Friday, 19 February 2010

Hoodie gangs - Someone is to blame

I called in at my local Waterfields shop this lunchtime and in front of me were two hooded teenagers. Clothed in the usual drab colours their "street soldja" image includes dark hooded top or coat or both, scruffy black tracksuit bottoms and dark coloured trainers or boots usually untied.

I was close enough to hear one of the creatures try to communicate "ow much are those like?" to which the lady serving replied, " They are £1.20 or 2 for £2.00" the creature then responded without making eye contact, "bangin' gis two den" . His street soldja comrades meanwhile were loitering outside communicating with each other at around 90db about the ample chest of a girl who had just passed by. After the creature had "bort his dinna" he joined the other pondlife and proceeded to generally be noisy, anti social and menacing to the "normal" people who were shopping. 

On the drive home I got to wondering how we can rid society from this gang culture that is now affecting every city, town and village in the UK. Look at the picture above, look familiar? Youths in drab clothing making stupid handgun gestures and generally being offensive and threatening to normal citizens.

I started first of all to think of the influences that these kids have. TV, music, movies and so on. I then discounted that as we all have influences. How many of you have watched the "Saw" movies? How many of you then have gone on to torture people beyond belief? exactly? So how about lack of opportunity? Ok I guess that is a problem. So why not bring back national service?

I'm serious, If a kid leaves school he should have 6 months to either secure further education, or employment. Failure to do either would result in National service. They would then be trained, shown some discipline and taught some respect for themselves and others! In return they would receive a training allowance. After 2 years they would have the choice to continue in the armed forces on full pay. 

Ok so that would deal with those of school leavers age but what about those who are still at school? Well this is where it gets simple. Who buys their clothes? who on Gods earth would allow their son to dress like the creatures in the above picture? Come on own up! I certainly wouldn't, My kids have worn some odd stuff over the years, In fact my son on nights out regularly wears Versace velvet jackets with multi coloured bowler hats! He lives in London and works in the city, He buys the clothes, he chooses to dress that way at weekend! When I was buying for him though there would simply be no way he would dress like a hoodie. 

I like hooded tops per se. As "sloggy" wear they are great, I own a few of them. I'll wear them on a Saturday maybe with combats and trainers. I own different colours, They are versatile. It's only when combined with all the other accessories such as black tracksuit bottoms with elasticated ankles, and black trainers etc, oh you know the script look at the photos above!

So, If you are one of those parents who allows their child to dress in such a way then do yourself, your child and the rest of society a favour, bin his clothes right now, even if he has to wear a dressing gown until the next pay day just get rid of them. In addition, if you see your son doing that stupid handgun gesture thing or talking like that Dizzy rascal bloke then 
1) Slap the little shit across the face, 
2) Ground him for a month, 
3) Remind him that he is not 50 Cent or Snoop Dog
4) Congratulate yourself for putting your foot down and accepting some parental responsibility.

Seriously and all joking apart, If your kid looks remotely like the ones in the top picture then aren't  you ashamed? If not then maybe you need to take a long hard look at yourself! This look just screams ASBO! which brings me onto another point. The parent of a child who receives an ASBO ( anti social behaviour order) should themselves be cautioned and warned that if it happens again then they shall have charges brought against them too. If an Employer can be held responsible for the actions of employees then I'm damn sure that parents should be held responsible for the actions of their child.

If you know someone who's child looks like this then PLEASE email this post to them. They need to be shamed.

Rant over! :)
PS If your child does look like this and this post has in anyway offended you, then GOOD! get a grip!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Brit awards - knobheads and fat f*cks


Last night the Brit awards were televised.  As usual it was an entertaining evening for all concerned  and this year the controversy came from the ego of  Liam Gallagher.

For those of you who have been cryogenically frozen for 20 years, Liam and his brother Noel were part of the incredibly successful Manchester band Oasis. Last night Oasis and in particular one of their albums "what's the story morning glory" were nominated for an award Best Brits album of the last 30 years. Liam made a surprise appearance to collect the award. 

