Sunday, February 28, 2010

36 year old Iranian woman shows her bare legs on national television!

A lovely bit of television was broadcast in Britain last night. Just watch the video above to see a 36 year old Iranian woman showing her bare legs. This conduct would certainly not be allowed in Iran, the country of her birth but here in Britain she can show her bare legs in public, dance around a stage and have those images broadcast on national television. Oh! those lovely brown, naked Arab legs dancing around on my television. Of course this is all in aid of charity and it is part of the BBC television programme called Let's Dance for Sport Relief . I really enjoy the comedy of Shappi Khorsandi and she gave it her all dancing to Mickey. Sadly Shappi did not get through to the next round of this programme. Nice legs though and they brightened up my Saturday night.

One contestant I did enjoy has got through to the next round of this programme though. Debra Stephenson another comedian, danced around to Smooth Criminal - a Michael Jackson song. I never liked Michael Jackson or his music but Debra's take on Jacko is simply brilliant entertainment. It also showed just how effeminate Michael Jackson was on stage as you can clearly see on the video below.

All the dances on Let's Dance for Sport Relief appear to be better and more entertaining when they are performed by comedians rather than athletes or broadcasters. Both Shappi and Debra have raised the bar for entertaining the viewing public. The only criticism I have of the programme is the comments from the judges. All of their comments are sycophantic, with not one negative comment raised. Okay, they are trying to raise money for charity by selling telephone votes but it is silly calling them judges when they never give any criticism.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Which way Butt?

But of course we knew which way to go today, because all roads lead to Barry...

...and our pub lunch was at the Old College Inn where they are doing an 8oz Rump Steak for just £4.49 This is good value for a steak and I really enjoyed mine. With steak you know what you are getting, it is not a processed food that is shoved into a microwave but real meat that has not been messed about.

They always have Marston's Pedigree on tap, which is one of my old favourites plus another guest real ale. As friends and family already know, if there is a beer available that I have never had before, I will always try it. Today the guest real ale was Cwrw - do not ask me how to pronounce it - brewed by Evans Evans of Llandeilo. This beer has an ABV of 4.2% and it is good, with a very pleasant and distinctive taste. It is so nice to try so many different real ales and it always pleases me that each beer is so very different from the others. I was impressed by Cwrw and I will certainly have it again if I see it on my travels.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Faithless by Karin Slaughter .

This is the 5th novel in the Grant County series and has 528 pages which were written in 2005. I have not read the 4th novel in the Grant County series, Indelible , but each novel is a stand-alone story and I did not miss out by not reading the previous novel. Faithless continues with Sara Linton the medical examiner, her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver the police chief and Lena Adams a detective. Sara and Jeffrey stumble across a crime scene as they walk through woods near Sara's home. A young girl had been buried, who held the secrets of an isolated community.

Faithless is an uninspiring story involving religious zealots. This is a poor book and I will only give it 2 stars on Book Army . Faithless has failed my quality threshold. As I have read 3 of the previous novels in the Grant County series, Faithless seemed tired and dull. This story was not gripping, it just plodded along. This novel is a weak, cheap story. Nothing that unusual actually happens in this story. The only bright part of this book are the actions, emotions and history of Lena Adams but even so, her character has not moved much further on from A Faint Cold Fear . There are no big surprises in this book, it is just a story of typical small town America. I took nothing away from this book, so all I can say is "Next book, please".

Monday, February 22, 2010

In praise of the comment box below blog posts .

Dr. Jim Taylor writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and on his blog has written an article entitled - In Praise of the Blog "Commentariat". Click the link above to read his article which I feel is fair comment. I agree with the tone of his article and in particular...

But a lot of that anger that we see among the commentariat is really just frustration felt by millions of ordinary people who feel powerless against our country's powers-that-be. When you peel away the rage, what you hear are voices that want to be heard. Not just one vote every few years, but one voice that can be heard regularly. Before the blogosphere, there was no such platform from which those individual voices could gain others' attention. The blogosphere platform used by the commentariat is now immense.

...So, let us all join in and become a member of the Commentariat. You may only get a vote every few years but you can comment on blog posts everyday! Come everybody, click on those comment boxes and make your comments heard. As Dr. Jim Taylor rightly states...

