Tuesday, August 30, 2011

East Ren Cooncil ,,, at it yet again !

So I had an old TV to get rid of ,,,
Naturally I called the EAST REN COONCIL ,, who always arrive the Frid. after the call & take away my Bigger Rubbish ! ( for I'm an OAP and get this service for FREE !!  .,.,., Eh, Did I say GET this service for FREE .,., read on ! )
Naturally I called them.  " Sure, no problem Sir, is that all you have to be picked up this time ?," the pleasant young man asked.
"Yep, that's all for now" says I.  
"Right then, that'll be £20 then Sir" he tells me ,,, 
"Eh, naw son, you've got that wrong ,, I'm one of East Ren's Senior Citizens ,, one of the over 60 brigade, so No Charge ,, as usual !  OK ?"
"Eh, sorry, no Sir, there's now a charge .,., for EVERYBODY wanting any uplift !"
"You what ??" I said, rather taken aback !
"You have to joking son ??  How is an Old guy my age with my medical condition supposed to humph a big telly up to the dump, pray ? "
"Don't know Sir, ,, but no payment, no uplift I'm afraid !!" 
Mmmm, a bit less than pleasant suddenly sonny eh ?
Well tell you what kid, Believe me, you'll be taking it to the dump ,,, even I have to smash it into small enough bits to fit in YOUR Bins ! Now you can cancel my request for uplift and shove it !! 
That's now the 2nd. item ERC have hiked a ridiculous price onto that OTHER COONCILS HAVEN'T !!  Take the disabled driver's Blue Parking Concession Badge for example !
Glasgow issues this badge to worthy recipients FREE .,., ,ERC ,,, same badge, same rules about obtaining one ,, CHARGE ?? £20 ( aye, and another £20 each time it's renewed !! )
I refrain from questioning their parentage but that's what I think of them all the same ,,
Long may they rot in Hell Fire !

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So, what to do my Lord Dionysius II ?

People in my situation are often ovecome with not knowing what to do with their remaining time ,, be it weeks, months, years ? We will all die at some time ,, of that there's no doubt, or escape, but there is something quite different when the medics spell out YOUR personal demise and give you a sort of definitive ( and always short ) timescale !
Should I be "putting my affairs in order" ? whatever the hell that means ?  Should I be savouring every minute / hour / day and using them to the limit ?  Finishing off my "work in progress" books ?  Writing letters to leave to all my dear friends ? 
Or maybe just carry on day to day ignoring the fact that the next one might well be my last ?
I honestly don't know what I should be doing !
I'm not sure I should be simply sitting whiling away the days playing golf, reading, writing, photographing, watching Tv etc ,,, but hey, why the hell not ,, It's what I would be doing if I didn't have the sword of Damocles hanging over me .,.,

{ The story :  The Damocles of the anecdote was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse, Italy. Pandering to his king, Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority surrounded by magnificence, Dionysius was truly extremely fortunate. Dionysius then offered to switch places with Damocles, so that Damocles could taste that very fortune first hand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the King's proposal. Damocles sat down in the king's throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius arranged that a huge sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse's tail. Damocles finally begged the tyrant that he be allowed to depart, because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.[2][5]
Dionysius had successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which the great man lives. Cicero uses this story as the last in a series of contrasting examples for reaching the conclusion he had been moving towards in this fifth Disputation, in which the theme is that virtue is sufficient for living a happy life.[6]
Cicero asks: Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?[7]

I have no fear looming .,.,  I'm a happy man .,, No, really I am ,, I have the wife & family to die for ( excuse the pun ! ) so why change my ways at this late date ?
As far as I'm aware my "affairs" are pretty well in order ?
My books will or will not be concluded .,., I've written enough to let future generations of Buchanans, Gautiers & Widmanns know who I am and that's all I wanted to do in the first place when I first set pen to paper.
I couldn't, even if I wanted ,, rush off book chapters like there's no tomorrow ,, they come to me as they will ,, and I get them down on paper when the mood takes me ,,, but "To Order " .,., eh, No !
Anyway, if anyone can suggest other "things" to do ,,, which "affairs" to put in order ,, how to conduct my final symphony please feel free to comment .,.,
And ,, Thanks for listening .,.,

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Saga of the Anti Twist Plate & Mr. Allen !

