Friday, 22 September 2017


Impress Your Friends 30

Well Said

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.
Quotations by unknown authors

Wish we Could Make This...

Image may contain: text

Simply Stated

This is good- from Caveman Circus

People say big corporations don’t pay their share in taxes by using tax loopholes. What exactly are these loopholes?

Lets say I own a large company in the US called XYZ Records America which records and sells music albums online.
You buy an album from me online for $10 (+state taxes which come out of your pocket, not mine). Lets assume that on average it costs me $0.50/album to record and produce the album, $0.50/album to maintain the servers and site, and $1/album in royalties to the artist. For each album, I get $10 in revenue, and have $2 of expenses, for $8 of profit.
Corporate income tax is only paid on the profit my company makes, so I pay the tax rate on $8. Lets assume it’s 25%, which means I’ll have to pay $2 in tax. Now my net profit is only $6.
As a corporation, my primary goal is to increase profits. More profits = more money for me, more expansion for the company, more jobs or better pay for my employees, more charitable donations, etc. No matter what my philosophy is, it’s almost always driven by more profits.
  • $0.50/album goes to recording. Maybe I can negotiate this down, but that means paying my workers less and that wont make them happy.
  • $0.50/album goes to server management. Maybe I can outsource my servers to Asia for a better rate but at a customer service loss.
  • $1.00/album to the artist. Maybe I can skim them for more next album, but they could always sign with someone else.
  • I could also sell the album for more, but then that could hurt sales, and the artist would want more.
  • $2.00/album is taxed. It’s already the biggest factor in my profits, and if I were to shave costs elsewhere, this would go up.
It’s obvious in this example that the most effective way to increase profits is to pay less tax.
So what do I do? I send my accountants on a quest to find an answer, and they come back to me with the information that Ireland’s corporate tax is only 10% instead of the 25% I pay here. So what do I do? Well I could move the company there, but there’s a lot of assets in the US. I don’t want to relocate the studios, servers, etc. I’ll lose business if I do that.
Instead, lets just found XYZ Records Ireland. I’ll structure my brand so that they’re the “Parent Company” of XYZ Records America. All of the licenses XYZ Records America owns, I’ll “sell” to them for $0.01 each. When I record a new album in the U.S. I can immediately sell the rights to XYZ Ireland for $0.01.
Now I still want to sell the albums in the US to the same customers. So when you go to my online store and buy a record from XYZ America, I’ll sell it to you for $10 just the same. You won’t see a difference.
When I do that though, XYZ America will account for:
  • $0.50/album towards recording – this covers the operating expenses for producing the album.
  • $0.50/album towards server management – this keeps the site up and running
  • $1.00/album royalties to the artist
  • and lastly $8.00 in licensing fees paid to XYZ Ireland.
My revenue was $10, my total expenses were $10, “damn, the company didn’t make any money”. No profits to report, and 25% tax on $0 is $0 to pay in tax. I end up paying no tax in America.
I still have to report my income in Ireland though. So per album sold in America, XYZ Ireland’s books look like this:
  • $8.00 revenue from licensing fees (Paid by XYZ America to XYZ Ireland).
  • $0.05 in operating costs to keep XYZ Ireland operating (I have an office to pay rent in, and a few employees there)
XYZ Records Ireland reports $7.95 of profits per album. The tax on that is 10% of $7.95, so I’ll pay $0.795 = $0.80. Net profit is $7.15 per album.
By opening a parent company in Ireland, I can now earn $1.15 extra per album. I pay $0 to the US government in taxes, and I pay less tax overall.
If I sell 1,000,000 albums every year, that’s $2,000,000 that the US Government no longer receives from me, and it’s $1,150,000 of extra profits for the company.

Simpler Times

We used to live here (close by)- shame I can't ever remember it being like this!

