If you like Sci-Fi then Blade Runner 1982 is one of the best. Blade Runner has become a cult movie and is probably quite disturbing to those people who cannot distinguish fact from fiction. The usual rule applies, if you do not like Sci-Fi then do not click on the link. As an engineer, I always think Sci-Fi is very entertaining but Science Fiction has a nasty habit of becoming Science Fact a generation or two later. I always think you need a firm grip on reality before you watch Sci-Fi, otherwise you start believing those comic book superheroes actually exist. It would be interesting to do a survey and see how many people actually believe that these Sci-Fi characters are real. I think it would be very illuminating.
1215 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: As a long-standing fan of cricket, although I do not see much of it these days, I am saddened by the fact that Yorkshire who gave us those remarkable authors, the Brontë sisters, and some of England's most famous cricketers, has now given us Arthur Scargill and David Blunkett as its most recent famous sons. I have a message for them from the Silent Majority in the only language that they can understand, namely the vernacular. These two extreme (expletive deleted) Socialists and their many Socialist fellow travellers have (expletive deleted) my country so now I am going to (expletive deleted) them. I think that just about covers it! I feel better already!
1900 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: There is a golden rule in politics is that those who abuse UK parliamentary privilege in order to slander/defame/discredit others, always perish at the polls. At its worst parliamentary privilege can be used/abused by MPs (Member of Parliament) to smear political opponents or even more worryingly MP's can be used by the intelligence services to slander/defame/discredit people who they perceive to be threats to national security against whom they have absolutely no evidence. If you do not have the guts to make your statements in the public domain then you should not be a UK MP. This is an example of gutter politics in the extreme and should lead to automatic and instant de-selection by his/her own party. In my view, the concept of parliamentary privilege contravenes the EU Human Rights Act and is incompatible with a modern democracy. Get a grip Westminster!
1930 GMT+1 09/10/2013 Update: I have just been told a new twist on an old quotation. "There are none so blind as those who can see."
0515 GMT+1 10/10/2013 Update: This Chief of Spies has been caught red-handed flouting the laws of his own country and those of many of its allies, so why has he not "fallen on his sword?". The rule in the spying game is that if you get caught then you are on your own. If you cannot extricate yourself from the situation then there is only one alternative left. Every time he appears in the media it reminds the world of what he has done and seriously damages the reputation of the US in the eyes of even its closest allies.
There is also an ugly rumour circulating that this Chief of Spies cannot use a computer therefore he does not know what his so-called "Cyber-Warriors" are actually doing. I do not want to malign him because this may be just a rumour but it is a good example of how malicious gossip can be used to smear political opponents. Perhaps someone could check the voracity of this unsubstantiated rumour.
0430 GMT+1 19/10/2013 Update: I never thought I would feel sorry for IDS(Iain Duncan Smith), the UK Pensions Minister, but his flagship "Bedroom Tax" is about to be lampooned, in a forthcoming Christmas special, by Rab C Nesbit (aka the Govan Philosopher), the ultimate exponent of the professionally unemployed career.
I have always admired Rab C Nesbit for his extremely witty social comment, and indeed philosophy, which I find very difficult to dispute at the intellectual level. Having lost the intellectual argument perhaps I should give him the Glaswegian "kiss," as they say at Celtic and Rangers.
0910 GMT+1 19/10/2013 Update: Next week is going to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime weeks for me. By Wednesday 23rd October 2013 we will all know and try to understand the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond's novel concept of a political solution to the difficult engineering problems at the massive Grangemouth Complex owned by Ineos. Perhaps he will talk it back into efficient operation.
On Friday 25th October 2013, Real Engineer's North America representative, Fifi, will attend the Packard Plant graffiti and installation art auction by Detroit City Council. Fifi says she is willing to give her all..........for art, which she does regularly for customers. Fifi will pay Real Engineer's bid of $10, should the mystery bidder(s) drop out, unless she is otherwise engaged. If that is the case, just email email@example.com and I will pay instantly by PayPal, assuming that Detroit City Council has a PayPal account. The only condition to Real Engineer's bid is that their are no liabilities, tax or otherwise, attached to the Packard Plant deal.
By the way, Fifi is a reformed Socialist, who used to believe in fair shares for all, but she is now a business woman and titles herself a "Financial Adviser". Her ambition is to be a Venture Capitalist and she is working day and night to turn her dream into reality.
1230 GMT+1 19/10/2013 Update: Google's Hummingbird technology has dumbed-down web searches to the level of a child but it does not solve the fundamental problems of any search of any type. Firstly, you have to know what you are looking for before you start the search. Secondly, when you get the search results you have to sort what you need from what you do not need. Thirdly, you have to be able to recognise the original item you need from all the copies and fakes on the Internet. The number of items on the Internet is so large it can be regarded as infinite. Therefore, if you do not know what you are doing then searching the Internet for obscure or old items is very similar to searching for a needle in a haystack, only this haystack is of infinite size. Commonplace items are easily found on the Internet today without Hummingbird.
1300 GMT+1 19/10/2013 Update: I have just remembered; I have forgotten, in all the excitement of trashing Socialists, to go to Oktoberfest 2013. Never did like drinking out of a bucket. Perhaps I will wait under the Rathaus Glockenspiel in Munich at Oktoberfest 2014 and see what's "going down." What a wonderfully appropriate name for a town hall, Rathaus. They certainly have a way with words in Germany!
0630 GMT+1 20/10/2013 Update: This song by Bobby Bare tells us all that the industrial/urban degeneration and human despair are not a recent phenomena in Detroit City. It has been a long time in the making and it will be a long way back to prosperity. But you have to try. Therefore, I say that we should start with the regeneration/renewal of the iconic Packard Plant because that was the first one to be abandoned. It would be symbolic and would encourage others.
I am one of those people who believe that if you can fix the US economy, the world's largest consumer market, then it will regenerate other failing economies around the world, especially in Europe. The point about the Packard Plant is that it is an extreme challenge, in terms of industrial/urban regeneration. If it could be returned to prosperity then it would show the rest of the USA that industrial/urban regeneration can work anywhere.
0530 GMT+1 24/10/2013 Update: If you are wondering why I am "running silent" about the Detroit City Council, the Packard Plant and Belle Isle Park, then I shall explain. We are all waiting for the outcome of the bankruptcy challenge to Detroit City Council in court. It is not that I have lost interest.
A way forward, in my humble opinion, would to place enough assets of Detroit City Council into a separate entity such as a company or charitable trust and allow the creditors to take a shareholding equivalent to the debt owed to them by Detroit City Council. This is a halfway house arrangement which allows both Detroit City Council to still have a stake whilst satisfying the creditors. The benefits to the creditors of this arrangement are that firstly, it is extremely tax efficient and secondly, a vast amount of good publicity for the creditors could be had from the work of the new development company/charitable trust in regenerating Detroit Eastside. The benefits to Detroit City Council are that valuable assets stay in Detroit for the benefit of the public and indeed Detroit City Council would still of some oversight of these assets even though they will not have ownership.
If, by some strange quirk, my $10 bid for the Packard Plant was successful at the auction on Friday, then I would donate the Packard Plant to the new company/charitable trust. The creditors, by their minority shareholding, would then form the starting point of a consortium of companies/stakeholders who would set about the rolling regeneration of the whole of Detroit Eastside from the Packard Plant to Bell Isle Park. It is this consortium that I, and a team of other specialist consultants, are offering to lead and direct. Of course, I want to benefit financially from this venture and I would expect to have the majority shareholding in the development vehicle in whatever form it takes. I see the whole urban regeneration of Detroit Eastside as a challenge but also as a viable business opportunity because all the basic infrastructure exists to turn it into a high technology business park starting with the Packard Plant. Owners of other property in Detroit Eastside may then be inspired to redevelop/upgrade their plants/properties/sites. "When some lead, others may follow."
1315 GMT+1 26/10/2013 Update: Real Engineers will adopt the business strategy, so clearly defined by the Ol' Timer from NewsCorp, of employing 80 private investigators and 40 lawyers. Their sole purpose will be to identify all those people who have "benefited from the proceeds of surveillance" by stealing my IP, infringing my copyright, copying my logos and trademarks, using intimidation, and preventing Real Engineers carrying out their lawful business. The target group for investigation will be Trade Union Leaders, Politicians, Journalists and Media people of all types. Punitive damages will be sought in all cases and custodial sentences will be demanded for the ring leaders.
Real Engineers believes all these activities identified above are illegal in any civilised democracy and an example must be made of all the culprits so this never, ever happens again. The latest leaked documents show that GCHQ knew their activities were illegal and the ultimate responsibility lies firmly with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron. His right to authorise GCHQ to operate illegally will have to be challenged in court. If the Prime Minister of the UK behaves in an illegal manner then he has set an example that others have followed.
I do not believe in forgiveness because the unpunished will be back to their old dirty tricks further down the road. Real Engineers will pursue every guilty party, down to the last individual on the planet, who has infringed any of Real Engineers company and individual human rights. Everyone involved in damaging Real Engineer's prospects and prosperity will be offered just one chance to settle out of court otherwise they will be sued to financial extinction at the minimum.
I hope everyone has a clear understanding of their financially disastrous legal position now. As I keep saying, you should not bet the farm, if you are not prepared to lose the farm. I can also assure you that absolute poverty is not much fun. You all had a choice.
By the way, this is in no way a threat, it is a statement of what is going to happen. Those not involved have nothing to fear.
1415 GMT+1 26/10/2012 Update: In the current Surveillance Society, does anyone actually believe this rubbish statement from the White House?
The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron's position is virtually untenable. In this surveillance scandal he is either culpable, naive or stupid perhaps even all three. He is now a liability to the UK Conservative party who will cost them the next election. The problem for the Conservatives is that his likely successors are all of the same ilk and would fare no better.
It is a sad day for me when I view the Westminster MPs that I cannot see anyone who has the knowledge, experience and skill-set to lead the UK in the 21st century. This is why I believe in small government because the current big government is just in the way, and in fact holding everyone back, while they desperately play catch-up. I do not believe the the Prime Minister, David Cameron, will have the decency to resign because many of the rest of his cabinet are equally abysmal.
1545 GMT+1 26/102012 Update: We keep hearing those on the left whining on about unqualified teachers in free schools. The first qualification for a teacher is that you have actually have some knowledge worth passing on. Socialists by definition, have nothing worthwhile to pass on to the next generation because they are too busy with their politics to keep up to date with current thinking. This is why the current generation is so dumb that they actually believe that a Nuclear Power Station can be controlled by an App. The UK will have a new space launch vehicle soon, it is called Hinkley Point C.
The thing that really worries me is the "Dipsticks" in the "Street of a Thousand Fools" really believe these Apps/Webpage developers know what they are talking about. An even more worrying thing is that the guys/gals who actually know about Control Systems know nothing about Cyber Warfare. This disconnection in knowledge has happened because the old control guys/gals never had the chance to pass on their knowledge to the next generation and they did not keep up, themselves, with the new technology of the Internet Age. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that big projects are no longer led by Systems Engineers but by a generation who think that getting some software to print "Hello World" on the screen makes them a Software Engineer. These people really believe that Windows is a suitable OS(Operating System) for what used to be termed "mission critical systems." i.e, ultra reliable, intrinsically safe and fail-safe systems.
In the UK, we now have a long line of projects that have been "screwed up" by App/Webpage developers who claim to be Software Engineers. As a Chartered Engineer, it is my duty to point out where I think safety is being compromised and for the safety people to verify my findings. I was horrified the other night to see how a bunch of old Control Engineers and young App/Webpage developers were about to implement Control Systems for Nuclear Power Stations or Oil/Gas Installations. It was clear to me that none of the team had the total end-to-end understanding of Control System and its vulnerabilities. I know nobody out in Cyberspace wants to hear from me, but if you cannot find yourselves properly qualified and up to date Systems Engineers to oversee your work then I suggest Hinkley Point C and all other nuclear projects are abandoned. In the design set-up that I saw the other night, then even Oil/Gas Installations are risky and we could have another Piper Alpha or Buncefield on our hands very quickly. I tried to help with some brainstorming about distributed control but I fear, that as always, the politicians and trade unionists will override the complex engineering and safety issues. However, Nuclear Power Stations and Oil/Gas Installations do not take prisoners if you "screw up."
1715 GMT+1 24/10/2013 Update: It has become clear to me in the last two weeks that the Trade Union Leaders and their many Socialist friends are interfering in high technology of which they do not have the slightest comprehension. They also do not seem to grasp the simple economics of the balance sheet. The Trade Unions actually believe work is some sort of extension of the benefit culture and the Grangemouth Complex was very nearly sacrificed on the altar of Socialism. Even the return to work at Grangemouth does not prevent it losing £10 million per month. The technology issues of high energy consumption and new equipment with modern process control have not been addressed and the control system solution that I saw the other night is inherently unsafe.
The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has offered to pay for a deep water gas terminal but he forgot to mention that it would take up to three years to build. Therefore I can safely say that although the Grangemouth employees are back at work nothing has really changed that will make the plant viable.
