Archive for the environment Category

Get it Hot (well, warm anyway …)

Posted in bbc, entertainment, environment, film, Humour, internet, life, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, NRM, Uncategorized, X-Factor on October 30, 2011 by norvenmunky

Mr Munky has been busy of late, however, with today being a georgeous crisp clear blue skyed winters day, it’ll come as no surpise to find that NM has been ‘Thames Whaling’. It seems to be that shovelling shite comes on either a nice day when you’d rather be somewhere else, or a filthy, cold, rainy day when you’d rather be somewhere else. Dunno about you fellow readers but I find it odd that at stables you’ll get plenty of youngsters (gurls normally) shovelling horse pooh day in day out on the basis that they enjoy doing it, and on the chance that they’ll get to ride something a bit racey as a reward for the work.

I must have filled in the wrong forms or something because each time after an hour or so of septic tank turd wrangling, or pushing 20 yards of compacted shite through a tube, theres never been a sniff of a ride as a reward, mind you, theres been plenty to sniff at.

NM has, it has to be admitted, an interest in toy trains, and theres some ‘interesting’ stuff out there. On the subject of compacted shite one has found one or two web pages where the content could adequately be described as such. One ‘member’ has set up his own forum, nothing wrong with that, but due to a lack of visitors the towel is being thrown in and they’ll not be posting any more on the original forum as they have ‘nothing more to offer’. However, if you only receive 0.75 views a day on your web site, it’s safe to say that if your readers can only be arsed to nearly make a visit, then its a bit of a leap of faith to assume you actually have ‘something to offer’ and that what you’re producing isn’t actually X-Factor material. The above mentioned web site in X-factor speak, didn’t ‘deliver’ and hadn’t ‘nailed’ anything, not even the owners vegetables to a plank of wood. Someone does however ‘own it’. I do wonder about such terminology and how yoof see it, especially if you relate it to normal life, if Postman Pat ‘delivered’ your post and then ‘nailed it’ to your door you’d get a bit fecked off having to take a claw hammer to the front door just to retrieve your post, that’d be like, ‘random’.

BT

Posted in BT, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, environment, Humour, internet shopping, life, media, shark feeding, Uncategorized on August 31, 2011 by norvenmunky

BT's 'Talk to the Hand' Customer Service Center

This week I have mainly had the pleasure of being subjected to BT’s customer ‘service’. The only thing remotely close to service that springs to mind is one of those days when you’re standing outside a garage and some halitosis ridden wizzened old codger sucks air through his teeth and says ‘It’s going to cost yer’.

As one of BT’s valued customers we had the pleasure of being cut off from their ‘service’, for not paying the bill. Unfortunately for BT, our bank records, and after subsequent detailed investigations on their part (i.e. them actually fecking looking), proved that we had in fact, using a well know phrase or saying, ‘paid in full’. Getting to this stage however took a good few wasted hours. Firstly one had to deal with their ‘offshore’ service center, not for the first time either. BT happens to not recognise my card. This is unusual. My bank recognises it, the local Co-Op recognises it, it seems vaguely familiar to myself, it being the primary means of commercial transactions that I use, and BT are able to recognise it having taken a payment from it. Yes thats right, the one they hadn’t received but acknowledged they had received. The payment had been taken by their obsequious ‘submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior’ offshore department whom assured me with a guarantee that this problem would not re-occurr. I mentioned at the time that I was on the phone because it had already re-occurred after a previous event, so the promise was somewhat hollow. Well having held on today for 14 minutes before they managed to cut me off whilst ‘transferring’ me, (Note to self: When someone says ‘I’ll just put you on hold to transfer you’, it’s corporate speak for, ‘stick it up yer @rse, your questions are too difficult’)