C & H

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Viz Bits

Well Said

Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge.
Scott Adams
US cartoonist (1957 - )

News Thump

Beleaguered airline company Ryanair have announced that they’re just going to punch each and every passenger in the face and have done with it.
“Obviously, it is our primary aim to make the lives of our passengers as difficult and unpleasant as possible,” said Ryanair Chief Executive and awful human being Michael O’Leary.
“We need to find a way to streamline our system so that rather than just having these unpredictable cancellations, we can find a simple, easy and predictable way to be dreadful to passengers.
“We thought about installing no flush toilets on our planes or casting some sort of spell over the passengers but as ideas, they seemed a little fanciful.
“So punching them squarely in the face seems like the best course of action all round.”
It is understood that specialised punching staff will be employed at the entrance to all airports serviced by Ryanair in order to punch the optimum number of passengers.
Passengers were resigned to whatever further humiliation and misery Ryanair sees fit to heap on them.
“Being punched in the face you say?” said Simon Williams, a frequent Ryanair flyer who has forgotten what joy is.
“Definitely better than what we’re getting at the moment.”

League Cup Fourth Round Draw

Carabao, to you...

Arsenal v Norwich City

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

Bristol City v Crystal Palace

Chelsea v Everton

Leicester City v Leeds United

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Swansea City v Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United

Ties to be played in the week commencing 23 October, 2017

Can't Believe It

We're going to be in Berlin the weekend after next for my aunt Lisa's 75th birthday.  All the family is coming together, including both daughters with Julia & Jan heading up from Frankfurt and Eva & Kris coming from Sweden.

Jan sent me an email yesterday saying he had managed to score football tickets to go and see his team Hertha BSC, play against the mighty Bayern Munich at the world famous Olympic Stadium.

I can't believe how he managed to swing it but I am so excited and can't wait.  It almost makes up for missing out on Arminia playing when we're in Bielefeld. ­čśŹ


Impress Your Friends 26

Double Lush

Shaz and Dave always get spoiled by their landlady as she pops in almost daily with cake or fruit or some kind of gift.  One of the jars offered was a jar of peaches (from her garden) which they couldn't finish and passed onto us.

We had some yesterday with a vanilla pudding and it was one of the finest desserts I have had in simply ages.  Coupled with my infamous fish finger sandwich and we dined like royalty. Cor, want some more.


Wifey is quite an expert on most things (or so she tells me) and medication is one of them.  Having laboured with my bladder infection for a few days now, she firmly suggested that it was time to crack open the packet and take a course of antibiotics.

Using her bionic foresight she bought several courses prior to leaving Bangkok where such treatment is readily available across the counter without the need of tying up a doctor's time.  And it's all reasonably priced.

Anyway, she lobbed over Norflox 400* and I started yesterday hoping this will take care of it.

*Norflox 400 MG Tablet is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in the urinary tract/bladder and prostate.

C & H

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Viz Bits

Talks About Leaving the EU

I can't abide the childish "-exit" reference bandied about as if we've the IQ of imbeciles and need a rhyming couplet to help us remember the topic.  It's about as fucking idiotic as morons adding "gate" to any kind of controversial subject and then looking smug as if they've done something clever.  Fucktards.

But I digress.

Leaving the Union is constantly in the headlines and dominates the news.  It's got our MPs split and offers them an excuse to act even more disreputably than usual.  I have no idea how many (wo)man hours we have spent on this subject but it has to be enormous and yet we barely seem to be making progress.

My point is, what are we ignoring or forgetting about in the political forum while we concentrate on this hot potato?  How are the other parliamentary responsibilities being catered for?

But Who Throws BEER?