Real Engineers have offered to help with the TI(Technology Insertion) but it appears we are not wanted, mainly because we would not contemplate dealing with militant Trade Unionists whilst doing the extremely difficult high technology task of TI. Even at the high technology briefing on process control that I attended the other night there was a Trade Union Luditte presence. As far as I am concerned there is no meeting of minds between me and any Trade Unionist because they have completely the wrong attitude. To me the L in Left actually means Lazy and Luditte. I hope that is clear to everyone. Time marches on and the Ludittes are simply trailing further and further behind.
I suspect that technology development will move forward at an even faster rate once the recession is over. An example of where we are now is that Microsoft Office tools are still being taught in schools when they should be teaching Computer Science. I could not understand why a very computer literate young friend of mine said she found IT boring until she told me that she had to hide the Window in which she was developing her latest Webpage and open the boring Excel Spreadsheet every time the teacher came around. In this case, the dummy in the classroom was actually the teacher.
0230 GMT 27/10/2013 Update: Gavin Shapps, the Conservative party chairman, is raising the kind of concerns about the BBC that I have been voicing for some time. In my opinion, the BBC has descended into a sea of extreme Socialism with defamation rather than information being top of their political agenda. I have now reached the point where I question nearly every item on the BBC News, which is a new low for the UK's reputation around the world. Where there was once impartiality, there is now extreme political bias and where there was once transparency, there is now extreme secrecy. Lord Reith would turn in his grave at the unprofessional behaviour of many of the BBC's current staff,
The BBC is a publicly owned institution that is not subject to public scrutiny and a cabal of left wing extremists with their Socialist dogma have hijacked what was once the pride of the UK. Unlike Gavin Shapps, I believe the festering cancer of Socialist bias is so deep-rooted at the BBC that only drastic surgery will make any difference. My suggestion is to put all the dumbed-down rubbish programmes on the BBC, which are the product of the celebrity culture of Socialists, and bundle them into an entity called Crap TV and Radio, to be sold at auction to the highest bidder, probably Rupert Murdoch or Richard Branson. What is left of the BBC can resume its true role of a UK based PSB(Public Service Broadcaster) of world renown, as was in my childhood days.
It seems to be more than a coincidence that the decline in professional standards at the BBC has mirrored the "anything goes" culture in politics, the declining press standards and the celebrity culture in the media. I am afraid I would simply wield the redundancy axe at the BBC starting with the new and totally ineffective DG(Director General), Lord Hall, who has done nothing to stem the slide of the BBC into the sewer of political journalism. I, for one, do not intend to fund such an appallingly biased PSB as the BBC for much longer without drastic reform to its professional standards and culture. This article in the Telegraph tells you all you need to know about the current celebrity culture at the BBC. It would not be so bad if they were actually good at dancing.
0615 GMT 28/10/2013 Update: More of the illegal activities of the BBC are bursting into the public domain. Not only is the BBC carrying out illegal surveillance and entrapment, it is using the licence fee payers' money to fund an illegal tax evasion scheme for it's celebrity friends. Tax avoidance is legal but tax evasion is a criminal offence. Many people are confused about these two terms regarding tax so here is a clarification.
The BBC scheme, in my opinion, clearly falls into the tax evasion category therefore the BBC and the participants in the tax evasion scheme should be prosecuted forthwith. As a pensioner and a taxpayer, I do not see why I should be expected to fund some talentless celebrity's tax fraud. It is becoming clear why the BBC wants to keep these illegal activities secret. Therefore, I am waiting for the tax authorities to pursue this case through the courts because they never allowed me to get away with a single penny of tax. "Bang 'em up!!!"
0745 GMT 28/10/2013 Update: These allegations of criminal behaviour at the BBC are now ringing the alarm bells for me. I, and many others, want to know the extent of other activities at the BBC which may also prove to be criminal. For example, the Jimmy Savile allegations need to be tested in court because millions of pounds of taxpayer's money has been spent on inquiries and police investigations and we are no nearer the truth.
It cannot be right to scandalise someone who is dead on mere allegations. It must be proven in court. If the allegations are proved to be true then there must be a case against BBC management who still alive and were responsible for overseeing Jimmy Savile plus many other celebrities at the BBC.
The whole Jimmy Savile saga is yet another reason why the BBC should move away from its celebrity culture.
0815 GMT 28/10/2013 Update: If your are a fan of the Reginald Perrin character then you will understand that when I found Governor Snyder's website then this image (the image is X rated) came into my mind, but I don't know why.
0345 GMT 29/10/2013 Update: I have some prime farmland up for auction in the Sahara District just a "tad" east of the Packard Plant which the new owner/developer would probably be interested in.The usual auction terms apply: Cash or bankers draft to be paid at the end of the auction.
By the way, here in the UK you are not allowed to even bid at any major auction until the auction company has proof that you are "good for the money," usually in the form of a written bank guarantee. No wonder Detroit City Council is bankrupt! I thought all Detroit guys/gals were streetwise, perhaps I was wrong.
0445 GMT 29/10/2013 Update: Everyone is asking me "What happened to Real Engineer's North America representative, FiFi?". She never actually made it to the Packard Plant auction because she saw a new "business opportunity" on arrival at the airport in Detroit and took off with him to Las Vegas for the weekend. It turned out that this guy was a "Real Estate Novelist" and FiFi cut the deal for the Sahara District prime farmland early Sunday morning, after her 15th double Jack Daniels with Champagne chaser, thinking that she was buying the vacant lot next to her hotel in Las Vegas.
When FiFi finally woke up earlier this morning (0330 UK time), she fired up the old laptop and let me in on her latest business coup on behalf of Real Engineers. I quickly realised that the Sahara District prime farmland would make a valuable adjunct to the Packard Plant so I am putting it up for sale while the market is still hot. The "Real Estate Novelist" provided a very useful slide show and other description/details of the property. It just goes to show that everybody is good at something.
FiFi has informed me that she would be having some "hair of the dog" followed by a "prairie oyster" chaser as soon as her eyes get used to the light. Then she is heading back to Detroit to try to find another business opportunity on the East side because she has heard that property values in that area are ramping at 600% per month. It is FiFi's business acumen that is driving Real Engineer's push into the North American market and she plans to "float" on Wall Street in Q1 2014. Now, where did I put those red braces (suspenders in the US) which are de rigueur fashion in stock exchanges these days?
0500 GMT 29/10/2013 Update: While we are on the subject of auctions, this is also how it was done in my childhood days in Cumbria, UK. Selling sheep and cattle by the thousands in just a few hours. One false twitch and you could be the proud owner of a truckload of Holstein Friesians.
0545 GMT 29/10/2013 Update: More news from FiFi, on her way to the airport. She has told me that if there is no "action" in Detroit East side then she is heading down to Virginia because she has heard that Bill Clinton is campaigning down there. FiFi has told me that she has also heard on the grapevine that some guy is throwing away real money down in Virginia. In any case, FiFi thinks Bill Clinton has such a nice smile that she could do the "business" with him. Her last words to me were: "I'll show him a thing or two"........about business one presumes. Everyone at Real Engineers are great admirers of FiFi, with her full-on, (expletive deleted) 'em all, business negotiation style. As they say on the shop floor at Real Engineers, inebriated or abstemious, FiFi is still the best (business) turn around (expert).
0940 GMT 29/10/2013 Update: Fifi has radioed-in from her flight back to Detroit to say that she spotted a another "business opportunity" on the flight deck when she saw the ageing First Officer playing vigorously with his FBW( Fly-By-Wire) joystick. Fifi was able to assist him with some Li batteries for his pacemaker from one of her wearable medical accessories that she had hidden in her handbag. She successfully rebooted the dysfunctional First Officer, as they say in Seattle. Rebooting is a technical term first used in a publication authored by Dr Martens at conference in Northampton, UK. The Ancient Aviator recovered remarkably well from his ordeal at the hands of Fifi, once his catheter and jump leads were reconnected. Fifi says that she will be open for business in Detroit East side later on this afternoon; checking out the "action."
0700 GMT 30/10/2013 Update: Fifi has called in again and said she had a reasonably good deal at a place called Slick Willies Hard Rock Beer & Burger Bar, which is located in a dugout behind a green door at the back of the Packard Plant. The bar is furnished internally in the Harley Davidson version of art decor and Fifi said she felt under dressed, only wearing a leather jacket, leather trousers and leather boots.
She met up with a guy who had just made a killing selling some Real Estate, that he had been trying to shift for years, to some out-of-town eco-tourist at a terrific price. He introduced himself to Fifi as Barney the Rubble and then proceeded to offer Detroit Water to Fifi for $9 billion, Fifi told him she never buys water and immediately cut into him for a Tequila Slammer and double Pernod with Crushed Ice chaser. Barney persisted so after about six rounds of drinks FiFi told him, in her usual analytical way, the water plant's energy costs are too high, as are the water purification costs and the sewerage treatment works deal "stinks". The only good thing about Detroit Water are the gates.......on the way out. At this point the local wheeler and dealer, Barney the Rubble, fell off his stool and lay unconscious on the floor for the rest of the evening. Apparently Barney the Rubble has been selling/trying to sell Detroit Water under the trademark, Even Water, for the last 25 years and after his latest mulit-million dollar Real Estate transaction he is thinking of standing for Governor, but not at the moment.
FiFi is known to be a bit loud and aggressive after what she calls a few drinkies but what the rest of us would call a "Journey in Space." She turned to a shifty looking character in a suit by Oxfam and said "WTF are you looking at?" He replied "I don't know, I've seen nothing like it before!" He then proceeded to explain the he was the new FBI Special Agent Flash and claimed he was Untouchable. Apparently Special Agent Flash had been ordered to keep a close eye on Fifi ..... all night, because she was considered to be a threat to National Security. A second later, the unfortunate Special Agent Flash, was picking himself off the floor exclaiming "What the hell happened?" - holding his nuts as he staggered out through the green door.
Fifi then turned to a guy on her right wearing a Don William's hat who said he had won first prize in a Celebrity Sheep Shearing Contest at a dude ranch called Sleepy Hollow Animal Farm, which is about 200 miles north of Cheboygan, MI. He continued that he was called Shane, that he was in the big City of Detroit to enjoy himself, and a liked to give a girl a good time. Which he did in the back of his RV after FiFi had polished off another seven Tequila Slammers and double Pernods with Crushed Ice. By this time Shane was stoned and broke so Fifi ended up with his 1965 RV which she noted had the 12 litre eco engine that did a remarkable 3 mpg........ on a run. Leaving Shane asleep on the bar in Slick Willies, she drove the RV out of the Packard Plant turning left on to East Grand Boulevard and "floored it." It was at this point that she realised that the cruise control was stuck at 120 mph and she finally skidded to a halt next to someone's greenhouse on Belle Isle.
Fifi ended the call by telling me that there was not much action in Detroit at the moment because it is all a bit sub judice as they say down at Slick Willies and she would let me know what she was doing after some much needed sleep.
0800 GMT 30/10/2013 Update: Perhaps this a good point to reiterate that Fifi is not a real character, she just seems that way. Fifi is my imagined ideal representative for Real Engineers, but being a woman she has a number of advantages when doing business in the North American market. Do not try any of Fifi's tricks at home because you may end up broke and legless. The reason that I have invented Fifi is to brighten everyone's day, because if we keep listening to these politicians then we will all be suicidal by Christmas!
1745 GMT 30/10/2013 Update: Fifi called in from Belle Isle earlier on the CB radio after making a Dx antenna out of a roll of barbed wire that she found in the ditch which she tied between the old RV and a nearby tree. She calculated the length of the wire with a shareware antenna design package that she just happened to have on her laptop.
Fifi said she was woken by a guy watering the lawn with his sprinkler who claimed to be Stevie Wonder's dad and said his name was Leroy. Fifi asked him where is all the action in East side these days. The ol' timer replied "They ain't been no action around here since Al Capone got penned up for forgetting to pay the sales tax on his latest Packard."
Fifi has fixed the cruise control on the RV with a paper clip and some glue. She is spending the rest of today being escorted around Belle Isle by the old gentleman, called Leroy, who still claims to be Stevie Wonder's dad. Fifi thinks Leroy is in the early stages of dementia, especially when he mentioned that he was also a good friend of Elvis.......Costello......of course!!!
By the way, Fifi's CB handle is Hotdog - It couldn't be anything else!
0340 GMT 31/10/2013 Update: Fifi called in again on her CB to say that she found Special Agent Flash sleeping on a park bench near the Belle Isle fountain. Fifi was able to wake him up after shaking him vigorously for about 10 minutes. Special Agent Flash said he blew the FBI expenses budget in Slick Willies last night but he could not remember much about it except that the pain in his left testicle just won't go away. Fifi gave Special Agent Flash some pills, for his hangover, that she found in the glove compartment of the RV and loaned him the mountain bike off the roof. Fifi said Special Agent Flash took off across the Douglas MacArthur Bridge like a Tour de France cyclist on speed, heading back to FBI HQ which is located under the water tower at the Packard Plant.
