26 December 2011

Christmas isn’t Christmas without presents said Jo

I’m not money orientated.  I would always choose poor and happy over rich and sad.

We all gets presents at Christmas.  Some little, some big, some expensive and some not.

This year I was completely spoiled.   I got a lot of presents, all things I wanted, from a coffee machine to theatre tickets, from body soufflĂ© to face masks.

The best present I got this year however, didn’t cost a thing.  My dad died when I was eight.  For as long as I can remember I have always been upset that I don’t have photographs of him, particularly pictures of he and I together.

This year however, my amazing mum did a photo album for me, complete with captions which told me when and where the photos were taken.  I now have about 50 photos of me and my dad, spanning from a baby with him right up until just before he died.

I can honestly say that it is the best present that anyone has ever given me.   I must have cried for an hour on Christmas morning, another “happy tears” moment.

Having something like that, something that is so special to me is more important to me, and is worth more than any money can buy.  I will treasure it forever and always.

Another soppy post, but then again, it is Christmas.

21 December 2011

A Good Year

It’s Christmas time.  So this post will not be a rant, a rave or on a subject in the headlines.

Christmas is the time of year I always look back over the past year and more often than not, have thoughts of the year to come wishing that this will change, or that will improve.

But this year, instead, I want to look back at my year and remember all the good things, and hope that they carry forward with me to 2012.  This may be a longer post than usual, but for once, that is a good thing. It means that are a lot of things to be happy about.

So here is my happy list:

Family
Family is something that you will always have, and will always be connected with my happiness.  This year has been a very good year for family.  I have founded a relationship with a sister who I have never had any time with over the years, but now we are getting to know each other and building our relationship.

This year also saw an end to a long standing argument with my other sister, who is both so very much like me, and yet so very different.  Having her back in my life, and with both of us in a place now where we understand our differences and cherish the similarities is a wonderful thing.

Friends
I’ve never been a person with millions of friends.  I prefer to have very close friendships with a few people and that is exactly what I have.  One of the highlights of my year was watching my best friend walk down the aisle, to a man who now I count as a close friend.  It is the only time in my life, that I remember, shedding “happy tears” for someone else.

It makes me incredibly happy that I have four friends that will be with me forever, probably still all as crazy as we are now.  We all have a bond that we feel lucky to have.

Added Bonuses
They say in your thirties that everything finally comes together.  You figure out who you are, what you want in life. While I definitely don’t have it all figured out, I feel like I know who I am.

Believe it or not, Twitter, and this blog helped me with that.  Although always opinionated, voicing my thoughts on Twitter, having my little rants and putting down what I think and feel on here has brought me more out of myself in the real world.

I always used to play down my opinions, was more the type to agree with someone rather than voice what I thought rather than say it.  Now I say it, and I mean it. 

There are always things that you wish you had, more money, a relationship, life in another country, but looking back on what I do have, life is good.

Sorry for the soppiness of this post, but I wish everyone who reads this a very Happy Christmas. Drink too much, laugh too loud, dance away the night and above all, have fun!

Rants and raves will resume in the New Year.


19 December 2011

The Bet

I'm a bit of a ranting person on here, (hence the name of the blog) and on Twitter.

However, something I can never say no to usually is a bet with someone.  Except this time I have really landed myself in it.

As someone who reads my Twitter feed and has seen my blog, I have been bet by a friend that I cannot last a week without some kind of rant either on Twitter or on here.  Not a problem at all! I claimed..... Hmmm.  Not sure about that.

But, in my stupidity I have agreed to the bet so am posting it here so I can't get out of it, claiming I can't remember agreeing.

So: 1 week, starting from today.  No ranting on Twitter, no ranting on the blog.  I do however have to post something on the blog in that week, just to show I am not saving it all up for when the week is over.

The loser buys the winner a bottle of something nice.


UPDATE: 21 December 14.02
Well, am now buying someone a nice of bottle of wine.  I lasted approximately 24 hours before having a mini rant on Twitter and then two very large rants today.  Oops.

13 December 2011

THINK

Bit of a change from my usual posts.

I love driving. It is one of my favourite things to do.  A clear motorway, in the fast lane, pedal to the metal, there is nothing like it.  But the thing I, and everyone should remember, is the road may be your friend, but other drivers aren’t.

Whether it is someone driving too fast in traffic, texting and driving at the same time or driving when tired, there are so many hazards and potentially fatal outcomes that you can’t predict, or sometimes prevent against.

In winter you have the additional problems of ice on the road, leading to terrible driving conditions, yet you still get some idiot on the road speeding through, endangering lives as they go.

My dad died when I was eight, killed by a speeding motorist, weaving through traffic with no consideration for others, and the consequences were fatal.  He left that accident with a broken arm, my dad never left.

There have been so many accidents on the motorways of late.  The accident on the M5 brought back so many memories.  I know how the people left behind felt.  I still remember being that little girl, asking why my daddy wasn’t coming home.

So next time you are wondering whether to have that last pint before you drive home, THINK.   Before you are tempted to take that call on the motorway without your handset, THINK.  Before you speedily weave through the traffic in an effort to catch the start of a programme, THINK.

Think because your actions don’t just affect you when you are driving.  They affect everyone driving around you, and their loved ones when things go wrong.

Christmas is a time for being with your loved ones.  It is a time when I think of my dad and wish that he were here now and that it why, every time I get in a car, and every time you get in a car, we must remember to THINK

12 December 2011

The Don’ts of a Christmas Do

Office Christmas parties.  Depending on where you work, and of course who you work with, they can either be a chore, an obligation that you are forced to attend or a fun time you look forward to every year.

