Friday, 29 April 2011

That's Yer Lot

We've reached yet another milestone on this Blog which sees us nail exactly 1 111 posts in one month.  I am aware we still have one day to go before May begins, but it's a memorable number (and 1 has always been my lucky number anyway), so we're stopping a day early and taking tomorrow off.

We haven't forgotten our final batch of "Gotta Do This" posts nor a few suggestions of our own, but I really can't ever see us reaching over eleven hundred posts ever again and so want to leave it at that.

So, "Happy Freebie off Work" day to you all and don't forget you've got another day off on Monday as it's Mayday in the UK.  We'll see you in the new month, the day after tomorrow, which also happens top be our 61st of the tour.  :o)

Money Well Spent

A hospital axing staff and wards has spent more than £27 000 on changing its name.  Croydon University Hospital, formerly known as Mayday, used the funds to rebrand itself.

The bulk of the cash was spent on new signs and road directions while hundreds of pounds went on notifying patients of the change.

The £27,659 spend comes as Croydn Health Services Trust, which runs the hospital, announced it will axe 200 jobs this year and it will also close four wards by 2014 as it looks to save £34.7 million over the next three years.

Priorities, eh?

Sorry, For Blue Bus Users

Palindromes are words or phrases that read the same in both directions, such as:

  • Do geese see God? 
  • Murder for a jar of red rum.  
  • Never odd or even. 
Happy now?

Palindromes

There are exactly six palindromes, using common English words, that contain the letter "Q".

I wish they had listed them, I can't think of one.

Dilbert

The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

Woe is Them

Brent council has been accused of conning residents into getting parking fines after it failed to send reminder notices to permit holders.  They usually send residents a letter to notify them that their permits are due to expire along with a renewal form, but last month they failed to do so, leading to scores of residents being fined because they forgot to renew their permits.

Bosses admitted they made the mistake after undergoing "an unfortunate computer glitch", but have refused to refund residents who were fined.  They say the reminder letters are only sent "out of courtesy".  Motorists claim the move is a con to make thousands of pounds from car owners who pay up to £200 a year to park.

Once again a prime example of how the UK is becoming (has already become) a land where no one accepts responsibility for themselves.  Who's at fault here?  The vehicle owners; it's entirely their own responsibility but as ever, they look for someone to point the finger of blame at.

Serves you right- perhaps next year you won't be so stupid.

Part Time Plod

A burd Dibble who was off sick for an average of 120 days a year has resigned, after she took a total of 848 days off sick from her job at Belgravia Plod shop.

She claimed that racist abuse from Met Fuzz colleagues made her unwell and was signed off with depression and stress, but she did not take her case to an employment tribunal and disciplinary proceedings were eventually launched against her.

It was found that she had worked 327 days out of potential 1 175 since 2006.

What was that about Brits taking the most duvet days (see archives recently)?  No wonder, if this is how bosses allow such appalling behaviour to continue.

Keystone Koppen

A woman in Germany who was attacked by a pit bull dog, managed to escaped without serious injury- until the Bulls attending the attack accidentally shot her.

Die Rozzers had apparently been called to the incident in Berlin when neighbours heard the cried of a resident who was being bitten on her leg by the dog, but by the time they arrived the woman was already back in her own apartment.  They tried to take the dog but couldn't subdue it and so they took the decision to shoot it.

One bullet ricocheted hitting a responding Dibble, while another bullet smashed through the apartment and hit the woman who'd just been savaged.

The unlucky woman was taken to hospital and received treatment for minor injuries.

German efficiency, eh?  :o)

Tripod

Three legged dogs suffer less arthritis than their four-legged brethren.

I'd love to know their interview techniques.

Blatant Set Up

Birth Certificate for Hairpiece



President Obama this morning launched an attack on gaudy television monstrosity Donald Trump, by asking for documentary evidence that his hair is both real, and of American origin.

As Trump continued to question the authenticity of Obama’s presidential status by suggesting he’s not clever enough to be in the White House, the President issued a stinging rebuke of his own.

Obama told the White House press corp, “If Donald Trump truly has nothing to hide, then let him show the public exactly what sits atop his head.”

“Anyone considering running for president must be open to the sort follicular scrutiny that I am subjecting him to.”