Fif said she managed to get the old RV started using her jump leads to Leroy's ride-on-mower because she had flattened the RV's battery with her 1000W CB burner talking to some guy in Tomsk. This guy, who called himself Vladimir, said he wanted to buy Fifi's RV to live in, as his house in Chernobyl still glows in the dark. He also asked if Fifi could deliver the RV if he paid her $10,000 .......for the RV. The old RV started quite well after 15 minutes of cranking and the pre-ignition/blue smoke were not really that bad. The blue smoke clearing in about 30 minutes.
Fifi is going to check out down the courthouse today because Leroy told her that Barney the Rubble is appearing in court on a Fraud and Money Laundering charge resulting from his error of judgement in trying to sell Detroit Water to Special Agent Flash in Slick Willies last night. Leroy says the case will be thrown out because Special Agent Flash "can't remember damn thing about it." Leroy added quietly "I was in 'Nam with an a**hole just like him." "Barney the Rubble or Special Agent Flash?" enquired Fifi. "Neither," replied Leroy, "I mean the Pencil Neck from the EPA with the camera and a clipboard over there by the fountain."
0700 GMT 31/10/2012 Update: We were all dreaming. Perhaps the smarta** politicians who have fouled up the Detroit Eastside deal will come up with a solution soon. Time moves forward relentlessly and I am afraid the potential investors in Detroit Eastside have probably turned their attention elsewhere just as they did in London after the Olympic Games in 2012 and more recently in Grangemouth, Scotland.
Those of us who have traded on ebay for many years know that another opportunity elsewhere in the world is just around the corner. Nobody really cares, in the parts of the world that really matter, whether London, Grangemouth or indeed Detroit go into terminal decline. In the world of global business, if you miss an opportunity then you are unlikely to get a second chance.
At least Fifi has kept us all entertained this last week!
0815 GMT 31/10/2013 Update: I forgot to tell you that Fifi thinks Detroit is a bit too slow for her style and is heading to Paris this weekend to visit her Uncle René, who runs café in the Bois de Boulogne. She says there is more action in Uncle René's café on a wet Tuesday than in the whole of Detroit East side. Except, of course, for Leroy with his ride-on-mower on Belle Isle and perhaps Slick Willies........on a good night.
1500 GMT 01/11/2013 Update: Fifi called in by satellite. She hooked up her laptop with an optical fibre Ethernet cable to a Bell Telephone Junction Box next the green house. She set-up a 150Mb/s Internet connection and zoomed in on the roof of old RV with an HD camera on a passing satellite, in order to check out what was actually stored on the roof-rack. Fifi is spending the rest of today under the RV with Leroy servicing ......... the engine with some filters she found in one of the RV's lockers. Leroy supplied the oil from the shed where he keeps his ride-on-mower. While Fifi was under the RV, she cleaned up the rusty connector on the overdrive unit with some WD40 and she reckons this will give an an extra 10 mph and a few more mpg.
Fifi plugged her laptop and optical Ethernet cable into the EMU(Engine Management Unit) using an adaptor that she found in the glove compartment, when she discovered those exciting pills for Special Agent Flash. Fifi then optimised the fuel/air mixture and set the engine torque profile to be maximum and nearly flat from 1500-6000 rpm. A quick test around the Belle Isle ring road, plus a few extrapolations on the laptop, confirmed to Fifi that RV's top speed was now 135mph, 0-6 was 6 seconds and the urban cycle was now a respectable 20mpg. After the run, Fifi checked the emissions with her little meter and found that they were now within spec. Leroy actually said "Not bad!" to Fifi, which was praise indeed.
Leroy and Fifi are going to spend the evening watching cable TV, using the optical Ethernet cable again, because Fifi has discovered the large screen TV in the RV has an HDMI connection and she has an up-scaler and cables for her laptop in her bag. Leroy says he is going to crack open a few bottles of moonshine that he has kept in his shed since 1925. Leroy told Fifi that he likes a little water with it so Fifi replaced the UV bulb in the RV' s water purifier with one of Leroy's spare LED bulbs for his ride-on mower which just happened to be the same wavelength. Leroy said the water tastes great with the moonshine....Fifi, of course, always takes it straight-up with a twist!"
They may go down to Slick Willies after the game and see if Barney the Rubble is still "trading."Fifi says she will probably "mosey on down" to Detroit Airport early tomorrow and head for Paris.
For those of you who are interested Fifi's full name is FiFi Yvette Le Clerc and she is still 27 this year. Fifi said her parent, known to her only as Mad Dog, was "on the lam" therefore she has commuted to most countries.
Fifi has a first degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering which she obtained by a correspondence course with Acme University at Stroud, UK. Fifi wrote her own MSc in Hardware/Software Codesign, studied her own course and awarded herself the resulting MSc with Distinction.
Fifi's PhD thesis was entitled "The Optimisation of Emission-free Prime Movers for Electricity Generation in the 21st Century and the Design of the Required State-of-the-Art Downstream Control Systems." Fifi's thesis was described as an appalling travesty, mainly because she had no chapters on (electronic?) valves, by her eminent, but dyslexic, octogenarian PhD examiner who added that he was going to give it to her anyway.
In a recent humourless Talkshow on Crap TV and Radio, hosted by somebody who looked like a botox'd version of Jonathan Ross, but on a good day, the winner of the recent Celebrity Engineering Management Apprentice who now uses the stage name of Arturo Dali, described Fifi as a" bit tasty." Apparently, Arturo's winning patent was "inspired" by Fifi while she was making a presentation in the back-room of a pub in Shepherds Bush to Crap TV and Radio about her new 82 part series provisionally called "Absolutely Legless" which she is working on in her downtime on Bell Isle with Leroy acting as her researcher, verifying facts and local colloquialisms. Arturo consulted her about a gizmo to bypass the interlock on a microwave oven so that you can run it with the door open when drying your J D Sports trainers, thus preventing the oven from steaming up. Fifi quickly sketched out the circuit on a ketchup stained napkin, which a rather smug Arturo slid into his inside pocket where he keeps his fake £50 notes.
Arturo had identified a gap in the market for this type of microwave oven accessory and rushed up to Soho, London and persuaded a chap called Tu Hung Lo to manufacture 1000 of the microwave gizmos. Tu Hung Lo was born in Hong Kong but he cannot remember much about the place until he woke up freezing in a fake crocodile leather Gucci handbag only to find the he was in the cargo hold of a 747 on its way to Heathrow. On arrival at Heathrow he was discovered by his namesake baggage handler called Wan Hung Lo who split the fake Rolex's with him and promptly sold him to a Chinese Restaurant in Soho for £200. Tu Hung Lo now owns a chain of 23 Chinese Restaurants in the UK and 17 factories making designer goods in Shenzen, China. The fake designer goods that he makes are identical to the real designer goods he makes except they go out of the back door of the factory instead of the front door.
When the microwave gizmos were delivered to Arturo's lockup, off the Mile End Road in London 24 hours later, he discovered the Tu Hung Lo had made a slight mistake in the order and he now had 1,000,000 of the microwave accessories. Arturo said the unexpected upside of his microwave gizmo is that all the users got a rapid suntan and he has been able to make that vital second sale of organic suntan cream which he bought off a Romany wholesaler in 1997. Arturo has been awarded Businessman of the Year (electronic sector) and now tours the country lecturing on the CND(Circuit-on-a-Napkin Design) process to Engineering Management students.
In the meantime, back in Belle Isle Fifi and Leroy are putting the finishing touches to the last episode of Absolutely Legless while watching the game on Internet TV.
When I saw Fifi's CV(résumé in the US), I looked up and thought .... "Not Bad" and gave her the job of Real Engineer's North America Representative, saying with qualifications like those you should do well.
Really, I just thought you would like a good story while we are all sub judice in Detroit or in Barney the Rubble's case, pending.
1800 GMT 02/11/2013 Update: Fifi Skyped in earlier and said she was back at Slick Willies. I said "I thought you were going to the Airport." Fifi replied that she did and she has "knocked-out" the old RV for $20,000 to a partially sighted brain surgeon that she found wandering aimlessly in the Airport car park. She thought he might be doped-up until he explained that he was CEO of a multinational pharmaceuticals business located in an exclusive block at the back of the Packard Plant. Fifi told the good doctor that the RV was cheap because it was a product recall that had a tendency to pull to left when you set the cruise control to 90 mph on the Interstate and go into the back of the RV to make coffee. The surgeon said he was not worried about that because he said it looked great and was going to use as the campaign bus when he stands against that low-down Barney the Rubble next year. Fifi asked him which party does he belong to and he replied "Any party that Barney the Rubble does not belong to." Fifi said his name seemed to ring a bell when he signed Dr Richard Chamberlain on her electronic invoice.
I asked Fifi how she had connected to the Internet in a place like Slick Willies. She said the there was a telephone wall socket next to the Wurlizter Juke Box and when she plugged into the modem used by the Juke Box and found she had a 100Mb/s Internet connection. Fifi asked Leroy "How come they have fast Internet in a place like this?" Leroy said that when he worked behind the bar here in 1987 some dude with big Chevy pick-up came in and said he had a ticket from the Bell Telephone Company to connect Fibre-to-the-Cabinet at this address. Leroy told him the only cabinet around here was the old Wurlizter over by the window. "That'll do" said the dude and set about his work, consuming 11 free pints of Texas Shiner Bock beer in the process. Leroy said that when the dude was gone we plugged a modem into the spare telephone wall socket and we have had free Yakamoto Internet TV ever since. Leroy recalls that a young kid from the Tech College, called Alvin, reprogrammed the Universal TV Decoder from Radio Shack that they never could get to work. Leroy thinks Alvin is the same guy who hacked the NORAD computer in 1981 and launched 150 B52s against their own base via Turkey and Mildenhall, UK. He heard that Alvin stalled the B52s on their home run at Mildenhall by turning off valve on the refuelling pipeline and switching off the main pump. NORAD still does not know how it was done to this day. Alvin is now the "main man" of Cyber Warfare at the NSA. Leroy says the Sumo wrestling on a Friday night brings in a rather strange crowd from the other side of town and , of course, Barney the Rubble runs the betting scam.
"How did you get back to Slick Willies from the Airport?" I asked Fifi. She replied that after Dr Chamberlain had given her the $20,000 for the RV, out of a wallet concealed in his nether regions, she was about to enter the Departure Terminal when Leroy on his ride-on-mower came to a screeching halt beside her with Barney the Rubble white-knuckling it in the trailer. Barney said he had just been released and found that some philanthropist had wired him $100,000 for the Packard Plant and he wanted her to come back to Slick Willies to see if he could cut a deal with her for Detroit Water while they celebrate his good fortune. Fifi said the ride back to Slick Willies was rather interesting as Leroy tended to drift wide on the corners when he had the "pedal to the metal," literally.
Inside Slick Willies, and after what Fifi calls a few drinkies, Barney started to offer odds of 10:2 if the dude comes up with $1.9 million for the Packard Plant on Monday and 5:1 if he doesn't. Unfortunately for Barney, there was a FF(Frequent Flyer) from the Casino Complex down the road in Slick Willies and he said "I'll have some of that" and slapped $40,000 on the bar and said "$20,000 each way, sucker." Later they found out that this guy was the real Cincinnati Kid, not the film version which had a PC(Politically Correct) ending. Fifi told Barney that she had sold the RV to Dr Chamberlain to use as a campaign bus when he stands against Barney for Governor. Barney exclaimed "I have been trying to evict that pill-pushing b*****d from the Packard Plant since 1975 and he just won't go! Barney went on " He has now got a smarta** out-of-town lawyer who say's that I am infringing his human rights. What a load of crap!" Barney then proceeded to give Fifi one ........ of his new "Vote for Rubble" bumper stickers for Leroy's top-of-the-range ride-on-mower.
2130 GMT 02/11/2013 Update: Fifi emailed in to say the party really livened up at Slick Willies when a guy with a market cart came in and said he was an friend of Trini Lopez and was still selling a nice line in yellow jackets. He also had a special on pints of Bloody Mary at $8 , having obtained a container load vodka that was found in the back of a disused Vladivar factory in Warrington, UK. He got the tomatoes off his friend, Zorba the Greek, down the market and he is making the Purée live. Luckily, Slick Willies does not have a carpet. The market cart guy said he runs 250 outlets all over the state under the Speedy Gonzales Vegetable and Fruit Cart Brand, which is named after him.
Fifi said Barney the Rubble has been doing his sums about his betting liabilities and thinks he going belly up on Monday if this philanthropist guy doesn't come up with the $1.9 million. Barney said he may have to touch Fifi....... for a refund of the $100,000 dollars, for her consultancy work on energy costs at Detroit Water on Friday night, if the deal falls through. Meanwhile everybody is sympathising with Barney by drinking all his pints of Bloody Mary that he bought from Speedy as a job lot for an undisclosed sum. Speedy gave Barney a 15% discount cash.
