Coming up from my Google side bar
"Britain's unhealthy teen girls 'likely to die young'" Healthy ones likely to be okay though.
"Dame Elizabeth Taylor weeps at sight of a bust of Richard Burton" His nose wasn't like that!
"Microsoft shelves Courier" Dear UPS. If you want him back send £20k in unmarked bills to...
"Case prompts mobile crackdown call" but is cancelled when they can't get a signal.
"Knife Attacks Plague Schools in China" China has Plague Schools and sentient knives?
"Belgium's burqa ban plans criticized" We thought you said Burger Van.
"Call of Duty Black Ops revealed - set for November 9 release" So only 193 days to go, start saving up.
"Kylie Minogue shows off her taut wrinkle-free face at charity gala" She found it one of those dusty little antique shops quite the bargain.
"Cheryl Cole: Sometimes I'm skanky " Sometimes?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Coming up from my Google side bar
For those who haven't caught Ricky Gervais' new show it stars one Karl Pilkington whose utterances can leave you flabbergasted as to where they came from. Then I get reminded that there are others around just like him.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
It's that time of year again when the levels of traffic through Stourport tend to increase. Not helped at the moment by Bewdley High Street still being out, but that wasn't the cause of the queues last night. For that you can thank the parked vehicles in Bridge Street.
Facing the bridge we had a pie van delivering to the shops on the right and blocking the lane from the bridge completely. Not that much of a problem as the road is wide and if the traffic to the bridge moves over a tad you can still get two normal vehicles through. Except for the car parked opposite outside Lloyds garage.
Then just to add to the fun there's a beer delivery at Ye Olde Inn on the left that's imposing (admittedly only slightly) into that lane.
Not to worry though as a traffic warden soon appeared to deal with... yeah right I think they must finish at 5pm.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Another tale from Jim. Having been on a cycle ride around the area they ended up at the ice cream place on the Riverside Meadows next to the skate-park. It was a nice day and busy and plenty of young kids were trying to use this area. I say trying because apparently they could only use a part of the skate-park as a group of older kids had commandeered an area to 'hang-out'.
I find this perfectly understandable as this is a prominent position to pose and be seen which a vital consideration for any young person, but it did cramp the style of those who wanted to use the area for the purposes for which it was built.
Do we have someone patrolling this area other than the PCSO's who can turf them out when it's obvious that others are trying to use it. Don't kick them off when it's deserted, it's not their fault someone has removed most of the benches, it's not their fault that a gazebo has been erected for them by someone who doesn't understand that the purpose is to be seen not hidden.
We just need some sensible supervision going on when it gets busy
A story from Jim. His wife needed a new bike so they visited Halfords in Kiddy. They knew exactly what they wanted and talking to the assistant he came back with something that his wife tested and liked.
Good news was this was old stock, with new stock coming in which means the price was reduced to clear. Except they couldn't sell it as it was the last one.
Turns out policy is that the racks need to be kept stocked to show they have lots of bikes on offer; if they sell the last one of a particular model that leaves a gap which looks bad. Not to worry they can sell it when the new stock arrives and it may be reduced in price even further. New stock arrives in 2 weeks. Can a deposit be put down on it? No. So what if it's sold by the time we return? Um.
Well done. They left.
In the end they went to (couldn't recall the name but from the location I believe it to be) Smiths Cycles where after hearing what they wanted the owner stated that he might have just what they wanted, just came in, still boxed up. He put it together for them there and then; and as more details emerged fitted the extras they wanted.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
According to the BBC (because certainly no-one local is giving out this information) we have six candidates standing for MP of Wyre Forest and I've had leaflets from them all. All of which of been scanned by me and added to The Straight Choice website except the Conservative one which was added by Tav 'cos I thought it was already present (old age galloping on)
This is an excellent site and allows us, the plebs, to keep an eye on what's being promised by what member in what area. On a less important note it allows us to see how each party are producing their missives.
Compare Sam Burden from Bromsgrove with Mike Foster from Worcester. Pretty much a template design with fill in a name and pledges. Compare that to our own Nigel Knowles' version and Katy Clarkes' in North Ayrshire; another template.