At my office we all love a good time, from the office junior right to the owners of the firm.  We try to make sure we all go out every few months.  It helps with the whole “team spirit” thing I think.  A happy office is a productive office and all that.

We have two Christmas parties every year.  One which the staff pay for themselves, with drinks supplemented by the owners, and another for all the offices, with all food and drink for free.

Surprisingly however, it is the staff paid for parties that always have the gossip and all the events.

I’ve just had my yearly office party this weekend, which inspired the post today.   It went on the usual format, Christmas meal after works, then hit the bars and a club if we make it that far.

Drinks-a-plenty, dancing, general silliness and pranks are always on the go and are encouraged.   The silliness and pranks are usually after a shot or two but we all have a great laugh, owner and worker alike.

What always surprises me, are the people that forget, even though they are out on “their time” and drinking, that they are still out with the boss.  If you are wrong kind of drunk (after one drink or ten), then surely, you would either avoid the work do altogether, or just have a couple and leave it at that.

I say this as we have that type at my office.  The wrong type of drunk.  Too loud, too aggressive, the damn irritating type.  The type you need to babysit.  Being this type of drunk around your friends or family is one thing, they at least know how to handle you, but out with colleagues, and your boss is another. 

After a night spent babysitting this person on Friday night I have complied a “Don’t Do” list for work Christmas parties.  Mainly because it irritated the hell out of me.
  • If you can’t handle your drink, don’t drink or don’t come;
  • Tinsel on Christmas trees is not for stealing for your own Christmas tree;
  • If you are on the floor more than you are standing up, go home;
  • Don’t argue/insult the boss.  They will remember in the morning, even if you do not;
  • Don’t start an argument with a colleague over something stupid, they too will remember in the morning;
  • If you haven’t brought enough money out with you, don’t steal other people’s drinks.  Also on those lines, have enough money to get you home;
  • Finally, if you are over 20 and you still need babysitting when you drink, maybe work parties are not the place for you.
I’m giggly and happy after a few drinks.  I like to dance, am up for silly things and can generally be talked into a lot after a few (don’t read too much into that one, haha).

I am not the usual passive aggressive type and this is clearly a passive aggressive rant here, but I wanted to get it off my chest rather than cause office dramas.  Thankfully, my blog is not read at the office, they don’t know it exists and are not the blog reading type.

The drunken one is not going to the free office party this weekend, thank Christ, so I can eat, drink and be merry all I like.  Passive aggressive rant over.  Am aware I sound like a bit of a cow.

6 December 2011

I Want that First Hit

Soooo, was looking over the races for next year, well primarily of course  to see the BBC/Sky distribution.  Here’s the list, although if you are an F1 fan, shame on you if you haven’t already seen it!

Race Circuit Date Channel
1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Melbourne March 16-18th Sky
2 Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit March 23rd-25th Sky
3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit April 13-15th BBC/Sky
4 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit April 20th-22nd Sky
5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya May 11-13th BBC/Sky
6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo May 24-27th BBC/Sky
7 Canadian Grand Prix Montreal June 8-10th Sky
8 European Grand Prix Valencia June 22nd-24th BBC/Sky
9 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 6-8th BBC/Sky
10 German Grand Prix Hockenheimring July 20th-22nd Sky
11 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring July 27-29th Sky
12 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 31st-September 2nd BBC/Sky
13 Italian Grand Prix Monza September 7-9th Sky
14 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay September 21st-23rd BBC/Sky
15 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka October 5-7th Sky
16 Korean Grand Prix Korean International Circuit October 12-14th BBC/Sky
17 Indian Grand Prix Buddh International Circuit October 26-28th Sky
18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 2nd-4th BBC/Sky
19 United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas November 16-18th Sky
20 Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 23rd-25th BBC/Sky

The best races still on the BBC are of course Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Brazil with Sky getting  Australia, Hockenheimring, Hungaroring and Monza. 

It isn’t a bad split, although am not happy that the first two races are on Sky.  Losing the first race is a real disappointment, it has become an institution with my F1 group of friends.

The race ritual of all coming together, drinks the night before, hot dogs during the warm up, waiting for that “Dum, dada dum dadadadada dum”.  The first race is always filled with a wave of excitement.  The whole season is laid out before you and it is a special feeling.  That first hit of the season after the Winter break, it’s intoxicating.

Going to a pub to watch the race just isn’t the same for me.  I have my race rituals, and they don’t include being in a pub.  Watching a race with the inevitable person in the back saying “They just go round and round” or my most hated “I could do that, there is no skill involved” is not going to play. I may not be responsible for my actions.

But, short of selling my soul to the devil or my body on the street I cannot afford Sky next year.  Am hoping to broker a deal with one of my F1 friends to pitch in on her Virgin deal so we can see the races the way we want to.

They say the best things in life are free, well in the case of Formula One, some of the best things, you have to pay for.


2 December 2011

We have a Soul Too

This is a blog coming from the person on the other side of the phone.

In my line of work I deal with the general public on a daily basis, both on the phone and face to face.  I deal with people from all walks of life, from the rich to the poor, from the criminal to your average law abiding citizen.

What all of these people have in common is the inability to be polite on the phone.  Anyone who deals with the general public know the type.  The person who thinks that shouting, nastiness and general rudeness will magically make things happen faster, rectify problems and generally will get them what they want.  Let me give you a very large tip here, it doesn't.

Over the years I have been shouted at, verbally abused, sworn at, threatened and reduced to tears.  None of these things make me do my job better and they will not make me want to help you.

I know it is tempting when you have a problem and have to ring a company to chase a response or complain to shout at the person on the other end to get a more immediate response.  You may be angry about an issue, but believe me, shouting at the person answering your call is helping no one, except perhaps making you feel better.