Well imagine my surprise to call again and then speak to a person in England! This time there were no ‘system problems’ or ‘all our computers are down’, the lady could actually speak to me about my account. Odd though that they wanted to charge a re-connection fee and a late payment fee for a bill that was paid in full. I mentioned in passing I felt that was unsporting of them and mentioned that if they had actually taken the full amount as instructed, both BT and its customer, (me) would get on a little better. I was then told it was my fault BT hadn’t taken the correct amount, and I queried why there was any logic to me not paying the full amount, using the age old ‘keeping a shark in the toilet’ comparison arguement. In fairness the manager now admitted that it was unlikely that having paid in full, and it being confirmed on my bank statement that I would think there was an outstanding balance. Rather like keeping a shark in the toilet, I may well keep a shark in the crapper, but on the basis he’s likley to get a bit fed up being dumped on (literally, see, another BT customer), and me ‘chumming’ the bog every other week would take some explaining to the wife, it’s pretty unlikely I’d consider the possibility.

An annoyed shark, yesterday

But we’ve written you letters and tried calling you she oppined, yes, maybe, but one was on holiday, so responding to a problem caused by your company that I was unaware of, and thought had been resolved, (that pesky bank statement ‘proof’ thing thing again), wouldn’t be a high priority.

Do you mind if I listen to our recording of the original conversation? (for training purposes) she asked. Of course not said I, I’ll hold on. Well out of the 90% of calls that BT tell me they do record, (for training purposes), what do you think the odds were that my call had not been recorded? Call me ever so slightly cynical but me standing in front of the bog and ‘chumming’ just seems more likely by the moment …

Do the Maths …

Posted in air traffic control, atc, baa, bbc, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, environment, Humour, life, media, simon calder, snow, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 13, 2011 by norvenmunky

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, apparently the UK’s MP’s have come to the conclusion that the UK now needs a ‘Snow Supremo’ because its mid May and someone in accounts has just knocked the calender over, it falling open at ‘December’. This group of MP’s examined the impact of heavy snow last December which shut Heathrow, Gatwick and major train lines, and left roads impassable. There’s an inevitability here that a load of people have sat around a table listening to people who don’t have a simple grasp of maths, talking to people who don’t have a grasp of maths. You rapidly come to the conclusion that we’d learn more factual and useful information if we’d paid them to sit around lighting and analysing their own farts. Don’t get me wrong re mathematical ability, despite my current employ, I was labelled early on as ‘Suitable for Parks and Gardens’. In retrospect it may have been an extremely astute careers teacher who thought, ‘this ones trouble’ keep him outside in the shit, rather than inside creating it, alternatively, they may have been as thick as pig muck. I know where my vote is.
We all know there are known knowns as Mr Rumsfeld would have us believe. For simplicity there are various impirical measures that we use, and we all understand what they mean as we can all relate to the sizes quoted. They are in no particular order, london bus, Wales, jumbo jet. These are helpfully rolled out by our ‘meejah mates’ so we, as simple folk can understand whats going on. Unfortunately our ‘meejah mates’ don’t stop to think about how to use the cumulative drivel they are seeping into the nations subconcious to provide a more ballanced outlook on life.

So lets look at out ‘stressed passenger’ at the airport that has just closed in heavy snow. Apparently airlines must give accurate information about delays out to the passenger and provide acommodation etc etc. So assume we’re on RyanJet, a low cost airline flying 150 seat airliners. Today we’re lucky all the aircraft are only 2/3rds full with 100 punters per flight. We are however at a busy single runway airport with 30 movements per hour. That means every two minutes an aeroplane departs. We won’t bother with arrivals it’ll get too messy, we’ll assume its the first wave banzai charge of the morning thats been culled. Unfortunately we are at the back of the queue of those wanting info. So in front of us we have 30 x 100 passengers all wanting information they can bellow into their crackberries that they’re ‘at the airport’. Thats 3,000 people/6 x jumbo jets/53.57 x london busses of people all in front of us. We have ten check in desks available to help answer our questions. Thats 300 people/5.3 london busses, per bint per desk. Fortunately all the bints are as fast/helpful as the legendary Jane Boulton and either answer the query or shoot the passenger dead within one minute of them arriving at the front of the queue. So at the back of the queue we will be waiting ‘a while’ before we get seen or shot individually.