2315 GMT 02/11/2013 Update: Fifi emailed to say that Barney's party has gone a bit flat after Fifi accidentally hit Leroy on the jaw while explaining expansively to Barney the potential of the Packard Plant Redevelopment. Leroy remembered his old boxing days, rolled with the punch, did a neat back-flip over the Wurlizter, skidded on a pile of Speedy's left over tomatoes, flew out through the open window and woke up 10 minutes later under one of those big commercial trash cans. Leroy came back into Slick Willies by the front door 30 minutes later saying that he had become "disoriented" and will be OK after he has another of Speedy's Bloody Mary's, only this time a double. He said to Speedy "Go easy on that tomato juice s**t. It makes you fall over!" and then turning to Fifi he said "It is so damn dark out there anyone would think it was night time."
Barney became melancholy after Leroy's accident and kept telling Fifi how much he appreciated her "consultancy" ...... over the Detroit Water energy costs then he overreached himself and shorted out Fifi's zapper as tried to measure her inside leg. Barney lay prone on the floor so Fifi turned the zapper up to max and gave it a five second burst on his chest right next to his medallion. Barney was recovering quite nicely, but still on the floor; when in dashed two medical students from St Elmo's Teaching Hospital across the road, which is a subsidiary of the TRI(Thorium Research Institute) located on the same site, asking if they could try out their new defibrillator from Taiwan on Barney. One of the medical student plugged the defibrillator's universal power plug into the 3-phase supply, that is used to drive the speaker system in Slick Willies, while the other medical student gave Barney a blast. There was a smell of burning flesh and Barney passed out again. When the smoke cleared the two medical students picked up Barney, threw him into the back of their 1973 Ford sedan and took him back to St Elmos. One of the medical students phoned back to Fifi about a couple of hours later saying that Barney should be OK after about three days in intensive care and the burns will probably not be noticeable in about 20 years. He ended by saying Barney's hair will probably lay down eventually and said he would try out his latest wonder drug on Barney that he had just bought from Dr Richard Chamberlain's Pharmaceutical Company down the street. Fifi inquired "What name shall I ask for when I ring back?" The young medical student replied in typical Bondesque style "The name's Casey ....... Ben Casey," which he had changed from Fred Schmitt just prior to his medical school application.
Fifi says she will see what is "going down" at the City Hall tomorrow. In the meantime, she is going to sleep in Leroy's shed on Belle Isle. She is looking forward to the trip back to Belle Isle in the trailer of Leroy's ride-on-mower because he used Fifi's laptop program to "juice up" the engine in Slick Willies car park before it got too dark. Barney hit 75 mph on the 'vard , overtaking Special Agent Flash on the inside, who had been doing some under-the-covers work in the back room of Slick Willies with a Social Worker called Jeanie whom Leroy, inexplicably, always calls Joe the Plumber. Leroy did a handbrake left turn coming off Douglas MacArthur Bridge on to the Belle Isle ring road and skidded to a halt in his shed with six inches to spare. Fifi shouted "Not Bad, Leroy!" Leroy did put the "Vote for Rubble" bumper sticker on the back of his trailer so Fifi reckons that Barney is home and dry, having been endorsed by Leroy, provided that Barney gets out of hospital in time for the election.
By the way, Barney's ride-on-on-mower is the the top-of-the-range John Deere GT Tdi with the optional twin turbo 450 bhp V8 engine, 10 gear power shift transmission, four wheel drive and the extra wide wheels, which was ordered in error by an intern down at City Hall when he added the dash 10 suffix instead of the dash 01 suffix to the model number. Leroy can cut 10 acres per hour, if he has not been in Slick Willies the night before. Leroy does a bit of moonlighting making silage for that dairy farmer, Clarke Griswold, just off the Cheboygan road who has 3500 Holsteins. Leroy always tells his boss down at City Hall that he is taking the John Deere in for repairs at the dealership, which just happens to be a mile down the road from the Clarke Griswold's Dairy Farm, uniquely called Sleepy Hollow.
Leroy says he was only able to do the silage job because he found a flat-packed double chop forage harvester in the back of the trailer when it was delivered new, which he assembled. Leroy upgraded the forage harvester to a triple chop with a kit that he bought on ebay for $10 from a Mexican company called Juan Dear Part. Leroy is laundering his additional cash earnings through Slick Willies, which he says is costing him a fortune in headache pills, and getting tax avoidance advice from an ol' timer from Quebec called Un de Claredincome, who claims he did the "books" for Al Capone when he was 17. Un is now the CFO of the Slick Willie Corporation, whose headquarters are in the back room, through the burger grill, when it is not being used by Special Agent Flash as a "local office."
Leroy gets a John Deere cap, for free from Diesel Doris on reception, every time he goes to the dealership which he is able to sell for $20 down at Slick Willies. It has become quite a fashion item in Slick Willies since some uptown girl with blonde hair and big assets came in last January, claimed to be a friend of George Clooney and said "George really does it for me in his John Deere cap." Later, Leroy found out she was the fashion editor of some newspaper in Chicago, called Tricksy Labelle, on a eco-tourist winter city break in Detroit. Much later Leroy realised she was the same girl that he remembered from his days as a High School Caretaker around 15 years ago who was then called Tricksy Le Boeuf and is heiress to the Le Boeuf Meat Processing Company, over on the far side of the Packard Plant. It was founded by her father, the late John Le Boeuf, who was killed in a shoot-out with the police on a vacant lot two blocks down from Slick Willies. The policemen told the subsequent investigation into the shooting that they mistook John Le Boeuf for the graffiti artist, Banksy, who they were trying to hunt down for parking violations. Leroy remembers Tricksy from her High School days as a friendly gal, who would do anything for you, and he realised, even in those days, that she would go far.
Leroy went on to say that Le Boeuf Meat Processing Company had been recently raided by the DEA because there was too much LSD in their fortified baby food products, causing the unfortunate infants to howl like monkeys and run up the curtains. Leroy says that the LSD contamination has been finally traced to a malfunction on the vitamin food additive line at Dr Richard Chamberlain's Pharmaceutical Company when an operative known as the "Shadow" threw the LSD switch 5 seconds before the end of the batch intended for Le Boeuf Meat Processing Company instead of at the beginning of the batch for the Speedy Gonzales Market Hand Cart Chain. The "Shadow" was disciplined by sending him to Hawaii for 12 months, until the heat died down.
Also the Trini Lopez style yellow jackets were all bought by the Slick Willie bar staff for $12 each from Speedy Gonzales, whose grandmother added the nifty motto - We are here to serve - under the Golden Eagle logo with Slick Willies Hard Rock Beer and Burger Bar in a circle around the edge, on the top pocket. Speedy is now making fake Slick Willie jackets and selling them for $299 through all his 250 market hand cart outlets.
1245 GMT 04/11/2013 Update: Fifi has just emailed me a video clip of the Avon inflatable that she slept in last night in Leroy's trailer. Leroy found the Avon in the back of his shed and used the compressor on the John Deere to inflate it. Leroy said he would to tell everyone how he used to "shoot the rapids in the old Avon" until someone from Human Resources at City Hall called him in and told him not to use the phrase because she said it was offensive to drug addicts. Leroy said "I don't what the hell she's talking about! I have never shot anything since I put my Colt 45 Magnum away in 1997 after a distressing close encounter with a squirrel on Belle Isle." After a pause for thought Leroy said "You know, I never did like lead in my squirrel stew ............it's too high in cholesterol anyway!" After another pause he said "and another thing, I bet all those suits down at City Hall are vegetarians .............. that's why they can't count or run an auction!!!"
Leroy then fired up the ITEU(In-Tractor Entertainment Unit) on the John Deere and downloaded Hey Mr Tambourine Man by The Byrds, which Fifi liked so much when it was being played in Slick Willies. This song reminded her of her happy childhood days at Uncle René's café in the Bois de Boulogne, which amazingly, had the same Wurlitzer Juke Box as Slick Willies. Fifi fell asleep in the old Avon inflatable, thinking "Life's Good", while Leroy was still swinging along in the cab the John Deere to Stevie Wonder - who else?
You've guessed it! Leroy sleeps in the John Deere because it came with the executive recliner seat with armrests, head rest, air suspension and is far more comfortable than his bunk in the office at the back of the shed.
1600 GMT 05/11/2013 Update: Fifi phoned in on the company Blackberry that I gave her, which I bought off ebay for £20 and it still sounds great. She said Leroy had gone out early this morning on the John Deere with the full silage rig saying " I am just going down to the dealership for some repairs" giving Fifi a wink he continued "it's the last cut of the season. By the way, there's some guy on the news saying we shouldn't throw away all the progress that we have made." Leroy raised his voice and added "Back in '86 I had the City Council grass cutting contract for the whole of the East side and I owned 6 John Deere, now I live in one and work for the City Council. I don't call that (expletive deleted) progress." More cheerfully he added " I'll bring back a couple of gallons of Clarke Griswold's best cider as a starter before we go down Slick Willies tonight." Leroy then drove off at warp speed shouting "See you at 4(pm)."
Fifi said she was just fine-tuning the script for, Absolutely Legless, working in Leroy's office, and checking out some CAT Gensets to reduce the energy bill at Detroit Water. She added that Barney the Rubble had phoned to say he would pick Leroy and her up at about 7(pm) and he sounded a bit worried about the Cincinnati Kid having no sense of humour when it comes to money.
0930 GMT 06/11/2013 Update: Fifi Skyped in from Slick Willies saying she was having a ball in Detroit. She said "Leroy came back from silage cutting at about 4(pm) with two of his old moonshine jars full of Griswold's scrumpy cider and they both chilled out with a few pints until just before 7(pm) when Barney the Rubble showed up in the latest Range Rover." I asked Barney "Where did you get the wheels?" to which he replied "A guy I know down the Motor Show let me have the use of it until tomorrow morning. I didn't want the Kid to know I was short ...... of money. Have you got the $100,000 that I paid you for the Detroit Water job?" he went on to say " this philanthropist loser still hasn't come up with the dough yet." Fifi handed him the wedge and Barney say "Get in, both of yous and I will buy you a Chicago Pizza down at Slick Willies Burger Grill. This new Italian Chef, called Fabio, really knows his stuff. But watch him, Fifi, no woman is safe near him. He would screw my own wife while I was sleeping next to her!!!"
After Leroy and I got into the Range Rover, Barney did a semi-doughtnut, floored it and smoked the tyres all the way down the 'vard to Slick Willies. While waiting in the Burger Grill for the Chicago Pizzas, Barney brought us up to speed. He said "When I got out of intensive care this morning I went over to pick up the Range Rover at the Motor Show and on the way back I called in at Gypsy Ferka's Hedgefund Trust down at the Financial Centre, right next to the food bank." Barney continued " I met Harry the Horse inside and asked if he was still betting." Harry the Horse said "I am into this new exotic financial product called Equine Futures. Here's an example for the 2 o'clock at Fairmount Park." Barney looked at the ticket and said "It looks just like an ordinary betting slip to me except that you pay a 10% management fee. Why?" Harry said "I asked Betty, flying the mainframe behind the desk, the same question and do know what she said? That's your contribution to the Gypsy Ferka's Daytona Beach villa and his VIP box at the track. I said (explicit deleted) him and his villa .......... and he can shove his VIP box right up where the sun don't shine."
Barney then asked Harry "Have you heard of this Cincinnati Kid dude." and Harry replied "He's a high roller out of Illinois and you don't want to piss him off because he got a Problem Solver called Aircon." W(ho)TF is Aircon? asked Barney. "Nobody really knows, but if you don't pay the Kid what he's due then Aircon comes around and gives you 10 seconds to cough up otherwise Aircon modifies your ventilation. Aircon is real bad news, Barney" said Harry. Barney went ashen and said "I've got go pick up Fifi and Leroy right now, Harry, see you down Slick Willies later.
Fifi said that soon after the Chicago Pizza meal, they were all into the bar when in walked the Kid and you could hear an elephant drop. Barney said, "Hi Kid, I've been waiting for yous. Here's the 100 grand I owe you." Apart from the awkward moment when Barney reached into his inside pocket for the money, the transaction went better than expected. The Kid turned out to be almost human, after he had been paid, and shouted up to the girl behind the bar, wearing one of Speedy's yellow jackets and very little else "Singapore Slings with Vodka Martini chasers all around ........ make mine a double ....... and keep fifty dollars for yourself, Sugar." Barney said, admiringly "You can always tell class by what they drink!"
Leroy was particularly interested in the Karaoke tonight because it was the first time out for Stevie Wonder's grandson, Young Stevie, and a few of the crowd from the old days had come in to check him out. The party got a lift when Dr Richard Chamberlain came in an gave the biker yutes and some corn-fed gals from Gypsy Ferkas a few samples of his new wonder drug. Fifi said "I didn't know that you could run up the walls and dance on the ceiling like that." Leroy also gave Willie the Weasel a new John Deere hat that he had been given Diesel Doris up the dealership today. Willie said he has a hot date with Jeanie the Social Worker and he was hoping to sideline Special Agent Flash with some of those George Clooney moves.