When a person calls or comes into my office if they don't shout and say please and thank you like an ordinary human being then I will always go that extra mile to help them.  Obviously the nasty people are helped too, but I'm not going to bend over backwards to help someone who is shouting/verbally abusing me.

It is more often the case that the main result of an abusive call is that the caller themselves gets more angry, gets confused in what they are saying, goes round in circles and nothing is resolved anything.  Everyone loses.

What also irritates me is the amount of times that I will be shouted and/or sworn at by a client, and then once they are transferred to the person dealing with their matter, they suddenly turn into polite, well mannered people.  The monkeys deserve respect too, not just the organ grinders.

So next time you make a call to a company, customer services or whatever, please remember that it is actually a person on the other end of the line.  Because we have a soul too.  Take a breath before you call, don't swear, and we will get along fine.

1 December 2011

Strike? No I’ll go shopping instead

Yesterday was the day of the public sector strikes.

I have mixed emotions about striking.  On the one hand you have the medical sector , emergency services, police, all of these professions do an amazing and often thankless job.

Although, as someone pointed out to me, those jobs are also a vocation, a want to help the public as well as a need for a job, I do believe that they deserve good pay, a good pension etc.

The people I have the problem with are the teachers who strike, the admin staff of the medical profession and also admin from various other public sectors, such as the Court Service.

Teaching is also a vocation, but one with good pay, a pension, job security and 13 weeks holiday a year.  I fail to see what they have to complain about.  Teachers can and do argue that that amount of holiday time isn’t a fair reflection given that they have to do lesson plans, marking etc over some points during that time.

Taking away the usual 4 weeks holidays that you would get, that leaves 9 weeks.  On the generous side of allowing 3 weeks to do the extra work, which on the average day of 9-5 equates to 120 hours, that still leaves 6 weeks of paid additional holidays to everyone else.

That is the way the school year works, I understand that, but you must appreciate that to a private sector worker like myself, seeing someone with so many good things about their job complaining and striking is irritating.  In these current times you are lucky to have a job and moaning about a tax payers paid for pension amount, which is more than the state pension the private sector gets, does not carry any favour.

My sister is a teacher, I say at this point, but I believe in what I say and am not going to not write about it because I am related to one.  She did not strike although don’t actually know what her views are on the subject.  If she reads this blog, I guess I will find out!

Even more than the teachers who strike, the people who make me the most angry are the administration staff that strike.  Teachers are at least contributing to society, teaching and educating and helping to improve lives, administration staff do none of those things.

Admin staff are just that, admin.  Part of my duties are in an administration capacity in my firm, but I wouldn’t dream of taking strike action.  Why?  Because I think myself lucky to have a job in the first place.

The last time there was a strike, I had to go up to the local Court on work related business.  When I got to the front doors I was told that I could not enter, that I would be crossing a picket line, and that the Court were on strike. 

Three members of staff that day, unbeknown to each other at that time, went up to the Court that day.  There were no people outside striking, no “picket line” to cross.  The admin staff just hadn’t shown up, probably used the day to go shopping.  If you are on strike, be there, show why you are on strike, don’t go shopping.

Incidentally, most of the large towns and cities yesterday were uncharacteristically packed with shoppers Christmas buying with their children in tow and I’m willing to bet that most of them should have been on the picket line.

So that’s the end of my little rant.  Understand some strikers, disagree with others and loathe the rest. 

Bouncy, Bouncy


So, genies. You know, the whole genie in a bottle and the three wishes deal. What would you wish for?




Genies came into my mind whilst on hold for 45 minutes to an insurance company this week. So along with charging me an exorbitant amount, they also appear to have sent me slightly mad. Daydreaming for 45 minutes apparently sends my mind to weird places.

Anyway, genies.

In the unlikely event that you ever find a genie in a bottle, what is the perfect wish?

I went through all the usual options, being rich, which doesn't guarantee you are going to be happy, love which can bring you pain, expensive possessions which in the end, are just possessions, a fast car, which I would probably end up killing myself in......

In the end, I decided what I would wish for. Which is exactly the same thing I wanted when I was six years old. A bouncy castle. Because in the end, if you have something in your life that can instantly make you smile and laugh, what is better than that?

Daydream ends and I am still on hold, but now with a hankering to go on a bouncy castle.

25 November 2011

Knee Replacements –From the Sidelines

As someone who has been on the side, watching my mum over the years having four different knee replacements, and now with my step dad currently in hospital having one, I have had a good insight into what happens, and the dos and don’t.

Obviously I’m not a consultant, I’m not in the medical field at all.  So this post is purely from experiences my mum has had, with me at her side, seeing how it works, what to expect, what preparation you should do. 

The first thing I would say is wait as long as you can before having the operation.  A knee replacement on average lasts about ten years, depending on whether you are having a partial or a full replacement.  So it stands to reason, the younger you are, the more operations you will end up having. 

The most important thing I would say is to research your consultants.  In England you can have a say in who does your operation.  Don’t automatically go for the person they give you.

My mum’s first consultant, although the operation went well, was a horrible man.  He barely came to see her, she was left in terrible pain for hours and she was released before she really should have been.  With a different knee replacement the surgeon broke a bone in her leg, which can happen with these operations I know.  However, he didn’t tell her that it had happened and it was only upon seeing a different consultant some weeks later that she found out the problem.

After that we researched the consultants and she now has a brilliant surgeon, who cares about his patients, looks after them well and she has had good experiences since. 

After 20 years of having Osteoarthritis, she can now even do a little run.  But she is awesome, my mum.
crutches


You get out of a knee replacement just what you put into it.  Once the operation is done, the physiotherapy starts the very next day.  The more you do, the more you try, the better it gets and the work pays off.


