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My Rants

Welcome all, and yes, I'm still prtty angry (but in a nice controlled way). We're now a few months into 2013 and I feel I've been letting you down by not adding more snippets of annoyance so... as well as my little backlog... there's some more stuff below ...

The April Blues

Well, not really. In fact seeing the sun come out is more than a pleasure this year, especially after such a long cold winter. But I don't think that should stop me showing my displeasure at one or two things and this week I'm turning my attention to the laws on driving. Now, yes it is true that I once drove into the side of a moving train and had to sit there and watch the front of my car being sliced off by the wheels of the carriage I'd just hit but... that was a long time ago, on a badly maintained level crossing and... the sun was in my eyes so... clearly it wasn't my fault! (Honest your Honour!)

In addition, the incident took place nearly twenty years ago and since that time my driving has become nothing short of brilliant (of course). Unfortunately, in my view this isn't true of others who share the road. For example, when did people start to forget how to use roundabouts? Now, if they were American you could understand it as they don't have roundabouts (think back to the roundabout scene in the film 'National Lampoons European Vacation' or, on second thoughts - don't!). Anyway, it seems that cutting across the solid white lines as you wind your way around a roundabout (try saying that when you've had a few) is no longer a traffic offence. From now on I'm sticking to my lane and no-one, I say no-one is making me move over (unless you're very, very big or a bus!)

And another thing... don't you just hate those drivers who sneak up those few extra meters after you've been told by all the signs over the last three miles to move into a single lane! Grrr. And if they were honest about it I probably wouldn't mind so much but... instead, when challenged they often go into some weird Marcel Marceau routine contorting their faces and wildly throwing their hands around as if to try to indicate they didn't see the thirty odd signs telling them to get in line in the first place. Personally, I'd be in favour of marksmen being placed on the grassy knole always ready to shoot out their tyres!

Phew! I feel better for that!

My First 2013 Rant


Or rather, the overuse of the word MASSIVE. For some strange reason, this word seems to have creeped into almost every area of public life. During the course of a normal day I hear it from my kids, from people that I work with, in the papers, on the radio and...  multiple times on the TV (especially from News Reporters!).

The problem is, nothing anymore seems to be described as 'big', 'large', 'huge', 'enormous' or, any other similarly descriptive term. Instead, everything has to be 'MASSIVE', as though that will give added impetus or weight to whatever point someone is trying to make. And of course, ultimately, with the overuse of the word it has, or will, eventually diminish the sense of drama that comes with its use.

For example, the latest successful record for any well-known band or singer is always a 'massive' hit, despite the fact that it probably only sells a fraction of what many artists in the past might have sold! Which probably makes it 'mildly successful', although of course, that doesn't quite sound as impressive. Anyway, as soon as they say the word 'massive', I immediately stop listening!

What do you think?

Mindless Throwaway Music
The over influence of bland, throwaway music. I know, I know. You're probably thinking it's just an age thing. Well, I don't think so. I'd be the first to admit to the fact that there's always been a lot of mediocre stuff around during times past but I don't think it's ever been as bad as it is just now. Besides, isn't it time we had another music revolution to shake everything up again? Like punk music did in the seventies.

It's not Cool!
People who say 'cool' all the time. It's a stupid word to use and should have been banned years ago, unless of course, you're talking about the art of refrigeration or describing a David Attenborough programme about penguins in the Antartic! I rest my case.

TV News
What is this obsession with illustrating news items by using special effects to make a simple 'PowerPoint style' graphic out of something that appears within the camera frame. Yesterday I sat dumbfounded as I watched a lunchtime news reporter who explained away the budget using random road signs around London. He even used simple up and down 'street' direction signs to report on the state of the economy. Have we really become so stupid we have to have everything explained to us like children using banal graphics and simple, complementative (?) dialogue?  Come the revolution brother, come the revolution ...

Right, now that I've got that off my chest here's my ANGRY list . . (in no particular order).

  • The overuse of the word 'Entrepreneur'. Aghhh! (I've just bitten the inside of my cheek)
  • ...and the same goes for the word 'Innovation' (sometimes)
  • Chewing Gum on Pavements
  • Dog Poo on pavements
  • Any program on TV that has 'Celebrity' in the title.
  • Any program on TV that has 'comedy' in the title (it won't be funny!)
  • Hairdressers that ask you if you need some 'Product' on your hair. What the hell is Product anyway!
  • Rubbish PowerPoint Presentations (which means most of them!)
  • Those bloody insurance adverts with that dog thing called 'Churchill' on TV (Time for a cull?)
  • And that stupid, gut bustingly awful 118 118 adverts (The main reason for getting rid of my TV (Something never regretted!)

More spleen venting ...

Planning Regulations

I'm currently in the process of building a new house and I've just had to steer my way through all the new planning regulations. In particular, the new disablement access which now has to be built into every house. This is madness. It's the nanny state gone totally insane.

I've absolutely nothing against disabled people, nor would I want to be perceived as being predjudiced against them in any way but... if we carry on bringing in more and more building regulations in the way that we are, we might just as well start designing the most boring buildings we can think of! For example, let's only build bungalows with one floor and single height internal floors. No steps allowed whatsoever and... let's make sure that the entire ground area is accessible to a turbo-charged, wide width wheelchair with wing mirrors. Everything in the house must be a standard height using standardised furniture and, of course, standardised colours (so as not to upset people with colour vision problems).

I have a bad back and it actually hurts me to stand at a conventional height work unit in the kitchen. I've suggested building something about 50mm higher which makes all the difference to me but guess what... apparently I'll be contravening design legislation. Aghhhh!  More to come on this!


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