Sunday, 22 April 2018

Summer cheeks

My word of the day is a classic. 

Drang: sometimes spelt drong (meaning) A narrow passage or lane between two walls, hedges, etc. In all cases, the common element is narrowness, and the notion of pressure – people passing through a narrow space – explains an etymological link with throng. No I did not mean thong, although that is also a narrow passage between two cheeks. Talking of cheeks, summer is taking its time to arrive, another overcast day with a breeze and only 8 deg C. I am looking forward to those lazy summer days strolling on the beach with Jenson and who ever else is around and wants to go for a walk. 
I am meant to be taking photographs of a house in Parkstone but the lure of coffee and a few minutes to write down my thoughts was too great and I find myself at the beach enjoying an Americano. 

My motto; Is everything OK? Then enjoy a coffee, if not, then you need a coffee.

Not that busy considering it is the Easter holidays and the brats are not back at school yet, pity that as there are a few in this otherwise quiet cafe. Looking around, I am not surprises to see most the children slightly frozen, their feet that bright pink from paddling in the cold water, trying to enjoy the holiday but really wanting to be back home, warm and comfortable. 
There is a woman talking about some exercise, at the next table, must be quite horsey, when she described an exercise involving her thighs she referred to them as her flank. I would imagine she can ride bareback without a bridle. Seems very cardia vascular and most intense.

What is in a name: Michael as an example. From the Hebrew name Mikha'el meaning "who is like God?". This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God. Michael is just one of the many that truly believe he is. Names, all have some meaning, the official and those we remember people by. A runner in the London marathon was called 

Eucalyptus, did not catch the last name but I would imagine she is long and strong with a unique scent. Actually the name Eucalyptus, is from the Greek words eu-, well, and kaluptos, cover, meaning "well-covered".

Talking of eucalyptus trees, I have always been fond of the Koala bear. I thought of buying a eucalyptus tree, it will have to be small but maybe as it grows the Koala will come. Got to start somewhere.

I ramble on and I am keeping you from your work, drop me a line and tell me how things with you.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Language of a Wordsmith

The way we are manipulating our language to serve a specific purpose is becoming must more difficult to fathom. 
Take for example the word 'hard' as in hard Brexit. When we hear that we automatically think there must be another alternative. In this case there is, soft Brexit. Sound more appealing, but if the original person who termed it hard Brexit was doing it on purpose then he or she has achieved their goal. Listening to a language professor on Radio 4 a few days ago, she explained that the original expression 'a hard Brexit' came from the porn connotation. Whether they realised that, we will never know but I am more comfortable with a soft Brexit, as it feels as though we will not be too effected by leaving the EU. 

I was watching a TV commercial the other day and did not get it at all, in fact I was not meant to as it was not aimed at me. Robert did and thought it was great.

I find there are times I can not explain a thought or an idea properly. Writing it down seems to give me the freedom to think it through and sometimes a better explanation is engineered by using the correct words and phrases. Robin Thompson, an author of numerous historical books, always said that as a wordsmith you need to have the right tools. Words are not enough, it is the true meaning of the words we need to understand. I did a creative writing course with him and still follow him on his blog, quite fascinating the way he users words.

I am finding it difficult at the moment to write any thing factual in the new websites we are doing. Camping site, Marquee Hire or Museums, all leaving me scratching my head for good content. My problem is I do not know enough about the subject to write anything meaningful and informative. In the future I must allocate at least a day to understand their business properly and then hopefully I will be better informed to write their content. 
Fiction on the other hand comes too easily for me and my book is cracking on a treat, in fact I expect a finished draft by the end of the year. Just need some clever people to proof it for me before I decide to publish. Any volunteers?

Friday, 13 April 2018

Political Correctness gone mad

Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir was asked to become a mixed voice group in September last year by the police force's chief constable.
There is a Male Voice Choir and some idiot has said they must become a mixed voice choir.
Choir chairman Kevin Griffiths told the BBC, he was "absolutely not" sexist but that it would be too "difficult" to hire enough women to balance the sound. The choir will now change its name to distance its links from the police service.
No one has complained, it is PC ( Political Correctness) gone mad.
There are some of the finest All Male choirs in England and Wales, actually some of the best in the world and now a choir that has raised almost a million pounds for charity, filled with volunteer singers who just enjoy singing, has been told they cannot be associated with the police anymore.
This really gets me angry, the clue is in the title, All Male Voice Choir. I understand there are many all female voice choirs and they do very well, the best of these are all in Wales. As are some of the best in the world all male choirs. That is not the point, the point I want to make is these are all males choirs because of the way they render the songs. 