Not just Labour. Compare our own Mark Garnier with Andrew Garnet in Liverpool; don't those look similar. Although not everyone from the Conservatives have done the same thing.
The Lib Dems are at it too with Simon McDougall from Bognor Regis and Derek Deedman from Arundel
At least there's some individualism, it seems that both UKIP and the BNP have a one size fits all approach
Please understand I'm not criticising this practice, it makes sense for a party to present simple templates that their candidates can use; it's just that for pretty much the first time we get to see it in action.
I'll run some simple compare and contrasts just to see what if anything gets shaken out.
Again going cheap I picked up Borderlands for the PS3.
Pandora - a frontier desert planet filled with dangerous creatures and bandits, why would you come here? Because of The Vault. Alien technology, filled with riches and worth the hardships if you can just find it where so many before you have failed.
The same statistics seem to crop up whenever someone starts discussing car accidents and fatalities as demonstrated by pil on a comment to a Shuttle letter - 30mph = 80% survival, 40mph = 80% fatality. Now while I don't expect commentors to always provide links, particularly when the system doesn't allow them to do so properly, this is one that appears quite often in official publications.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Yep a request to update to version 9.1 brings with it once again the loss of my playlists and once again I have to reimport them, and wait for the album artwork to download, then reselect all the albums and request album artwork for all the ones it missed out as it imported them
Then once again import my Car playlist, and my purchased list.
Just so annoying.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Some people reported problems with the last 3.21 update when downloading from via the PS3, I certainly noticed it was slow and as it ties up the entire PS3 while running decided to download it via the computer with no bad results.
Now 3.30 has been released and yesterday I tried to do the same. I st it off and left it. Came back to see how it was doing and was surprised to see it had finished. Last time it was a 168,208KB file; as each update contains the previous I don't think the 48Mb file it had downloaded as complete was quite right.
I repeated the download 20-70kb/sec so I cancelled - just started re-downloading it before I started typing and it's just finished the full 170,409KB - 600kb/sec.
Methinks Sony's servers can't keep up with the pressure and this may be leading not only to the sluggish downloads, but the problems some people have been having.
[Update 27/4 - as an additional joy it seems this latest update is royally screwing with Dragon Age: Origins with the game constantly freezing up since the update. The talk is that earlier save games are causing the problems, which wouldn't be a real problem if they weren't frakking locked so you can't save them externally without doing a full frakking backup of the entire frakking system... thank you EA]
Friday, April 23, 2010
From the WFA some intelligence from the Conservative Party regarding Wyre Forest. It was the first line that got me thinking though
"Wyre Forest District Council has a minority Conservative administration"Well yes but it's still in charge, why the fuss? Well to an extent it's the same fuss that politicians kick-up over a hung parliament. To avoid bias the three main political parties of Alphans, Betans and Gammans welcome you to the District of Deltron and its three major towns of Eta, Theta, and Zeta.
Merely a quickie, but last night we had someone else coming out of New Street and trying to go straight over the island down York Street, that's the one-way system heading towards the island.
To be fair the one-way system isn't set-up well. We still get people doing this as the island and the road structure allow this easily and what with concentrating on the traffic it's easy to miss the No Entry signs amongst the clutter of lampposts and baskets. In the same way it's easy to turn the wrong way down Raven Street from the car-park, or from the garage or supermarket in Vale Road.
Really really need a overhaul of the system.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Oh and yes clicking on Properties and Test happily reports the scanner is working and yes it works from TWAIN acquisition.
I expected High Street to be a mess this morning, after all from past experience what could they accomplish in just one night? They've redone the entire tar section.
However it is now back to the standard black tar rather than the beige coating that we've had for so long and being so fresh it certainly contrasts with the block paving around it. Not only have they resurfaced this area, but they've also repainted the lines they've had to dig up, so the bay markings, the pedestrian points, and the double yellow lines are also back in place.
It's a good job, but as such it makes me wonder why it takes so long to do other similar jobs, why when finished most work goes unpainted for so long, and why having taken the trouble to close this particular stretch of road they didn't repaint the white dividing line to remind people that High Street is in fact two lanes?