Well Said

What's the point of havin' a rapier wit if I can't use it to stab people?
Jeph JacquesQuestionable Content, #1615, March 2010

News Thump

Ryanair stockholm syndrome
People who book flights on Ryanair having previously flown with them have been diagnosed with a form of Stockholm Syndrome, according to researchers today.
The syndrome is diagnosed by observing a person’s apparent bond to an organisation that repeatedly abuses them.
Psychology Professor Simon Williams told us, “The development of positive feelings toward their abusers, and sympathy for their causes and goals, is common amongst many of the repeat Ryanair customers we have studied.
“They recognise they are being abused, but they see it as part of the role Ryanair must play in getting them a cheap flight. They become happy at the thought of the awful customer service, cramped conditions, and being relentlessly sold overpriced tat while onboard.
“To them, they are ‘in this together’, and the fact that they are being treated horrifically is in some part their own fault.
“It is very much a coping mechanism because their desire to cheaply get where they’re going is more intense than their desire to be treated like a human being – and after a while, they begin to crave that treatment.
“Our studies show that a Ryanair customer forced to fly with British Airways will be left unhappy and agitated, believing that their positive and enjoyable experience is in some way ‘cheating’ on Ryanair.”
Many returning customers have called the study ‘bullshit’.
Sharon Smith told us, “This was done by ‘experts’, wasn’t it? I knew it.
“Look, Ryanair doesn’t hate me. At the very worst they’re indifferent to my well-being. That doesn’t mean they should be open to criticism, and you should all definitely stop being mean to them.
“Now, would I say THAT if I had your bloody silly syndrome?”

Heathrow Express

Found the above caption boasting about the length of travel time from Heathrow to Paddington station.  Wow, just 15 piddly little minutes.

Then you see just how much you are going to get robbed:

TicketSingleReturnCarnet 6 (Bulk/Bundle tickets)Carnet 12 (Bulk/Bundle tickets)
Peak and Off Peak Express Help
Business First Help
Off-Peak Express Single Help
Even the cheapest (?) trip is £22 making that a rate of £88 per hour.  Even a UK plumber doesn't make that and they live in gold houses and ride unicorns to "work".

Seriously, twenty two fucking quid for fifteen minutes?  We pay THB 42 for a similar length journey into the centre of Bangkok- that's well under a single British pound.


Impress Your Friends 17

On a Roll

A stunning victory over Barnsley sees Spurs break the Wembley jinx and we can now relax and never, ever lose at home again for the rest of the season.

Or, a lucky 1 - 0 win over a lower division team sees us squeeze into the next round of the Carabao Cup, with the hope of winning all the chocolate bars a Willy Wonka fan would cry over.

It's not Wembley at fault, we're just shit.

The Hitman's Bodyguard

You know just what to expect from this film.  Humour, action, explosions and plenty of F-bombs.  It doesn't disappoint as Ryan Reynolds is appointed to protect Samuel Jackson, an assassin turned grass.

Good stunts (loved the two wheel stuff which was credible), the main leads work well together and of course you have a cameo from Salma Hayek worth her looks alone.  She must have loved this role as it is so naughty for her to play a good baddie with a mouth like a sewer.

IMBd offers a good write up:

With his reputation in tatters after a painfully unsuccessful delivery of a distinguished Japanese client, former triple-A executive protection agent, Michael Bryce, two long years after the disgraceful incident, is now reduced to a mere second-class bodyguard for hire. Under those circumstances, Bryce would do anything to prove his worth once again, and as a result, it won't be long before he accepts an offer from Interpol to escort the renowned international assassin Darius Kincaid from Manchester to the Hague. The task seems simple: Bryce only needs to transport the contract killer from point A to point B, nevertheless, Kincaid, as the only one with the guts and enough hard evidence to testify against a tyrannical Belarusian dictator, is an obvious target, while the trip to the Netherlands is long and hazardous. Without a doubt, this a race against the clock as the mismatched duo will have to put aside their grudges, in a non-stop concerto for bullets.


As it was easyJet who pulled the flight we were entitled to changing to another day or getting a refund.  We chose the latter and were immediately informed of how much and led through the process, which was easy.

Not what I have been hearing at Ryanair, but if the orange mob can do it, why not the gold and blue?  Nasty bastards.


