Archive for life

Hornby King

Posted in canon, canon g10, copyright, foam, hornby, Humour, image, internet, media, model railroad, model railway, modelling, photography, trainspotting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by norvenmunky

Hornby Today Hornby’s Press department released an image (see above) of the latest Hornby product to be announced. In an unusual step they are allowing anybody to reproduce the image, it being “royalty” free.

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Seating (Journalists Guide to Aviation Part 2)

Posted in aviation, baa, bbc, disruption, easyjet, Humour, journalist, life, media, simon calder, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2012 by norvenmunky

My old muckers at easyJet have worked out a new way to get money out of you. You can pay to have allocated seats, hoorah! What this means of course is that unlike the good old days, (before easyJet bought ‘Go’), when you bought an easyJet ticket and it had the seat number on it in a sort of ‘allocated’ styley, you can now pay for the privelidge of having that allocation. No big deal really just a cute way to make money on a LoCost airline.

This fact is needless to say lost on certain journalists whom are unable to string any coherent thought together. Ginny Weeks, whom unfortunately nails the ‘female blonde’ stereotype colors firmly to the mast with the following ‘thick as two short planks’ defining logic. Aided of course by the ability to put up for all to see a reversed image of an easyJet heavier than air machine, see below.


After a 19-hour flight from Bali trapped in seat 34E- an aisle seat three rows behind the ‘baby row’ where six (!) screaming children sat, I know all too well how a bad seat can make your journey hell… So it’s great news that easyJet is starting to make passenger comfort a priority. From November, each passenger will have a seat reserved for them, signalling a welcome end to the elbows-at-dawn, first-come first-served set up of old, which saw people scrambling for the best seats and creating stress for everyone.

Ginny darling, how the feck does booking seat 4a when you buy your ticket prevent you from sitting next to the screaming kid? All you’ve done is chosen where you are going to sit, not where anyone else is. I can imagine a few No1’s when being told ‘I didn’t buy this seat to sit near that bunch of screaming babies!’, to say, ‘I’m terribly sorry madam, but thats exactly what you did, you chose seat 4a’.

An easyJet aeroplane the right way round … (yesterday)

Mrs Smith complained about the rising fees, and said many families feel it is a “hidden charge” if they want to sit together. Mr Smith however, having closely read the terms and conditions at the time of booking, seemed satisfied with his seat allocation.

2012 G4S and the Account Responsible Senior Executives

Posted in canon g10, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, exhibition, g4s, Humour, insurance, life, London, london 2012, london underground, media, olympic, photography, stratford, technical support, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by norvenmunky

Well lets face it, its not the first time NM has questioned mathematical abilities upon this very blog. NM’s no great shakes himself, but he does know that if he’s supposed to have five pieces of ‘stuff’ and when he lines his stuff up and counts them, if he’s got a finger or two spare on his left hand he concludes, normally, he needs more ‘stuff’.

G4S is responsible for recruiting, training and managing the security workforce that will be tasked with securing the Games. Originally tasked with supplying 2,000 security staff, in December 2011 they were requested to provide another 8,000 to which they agreed …

According to them:
We’ve been involved for some time already: G4S commenced its security operations for The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in March 2011.
The G4S 2012 Project Team is working closely with customers, stakeholders and industry associations, to maximise on the opportunities and meet the challenges that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring to the UK.

Over to the Chief Exec of G4S, Mr Buckles 14/07/2012:
Despite having signed the initial contract in 2010, Mr Buckles said that he had only realised eight or nine days ago that there would be a shortfall in the numbers. He said G4S agreed to supply 10,000 staff about six months ago and received more than 100,000 applications from people looking for temporary jobs. But the complexities of vetting, recruiting and training applicants meant the company fell behind its targets. Mr Buckles said: “It’s really because of recruiting a large number of people for a very short period of time. It’s getting people to go through the processes which will probably take them three or four weeks of their time to actually get to work for three weeks.

So, Mr Buckles, your starter for ten.
10,000 people x 3 weeks ‘processing’ = 30,000 weeks required.

