Monday, 31 March 2008


I don't think I've been to Leeds railway station before - it's fascinating. It seems to be built on a slope so the platform next to this one is much higher. The platform lengths are divided into sections identifed by letter so if I've not been in 2C I've no idea where this train will land up. I'll need to change some money soon - are beads still the main currency in Yorkshire? :-)

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone


Sending this simply because I can - I'm on a train with a free (but slow) wifi connection! How cool is that?

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Simple twist of fate

Many years ago I worked as an auditor for a group of funeral directors. They were a national company and I was responsible for the businesses north of Birmingham. One day I arrived at a satellite office in Kidsgrove and as I waited for someone to let me in I saw a plaque to say that RJ Mitchell had been born there. On Friday I saw a train with his name on it - how spooky is that? Of course there will be some reading this who don't know who Mitchell was but he has a page on Wikipedia so he must be famous :-)
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Boyz night in

The weather precludes anything which means staying outside for long so Cal and I have had a film-fest. Stocked up on food yesterday and got stuck in to "Casino Royale". We saw it at the cinema shortly after release and I'm still a fan though I think it gets lost a little in the middle. Today we had to go out (cab service for Rowan) but we slotted in "National Treasure" and "Die Hard 4.0". We saw National treasure 2 at the cinema recently so it was interesting to see how much it followed the formula/plot of the first. Bruce Willis in vest and blood is predictable but fun and comparing the 21st C plot with the original is fascinating.

Cal is going home tomorrow and I've still got another four films to watch!

Friday, 21 March 2008

Sheep shot

Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
Sheep and lambs in the orchard behind the house. This post is for those who live in towns.

I love personalised adverts

Not sure that the hair loss advert is really going to attract me too much!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

5 Ways To Have Fun with Twitter When You're Bored - ReadWriteWeb

5 Ways To Have Fun with Twitter When You're Bored - ReadWriteWeb

Laura blogged this and I love it but I did have to read her post a few times to work out what she's calling Martin - I really should wear my glasses when reading blogs......

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Monday, 17 March 2008

£10.4bn skills council scrapped

The Learning and Skills Council is to be abolished, as local authorities take charge of training places up to 18.

View Original Article

Predictable really - the government emasculated the LSCs years ago and they've been lining them up for abolition. Of course there will now be a period during which anything which goes wrong will be due to "the previous setup" followed by a period while "everyone is getting used to the new arrangements" and while all this is happening FE colleges will be further starved of funds and adults (young and older) will miss out on opportunities to improve their skills.

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Rochester CastleWent to Rochester yesterday - the weather was foul but we had afternoon tea (well coffee really). The three people in this photo were with me - Calum, Jemma and Aska - Japanese exchange student.
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Sunday, 16 March 2008

Don't forget Tibet

This dramatic photograph shows crowds, including priests, openly displaying the Tibetan flag - in Tibet - while being watched by police. The Chinese authorities claim that 10 people have been killed during the current unrest while Indian news agencies put the numbers at more than 80.

Check the BBC report for more details.

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Saturday, 15 March 2008

School left in dark gets apology

Leybourne School

Autistic pupils at a school that was without heating and lighting for five days receive an apology from a council.

Three days after the thieves stole the electricity cables the authority provided a generator but it broke down within 24 hours. Jill Hewett, whose son Josh is a pupil at Grange Park, said: "If this was a big school, a mainstream secondary school, with say a thousand children in it, this problem would have been sorted out within days.
View Original Article (BBC Kent)

That this school caters for pupils with special needs shouldn't come into it. A week without heating and lighting, in one of the wealthiest areas of the UK - itself one of the most developed countries in the world, is simply unacceptable isn't it?

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Thursday, 13 March 2008

The first casualty of war?

Ministry of Defence teaching materials that give an unbalanced view of the Iraq war are being used in schools, teachers' leaders have said.

It seems that some of the more brutal realities of the war in Iraq have been missed from materials provided for use by schools and while we're at it military recruiters play down the potential dangers of a military career when talking to schoolchildren.

It's probably me but I'm not really surprised by this - I'm not being cynical but pragmatic.

Let's look at the recruitment issue first. The military "consumes" people each year through natural wastage - after 20-some years, at an age between 40 and 50, the longest serving foot soldiers (generally those below sergeant) are slung out with a pension. They need replacing and that's why the recruiters visit schools. If they included images of ex-servicemen and women with catastrophic injuries or of body-bags it's hard to imagine that they'd fill their quotas - even now there are problems getting enough people through the doors. Last February the New Statesman highlighted some of the shortfalls and some of the strategies being adopted to try to fill the gaps.

Thus can we also be surprised that a government still stuck in a costly war isn't flooding schools with statistics about civilian casualties?

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Sunday, 9 March 2008


Blunogville is my city on MyMiniCity. By inviting visitors (that'll be you guys) we can make the city grow and prosper and thrive and I can have a big palace and live in splendour and you can all toil in the fields and send me tithes and I can get the whole Droit de seigneur thing going and we'll all live happily ever after - or at least I will, you guys will all be villeins and I think there is a certain amount of grief in the job spec but hey ho.

So visit Blunogville please? :-)

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Saturday, 8 March 2008

Cheap jokes

Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
Spotted this while flitting round Morrisons. Someone has already started with the comments on Flickr

Monday, 3 March 2008

Config.sys is corrupt a/r/f

Brakes stuck on train so driver was told to 'reboot' it. When I worked in IT support that was always the first thing we'd suggest!

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone


The whole lane was blocked - no idea whether they are unstuck now.

Later: Sent the photo and brief text from the phone on the way to work. The blue lorry n the right is a Pickfords van and is being loaded. The orange lorry is trying to squeeze by and the driver's mate was on the roof of the cab checking clearance on both sides as he edged forwards. This is Forge Lane and it's a busy lane between southern Maidstone and East Farleigh and a bridge over the Medway.