Yet more woes with flights as we tried to check in on-line and noticed one part of our return flight had been cancelled- the important flight.  Much panic, serious consideration and additional cost resulted in us avoiding Ryanair and using a more reputable (German) company instead.  As said, it's cost an extra ton but we'd rather not take the chance in buying seats with Ryanair and then getting them cancelled.  This will probably be our default action from now on.

Just imagine if many more followed and the impact it would have?  O'Leary would be hard hit and it's about time he gets toppled off his lofty perch.  I used to like the guy for doing his own thing but deep down he really is nowt more than a greedy prick.

Silence is Golden

We got a text from Marco Polo (the airport, not the man; that would have been amazing) saying that Shaz and Dave had arrived, easily got through security (checked in on-line) and only had half an hour's delay.

As "no news is good news" we can only presume they landed safely and are now sunning themselves on the coast of Sunderland.  We can now batten down the hatches and avoid all kinds of alcohol for the next week.

It's been fun guys, but I think we can all do with a break.  My bladder is still well and truly fecked.

C & H

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bish Bosh

Watched the first series of Bosch and loved it.  Then I found the books by Michael Connelly and can't put them down.  If you haven't come across Harry Bosch yet, see the blurb below- I am already on the 4th book in as many weeks.

Harry Bosch Series:
Harry Bosch Background: Born in 1950 in Los Angeles to Marjorie Phillips Lowe. He was named Hieronymus Bosch after the 15th century Dutch artist and nicknamed “Harry.” He became an orphan at 11 when his mother, a prostitute, was murdered. He grew up living in a youth hall and foster homes. He joined the army and did two tours in Vietnam. Harry returned to Los Angeles and joined the LAPD in 1972. He became a detective after five years in patrol.
Books in published order:
The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City Of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004) (sequel to The Poet)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook  (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008) (mostly Mickey Haller)
Nine Dragons (2009)
The Reversal (2010) (mostly Mickey Haller)
The Fifth Witness (2011) (one page brief appearance)
The Drop (2011)
The Black Box (2012)
The Gods of Guilt (2013)  (one page brief appearance)
The Burning Room (2014)
The Crossing (2015)
The Wrong Side Of Goodbye (2016)
Two Kinds Of Truth (coming out in October 2017)

Viz Bits

Well Said

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Hubert H Humphrey
US politician (1911 - 1978)

News Thump

Toys R Us
Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy in the US and everybody is pretending to be sad about that.
The toy giant made the announcement this week, in another sign of the fact that everyone now shops online to save having to mingle with the public.
“Oh, that’s a real shame,” said a half-hearted 31-year-old, Simon Williams.
“I think my parents took me there once or twice as a kid, y’know, before Amazon came along and sold the same products for a lot less money.
“I’m sad about this in the same way I was sad about Woolworths, who I also never bought anything from once the Internet happened.”
“It’s not so much I’m sad about a shop potentially closing down, it’s more that another part of my childhood has died and I struggle to cope with that due to the constant voluntary infantilisation of my generation.”
Toys R Us employee, Jay Cooper, said, “you can all fuck off.
“I’m actually sad as I might lose my job because not enough of you nostalgia-bastards spent any money in our stores this year.
“Although maybe you will pop in for our inevitable closing-down sale. I hope your kids choke on the parts.”

Bionic Rossi

Footballers hang your fairy heads in shame.  Valentino Rossi, who suffered a double leg fracture just 18 days ago climbed onto his bike for a test ride.  Who's going to bet against him from competing at next week's race in Spain (Aragon, 24th September)?

Rossi is currently 4th on the championship, 42 points behind with 5 races to go.  Top, rock hard dude.