According to yourselves you started this process in 2010. Assuming January 1st 2010 kick off, thats 132 weeks of ‘processing’ up to doors open available, for cash, (you’re probably familiar with that at least). Roughly you’re looking at ‘processing’ 75 people per week assuming a 7 day week, and no rejects from signing the contract in 2010, So, no alarm bells ringing here, no sir, all happy clappy here, ‘crack on’ etc etc.

So with the new info that someone in G4S worked out that on the 1st Jan 2012 (‘about six months ago’) they had sufficient time, (allowing 3 weeks for processing), to train 312 security people per week, (no rejects remember) to meet their target, no one in your organisation in January thought, Hmmm …

No doubt you readers are now thinking Oi! we don’t want a chuffing maths lesson! Fair enough.

Putting it in Daily Mail speak:
Mr Buckles’ company was faced with:
138 London buses, or
24 ‘jumbo jets’ or
A column of people 59 x the height tall of Nelsons Column (assuming standing on each others shoulders),
Of people to ‘process’ sucessfully in six months.

At what point did this not ring alarm bells? Answer: Up until eight days ago apparently …

Mr Buckles:
Of course we knew that, so we’re not saying that’s an excuse, but clearly that’s what’s happened.”
Mr Buckles insisted the company had kept both the government and Locog fully informed about the difficulties, saying: “We have been sharing information every day with our customer and together with the Home Office we agreed last Thursday that it was a good decision for them to ask for more troops.”

NM suspects that what actually happened was the G4S assorted red nosed, propellor tie and large shoe wearing number management types, (Account Responsible Senior Executives) were found out. Up until a week or so ago, G4S was sharing the information every day with their customer that they were ‘on target’, building a solid clicks and mortar platform for olympic security. And then someone said , Hang on, remind me when it starts? The 27th?, ah, thats ok then. Oh you mean this month?… Oh Bollocks!

It’s not the first time NM has seen the effect of ‘transforming real-time supply chains’. This occurs when you’ve not got enough ‘stuff’ and you have to ‘deliver killer content’. That means putting your hand up early and saying Sir, Please sir, We’ve not got enough stuff sir!. Thats real killer content, not your ‘happy clappy, no elephant squatting in the corner here’ mindset.

NM’s curious about the ‘processing’ involved too. NM has to deal with G4S on a daily basis. We check a telephone line, they ring first and ask NM to call back on the dedicated line. NM does this, and before he says anything the receiver states yes ‘thats lound and clear’, and the phone is put down. NM then puts the phone down having said nuffink.

What they really mean is the bell works.

However, we have no idea if the phone actually works.

Clearly, G4S leads from the top …

Air Traffic Slots (Journalists Guide to Aviation Part 1)

Posted in 911, air traffic control, air traffic slot, atc, aviation, ba038, baa, bbc, computer, disruption, Humour, internet shopping, journalist, life, media, September 11, simon calder, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by norvenmunky

A journalist collects and distributes news and other information

Unfortunately in NM’s experience far too many of them fall into the following genre

writing that reflects superficial thought and research, a popular slant, and hurried composition, conceived of as exemplifying topical newspaper or popular magazine writing

So not so long ago a piece appeared in a local rag bemoaning the fact that a reader posted a message on a local airport story, saying an airline could not get the ATC slots for summer flights because it does not have enough staff available to man the planes having made lots of cuts over the winter.

An ATC slot is produced via the CFMU, (thats a big building in Belgium, but thats not important at the moment,) as a function of airspace capacity. Naff all to do with airline staffing. So heres how it works …

Idiots guide to ATC slots.
Its very simple, if you have a room that holds ten idiots, you can’t put eleven idiots in the room. (much as you might like to)
Idiot number eleven has to wait until one or more idiots come out, or the room is made bigger, so the idiot (No11), gets a slot time. This is the time the idiot has to present itself to commence their journey to the room. If there’s only seven idiots in the room, then you can get three further idiots in there without restricting their progress at all, but the fourth idiot and any subsequent idiots will have to wait their turn. If that room is in fact a corridor joining two rooms, then you can only get so many idiots down that corridor at any one time, even if the room at either end has a limitless supply of idiot capacity. Therefore any idiot wishing to pass through the corridor may get a slot time for the corridor, depending on how many idiots wish to use the corridor at any given time. If there is another different corridor, joining the rooms you can send the idiots down those corridors, which may mean that the idiots will not be restricted at all.