“There are a growing number of Americans that believe Donald Trump’s hair originated in an Eastern European laboratory, and it is up to him to convince us otherwise.”

“That hair is not American, I don’t mind if it’s Canadian or British or whatever. What concerns me most is that it may not even be human.”

Donald Trump has responded the accusation, stating that any suggestion his hair is un-American is entirely absurd.

Trump told reporters, “This is ridiculous. My hair is as American as I am, if not more so. Most people have hair that is the genetic result of the efforts of just two Americans – at most – but mine is the result of teams of Americans and many years of research.”

Obama insisted words were meaningless, and that documentary evidence would be needed before the country could truly believe his hair is American.

The President continued, “I’m willing to forget about this whole issue if Mr Trump just shows a receipt to prove that the wig was bought on American soil and was produced from American livestock.”

“And of course, it would ease a lot of our concerns if it has the authenticity of the hallmark that says ‘US of Toupée’.”

Most Americans, however, remain less convinced of whereabouts of their President’s birthplace than they are of the whereabouts of Donald Trump’s hairline.

NT

One For Wifey- Part Two



The imminent launch of MTV’s reality entertainment show ‘Geordie Shore’ looks set to re-open the Eugenics debate at dinner tables across the country.

The programme will follow the adventures of several image-obsessed borderline simpletons as they go about their daily lives in the cosmopolitan metropolis that is Newcastle Upon Tyne.

With promotional materials already beginning to surface, many television owners have pleaded with the nation’s lawmakers for a free and open debate on the potential benefits of eugenics.

One pro-eugenics supporters told us, “I’m not saying that forcefully removing some people from the gene pool is always a good thing, but even a cursory glance at the promotional trailers for this show would convince anyone that these people should never, ever be allowed to replicate themselves.”

“A small trial in the north-east could prove the benefits quite quickly.”

“We could tell the men we’re giving them penis enlargements, they’d go for that, definitely. A little snip and we’re all done. No more Geordie Shore babies.”

MTV spokesperson Shane Williams told us, “We’re excited about the launch, definitely. With the likes of My Sweet 16 and Teen Mom, MTV is committed to ensuring international fame for the most morally reprehensible human beings that we can find.”

“And let me say this, I really think that we’ve outdone ourselves this time.”

“Think The Only Way is Essex, but without all the cultural refinement.”

The Geordie Shore effect is already rippling through police society, with previously liberal middle-classes calling for an urgent eugenics review.

Office worker Jane Matthews told us, “Every fibre of my being screams that tinkering with the genetic make-up of our society is wrong, but that thirty second trailer convinced me that these people can not be allowed to pass on their genetic material. Humankind is at stake.”

“If we stand by and let Geordie Shore happen unhindered, the history books will not look upon us favourably, I assure you.”
NT

Are We Done Yet?

As reported cases of Royal Wedding fever continue to rise, the sane minority that remain in the world are demanding that a vaccination be developed to protect them from the debilitating disease.

The illness was originally only spread through contact with infected rags such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express but in recent weeks the virus has mutated.

The newer, more contagious strain of Royal Wedding fever is now also transmitted by the airwaves used by television and radio, leading to calls for a vaccination to be developed and distributed before it is too late.

“We understand that people are rightly concerned,” leading virologist Dr Graeme Leonard told reporters, “as this looks like it could overtake Bieber Fever as the biggest pandemic since the Black Death.”

“At first we had great difficulty identifying the cause of the disease because it presents different kinds of dementia among different groups of people.”

“In some sad cases, it causes an extreme euphoria, with an overwhelming desire to sleep rough in Westminster and an intention to wave a flag at a couple of people who will not in all likelihood even notice that they are there.”

Dr Leonard continued, “But in other cases it can cause an extreme rage, similar to that seen in rabies victims,”

“Which can cause affected people to bite the head off anyone mentioning the words ‘royal’ or ‘wedding’, quite literally in many cases.”

Researchers are now certain that both conditions are caused by the same bacterium, known as the Middletonium, and hope to be distributing a vaccination before the entire planet loses its grip on reality in the next 24 hours.

In the meantime, people wishing to protect themselves from exposure to Royal Wedding Fever have been advised to lock themselves indoors, preferably in a custom-built panic room, located in Hull.

