blame the wrong kind of snow now!


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Composting - it's good that councils are encouraging it. We compost a large percentage of the waste we have; but to be able to compost a lot of garden refuse - twigs, lawn trimmings and leaves; or to compost the contents of the rabbit hutch, duck shed and any large amount of garden waste, we'd need at least 3 more composting bins and a shredder; this would increase during the spring, summer and especially the autumn. Why then do we only get 11 brown bin collections in a year? As a result of composting and recycling, our black bin would take a month to fill up, yet that gets done every fortnight. We're not the only household that ends up putting compostable materials in our black bin because our brown one is full to brimming.


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People can be complete and utter wankers about parking.


A few years ago, before the exhibitionist Eastern Europeans moved in, there was a couple living over the road. They have a drive and a front of garden road bit. My dad used to visit us about once every 6 weeks and for the two or three days he was here, he would park his Honda in front of their house. They only had the one car and as I mentioned, a drive.


Now, the guy who lived there was the best friend of the guy we bought the house off of. We knew we were buying a pretty unkempt house - hence the price - but in the 6 weeks between our offer being accepted and us moving in, the family appeared to allow their cats and dog to piss every where; managed to somehow let the bath leak and generally allow the house to be treated like a toilet before they moved out. The day we were moving in, the guy across the road, wanders over, while I'm struggling with stuff out of the back of a van and says, "How's thing going?"
My reply, being one of a hassled man was, "It could have been better if the bloke who lived here hadn't used the place as a toilet for the last month." I pointed at the pile of putrid carpets that my dad had ripped off the stairs and the living room, lying on the then front garden. "Every carpet in the house stinks of cat's piss." The guy looked at me and wandered back over to his own house and for the next three years did not utter a single word to me - not even a hello.


Then in late 2002, I'd get home from work and would find his car parked in front of our house, while his drive would be empty. Then one day, when I was on nights, he pulled up outside my house, parked his car, got out and walked over the road to his house. his drive was empty, the road out front of his garden was empty and I thought, 'I'm not having this.' So, I opened the front door and said, "Excuse me mate, but why are you parking your car there?
"Now you know how I feel when your dad's here," was his reply.
"What? Is that what this is about? You have a drive, we don't!" his reply was quite extraordinary, he made his hand into that duck bill shape and started opening it and shutting it in my direction. I just looked at him and just as he reached his door I said, "I bet your wife thinks you're being really adult about this!" And shut the door on him.


Ten minutes later he'd moved his car. I'd like to think his wife had said something to him. Three months later they had sold their house and moved.


Anyhow, we have a new one. #46 is a rented property and new tenants moved in during August. Within a week the guy there realised that parking in the street is pretty much fair game; you grab what is available if someone, usually not a neighbour parks in front of your house; but you try not to park in front of someone else's house because the knock on effect pisses off a lot of people. Neanderthal Twat next door - the one who can't parallel park, stuck his car in my usual spot, I put my car over the road, leaving enough room for a small bus to get in between my Fiat and #44's Fiesta; #46 has an old Nissan and obviously thought his car was bigger than it actually was, so he parked in front of my house; the wife gets home and she parks in front of his house and Neanderthal Twat then moves, so I put the wife's car there so we could safely get the dogs in the car without attempting to get across the road with them.


Man at #46 comes out of his house and starts shouting at me, "If you park in front of my house again I won't be happy," he shouts. I try to calm the situation down, point out to him that my neighbour had parked where I normally park, so I parked in one of the 2 spaces in front of #48, plenty of room for him to get his car in. He claimed that you couldn't get a mini in the gap and I point out that the wife has a Doblo, which is damned sight bigger than a mini and she's a woman, so why couldn't he get his Almeira in the gap. He flaps about a bit, goes and gets in his car and I move mine back to my side of the road and he to his and this dance goes on several times throughout the summer until we're down to one car with the loss of the Doblo.


Fast forward to yesterday; I get home from work at 3pm, the road is virtually devoid of cars, even the spare spaces are empty and there's a blue Vauxhall Zafira parked outside the front of #46 and his Nissan is parked where I would park. I pulled into the space where the Fiat is normally parked and thought to myself that I'm not letting this one go and walk over to #46. I knock on the door, but before I've even got my hand away from the knocker, the door is flung open and he's right in my face. "I told you if you park in front of my house again, I wouldn't be happy, you could have parked your wife's car anywhere in the road, but you chose to park it here! I'm not moving mine, I'm having my dinner and he goes to close the door."
"That's not my wife's car," I say.
"Yes it is, she drives a Zafira."
"No, my wife does own a Zafira, but I'm driving it at the moment, she's driving my orange Fiat and besides, our Zafira is silver not blue as you will see if you look over the road at the car parked about 10 feet away from your car." He looks over and you could read his thoughts perfectly; he did a sort of double take, grabbed his keys and walks past me, without saying a word.


Feeling that I'd won a small victory here, I tempted fate and said, "That's alright mate, apology accepted." To which he glowers at me, but does not say a word, gets in his Almeira and moves it up the road.


I had some toast and a cup of coffee, take the dogs out and five minutes after I get back there's a ring on the door bell. Standing there is the guy's missus. "I thought I'd better apologise to you on behalf of my partner," she says. "He's had a busy day."
"It's not really your place to apologise. To be frank, he was quite rude. I wouldn't have minded so much if the car had been the same colour, but that car," pointing at our Zafira,"Is the same colour as yours."
"He won't apologise. He's far too proud." She said, looking uncomfortable.
"Thank you for coming over, but like I said, it isn't your job to apologise and pride has nothing to do with this, he shouldn't have acted like a twat." At that point I thought, 'oh shit, she's going to take serious offence at that', but instead she just nodded, said sorry again and that it wouldn't happen again. It actually left me feeling sorry for her...


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I like my local (although it isn't really local), but at times I wonder about the landlord's ability to be a decent human being or even whether or not he has any acumen at all, let alone business acumen. One of these days he's going to appreciate the fact that his staff are humans or he's going to go out of business...


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So, my niece has a serious infection; my nephew has a heart attack and today I find out that the full extent of how budget cuts will probably affect me. I have an earache, the lack of feeling in my left leg meant that I managed to rip a toenail off my foot without realising it until I noticed the blood; the extra head I'm growing out of my cheekbone is slowly disappearing but still looks pretty ugly and some bugger at work fiddled around with my special chair so it needs resetting up again. The wife is sad because West Ham are shit and they're not going to Wembley; Liverpool won again, which means my obsessed friend will be texting me talking about the second coming and how the Red Shite will be finishing ahead of Spurs, will win the Europa League and how Kenny Dalglish has a massive knob; the economy is a mess and it's going to get cold again.


The King's Speech was a damned fine film though...

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