Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Am I alienated from Politics?

Yesterday BBC News online had an opinion poll (sort of) with how people relate to Politics.
Here's my posted comment:
"We don't have democratic political system, we have party politics instead.
Give us a pair of buttons on a voting terminal in each home, and a daily program reporting and debating outstanding matters in Parliament to vote on, again on a daily basis.
Our votes to be the ones that count!
Then we shall have democracy.
Till then we have infrequent elections followed by a one party state.
Why should we support it?"

Of course it was a moderated forum, I shall be interested to see how it fared (if at all.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Winter is back!

Looking outside this morning, there's a thin layer of snow, and tomorrow is the first offical day of Spring!
Ah well, we have got off lightly ths year despite the long range weather forecast being for a long hard winter!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dog end days

This week has been "half term" for the local schools, but for once the kids have been surprisingly quiet: normally it's pandemonium in the street (and why not!) but whether it's the cold wind, or just end of winter depression that has quieted them down, I'm not sure, but the kid next door actually said the local youth are actually looking forward to going back to school!
And I thought only greybeards like me got cheesed off towards the end of winter..
We went out for a drive today,as it started off sunny, naturally it wasn't long before the clouds appeared and it started with light snow and hail.
Ah well! it was still nice to get out of the house and into the country for a little while.
The countryside is very wet at the moment, with many flooded fields, which rather makes us surprised to see the headlines of a "Hosepipe Ban" in the South East of the country due to a water shortage..
We could sure spare them some!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Here we go again

The news today is that Ken Livingstone has been suspended for four weeks for telling an annoying reporter (who happened to be Jewish) that he was acting like a concentration camp guard.
Somehow this ends up being a "racist" comment that according to the chief Rabbi "Has upset Holocaust Survivors."
Why? how on earth does telling a Jewish report that his actions are not typically Jewish, but rather those of the despised enemy of the Jews (and ourselves!) affect in any way Holocaust Survivors?
Why should it bother them one bit?
Where for goodness sake is the connection?
Are we to assume that if you upset one man you upset an entire nation?
This is clearly a case of the press manufacturing a mountain out of a molehill.

Ken, old fruit, next time he annoys you,please just take a leaf out of my local politician's book
(No names given, so you'll have to guess.)and smack him in the mouth.

A nice clear message, not racist, Politically Correct and equal opportunity,it made our local MP into a sort of anti hero, really....

We now call him Thumper.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another sketch of Whitby

Here is the second image from the sketchbook, this time looking north from the Abbey steps.
Once again this sketch if from 1987, and the image can be zoomed by clicking it

Monday, February 20, 2006

From an old sketchbook

I found one of my old sketchbooks today, dating back to the summer of 1987.
So here's the first of the sketches, it is drawn from the north side of the river Esk, looking across the harbour (to the south)
As I recall the beached boat in the foreground was being painted, a sight not often seen in those days, as usually this was done on trestles further down the river.
With fishing quota restrictions, profits are limited,so it's likely that we will see more Do it Yourself ship maintenance like this is the future, (and in fact since this was painted that's what has happened.)
Digital cameras have come in since then, I've gotten lazy and tend not to sketch as much as I used to, finding this old sketchbook sarted me thinking that perhaps I ought to make an effort this year.
Roll on the summer days when I can get out sketching again!
By the way, clicking on the picture will show it full size

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Spring is on the way

Sunday at lunchtime and the mild weather has tempted the local fishing addicts to the shore of the Humber at Paull.
Despite the chill wind a small knot of cars are parked near the old gun battery,as we stop to eat our packed lunch.
As usual the Humber is empty of shipping, only a lonely curlew wheels by on the westerly wind.
A thin mist hides distant Goole and the Immingham oil terminals on the Lincolnshire side of the river in this photo,and a weak winter sun gleams through the overcast.
At this time of year we inhabit an almost monochrome world!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What, another Muslim protest?

I see with dismay that there has been another protest meeting in Trafalgar Square over the Muhammad cartoons controversy.
For crying out loud, it's time to put an end to this farce!
Is this going to continue until there is a violent reaction from hotheads?
For goodness sake no more of these ridiculous displays please, the risk of a counter-reaction grows greater every time, people are getting sick of it, for the sake of peace stop it now before things get violent.
The Muslims have pushed this well past any reasonable level. They have had their chance to protest, let that be the end of the matter.

Lovely weather for February!