What isn’t always expected, is how long it actually takes to get back to normal, without crutches.  Each time she has the operation my mum forgets how long it took to recover from the last one, and she is still surprised every time. 


In the end, you recover at your own pace, depending on how hard you try,  but usually 3 months (ish) is the usual time.


So there we go, a (very much) edited version of knee replacements and the things you can expect.  The full version would have been at least a three normal blog post, but that would get boring.   Hopefully you are not bored already!

18 November 2011

Not Goodbye, But Au Revoir

As another year draws to a close in the F1 season, I can’t help but ask, where did the time go?  Looking back, it doesn’t seem two minutes since the new McClaren was unveiled, and the butterflies started.

As always, this season has had it’s dramas, even despite the predictable Vettel winning so many races.  Even with that, F1 has a draw, a pull right to your stomach that makes you want to watch every race.  The “Dum, dada dum dadadadada dum” always gives me a tingle.  F1 is never predictable, anything can and does happen.

So what have the season’s headlines been?
  • Next season’s BBC/Sky deal.
  • The Hamilton/Massa feud
  • Paul Di Resta’s first season – most definately Rookie of the Year
  • Pirelli coming back to F1
You can’t deny that the combination of the new DRS system and the new tyres has been exciting, although even that combination didn't help Valencia.  Sky can have that race.

Hamilton’s bad racing form and multiple clashes with Massa has undoubtedly been a feature of this season.  Jenson on the other hand has thrived at McClaren and with a three year deal, you really feel that McClaren
is the place that he belongs and I predict great things again for him next season.

I used to love Massa, primarily for his little tantrum of “White visor, white visor” the other year which cracked me up.  But his tantrums and nasty comments about Lewis this season have irritated me.  Although with his position in Ferrari at the moment, I don’t blame him for needing to take the frustration out somewhere,  just not on Lewis!  I wouldn’t be surprised if part of his job next season is washing Alonso’s car (joke).

You can’t talk about this season without mentioning Red Bull.  This season has been dominated by Vettel and that amazing car.  You can’t deny that their car this year has been phenomenal, it’s just Vettel I have the problem with.

So now the season is coming to a close, with the championship, both driver’s and team’s already done and dusted.  Does that mean that the last rac, loses any of it’s lure? The answer for me is no. 

I love F1 just as much now as I did when I first started to watch.  Fast cars, racing incidents, driver arguments, tactics and the never ending question.   What will happen this race?

Formula One, I love you still.  Hurry the damn up for next season!!

16 November 2011

Lions Aid

Following on from my previous post on trophy hunting in Africa, I just wanted to further make awareness, in my own small way about trophy hunting and what really happens.

For more information to include a video (disturbing) visit Lions Aid on the link Pieter's Blog

8 November 2011

Old sayings, what do they really mean?

Many sayings we use all the time today come from old stories and sayings, the actual meaning and origin of them forgotten or changed over the years.

I like to collect these sayings and find out where they came from, so here are a few:

“Farming Out”
These days, you would typically use farming out in relation to outsourcing work “I’m farming this job out to someone else”.

The term in fact comes from the 19th century when woman couldn’t afford to keep, or didn’t want their babies.  There were many woman who you could pay to look after your baby, take over it’s care or for more money, adopt the child for.  This was called farming out.  This practice hit the headlines in 1896 when the infamous Amelia Dyer was found to have murdered up to what they estimate as 400 babies.


Amelia Dyer

“Bite the Bullet”
Rather than how we use the phrase now for just doing something and getting it over with, biting the bullet actually comes from the battlefields when anaesthetic was not used or available.  Soldiers were given bullets to bite to help deal with the pain when having an operation.

“Tie the Knot”
We of course use this phrase as a term for when someone is getting married.  This comes from when young couples used to get married and their hands were tied together as part of the ceremony.  These ties were apparently kept in place until after the wedding night.

“The Cold Shoulder”
When people had guests that were overstaying or unwelcome, one of the tricks people used to use for the broad hint was rather than give the guest hot meat on their plate they were given instead, the cold shoulder.

“Rub Salt into it”
Typically we use this meaning that whatever someone has said or done, they have made the matter worse or be for painful emotionally for the person involved.  The phrase actually comes from when they used to use salt in a wound in order to help the healing process.  When sailors were flogged at sea, salt was typically then applied in order to clean the wound and prevent inflection.

Those are a just of the sayings and phrases I have collected.  There are of course loads more that ye old internet can supply. 

2 November 2011

Split Personality? No it's just Social Networking

I think that this is going to be one of the posts where you either agree completely with me, or you think I’m crazy.
 
Have you noticed that each of the social network sites brings out a different side of you?  Most people tend to say for example that on Facebook, you tend to show the “ideal” version of yourself.  An inaccurate portrayal which shows the world you who want to be, how wonderful your life is, even if it isn’t.

You have the “look how many friends I have, how popular I am” types, the mothers with the countless baby updates and photos see Baby, Baby, Baby Nooo! just to show what a good mother they are, the woe is me types etc etc.

People say about my Facebook that I am too picky about the photos on it of me, and I always always make them laugh.  So basically, what that boils down to is bad self image and wanting people I know to like what I am saying.

With Twitter, it is different again.  

I only have three people I actually know on my follow list.  The rest I met through Twitter and have never met in real life, and I like that.  I can and do say what I want without the fear of being judged for what I think or say.  I talk to likeminded, fun people about things we love, or just have a banter with.

Twitter brings out my ranting side, my willingness to talk to new people and gain other’s perspectives on things, not just my own.  It has brought out my opinionated side more in my real life, which is a good thing.