I now see it as a vital force in our democracy that, though not exactly leveling the playing field altogether, it at least flattens it some so that it is not tilted so steeply in favor of the all-powerful ruling class.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tsingtao Beer

Friends and family will know that I cannot stand Chinese food, I think it is awful. I do not like any of the food from the Far East, I think it is a sloppy, watery mess that is only fit for animal feed. I was not aware that a new Chinese year was starting but Morrisons were running special cut price lines to attract shoppers to Chinese food and drink. At the end of one aisle I spotted a display of beer, this caught my eye. I like the odd beer and if I see one that I have never heard of or drank before, I will buy one automatically. I really enjoy trying different beers. I looked at the label...

Tsingtao Beer.... Since 1903.... Brewed and Bottled by Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd in Qingdao, China... Content 640ml... Ingredients: Water, Malt, Rice, Hops... Alc. 4.7% Vol

...and the price, just £1.

Oh, China, I do not like Chinese food, what shall I do? Ah, it is only a pound and I have never had it or a Chinese beer before, damn it - I will have a go for a pound! What do I think of this Chinese beer? Well, it is different, very different. This beer is good, it is not gassy and appears to have been brewed by true craftsmen. It is a lager style beer but it does not have the traditional sharp bite and brightness of lager. The taste is like a cross between an ale and a lager but it looks like dark lager. The look of this beer could put you off at first as you pour it into your glass, as it looks like stale urine. Tsingtao is a beer to enjoy and I will glady have one again. I still will not like Chinese food but I could drink this beer until the cows come home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter .

This is the third novel in the Grant County crime thriller series, it has 462 pages and was written in 2003. The story continues with Sara Linton, Jeffrey Tolliver and Lena Adams. It is a stand alone novel but it is nice to continue as a reader building on the history of previous novels in the series. A body has been found which looks like a suicide but Sara and Jeffrey wonder if it was a murder that was staged to look like a suicide. This discovery is followed by a brutal attack, 2 more probable suicides and a murder. Are these coincidences or are they all linked?

Karin tells the story in her usual three person style but this book is really the tale of Lena Adams. Lena has left the police force and now works as a security guard at the college campus. Lena has some rough sex which brightens up this story for the reader. I really developed an empathy for Lena as she tries her level best to move on from what happened to her before. Although this book is a crime thriller, it is not heavy reading as is quite light with family relationships filling the pages. Without the role that Lena played in this story, I feel that this book would have failed my quality threshold. It would have been easy to have walked away from this novel as it is not special and does not have an X factor.

The title of this book comes from an undercurrent throughout the story of domestic abuse that is not challenged but simply accepted and hushed up. A Faint Cold Fear is okay but it is not one of Karin's best. I do not suggest that bloggers purchase a copy but it is okay to read if a copy is passed onto you. The ending is poor but there is a lovely twist to the story just 3 paragraphs from the last word.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Back online again.

Hello everyone, Stephen is back online after our Talk Talk broadband internet failed to connect. There is only a little that the average user can do, reboot your computer and reboot your router. If you put this link into the address bar of your browser, it should call up your broadband router help/diagnostic page. Talk Talk had supplied us with a Huawei SmartAX MT882 broadband router and the information on these pages is rather extensive but well over the head of the average user.

I rang their fault line on Sunday 7th February and spoke to a nice lady in India. She talked me through a few things and then logged my problem as a network fault that the technical guys will fix in 48 to 72 hours. On Tuesday 9th February Talk Talk technical support in England telephoned me at home and talked me through things and I did the checks they suggested. They thought that maybe our router was faulty and they would send us another router for us to try. I mentioned that we had similar problems in May 2008 and that then it was a faulty chip set in the telephone exchange. The guy did not think that this was the problem this time and he worried over the costs involved in sending out a BT engineer if the router was at fault. So we sat back and waited for the new router to arrive.

Gail was out with friends on Saturday when the postman came with our new broadband router, so I went along to our postal sorting office this morning to pick it up. This new broadband router is from the same manufacturer, Huawei but it is a later model called a HG520b which has a wireless connection, as well as 4 LAN ethernet sockets. Well, I read the instructions, plugged in this new broadband router, put this link into the address bar, worked through various menus, changed the WAN settings/username and password values from the default factory settings to my Talk Talk username/password, saved these settings, rebooted the router and hey!presto! Stephen is now back online.