So one aggrieved passenger suggests …
Major airports and stations should have accommodation reserved for when people are stranded, and food in place.

Ok, Mrs Thickass-Hite at the back of the queue, lets look at the Abiss Hotel in Luton. 162 rooms, (we’ll assume they’re all doubles). That means one hotel can accomodate one queue each (for cash). So the airport/airline has to book for Mrs TS (in case it snows), ten entire hotels in the vicinity of the airport, just for one hours worth of departures at two thirds airframe capacity. For the benefit of Mrs TS that assumes they are fortuitously empty on that particular day, and that as if by magic, when it pisses down with snow, not one other non-airline traveller in the vicinity of the airport is going to consider booking into a hotel overnight because the weathers bad. Also no doubt she’ll want a personal taxi to the pre-booked hotel, or a coach, and she’ll insist on being at the front of the queue. Course with the snow falling and the roads a bit ‘busy’ you’ll be at any of the ‘pre-booked just in case and cost not passed on to you in increased ticket price hotels’, in a matter of minutes inside the taxi or coach that would have been doing nothing at that time of the morning anyway.

An 'empty' hotel car park

Then there’s clearing the snow at airports. The most important thing is to get the runway clear, then you can land an aeroplane. And thats it, thats all you can do, because you haven’t cleared the taxiway or parking stand. Until you do that you’re cattled. Lets look at those times. The runway is 2,000 metres long x 50 metres wide. Your snow plough is 10 metres wide and can plough at 10kmh. So if the snow has stopped falling enough to allow the runway to remain clear after each pass, that’s an hour just to do the runway before you start on the parking stand and taxiways. Oh and the service roads because you’ll need to put fuel in the plane and food water etc etc, and no, you can’t use salt. One thing missing is the shamen whom are able to tell us exactly how much snow will fall, and where, and when it will stop, not terribly surprising the comittee didn’t find one either. So if you’re a punter at the end of the second hours worth of booking in/flights … well do the maths, and ask Simon Calder to do them too while you’re at it, then he can talk a little less drivel than normal …

Paradise City

Posted in canon, canon g10, entertainment, environment, exhibition, Humour, internet shopping, life, London, london underground, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, rail, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by norvenmunky

Albert Square 2010

Albert Square

We’ve all got our idea of a Paradise City, places we’ve been, lived, worked, read about, well this is mine, unashamedly, London. Where it all started was Lambeff, Albert Square to be precise, not that crappy beeb London one, but the real, sahf of the riva, see above. I never really thought about why I felt such an affinity with the Kings Cross area when I worked there, but re-visiting pictures it seems that the similar architecture of Georgian three storey architecture with basements and Portland stone probably made an impact on the two year old NM prior to heading out of town, a relief then to realise it wasn’t just the drink, prostitutes and drugs that captivated me on my return. Sometimes I wasted my money on toy trains.

MRM Kings Cross London

That led me to working at the Model Railway Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of York Way. The building has survived the recent development of the area and is now a restaurant. That will be somewhat ironic for the previous staff members who worked there, in that you can now order food to be eaten in the building, rather than using our shop intercom from three buildings away. That could be used, (allegedly), to order food in a cafe, Renzo’s, (three doors away), much to the dissapointment of the proprietor whom on opening an unsummoned dumb waiter, was to see ‘Dooamaneg’ glaring balefully at him on a grease laden sloppy plate…

The friendships built up there still last to this day, some of the antics still bring a wry smile to the face. As youngsters into ‘London’ it was important to find out the area, so we had a street map on the wall, theoretically, for customers who pre googlespace/mytube/facetwatter, wanted to know how to get from place to place. Well there was only one way to find out. Research.