Google+ brings out my techie side but with so few friends on there that have crossed over from Facebook, I don’t really bother with it much so won’t here either.

So that’s the social networks.  One is the “like me” side of me and one is the ranting, opinionated side of me.  Both are the twin halves of me, but they will never be joined together, not on a social network site.

Here however, on this blog, is truly me.  When I write, good or bad, it is always truly what I think and who I am.  You get the insecure side, the ranting side, the funny side, the opinionated side, every side I have.  I never thought when I started this blog that it would be anything more than just a bit of fun.  I never expected to post as much as I do or be as honest as I have.  The blog is the virtual me and I find myself quite possessive of it now I have it.

When I first started putting the links of my blog on Twitter I was truly terrified.  I don’t know what I expected people to say, but I know I expected a negative reaction.  That’s the good thing about Twitter though, you are sending it to strangers and if they don’t like it, what does it matter?

No friends have ever read this blog.  I’ve never given them the address.  Maybe that’s the next step.

Well this has been a bit of a disjointed post.  I knew what I wanted to say at the start and it kind of run away with me.  But there you go, that is me.  I ramble, a lot.

Something Funny for Wednesday

Something I received a long time ago, but still makes me laugh.  So here it is, to make you laugh too. 

If you can read this whole story without laughing then there's no hope for you.  I was crying by the end. This is an "actual" account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Texas.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is.
They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio City Park.

Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, IL. Frank: 'Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table e asking for directio ns to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3.'

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

CHILI # 1 - MIKE'S MANIAC MONSTER CHILI... *
Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

CHILI # 2 - AUSTIN'S AFTERBURNER CHILI...*
Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver . They had to rush in more beer
when they saw the look on my face.

CHILI # 3 - FRED'S FAMOUS BURN DOWN THE BARN CHILI...*
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now.  Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.

CHILI # 4 - BUBBA'S BLACK MAGIC...*
Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, wa s standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb .woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

CHILI # 5 LISA'S LEGAL LIP REMOVER...*
Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground,adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that
her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop
screaming. Screw them.

CHILI # 6 - VERA'S VERY VEGETARIAN VARIETY...*
Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetari an variety chili. Go odd balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I shit on myself when I farted and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except
that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone.

CHILI # 7 - SUSAN'S SCREAMING SENSATION CHILI... *
Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which
slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

CHILI # 8 - BIG TOM'S TOENAIL CURLING CHILI...... *
Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted,passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of
himself.  Not sure if he's going to make it. poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 - No Report

28 October 2011

Lions & Tigers & Bears Part One

I was talking to someone today about the recent events in Ohio.  They know me as an animal loving person and someone who is quite vocal and opinionated about animals right, and conservation.

So they were surprised to hear me they that I didn’t blame the sheriffs for killing all those animals.  So here’s my explanation.

You can’t blame the sheriffs for what they did.  They were dealing with 49 exotic and mostly dangerous animals, suddenly let loose, in the dark.  They to ensure the public were safe.  There obviously was not, and you can argue why would there be, a plan already in place to deal with something like that.

With that number of animals, dealing with creatures who you don’t know how they will react, who are scared and disorientated with their surroundings, which makes them even more dangerous.

Frankly, I am amazed that they managed to find, and kill/capture all those animals so quickly, without lives being lost.  Because they did save some.

No I don’t blame the sheriffs, I blame the law that allowed a private citizen to keep wild and exotic animals.  One who is in this particular case had had numerous warnings and visits about his animals, and who had spent a year in jail.

I just hope that if nothing else comes out of this, that the law is changed and the animals currently “owned” are removed from their owners.

Part Two deals with the other question I was asked, about what I think should have happened to the animals if had they been taken off the owner before this tragedy occurred.  

26 October 2011

How well do you know yourself?

I don’t know about you, but it surprises me about much I have changed over the years.

I think that it when you turn 30 that your personality really kicks in and you find out who you are.  Sometimes that is surprising.

Up until 30 I was always shy, I agreed with everything people said, even if I didn’t agree.  I was always nice to everybody, and scared of being disliked.  These days, things are somewhat different.

I have always been a loyal person, have always fiercely defended my friends.  That has never changed.   Now however, I am not scared to say what my opinion is and most would say, and is no doubt evidenced by this blog, that I am rather opinionated.  Also very sarcastic, but only to those I know can take it.

These days, I say what I think and I mean what I say.  This is probably offset by the fact that I am still shy until people get to know me and I have still have the overwhelming urge to be liked.

This may explain the comment I got today

Babe, you know what, I know you and you are a sweetheart, but if I didn't, I'd think you were a bitch.
Well, I think that covers all bases there! At the end of the day, it is more important to know who you are, and accept it.  Be who you are and learn to like it.  Took me 32 years to figure that out!  

25 October 2011

Crazy/Interesting Questions

Why is it that you say that the fine rain gets you wet?  All rain gets you wet.

What would the pope respond with when you bring up the subject of dinosaurs?

Why do a lot of Christians believe the New Testament but not the Old Testament.  If you don’t believe in the first, surely that brings the second into question?

If the doctor performing surgery on you suddenly has an epileptic fit, do the doctors attend to him and leave you open on the table?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

If hotdogs are as popular as a burger, why it there not a McDog or a Hotdog King?

They say live each day as if it were your last?  But if it were my last day, I would be running round frantic like a headless chicken?

Does a headless chicken run?

If red is considered as danger on most signs, why do you always have to push the red button?

The what would you take on a desert island question.  Am I the only person that says, a boat, a sailor and big bottle of vodka?

Why isn’t there mouse flavoured cat food?

People say they want to find someone who their own brand of crazy.  But crazy people don’t know they are crazy…..




TA9PPJ5EZVMW

24 October 2011

I may be a little mad....

