Dishing up the dirt

They just don’t seem to get it.

They try and penalise people with taxes, charges and the like, and then wonder why people try to avoid paying those said taxes and charges.

For as long back as I can remember, there used to be bin collection services.  The lads would come around, regular as clockwork and empty the bins that had been left out.  This was paid for out of taxes, and that’s fair enough.  It was simple and it worked.

Then they decided to charge for the service.  They didn’t say they were going to charge instead of taxes, the said they were going to charge on top of the taxes.

Now the concept of people paying for a service which only they use is fair enough.  In some ways it’s a lot fairer than taxation as it means that the only people who pay are the ones using the service.  If a farmer has an old quarry on his land, why should he pay for a bin collection when he just tips his stuff over into the quarry?

However they overlook one small detail – if I have to pay we’ll say €20 every time my bin is collected, I am going to find life significantly cheaper to just chuck my rubbish elsewhere and avoid paying that charge.

No Dublin councillors are whinging because people are doing just that.

Dublin is one of the dirtiest places in Ireland, they cry.  Illegal dumpers are spoiling our beautiful city, they weep.

For a start, I would point out that there is no such thing as an “illegal dumper”.  The act of dumping may be illegal and even then “illegal” just means not doing what the councils want them to do.  Unless of course they mean that all the dumpers are immigrants without papers, which is a possibility?

So now they are going to squander God know how much installing CCTV all over the place in order to “solve” this problem.  Of course their solution is not to stop people dumping but rather to catch them dumping so that they can then be fined by the courts.  More money for the coffers.

Any excuse to rob people blind?

Watch this space

I got a present of a watch about thirty or so years ago.

It’s a simple yoke – it has an hour hand, a minute hand and a second hand [why is it called a second hand when it's usually the third to be mentioned?].  In addition there is a little digital display which can show a stopwatch [never used], an alarm [rarely used] or the day and date.

I liked that watch.  It was damned accurate and I always knew what day of the week it was.

Eventually, it wore out and stopped.  But I liked it so much I made a point of getting a new one of the same make and model.

I think I’m on the third generation now of that original watch and I’m still very happy with it.  It’s slim, it tells the time and a battery lasts about two years.

So along comes the new “must have” – the Apple Watch.

It tells the time all right and you can flick between different time displays.  What the fuck do you need to do that for?  The time is the time and I don’t need to be told two million different ways what o’clock it is.

You can contact your friends on it.  Why?  Don’t I have a phone for that?

You can send emails apparently.  Fuck off!  No one could possibly have fingers small enough to type on that screen so presumably you have to carry a keyboard around as well?

You can use it as a walkie-talkie.  Listen, you ignorant gobshites – that’s called a phonecall and I have a phone for that.

You can “tap” people.  What the fuck is that about?  You tap your watch and they feel it on their watch?  That sounds intensely irritating for the recipient.  Is this the new “poke”?

It keeps an eye on your health.  Sweet suffering Jayzus on a Segway!  I have a fucking doctor for that.  And I don’t need something to tell me about my heartbeat.  If it’s beating, I’m alive and if it isn’t, I’m dead, and I do not need some piece of junk to nag me about my levels of exercise.

On top of all that it looks about as comfortable as a brick and its battery apparently lasts one day.  Yes – one fucking day!

But the sad little sheeple have been told they need this.  They will mortgage their grannies and sell their daughters into prostitution so they can afford it.  They will camp out overnight because they have to be the first person to own one.  They don’t even realise that they never asked for any of those features, and have just been sucked into a gigantic marketing scam designed purely to part them from their cash.

Sad.

A toast to the EU

Yet another FFS* moment.

[ * if you don't know what FFS means, then look it up, for fuck's sake].

The EU are worried about how we make toast.

So blackened toast may be carcinogenic in rats?  So fucking what?  Or is burned toast the missing link and the ultimate cause of all cancers?

Toast may, possibly, remotely be mildly carcinogenic but then so is the air we breath, the food we eat and the water we drink.  Our own bodies can cause cancer so maybe we should all move to some existential plane where we don’t have bodies and have no need to eat, drink or breathe?