Walking on stage with that daft swagger similar to that of Harry Enfield and Kathy burke aka Kevin and Perry you could just tell he was on a mission. The broadcasters chose to mute part of what was said but it is understood that between expletives Liam thanked his former band members but omitted to mention his Brother Noel. He then tossed his microphone into the crowd and left the stage. It is unclear if he also threw his award.

Oasis split up last year after Noel left saying "I could not work with Liam for a day longer".

The awards were being hosted by funny man Peter Kay who slightly lost for words at this bizzare action tried to lighten the mood by saying "what a knobhead" which seem to get one of the biggest laughs of the evening. Cick here to watch

But Liam's bad behaviour didn't end there.
During ITV2's post Brits coverage, Liam left his wife Nicole red faced after he asked her to come and take Class A drugs with him. The outburst was captured live on ITV2 as he was interviewed by her and her former All Saints bandmate Melanie Blatt. Click here to watch
It has also emerged that the star was involved in a backstage bust-up moments after walking off stage, when he shoved a young woman employed by Brit organisers to pose as a human statue outside guests' dressing rooms. After she stumbled back, the drunken star then launched himself at her a second time leaving her splayed on the floor in agony. The unprovoked attack was witnessed by dozens of onlookers who looked on in horror before rushing to help the stricken girl. Gallagher had to be restrained by two members of his own security team who wrestled him out of the backstage area and returned him to his seat in the auditorium.

Liam has always brought trouble to the Brit Awards. In 2000, Robbie Williams challenged him to a fight after enduring months of insults from him. 
In 1996, Liam accepted an award on stage from Michael Hutchence. But he humiliated the INXS singer by demanding: 'Why is a has-been presenting to the gonnabes?' 

Today, Liam has hit back at Peter Kay by posting the following on Twitter 
"Listen up fat f**k as a real northerner I was brought up 2 say s**t 2 people's faces not behind their back. Live forever LG"

I'm a Northerner, I'm aged somewhere between Liam and his brother Noel, As a Northerner I've actually discovered fire therefore I've given up acting like a caveman. I've learned to grow up and stop walking as if I've soiled myself, I've learned that bullying is simply not acceptable nor is dressing like John Lennon in the vain hope that you are a reincarnation of him. I would hazard a guess that calling someone a Knob head on prime time TV is on a par if not better than calling them to their face. 

An attempt to look cool by swearing a lot and throwing microphones on TV may have worked in the 1990s but your almost 40 Liam, The kids don't think your hip now, in fact they've all grown up and have got mortgages and kids themselves. Your an ageing rocker man, act like it. Learn a little decorum. If John Lydon can be a gentleman then you can be too!

Anyway, on a lighter note, Lady GaGa wore a stunning outfit! And welcome back Robbie!

Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail

Monday, 15 February 2010

Aprés valentines day thought

Whilst reading a post on a fellow bloggers site the other day I noticed this quote in her left column. 
I asked permission for me to use it as it really struck a chord. So it is with Amy's ( kind permission that I have shared this quote with you today. 

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. 
C.S. Lewis 

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Google it

I was preparing and valeting a car today, A late model Mini Cooper, for some reason the rear tailgate which has an electronic release wasn't working. Having checked the fuses which were ok I set about looking for a manual release mechanism but with no luck. I thought to myself, "I'll go indoors, make a coffee and Google it" Needless to say, I found a solution simply by typing the words "mini cooper tailgate not working" into the Google search bar

It wasn't too long ago (late 1990s) when I remember using a search engine called "toxic lemon" Then there was Ask Jeeves, Yahoo, Hotbot Asta Vista, Lycos and more.

In 1996 two students had created Google, According to Wikipedia "The name "Google" originated from a misspelling of googol which refers to the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros (although Enid Blyton used the word decades earlier in "Google Bun"- Chapter IX, The Magic Faraway Tree) 

By 1998 the Google homepage still had "beta" on it but was considered by many to be better than the competition. 