Much later in the evening Fifi told Barney that she was thinking of getting the 5.30(am) for Heathrow in a couple of hours time. Barney said "I wish you think about staying a while. A lot a people have heard that you are in town. There's a big shot I want you to meet from the Railroad Company, says he wants you to check his emissions. Does that mean anything to you?" Fifi smiled and said "You bet, Barney." Barney carried on "I think I remember him from the 1970's down on the Cadillac line. ....... There's another dude flying in from New York tomorrow say's he's got a problem with his water" Barney asked "Doesn't he need to see a Doctor, Fifi?" Fifi replied "I am a Doctor, Barney." The night just got better and better. Even Dr Richard Chamberlain and Barney the Rubble had a dance..... together...... at about 4.30am. Fifi turned to Leroy and said "It looks as though I am sleeping in the old Avon again tonight!"
................. To be continued?
1145 GMT 06/11/2012 Update: All the characters in Fifi's story are fictional and any resemblance to any real person living or dead is purely coincidental. All the characters are exaggeration of reality and are not to be taken too seriously. The main character, Fifi, is actually an amalgamation of all the girls I have met before.
1100 GMT 07/11/2013 Update: Perhaps this a good point to explain why I chose the the main character of Absolutely Legless, Fifi, to be a woman. The challenge was to provide a narrative to the Detroit Mayoral Elections based around the sale of the Packard Plant and its surrounding area. I decided to make the central character a female engineer as a role model for other women considering engineering as a career. Fifi's experiences as a long haul engineering consultant to some extent mirror my own, except my experiences on the road were much wilder. In this type of role you are in the boardroom talking technical one day and the next day you may be on site or on the shop floor advising the artisans. In the evenings you are expected to socialise with customers and the local office. Pulling a 18 - 20 hour day is the norm for these kind trips. However, it is anything but dull. I think women have a misconception of the role of a professional engineer and think it is not "cool." I have, in my travels, have seen more than most because I spent very little time in the hotel and although the lifestyle can be a bit demanding it is extremely rewarding.
There has never been a bar to women in engineering and those who have the ability to rise to professional engineer certainly do very well. The problem has always been that women do not think that engineering is an exciting profession therefore I hope that Fifi dispels that misconception. These long haul trips are what you want to make of them. You can either sit in the hotel and learn absolutely nothing about the place you are visiting or you can join in with the local team and really enjoy life. I found that people who I only knew as an email correspondent really appreciated a visit and some extreme socialising, now and again. Fifi is only a slight exaggeration of what it is like to be a long haul engineer. The only downside of this sort work is the jet lag if you do a lot of it, but interspersing a few short trips in between the long haul trips seems to work quite well. Incidentally, you may be surprised to learn that I have met female engineers who looked like film stars. It is the combination of brains and beauty that unnerves most men because they expect female engineers to be a bit "bookish" and their beautiful women to be a bit dim.
I will add a short piece to the end of Absolutely Legless, just to round of the story for now.
1645 GMT 07/11/2013 Update: Fifi Skyped in from Detroit Airport saying "Barney the Rubble dropped by this morning at about 8(am) and luckily I had finished the energy cost reduction report for Detroit Water. I could hear the wheels on his custom car squealing across the bridge and around the Belle Isle." I asked Barney "Why do you drive so fast?" and he said I always have got too much to do and anyway I used build custom cars years ago then get to do a test drive. By the way, the philanthropist guy came up with another 100k so give me the report and here's your wedge." I said " I think we can shave 50% off the energy costs at Detroit Water, if we use the latest technology and fuel sources."Great job" said Barney "Get in the car, your boss gave me a bell and said to get you on the 10 o'clock flight to Heathrow. He said you phone was switched off or something because he could not get through to you...... I have just had the car tuned up at Charlie's Custom Cars and he says it really flies ........ The Range Rover was a nice car but it was a bit sluggish at over 100(mph).
Fifi said Barney was doing at least 135(mph) on the 94. She asked him "Why do the Police never stop you, Barney?" Barney said "I know what the Chief of Police was doing in 1975 and it wasn't helping old ladies across the road." He added your boss says to meet up with him at Heathrow and get the flight to Paris together. There's one of those Real Engineer's meetings at your Uncle René's café in the Bois de Boulogne, where you have to go now to discuss all that secret s**t that yous guys do." Fifi asked "What are you doing this weekend, Barney?" "Clarke Griswold has just bought another farm from his neighbour ....... I'm taking a couple guys I know from Wal Mart and some faces from down the market over to see if we can do a deal on his milk and yoghurt. He's also invited a few out of town big shots who might support my run for Governor next year." As Barney dropped Fifi off at the departure terminal he said "I'll give you a bell on Monday and let you know what's cooking" and then took off at his usual rubber burning speed.
A weekend at Uncle René's café, now that's what I call living, thought Fifi as she found her seat in Business class and sipped the free Moët.
By the way, Fifi saw the Cincinnati Kid at the airport, boarding the flight to Vegas with the standard girl on each arm.
0600 GMT 08/11/2013 Update : These are the guys who have screwed up the Internet in the UK and rendered it unusable for anything but the most trivial and banal matters, which was probably their plan in the first place. I bet none of this trio can even use the Internet in any meaningful way. I have already modified my behaviour by assuming that I am under constant surveillance. I do not communicate with the outside world on any important issues by email, Skype, telephone or any social media. Even my conversations with my wife are designed to entertain the spies at the other end with the occasional "domestic" thrown in for extra colour. Also the computer hackers cannot function without an Internet connection to your computer.
If you understand the strategy of Adapt of Die then I have already adapted and the Internet is already dead. It is only now being used for the Twitterings of Twits. When arty people become involved with technology everything has to be dumbed down to their level which rather defeats the object of the technology. We take a step back in terms of technical evolution to get the "Chattering Classes" online. SMS(Short Messaging Systems), which includes Texting and Twittering, with their maximum of 160 characters, are probably all that these people can manage without five years of research.
I have dusted down techniques from the early Cold War era in order to communicate privately until an intrinsically secure AI(Alternative Internet) emerges probably, being spearheaded by Germany and Brazil. The interesting thing is that real spies and terrorists have never used the Internet because they have always known that "Big Brother" was watching. Hence, the Boston and Nairobi bombers were not even on the surveillance radar. The general public is now alarmed by constant surveillance, which has probably been happening in secret since the 1950's, that has now spilled out into the public domain by what I have called Surveillance Overreach. It cannot be true that virtually every member of the public is a potential threat to the state. I find this idea to be completely illogical and irrational. The only explanation I can find is that someone must be "smokin' somethin,' " which is equally bizarre and just an example of my Comédie Noir. I have moved on, probably with my surveillance team tagging along behind, the spies being more confused than ever. Time for another smoke then! Not me! I don't smoke anything.
It would not surprise me to find out that the NSA (and GCHQ) spent an estimated $85 billion last year(when you add up all the secret channels of money to the NSA via other budgets) trying to decode electronic messages and media, where no code existed, using tools from Acme Software. This so-called code was probably just a figment of their wild imaginations. Please tell this is not true!
My own policy to counter surveillance is to simply place everything in the public domain and move on, as some extremely helpful hacker did for my copyrighted IP. I have great expectations, being the beneficiary of some forthcoming copyright and IP theft legal challenges. I must confess I did not initially think of doing things this way around but it is a brilliant ploy, because others do all the work for you. You just have to sit back an prepare your brief. Life's Good!!!
1245 GMT 08/11/2013 Update: The soundtrack for Absolutely Legless is the old Wurlizter in Slick Willies kicking out all those Motown songs like the Temptations. In actual fact it would be easy to just use these videos as background in Slick Willies on a big screen. There is so much good music to chose from it is a problem of what to leave out.
Absolutely Legless is an example of how to play the Socialists at their own smearing game, only I did it in Real Time, synchronised to the recent Detroit Mayoral Elections. Any script writer could probably do a similar script, given an infinite amount of time, but the clever bit was create the script as the election news streamed in to me (in Sticksville, UK) from Detroit. Good or What?
1700 GMT 08/11/2013 Update: This is how I imagined Slick Willies would look but I didn't see that vital night-time feature - a bar - perhaps I am missing something. Even the sign of the Hygrade Delicatessen reflects the decline of the local motor industry. The location, staff and customers are perfect.
Hi, Hygrade Deli owner and staff, from James Westmorland (UK)! This is a song from the fabulous Byrds to go with my satellite image. I am one of those old fashioned movie fans that believe the soundtrack is just as important as the images. I know the Byrds are from California and they are not Motown but this song is the perfect accompaniment to to my satellite image. It is a good soundtrack that elevates a reasonable movie to a memorable movie.
As I have said many times before, Sci-Fi and thriller movies work best when they are right on the edge of reality and are just about believable. Otherwise they are kiddies fantasy/superhero movies, which are fun, but are not the kind of movies that I like watch.
1745 GMT 09/11/2013 Update: I have just canned the Stingray from Absolutely Legless as it is probably too slow. Sorry boys and girls. Get off the dope and perhaps your brains will work properly. You may be able to use your wealth to do the car and even a plagiarized version of film faster than me but the end product is almost always rubbish. You are now in danger of becoming a laughingstock around the world.
If you think that this message applies to you, then it probably does.
0415 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: I had an interesting conversation in the Barber's shop on Friday with a woman who thought she was the sister of Special Agent Flash. Why does everyone these days think they are some kind of secret agent. Everybody seems to have spying fever! I gave her some information about 'Nam that is at least 40 years old which she probably thinks is the scoop of the century. I also tried to explain to her the niceties of the Geneva Convention in war, but I think she had some preconceived idea that I did not understand it. It is the drastic reductions in troops in both our countries that has brought the discussion of the Geneva Convention to the fore. I understand very clearly every word of the Geneva Convention but I do not think the SS(Socialist Spy) that I met when I went for a haircut had even the most basic understanding.
When I read this story I realised I didn't belong in Detroit because I would have given Ron English some back-up. Unfortunately for me, the same type of sensitive people run the UK and hence we are in the same economic situation as Detroit. While I do not abuse people normally, I have been known to use the odd expletive myself when people cannot do their job.
This story graphically illustrates what is wrong with both our countries. "Nice but Dim" doesn't get the job done but will guarantee that you stay poor. I am afraid both our countries have become a nation of Mama's boys (and girls), hence the terminal decline in every aspect of our lives. Perhaps you ought to listen to this song to realise that the spirit that created the USA has now been be lost.
It is time for me to walk away from the Detroit East side project and allow you to be guided into economic oblivion by people who are "Nice but Dim." Tough jobs require tough people and I do not see any of those around Detroit now that Ron English has gone.
By the way, if anyone tries to plagiarise the script of Absolutely Legless then I will write a little story about them on my Blogs.
Good Luck Detroit and Goodbye.
0530 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: I am interested in many things and I would like to test a medical theory of mine, which I believe is based on good Science. To prove my theory we need to do a blood test on a large sample of people who think Banksy's graffiti is art and an equally large sample who think it is just appalling daubs. I believe the results would come as no surprise to me, but the general public would become quite alarmed.
There is a least one PhD in this hypothesis, for someone with the right qualifications.
0815 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: While we are talking about films, Fifi told me that she always thought James Bond was a bit effeminate and as far technology was concerned he was just a button pusher. Your standard Sloane Square Poseur who couldn't drive nails!!!
A gay James Bond. Now that is what I call a good idea for a film.
1100 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: Try and catch this movie next week because it is based on a surreal character called Dick Head that Fifi says she kicked the s**t out of in Slick Willie's car park the other week because he ordered coke ... straight. The director is that up and coming rapper called R Soul whose previous claim to fame was in a starring role as a stunt man in Central Park ......... actually smokin' somethin' while he was sweeping up the leaves.
1500 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: I have added a few guests singers to Absolutely Legless but all the rest of the soundtrack is pure Motown.
0800 GMT 10/11/2013 Update: Here is the FBI HQ in Absolutely Legless right next door to Dr Richard Chamberlain's Pharmaceutical business. The strange thing is that Special Agent Flash never realises the Dr Richard Chamberlain is "a pill-pushing b*****d" as Barney the Rubble so delightfully puts it. Apparently Crap TV & Radio have been filming around here for the last twelve months trying to screw up the Packard Plant as a film location not realising that it was never my intention to use it. I do not know anyone who has watched the series so I think it "bombed" as they say in the trade. They are probably hanging around the Hygrade Deli trying screw up that location for me again not realising that Absolutely Legless can be moved to another location effortlessly. As I said earlier: Get off the dope and then your brain will start to work properly again. It only takes a little alcohol combined with dope to screw up you thought processes.
Tough luck boys and girls, you lost your shirts yet again. You guys have got to be bankrupt by now. Others are trying to make a new Star Wars for the kiddywinks. If that's the best that Dogsville's finest can come up with then there is no wonder that the big studios are pulling out. Incidentally, for me the best actors in the Star Wars series were C3PO and R2D2, who made the rest of the cast seem dull in the extreme. My advice to Harrison Ford is: Don't give up your day job!
0845 GMT 11/11/2013 Update: Here are the Four Tops with more of that wonderful Motown sound.
1520 GMT 11/11/2013 Update: This story brings joy to my heart and makes me almost want to give up drink.
As someone who has had to learn about the law the hard way, I know it is governed by precedence. Whoever provides the click gets the money. Revenge is sweetest when delivered ice-cold!!! Google, pay up or I will make it my life's work to bury you!!!!