So you can see using the above idiots guide, you should be able to see that ATC SLOTS, do not get secured by an airlines schedule, or their staffing levels, they are a tactical daily/hourly response to airspace capacity. But please don’t let inconvenient substance like facts get in the way

Technical Support – Is your PC running slowly?

Posted in computer, Darwin Awards, entertainment, Humour, internet, internet shopping, life, media, microsoft, shark feeding, tech support, technical support, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by norvenmunky

I often get these calls and have used a good few versions of annoying them back, seems a fair exchange to me. Mrs NM says ‘Why do you bother? just hang up’. I say well whilst they are trying to rob me, they’re not actually suceeding in robbing anyone else. I often wondered how they knew I was using the ‘puter’ at the time. Well the other day one rang when I wasn’t on the pc, so I kept them talking being ‘thick’ whilst the operator, (usual sub continent audio soundtrack), babbled away in the background. So having checked the PC was turned off and removing the t’interweb cable, I began to play along.

Brrringgg
Hello, Is that Mr N. Munkey?
NM: Whose calling?
It’s Microsoft support, we are ringing to offer help is your computer running slow?
‘Yes’, I confirmed my PC was indeed running slow. A slow running PC helps you rather than them. A slow running PC means it takes longer for you to give them a reply, and hence gives you additional thinking time. So what you can do is make tappity tap tap sounds on the keyboard as they give you instructions. When they ask what its showing just say a blank/blue screen or yes the menu is showing, you’ve clicked on it, and you’ve got the cursor hourglass icon just showing spinning revolving etc. Don’t forget to just turn off your computer at the wall, tell them you’ve done it of course, this means any commands they’ve given you are void and they have to start again. Tell them sorry you were only trying to help, thats what you normally do when it runs slow and doesn’t respond. You’ll pick up that they are a bit annoyed now, its the ‘no, no, no,’ when you tell them you’re turning it off thats the give away, but seeing as you are obviously so ‘thick’ they stick with it, you will after all, at the end, be an easy victim.

I managed to keep this going for a good forty five minutes or so the other day, whilst idly flicking through a book doing picture research. The best bit was getting them to call back, the computer running so slowly that they got fed up waiting and said they’d ring back in ten minutes. Give them the added bonus of telling them its running XP, they start salivating like pavlovs dogs at the thought of such an easy crack. Guess what? they do actually call you back. I even managed to get a call to a mate in between, and they called during that conversation, ‘Oh shit I said my daughters just been sick!, call me back in ten I’ve got to see she’s ok’. That worked too. Eventually they gave up up when I said the screen was black and now not responding to anything, even re-starting it on their instruction and hitting F8 as many times as possible, (NB do not touch or follow any commands they give you), and the pc was ‘just making a humming noise with the green light flashing’ at me.

Tell them its the green one, most PC’s have a light somewhere, so it may as well be green and flashing. Oh, its stopped flashing. Having now been escalated to someone who could speak english quite well, (the sharks sensing the blood in the water), ‘Oh, green lights started flashing again’ etc etc, you get the picture, they don’t they’re target fixated now on you. Remember, you’re portraying the ‘Hobosexual’ (Mmmm that musty smell just does it for me …), type of customer who shouldn’t be allowed on the t’interweb without a responsible adult, and clicks on every Jenifer Aniston video link out there, so keep being ‘thick’. He eventually suggested that the PC needed to be taken to a PC shop to be repaired as it was really very, very broken and badly damaged, again emphasising that it was damaged and maybe had a virus in it. ‘Oh, I thought that’s what you were going to do to it’ I said.

Do you know what, that manager who told me he was from Microsoft then told me to ‘###k off’, well I ask you what sort of customer support is that?