St Pauls

There wasn’t a reseach budget as such, just an unerring faith in our ability to leave the shop at 13:01pm (without a map), ‘RLF’ for twenty to twenty five minutes, and then deliberately find a different route back to be through the door at 13:59pm. The result then being plotted on the map using the shop as the centre and a radius/range being drawn in with a compass. Therefore if a customer asked how long it took to walk to X, you could theoretically give an answer …

Thames from the 'right' side of the river ...

Now, Nm’s regular readers will already be seeing ‘potential’ for interesting and frank, free flowing discussion with ‘management’ on return to the shop, and to be fair there were a few occasisions when such discussion took place. I can recall one particular return trip that went ‘a bit wrong’. We’d headed south to Holborn, via Bloomsbury on a beautiful spring day, but had headed back to route up Grays Inn road. We’d been a bit too long and it wasn’t the first time we’d been bollocked for being late, so the pressure was on. The lack of map bit us here and we were actually lost but continued ducking and diving up side streets to head north. We came across a small playing field and thought we could see a way out at the far end, so we were ‘safe’ and stated to walk. At the end of the field we came to a brick wall, literally, about 8ft high, too high to see over. Doing the old schoolboy run at it and jump, scrabble up and sit on the top worked. The only problem there was, was a concrete yard the other side but with a bigger drop, and expensive cars, probably a law firms parking area. A shout and we simultaneously took our chance and dropped into the yard, splitting in opposite directions, just like the filums. We exited through two different gates running, followed by shouts of very rude words, from an old boy presumably in charge of ‘security’ having served on the Russian Convoys, and used to chasing cabin boys all over the decks. We got back to the shop in time for a summary bollocking, and every siren that sounded that afternoon had us on tenterhooks.

What it did do was to provide a better than ‘the knowledge’ knowledge of the part of North London around the Kings Cross area, including all the street life that entailed.

Trafalgar Square

Street life occaisionally came into the shop, where it was the job of whoever wasn’t ‘busy’ to remove them. Nm had a absolute pearler of a case where he very quickly learnt one of lifes lessons, this was re-inforced by ones colleagues ‘QFO’ing as soon as they realised the Quatermass pit sized whole Nm had dug himself. A lady came into the shop, looking a little distressed, but nothing un-usual to raise alarm bells. (Even at that time Nm was pretty streetwise, being able to identify a pimp/pro/ned/alchy/smackhead at twenty paces). It was a lunchtime, ‘may I use your toilet she asked?’, seemed reasonable, didn’t smell odd, she looked alright, ‘clean’, if you know what I mean, if you don’t … Well, yep Nm says and showed her the way (to the bog).

After about five mins she hadn’t re-appeared. Helpfull comments and queries such as ‘is she still in there?’ from my colleagues rapidly followed, countered with ‘Yeh, she’s probably reading a paper or summat’ from an increasingly intrigued worried Nm. Well a good half an hour passed, questioned through the door, ‘are you alright luv?’ from Nm, his colleagues helpfully asking ‘how are you going to get her out then?’ When on Top Gear one of the guys gets left by the others whilst taking the piss as they leave is just so true, it’s almost a right of passage, and when it happens to you with the right bunch of mates it almost makes it alright. Now the crapper was on the stairs and Nm had to hovver near it to appear like he was just going for one whenever the bosses appreared, to prevent them asking any awkward questions, like ‘WTF is the smackhead doing in the crapper?’

After a good hour or so Nm was thinking I’m going to
a/ have to go in, but the door is locked from the inside …
b/ tell the boss the smell isn’t in fact one of Bri’s unholy ones
c/ just run away