From 1999 the company moved to Silicon Valley and then the growth was simply astounding. 
 Having found its way increasingly into everyday language, the verb, "Google," was added to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate  Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006, meaning, "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet."

And that is what it is, It is a verb, one that is used everyday in this house. Not a day goes by when someone doesn't say, "Google it". The impact on everyday life has been immense. With just a few short keystrokes we can research history, find a plumber, discover who the actress was in a movie we watched last week. It really is astounding. When was the last time you used the Yellow pages? When was the last time you looked in an encyclopedia? The internet and in particular Google has and is still changing the face of the world. Google has one aim and that is to provide relevant content. As a result the algorithms that power Google are top secret. An entire industry based around finding out how to get websites to appear on page on of Google search results has been born overnight. Search Engine Optimisation Specialists or SEO specialists have sprung up all around the UK. These people are usually Web Designers who have experimented relentlessly and found what works and what doesn't

My new iPhone 3GS has a google app on it that is simply brilliant. You simply lift the phone to your ear, (the phone senses the movement), you hear a beep, you then speak whatever it is you want to "Google", look at the screen and the results are there! Brilliant!

Google has marketed itself brilliantly. It entered the market quite late but is one of the very few companies who has managed to get their brand recognised as a verb. Can you think of any other companies other than Google and Hoover who have achieved this?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Michael Jackson Autopsy, Dr charged with involuntary manslaughter

I was going to report on the Autopsy of Michael Jackson today however love him or hate him, after reading through the 50+ page publicly available Coroners report I felt that the last shred of dignity that the man had has now been taken from him. I understand that his Doctor has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
I realise that such an in depth autopsy was necessary as foul play was suspected however the level of detail disclosed in the report is, I feel, intrusive. 'll leave it to the tabloids to reveal the secrets that the autopsy uncovered about Jacko. I couldn't bring myself to publish it, he was after all a human being not just a media spectacle.

Personally, I wasn't a huge fan, I admired his work but also was puzzled by the way in which he managed to implicate himself in some bizarre and worrying situations.

Instead of publishing the coroners report which I feel is distasteful  I have found a link to full online auction catalogues of items from Neverland that were planned to be auctioned BEFORE his death. Some of the items are fantastic whilst others are vulgar. What is incredible however, truly incredible, is the amount of money this guy spent! Go and take a look:

Monday, 8 February 2010

What I'm currently reading (and proof that I'm in touch with my feminine side)

Ok, so the cover looks a little "Girly" I agree and I'll concede that I wouldn't have bought this off a shelf in a book shop for that very reason.
I'm glad to say however that I stumbled upon Maria's blog by chance and it was there that I discovered that Penguin had published her book. After following the link on her blog I read an excerpt (that word always looks and sounds wrong I think) and instantly purchased a copy on the strength of it.
It arrived Saturday and I read 16 chapters in one sitting, I also FAILED to attend a shooting competition on Sunday because I overslept after sitting up until way past the witching hour reading. I urge you to go check it out! The book (so far) is all things, humourous, sad, moving, emotionally charged and most of all incredibly well written. If you are female or male you will find it a great read. Incidentally guys, for reading in public you will find that a dust cover from a Jeremy Clarkson hardback will cover the "girly" outer up just fine and will also provide a perfect alibi for any outbursts of laughter that you may not be able to control.

Friday, 5 February 2010

PIG AIDS aka swine flu

So, as quickly as it came it would seem that there is no longer a swine flu pandemic in the UK.

The 24 hour helpline is now closed and the hysteria is over. Apparently around 400 people in the UK died from Swine flu. This figure is unconfirmed but is wildly lower than the estimated 65,000 deaths
Just because the UK has declared the pandemic over the international community will need the nod from the World Health Organisation in Geneva. An announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

I'll round up this brief post by asking you to consider this:

2007 - Chinese year of the Chicken - Bird Flu Pandemic devastated most parts of Asia .