In the garden this afternoon I was amazed to find 9 ladybirds clustered together in our little pine tree.
This is about six weeks earlier than ever before, I was astonished!
Earlier today we had driven to Scarborough (A seaside resort 48 miles north of our home) and found it extremely busy for the time of year, despite the temperature being 6 degrees centigrade there were still the usual nutty surfers in the sea.

What they get out of it is hard to say, as the waves were only about a foot high!
No doubt they were living out a dream....

We often go there to eat a packed lunch on the Marine Drive that joins the North and South Bays below the Norman Castle, until Easter, as parking is free during the winter, but after Easter you have to pay.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Still it goes on!

The news today is that demonstrations against the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed are going o for a fourth day in Pakistan.
The thought occurs: have these people actually SEEN the cartoons?
Surely they can't have done so, as most of them will certainly not have seen them in newspapers, and do they really have internet access?
Clearly they will riot to order when instructed, acting on hearsay, so why are we not putting an embargo "for the sake of sensitivity"
(in this case that of intelligent people who have regarded the whole episode as trivial.)
on reporting the antics of these poor people, who are not in a position ignore the promptings of fanatics who want to stir up hatred for the west?
This will be put to rest only when the western media call it a day on reporting the obiviously contrived riots.
After all, it's nothing to do with us anyway!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I counted them out..........................

Here it is again, the second Tuesday of the month, and the Retirement Fellowship meeting, where all the old codgers from the company I worked for for so long get together once a month and chew the fat.
The atmosphere at the start of the proceedings is a little like an RAF fighter drome after a raid during the Battle of Britain, as we count survivors and look sadly at the ones that stagger in trailing smoke, but it soon warms up and a good time is had by all.
The Fellowship even organises Day trips and holidays, concessionary tickets to shows etc., and provides a good social cover for it's members.
Social contact is vital for the elderly, in some cases the members are in their 90's and still turn up!
(The other advantage of going is that for the moment, we are the youngest there!)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

That's Better!

A collective sigh of relief was breathed here in the UK when yesterday's rally of Muslims complaining about the Muhammad cartoons took place in London.
Hopefully a return to peaceful relations between the various communities of our nation is possible once again!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Time to stop!

It seems that the so offensive cartoons were published in an Egptian Newspaper last year: (see link below from a blog in cairo.)
Apparently there was no public reaction whatsoever at the time!
Mr Blair, please cancel permission for the "demonstration" due on Saturday, it has no reason to take place and will not help community relations.In fact it is obviously only going to increase tension where none is wanted.
The fact that the cartoons were published in Egypt last year completely undermines the legitimacy of the argument.
We are being treated with disprespect and made fools of.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Strange times !

The news is still filled with this sad business of the cartoons so offensive to muslims: What next, one wonders, words of apology have been offered, yet still the foolishness continues,people are being killed!?!
Perhaps there needs to be a boycott on reporting the unrest, otherwise how is it ever going to die down?
Surely it's time for someone to say, that's it, NO MORE!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

February, brrrrr!

The sky is grey, the temperature zero degrees centigrade, it's low tide and there's no shipping on the river.
The usual thin winter mist obscures Lincolnshire on the other side
It's a strange thing, the River Humber, it's absolutely huge, yet has so little traffic that often you only see two to three ships moving over a period of an hour, even on the high tide, despite the fact that there are three ports, Hull, Grimsby, and Goole, and major continental ferries: I don't know of a single river anywhere that's so near to being a "desert" with regard to shipping, it seems a terrible waste to have put what was the world's longest suspension bridge (when it was built) over it!
Perhaps we should just have filled most of it in, and only had a little bridge in the middle?
Even the bridge carries very little vehicular traffic, despite exhorbitant fees to use it, the enormous cost of building the bridge will NEVER be recouped!

Here's a boat pictured earlier (Yesterday)

This is a petrol barge, returning empty from the River Trent, back to the hull Docks,
As you can see it is high in the water: when full the barge looks like a submarine, on a breezy day waves wash across the deck.
Believe it or not both pictures are colour photo's!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Puppy love (sort of!)

It's freezing cold outside, so I've been passing the time playing with a pretty neat small linux distribution call "Puppy Linux" which has the novel feature of being able to save your files back to the live CD, so you can literally keep all documents and settings, Very clever!
It's only about 60 K in size, and has a clever "puppy loader" that allows you to add programs to it from the net, they automatically install when downloaded, and display any extra needed libraries (these are obtainable in the same way.) The good news is these newly installed programs are saved back to the CD as you log out as well.
The speed is quite amazing.
Just one problem: Can I get it to speak to the printer? NO WAY!
I have tried three different prnters so far, so it's definitely something I shall persevere with!