NT

How We Chortled

Checked the schedule on HBO for the filums on later during the day yesterday and fancied one of them due to start a bit later.  Began watching something else to fill in the time and switched back a few minutes before it was due to start and it had already begun.

Then realised that I hadn't re-set the region after the lappie crashed (d'oh) and it had defaulted back to Singapore.  Yip, we're an hour behind in Cambodia so I had missed the first hour...

Want Fries With That?

79% of American college students believe that the French fought against the Native Americans in the French and Indian War.

New Hit Counter Site

Managed to find EZWebsiteCounter.com and the results are quite pleasing.  Had to "guesstimate" our original total but based it on an average of 10 000 hits per month (we used to be in excess of that at some point) and taken the new month's date to fill in the rest.

Anyway, we're back in business.  :o)

Don't You Just Hate It?

When you've set something up and have been using it without fail for years and then all of a sudden, poof, it stops working.  Our "hit counter(s)" have disappeared and when I've tried to find the site I took them from, it's an entirely new web page and the original is no longer listed.  Why do they do that?

Aircraft Detection Before Radar.

Fascinating pictures of old time acoustic hearing aids- how air attacks were detected before radar.  Cheers, Au P.


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One for Wifey

KENNY Dalglish has confirmed that Andy Carroll is still not a certainty to face a sea of confused-feeling Geordies this Sunday.

Image
Eyes like swirling brown pools
The shire-striker left Newcastle for £35M in the January transfer window, in a deal that made thousands of potbellied men feel upset in a way they could neither adequately define nor express publicly.

Footballologist Wayne Hayes said “Many Newcastle fans will have felt betrayed and jilted by his departure, followed by the awkward need to do some DIY immediately to stop their stomach churning in quite so disconcerting a fashion.

“Seeing him run out in a Liverpool shirt will be like watching the mother of their kids walk into their local pub wearing a coat some other bloke bought them.

“This is assuming their ex is six foot three and built like a tattooed wardrobe made out of meat, but given they're from Newcastle I think that's a fair assumption.”

Carroll will be put through through some light man-crush training today by listening to a group of heterosexual men discuss how much they like the programmes of Professor Brian Cox.

If he comes through unscathed, Carroll will be more rigorously tested by sitting in a crowd of football fans watching slow-motion footage of Fernando Torres exchanging shirts at the end of a match to a soundtrack of Donna Summer's
Love To Love You Baby.

Hayes said “It's easy to put this down to working-class men mistaking affection for complicated sexual feelings when a player leaves, but if they felt this way when Peter Beardsley left, something's definitely wrong here.”


DMash

Friday, 29th April 2011

ACROSS the country, British people are readying themselves for a once-in-a-lifetime fridge-cleaning moment.

Image
We can make this better
There are few occasions in an everyday working person's existence when they seriously consider getting all the crud out of the fridge, putting the really rank stuff into a plastic bag, and then giving it a really thorough wipe down with a bottle of squirty cleaner.

Perhaps even removing the particularly scuzzy see-through drawers, and leaving them to soak in the sink.

For most of us, simply ordinary folk whose lives are seldom touched by mouldy onions and multiple jars of out-of-date curry paste, the days when doing all this seems appealing are very few, and so very far between.

But this Friday is one of those days.

It is a moment in history when a nation united by not being at work and a lack of normal television will stand up, chests inflated with pride, and say 'I might as well have a go at the fridge. Does nan want a cup of tea while I'm up?'

Remember it well, that you might share with future generations the fond memory of its cleaning-based magic.

Plumber Stephen Malley, just an ordinary honest, working family man from Tunbridge Wells, said: “It's funny, I never thought of fridge cleaning as something that was relevant to my life. I guess you'd call me a white goods hygiene refusenik.

"But there's something unique and very special about this Friday that has spoken to me on a very human level and made me go and buy some scourers."

He continued: “I will remove items including the mozzarella ball I bought nine months ago with the vague aspiration of making a nice salad, the old leeks that are starting to decompose, and the tub of Utterly Butterly that for some reason no one has ever thrown away despite it very evidently being empty.

"I will do this, and then I will use hot water and chemicals to make the inside of the fridge good again.

"And I will feel proud.”

He added: “I might even have a go at the oven.”