2008 - Chinese year of the Horse - Equine Influenza decimated Australian racing.

2009 - Chinese year of the Pig - Swine Flu Pandemic caused hysteria around the globe.

2010 - Year of the Cock...........?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Stephen Fry method of weight loss

I've had to resign myself to the fact that I'm lazy. Inherently so, in fact, I'm considered an expert at delegation. I think it stems from years of having staff around both in work and in the home. Although I only had a domestic at home I would often enlist a factory member or fitter if I needed some handy work doing. This was largely due to the fact that I worked long hours and so didn't have the time to do DIY. I also had a couple of rather keen PAs who would see to the day to day stuff like taxing my car, phoning my dentist, ordering lunch etc. Sadly, PA duties often spilled over into my personal life and things got messy once or twice! I digress!

Now that I've sold the business I have to do more myself and I'm cool with this as I now have the time. I still have a domestic though :) 

There is one thing however that I simply cannot delegate and that is exercise. I've tried joining a gym but it was full of mouth breathing Neanderthals who appeared to train beyond their limits and spent more time making primitive noises than they did training. Then there was a more upmarket gym that must have been run by and was full of ageing tanned females in Mercedes convertibles and greying businessmen reading the Independent in the bar! In the end I bought a rowing machine, strider and step machine and instantly converted one half of my conservatory into my own home gym.  That was last Summer.........

Last week I sold my gym equipment on ebay! In acknowledgement of my failure I stated in the listing that it had only been used 6 times and in true Ricky Gervais style I included the word "LAZY"

You see, I get bored easliy, I dislike training, it is such a bore. In summer I am very active but in Winter I lack the motivation to do anything and that includes sitting on noisy apparatus in my conservatory in order to stay in trim. As a result I have put a fair few pounds on since last summer. I read recently about Stephen Fry and his well reported weight loss. I rather like Stephen, He is an absolute gent, genuinely funny and incredibly well educated. He has suffered with Bi Polar over the years and despite other personal problems he still remains a thoroughly likeable person. 
Stephen lost 6 stone recently and other than some sensible changes to his diet like cutting out bread, potatoes and sugar his main change was that he started to walk everywhere. He listened to talking books on his iPod to pass the time whilst walking, he would walk to meetings, appointments and back again. To look at the pictures of him it is astounding! 

Now although I dislike training, I actually love walking! In addition, my little soldier (Cairn Terrier named Enzo after the late Enzo Ferrari) also happens to love walking and so this week we have started our fitness campaign! I am comitted to walking at least 5 miles each day, regardless of the weather, regardless of other commitments. I have just bought some more army surplus clothing, It is ideal for the crap weather that we have at the moment. There are so many good walking areas around where I live. Plenty of open spaces to let Enzo off his lead too. Yesterday I went over to a disused US airbase in Burtonwood Cheshire. The Range Rover has a dog guard in the rear so I put some doggy towels down as the weather was dire and drove over there. We must have been out for hours. Enzo had a great time running in and out of the bushes and I was quite happy mooching up and down the old runway service roads, a bit of Urban exploration if you like! The day before we had a walk around an area that was once a coal mine but is now a nature reserve. This is literally minutes from my home. The weather was much brighter but bitterly cold still.

So I'm hoping to get back to my normal weight soon and in the process bond a bit more with Enzo (who incidentally is charged with perimeter security at home, he takes his job seriously and has just been promoted to Corporal :) )

So Stephen, If you happen to follow the link from Twitter and read this post I should like to thank you for your inspiration!

Steve (and Corporal Enzo)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Shameless plug

Hey all, why not visit my other blog, it's in it's infancy just yet but it will be growing daily.

It is aimed at people who are looking to make money buying and selling cars. I'll be giving away tips and tricks and will also be giving details of a book on the subject that I hope to publish in the coming months.