1Marc MARQUEZHondaSPA199
2Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiITA199
3Maverick VI├ĹALESYamahaSPA183
4Valentino ROSSIYamahaITA157
5Dani PEDROSAHondaSPA150
6Johann ZARCOYamahaFRA110
7Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiITA95
9Jorge LORENZODucatiSPA90
10Jonas FOLGERYamahaGER84

For each race, Championship points will be awarded on the following scale:

1st place=25 points
2nd place=20 points
3rd place=16 points
4th place=13 points
5th place=11 points
6th place=10 points
7th place=9 points
8th place=8 points
9th place=7 points
10th place=6 points
11th place=5 points
12th place=4 points
13th place=3 points
14th place=2 points
15th place=1 points

Nerf Nonsense

The BBC reports doctors are advising that Nerf darts can cause eye-injury.  Big wow, who'd have thought that?  Kids will be kids and accidents will happen, that's life.  But why make a mountain out of a molehill?  Especially with such horrifying consequences:

"All the patients were examined and treated with eye drops and check-ups after a few weeks showed that their sight had returned to normal."

We have a couple of guns back in Bangkok and while we don't shoot at each other (honest, guv) we find them brilliant for launching a trail of bullets at the TV screen every time you get wound up.  It's a great stress reliever, trust me.

No Bull

Too Much Food

We sadly leave the comfort and laid back ease of Izola next week, yet looking through the cupboards we have enough stocks to last us until the end of the month, at least.  I suspect this is due to us going out far more than expected with our guests over the past fortnight which has left us with a stock pile and the delicious proposition of having to wade through all the goodies or let them go to waist*.

Operation calorie overload to commence immediately, I can't abide letting anything go to waste*.

*[sic]- was a pun for the sharp-eyed.


We have had a flight cancelled and one of the options is to re-book with Ryanair.  Trouble is, they are pulling upwards of 50 flights a day due to their ham-fisted scheduling of pilots' holidays (allegedly) so do we take the chance and get stiffed again, or do we pay double and lessen the odds of disappointment?

Yeah, Ryanair can fuck off.


Cashews are always sold without their shells because the shell contains an oil that can cause a rash similar to poison ivy.

Money for old Rope

You may recall we had a potentially major water problem at our flat and our agents sent a plumber round to check into the issue.  It turned out the concern was outside the property with the mains feed, covered by the water board, which apparently is what the plumber reported.

We just received a bill for £78 for his "services".  All he did was turn up, check a few places and then told the tenant to contact the water board.  That wisdom cost us nigh on £80.

And people wonder why we are so happy we no longer live in the UK?

Aeronautical Roullette

It's bad enough having to get to airports hours before departure to get through hostile security checks and survive being treated as second class citizens without the added grief of not even knowing if your flight will be available.

I find Ryanair's approach to their mess up appalling and their lame excuses even less palatable.  They quote minimal disturbance of just 2% for a better timekeeping record or some such nonsense but that equates to hundreds of thousands of passengers who get stiffed.

The worst of it though is that Ryanair do not have to compensate you for additional bookings that get cancelled such as accommodation, car hire, connecting flights and so on.

I bet if they had to cough for that it would make them reconsider.

By the way, it's not just Ryanair that have contempt for their customers it's pretty much all the airlines that have disregard for their passengers and it needs to stop.

Gentle Night Out

As it was Shaz and Dave's last night with us I dragged myself off my sick bed and we headed out for a spot of dinner, ending up in a very nice place that offered huge portions of calamari and ─ćevap─Źi─çi for not a great deal of money.

The food did me good, the Radlar beer ditto, but it was the company that was the real tonic.  The guys get picked up shortly and we'll be there to wave them off and keep fingers crossed that their flights back to the UK will be on time and stress free.

Looking forward to seeing them again after Christmas in Thailand.

C & H

Monday, 18 September 2017

Viz Bits

This is Delightful

Unique German words that should be available in all languages.  Big ta to The Local for this, had me chuckling throughout the piece:

1. Verabredet
A woman writes in her caldendar. Photo: DPA
Germans don't just agree to meet up at 2pm, and then rely on their mobile phones to explain why they're late. They make utterly clear, unambiguous appointments. And then they describe themselves as "verabredet."
"You are late. We were verabredet. I am simply not understanding this." It's an adjective that defines a whole culture.