DMash

Lucky Days

The average Nigerian with an email account gets 4 emails per year indicating that he or she is eligible to receive a large sum of money.

I Need These?

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Apparently:




As this is world of computers, everyone is using internet in any field he is in. Browsers are playing an important role in boosting up the use of internet more easily. Everyone wants more ease in using internet, so in this scenario more and more browsers along with their new versions are coming on the forefront. Likewise Firefox 4.0, a new version of Mozilla Firefox has been released on March 22nd, 2011.
This new major release is going to sport lots of new features including its vigorously changing stop/refresh/home button next to enhanced HTML5 and JavaScript support and it will definitely break a great deal of stuff we need today. So it won’t be insignificant to upgrade most add-ons to support it. Today I am going to discuss the great 10 add-ons to enhance your Firefox browsing experience.

Start Faster 0.2

This add-on is so interesting that once you restart the windows, it goes around the Windows features to load Firefox faster. ‘Faster Firefox’ shortcut has also been added to the Desktop which starts Firefox up to 2x quicker than without this add-on.


Personal Menu (Personal Firefox Button)

This is such a great add on that allows you to edit the Firefox Menu and change it to your personal and powerful one. It provides you a couple of new supportive items that are available to be put into Firefox Menu like Bookmark Items, Configuration, History Items, Restart. Besides that, toolbar-box, split-menus and sub-menus to organize your Firefox Menu can also be created.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Mozilla Labs: Prospector – Home Dash

By using this Mozilla Lab add on, you can the entire window to the web content by removing the typical location bar, search bar, and tabs. It helps users to find top sites, tabs, history, and do web search by enabling the search functionality in a dashboard.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Quick Search Bar

Instead of the dropdown menu, this Quick Search Bar add on places the search engine buttons inside the searchbar just to enhance the usability if you use more than one search engine.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Find All

Find All add on adds a find bar button through which you’ll be allowed to search for a word or phrase on a web page. And the results are displayed in an easy to view list. The total number of results found are also displayed by using this add on.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Barlesque

Barlesque is a wonderful extension for Mozilla Firefox 4 that reclaims useful window space by breaking up the wide grey add-on bar into a neat set of add-on buttons. This extension is in Firefox 4 only, as add-on bar is a new trait.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser Tab Badge

To alert you to new messages on Facebook, this add on adds a small badge to your tabs. When the tabs are pinned, the badge is also visible so you can see when there’s something new available.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

GReader Panel

GReader Panel add on can display mobile Google Reader in a panel.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

TabGroups Menu

This add on is used to a menu which displays all tabs grouped by tabgroups to the menu bar and to the tabview button if the menu bar is hidden.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Status-4-Evar

To give you more control on the built-in Firefox features, this add on has brought back some of the old status bar items. In this way, you can enjoy both new and old features.