What next? The fact is that, you are born either male or female, that is a difference and unless you have an operation you will be one or the other for life. So I say to all those stupid people out there who have a problem with this basic fact of life, stop and think, your actions have consequences and you will destroy so many good things, just for the sake of some politically motivated ideal.
As I said previously, this choir will now change its name, appeasing a chief constable who should know better. Does explain why the police management seem to be getting everything wrong lately. I hope common sense will prevail and the choir stays like it is. It is only the rank and file police will be the looses. Maybe some female chief constable will stand up and defend the choir. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Films, painting and glasses

I have always said that any story, movie or photo should take you on a journey, makes you feel something. Robert was going through a list of movies that was on a list of must see films. Some we had seen, some we had heard about and some he did describe for us. Not many I have missed and those that I have, did not really have any type of story to tell. Die Hard a film in question, not much of a story, loads of violence and action but a story, no. 
I am more inclined to the traditional story. Start with an introduction and set up the storyline, take you slowly into a false sense of security and then add a obstacle, which gets resolved, preferable in a happy way and then, for added benefit, they kiss (Susan loves a good kiss). 

Thinking back on the day. I took the Zafira and Golf in to the Polish Car Wash. The Zafira has not been washed for about 3 months, going to the beach with the dog has contributed to quite a lot of sand spread mostly in the back but with a vigorous shake, does shower the entire car. The Polish did an outstanding job and dare I say, it looks almost close to its former self. The Golf was restored to its showroom glory. 

After all the excitement of the car wash, we set off to optometrist, yearly eye test. Well that was an outing, not much goes on here so we were ready at 12 noon and then we realises the appointment was for 15:00. Really Susan, you read the appointment times. Well we were definitely on time and the optometrist was eagerly awaiting our arrival and we did not have to wait long to be told my eyes are getting to be a challenge for the NHS. I did need more powerful lenses and of course new frames. Why do I feel this is going to cost me a lot of money? 
What frame would you like? Really there are at least 500 frames on display and it is 4pm, your store closes at 5pm, how on earth can I decide what frame I would like in the short amount of available time left to me? 
Does it fit on the bridge properly? What? Sound like something from Star Trek. Where is my bridge? Top of you nose. Those do not fit on the bridge properly, why not try these? 
Hang on a minute, those are £ 380.00, those that do not fit my bridge are only £ 130.00, is it not cheaper to have my bridge changed?
All these options are masterfully manipulated while our glasses are off and we are driving blind into this financial minefield. Susan on the other hand did not need new glasses but picked out a new pair anyway and that is what I call women's intuition. Trendy glasses with a hint of romance but not forgetting her station in life. Mine turned out to be old fashion round frames, quite expensive, but hopefully will be less challenging for the NHS and the optometrist. Why, I ask, does one have to manage the people who should be advising you? 
It all ending quite amicably, they took an extraordinary amount of money out of my fragile credit card and then did the same for Susan, everyone was happy. I do feel I have been duped into something I might regret?   

As the sun sets, reflecting on the roofs of the cars one can only marvel at this wonderful world we live in and thankfully the Polish are there to do a proper task and that Boots have taken my money, thereby helping them to deliver the service that James Boots inspired when he opened his first store.

Did you see the painting Mika did on the back of her Armani jacket, that was good, no beating around the bush, it was very good. Does remind me of the times when Mark was going through the teenage years and always had earphones in his ears, where else, and did the most amazing drawings of super cars. Those two have artistic talent, where are the Victorians when we need them? They would sponsor that talent and who knows, another Van Gogh might come out of it.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Is Someone Listening?