There was a dreadful groaning from the crapper, which was peculiar for Nm. It at least meant that the tart wasn’t dead, but filled him with the dread of getting the aforementioned ‘trollied’ bint out of the shop, negotiating her past a counter full of customers, ‘interested’ colleagues and a security camera attached to a CCTV. The thought of dragging or firemans lifting an unconscious bird through the shop and being caught on camera (again) just filled him with ‘bowell water’ making fear. It is at these times that you realise why adrenaline is brown and leads to real moments of fear inspired brilliance. There were two front doors to the shop, No14 and No12, No12 rarely used. If the bint could be steered through the rear stock room, past the phone and map to No12, there was a real chance she could be released into the wild relatively discretely. So Nm managed to lift the latch of the door at No12, easing it shut so the boss couldn’t see it was open, and as soon as the bint opened the door to the karzi, at about the hour + fifteen mark, he very quickly shoved, escorted her to the other door where on leaving she belched a projectile stream of the foulest smelling puke Nm’s ever had the displeasure to encounter. Well you’ve read the blog, you can easily imagine…
Nm slammed the door behind her and turned to see the boss who had come down the other stairs looking at him very oddly. ‘Whats up’ he said?, ‘Oh just some drunken tart who’s puked in 12’s doorway’ Nm straightface replied. Seemed to work. There were a few comments re the whiff from No14’s crapper though, it stank as though someone had emptied the entire waste contents of Smithfield, Covent Garden and Billingsgate and a bit of soggy cardboard into the smallest room. Nm gave it a quick clean, and declared it clear of sharps and fit for use, (the tart that is, not the bog).

In true team spirit the smell was blamed on Bri.
It’s what mates are for.

Millenium Bridge

Albert Sq piccies from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sczscz/

Quadropedia

Posted in canon g10, environment, farming, food, Humour, life, organic, pets, photography, sheep, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 25, 2010 by norvenmunky

This week, norvenmunky has been tasked to ‘help’, as the neighbour has gone away on hols.

Most times it’s please feed the cat, the goldfish, walk the dog, you know the form. Last time it seemed an odd instruction at the time to feed the cat the goldfish, and on their return during the subsequent acrimonious debrief, I felt it wasn’t my fault the comma was missing in the original instructions. All I did was follow them.
However, this past week I have mostly been left in charge of eighteen sheep, and an orchard.

The orchard is pretty easy to look after, so far there’s no recorded instances as far as I’m aware of an orchard escaping, and it’s probably relatively easy to locate 4 acres of fruit trees if they escaped.

An Orchard, yesterday.

Sheep however, despite being stereotyped as ‘thick as shite’ are a different matter. Apart from wandering round eating grass they do appear to have a fairly well organised escape comittee. No doubt the wandering round is a ruse , to lull one into a false sense of security as they discretely drop tunnel earth, (thats not an NM euphamism), from their trouser legs about the orchard. What you’ll have is eighteen sheep, with seventeen of them ostensibly ‘thick as two short planks’, and one criminal mastermind. The master crim however has an apprentice whom is always carefully hidden amongst the flock. Thus when the master criminal escapes, or goes ‘missing’ in a Waitrose moment, ‘Yes sonny you were talking to it yesterday in a field’ … there is always the apprentice to instantly take over the reins. His primary duty is to find the way out through the clucking hedge that you had previously thought would keep North Koreans at bay.

The object of the week was to count said sheep daily, check them over, fortunately not in glove puppet style, feed them, and ensure that the orchard was ‘secure’. Now you’d think counting eighteen sheep would be relatively easy, in a sort of one to eighteen, and then stop sort of way. Over four acres of orchard where there are assorted hiding places, and tunnels (allegedly), it’s not quite so easy. And they all look the same, ‘ish’.

17 Sheep, see what I mean about counting?

The fastest way to count sheep is to get them in one area and try to stop them moving around too much, this was done by throwing feed into a trough, and then standing back from the ensuing chaos. The older sheep very soon got wise to this and as soon as you appeared at the gate, they were there in full chav mugging mode. This made it a bit challenging to get through the gate without being trampled, and without losing any. It’s fine being Brian Hanrahan on HMS Herpes and saying “I counted them all out and I counted them all back in,” but even pilots are easier to control than a herd of unruly sheep. Trust me, I know …

Look Luv, I'm a Herbivore.
If you don't mind, I'll get w#####ed on 'windfall' later in the season, ta.