The 10 Excellent Firefox 4 Add-Ons To Enhance The Way you Use Your Browser

Ah, the Memories


10 Board Games That Take Forever to Beat

1. Monopoly
We have no idea why people routinely forget the simple fact that Monopoly is fun for the first 30 minutes and horrible for the following 90. Why? Because the first 30 minutes is when everyone scoots around the board building their empire. The following 90 is spent playing landlord with your friends. And if you’ve ever had a landlord, you know it’s a joyless existence from which there is no escape but death (or bankruptcy).
2. Risk
What’s the bigger risk: attacking your enemy’s superior army in Asia or suggesting a three-hour long board game to your friends? We think it’s the latter, especially considering the only reason anyone wins is because of shrewd tactics and lucky die*. It’s one of those games that everyone feels horrible having played. After the final army has been defeated, everyone needs a little alone time. “Okay, I failed at conquering the world, yet again. I’m going to go read a book in the next room.”
3. Trivial Pursuit from Any Year but the Last
Trivial Pursuit is America’s trivia game of choice. We have no complaints about the format. It’s super rewarding sticking those pie pieces in (when they aren’t stuck). Our problem is inherent to trivia games — the questions are invariably going to be out of date a year after the game comes out. Have you ever opened someone’s closet and seen ten copies of Trivial Pursuit from ten different years? Of course not. After the first one becomes redundant, we wise up and buy games that don’t go stale in record time. For example…
4. Blood Feud in New York
What’s that? You’ve never played Blood Feud in New York? Then you haven’t really lived! (No one has played this game.) Blood Feud in New York, or BFiNY as we like to call it, is one of those games that if you walked in on people playing, you’d think they were building a model Millenium Falcon. There are so many pieces and so many instructions that 90% of the game time is spent explaining and debating. If your idea of a good time is telling everyone to just shut up for one second while you look up a rule, then BFiNY is the game for you. You’ll become a Made Man before you get a room full of your friends to play this disaster of a game.
5. The Settlers of Catan
The great thing about Settlers of Catan is that you can make it about as long or short as you want. Of course the shortest version of the game is still about an hour and a half, but at least there’s some flexibility! The reason it takes so long is that the people of Catan are a peaceable sort. They don’t go to war with one another. They’re the most passive-aggressive pilgrims that have ever run ashore. At the two-hour mark, you’re going to wish for at least one of your townspeople to lose their mind and start burning down cities.
6. Scene It!
No thanks!
7. Descent: Journeys in the Dark
If the reason you’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons is because it requires you to think about things that don’t exist, fret not! Descent: Journeys in the Dark is pretty much the same thing, only it requires about 80% less imagination. Four adventurers take on the roles of wizards, barbarians and rogues as they do battle with another player (don’t say dungeon master) who controls all the monsters in… the dungeon. It’s a big, expensive undertaking that – unlike DnD – can’t be cleared off the kitchen table in under 5 if your girlfriend is coming home from work early.
8. Titan
Now here’s a game that shouldn’t be suggested in polite company. Titan was crafted back in the 80’s when America was going through boom times and people had nothing better to do than snort coke and imagine themselves as a Sauron-like figure moving bands of trolls and ogres around the land. The game itself is incredibly fun – and it can be short if your Titan is eliminated early on – but most of the time you might as well buckle in for four plus hours of unicorn-thumping.
9. Mouse Trap
The titular mouse trap is crafted while the game goes on, which means this game shouldn’t take more than a half hour… in theory. Life never seems to go as we plan it, though. The trap pieces never fit together the way we want them to, and more often than not, there’s an essential component missing altogether. So Mouse Trap becomes the Let’s Look Through All the Other Boxes in the Closet to Find the Missing Piece game – which can become a frustrating hour and a half in which everyone comes out a loser.
10. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is pretty much the same game as Settlers of Catan, it just happens to take place in a real country. By the time you’re done with it, you’ll wish you’d skipped the game altogether and just gotten drunk on piña coladas with your friends.
Haywire 

*Erm, not wanting to be picky but it's one die, two dice.  The plural is not die, it's dice- die is singular.  Other than that, nice list.

The Top Entrepreneurs of the Last 100 Years

The Top Entrepreneurs of the Last 100 Years (Infographic)

Olympic Lottery

I have no idea for the reasoning behind this method of applying for tickets, but if people had boycotted it, I'm fairly sure there would have been a massive "U" turn.  Each and every time there is an opportunity for the little guys to make a point, they bottle it, so more fool them.  From the BBC:


Entries for the London 2012 Olympics lottery have closed, and it's clear some people have gone for many events to avoid drawing a blank. But if they get everything could they be left with a bill of thousands?

Right. The 100m with Usain Bolt. Click. And the opening ceremony. Click. Tom Daley diving and Victoria Pendleton cycling. Click click.

Lots of people will also be applying for these events, so how about adding, um, the canoe slalom preliminary rounds? Click. The men's shot put - at least I'll be in the stadium. Click. Click click. Click.

With the final bill only defined by the outcome of next month's lottery for oversubscribed events, it's all too easy to get carried away.

And when payment is taken next month, some will be in for a nasty surprise if they've won more than expected. Nor will they know for which events until 24 June, and they won't be able to offload unwanted tickets until the official resale portal opens in early 2012.

The organisers insist that, throughout the process, they have urged the public to only bid what they can afford. But anecdotal accounts suggest many risk overstretching themselves.

One person worried about this is Ruth, who has applied for £22,000 worth of tickets.

"What my husband decided was the chances of getting tickets would be low, so we applied to get our 20 lots, and he got his sister to do it and his dad to do it. So we've applied for all these tickets using up three people's quotas," she told BBC Radio 5 live.

