Saturday 31 October 2009

After a few tinctures...

So what's all this about blogging?

I just love talking to friends that I'll never meet personally (unless they make a special effort, like a certain lovely lady, and her biggest chum, from the West...) but with whom I can carry on a perfect discussion, rather like a fleeting meeting at a business function, or even locally in a pub; and we can therefore generate a bond.

Everyone who bothers to read the Scrobs gibberish automatically becomes a friend to the 'man' himself (just in case someone believed that Lilith correctly scavenged my name from the blogosphere, and I'm definitely not Kylie, well, not the last time I looked...), and I would be heartbroken to lose contact with anyone who ends up here!

What bothers me is that somehow, there could be the possibility that I'd lose my good friends; most of which are listed on the left of this post, and I'd feel pretty bad if anyone left.

This script is written after several tinctures with Mrs S, (we do this as a standard - after 37 years, it becomes a pleasant interlude) and comes with the very best intentions to love and like just about everyone who visits here!

Friday 30 October 2009


Mr Elias Sagtrouser, whom friends here will know as the Avuncular Purveyor of Building Requisites, mentioned the other day that one of his 'Clients', (well, if you can call a 'gardening contractor' a 'client', without wondering why all he does is drive a ride-on mower around a lawn and get paid for it, when all the difficult jobs like lopping trees, digging trenches for serious shrubs and other dirty/skillful manual tasks are assigned to civil engineers who normally manage railways or build dams), has been considering buying a new pick-up truck.

As his 'client', (ha ha; still makes me laugh...), has finally decided what to get, this is what really made his mind up...

Saturday 24 October 2009

Ice cold in Outlook...

My apologies for the fact that blogging has been somewhat light lately, (Lightlately sounds like a Dickens character from some Highland craggy castle - "Och Miss Lightlately, yooor arms are sooo heiry and strong fro' the washing of the Tweeds..."..."Tha's because it's Misterrrr Dougal Lightlately..."); but unlike Cranmer, the black hole I've been staring into has been the screen on my computer.

You see, my 'work' PC has been giving my backside the earache for some weeks now; Mrs S's PC sings like a bird, and although it has the dreaded Vista, we can make it do what we want after a few clops round the mouse, and perhaps a Hob Nob, but my PC has had a serious sulk in the Outlook department, which I use exclusively for business. In fact, I'm quite a dab hand at Outlook, although it's not the latest version, and although I'm not really a techie, definitely not a geek, I reckon I can turn the mitts to most things.

(Well, except where mains electricity is prevalent, especially after I pulled 30 amps from the back of the cooker while poking around inside, and it chucked me across to the other side of the kitchen with a loud squawk, and caused Mrs S some anguish while she gently folded her twitching husband into the recovery position, which was interesting...). Oh and also I'm buggered if I can work out why the bottom of our frost-free freezer accumulates ice quicker that the Great Scandinavian Glacier. In fact, it may not be long before the whole of the Turrets will be encased in a bloody great blue ice cube, eventually sliding downhill and probably reaching Bodiam Castle by 2015! But I digress.

My Outlook programme, which contains carefully filed emails from business acquaintances, decided to get nasty, and after getting into a serious hump last week, stopped working altogether. I'd been backing everything up over the past few days onto one of those hard disks from PCWorld, which hold about 500 squillobytes of kit, and had just finished the final upload, when the programme crashed around my ears.

It was smouldering and very upset with something or other...

The good people at 'Computeractive' and also 'Daniweb', had been spending some considerable time to try and sort out the problem of 'Outlook freezing', (there you are, freezers again...), with helpful advice and attempts to solve the problem, but nope; none of the ideas worked, and my PC still (probably) had a corrupt PST file flying around inside like a fart in a colander, intent on causing mayhem and destruction.

My language had deteriorated to the utterly obscene, ranging from Early Connolly, through Anglo Saxon Woss, and finally becoming Normal Geldof, and at one stage, after one particularly spectacular incident, JRT ran from my office with both front paws clasped over her ears, growling concernedly, and Mrs S was beginning to wonder why she could'nt commence beating me round the head with several garden implements.

So I reinstalled Windows! Yup; the modern day equivalent of driving your mother's Jaguar into a passing church service for confused parish councillors...

Just like that; all done in a day and it isn't anything like as painful as you'd expect, as long as you've saved all the important stuff of course. You wouldn't believe how much crap and rubbish my poor old PC had accumulated over the few years of it's existence! There were old programmes long forgotten, bits of smut from chums (thanks a bunch Roger, next time send it without sound...), some files duplicated to hero proportions, a piece of software for some kit which I never knew existed, some mail from a nice Nigerian wanting to use my bank, and a cache of stuff from some adventure game I'd been given years ago, which after spending about six months solving all the clues, ended up in a cellar under a station in blind terror with some chanting Acolytes from a Dan Brown story!

And now, I can log on with lightning speed, the hard disk has 40% less junk on it, which just shows how I'm not really that good at chucking things away, and Outlook downloaded 3016 emails from my server with a few quiet clicks and a huge sigh of relief... And I can also listen to music again as the sound system had originally packed up, so I'm feeling pretty proud I can tell you!

But I do want to get all my pictures back on, because my favourite one of JRT, before she came to live with us, is still in the HD, and I want that back pretty soon as a desk top...

Tuesday 20 October 2009

For Cranmer ...

I'm more than a little concerned to see that Cranmer is not up to the line as of late. It had to be Old Holborn who alerted the post from last Friday, and although I must confess, I don't read everyone's blog all the time, I do rather like Cranmer's style and well thought script.

