Friday, 24 July 2015

What gets my Goat? (Work in Progress ...)

Everyone has their own pet hates, so I thought I'd start listing mine here for posterity - I'll keep adding them as they occur but, for a start, these make me GGRRRR!:

Real Estate Agents sign boards that damage property or aren't properly removed:

What blatant disregard for their clients' properties when the monkeys they employ to put up their signs go about nailing boards onto fencing or, even worse, into the mortar of brick walls?  You can't see it in the pic, but this particular example was on a main supporting post and there was a sufficient gap to have used plastic cables. Don't even get me started on bricks ... how best to de-stabilise a wall? - give it a few good whacks with a hammer!

Walk up any high street and look at the frontage of shops - property boards are normally placed above the shop signage.  Now look at how many bits of timber have been left up there, often just painted over with the re-vamp, despite the fact that the agents' signs have long been removed?

So, not only vandals but visual polluters ...

Half-arsed Pooper Scoopers:

I don't know if it's just a London phenomena, but I often see dog poop bags littered in the strangest of places rather than placed in the designated bins.  I can't understand how you can be socially conscious enough to pick up after your dog but cause another environmental eyesore by then leaving the bag and its contents lying in the gutter, wedged in shrubs, hanging off fences ... and even at the very base of the dog waste bin you've taken the bother to walk to.

Guys on noisy little scooters who think they're Hell's Angels:

We've all heard them, boy racers getting off by revving up their little 50cc pathetic excuses for 'motorbikes' in underground car parks to amplify the sound or buzzing along with their annoying ring-ding-dings like agitated mosquitoes.  As a motorcycle purist who's ridden 'real' bikes I may be a bit biased but, seriously, have some dignity instead of drawing attention to your impotence.


- Sticky labels: Particularly the highly adhesive ones that leave residue or obscure wording on CD covers.

- Car dealership stickers on rear windscreens: Obscure your view, never attractive and you're a mug to give them free advertising long after you've bought the car.

- Speed bumps: Manufacturers spend a fortune on developing a smoother ride and the local council put these monstrosities in to damage your suspension and wheel alignment.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Shut Katie Hopkins Down

Enough is Enough.

Katie Hopkins has had more than her fair share of the limelight and it's time to stop lining her pockets by giving her the media oxygen to spout her obscene views.

She says she stands by everything she says and that she has "integrity", but there's a huge difference between speaking 'honestly' (suggesting she never takes a contrary view just to raise her profile) and insulting or hurting people.  Regardless of your darkest private thoughts, some things are best not said, but she CHOOSES to disregard people's feelings.

Yesterday's appearance on Loose Women was the final straw and provided a perfect example of her twisted logic.

Not only did she fail to apologise to Coleen Nolan and her family for the cruel trolling of Coleen's sister Linda, by making hurtful references to her appearance when she was battling breast cancer, but she felt this was justified because she was defending Linda's CBB nemesis Jim Davidson.

So it's OK to wade in and say unspeakable things about someone on the one hand while claiming virtuous qualities like loyalty on the other.

Except Jim apologised and Katie won't.

We need to make it clear to TV producers and newspaper editors that we see through this controversy magnet and implore them to stop giving her a platform - everyone might have a right to free speech, but this doesn't make our media any less culpable for magnifying the views of a sociopath to attract their own audiences.




Unsurprisingly, I was attacked on Twitter almost immediately after publishing this for not upholding the principles - indeed, not understanding the concept - of the free speech I claim to embrace.  It's usually defined as: "The right to speak without censorship or restraint by the government" but this has also been expanded by the Offense Principle.

My opinion (to which I am entitled!) is that there is no reason to sink to personal insults or to abandon civility, decency and respect when expressing a view.  The Free Speech lobby want it 'no holds barred' but, I'm sorry, this paves the way for people to go up to a child with a learning difficulty and call them a retard without fear of retribution - or allows hate preachers to publicly poison people's minds or incite murder.  We all want to live in a society like that, right?? 

Someone pointed out that there are bigger problems in the world like ISIS - my point exactly.  People like Katie are at the very root of driving a wedge in society through lack of tolerance and inflaming hate.

Friday, 23 January 2015

(Not) Box Clever

A lesson in how to do business inefficiently ...

This morning Mr Courier delivered this:

Even the cat was 'excited'
(Helped to demonstrate size perspective, anyhow)

We were expecting a couple of deliveries for exchanged Christmas presents (boots for my son in a smaller size, a dress for my wife - also smaller, happily!), but why was this so light?  Opening the box initially revealed nothing except seemingly a lot of giant bubble wrap:

But what lay beneath?

Wait ... all that to send this?:

It was a pack of decorations from Tesco to replace ones that had been sent incorrectly in the first place.  The first lot had arrived with two similar sized products, but in the same sized box - which already had us angered at the time by the environmental wastage (Amazon are also guilty of this).

* * * * *

So, let's also look at the transaction from an economical perspective and you might get some clues as to why Tesco's profits and market share have been on the slide ...

- The item itself cost £7.99, to help you calculate the likely profit margin.

- The postage we paid on the original item was part of a £3.95 minimum (albeit sent with two other items), so this would have been incurred by Tesco themselves for the re-despatch.

- In the event, the goods that arrived were the same as the first lot.  The problem was in the product description, so they've incurred the additional postage cost as a result of someone's original input error.

- Not only have their resource costs doubled as a result of having to re-process this item, but they also had to pay the person in the call centre who arranged for the second despatch and someone else will presumably have to go in and alter the product description - if they can even bother to try to prevent an expensive recurrence.

- They could clearly have saved on packaging costs (but it's the waste and impact on the planet's resources that upsets us the most).

- They told us to keep the item sent to us in error, which is possibly enough on its own to go into negative profit on this transaction.

* * * * *

Now, we could go back to them and repeat the whole fiasco over again but we can make do with the items we've been sent - and we'd rather save another tree from being sacrificed as a result of corporate incompetency.

I'm posting links to this on Twitter, Facebook and to Tesco themselves - possibly BBC Watchdog - and would urge you to take similar action the next time a delivery contains more air than substance.

But at least the cat's happy!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Good People Unite

Interesting to see ‪#‎WhoIsMuhammad‬ trending on Twitter - a man who would smile if mocked (so presumably would have done so at the Charlie Hebdo cartoons), promoted respect for women and education and purportedly tolerated people of all races and creeds - to the extent that, when asked why he stood at the passing of a coffin for a Jew, he replied "Was he not a human being?". Regardless of where you think he stands in terms of salvation, these look like the marks of a good Teacher at the very least - why don't the extreme Islamists get this? Hoping these positive messages might lead to the unity between religions we've seen in France.

The mistake of the peaceful majority in the past was to remain silent - they're not doing so now and we should all promote peace - loudly!