Carried away to the tune of £4,500

Athletics fan Cameron Duncan, who lives in London, is desperate to see the 100m but has also applied for tennis, gymnastics, diving and boxing.

"I had a rough plan of what I wanted to buy, but I did get carried away. I bought back-ups for each event but they're not really back-ups as you could get them all. I also went for a wider price range than I envisioned.

"I was a bit shocked at the end when I totted up what I'd put myself down for. It was an escalation though - as I went along I kept thinking 'oh it doesn't matter, just go for it' and it built up along the way."

He plans to resell any duplicate tickets he gets, and will get family and friends to take any spares.


"We're a family of four so we've applied for about 240 tickets. We're just really hoping that we won't get them all."

The ticketing system is akin to reverse gambling, says Matt Bath, the technology editor at Which?  "People bet big and hope to win small."

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London Organising Committee, says most people have been "generally sensible" about their ticket buying. "We have made it clear from the beginning that you should only apply for and budget for the tickets you can afford, and I think that's what people have generally done."

Dinesh Ranasinghe, from London, says he did not get carried away, despite applying for £20,000 worth of tickets.

"It was very well planned, I have spread the money across seven credit cards with the majority on two interest free credit cards so I will not have to pay interest. I did know what I was getting into and I have carefully planned my finance around it."

He admits he cannot actually remember how many tickets he has tried for but has applied for sessions more than once to increase the chance of getting tickets as his "worst case scenario" would be to get no tickets for the "dream show".

"I have carefully planned for 'getting all' as we can re-sell tickets via the dedicated Olympics web next year I think I would be able to survive... also, my friends have shown great interest to join me if I win more than required."

Consumer organisations have some concerns.

Winning the 'lottery' 


Fans find out what tickets they have by 24 June
Prices range from £20 to £2,012 per event
The top fee is for the opening ceremony, with up to £725 for the 100m final and £50-£325 for track cycling finals
People have been limited to 20 events each
Ticket sales could raise £400m
The resale portal opens at start of 2012
Unsold tickets will have further ballots
Some high-profile events could have more tickets released as capacities are finalised


"I would say that everyone I've spoken to, it's been the morning after the night before. They've all got an Olympic tickets hangover," says Bath. "That's the thing with lotteries, people tend to bet more than they can afford. We're hearing stories of people putting down £2,000, £3,000, even £5,000. If they win them all, I think they're going to be in for a massive shock."

Many say they became caught up in the Olympic spirit. After applying for events they'd particularly like to attend, they worry that they might not get these tickets, and add less popular events.

"But these are less likely to be oversubscribed, and they are more likely to get tickets for those events," says Bath. And it won't be until 2012 that they can start getting rid of them.

It's "mood" spending, says former bank manager Brian Capon, of the British Bankers' Association.

"The excitement, anticipation and desire to be part of one of the greatest international sporting events in the world focuses people's mind on the goal rather than the consequences."

Tickets were sold via a lottery system for the Games in Beijing and Athens too, but with one crucial difference. People were told which events they'd been allocated before having to pay for the tickets.

This will be our summer holiday

Peter Day from Camberley knew exactly how much he was willing to spend - £2,500.

"We have decided this is about the same price as a fortnight for four in Spain so it will be our holiday for next year. We're going to the Olympics instead."

"My family and I sat down and worked out which tickets we wanted, decided on a price and worked out the total before submitting our entry."

"We used spreadsheets to decide which tickets to buy and at what price. We have avoided the cheapest tickets so we hope to stand a better chance of getting what we have applied for."

"That's why some events were so poorly attended," says Bath. "The 2012 system has been created to encourage people to opt for as many tickets as possible. By taking the money first - and making the tickets only resellable through the official portal - people are committing to attend. That's good news for the organising committee."

There has been plenty of advice about the ticket buying process, but there has also been a lot of confusion - not least because the payment-first system is unfamiliar.

"I've had people saying they had no idea they couldn't sell their unwanted tickets," says Bath. "It may be that the Olympic committee has not been as clear as they think they've been. And people get caught up in the enthusiasm."

For those in line for a hefty credit card bill, is there any recourse?

"No. The terms and conditions are all there," says Bath. "The only thing you can do is make sure you've got the overdraft limit or the cash in your account to cover it. That, and hold on to any unwanted tickets and really hope you can find a buyer for them once the resale portal reopens."