So, among the many followers he has, I've just slid this under the mat on his comments list - now approaching 200; but it does mean something to me in this particular case.

Here's my post on his site.

Morning Your Grace!

Recently I Blogged this because I'd been sent one of those 'pass it on for Good Luck' emails, which I usually ignore.

But, feeling a bit low, and knowing who'd sent it to me, I found 20 or so names and sent it off - presumably to forget that I was going to receive some 'good luck', (because I need it too I can tell you)!

The 'Good Luck' came back in a most peculiar way.

It came in the form of several emails from old friends and contacts, who had recently lost their jobs, lost their homes, even their families etc, and it took me several days to realise that I had the 'good luck' already, while many people were losing or had lost what was due to them!

I don't really know if this helps, but judging by the number of concerned posters here, I reckon you're in credit for 'Good Luck' now, and can move on.

Just a thought.

And now, I'm glad I said that, because Mrs S and I can face anyone as a team, and I'd like to think that he's got that advantage too.

Thursday 15 October 2009

L.S.D. in metric...

They're refurbishing Wadhurst station - one of my many routes up to town, depending on how I feel when I walk out of the Turrets. The lady and the chap who work there are charming, very friendly, and always have a pleasant comment to make; even to a dishevelled bloke with a Senior Railcard, and travelling after 9.00 am...

On Wednesday, when I arrived, the lady was sitting in the waiting room surrounded by what looked like bomb damage, with weapons of mass destruction in every corner, and a huge hole in the wall. It was clear what they were doing; replacing the ticket office window, which had always seemed too high, and not appropriate today with the myriad of electronic kit you have to survive to buy a ticket.

One of the two chaps working there, suddenly exclaimed that he couldn't understand what "12s and 17s 6d meant"... He'd discovered a shred of old newspaper tucked in the wall cavity, and was reading the adverts for rooms to let in Clapham. We couldn't find the date, but it was probably about the early 1900s.

I translated, and even then got it wrong at first, but 60p and 87.5p seems a fair price if you want to live in Clapham. He was delighted too! So there we have the result of all the bungling of changing to decimal coinage in February, 1971, (the week before I first went out with Mrs S), and it's taken all this time for the change eventually to filter through! There was the usual political disorganisation, bureaucrats who still had to use their fingers to count, and weasley traders cashing in on the disorientation - especially the Government; oooh yes... Euro anyone?

I had to learn construction measurement in both Imperial and Metric in the late sixties; we were in the first wave of students who did this and it seemed a nightmare at the time. I still work in both regimes, e.g., I made the Electro-K bass in Imperial, but am currently making a cold frame in metric, and agent's particulars still print space sizes in both, with one in brackets!

It still seems to me that like most politically expedient gestures, there's an awful lot of work for state pen pushers, and their 'consultants', to get paid for, just to fiddle around with the rules and get nowhere. I bet there's an office somewhere in London, where about three hundred people have spent all their working lives on achieving almost nothing, dealing with the change to European weights and measures!

Meanwhile, the good people at Wadhurst Station can soon have a cleaner place to work, most passengers will be happy too, and I will at last be able to reach the buttons on the keypad...

Thursday 8 October 2009

For Mrs Elecs...

This is a real favourite of mine,, and I'd like to dedicate it to Mrs Elecs, who is a lovely lady, and can bring beauty and grace to any post!

Wednesday 7 October 2009

All on expenses...


An MP parks his brand new Lexus on a double yellow line in Parliament Square to show it off to his colleagues, and assembled sycophants, spads and wonks.

As he's getting out of the car, a No 11 bus comes speeding along and takes off the door before zooming off down Victoria Street.

More than a little distraught, the MP grabs his mobile and screams for the police, shouting ‘commands’ all the time and annoying the passers-by, and the residents in the blue plastic tents more than somewhat. The Police arrive a few minutes later, but before the copper has a chance to ask any questions, the man starts screaming hysterically: 'My Lexus, my beautiful silver state benefit Lexus is ruined. No matter how long it's at the panel beaters, it'll simply never be the same again!'

After the MP finally finishes his rant, the policeman shakes his head in disgust.
'I can't believe how materialistic you bloody MPs are,' he says. 'You lot are so focused on your fiddling your expenses and claiming for things you don’t deserve, that you don't notice anything else going on in your life.'

'How can you say such a thing at a time like this?' sobs the MP. “Don’t you know who I am; I’m bloody important I can tell you?’

The policeman replies, 'Not really, I presume you sometimes turn up here occasionally, but didn't you realise that your right arm was torn off when the bus hit you.'

The MP looks down in horror. 'F*****G HELL!' he screams........'My Rolex????...

Thursday 1 October 2009

Handbags at dawn...

This pic was taken in a forest not far from here, and reminded me of a short story, somewhat prompted by some of Guido's posts this morning...

Two Crocodiles were sitting at the side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

The smaller one turned to the bigger one and said, 'I can't understand how you can be so much bigger than me. We're the same age, we were the same size as kids. I just don't get it.'

'Well,' said the big Croc, 'what have you been eating?'

'Politicians, same as you,' replied the small Croc.

'Hmm... Well, where do you catch them?'

'Down the other side of the lake near the Houses of Parliament.'

'Same here. Hmm... How do you catch them?'

'Well, I crawl up under one of their Lexus cars and wait for one to unlock the car door. Then I jump out, grab them by the leg, shake the shit out of them and eat 'em!'

'Ah!' says the big Crocodile, 'I think I see your problem. You're not getting any real nourishment. See, by the time you finish shaking the shit out of a Politician, there's nothing left but an arsehole and a briefcase.'