Friday, August 26, 2005  

Shudder to think.

When my new job starts I will have completed eleven months and one week of unemployment, I think that’s long enough for me to have my say about the industry I worked in for almost fifteen years. It didn’t bother me one bit that I had compromised my principles, working for multi-national corporations, you do what you have to in order to look after your family, but I have to say the prospect of going to work for a non profit making organisation is one I’m feeling really good about at the moment.

I’m still not going to reveal the name of the company I worked for, suffice it to say I worked in the speciality chemical industry, specifically personal care. Personal care covers everything from washing powder to toothpaste and deodorant; the company I worked for made, among other things, the stuff you put in your washing machine to make your clothes soft and prettily scented. I wonder how many vegetarians use this type of product. I wonder how many would use it if they knew what went into it. Well, let’s see…. Take a shit load of dead cows and boil them down, add a nice amount of a chemical that causes liver damage and contact dermatitis. You then boil this mixture to remove any water that may be present. After this you add a chemical that is described on the safety data sheet as, and I quote:

“The substance is corrosive to the eyes, the skin, the respiratory tract. Corrosive on ingestion. Inhalation of the vapour may cause lung oedema. Ingestion of the substance may cause oedema of lips, tongue and pharynx. The substance may cause effects on the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, resulting in impaired functions. Exposure above the OEL may result in death. The effects may be delayed. Medical observation is indicated. Lungs may be affected by repeated or prolonged exposure to the vapour. This substance is probably carcinogenic to humans.”

If you manage to survive this process you then add a shit load of nail varnish remover and a bucket of anti-oxidant. I’m sure the customer adds an enormous amount of water to the finished product in order to make it go further, but all that stuff is in every bottle you buy.

It’s been a little quiet on here of late, but I have been very busy getting things sorted. Today I was informed by my local dole office that they wont give me any cash for new work clothes, suits aren’t cheap, well some are but I don’t want to turn up on my first day looking like fucking Jose Mourinho. Along with the clothing grants the dole have also cut all training funds and removed the transport to interview money. So, if you’re unemployed the government wont train you to do something new, wont help you get to interviews which are sometimes hundreds of miles away, and if after all that you actually manage to get a job, they wont even buy you a pair of novelty socks to wow your new workmates. No wonder the town centres of this country are full of poorly dressed half wits that have only tore themselves away from daytime TV to go to Gregs and get a sausage roll. This country is fucked, and these smelly ill mannered Burberry clad fuckpigs will be looking after us when we retire. It makes me shudder; it also makes me want to emigrate before I retire.

| posted by Simon | 4:32 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, August 21, 2005  

A new coat of paint.

After a fruitless search around Carlisle for a new suit we cast our net a little wider. We combined a trip to take the taxdodger his birthday present (happy birthday taxdodger) with a trip to Cheshire Oaks. This place is a haven of capitalist indulgence, but it’s also a good place to get clothes. I got a nice brown suit. In my married life I have had three suits, and that includes the one I got married in, so buying one isn’t a common occurrence. I always think that people who wear a suit everyday, and consequently buy a lot of them, are in some kind of secret club. I had to stifle a laugh because it reminded me so much of Ken and Kenneth from the Fast show.

I also saw a cloud that looked just like France.

| posted by Simon | 11:58 pm | 0 comments

Monday, August 15, 2005  

Hallelujah brother !

I’ve been listening to some Johnny Cash, I’m not a big fan of country music, in fact most of it makes me want to maim things, the odd song moves me greatly. I also like some gospel music (not the sentiment that goes with it though) I have listened to Elvis and Johnny Cash sing some gospel music, and I love the soundtrack to “Oh brother where are art thou ?” which to my untrained ear sounds like bluegrass gospel if there is such a thing.

“Drugs open people’s minds. That is why they are illegal. It is nothing to do with our mental or physical well-being. If the government gave a rat’s ass about our health tobacco and alcohol would be banned outright. It’s as simple as that.”

That is a snippet from a post that echoes my earlier rant about drugs, but in a much deeper and more eloquent way. He’s preaching to the converted, but it’s well worth a read.

Well said that man.

| posted by Simon | 10:48 pm | 0 comments

You can uncross your fingers now.

I am now a manufacturing trainer and assessor for a well known West Cumbrian company. (well they're well known in west Cumbria anyway). So thanks to everyone who crossed things, I'm sure it helped.