Wot we dun to keep the sheep indoors, was to buy electric fencing and to cordon off two acres. This was a quick and easy fix using a car battery with a solar panel recharger.

Click Click, Click Click ...

You can tell it’s working, as it makes a ‘click click’ noise. Checking it felt like being an extra in ‘The Longest Day’ dropped at St Mere Eglise, and waiting for a corresponding ‘click click’ in return. Meanwhile fervently hoping it wasn’t a sausage muncher on the other side of the hedge …

Left Switzerland, Right Germany ...


The fence proved remarkably effective in keeping the eighteen, seventeen, sheep in check. You can see above how good it was, we made sure that no motorbikes were left anywhere near the sheep for fear of them having a Steve Mcqueen moment, as the week’s gone on they were certainly getting bolder. I was half expecting one of them to start dressing in womens clothes and feigning mental health issues to try and get the red cross to spring her. And here’s a picture of ‘Miss October’ specially for ‘the welshman’ just in case he’s feeling homesick.

No.69.
'Miss October'

Theres also been a good bit of wildlife to see whilst seeing to the sheep so to speak. There’s a large hare, which I’ve tried to get a snap of unsucessfully so far. I keep waiting by the entrance to the field with the camera, hoping to capture one of the oldest cinematic jokes going.

There is already some windfall in the orchard, and there looks to be a huge crop of fruit this year of apples, pears and plums. The idea is an organic process, the orchard grass is kept ‘managed’ by the sheep, at least on their side of the fence it is, the electrifying message having appeared to have made its mark. At the end of the summer we will pick the fruit and the sheep will be sent away to return with little chefs hats on the end of their rib cage. Some of the fruit will be stored for normal use, and some may be used to make a batch of Organic cider to see if the process and quantities are viable for a micro brewery. The fruit trees are polonised by a herd of bees, these are kept in three hives at the farthest end of the orchard, so in the spring and through the summer the place is a hive of activity. One or two of the sheep with a bit of ‘character’, (n.b. see your local paper Q.V. ‘local character’), have already started munching on the windfall apples that aren’t even fermenting yet. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens when they all start wandering round with huge quantities of ‘Arkansas Black’ inside them …

Fruit stuff ...

So its the end of the week and NM has given the keys to the orchard back, and seventeen sheep. There is another orchard (pears), a field or so away from where NM’s sheep week has taken place. Its unused and may be available for rent, NM’s wondering what Perry tastes like.

No.

The drink.

Have you met Miss Jones?

Posted in cats, dogs, environment, Humour, life, pets, recycling, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2008 by norvenmunky

Apparently the RSPCA has complained about North Nottinghamshire County Councils ‘Cruel’ recycling policy. Dog bins have been appearing next to normal litter bins and the council make regular trips to clear the bins of unwanted dogs.

When asked about the recycling, Miss Jones, a spokesperson, (perish the thought we find out she’s female), for NCC said we just collect them, ‘We don’t actually recycle them ourselves, thats outsourced to an approved outside contractor’. Regarding the size of the problem Miss Jones replied, ‘The number of unwanted dogs is on the increase and especially on the run up to christmas we expect the problem to get worse, unfortunately people discard their current dogs, in anticipation of receiving a newer version as a gift, its a product of our throw away society. We’ve provided these easy to use recycling points where people can dispose of their old dogs responsibly. They are compacted and recycled with household compost waist and then bagged. We sell the compost with all the profits going to The Cats Protection League.’

When asked if it were humane, the source said its a ‘Kennel to Grave’ approach to BS7750 environmental management standard. When further pressed on the matter she admitted somewhat bad temperedly that lethal injections were not provided, as it duplicated a process already covered by compacting and shredding, and they weren’t made of money due to cost cuts.

Icelands Bubble About To Burst

Icelands Bubble About To Burst

The councils costs problem has recently been exacerbated by Icelands Kerry Katona being reported missing with a large chunk of NCC’s cash, allegedly to buy more dogs.