What have I learned from this experience?

1: Broadband routers will not last forever and if your ADSL light does not stay on all the time, then there may be a fault with your router and you will have to get a new one.

2: Although the self test diagnostic software may indicate a DSL fault, it is not always at the telephone exchange but could be a faulty piece of kit in your home.

3: Do not worry yourself silly over not getting an internet connection. Try everything you can do within your own capabilities, when you have done everything you can, then ring the telephone help line. The call centre staff have to deal with all sorts of people, from complete novices to IT experts. Tell them that you cannot connect to the internet and what things you have tried. They will then talk you through some other things to try and if this does not work, they will pass you onto second line technical support, who have the skills and experience to solve anyone's problems and get you back online as quickly as possible.

4: I am pleased with all the help I have got from Talk Talk in India and England.

5: If I ever use my pocket money to buy a laptop or netbook, then a wireless broadband internet connection is already running in our home. I will not have to go and buy a wireless broadband router, which would cost from £50 at PC World.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Trojan Bus.

POLICE have unveiled the 21st-century version of the Trojan horse – the Trojan bus. But instead of a wooden horse, the officers hid inside a bendy bus. They borrowed the 60ft vehicle and a driver from Cardiff Bus in a last-ditch attempt to catch yobs whose stone-throwing attacks on services in Ely, Cardiff, had become so frequent the company was on the verge of pulling out of the area. Half a dozen uniformed officers donned casual jackets to look like ordinary passengers and, together with a dog handler and police dog, boarded the bus and headed into Ely on Thursday evening.

Chief Inspector Alun Morgan, who came up with the plan, said the idea was to draw the yobs out so they could be caught. He said during the big freeze youths began throwing snowballs at the buses and then switched to stones when the snow melted. He said: “It looked just like an ordinary service bus and when it got into Ely, it came under attack from 19 youths.”

Chief Insp Morgan said officers stopped the bus and gave chase. Just as the youths were about to disperse, the dog handler warned them he would release the animal if they did not stand still. So they did. Two youths were arrested and taken into custody and 17 have been referred for anti-social behaviour orders.

...So there you have it, 1 police dog halts 19 yobs! I do not think the thought of 6 police officers running after them would have stopped any of these yobs but the thought of a German Shepherd dog's teeth searing through their flesh certainly did! I hope the justice system really punishes these yobs because their criminal damage is so costly to repair and if the service was withdrawn then my parents would not be able to hop on that bus. It is a shame that the thoughtless actions of these 19 yobs brings Ely into disrepute. Ely is normally a quiet area of Cardiff to live and I do not see any trouble going on. We have lived here in Ely since 1999 and find it a really nice, quiet place to live. We much prefer it here, than 3 miles down the road to our previous home in Canton. My parents have lived on the other side of Ely since September 2008 and they are very happy in their sheltered housing complex, which is close to the shops and the 17/18 bus routes. It only takes a few, 19 in this case, to spoil it for everybody else.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hey, Matthew of Barry, are you ready for this?

Oh Matthew, I think that you are going to treasure this post. Just what is your left wing, liberal minded and human rights advocate of a workmate going to write? Well, Tory Boy, David Cameron has said something that I actually agree with and support. Yes, David Cameron, the Tory leader, who is appearing in very creepy billboard advertisements around our country. I do not like David Cameron or any of the Conservative Party vision but when he said “The moment a burglar steps over your threshold and invades your property with all the threat that gives to you, your family and your livelihood, I think they leave their human rights outside,” I have to agree with him 100 per cent.

Any burglar should leave their human rights at the door or window they are using to commit their crime. The householder or property keeper did not ask them to commit their crime, the criminal chose to break the law and go against the human rights of the householder or property keeper. Any force you use against the burglar is fair play and that includes death. The criminal has made their choice and should take the consequences. Death should be an occupational hazard for all burglars.

Gail is ready with her walking stick, our pet dog is ready with his teeth and I am ready to strangle the burglar with my bare hands. I also think that Tim and Cleo, the German Shepherd dog, are also ready and waiting in Gloucester.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]