Sadly I suspect the answers are - It was a special job, it was a special job, and because there wasn't one there when they took the surface up.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Fire trucks a police car and I think an ambulance all clustered just up from the store on Titton on the Worcster Road with a big plume of smoke in the air coming from what looks like one of the back yards of the houses.
Here's an interesting one, someone appears to have been informing the stores in High Street that they shouldn't park in High Street on the night of the 21st because it will be closed.
Now there's been no notices (other than a 10mph restriction for a few months back), there's been nothing in the paper, nothing on the Worcestershire Hub and of course we've got the Bewdley High Street shut and traffic being diverted through... Stourport High Street.
[Okay how did I miss it on the weekly road reports, I swear it wasn't there this morning and now it is "New Street to Lickhill Road (overnight works)" 21-22 April.]
As of this minute the WHub have no knowledge of this so is someone planning unauthorised works or is someone telling porkies and why?
[Okay so it didn't show up on the reports this morning, but now it does and the relevant departments know about it. So there's currently no signage up warning anyone, despite the fact that they're diverting the Bewdley traffic this way they're not sure how they're going to divert anything large trundling through Stourport and I'm curious as to whether firms like TNT etc. know about this?
As for notices in the paper, apparently it was and as it lasts 18 months it's still in play. Apparently we're talking a few weeks back but we'll see]
[The 10mph restriction notice went in on the 31/12/09 and the 3/12/09; for the A451 we've only had Mitton Street or Gilgal notices this year. While I realise that such orders are in effect for 18 months I am curious as to how anyone is expected to remember?]
[Okay would you look at that, a sign has just appeared at the beginning of High Street informing us that the road will be closed between 7pm and 6am]
Monday, April 19, 2010
Kudos to the Shuttle for marking this as part of their Election 2010 special on page 11 of last week's paper. For those who failed to spot it 33 seats for the Parish Council will be appointed without an election by the constituency.
Now it's not the District Council elections it's the completely unsexy Parish council, but it means the people of Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster Foreign, Rushock, Stone, and Upper Arley/Arley Village will not be voting in the parish elections.
Why? Because the number of people applying for the position is equal or less to the number of seats. Why is it important? Because these people decide how to spend part of the money collected by Council Tax when you haven't asked them to.
Once again the failures of our election system manifest themselves. You can only vote for someone you can't vote against someone. The only way anyone from one of these parishes could protest against someone standing is to stand themselves, and noticing that someone isn't suitable doesn't automatically make the noticer suitable either.
Yes I've had a reply to my letter to the BBC
Thank you for your e-mail.
I understand you're unhappy with the scheduling of some programmes on the BBC as you feel that they start early.
We do allow programme-makers some flexibility in running time, although all programmes are expected to run about one minute less than their slot time so that we can accommodate promotional trails and continuity announcements. If a programme is over-running slightly, it may be necessary to begin it a little early.
The Radio Times and other listings publications prefer to bill programme schedules in five-minute blocks for easy reference, but this does not necessarily mean a programme will start or end at that time precisely. On occasions some programmes may start up to one minute early, or run up to two or three minutes late, to enable viewers from one BBC channel to switch to a programme on the other BBC channel without missing the start. Commercial channels experience exactly the same problems but have commercial airtime built into their schedules and can make adjustments more easily than us.
I appreciate you're unhappy at the start time of some programmes and so I've registered your comment on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Let's take that apart shall we? All programmes are expected to run one minute less and this allows for promo's etc. so if it's over-running the next one may start earlier. So to set in sequence we have Programme One running from 6:30 to 7:00pm this is expected to finish at 6:59 to allow for a 1-minute promo reel. Instead it finishes at 6:59:30 so Programme Two starts 30 seconds early. Anyone else finding that hard to swallow? If I mention that I have photographic evidence of a 7:00 scheduled show starting at 6:58:24 does that become even more difficult to swallow?
All this states is that the people running the networks can't think on their feet. Sure a show overruns or underruns, but you slap in a specific promo to cover that gap until the next programme is scheduled to start you don't start the next one early.