A drink I think !

| posted by Simon | 7:07 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 10, 2005  


Last night I saw a program about a gay man who wanted to be “cured”. He wanted to find a wife and have some children so he could live a “normal” life. “I don’t see myself as a stereotypical gay man” he said, cutting the stems of fresh flowers in the kitchen of his houseboat. Ok, I may be seeing a stereotypical gay man there, but this bloke was just denying what he was. The program then followed him to America, where he joined a program to cure him of his evil gayness, and obviously god was involved heavily in this cure. The nasty part for me was some of the terms used. “Fixed” like being gay means you are broken in some way, and other terms that set a pattern of negativity. Thankfully the bloke wasn’t swayed by the religious fundamentalism, and left the program to find his own way. In the end I think he realised that he just wanted to lay off the sex for a while and not change who he was. I just hope that no one watching the program was swayed by all the negative terms and attitudes towards anything that wasn’t normal in the eyes of the church.

I’ve been listening to the news today, in particular the news that the licensing laws are being relaxed. A judge has weighed in with his opinion that violence will increase as binge drinking increases. This opinion has been echoed by a senior police officer. I have to say that I think removing the last orders will stop the usual five pints when one will do syndrome. One bright spark on the BBC suggested that the answer should be to trial the new laws in one place and see if it works. Yeah, great idea… where do you think everyone will go for a night out ? There would be coach trips to the new booze Mecca. It’s about time we dropped this nanny state nonsense, if we are really worried about binge drinking we have to look at why it is on the increase, just closing the pubs doesn’t stop people drinking. I have three litres of spirits in the bottom drawer of my freezer, do those opposed to relaxing these laws think I would be too bothered if the pub shut at eleven thirty ?

Drinking is bad for you; we all know that, in fact after smoking it causes the most drug related deaths in Britain. I find it very odd that the two most dangerous drugs in the world are acceptable in the eyes of the law, but those drugs that cause very few deaths and those that have never caused a recorded death in living memory should be banned and their use and supply punishable in law. In fact it makes me think there is another reason that smoking and drinking are acceptable…. I wonder if it has anything to do with the huge amounts of cash the government gets from duty ? No, it can’t be, because they care about our health, they wouldn’t put us at risk just to generate some cash….. would they ?

| posted by Simon | 3:42 pm | 0 comments

Monday, August 08, 2005  

Blue moon.

After three and a half years blogging I have finally started another blog. It will initially last from now until next May, as an experiment just for the duration of one football season. This new blog will take care of all my musings about my beloved Manchester City, and other football related rants and mumblings.

So, without further ado….. I give you………. C T I D

| posted by Simon | 8:02 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 03, 2005  

One night in Yorkshire.

Which equates to two days but sounds a little more exotic. We travelled over to spend a day with five-pies and his family who are on holiday at Flamingoland. We met in Whitby and spent the day mooching about in the sunshine, finishing with a curry before slumping into our hired bed at the St Michael's hotel in Scarborough. Tracy was awoken at one thirty in the morning by a nocturnal kerfuffle in the room next door; needless to say I was woken in order to hear the headboard banging at a rate that would keep a clubber dancing for hours. The next morning we found that the breakfast tables were numbered so guests could sit at the table that matched their room. Our noisy neighbours were late for breakfast, and when they arrived I was more than a little disturbed, it was a middle aged man and a mentally handicapped teenager. I found myself hoping it was an epileptic fit we had heard, the alternative is too horrific to contemplate.

We quickly checked out and made our way to Pickering to see what Flamingoland was like. It looks like a brilliant place to go if you have a car full of kids, but not for us. After a cup of tea we set off in the direction of Kendal using the cross country route. I have discovered that Yorkshire has stunning scenery, dramatic and very beautiful. You can go from a patchwork quilt of fields to a steep drop into what looks like a rain forest in just a couple of miles. It pains me as a Lancastrian and someone who has lived on the fringe of the Lake District for ten years, but what I saw today was some of the most awe inspiring landscape I have ever seen.

Kendal was wet and busy, but a nice steak in ale pudding soon made me forget the rain. The rain followed us all the way to Keswick, but as we passed Bassentwaite the sun came out and warmed the last few miles home.

| posted by Simon | 11:16 pm | 0 comments
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