Another Great Escape

Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Dearest Friend..."

I love these emails...

Dearest Friend

I am Mr Roy Mark Thompson an account supervisory officer in a Prime Bank in Middle East. My duty involves administrative documentation of all daily deposits in the bank.I send this mail to seek your participation in this monetary project that would be of mutual benefit to both of us.
In the course of one of my daily routines, I discovered documents of a secret account called (Fixed Income Investment Banking Account) for 5years worth $9Million belonging to one of our customers Mr. George Raymond (Late) an American businessman
killed in Iraq in 2004.

Most astunning of my discovery was that, all records bear no next of kin, meaning, no member of Mr. George Raymond family knows about the deposit therefore, no member of his family will ever come forward to claim the money. This revelation is only known to me. Now, I seek your collaboration to act as Next of Kin of late Mr. George Raymond to claim the funds and move them into useful investments. I know that you know a lot about investments, that is why I have come to you.

We shall split the cash between us in a ratio that would be negotiated between us upon confirmation of the funds in your account. Please note that by virtue of my position in the bank, I have worked out the perfect modality as well as I shall provide the relevant information/documents for the successful claim and transfer of the funds to any account provided by you. Be rest assured that, this project involve no risk.Upon the receipt of acceptance mail from you. I shall furnish you with due process of conluding this transaction without any delay.

Waiting your positive response.

Best regards,
Mark Thompson

Friday, August 25, 2006

Do you Remember the Pinball sequence from Sesame Street?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Apple: Not as perfect as led to believe

Apple batteries are over heating - so are Dell ones - but this made me smile!

Primary School Test Results

Today the Primary School Test results were made public and once again they didn't meet government targets.

The test system is a joke really and doesn't reflect what the children know. Seeing articles and headlines that describe how pupils are failing to reach their targets reflects badly on their teachers or that's how it seems to me anyway. What these articles don't tell you is how these test results are collated. There is no way that all of the children will ever get the grade that they want because life isn't like that. People fail and kids need to know what it's like to fail.

I think small schools are given harsh treatment when it comes to test results and their individual targets as a school. In my school there is only 16 children in each year group. Ability wise I have kids that are poles apart. We have to be inline with national targets even though we don't have a balanced year group in terms of ability. At anyone time our cohort might have an uneven balance of brighter children or thickies. Like I said in my school each year group has 16 kids, with each child worth 6.25%. If 2 kids don't make the grade, that pushes are scores down by 13%. If two kids in a cohort of 100 don't make the grade then that school only drops 2%. It's not fair.

Seeing articles and headlines about failing to reach targets really gets on my nerves because the goal posts are different for each school. Sometimes it is easy to sit in Westminster concocting targets and proposals without actually having any knowledge of what it is like at the chalkface, especially in a school like mine.

On a positive note our scores were up from last year and we improved above the national average!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What a difference a typo makes

I was a bit worried that my sense of humour had caught up with me and someone had hijacked my blog. Maybe it has, I dunno. I found out to my horror that some nutters or militant christians had a very similar blog name to mine. I can only think they registered the domain name in the hope that any one searching for mine with sticky fingers would end up at their website.

If you want to see my rival @ click here

Mamas & Papas Sherwood Cot

My parents wanted to buy us something for our 8 month old bump - we opted for a cot. We wanted something that would last a while and that looked good. We found one at Mamas & Papas and ordered it on line.

Typing this post, like putting the cot together, has been a nightmare. First, the Opera browser I installed took a dislike to me inserting images into blogger (3 times losing my posts) then my wifi connection played up just as I was uploaded the post and I lost it again. If this one doesn't work then I'm giving up.

Basically, the cot looks good but putting it together was a hassle.

1) We ordered it fine but wanted a different delivery address - guess what? It turned up at the wrong place today. Very quick but in the wrong place.

2) There are two prices on the website for the same product - ones on the offer page with a free mattress and the other is in the cot section for £15 more and without a mattress. Go figure!

3) The instructions on putting it together are crap - they may have well been written in Swahili.

4) Some of the fixings weren't made properly - I had to "adapt" them.

5) It took ages to fit the sliding side - as it doesn't say you need to dismantle the cot half way through construction to fit the side panel.

6) The allen key supplied was too long and didn't allow for easy turning.

7) Finally, one of the holes needed to secure the panel for mattress needed to be drilled to allow the bracket to fit properly.

If I was looking for a cot I'd think again about buying from M&P - they come across as being good quality but I'm not so sure. On the plus side it looks good and it seems sturdy enough. On the downside, it was a hassle fitting it together, the instructions were not clear and some of the parts were of a low quality. Not what I thought I was paying for.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The hardest job?

After watching all the coverage on the TV about the terror plots in the UK it made me think about what was going on in the world. I am a big supporter of our Armed Forces and those who work to keep us safe, they really have an unenviable task. They face a storm of protests and hassle whilst putting their lives on the line, and often paying the ulimate price.

a few months ago after the Forest Gate mistake it seemed that the police had got it wrong - there were protests and anger at what had happened. Thankfully no one was killed but it left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. The recent terror plot to blow up planes brought everything back into perspective. As I watched it unfold on the TV over the last few weeks I realised how lucky we were to catch those people before the unthinkable happened. Politics aside, I can't think why someone would kill so many people and what purpose that would serve.