As for the difference between listing magazines and actual times - what rot. Point the first - the Radio Times is the BBC magazine, point the second - there is no reason not to run in the 5 minute block segments used by the listing magazines via the judicious use of promo reels as I've already stated.
This isn't an answer, it's an excuse.
Yep it's 'law gone mad' time for the tabloids. Here's the Daily Mail's version of the story by which a gentleman was arrested and convicted for having a Swiss Army Knife in his car.
Now as you might expect I have some problems with the details of this story I'll go through them step by step.
The driver was stopped for suspected drink-driving and breathalysed. This can occur for one of two reasons (normally). Firstly our old friend "reasonable suspicion" and secondly at a specific point that's been set up to stop vehicles. In this case it sounds like the former, but of course no details are provided.
They searched his vehicle. Again this is an interesting one; the police have to ask permission to do so unless "reasonable suspicion" is used. That is they think you have some criminal items in your vehicle; they can also do so (even if you're not present) if a criminal event has taken place nearby. Again no details as to which applied here.
Arrested for possession of an offensive weapon. No that's fine except if it's the item that's shown or described then it's no such thing "except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches". However that assumes what we're being shown is correct. If the blade can be fixed or is a "flick knife" other rules apply.
Now the fact that not only was this gentleman arrested and charged, but that he was convicted suggests that what is being reported isn't necessarily what happened or that he had a really lousy defence.
The major dip on the approach to Gilgal from the lights around the manhole cover has been filled hurrah!
Knowing this is a major road that will cause disruption throughout the town our intelligent services started early Saturday morning before anyone had awoken and finished by the time they had...
Nah just joking they hadn't started at 7:30 but were working at 9:30 and finished at 11:15. Note that this was going on at the same time as traffic was being diverted in this direction because of Bewdley.
It seems they have been busy as Friday afternoon they filled in some of the holes off Areley Common as it meets Dunley Road; only in the one lane mind you. You still have to avoid the holes as you drive onto it.
Meanwhile the holes on Minster Road on the way out of town are still present, and new ones are forming on the duel-carriageway as you're coming in. Wilden Lane is still... Wilden Lane in all its messy glory and apparently it's bad up at Hartlebury too.
[Additional - One thing I forgot to add this morning was the triple covers by Santa Maria Way, the new ones. One has forever chi-chinked as you drive over it; this meant it wasn't fitted correctly. It's now collapsed]
As some news person commented - the general election is going on about the huge big things, but what most people want is a road network you can use without your suspension getting shot to pieces.
Friday, April 16, 2010
You almost have to feel sorry for the leaders of the three majority parties. There they are making UK history in the first televised debate ever, and they get bumped off the top slot by a cloud of dust.
Although I understand why they did it, it still would have been nice if the audience could have asked questions if only for someone to comment on this and ask "All this disruption caused by a dust cloud what have you got to say for yourselves?"
Sounds silly, after all what could anyone have done about it? Except remember it's impossible for a politico trying to enter/retain High Office to admit that something, anything is beyond their capabilities to deal with. As such here are my imagined responses:
Thursday, April 15, 2010
So first their banks lose our money, then they vote not to make the reparations the law requires. Now they're sending over a cloud of ash disrupting our flights just as the Easter holidays are coming to an end and many will [be] attempting to fly back.
I don't think we should stand for this and as such we should declare war on Iceland. At the very least we shouldn't buy anything in their shops.
Mums, don't shop at Iceland.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Stourport is overflowing with people wandering about and once again the poor pedestrian features of the town come into play as I watch people walking up from the fair and trying to cross the road between the two pubs for the lack of a subway through the flood arches.
Hello P768 JAS I am sorry that I did not realise that your growling engine, burbling exhaust and Pirelli stickers entitled you to travel faster than the speed limit.
I apologise that my meagre 30mph in a 30mph zone was too slow for you necessitating a switch lanes (without indicating) roaring past me then switching lanes once again (also without indicating). I also feel your pain in that having done so you came to a grinding halt stuck in front of me in traffic for the rest of the journey through Stourport.
Perhaps to announce to others their need to remove themselves from your presence you should think about having blue lights fitted to your vehicle. I'm sure the emergency services will quite understand.