In the meantime, he says, that money will apparently be gathering interest in the organisers' account. But the organisers insist that this is the right way to sell tickets. "We looked at all sorts of different ways to do this," says Deighton. "This was the fairest possible way for giving people a chance to apply for all the tickets they might want to think about it in terms of their budgets and assess their own probabilities of getting them.

Concerning

We;re off to Morocco for the first time later this year if all goes well.  This however is not what we are hoping to experience.  From the BBC:


A bomb attack in the main square of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh has killed 15 people, at least 10 of them foreigners, officials say.

The blast wrecked the Argana cafe in Djemaa el-Fna square, a popular tourist spot. At least 20 people were injured.

The nationalities of those killed were unclear but French news agency AFP said six were French and three Moroccan.

The last major attack in Morocco was in Casablanca in 2003, when 45 people, including suicide bombers, were killed. 'Cruel and cowardly'

Moroccan government spokesman Khalid Naciri told French television that Thursday's casualties involved a number of nationalities but he would not confirm any as yet.

The interior ministry discounted initial suggestions the blast could have been a gas explosion.

"We worked... on the hypothesis that this could... be accidental. But initial results of the investigation confirm that we are confronted with a true criminal act," he said.

Mr Naciri later said that "terrorists" were behind the attack but added that it was "too soon" to give more details.

Medical sources quoted by AFP said at least five of the foreigners killed were women, but this has not been independently confirmed.

The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned the attack as "cruel and cowardly".

King Mohammed VI has ordered a "speedy and transparent inquiry" into the blast and demanded the public be informed of the results, a royal communique said.

Witnesses described hearing a huge explosion that sent debris flying into the air. 




Briton Hugo Somersham-Jones told the BBC he was at his Marrakesh home, close to the square, when he heard the blast.

"It sounded like a bomb. I went outside and saw smoke and got to the cafe and saw falling masonry. I came out to the main square and saw the first floor of the cafe in ruins.

"People had fire extinguishers, trying to put out the fire, and others were pulling people out from the building - it was pretty bad."

Mr Somersham-Jones, a hotel owner who has been running his business in Marrakesh for six years, said the square was the main area where people congregate and that there had been a deadly gas explosion last year.

Portuguese tourist Alexandre Carvalho told the Associated Press news agency he had seen injured people being carried away.

"I believe the injured were mostly tourists, judging by what they were wearing," he said.

A Marrakesh official quoted by AFP said the explosion "could have been the work of a suicide bomber" adding: "We found nails in one of the bodies."

The UK Foreign Office said consular staff had been deployed to offer assistance to any British nationals.

It said it was also aware of reports in French newspaper Le Figaro that one of the dead was British but could not verify the information.

The Foreign Office has advised UK nationals to stay away from the square.

Djemaa el-Fna square is a Unesco World Heritage site and is popular with foreign tourists, particularly Europeans.

Analysts say the blast could have a serious effect on Morocco's important tourism sector.

One French businessman told Reuters: "You can't find a more emblematic target than Djemaa el-Fna square. With this attack and amid the worrying unrest in the region, tourism will be in the doldrums for some time."

Decidedly Depressing

I've deliberately not been posting about Bielefeld in the vain hope that by ignoring them it will somehow help them to actually win a game and perhaps avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.  That'll be a resounding "no" thenRock bottom by 15 points!  :-(


Sun 06/03/11 2.B MSV Duisburg 1 - 2 Arminia Bielefeld View events More info
Sun 13/03/11 2.B Arminia Bielefeld 0 - 3 1860 München View events More info
Sun 20/03/11 2.B Union Berlin 2 - 2 Arminia Bielefeld View events More info
Fri 01/04/11 2.B Arminia Bielefeld 0 - 2 Augsburg View events More info
Fri 08/04/11 2.B Osnabrück 0 - 0 Arminia Bielefeld More info
Sun 17/04/11 2.B Arminia Bielefeld 3 - 3 Rot-Weiß Oberh… View events More info
Sun 24/04/11 2.B Fortuna Düsseldorf 2 - 0 Arminia Bielefeld View events More info
Sat 30/04/11 2.B Greuther Fürth 18 : 00 Arminia Bielefeld More info
Sun 08/05/11 2.B Arminia Bielefeld 18 : 30 Karlsruher SC More info
Sun 15/05/11 2.B Alemannia Aachen 18 : 30 Arminia Bielefeld

2. Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
14 31 -15 33
15 31 -26 29
16 31 -20 28
17 31 -26 28
18 31 -37 13

Happy Extra Day Off Work

I'm sure you'll all be using it exactly what it's intended for.  :o)

The Great Unwashed

Around 18% of the people in America don't apply deodorant on a regular basis.