You know how these things pan out ?
First we needed to wallpaper the bedroom ,,, our bedroom ,, it hasn't been done for a wee while.
So we bought the paper .,., and it lay in the cupboard for Oh ,, about 6-months ?
Then we used it to re paper our grandson's bedroom ! ( different room ,, different hoose ! )
We then bought new paper for our room & it went into the cupboard for .,., Mmmm, maybe another 6-months ?
We've had a couple of other wee traumas to deal with during this past year which kinda put the wallpapering project on the back burner  !
Anyway our health & strength has been on the wane some during this time to the point where I finally decided to let our next door neighbour ( a fine painter & decorator to trade ) do the work for me.
He made a lovely job of it and in just two days we were ready to put the room back together again and move back in !!
Silly me ! Did I really believe that ?  No, no, no, first we needed a new bed to compliment the new decor .,., but even before that of course, the carpet was well overdue replacing wasn't it ,,, and since the bed's out there in the spare room meantime, what better time ??
So the carpet was chosen & the fitters came & down it went ,, half an hour later we needed to assemble the bed !!  Oh have I mentioned yet the new curtains, light shade, reading lights over the bed, wall mount Tv, etc, etc ,,, ??  Ahhh all in due course then !
Next was the overhead light ,,, a splendid new ( & expensive !! ) Tiffany lamp from Lite Craft ,,, you know, Lite Craft, the ( phenomenally expensive ) Lighting Experts !!  Well we bought it, as I said, a splendid affair, big, heavy ( aye really heavy ,, ) and all pretty colours. We took it home ( carefully cosseted on the back seat of the car ,, watch that bump ! ) and the amateur electrician decided to put it up ,, well what safer place to keep it ?
"What a bloody weight" the amateur was heard to say ,, "this'll bring the ceiling doon !"
Not to be deterred the missus wuman insisted .,., "Ah like it ,,, it's goin' up ,, !" 
Then we noticed ,, aye both of us ,, there was no way to attach this heavy weight to the ceiling ?? Absolutely no possible connection betwixt our existing ceiling rose and this new monster lamp ?
We called on friends to check we weren't simply acting out dumb & dumber roles ??  but alas everyone agreed ,, it had no means of being hung !!
"Shit !" the amateur muttered ,, get all the bubble wrap, poly bags etc, back out of the bin .,., we're off back to see the Experts ..., and so we did ,, again very carefully watching every bump in the road .
The young lady I approached told me, calm as you like ,, cool as a bleedin' cucumber in fact & without even as much as a mild blush !.,., "Oh you need an anti twist plate !"  "A whit ?" says I .,., "An anti twist plate ,, that gives you the hook to hang it onto that earth bracket inside the brass housing ,, See ? ,,"
"So where is it ?" I ask ,,
"Oh we don't supply it !!!" she tells me ,,  "It's only a wee cheap thing though ,, you'll get one in B & Q for about 70p .,., "  By this time steam is rushing from my ears at 100psi with no safety relief valve fitted in the heid !! ,,,
"I'll what ??  Drive to B & Q .,., Aye so ah will hen ! " WHY don't you supply the bloody thing if it's that necessary & that cheap ??  D'you know how much this lamp cost me ?  the one I've now trailed back & forth THREE times now ?
I want to see the Manager !  NOW !! 
Off she went ,, the manager ( a boy of about 12 summers ) arrived back clutching a little bit of metal in his already sweaty mitt .,
"Mr. B" he gushes, "I've managed to find a spare anti twist plate for you ,,! " " Look, this is how it works ..."
" Aye right "says me ,, "but it should be included in the lamp package ,, not need every customer to find out the hard way & have to make a return  journey .,., You'll be hearing from my lawyer in due course sonny, regarding compensation for stress & strain, petrol money and a general stupidity ex-gracia payment !"
And so I left .... failing that I may have been up on an assault charge on a minor !!
The carpet now fitted, the lamp now fitted, it was time to assmble the new bed !
Och, should I bother ?,,,  it must be me ! ,, surely the world isn't being dumbed down deliberately ,, all the time ?
Anyway, the bed comes with a single assembly instruction sheet ,, a we'an could follow the steps ,, in fact my two grandwe'ans did ,, they did most of the assembly ,,, however, and here's the rub !
The screws, and the tool they supply are of the Allen type ,,
{A hex key, Allen key, or Allen wrench (also known by various other synonyms .,., ( I'll just bet it is !! ) is a tool of hexagonal cross-section used to drive bolts and screws that have a hexagonal socket in the head (internal-wrenching hexagon drive) } 
Oh and did I mention ,, the most TOTALLY USELESS tool ever invented !
Mr. Allen never did think to add a bloody handle to allow his tool to be easily turned ,, and if ever a bed was made with absolutely no access for such a tool this was that bed ! I could get a quarter turn ( at best ) on any of these damned screws ,, which turned a 5-minute job with a screwdriver into a 3 hour job ! ( and lots of sweat on the new carpet ! )
If I could have got my hands on said Mr. Bloody Allen he'd have had screws where the monkey hid his nuts ,, aye & his nuts would be there too !