With Facebook in the spotlight because it had allowed Cambridge Analytica to use their data base to target individuals during the election. You might have read about it but not their finest hour, we must. Remember the old saying, nothing is for nothing. Facebook make its money out of advertising and they have been targeting us with what they consider relevant advert for years. We do not pay for Facebook, actually we do, we have given consent to FB to use our personal information and they seek that information on through their targeted advertising. 
Cambridge Analytica developed an app (application) to target individuals. Not that clever and really Analytica is not a word. Analytics is, but I suppose no one saw the typo when they licensed their name and so they are stuck with it.
Amazon Echo - Google Home - Apple Home Pod
This rambling brings me onto our home smart systems. Amazon Echo, Apple Home Pod and Google Home. We have as yet not bought one of these devises yet, that just means we are thinking about it. 
My questions is; Are these companies all storing what we talk about in our home, is it eavesdropping on our conversations? For Alexa to hear you when you say 'Alexa play my Neil Diamond album, Hot August Night' she has to have been listening all the time. 
Stands to reason when you think about it. Makes me wonder what they are doing with all that data about us? 
I know they probably ignore me rambling on about fat people or the utter morons who run our council or for that matter the country, heard it all before but when I discuss something private with she who must be obeyed, hopefully it is just that, a private conversation. I have turned 'Hey Siri' off on my iPhone and iPad and not enabled it on my computer, just irritated me when they never understand what I am saying. Also I tend to use the expression ' hey seriously' and Siri would wake up. I suppose it must be my accent. 
I did ask Amazon what they do with our data. They assured me all my data is stored in a secure server and only I can access it. Also you can go into your settings and delete large chucks of data if you are worried about it. They also assured me they do not use this data at all.  Apple and Google do not have that feature yet. They claim not to store your data but will also point out that their devise learns from you and can anticipate what you need. Now how would it do that if it was not storing my data and analysing everything I say?
Funny that, I recently bought a 8" Amazon Fire tablet for testing a clients application and all my web pages after that showed me different Amazon Fire tablet, why? I had already bought one and do not want to know that they are now cheaper or a new model is out, go away. Do not use my data! What rubbish, of course they do, so if you own a Alexa, Hey Siri or Google thing, watch what you say. Rule of thumb, if you can not say it in front of the children, do not say it at all, well maybe softly in the bedroom.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Happiness, do you have it

Just watch an other episode of Vikings and I must say I do find somethings quite amazing. The commutes between Denmark and England on a small boat with one sail and no real navigation equipment, does stretch the imagination slightly. That cripple son of Ragnar Lothbrok, is pure evil and I must admit too wanting him slayed.

Now Lagertha on the other hand deserves a long and fruitful reign, while Rollo is the cleverest of the whole bunch. Marries a rich daughter of the Franks (French) and lives the dream. Bjorn Ironside is a quiet guy who is following his dreams, forget the wife and mistress he has left behind, he is fixated on travel. I must admit Vikings must be taken in small doses, violent and depressing on the whole but a little addictive.

Talking of Denmark, they only came 3rd in the happiness table. Some scored lower but we will not dwell on that.
Happy Ladies in Finland

Top Twenty

1. Finland (7.632) 2. Norway (7.594) 3. Denmark (7.555) 4. Iceland (7.495) Switzerland (7.487) 6. Netherlands (7.441) 7. Canada (7.328) 8. New Zealand (7.324) 9. Sweden (7.314) 10. Australia (7.272) 11. Israel (7.190) 12. Austria (7.139) 13. Costa Rica (7.072) 14. Ireland (6.977) 15. Germany (6.965) 16. Belgium (6.927) 17. Luxembourg (6.910) 18. United States (6.886) 19. United Kingdom (6.814) 20. United Arab Emirates (6.774)

Some worth looking at and maybe improving?

105. South Africa (4.724) 106. Iran (4.707) 107. Ivory Coast (4.671) 108. Ghana (4.657) 109. Senegal (4.631) 110. Laos (4.623) 111. Tunisia (4.592) 112. Albania (4.586) 113. Sierra Leone (4.571) 114. Congo (Brazzaville) (4.559) 115. Bangladesh (4.500) 116. Sri Lanka (4.471) 117. Iraq (4.456) all118. Mali (4.447) 119. Namibia (4.441) 120. Cambodia (4.433)

Table supplied by the UN Happiness Department 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Nanny Threasa May

All schools in England now have to have a 2.8m high fence around them, security gates and a intruder alarm system in place. That will not stop a determined person getting in, or a desperate child getting out. We put these systems in place to feel safe, the world is full of danger and no matter the precautions we implement, they will never be enough. What we are doing is putting ourselves in prisons. 

The world is full of nasty people and we hold ourselves ransom to those pathetic few who are determined to do harm. At the same time we protect perpetrator of violence. The police frown on anyway tackling a intruder and be aware, when you do, do not use any violence or aggression. Why you ask? Well he will probably complain to the police and they will charge you. 
I am at Caffe Nero, enjoying a very good Americano in a double expresso cup, only way to drink an Americano. One of my favourite coffee shops, cosmopolitan is the word that comes to mind. Also has the attraction of being half way down Poole high street and again you can people watch, see the odd fight and wonder how she walks in those high shoes. I have noticed you can see the difference between the local and those from the EU, those from say Italy, have a better dress sense and look open and friendly. The locals, normally have tracksuit bottoms on and hoodies and you do not want to be talking to them. 
We live in a nanny state and the best nanny of all is Theresa May and the government for re-election, or should that be for the people.