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 …

Patience

Posted in canon, canon g10, Canon G12, Darwin Awards, disruption, entertainment, Humour, internet shopping, life, media, photography, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 28, 2011 by norvenmunky

Well every now and then we all have to say ‘stop the world I want to get off’. Well the ‘Berg’ has decided to do just that. He’s taken a leaf from the book of life and headed out on his ‘road trip’. Nowadays its fashionable for yoof to have a ‘Gap’ year after leaving skool, when they run around in grey clothing to the sounds of popular beat combo’s. Berg being an experienced member of the school of life has departed these shores and like NM a good few years before, slung the backpack on, (a double berger then) to circumnavigate the world. Whether he takes the full NM life experience trip and returns with tales of derring do, being woken by cops with guns, smiling sweetly to avoid subsequent arrest, tearing up parking lots in Z28’s, winding up border guards, getting on local radio stations for having a ‘cute accent’, and laying out in the fields drinking beer and shouting ‘shooting star’ remains to be seen, but I hope he does, he deserves it. The good stuff that is, not the cops, guns, arrest, thing, though to be fair that has a certain ‘cred’ factor so long as you don’t tell the wife/kids. Before he left, he sampled the true delights of camera shop customer service, so he’d remember what he was missing.

Nuff said, over to the ”Berg” …

I have a copy of the G12. However therein lies the usual tale of gash service etc. You may recall a few years ago the lens purchasing saga. I knew the risk of engaging Bristol Cameras to supply the said device. Any way a week previously I had phoned and they said the camera would be there but the housing might be a day or two later. I went ahead with it.

Then last Wednesday, as per the verbal agreement, Berg shuffled into their city centre premises next door to the site of the previous debacle. Armed with a copy of the order number hastily scribed on a small piece of paper I quoted the digits to the staff: or at least I tried. I had entered a shop some ten feet square; not the largest retail space on the planet. Three staff members were distributed about the shop and not one acknowledged my existence for at least a minute. It eventually dawned on one of these creatures that the idiot stood there expectantly was that rarest of beasts; a fecking analogue customer!!
The code was quoted, not exactly Davinci, just a few integers and characters, the sort of things commonly found on digital devices. The expression became pained, and that was just the ‘assistant’.
“Oh! But we call or e-mail to say the stock is in.” The Berg doesn’t remember this and is sure he would not have graced their doorstep before checking had he known this was required. He remained calm; recalling the saga of the 50mm lens.
A scintilla of service crept into the proceedings.
“Let me check if we have any stock”. The staffer began his search at one end of a shelf affixed near the ceiling. Berg glanced up and spotted the distinctive group of Canon boxes at the opposite end of the shelf to the staffer’s search. The products were distressingly arranged by manufacturer; Canon, Sigma, Nikon etc. Now; call me a bluff old traditionalist, but if I had a ten foot square shop and I worked in it all the time and a customer walked in asking for a Canon camera I’m not too sure I would begin my search at the other end of the shelf. Indeed I’d like to think I would derive some professional satisfaction from knowing what the feck I was doing and having a reasonable grip on what was stored where. We are not talking about some Amazonian warehouse of football pitch dimensions.
“Let me just check again” this time he disappeared to the back room. Berg had already decided he was going to bin this pantomime but remained waiting patiently. The assistant returned and continued to fidget with his ear; a near constant companion of proceedings so far. No joy.
He then picked up the phone and displayed yet more incompetence as he checked the whereabouts of the accessory Berg had also ordered. Remember Berg was told it would be available maybe a day or so later.
“No; we won’t have that until mid March at the earliest”
As a result of residing at her majesty’s pleasure some years ago Berg has been left with, shall we say, an arcane skill set. He repressed all of them and departed the fix; leaving the staff with the ability to walk and talk; and their premises intact.
Time was of the essence so being in a city centre shopping area, Berg trudged off in search of other camera emporia. He found one and walked in. A brief recce revealed a copy of the desired model on the shelf. The tried and tested point and grunt mode of communication succeeded. Moments later he emerged onto the high street with a brand new G12, twenty beer tokens cheaper, so the resultant saving could be spent on beer, wimin and guns, (this is Bristol after all).

The left over cash he’d waste.

Another 20 tons of rubber dog shit leaves Nam,
One day Berg, all this will be yours, with your luck that is ...