New World Record

Went into a restaurant to look at the menu (rather good).  Precisely five seconds later I was bitten three times by mosquitoes, once on the foot, once in the ankle (other leg) and once in the finger of all places.

Little bastards.

Bloody Computers

Woke up the lappie and for some, unknown reason, everything had locked up.  There was no internet connection, couldn't open any of our tabs and not even a Word or Excel document.  Tried the three finger shuffle (Control + Alt  + Delete) and even that didn't respond after multiple goes.

Had to resort to taking the battery out (then remembered if you hold the "off" button down for longer than five seconds that will also do the trick) and hard to reboot from scratch.  Luckily all was well but without the lappie. we're screwed.

Why do they do this to us?  I hate that "will it/won't it" work wait and of course, it always takes three times as long to re-boot.  *sigh*

It's All Gone Foreign

Two favourite channels have suddenly reverted back to being dubbed in Thai.  The True Movies Channel and the History Channel after being broadcast in English are now in Thai and I really hope this is not going to be the case full time.

Mind you, if that is all I have to worry about, life ain't too bad.  :o)

Play Time Over

We've only met up with Savong and Duncan once since we've been here but today they join us at our hotel to go over some new proposals on keeping records, reporting procedures and ensuring that there is more information available to people who'd like to help this worthy charity.

Wifey has been preparing some spreadsheets which she needs to implement and then she will be training Savong's brother in the art of book keeping.  She's confident he'll be up to speed in the three weeks she has available and he will become a major asset to his brother's organisation.

It shouldn't all be hard work though- we've asked them to bring their swimming trunks along- the hotel pool beckons.

Shop Around

As mentioned before, the price of a 60 day Thai visa is more than we got quoted by Ponarak in PP.  We've been checking out further prices and they all tend to be around the same.  $54 for a quick one day return, dropping to $44 for the standard five dayer.  Best we've found was by Green Travel (we used them last year to sort out our return bus trip) who have offered us their services for $40 dead.

Don't forget to take one passport sized photo.

We'll be applying for ours probably tomorrow or on Sunday and then we keep our fingers crossed.

Slight Change in Plan

Seeing as we have such a comfortable hotel (we can even afford it) and our flight to Bangkok doesn't take off until 17:00 odd on the 18th, we've decided to stay on an extra night in Siem Reap and take the bus to the capital on the day.

We usually travel back the day before, find cheap digs and then kill off a whole day in town (easy enough) but this time we'll go the whole distance in Siem.  The bus can take up to 7 hours but yesterday we checked out some options and we can pick up a quick mini bus that goes non-stop (they usually incorporate at least one break en route) all the way in around five hours.

We can leave at 09:00 and be in town by 14:00 (ish) which leaves us ample time to grab a tuk-tuk to the airport for our afternoon flight. 

Prices vary for the bus (the cheapest we found was $5/person but this was a standard coach) but there was one express  minibus at $9 which sounds ideal and so we'll be booking that up after we sort out our visa.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

C & H

Hhmm

Have to say, that last batch of suggestions didn't inspire me much.  Again, "money no object" ideas are like travel writers doing their articles on expense accounts.  Nice to escape reality but ultimately, hardly achievable.  We'll lob up the final lot probably tomorrow and maybe we'll do a Top Ten ktelontour offering on stuff we've actually done- on a budget.  :o)

Gotta Do This- 85


Great Migration: Wildlife spectacular in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.
Great Migration: Wildlife spectacular in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.

Gotta Do This- 84


Near Death Pilgrimage: Spanish festival for those who narrowly escaped death in previous year with lucky survivors paraded through streets in coffins.
Near Death Pilgrimage: Spanish festival for those who narrowly escaped death in previous year with lucky survivors paraded through streets in coffins.