Was just looking at my label cloud and noticed the word sardines.  I didn't remember what I had written about so I had a look.

Turns about, it was proof, that I am mad. http://rantthedayaway.blogspot.com/search/label/sardines

23 October 2011

A Rant about the “Public”

One person is smart, people are stupid
If I had written this post a few years ago, I would be blaming the media right now for the views and reactions of the public these days.  But the fact is, the only people we have to blame are ourselves.

I first started to notice the real effect that the media had on the public when Madeleine McCann went missing.  The way her parents were treated in the media was horrific, especially bearing in mind what they were already going through.  But then I stopped to think.

The general public seem to thrive on controversy and “the next thing to rant about”.  The tabloids are obviously selling and writing about what the public want to read about, otherwise they would go out of business, with no papers sold.  So the question is, is it their fault, or our own?

With the whole phone hacking thing, although it was horrible that victims and their families had been hacked, the fact is that it has been going on for years.  People, mainly celebrities, have complained about being hacked for years, but because the public wanted to hear the stories, they didn’t care that how that information was obtained.

I have to wonder then, who really can judge the rights and wrongs of the media.  People in their millions bought and lapped up all the stories of kidnap, murder and sensational stories and in turn, the media are put under increasing pressure to produce those stories. 

Don’t get me wrong, phone hacking is wrong, but the question I have is how much is pressure to produce a factor, bearing in mind the obvious public wanting of these stories.  Shouldn’t we be accountable too?

This post started from watching the XFactor (British) this weekend.  A judge telling a 17 year old girl that she is a bully in front of millions, surely that is bullying in itself?  Because of his comments, the papers pick up on it, no doubt now she will be investigated by the tabloids, every person she has ever known asked for bullying stories, and the public will lap it up.

I was watching the results show and watched in horror when one of the final two was loudly booed.  What right do we have to do that to someone?  They still have feelings, yet it is practically turned into a blood sport without care of who is hurt.

Is that what the general public really have turned into?  A baying crowd, wanting blood and controversy no matter what the price? 

The fact is, the public have turned into sheep.  Following whatever is popular opinion at the moment, always looking for the next thing to get on their soap box about.   This is why I usually don’t watch the reality shows, and why I don’t read the tabloids.

The public need to vote with their feet, if you want news and stories of something more than celebrities, controversy and ripping people to pieces, don’t buy the paper. 

They write what sells, so in the end, the contents of the tabloids is our fault, not theirs.

20 October 2011

Storm in a F Cup

So.  Large breasts.  Some men love them, some women want them, but to have them, I guarantee is a different thing.

I started to get breasts at the age of ten.  At that time it was a thrill.  Everyone wanted some too, it was the topic of endless discussion, made me feel special in a way, especially because before I wasn’t one of the “popular” kids.  Trouble is, they kept growing.

These days I am a FF cup.  Nearly every woman I encounter who brings them up, including friends, always have the same comments.  “I’ll swop you” “You are so lucky!” “I’d like to have them, just for one day”
Don’t misunderstand me, in some respects, I do like them.  But more often that not, they are a hindrance that I could do without.

If you have larger breasts, you have to have a confidence about you.  I don’t particularly, but I can fake it well.  They come up regularly in conversations, so much so that it gets extremely irritating.  They grew, they are there, they are really so not interesting to have conversations about them.

You get used to people talking to your breasts inside of looking at your eyes.  Clothes are a problem too.  You have to wear a v neck or a round neck in order to make sure they don’t look bigger, but with the majority of clothes, I end up showing more cleavage than I actually want to which attracts more attention than I want.

The thing however that irritates me more than anything is the touching thing.  When you have large breasts, they somehow appear to be public property.  The amount of times I have been out, in a bar or a club and a man has had a comment about the size, and then copped a feel.  Every single one (after a slap or a few heated words) seem to think that they have done nothing wrong.

The other view people tend to have of you is, although to be fair this only comes from the sleazy type of man, that you are automatically easy because of your big breasts.  I’m not by the way.

They say you have to own what you have and make the best of it.  So that’s what I do.  Just wanted to give the perspective of a girl with a lot up top.

18 October 2011

Baby, Baby, Baby Noooo!

Question.  What is it about people when they have a baby.  The most normal person in the world suddenly turns into this baby obsessed, all they can talk about person.  Like they have just given birth to Christ or something.

 
Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of friends who didn’t turn into crazy people when they had a baby.  To be fair, they were crazy anyway, being my friends, but in a good way.

 
When a friend tells me they are pregnant, after the mandatory congratulations etc (am not a baby person myself, never want one but am not evil, I can be nice and say congrats) what I don’t tell them is that they are put on probation for social networking.

 
For the purpose of the blog, I will use Facebook as the social network of choice.

 
Things that are Allowed
  • Telling people you are pregnant – it’s interesting, people will want to know and congratulate you.
  • Scan photo – not something I am interested in at all, but ok, some may like it.
  • Occasional pregnancy updates.  Please note this does not include tales of throwing up, heartburn or      anything gross.
  • The first baby picture. 
  • Afterwards, occasional, and by that I mean one every month, pictures of baby.

Things That Fuck Me Right Off
  • Creating a Facebook page for the baby, including when it is still inside you.  It is wrong, it is stupid and if it sends me a friend request…. DENIED!!!
  • Constant updates regarding how you are doing, particularly relating to morning sickness, sex life (yes I have seen pregnancy sex life updates) etc.  I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.
  • Once the baby is born, photos every other day.  Yes your baby is cute (hopefully).  No I don’t want to see it every day.  It’s a baby, WE HAVE ALL SEEN ONE BEFORE!
  • Daily update reports.  Baby has smiled, giggled, had a baby massage etc.....
By the way, what the fuck is baby massage??  People have been having babies for thousands of years.  I have yet to meet a baby that said “Hey, you know what I would like?  A nice massage!”. 