Over at Devil's Kitchen the drink driving debate has once again arisen. Before you read what's there let me hit you with a statistic: In 2008 there were 430 fatalities caused by drink drivers; but there were 2,538 overall. That means by definition 2,108 were caused by sober drivers. So why are we trying to ban drink driving when it's the sober drivers causing 5 times as many deaths?
Because they're not.
What the hell happened last night to Stourport? Queue up Worcester Road, queue up Hartlebury Road. I finally managed to get to the OGL Island and queued to get to Mitton Street, then queued up that. A queue on Lion Hill and a queue in York Street. Edge down Bridge Street and hit the bridge and nothing.
Nothing in the Shuttle as yet regarding any accidents so I'm guessing it was some idiot parked in either York Street or Bridge Street blocking the larger vehicles and creating the tailback.
Once again I've never seen a warden around when I'm heading home from work of an evening despite the parking restrictions in town running until 6pm.
Amusingly the traffic lights on Worcester Road opposite Cooks had no effect as the queue from the island reached that far. You wouldn't have been able to move even had they not been there. Speaking of which I thought it was a requirement to have "Wait here" signs next to temporary traffic lights. Oh and one more thing who the hell put that diversion sign in Mitton Street? Half on the pavement half on the road, both are narrow and it's an obstruction. Particularly stupid considered there's a large splitter section a little further up.
[Update - Yes the lights are supposed to have signs I've reported it, and the sign in Mitton Street]
Monday, April 12, 2010
As mentioned the HD remastered God of War collection is to be released on the 30th along with the non-Pandora's Box trilogy. So with 18 days left to go can it be pre-ordered?
Amazon aren't advertising it, HMV aren't advertising it, Game aren't advertising it. In fact only Gamestation and Play have it listed. In fact those not listing it don't list the separate collection either.
Anyone would think they weren't advertising it in order to get people to buy both separately for more money than as one purchase; nah!
[Update. And now I'm confused. Amazon are offering the I and II collection at £20.99 as released on the 30th; GoW3 is being offered now at £36.48 making a grand total of £57.47. They're also offered the Trilogy pack to be released on the 16th (?) at £64.99]
The latest in the Red Faction series "Guerilla" has dropped substantially in price so I picked it up. I'd played the demo and thought it "meh" but smashing stuff is fun. As it's been a while I thought I'd recap and play the previous PS2 versions just to bring me back into the story.
Still hadn't shown up, in the end I added a new User - me. I completed the PSN login details then signed in, signed out and logged in as my parents and lo and behold there was the iPlayer icon.
Now just to prove that for every step forward there's a step back, the PS3 doesn't seem to want to shutdown from the menu. Press the power button and out it goes, do a menu shutdown and the green light just flashes, the controllers don't disconnect and due to the new design of the slim there's no power switch on the back meaning you have to shut it down from the socket.
Even holding down the power button does nothing. Something to look up.
Friday, April 09, 2010
I am curious as to whether or not you have considered returning your schedulers to pre-school for re-training in how to tell the time? To save the trouble please allow me to assist - When the Big Hand is pointing straight up at the number 12 and the Little Hand is pointed at the number 7 that is the time when a programme that is scheduled to start at 7 o'clock is supposed to start.
That means if you're watching one programme and turn over to watch another when the Big Hand hasn't quite reached the number 12 you shouldn't find that such a programme has already started, run through its opening title sequence, and is partway through talking with any guests they may have.
I more than happy to offer my services to your schedulers in this matter and to teach them such advanced time reading techniques as When the Big Hand is pointing straight down, and When the Big Hand is pointing at a different number.
I'm not 100% sure what they're doing at Gilgal at the moment, but fair's fair I don't think they do either. As mentioned the lights were just being set-up at 9am this morning and are in place at the moment. It seems a 3-way system has been created as they've blocked off one lane of Baldwin Road except it's not being run.
Currently there's a workman standing at the splitter triangle waving traffic through towards the island and is doing so despite the light being red and despite the traffic coming from the island. Normally I'd applaud the fact that they're doing this manually rather than let the lights dictate who can travel past the non-existent workings, in this case there's a problem.