Why can’t these so called experts stick their noses into something and come to the conclusion that yes, it may probably cause some health issues but it will give great happiness and satisfaction, so let’s go for it?  Just once?

On a lighter note [geddit?], I see they are to build an incinerator in the heart of Dublin.

In the new world order of things, all the elected representatives are against it but they are overruled by the unelected chosen few.  But then we are in the EU now so they had better get used to that.

I presume they are going to have to employ someone to go through the 550,000 tons of domestic waste, just in case there might be a slice of bread in it?

Thoughts in a strange pub

So the dust is settling and things are getting back to normal.

For those who are still interested, I finally got the new laptop to run Linux Mint and Windows 8 [with Classic Shell so it looks and acts like Windows 7].

Of course in the background, life carried on, and in the course of the week I had occasion to visit a pub.

Nothing unusual in that, except that it was not my regular haunt.  I was meeting a friend and it was his choice of venue.

The first thing that struck me was how deserted the place was.  There was a large lounge with about ten people sitting huddled at corner tables in the semi-darkness as if they were ashamed to be there.

The second thing to strike me was that there was music playing [stuff from the Seventies - not bad, actually] while televisions were silently showing some fucking football match.

What the fuck is it with pubs and televisions?  That football match was being displayed on about five large screens which were strategically placed to catch my eye wherever I looked.  Much as I dislike the damned game I found myself constantly drawn to the flickering screens even though there was no commentary and the content was as boring as shite, and I noticed that the other few patrons were also glowering at the screens and trying to look away.  I really fucking hate televisions in pubs.

One thing that did catch my eye was an advertisement.  It was for one of those monthly magazines where you build as model, as they send you the parts.  Now this model is of a steam locomotive and seeing as both my friend and I have a passing interest in the subject we got talking about it.  We both agreed that it was an horrendous waste of money, as the subscriptions are usually high.  I actually looked up the cost of building that model and it works out at 130 monthly issues costing €10,99 each which comes to a grand total of €1,429, which is indeed a little steep for a model that you have to build yourself and supply the paint and all?  And they also charge extra for bindings!  Fuck that.

Anyways, back to the pub.

Naturally during the course of the evening I whipped out my baccy, my lighter and my pipe, as one does.  We promptly got turfed out the back amongst the beer barrels, as momentarily I had forgotten about those fucking anti-smoker laws.

It was quite pleasant out there as the evening was warm, and best of all there was no televisions.

As we left to go home I noticed that there were now just two people staring miserably at the flickering screens.

Well, they insist on putting up those televisions, and they insist on enforcing that fucking smoking ban.

I don’t feel in the least bit sorry for them.

Driving me mad without a driver

Here I am again.

I am not a happy camper.

For the last couple of days I have been tearing my hair out, scouring the Interweb and downloading shed loads of tools that don’t work in order to try to get my new laptop working.  I have lost count of the various help sites and explanation sites I have visited and none of them made any sense anyway.

It’s a fucking nightmare.

So far I have managed to brick the machine several times.  I managed to install Ubuntu which sort of worked for a while but then the machine bricked again.

By bricking, I mean that no matter what I do I end up with a little “Grub Rescue” prompt on a blank screen which means fuck all to me, or for that matter to most of the people I found on the Interweb who had the same problem.  Pressing F2 or F12 or F-fucking-anything has no effect.

I still don’t know how I get out of that prompt but I have managed a few times now.

The latest…………….

I now FINALLY have Linux Mint running happily and smoothly, and it’s a pleasure to get away from that Ubuntu and its fucking purple crappy Unity.

Now all I need to do is install Windows so I can run those vital little programmes that I occasionally use and where there is no Linux equivalent.

But every time I try putting in the Windows CD it just tells me that a “required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing”.  It tells me to insert the driver CD but I don’t have a fucking driver CD and I can’t find where to get one.  I have been into the supplier’s support area and it provides drivers for everything except the fucking CD.

I hate computers.