 
I am probably coming across as the anti-christ of babies, which I am not.  I’m happy if you have had a baby,  I respect your choice to have one and appreciate how much you will love it.

 
The thing is, I don’t love it, I don’t want to see it every day and I couldn’t give a rats ass what it does until:

 
a)  It starts speaking and;
b) Actually, that's about it.

13 October 2011

25 Things Random Things

This was something done on Facebook a while ago, but I figure, if you are going to do a blog, you should give people something about yourself too.

You are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

1. I have a love of shoes (which is a problem in itself, see 2) and Formula One.
2. I have a major case of climacophobia (fear of stairs, climbing, or of falling downstairs). Be it one step or twenty, dizziness ensues and panic sets in.
3. Everyone says I pout all the time but I don’t, it’s the shape of my lips people!!!
4. I have a few really close friends as opposed to loads and loads, which I prefer.
5. I love horror movies, the scarier the better, but horror books make me too scared – yes I am weird!
6. I love fast cars, driving myself or being driven. There is nothing quite like the thrill of going over 100mph.   Probably why I love F1!
7. I would sell my soul (or part of it at least) for a Porsche 911.
8. I always try to make sure that the people around me are happy.
9. I am like Bambi on ice when it snows – I am guaranteed to fall over.
10. I am still looking for someone who is my brand of crazy, and wonder if I ever will.
11. I subscribe to the saying “Sarcasm is the highest form of wit”.
12. I have one sister, one half sister and a half brother.
13. I don’t want children, but I do want to get married.
14. I am having problems completing this list!
15. I love punk, rock, some heavy metal and some pop music but I hate country.
16. I am incapable of buying anything in a sale, if no one else wanted it, why should you?
17. I have never had a filling, a broken bone or stitches.
18. I don’t believe in God but I do believe that your soul carries on somehow/somewhere after death.
19. I have lived in more than one country and would one day love to move away again, preferably somewhere sunny.
20. It took me two attempts to pass my driving test.
21. I love secrets. Having them and having people confide them in me.
22. At different parts of my life I have been a blonde, a brunette and red head.
23. I am an extremely ditzy person, but I like that about myself.
24. I will automatically give you my trust and loyalty, but woe betide you if you break either.
25. I wonder quite a lot whether people are talking to my eyes or my chest!

The Vodka Scooter

You may have seen this before, but it made me laugh so much am going to share with you anyway.  I didn't write it, but I wish I had.

How many times have you woken up in the morning after a hard night drinking and thought, 'How on earth did I get home?'  As hard as you try, you cannot piece together your return journey from the pub to your house. 

The answer to this puzzle is that you used a “Vodka Scooter."

The Vodka Scooter is a mythical form of transport, owned and leased to the drunk by Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine. The Vodka Scooter works in the following fashion - The passenger reaches a certain level of drunkenness and the "slurring gland" begins to give off a pheromone. Bacchus or one of his many sub-contractors detects this >pheromone and sends down a winged Vodka Scooter.

The scooter scoops up the passenger and deposits them in their bedroom via a Trans-Dimensional Portal. This is not cheap to run, so a large portion of the passenger's in-pocket cash is taken as payment. This answers the second questions after a night out, "How did I spend so much money?'

Unfortunately, Vodka Scooters have a poor safety record and are thought to be responsible for over 90% of all UDI (Unidentified Drinking Injuries), such as bruised legs, stubbed toes, scratched hands and a sore spot on the top of your head.

An undocumented feature of the Vodka Scooter is the destruction of time segments during the trip. The nature of Trans-Dimensional Portals dictates that time will be lost, seemingly unaccounted for. This answers a third question after a night out, "What the hell happened?"

With good intentions, Bacchus opted for the REMIT (Removal of Embarrassing Moments In Time) add on, that automatically removes, in descending order, those parts in time regretted most. Unfortunately one person's REMIT is not necessarily the REMIT of another's and quite often, lost time is regained in discussions over a period of time.

Independent studies have also shown that Beer Goggles often cause the Scooter's navigation system to malfunction thus sending passengers to the wrong bedroom with the wrong person, often with horrific consequences.

Vodka Scooters come equipped with Thump-A-Lot boots (Patent Pending). These boots are designed in such a way that no matter how quietly you tiptoe up the stairs, you are sure to wake either everyone else in the house or your downstairs neighbours. Special anti-gravity springs ensure that you bump into every wall in the house and the CTSGS (Coffee Table Seeking Guidance System) explains the bruised shins.

Don't forget the on-board heater, which allows you to comfortably get home from the pub in sub-zero temperatures, wearing just a small outfit for the ladies or for the men, no jacket.

Vodka scooters........the wonders of modern technology...have you ever had a ride on one??!!

A very mini rant

If one more person today complains about the IOS5 upgrade and how boo hoo they will have to rejailbreak their phone, I am going to scream.  Also, "It took me hours!!" Followed by "It's amazing, it's amazing!".

I'm stuck on a 3G, with no upgrade for six months and am well behind the times.  Apparently the 3GS didn't get the update either.

So if you have an Iphone 4, STOP BLOODY MOANING!!!!

Yes am aware this is a little throw my toys out of the pram moment ;)  But I feel better now.

11 October 2011

Bad Bieber

I keep hearing news reports, well I says news, more like gossip sites headlines that Justin Bieber has recently tweeted, saying he has “bought” a tiger.