I grew up in the 80's & 90's when the IRA were still bombing mainland England. Although these attacks seemed savage and unnecessary there weren't anything in comparison to what has happened in today's world. The aim of the terrorists who were willing to blow themselves up in the futile hope that the whole world will become some Islamic state is plain daft. It will never happen, but I don't think that they know it.

Since 9/11 the whole world has changed. Things had been simmering before that but it wasn't until the terrorists hijacked the planes and killed so many people that people took notice and realised what was going on. It was a shock for everyone, including the security services (depending on what you read), who for decades had been dealing with the soviet threat in the cold war.

Since I was small I've always had a fascination with anything military or connected with the secret service. Maybe it was the Action Men I played with or the Bond films I watched, but this fascination has followed me as I've grown up. My father in law served in the army, my Grandad served in Egypt in WWII in the Royal Artillery and later on in Israel as part of the British Mandate. Maybe it's the kit that they get (all those gadgets), maybe it's the heroic exploits that gets me, I don't know. There is something that captures my interest.

I'm so glad that we live where we do and have people who are prepared to put their lives on the line for us. Whether it's in the armed services or in the shadowy world of the secret service. I think they deserve our respect and support because their job is tough enough.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Mullet

Have you ever wondered what happens when you type in "Mullet" on google? Well, I did. What I found has got to be the most shocking set of images ever seen.

Click on the image to see if your hair qualifies as a Mullet

If the above images gave you a taste for mullets - click on the links to see more of this unnatural phenomenom.

Mullets Galore

Rate my mullet

Mullet Junky

Mullet Madness

Mullet Lovers

Some great tunes from The Hoff

Another reason why the Hoff didn't make it as a singer anywhere apart from Germany. How long can you bear to listen?

What a mullet!

There's more live Hasselhoff music on youtube - should you need to laugh even more.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mr and Mrs Goat

This story was on the BBC website:

A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal.

The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders.

They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said.

Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.

"When I asked him: 'What are you doing there?', he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up".

Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.

"They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife," Mr Alifi told the newspaper.

The moral of the story is don't got messing around with any goats!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fried Squirrel

I found this story on the BBC! It made me laugh.

Western Power Distribution said homes were cut off on Sunday when the animal ran to the top of the cable-carrying post and "got a nasty shock".

Power was cut to more than 10,380 properties in the Marsh Barton and St Thomas areas of Exeter.

The firm said power was restored to homes in an hour.

A Western Power spokeswoman said a short would have occurred if the squirrel touched two conductors simultaneously.

She said: "It does happen that squirrels try to run up our posts and if they are long enough they can touch two conductors at the same time."

Power cuts caused by the animals are unusual.

The dead animal was found by engineers.

A wedding, an affair, an anniversary and a terror plot

We were invited to a wedding this weekend; a friend from college. We'd not been to one for a while, so it was good to sit and absorb what was happening. The setting was perfect; the sun was shining - they're local church just happened to be from the 12th Century. It was really good just to watch, sing when you're supposed to and respond when you were asked. It went well, everything seemed to fit. The music was just right, the Rector did her thing well, there were a few laughs. It was great to part of somebody elses special day.

In a total contrast was the news that two families that we know had been broken up by affairs. It was more of a shock because the people involved were members of a church, both actively involved in church life. I know Christians aren't perfect, far from it, but it seems to shock more when these things happen. I don't know whether either people involved were having any difficulties with their own marriages but I can't believe they didn't think of the consequences of their actions. Both have families with young children, both have spouses who are devastated, both are in positions of responsibility in a church. It's horrible when these things happen, especially when there are kids involved.

On a more positive note! We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. Five years has just flown by, I know it sounds cliched but it has. Getting married was the best decision that I've ever taken. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I wouldn't change a thing at all. Next stop, parenthood!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


A year on from our house move and we're still been woken by squirrels. Even after one of them died in our water butt they're still tormenting us.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pimp My Snack!

For those of you who watch Pimp My Ride on MTV here's something on the same lines but with food. I can't take credit for finding this site, it was on Gordon Ramsay's F Word last night. There's no real point in what they do other than to prove that it can be done.

You can even get a t-shirt.

Converse Trainers

I've been wearing converse trainers for ages. I bought my first pair in 1996 (way before everyone started to wear them now)and have had a regular supply since then. They're not flash, just understatedly cool. I came across converse's website and was very impressed. It's what a website should be: good to look at, easy to navigate, and fun. There's even a bit where you can design your own shoes and they make and ship them to you - I'm not sure that Claire would warrant us spending money on trainers I don't need right now!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What a difference 4 months makes!

Bargain Hunter

There's a fine line between gettting a bargain and being a penny pincher.

Thankfully, I usually fit into the bargain hunter catergory, usually.
Today has been a good day for bargains - as you can see from the pictures we've bought a shed load of loo roll - 80 rolls - EIGHTY rolls! And no, we've not been over doing the curry or suffering from delhi belly. It was on sale at Makro - 80 rolls of good quality, not the sand paper variety, for £14.

Also, you may know that we're expecting our first child (2 months left). My wife has a list of stuff we need to get and with the help of a voucher for John Lewis (spend £50 get £20 off) we crossed another one off today - a handy baby holder for when you need to take a trip to the pub.

Check out the "Penny Pinching" links on the right for some great sites. The one with the voucher is here.

If you live in the UK and want to save money you really need to visit the Money Saving Expert and sign up to his email.

Getting a bargain is ace.