2. Fahne
A man takes a nap after a few too many beers in Cologne. Photo: DPA
This does not just mean flag. It's also the special type of flag that flutters in your face and stings your eyes when a drunkard tells you he always loved her, you know, honestly, really loved her, despite how it looks. "Please wave that Fahne somewhere else."

3. Drachenfutter
Roses. Photo: DPA
You've stayed out late and you weren't supposed to. Your wife has put the kids to bed, made your dinner, and given it to the dog. What you need is Drachenfutter - a gift that will, literally, feed the dragon, outmoded sexist interpretations of gender roles notwithstanding.
"Oh no, I hope the late-night shop is open. I'm absolutely off my face and I need some Drachenfutter."

4. Kummerspeck
Photo: DPA
The English have "comfort food," but the ever-thorough Germans have taken that concept to its obvious biological conclusion. Kummerspeck, literally "sorrow bacon," is the extra bulges that develop once you've consumed too much comfort.
"Is that Kummerspeck, or are you just pleased to see me?"

5. Fremdsch├Ąmen
PFile photo: DPA
This is a truly vital word, missing from English, and indeed every language in the world (probably) - except German. It means to be ashamed FOR someone else. How often have you wanted to express that feeling in one neat, perfect word?
"Yes, I was very fremdgesch├Ąmt when Donald Trump got the date of the US election wrong."

6. Rabenmutter
A T.V. show depicting a mother who pushes her children into show-business. Photo: DPA/ARTE
In keeping with their 19th century image of family roles, Germans have a special word for a bad mum. It literally means "raven mother". Apparently baby ravens in the wild eat nothing but ketchup and are allowed to play with scissors.
"Look, that child has not got a hat on and it's below 20 degrees Celsius. What a Rabenmutter."

7. Pechvogel/Gl├╝ckspilz
Mushrooms Photo: DPA
In the Germans' skewed image of the universe, the bird, soaring free through the sky, is an unlucky beast, but to be a mushroom is a fate associated with good fortune. It's fun to be a fungi.
"Oh no, my fungi has ceased to grow. I am such a Pechvogel." 
Pech means bad luck and Gl├╝ck is good luck. See if you can work the rest out yourselves.

8. Quergeb├Ąude
Photo: DPA
Germans, it turns out, have specific names for different parts of a building, largely because of the structure of blocks of flats in Germany. There's a Vorderhaus (front bit), a Seitenfl├╝gel (side bit), a Hinterhof (back bit) and something called a Quergeb├Ąude, which is, erm, the across bit. Quer means across, and can also be used as in the wonderfully literal term querlegen - to obstruct.

9. Handschuhschneeballwerfer
A glove-wearing snowball thrower in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA
Everyone hates the coward willing to criticize and abuse from a safe distance. The Germans equate that person with the lowest of the low: the one who wears gloves when throwing snowballs. As far as they're concerned, a snowball fight is not a snowball fight until someone gets frostbite.

10. Treppenwitz
Stairs in the foyer of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. Photo: DPA
Another wonderful German word, for a bittersweet situation familiar to everyone on the planet. The Treppenwitz, literally "stair-joke," is the brilliant comeback you think of when you're already out of the door and halfway down the stairs.
"And you, sir, are a prick! Ach! If only I'd thought of that at the time!"

11. Verschlimmbessern
Photo: DPA
There's being ham-fisted, or putting your foot in it, or there's just plain clumsiness, but in German there's the very specific act of verschlimmbessern, which is when you make something worse in the very act of trying to improve it.
"Oh no, that extra piece of cheesecake, far from being nutritious, has just verschlimmbessert my digestive tract."

12. Radfahrer
Cyclists in G├Âttingen, Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA
This is a deceptively simple word that weirdly hints at Germans' darkest perversion. It just means cyclist, but in some German circles it refers to an employee who sucks up to his superiors while treading on his inferiors, thus imitating the posture of a cyclist. Not literally. That would be truly horrid.