1540 GMT 11/11/2013 Update: Symbolism and posturing for the media will not make the slightest difference in Africa because the real problem is the demand for ivory from East Asia (and the USA?).
2000 GMT 11/11/2013 Update: The thing I hate about Socialists is that they use every dirty trick in the book to smear their opponents then as soon as they get hurt they whine like babies. That is why I, and many others, think they are Mama's Boys (and girls). The rule about playing in the big league is that you don't dish it out if you can't take it, as I keep saying over and over again. It cannot be acceptable for those on the left to use any obscene tactic to smear their opponents and then cry wolf when those on the right use the same tactics. The laws of defamation apply equally both ways.
If the ruling elite of both the UK and the US believe that the reputation of their respective countries have been damaged then they have only themselves to blame. It is the ruling elite that instigated all this BS(Blanket Surveillance) that has gone so disastrously wrong. Nobody in the world has the slightest sympathy for the leaders in the UK and the US. The economic world is getting tougher and only the fittest, in economic terms, will survive and now we must now live with the concept of constant BS.
The final point is that the governments of the UK and the US had no mandate to extend surveillance to cover all of the general public. I never saw it mentioned in any political manifesto in either the UK or the US. This means the sole responsibility for the BS debacle lies with the political leadership in both the UK and the US.
2110 GMT 11/11/2013 Update: Many in the USA will say that I have no right to comment on the internal affairs of the USA, although other news media always do and have no problem. I claim the right to comment on political matters in the US because the government of the UK acts as a puppet of the US government particularly on security matters. GCHQ has simply become a subsidiary of the NSA. Therefore to get any political action I have to address my grievances directly to the US because I believe in cutting out the middleman. Both the UK and US subscribe to free speech and there is nothing in my Blogs that you wouldn't find in magazine such as Private Eye.
I have never had any feedback of any kind therefore I assume there is no problem. In fact, Google says there are virtually no hits on my Blogs but I think that is to deprive me of income more than anything else. I do not believe that there are very few hits on my Blogs therefore they must be intercepted before they reach the public. It is this sort of behaviour by Google, or the state, or both makes me annoyed and I am determined to pay them back. I am a very easy going guy but don't push your luck. I never forgive.
0430 GMT 12/11/2013 Update: On a point of clarification, Real Engineers have "walked away" from all proposed projects in the UK and the US because their respective political climates are not amenable to private enterprise. Others seem to think that they can do better, therefore I say "get on with it." Real Engineer's research continues at their "Skunk Works" with much of their copyrighted IP(Intellectual Property) moving forward to second and third iterations.
Real Engineer's will not be making any more public statements about their IP and are unlikely to venture into the UK or US markets in the near future. Real Engineers will not be dictated to by reactionary politicians of any kind whilst conducting their legitimate business. Sanctions being applied to Real Engineers are meaningless and just ensure that the UK and US get further and further behind the technology curve.
Real Engineer's projects were a genuine offer to help others move forward technically. These offers will not be renewed. Real Engineer's will not be dictated to or be subservient to any government, organisation, or persons. As we say at Real Engineers; we simply move on while others pontificate in our wake. If the political climate in the UK and US does not change soon then Real Engineers will simply relocate. To be clear, Real Engineer's would rather bury their technology than be dictated to by reactionaries of any kind.
Note: "Walked away" translates into American as "pulled the plug."
0635 GMT 12/11/2013 Update: Intimidation permeates every part of life today and over time the gang culture has become the norm. I have found that many people are very brave when they have an army behind them , but get them on their own and their courage evaporates. I have walked many times through ghettos in the UK and the USA unarmed, without any problem, because I know these so-called brave people "lose it" in a one-one situation. However, now that I am a high profile shock blogger, the next time I visit downtown Los Angeles, for example, I will be "packin" which I really hoped was a thing of the past.
I have completed my analysis of gun crime in the USA and found that you do not have a problem with gun ownership but you do have a problem with drug-taking and mental illness, one usually leading to the other, amongst people who own guns.
My research has led me to the conclusion that people who want to own guns should have a routine medical and blood test to check on their medical condition and what they are ingesting. I would really use the legal term that "anyone who has access to or can authorise the use of lethal weapons must have a routine medical check-up including a blood test. The more powerful the weapon the more frequent the medical check-up and blood test."
It is a reasonable expectation of the general public that those in control of lethal weapons should be in a normal and stable state of health. I think if this simple regulation was applied then gun crime would virtually disappear. The good thing about this regulation is that it has absolutely no effect on responsible gun owners because their medical and blood test can be fitted in with their usual medical check-up routine.
By the way, I have not used or owned a gun of any kind for at least 20 years and probably longer or felt the need for gun ownership. I found it all rather boring, never missing. However, we live in an infinitely more dangerous world and if we cannot get a grip on people who are on drugs and/or are mentally ill, by removing their lethal weapons, then the government should not be surprised if others take steps to defend themselves. In this context I do not consider a low powered air rifle or BB gun a lethal weapon.
Note: A medical, in the context of this post, includes a simple mental assessment which should be well within the capabilities of your local medical practitioner.
0200 GMT 13/11/2012 Update: Dogsville's finest have been inspired yet again to make a sequel to World War Zit which has the imaginative working title of World War Zit 2. I really don't know how you guys in Dogsville are inspired so often. The main character of World War Zit 2 is based on Dick Head's ESN, younger brother Zit Head. Zitty, as he is known to his friends, works as a masterchef in the Burger Grill at Slick Willies.
Zitty trained a a cordon blue burger masterchef at McDonalds and completed his masterchef training at Pizza Hut before being head-hunted for Slick Willies. The plot of the movie is unknown even to the director and cast. The state-of-the-art plotless film technique being pioneered on World War Zit 2 set requires several re-shoots to refine its plotlessness. Zitty is quoted as saying the film's plot (or lack of) is so complicated "it's killing me, man.". Intellectual stuff, indeed!
By the way, Zitty is the winner of the recent Celebrity Pizza Chef Contest sponsored by Del Boy Pizzas of Peckham.
0345 GMT 12/11/2013 Update: Have the Conservatives pulled their own plug? Do not worry Country Folk, Real Engineers intends to throw a bypass around BT. Their shares are worthless as of today, in my opinion. BT paid so much for Football that it is just a matter of time before they disappear into financial oblivion.
Unfortunately for us all, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually believes that he is some kind of God-like figure commanding and controlling his people. It is this kind of delusion that worries me about Western leaders. On the world stage David Cameron is a political pygmy who has no influence left in Europe and even less elsewhere. He sincerely believes he has the right to dictate to private companies and individuals, but I think that those days have gone. Having "pulled the plug" on his own constituency it is unlikely that he will get re-elected. The incredible thing is that he has been the author of his own downfall. I can hear the laughter ringing across Westminster all the way to Labour HQ. This has got to be Ed Miliband's birthday! What a gift!
0645 GMT 13/11/2013 Update: Can anyone remember where we put Denmark?
0705 GMT 13/11/2013 Update: Unfortunately for the US Democrats, President Abraham Lincoln was a Republican when he gave the Gettysburg Address in 1863. This is an old political ploy called trying to bask reflected glory. Nice try Democrats, but unlucky.
0830 GMT 13/11/2013 Update: That is not what I call a real bar that President O'Bama walked into, bejesus. It hasn't got a Wurlizter!!! How is Molly these days? It's been a long time!
2115 GMT 13/11/2013 Update: If you are wondering why the aid and rescue mission to the Philippines is just a "tad" behind schedule, then you need go no further and ask David Miliband. If you remember from my earlier blogs David Miliband is the guy who screwed up the UK with his invention of the "Third Way" in politics. I think I remember David Miliband being described as "truly outstanding member of his government" by Tony Blair. The Philippines aid and rescue mission can now be added to his long list of outstanding successes.
In this story a General of Marines explains the logistical problems. Why am I not impressed?
In my army, I would bust the nice General of Marines down to private for the offence of LGBU(Looks Good But Useless). But, what do I know? I am not a Mama's Boy!
0230 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: This another story that tells my that there is something drastically wrong with today's US Marine Corps, either in terms of leadership, methods of operation or equipment. I have seen reports of quite a few of these accidents by the US military in recent years. It has nothing to do with trying to do the job in a hurry, but it has everything to do with poor leadership and even poorer training and maybe wrong equipment.
0300 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: In my opinion, these three TA soldiers were not qualified to be on a SAS selection course in the first place. Therefore, they died on Brecon Beacons, presumably through de-hydration.
The most worrying thing for me is: who thought that these TA soldiers had the required fitness, training and experience to go on the SAS selection course? That is the person who is culpable and I strongly suspect he or she is not in the SAS.
I should point out that looking good on TV is not a qualification for being a soldier, especially for elite forces. The selection criteria must always be: can they do the job? In my limited knowledge and experience as an amateur military observer, elite soldiers who were good at their jobs, were far from being "pretty boys."
0900 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: It is difficult for me to take the aid and rescue mission to the Philippines seriously because, to me, it looks like a PR exercise that has gone disastrously wrong. If it is for real, then the "laid back" approach will ensure maximum casualties and it indicates that the UK and US are now totally incompetent at disaster relief missions.
1000 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: This story is an unusual posture for an extreme Socialist!!!
1945 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: Check out this story. In my opinion, a disaster aid response 7 days later is just not good enough.
2030 GMT 14/11/2013 Update: It is a misnomer to call the robotics Professor Noel Sharkey an expert on UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) otherwise he would know that the Northrop X-47B project ran out of money at the end of September 2013. I suspect the Professor's motives are political rather than by any deep knowledge of military equipment, warfare tactics or strategy or indeed the Geneva Convention as it applies to war. Professor Noel Sharkey researches at the University of Sheffield which tells you all you need to know about his politics. He may even be sponsored by the US government, who are well behind the curve in developing advanced UAVs and they may be trying to kill a technology that they do not have.
Professor Noel Sharkey is on record as saying that we no longer need Mathematics now that we have computers. He is reputedly a master of Spaghetti Code and I doubt that he has any credibility in military circles where he would be referred to as background noise or clutter. Professor Noel Sharkey is a member of this NGO. But this Professor/TV show host has the ear of the government which tells me the government has no idea what it is talking about on the subject of UAVs and has not consulted anyone who is expert in the field of UAVs. Why do I worry?
I have a message for Sri Lanka government: Please keep the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, because he is no use to us in the UK.
0500 GMT 15/11/2012 Update: It will be interesting to know how many people in the world think this story is real or just another fake. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to check the truth of the X-47B story.
The use of armed UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) has been legitimised by the US government but their problem is one of illegal deployment by operating the UAV outside the warzone and/or across international borders. Referring to the new generation of armed UAVs as killer robots is just scaremongering and allows certain academics to claim that they are experts a field of military weapons where they have none.
The latest armed UAVs are very similar to Cruise missiles which are pre-programmed prior to launch with target and navigation information. Any ban on the new generation of UAVs would also apply to Cruise Missiles, ICBMs and a whole range of smaller intelligent missiles. All of which come into the category of Fire and Forget missiles, which is a term being completely misunderstood by commentators who are little more than TV personalities, We could end up by banning the most effective weapons used by Western nations, that have been operational for more than a generation, by so-called expert's injudicious use of the term robot. I would think that the Russians and the Chinese are very enthusiastic about this ban. This is unilateral disarmament in disguise and I bet the same people are involved.
Please save us from all these extreme Socialists for they "know not what they do."
0630 GMT 15/11/2013 Update: The UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, likes to remove British Citizenship/passports even from people who were born in the UK. I know where she can start! This crazy action by the Home Secretary is the reason many of us do not want to live in the UK under what can only be described as an authoritarian regime of Stalinist scope. There is no future in the UK for free-thinkers who believe in unfettered Capitalism or for anyone who believes in basic human rights.
Fortunately, I have a European passport issued by the UK government who does not have the right to withdraw it. Hence the desperate attempt to withdraw from the European Bill of Human Rights. When I leave the UK shortly I expect to be able to travel freely as a law-abiding citizen.
By the way, if you had not heard, Denmark's main exports are bacon and pornographic videos. It is difficult to know which is more tasteless. Apparently they are the world's leading experts in Photoshopping celebrities and other important people. My own visit to Denmark just confirmed everything that I would expect from the most extreme Socialist government in Western Europe whose income tax higher rate is nearly 60% and, even more ridiculous, the Danish rate of VAT at 25% . Pathetic!!!
Danish people epitomise the Socialist hand-out society and are the very antithesis of a Capitalist hand-up society. The Danish people appear to be yet another nation of Mama's boys (and girls) who expect the state to look after their every need. In this respect, they have much in common with the UK and the USA. It is difficult to have the slightest respect for any nation whose general population is not self-reliant. If I am really lucky, I will never have to set foot in Denmark again because I do not believe in mediocrity being the norm.
0830 GMT 15/11/2013 Update: The reason I do not give to the BBC's Children in Need is that unlike other charities it operates in secret, as do many of the activities of the BBC. As far as I know, nobody has seen any audited accounts of the BBC's Children in Need Charity therefore there is no accountancy trail for the many charitable donations by well meaning people from all over the UK and beyond.