According to the reports I have read, he was visiting a zoo in Sao Paulo, Brazil when he tweeted a picture of a white Bengal tiger, saying “Look what I bought”. Hmmmm.  He is, apparently, and I say apparently because I have no interest in him whatsoever, quite fond of pranks so the news may or may not be true.

He was however the cause of my blog today.  Mainly because, me being me, I saw the headlines and said to myself, apart from the fact that surely his advisors, parents etc would have advised him against it, how could he possibly have a “pet” tiger in the US?  Turns out, unbelievably, you can.

In a world where three of the nine subspecies of tiger are now extinct, with the remaining six on the danger list thanks to hunt, deforestation, poaching and trophy hunting, how can you possibly justify keeping a tiger for a pet?

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums have estimated that there are up to 12,000 tigers being held in the US.  Considering that the wild population is considered somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000, this figure is astounding.

There are only (please correct me if I am wrong here) 19 states in the US that ban the private ownership of a tiger.  How in this day and age is that possible?
 
Just think about it, where you would prefer a tiger to be?  Here:
tiger

That’s where they should be.  Where they were born to be.  I can’t imagine the privilege of seeing a wild tiger, in it’s own habitat, living and doing exactly what it was meant to. 

Or, would you prefer to see it hanging on your wall or as a rug on the floor?  Being shot for pleasure?  Being killed and cut up to be used for Chinese medicines which have been proved not to work?

I know what I would prefer.

If you are interested in conservation and the preservation of the wild animals of this planet,  link on this link: Four Paws

10 October 2011

TheCooperdiary@blogspot.com

Just a quick little update.  This blog has had a name change from the above!

8 October 2011

And So It Begins

X-Factor is back on our screens.  It is a guilty pleasure of mine.  I'm not one to watch soaps or even many TV programmes.  Am more of a movie person.  But X-Factor I quite like.

I like watching the different acts, figuring out who I like and who and I don't.  Watching them progress, or crumble, during the weeks.  What I don't do, and for the life of me I can't understand why others do, is invest my emotions into it.

At the end of the day it is just a reality show, with people you don't know, and won't care about three months after the show is over.

What I hate is not the X-Factor itself, but how people get so invested into it.  It's a competition, some will lose, one will win.  It's that simple.  There will always be the people in there put in for entertainment only, this year it's Johnny Robinson and would also have been Goldie, if she hadn't figured out that she was a fun factor only.

Every single year people get irate about the fun factor people staying in and others who can sing getting voted out.  But in the end, the best people are usually in the final, so who bloody cares?  People get so mad about people getting voted off, with cries of "I'm never watching again, it's a farce!"  But of course, they do still watch.

Get a life, realise it is only a reality programme, and enjoy it for what it is.  Rant (mini) over.

6 October 2011

It’s Illogical, But Then, So Am I

I believe in making an effort when I go to work. You will usually find me in nice shoes, a dress, make-up etc. Don't get me wrong though, I am not the oompa loompa type with false eyelashes, three inches of make-up and hair extensions.



The hair though, confuses me.

Like everyone, I get the days when I get up too late to do anything with it, or have washed it the night before, going to bed with it still wet which means I closely resemble someone who has stuck their fingers in a plug socket in the morning.

Those are the days though when I people have complimented me on my hair. When I haven't done a damn thing with it and I have looked in the mirror and gone "Eek!".

The first time it happens I presumed it was that thing that people do, lie to someone about their very bad hairdo by telling them it's lovely. On a side note, I wouldn't do that. If I don't know you, I am not going to lie to you about something and if you are a friend, I would tell you straight. Well I would direct you to a comb at least.

Anyway, this happened a couple of times and then today, hair messy, I got asked if I was going on a date at lunch as my hair was nice. Then later, someone else commented, asking me what I had done as they wanted to do something similar.

WTF is going on people?

So today I have drawn a conclusion, why spend the time doing my hair, when it looks better when I just crawl out of bed? Although of course, being a woman, I will continue to ignore my own advice and carry on with the straighteners.


1 October 2011

Your Music Mood

Music, the thing that you can sit back and listen to, dance to, cry to, use to uplift your mood and make your day a little better.

The thing I love about music is how it makes you feel.  How you can be in a bad mood, then the right song comes on and it completely lifts you out of the doldrums.  Songs hold your memories, you listen to them and it takes you right back to the memory of the time that you heard it.  Good memories, bad memories, memories you never want to forget.

Here are a (very) few of my favourites, some with an explanation of the memory I hold.  The first I will post the Youtube video here because it is so special, the rest are links to listen to if you wish…

Teitur – The One and Only


This song is one of my favourite memories.  This was the song my best friend walked down the aisle to on her wedding day.  We had all jetted off to Cyprus for the wedding, just 14 of us, all the best of friends.  Listening to that song brings me right back to that day, without doubt the happiest I have ever been for someone else.

Livin' Joy - Dreamer
An oldie (in relative terms) but again one packed full of memories.  A dance tune from the 90’s which takes me back to when I first started hitting the town when I was young(er).  The excitement of going to a club for the first time, hearing the music, it makes me smile every time I hear it.

No explanation needed, if you love punk rock music from the seventies, you will and probably already do love this.

The most painful song I own.  Nothing to do with the movie, this was the song my mum played at my dad’s funeral.  I rarely listen to it, but I could never be without it.

This song changed the way I thought when I heard it as a teenager, and now when I listen to, I realise how true it is.

A “get me of out of a bad mood” song.  I defy you not to smile when it plays.

It’s beautiful.  The video is not great,but I implore you, get the song.

Pure driving song, if you love to drive and this comes on the radio on the motorway, watch the speedo!

Well that is just a very few of the songs I love.   Enjoy!  I do not own the rights to any of the materials, right or songs above.