The lights from the island are set up in the road as you approach the Stour bridge, the bit where it gets narrower. So the only way to drive onward is around the lights themselves. Not a problem when there's nothing coming the other way, problem when the traffic is being ushered through regardless.
The result is a backlog of traffic to the island and up Hartlebury Road, as this traffic has right-of way on the island this in turn means that traffic on Worcester Road can't get out. Marvellous!
So a bet with myself that Tav and Don joined in with regarding how long it will take to dig up the resurfaced area of Worcester Road may be settled today.
Just driving in they've set-up road works signs at the bottom of Gilgal warning of single lane traffic and traffic light control. So what will they be doing and will they'll be touching any part of the new work?
Thursday, April 08, 2010
My first run through of the game was as a Mage and boy was I spoiled. You start with an auto-hit ranged attack; you can gain debilitating spells that weaken and paralyse, spells that can heal your entire group in one go and resurrect them; spells that affect multiple enemies and even area spells that you can cast through closed doors. Not only that, but in one quest you can be taught to be an Arcane Warrior that allows you to use Magic as Strength to satisfy armour use meaning you can suit up as a warrior and by enabling a special mode even use the big swords too.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
I'm not sure, but I'd hazard a guess that something is up in the world of politics. Shots of reporters outside Number 10, interviews with Party heads. It all seems to be suggesting something, but I can't quite lay my finger on it.
Yes it's the general election and as a surprise to none it's been called to coincide with the district elections on May 6th. As I say it's not as if you could miss it, the media have gone election-happy and are deluging the airwaves with opinion polls and their opinion on the opinion polls and probably someone else's opinion on their opinion on the opinion polls. In other words they're doing all the things they normally do when they think there's a big story, but don't actually have any information to give.
Brown sets election date, Brown asks Queen to dissolve Parliament, that's all the facts there are. Now sure if he'd chosen a different date you could have a lot of talking heads complaining about the waste of taxpayers money holding two elections, how he's trying to hold on to the last minute, or calling it early. As it is there's nothing to say, and that's what they're continuously telling us.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
While my parents were in a shopping mood (re PS3) I persuaded them that they needed a pressure washer. Argos were doing an RAC model with a whole batch of tools cheaper than less powerful models with fewer tools on offer elsewhere.
Finally managed to get my parents new PS3 slim hooked up to the internet, forgot there was an extra security feature on the router. Yet still no TV icon on the Xross Menu Bar and obviously no iPlayer icon beneath it.
This feature was added in version 3.0 of the system software and they had version 3.01 originally before I updated it to version 3.21 via USB stick and then connected to the 'net. A quick search reveals that you require a PSN login before it will appear. As they may want to rent movies from the Store it made sense to add one.
Still no TV icon, rebooted, powered off, installed a game, ran iPlayer in the browser window; still no icon.
Looks like I'll need to contact Sony; because this was one of the points I'd sold the console on.
[Update -From the PS3 support FAQ section is a response. My parent's model number CECH-2003B. OMG have they been duped into an import model? Nope 2003A is the 120Gb Slim PS3 2003B is the 250Gb Slim PS3. Consensus from the forums is that it can take a while to wake-up. Um it's software; is this a UK model - yes; is it a UK login - yes. Give me the damn icon.]
Thursday, April 01, 2010
As I've mentioned before the Worcestershire Hub had a revamp meaning all my links became defunct. It gets better.
I was curious about a skip that's been present in York Street for some time I recall checking when its licence expired which I believe was two weeks ago, and wanted to check it hadn't been renewed. Silly me I forgot to bookmark the link location so I used the internal search facility for "skips" ya know as most people would.
The top page returned was correct, or so it seemed. Take a closer look, move down to "How can I check if a skip has a valid permit?" and look at the link there. Note the file name particularly the "06-09" part. Yup this is the list for June 2009 a little out of date.
In fact you need the second link from the search results. Well kinda; you really want the subheading "Current & Future Disruptions" this then gives you a link to Skip Licences.
So that's two lists, one in XLSx format and one in XLS with the latter, older, format being the latest information, but not the first to be returned in a search and not contained in the entire 'skip' section of the hub. Neat!