Ladiers & Gentlemen ,,, The Grumpy old man has now left the building !!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To all the nocturnal girls !

We have a friend, the beloved's old school pal no less, so we've had her a while !!
The wee soul is one of those women who, in their later years become obsessed with ,, well, stuff & things !
She can spend a day for instance, checking the tins & bottles on the Supermarket shelves for any ingredients that are "bad for her !!"  Her healthy diet is severe ,, no red meat, in fact no meat, no this , no that, in fact it's easier to describe her do's rather than her don'ts .,.,, she eats fish & chicken ,,, that's about it !
She won't use a mobile 'phone cause it might affect her brain ; ditto she won't use a freezer ; food is not meant to be cold for months on end ; she shops a lot !
This woman would never dream of using make-up, & certainly never ever consider the possibility of artificial "substances"( and here I'm not talking Grade A drugs or anything ... I'm thinking maybe Botox ! ,, the safe & legal drug of the "Beautiful People" )
The reason I'm thinking Botox is two fold ,,,
1) her lifelong heart-throb "singer" ( the Peter Pan of pop ! ) uses it  &  he can do no wrong !!
2) a recent news article was touting it as a cure for a medical complaint from which she suffers.
The poor woman has umpty-tumpty nocturnal journeys twixt bedroom & loo room of a night ,,
She has, you see, what has now been diagnosed as Loose Bladder syndrome .,., with no real signs of a cure on the horizon.
But now ,,, hang on ,,, wait a minute Missus !
Botox will not only cure your nocturnal walks but, dare I say it, perhaps as a beneficial off spin, give you a wrinkle-free fanny too !!

Pretty Fannies of the world unite ,,, kinda describes her 60's Heart-throb singer pretty well too don't you think ?!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dumb & Dumber !

It saddens me ,, it really does , the state this country has got itself into.
What used to be a bright, innovative people have let themselves be dragged down to a level of education that borders on the pre neanderthal.
Who's to blame ? Us ourselves, our teachers, Government, WHO ??
I don't know but I do know that the kids leaving school in my day were a damn sight better equipped to speak, read, write and count than they are now !
Now that can't be right ,, how can a system that was working fine ( aye & with 40-kids to a class ) have been allowed to be changed into a downward spiral churning out virtual dummies ?
Oh I know we have better exam results :), we have no failures anymore :( , aye but we have teachers slashing their wrists too ,,, don't remember that back in the 50's ??
Anyway it's a long debate this and one I'll come back to, but what set me off yesterday was such a simple little annoying character I met in a bed shop .,., fresh out of school I'll wager ! In fact there were two of them ,, and employed in separate BED SHOPS !!
The beloved & I were looking for a new bed to go with our about to be re-decorated bedroom, so in we went to the BED SHOPS !
This 1st. shop was truly what it said on the tin ... a BED shop ,, sold nothing but BEDS  ,,
I'm wandering around minding my own business looking at the various designs when up he comes ,, big smile for the customer .,., So he says, is it a bed you're looking for ?
I turned to the beloved with that look she knows so well on my face ,,
Naw, I said to the neanderthal, I'm looking to buy a new car !
With that I walked straight out the door ,,, I simply refuse to deal with fools and I won't encourage them by buying anything from them !
The 2nd, BED shop was also a beds only kinda establishment !
I found the bed I liked .,.,  nice rich leather head and foot boards.
The display model was in a dark brown, verging on black leather.
What other colour options can I have on the leather I asked the fresh faced salesman #2
Now this was not a cheap & nasty wee bed ,, this was an approx. £400 quid bed ( sans mattress ! ) so naturally if I'm the customer & willing to pay the piper ,, then I also get to call the bloody tune ?
Eh, that's it he says ,, it comes ONLY in the dark brown !!"
Eh, naw it disnae son ,, if I want it in a light green leather that's what I get ,, you see I'm the customer ,, the guy with the money. If I go into a 3-piece suite shop to buy a leather suite I can choose from every colour in the spectrum so what's different about a wee bit leather ony our bed ?
I could maybe get you it in an off white he responds ,,
I give the beloved the look !
And we're out of there and in the car before neanderthal #2 has time to smile his dumb smile one more time.
And I'll bet you he still doesn't know what went wrong  ?