The BBC is a publicly owned trust supported by the licence fee payer but much of its internal affairs and finances are a mystery to the general public.This one of the reasons why I believe the celebrity side of the BBC should be spun-off into a private enterprise company where its secret activities would be acceptable. The BBC must ask itself about its celebrity activities because they seem to be getting, what once was a highly respected media organisation throughout the world, into deeper and deeper trouble. It is not acceptable that the BBC behaves like and extension of the NSA operating in secret and defaming everyone who is right of centre in terms of politics.
I am reluctant to pay a TV licence fee to an organisation whose sole purpose in life is to "take down," in political terms, those of us with legitimate views just right of centre as defined by that intellectual politician, Iain Macleod, who was described as "too clever by half by his fellow Tories." The Coalition Government has not restrained the BBC in any way from pushing what I can only call a US government agenda. This has led me to the sad conclusion that the UK government is a mere puppet of the US government, kow-towing to its every wish. For someone who used to be proud to be British this is vomit-making subservience to a foreign power. This leads me to take the view, which many others have long believed, that the UK is merely an adjunct to the USA and the "Special Relationship" is just a one way street. Any relationship has to be based on mutual respect and trust, not dominance and subservience. However, they are not going to dominate me! Got it!
If the USA does not back-off from its dominance of the UK, then ivory will not be the only thing that will be crushed in America!!!
1045 GMT 15/11/2012 Update: This story encapsulates all the worries I have for Science and Engineering in the UK. In my humble opinion, the eminent Professor Brian Cox is an internationally embarrassing celebrity Scientist who is more at home in the TV studio than in the laboratory. I doubt if he knows the difference between ordinary LED and a laser. It would not suprise me to learn that the eminent Professor Brian Cox has just discovered laser pointers that have been in existence for at least a generation. I normally have a great sense of humour but I am unable to laugh at this one.
By the way, we stopped using laser pointers many years ago when PowerPoint provided us with a pointer in the slideshow.
Unfortunately for me, I came across another eminent academic from the eminent Professor Brian Cox's educational institution who tried to ask me a question about SEUs(Single Event Upset) by saying "what does radiation do to electronics?" Quite naturally, I had difficulty understanding exactly what the eminent Professor meant. I have since come to the conclusion that he had the same level of intellect as the equally eminent Professor Brian Cox.
1145 GMT 15/11/2013 Update: It is quite depressing that several of the UK's Universities have had their reputation's trashed on the international stage in recent times by their own eminent academics, who are pursuing a Socialist agenda instead of a Scientific or Engineering agenda.
I ask myself: "when is all this embarrassment going to end for the UK?" These "soft" Scientist/Engineers in the UK actually believe that their US counterparts really know what they are doing!
1215 GMT 15/11/2013 Update: New York has let down the UK yet again. They are sending Banksy back to us just as life was picking up. Apparently, as I have heard from a good source, his latest catchphrase is: "let them eat horsemeat."
0500 GMT 16/11/2013 Update: The US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, has a similar IQ to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, the US President, Barack Obama, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Doesn't that make you feel good?
Being US Ambassador to the UK seemingly involves being "forced" to attend an infinite of number cocktail parties, given by the "Chattering Classes" in London, and taking political advice from as many "crackheads" as possible.
The other interesting thing about the US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, is that he is married to the Jack Daniels heiress while Secretary of State, John Kerry is married to the Heinz heiress. They are known as the "kept men" of American politics. In my youth, I had ambitions of being a "kept man" but, unfortunately for me, there were not many heiresses to be found in the Dog and Duck type of country club that I frequented.
1000 GMT 16/11/2013 Update: I am very wary of this report which states that the UK government would like to filter out pornographic websites with the help of Google and Microsoft. Filtering out pornographic websites is a very worthy ambition but all the tools for this already exist at the user level. My worry is that this is an attempt to censor political opponents by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron because all the Geeks know that tools that filter out pornographic websites can also be used to filter out other websites.
If Google and Microsoft are conspiring with the UK Prime Minister for motives other than filtering pornography then it will be a terminal commercial decision for both companies. There is a school of thought that believes that any high-tech company over 30 years old is at the end of its useful life cycle. Microsoft is already in that category and Google is close behind. It is well known in business circles that companies have to reinvent themselves every generation, but I think both Google and Microsoft are going the wrong way. The thing that will kill Google early is what I believe to be illegal distribution of advertising revenue and, in my opinion, Microsoft is already dead.
Here is a test to see if you are a Real Engineer or not. If you are a Real Engineer then you will understand the joke being played on the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron in the video. If you do not understand the joke then you are what is technically termed a "dipstick." By the way, the Tamil Tigers issue was resolved at least four years ago and everybody had been living together reasonably peacefully, after a terrible civil war......... until the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, arrived on the scene!
1015 GMT 16/11/2013 Update: Using the visible spectrum for a remote control is not the best idea Sony ever had and probably is almost as stupid as using lasers for headlights. Right-first-time design requires engineers who are at the top of their game because it is product recalls that bankrupt companies or at least turn profit into loss. "Soft" Scientists and Engineers are not well suited to Right-first-time design because they do not have the breadth or depth of knowledge to operate in a FF(Fast and Furious) design environment. It is only professional engineers, with appropriate experience, that can operate at this kind of design pace without making fundamental mistakes.
1400 GMT 16/11/2013 Update: The Cincinnati Kid, of Absolutely Legless fame, was overheard in Las Vegas the other day, while he was collecting winnings on the last race at Fairmount Park, as saying "John McCririck taught me all I know about betting on horses." By the way, John McCririck paid the price of being and individual in an age when banal mediocrity is the order of the day. He is now racing correspondent for the Slick Willies Hard Rock Beer & Burger Bar Chain and he is also "financial adviser" to Barney the Rubble" on his betting scam. I bet he is down at Cheltenham today.......winning.
Remember, Absolutely Legless is fiction, it only seems real!
1715 GMT 16/11/2013 Update: This and this are interesting canal features. Enjoy this song from Larry Cunningham.
0830 GMT 17/11/2013 Update: All the surveillance and intimidation in recent years, both in the UK and the US, has reminded me of the name Cam Ranh Bay, but I cannot think why. Perhaps it will come to me later.
0900 GMT 17/11/2013 Update: While we are on the subject of canals here is another wonderful feature namely Camden Village in London.
1215 GMT 24/11/2013 Update: Never mind England. I expect we will pipe the audio live to the Internet for the rest of the Test matches so that the whole world can listen to our delightful friends in Australia. I always find that a good soundtrack adds a great deal of information to the visual image.
1245 GMT 24/11/2013 Update: The appalling BS(Blanket Surveillance) instigated by the US government has virtually destroyed the reputation of that country on the world stage. Another example of disgraceful behaviour of the US Democrats is their circumvention of the democratic process by purchasing Governorships and Senate representation. An example of election overspend is the recent gubernatorial election in Virginia, which now seems to be the norm for the US Democrats.
I have a plan to counter the US Democrat's election overspend tactic. That is to force them to maximise their spending in every constituency thus bankrupting the US Democrat party and their supporters, most of whom are living on borrowed money. This is a win-win strategy because, whatever the election outcome, the US Democrat party will be destroyed both politically and financially.
Political and financial ruin is a fitting end to a political party, the US Democrats, who have trashed the reputation of the USA on so many issues such as BS, economic mismanagement, drone incursion into allied states, abusing the US democratic process by buying representation, allowing drug abuse to become part of everyday life, losing the lead in technology and the degradation of Hollywood in every meaning of the word.
1530 GMT 24/11/2013 Update: If it is any consolation to those members of the US electorate who are dismayed by what their government has done without their permission, the situation is pretty much the same in the UK. All this BS has led to almost everyone in the UK into thinking that they are some kind of half-a**ed secret agents working for GCHQ, spying on their neighbours and reporting perfectly innocent people as potential terrorists. But the strange thing is that nobody is watching the real known terrorists as witnessed by the Boston and Nairobi bombers, who were unknown to the security services.
In the UK, we are now in the situation where people with dubious habits (drinkin', smokin' and snortin') are influencing government policy at every level and also seem to be in control of much of the news media. This situation is unsustainable and will have to change very soon otherwise there will be a brain drain of the best talent left in Science and Engineering, similar to the brain drain of the 1960s. But this time they will be dispersed all over the world and not just to the USA as in the past. We have had a generation when the emphasis has been on the arts and now the UK is heading for Third World status, if we are not very careful. You would think that this economic and technological trajectory of the UK would tell our leaders something, but I fear not.
I would like to give you an example of where we are today, intellectually, in the UK. A generation ago the BBC's Dr Who was considered to be a kiddywinks TV programme. Today it is being lauded as adult entertainment. There have even been lectures at the Royal Society about the so-called Science of Dr Who by eminent professors who do not realise that it is Science Fiction not Science Fact. The sad thing about all this rubbish is that some journalists reported that they were impressed by the Dr Who lectures at the Royal Society. I do not know whether to laugh or cry!!!
Apparently the Dr Who team have just discovered lasers, which have been around since at least the 1980s and can be very dangerous in the hands of the naive and uneducated.
1230 GMT 26/11/2013 Update: What I do not understand about Scottish Independence their wish to rejoin the EU(European Union) after independence has been achieved. They are already members of the EU which is committed to some sort of federalism or political union in the future. I think that that Scotland's problem is with the Westminster government and independence is a method to circumvent Westminster's control.
Many other regions of the UK feel that the Westminster government is London-centric in its thinking and they would like more autonomy, as the latest views from Wales suggest. I also agree that Westminster governments only operate for the benefit of their friends in London, the Home Counties and the South East. The Scottish desire for independence lies in neglect of the regions by the Westminster government over generations.
For those of us who live outside the London area, the last three UK governments are perceived to have been riven with scandal and ineptitude on a scale not seen since the 1960s/1970s. Perhaps it is time to move the UK government away from the undue influence of the London based "Chattering Classes" and their partying culture to a more central location such as Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester. The idea of the relocation of the UK government in not new because was first mooted in the 1960s under similar circumstances.
Another depressing perception by voters in the regions is the poor or non-existent skill-sets of UK MPs(Members of Parliament). It should be a requirement of any prospective MP's selection process that they bring, at the very least, some specialist knowledge and experience to parliament regardless of academic background. Many UK Ministers, in recent years, are perceived as lacking basic knowledge, particularly in area of Science and Technology, which is becoming more important requirement in the Internet era. If these issues had been addressed years ago, when these regional problems emerged, then I think the Scottish independence issue would have gone away.
However, we are where we are today, and I believe Scotland would survive independence but at what level of income nobody can predict. If Scotland does vote for independence, then the remaining regions of the UK will demand more autonomy. The worry for me is that Scotland may be heading in the wrong direction at the wrong time, when it should be addressing its issues with the UK parliament and the EU. Instead Scotland is heading off at a tangent into the unknown.
1345 GMT 26/11/2013 Update: Further to my tirade against the US Democrat party; I really do not need to do anything because they are very successfully burying themselves in the eyes of the US electorate and the rest of the world. Socialists, such as the US Democrats with their below the gutter smear tactics, never learn the old adage that "you cannot throw mud without some of it sticking to your own hands." In the case of of the US Democrats, they have fallen into a very deep hole of their own making together with their subservient UK coalition government over the BS(Blanket Surveillance) issue.
1545 GMT 26/11/2013 Update: Scotlands First Minister, Alex Salmond, is one of those depressingly over-optimistic politicians who actually believe that nothing can go wrong with their plans. These optimists are the same kind of people who practically bankrupted the UK and USA in 2007/8 because they did not have a plan for the worst case scenario. This is the level naivety in planning of all kinds that we have come to expect from UK politicians. Perhaps Alex Salmond can really predict the future. There is a rumour that he has a crystal ball!
0745 GMT 27/11/2013 Update: Here is the Dummies Guide to BS(Blanket Surveillance). It is apparent, to those of us who are online, that privacy is lost concept and BS allows politicians to wrongly accuse their opponents of all sorts of non-existent crimes in a defamation scam. BS also allows governments to steal copyrighted IP(Intellectual Property) from any creative person they do not like. In this poisonous environment, it is no wonder that some people are suggesting that democracy was just a myth anyway. Why? Because no member of any electorate, anyway in the world authorised BS.
The saddest day of my life occurred when I realised that my biggest enemy online was not a criminal hacker, it was my own government. Previously. I had rather foolishly voted this government into power and to whom I pay my taxes, every day in the form of VAT and every month in the form of income tax. My dismay was further compounded when I realised that this astonishing BS policy had probably been instigated by people whose thinking processes were distorted by the abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. Policy in the UK is now been made "on the hoof" by the undue influence people who should be having treatment/rehab and should definitely not be advising/lobbying the most powerful in the land.
1145 GMT 27/11/2013 Update: This is what is called a "bad move" by Widgetbox as it abandons its most professional user-base in PCs(Personal Computer) and laptops. For my part, it is an inconvenience rather than a disaster. It also creates a business opportunity for myself and others in the Geek sector.
