Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Sitting here thinking....

What's good? Coffee, holidays, beer, Putney, London 2012, napkin tricks, staying busy.
What's bad? War, expensive beer, football supporters, rainy days

Why am I writing this? Because, just because.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Some light reading, see if you can spot the theme...

Fucking disgrace, move the shite-port away from London, stick it on a pad of marshland somewhere down in Kent and build a railway to get people there - and do it before a plane lands in someone's back garden!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Worst post office in London?

Is the post office/newsagent at the end of Erpingham Road, on the junction with the Lower Richmond Road the worst PO in London? Most days it's half empty with bare shelves and a distinctly lacklustre atmosphere. The till looks like something a child would use and more often than not has about as much change as a kid might have. Don't try to buy anything with a note, in fact don't bother trying to buy anything at all. Anyway, perhaps the owner has other things on his mind than running the shop - word on the street is that his wife is being banged by Mr Naki who runs the kebab shop opposite....

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Premiership football is premier shit

It's a long time since I ever really enjoyed watching a game of football, and I suppose I began to wonder why. After all, isn't it the Beautiful Game, turning on a sixpence, all that stuff? 1966 and all that, we are a great footballing nation so why don't I share the enthusiasm? Quite simply, it's run by, played by, and watched by, wankers. Complete wankers. Tossers. You only have to go to a game (or, as I did, watch a few minutes of Liverpool v. Spurs in a pub the other day) to realise that it now attracts the sort of mindless thugism that the great working class, for whom the sport is surely dedicated, would look down on. In the UK the Premiership is watched by a new class, a middle class pretending to be "street" and only to happy to call the referee a wanker in front of their 10 year old kid. It's as if the blokes watching footy relish the chance to act like a child again (perhaps they're the same crowd that form part of that perverse group that enjoy wearing nappies and playing baby for mummy during a shady weekend away in know who you are ;) ) You're all a bunch of twats, hope the season ticket busts your bank - who knows, one day you might grow up. Idiots. As for the players, well, don't get me started....

Monday, 31 December 2007

Too HIP...?

I went looking for info on HIPS and found hips instead....ok, loose link, but what I'm trying to snake my way to is a short para on the subject of Home Information Packs, or HIPS. They've just become mandatory in the UK when you sell your property and comprise of a set of documents you need to start preparing before you can market your property. The documents cover areas such as energy efficiency, leasehold info and local searches and is supposed to give buyers immediate access to the sort of information they'd usually need to get themselves after entering into discussions about an offer - sounds good, I mean this at least means that buyers can quickly check the basics before making a decision - but, and I mean BUT, would you trust the seller of a property to commission a document without doing your own checks? If you're spending a few £100'k on a place I certainly would want to make my own checks which means they're all been done twice.......and someone, somewhere, is getting paid to do the checks twice....nice little earner if you can get it!! Costs are around £350 - another area where some people's reactions have been a little extreme. If you're spending, say, £200k on a house, you've already got to cough up stamp duty, solicitor fees, moving costs etc.etc.... a few hundred quid extra on a HIP really isn't going to break the bank - and if it does you shouldn't be moving at all!!! This is where the whole HIP thing has been a bit of a mess; in principle it sounds good and you can actually compile it yourself so you don't need to pay an estate agent or solicitor to do it. By getting a HIP it also means you're serious about selling and not just probing to see what you could get (a problem in London...). I'm sure it'll all settle down but for fucks sake STOP MOANING ABOUT THE COST - if you can't afford £350 on top of your existing moving costs then you are not in a position to consider the risk of moving - you're very likely to come up against other unexpected costs which make the HIP pale into insignificance.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Famous Putney inhabitants

It ain't just a great place to live, there's a good chance you'll spot a famous face or two as well if you wander the streets of SW15.

Firstly, on my favourite theme of mind-numbing reality shows, ex-X Factor mentor and '80's singer Sinitta lives on Colinette Road - apparently been in some bover with the Wandsworth Council planners over some kit in her garden. Oh well, guess it's not something to worry about if you're So Macho..... :)

Next up is Amanda Burton, famous for playing the lead in Silent Witness. Mind you don't get up to any mischief in these parts....

Moving on, Sue Lawley, a well-known "broadcaster" in the UK lives on Briar Walk, just off the Upper Richmond Road (the URR as opposed to the LRR, the get it). She's on Radio 4 at the moment so perhaps a picture isn't quite the right thing to put up. Still, maybe she's got something in the pipeline for the telly!

I'll scout around and find more Faces to put on here. If you are a Celebrity and wish to appear here, please let me know or comment yourself in - a bit like Wikipedia but without the CIA getting a chance to have their say about your career....bye!

Monday, 10 December 2007

For Sale - Barclays PINsentry

Ok, so I moan a fair bit, but I mean what's the point of a Blog if you can't moan? So here's a cracker on the subject of authenticating online banking transactions - Barclays PINsentry. Oh dear. There are two ways to do things - the Right Way and the Wrong Way; this is the Wrong Way....

Let me explain. Every time I log onto my account from a PC, any PC, including my home PC, I need to insert my card into this device, enter my PIN and submit the number it gives me to the website logon page. Every time. If I get my PIN wrong it tells me. So, I'm at work and I realise my electricity bill is due today. All I need to do is log on and make the payment - just what online banking is all about. Ah. That's right, I forgot to pick up my PINsentry when I left this morning, silly me! I access my account from dozens of places, airport lounges, foreign hotels, work, home, family when I visit - am I expected to carry this device, the size of a calculator, everywhere I go? Ok, so I manage with my phone but that's about it and even that slips into my pocket a damn sight easier that this shite. What a pain, what a fucking pain.

So, I asked for some more PINsentry devices so I could have one where I needed it. Ok they said, but they cost £6 each. F*ing hell, I got a bit upset and demanded to speak to the manager. A few minutes of haggling later and I am now the proud recipient of another 2 PINsentry devices, free, bringing my grand total to 3.

Now, however, I think I can make some money out of this given the inherent ability of the device to check a PIN number for a card. So - special offer - for only £5 I will sell one of my PINsentry devices to you, allowing you to quickly verify whether you have the correct PIN number for a, err, borrowed *cough* card - remember - the device tells you if the PIN is correct. I would suggest you could carry it with you whilst "obtaining" the cards, thus ensuring that the card donator has given you the correct PIN without needing to escort them to a cashpoint. How useful. Of course it only works with Barclays cards but hell, they probably hold about a third of all UK accounts so your chances are pretty good should you chance upon an opportunity...

The reason it gripes me (apart from the murkier uses of the device) is that there are other ways, more practical ways and devices to achieve the same thing - RSA tokens for example, a small key fob or credit card thing you can pop in your wallet which gives you a unique, changing number - or a variant on the credit card device that allows you to pop in a PIN number. Quite why the physical device has to be so cumbersome I have no idea.

I've had enough, so please let me know if you're interested in purchasing a Barclays PINsentry (£1 off the RRP) and we'll sort something out using PayPal, eBay or something. I'd be interested in hearing if any other people have had similar devices thrust upon them by other banks, or if they have experienced a more pragmatic way of doing this. Ta v much.