I mentioned a few weeks ago that I switched my broadband provider.

And I mentioned how I decided to shift the main router from one room to another.

Now this has worked extremely well up to now, but there was one thing pissing me off – the number of cables running from one room to the other along the floor.  Today it crossed my mind to tidy them a bit.

The telephone cable comes into the house at the back room where the router now is.  But seeing as the router used to be in the junk room office, the telephone wire ran along the skirting into the  junk room office, and I had to run it back again to the new router.  With me so far?  Of course you are.

I had removed the old router from the junk room office and replaced it with a split, and there was a cable running from the split to the satellite box, which coincidentally is being used to prop up the new router.  So today I removed that cable and connected the router and satellite box directly which seemed to make sense.  Still with me?  Good.

I then discovered another cable which I followed and discovered it was a phone line that ran to a fax machine that I haven't used in years so I unplugged it and traced it back along the floor whereupon I discovered it was plugged into the satellite box.  So for the last while my satellite box had been happily chatting to the fax behind my back but not running up any bills because they weren't connected to the main phone line.

Things were beginning to look neater.

I was down to just one wire running between the junk room office and the living room, but the telephone wire was a bit messy as it was about fifteen foot longer than it need be, having been doubled back on itself.  Now I'm no fool so I carefully noted the colour coding, as there is a moxy load of wires in the cable and I wanted to connect the right two.  Red goes to red, and white goes to the other colour.  Grand.  I cut the wire.

Now I always understood the idea of colour coding wires was so you'd know which one is which at either end?  So what bright spark of a fucking idiot decided to bundle two reds and two whites in the same fucking cable?  There was a rainbow of other colours which left me with a choice of four.  Trial and error time.

My network is now simplicity personified.

The router is proudly sitting on my satellite box where it powers the latter and another little yoke for pirating viewing films.  A cable runs from there to the junk room office where it is split a couple of ways to connect to my printer, some hard disks and a dud spare laptop [which only really works well when I control it from another laptop].  Finally another cable runs out the window, across the roof to the front of the house to another wireless router because one router won't cover the whole house.  That's the fault of the twits who built the old house out of solid fucking granite two foot thick.  Surely they must have known at the time, a couple of hundred years ago that radio waves don't travel through solid granite all that well?  Very short sighted, I call it.

Anyhows, normal service has been resumed and the place looks a lot tidier.

I even managed to time it to perfection so that Herself missed most of Joe Duffy's programme while everything was disconnected.

I do not like Joe Duffy.

She does.

She'll calm down eventually….

Black snowflakes

I see Paul Gascoigne was fined £1000 for telling a joke.

I'm not even sure who Gascoigne is, though the name seems vaguely familiar.  Whoever he is though, he got off very lightly.  I would have doubled the fine as it was a very poor, unfunny joke that has been around for at least a century.  I think I first heard it back in second class at school.

But then I read that the fine wasn't for his feeble sense of humour.

He was fined because the so called joke was directed at a nigger coon spade wog blackie Person Of Non Caucasian Extraction.

There are a couple of little puzzles here that I admit are confusing me.  First of all, who made the complaint?  There must have been a complaint or there wouldn't have been a court case.  Was it the PONCE himself who made the complaint, in which case he is pretty pathetic security guard if he's going to cry at a few words?  If the poor little [black] snowflake is going to be "humiliated" by an ancient and exceedingly poor joke then what the fuck is he going to be like in the middle of a full scale riot?  God help us if someone came at him with a knife.

Or was it a bystander and not the PONCE, in which case they should mind their own fucking business.

Then there is the accusation of "threatening or abusive words or behaviour".

I presume the "behaviour" meant that Gascoigne turned his head towards the PONCE before uttering those now immortal words, but if turning your head is "threatening behaviour" then we're all fucked.

So I can only assume that it was the words that were "threatening or abusive".  Was the PONCE rendered unconscious after being struck on the head with an innuendo?  Was he half beaten to death with an oxymoron?  Was his eye put out with an errant split infinitive?

When I was a kid and someone teased me the parents would respond with the stock response – sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.  Sound advice.  True advice.  Ignore.

But now a security guard can be reduced to a quivering jelly of nerves because of a bad joke?

What the fuck is the world coming to?

Removing a tree from the sitting room

Yesterday I mentioned in passing that I was having a nice leisurely day.

Herself was quick enough to put an end to that.

I also touched on the fact that it was pissing out of the heavens.

"It's a miserable evening" says she, "why don't we light a grand turf fire in the front room?"

I moaned.

"Yiz are always moaning" says she.  "It's just a matter of throwing a few sticks in."

What I had remembered and she had forgotten was that we had a family lodging in our chimney earlier in the year.  So the problem lay in the simple fact that far from throwing a few sticks in to light a small fire, it was more a case of removing half a tree before I could even start.  

I reluctantly went in to examine the fireplace.  Sure enough, the throat above the hearth was blocked solid with twigs and small branches.  I gave them a tug and half a ton of tree and soot came cascading out onto the sitting room carpet.  I thought it might be an idea to get out some old sheets. 

I spread the sheets over the floor on top of the stuff that had fallen out and rammed my arm up the chimney.  More fucking twigs and branches.  This was going to be a big job.  I got out the rods.

I rammed the brush up the chimney and it promptly got stuck at the three foot mark.  I jiggled it furiously and more crap came down in an avalanche of pine cones, larch with a touch of beech, not to mention more soot.  After a lot of sweat I finally got it up far enough to attach another rod.  I was now at the six foot mark and still stuck.

Herself came into the room to see what all the crashing, banging and swearing was about.

"What the fuck?" she screeched.  "I only asked you to light the fire and I come in to find this mess.  And what the fuck are you doing with our best sheets?"

I explained that I could indeed have lit the fire as she had requested but pointed out that there would have been two consequences.  First of all the room would fill with smoke as the chimney was well and truly choked, and the other was that all that lovely dry wood that was choking the chimney would inevitably catch fire and would produce a blaze that would produce a flame like a space shuttle on full launch thrust and that we would be lucky if even the foundations survived the blaze.

She left the room in a huff.

It took me over an hour of brute force, patience and very strong language.  Branches continued to cascade onto the floor.  Soot overflowed off the hearth onto what I now know were our best sheets.  I eventually saw the cheerful sight of the brush sticking out of the chimney and waving gently in the rain.  I removed two very large sacks and a bucket of twigs which are enough kindling for a couple of years, or maybe enough to build a new tree.  There was also a considerable quantity of sheep's wool though no sign of a sheep, unless he's still stuck up there.  

I had to admire the persistence of a bird who would carry one twig at a time and drop it down a black hole until all twenty seven feet [or nine rods] was full enough to build a nest on top.  I'll kill him if he tries again next spring though.

I didn't have the energy to clear up the mess in the front room so I just left it so the place looks like a war zone.

I didn't have the energy either to light the fire.

Anyway the rain had stopped and she was quite content to forgo the idea of a turf fire and was happily playing on Farcebook..

Fucking women!