Although the PC and laptop market generates little direct income for Widgetbox, it is the wizards in the Geek community, creating Widgets which others can only dream about, that gives Widgetbox it's credibility in the marketplace. The PC and laptop user-base is the R&D of Widgetbox and once this service is withdrawn then Widgetbox will simply "wither on the vine" through lack of innovation. Widgetbox is probably having to bow to pressure from the US global Internet giants who are abusing their monopoly positions, at the end of their useful existence, in order to stay in business.
As reactionary bureaucratic management has gained control of the US based Internet giants, innovation has been replaced by bullying, greed and business malpractice bordering on criminality. This has led me to believe that these Internet monoliths have nothing to offer the world in the 21st Century. Therefore, we have to fend for ourselves and become independent of the US Internet giants. They have become a dark shadow of their former selves as they cut murky, secret surveillance deals with national governments across the world.
0800 GMT 28/11/2013 Update: There is absolutely no correlation between IQ and wealth as Boris Johnson tries to suggest. Some of the wealthiest people on the planet have incredibly low IQs. Wealth is more an accident of ones birth, or about ones connections, rather than anything remotely related to IQ. Boris Johnson is correct about the fact that there is zero social mobility in the UK today and it was probably only transitory in the past. There is nothing new in this information about zero social mobility in the UK. It has all been well documented over many generations.
1630 GMT 30/11/2013 Update: To cheer everyone up; here is a song from South Pacific which tackled many social taboos of the day head on. South Pacific was one of the most successful film musicals ever made and still resonates today. In those days movies used to tried illustrate the social difficulties of their time and they make today's movies seem tame by comparison. Being PC(Politically Correct) is fine, but if it is used to stifle creativity and debate/discussion of difficult subjects then it is counter-productive. Today,In the Heat of the Night would never be made, but the film launched Sidney Poitier's career.
0830 GMT 02/12/2013 Update: More great news for the UK! The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has taken a plane load of officials and businessmen to China, all with a similar IQ to himself. This ought to be good.
Ed Miliband is worried about a race to the bottom on pay. I am sorry to inform the unfortunate Socialist Ed Miliband that we have already raced to the bottom in terms of technology. Therefore, it follows that a race to the bottom in terms of pay is already happening. Perhaps he has not noticed the latest mass redundancies in engineering. If the UK Prime Minister David Cameron does strike a trade deal with China then it is doubtful if it will result in any jobs in the UK. All the R&D money in the UK is being ploughed into Pure Science, rather than Engineering. The result is that the BSR(Blue Skies Research) will not translate to manufacturing jobs in the UK. This renders all those dubious engineering patents filed by UK Universities virtually worthless. The perfect example is Graphene Research which will not benefit the UK in any major way because there are no semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the UK. It is the same scenario as the LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), which was invented in the UK, but was developed and manufactured in the Far East. I believe the inventor of the LCD did not benefit from his outstanding research by one penny.
There is a school of thought that Universities are acting no differently than Patent Trolls, who register all-encompassing and vague engineering patents without any manufacturable demonstrator. Universities and Patent Trolls then seek to use their wealth to enforce their patents through the courts. The rule about patents is that if you do not know how to make a working prototype and are unable to explain the detailed technical functionality of the prototype to the satisfaction of an equivalent expert in that technology, then the patent is invalid. In this context I include Software as a component of engineering.
It is interesting to note that those who are most keen on patents usually have nothing of their own that is worth patenting. Whereas Innovative Engineers know that any patent can be easily broken because the Patent's IP has to be made public . Thus, the best way to protect your IP(Intellectual Property) is to keep moving forward. This ensures that those who are keenest on Patents are always behind the leading edge of technology. Innovative Engineers know that they can always invent something else.
There is a reality check coming for the UK when the government realises that they simply do not have the Engineers to develop and implement all their Pure Science. They will end up giving it away to other countries, such as China, which has happened in the past. The UK has a long history of giving away leading-edge technology to the world, by those people who do not recognise its true value and by some who actually believe that IP should belong to the public. This sort of Socialist attitude to IP inevitably means that the UK continues to slide down the league table in terms of GDP(Gross Domestic Product), Technology and Political Influence on the world stage.
1230 GMT 02/12/2013 Update: Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond's, week just became a thousand times worse. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, regards the SNP(Scottish National Party) as Separatists, inciting his own Basque Separatists to go down the same independence route. Mariano Rajoy is insisting that Scotland reapply for EU membership which, I believe, he will vehemently oppose. The French also are affected by the Basque Separatist movement therefore their support for an independent Scotland's EU membership cannot be guaranteed.
It gets worse for Scotland! By the time Scotland applies for membership of the EU, the rest of the UK may have left the EU under the artless guidance of David Cameron. The rest of the UK, if indeed it had left the EU, would not be in a position to support Scotland's reapplication to the EU at some point in the future.
It seems Alex Salmond cannot predict the future after all and his plans for Scotland after independence are pure guesswork. As some smarta** at the recent Parliamentary Select Committee for Transport stated: "a lot can happen in politics in 24 hours." This was the only sensible remark during the whole of that session of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Transport. The news about the attitude of the Spanish Prime Minister to Scottish independence, combined with the tragic helicopter accident, will make life extremely difficult for Alex Salmond. Why? Because in Scotland, the buck stops with the First Minister on domestic issues.
0330 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: I love live, motivational music and this song by Starship is "Not Bad." It just seems appropriate with all this China business "going down." By the way, it is this kind of music that is ideal for a Karaoke, which is a big part of Far East culture these days. You have to be there to understand the experience. To translate into American culture: it is like "Woodstock" ........... but every night on the way home from work. These "Golden Oldies" or "Blasts from the Past" live on in the Far East, which was one of the reasons that I put together my memories of good music from the past that I enjoyed and much appreciated in some unexpected places.
By the way, this is the original video from Jefferson Starship.
0430 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: I think I have told you previously about all my negative success chatting up women in various bars around the world. "Of all the bars, in all the world, you had to come into this one." This song by Human League just about sums up my failure to understand women. I attribute this failure mode to the fact that I considered my relationship with women to be research. The problem was that the more research I did, the less I understood them.
As an engineer I found women to be emotional, fickle and illogical, which some find endearing, but I found to be a real pain in the a**. "It's life, Jim. But not as we know it!!!"
During my research I gathered data on various chat-up lines. If we consider the worst case first, with a 100% failure rate, it was: "My wife doesn't understand me" which has never worked for anyone, anywhere, except in movies.
Considering the best case, with a 100% success rate (with the caveat that it has been tested only once), this chat-up line was used many years ago by a Yorkshire (UK) miner, at his the local Colliery Club variety night. Apparently he said to his rather buxom dancing partner: "Eeee, you don't sweat much for a fat lass" to which she instantly and rather wittily replied "mine's a pint of lager with a double tequila sunrise chaser." The happy couple were last seen leaving this stunning venue together, hand in hand. This may be a spurious result because I simply do not have enough data to verify the 100% success rate of this chat-up line. I believe that this previously undiscovered chat-up line may owe its undoubted success to the element of surprise. The next time "they let me out" I will try to generate some more data to validate this novel chat-up line concept. It has certainly inspired me to do further research.
0630 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: When you get the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and the US Vice-President, Joe Biden, in the same time zone then I start to worry. These two guys have the attribute of "operating mouth before engaging brain" which really ought to disqualify them from overseas visits.
By the way, I like the Los Angeles class submarine as a potent weapon, but what I do not like is their normal type of deployment which is very stressful for the crew in peacetime. In my opinion, a stressed crew is liable to make mistakes. This type of submarine is more than a generation old and may have vulnerabilities that were unknown when it was originally designed. It is the type of vessel that would be a prime target for COTS(Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) TI(Technology Insertion), if the hull was good for at least another 10 years.
0700 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: Now, this is what I call interesting. With all four of these "players" in the same time zone, then I do expect problems. Life is going to be very tough at the top with all this Long Haul work. But "when going gets tough, the tough get going." Life in the 21st Century is a whole lot harder for all those who think they are major "players."
0715 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: Does anyone actually pay any attention to this unfunny nobody? He has a similar talent the the director of the F&F series, which translates into standard English as Fat & Flatulent. The F&F series director is a "busted flush" with a half finished film. He claims to have invented the phrase Fast & Furious, like many Americans whose main expertise is retro-invention.
It should come as no surprise to those many eminently respectable US citizens, which I met on my several visits, that one day these guys and gals from Washington DC and their friends, who are full of it, would have their bluff called. BS(Blanket Surveillance) was the last straw for me and many others around the world.
1245 GMT 03/12/2013 Update: If the UK economy is recovering, as this report states, then George Osborne has been very lucky because the worst case, for which he had no plan, never happened. We cannot be sure of the recovery until we see three quarter of steady growth, which I make to be June 2014. The problem for the Tory Party is the confused messages it is sending to the voters. The Tories seem to be operating as a left of centre, interventionist party whose members run around like headless chickens trying to direct private enterprise, in addition to their responsibilities in the public sector. To Tories, whose natural inclination is to be right of centre and non-interventionist in the private sector, this is an uncomfortable political stance that probably cannot be sustained in the longer term.
Exactly the same scenario is facing the Tories as occurred at the last Presidential election in the USA. The Republican candidate, whose name I have already forgotten, presented himself to the US electorate as a left of centre Republican and was roundly beaten at the polls. The message is that the electorate, being offered the choice between two left of centre parties, will always choose the genuine one and discard the fake. It was incredible for me to believe that the Tory leader, David Cameron, would follow such a left of centre strategy, for a naturally centre right leaning party, that so clearly failed in the USA. There is little to distinguish the Tories from Labour, therefore the UK General Election outcome will track the last Presidential election in the USA.
Another problem for the Tories is being caused by all this headless chicken behaviour by members of the UK government. The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, appears to zig-zag on almost every aspect of his government's programme with no clear policy being articulated and the recovery, if sustained, is perceived as just a bit of good luck. David Cameron's image is further complicated by his mobile political stance on major principles of policy. No one knows what David Cameron believes in, therefore the electorate are not sure what they are voting for.
I can see a return to the economic situation prior to the recession in 2007/8 at some point in the future, but it is the status quo with none of the fundamental private sector problems being addressed. The UK is over-dependent on the service sector, which in my view does not create wealth but simply parasites on other people's wealth and does not add value. To me, there is a dearth of Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Inventors in the UK with virtually no engineers left to turn the Pure Science Research into added value products, which are the basis of wealth creation. My fear is that a golden opportunity to move the UK forward in terms of technology has been lost and we will return to our old ways, being left further and further behind as other economies grasp the nettle of change and charge forward. It will not affect me very much, but at some point in the future the electorate will realise that they have been duped into exactly the same reactionary agenda that led us to this major recession in the first place.
2040 GMT 04/12/2013 Update: How about this for social comment from UB40 and Paco Banton! Another timeless hit from the guys from Birmingham.......UK.
0700 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: It comes as no surprise to people in the UK that Martin Bashir is not a Christian. I have not been following the story, because of other more important events. The best advice I can give is to please keep Martin Bashir in the USA, where he belongs, together with that other below specification UK export, namely Piers Morgan. In actual fact, Martin Bashir and Piers Morgan would make a good team .............. of sewer rats, which is probably why MSNBC hired them in the first place.
0730 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: I am sure that I am not the only one who thinks that Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond is not up to the job and has probably "lost the plot." The picture in this story distinctly remind me of the UK Labour Party's premature 1992 Sheffield Rally celebration led by Neil Kinnock. The end result was the substantial defeat of Labour at the 1992 General Election quickly followed by Neil Kinnock's dismissal as Labour leader.
Unfortunately for the SNP(Scottish National Party), Alex Salmond is a "canny" Scot who does not need to do his homework on political history. Alex Salmond has always been a bit premature.
Note: I believe "canny" translates into standard English as "daft."
0900 GMT 05/12/2013 Update: Political activists on the left love to make their opponents "eat dirt" or worse, but when you are perceived by the electorate as "defecating" out of your own mouth then you are heading into political oblivion.
A good example is the US President, Barak Obama, believing that he will leave a legacy of "Obamacare" behind to stake his place in history. I sadly have to inform him that, rightly or wrongly, this is not the case. He will be remembered as the man who thought BS(Blanket Surveillance) was a good idea and the man who enslaved future generations of Americans to the "Money Lenders" of today's world by excessive borrowing.
My "beef" with President Obama was originally about economic policy and later about BS, one leading to the other. It had nothing to do with racism because I have exactly the same "beef" with many Republicans, including George W Bush, who were all reckless with OPM(Other People's Money). Regrettably today, surveillance has been massively extended to BS under the US Democratic Party's watch.
The reason that I feel justified commenting on US politics is that the economic prosperity of the USA drives all other Western economies. In addition, I object to the gross misuse of the so-called "Special Relationship" between the UK and the USA, which means that the UK is perceived as simply an extension of the USA in Europe.
If it is any consolation to the good citizens of the USA, all of the above applies equally to the last three UK governments!