Archive for April, 2004


The title should give a fairly good indication of where I’m coming from on this one, and with my politics such as they are I suspect it is little surprise that I may take such a stance. I’d like to start with a little context so that you, the reader God bless you, can have some information to understand my subjectivity.

When I were a lad, no Hovis ads please play some Sex Pistols or the Rocky Horror Show if you want atmospheric music for this time, I lived on the swinging King’s Road in Chelsea at the height of its pomp in the 1970s. The nearest tube station was South Ken which was a reasonable walk away especially when dragging a young child. We had busses no 11/19/22/31 & 45 and whilst I don’t have much direct recollection from the early days we seemed to get around ok, I went to school in Victoria and came by bus as did many of my classmates though there were some who came in cars but I don’t know for definite whether there were any geographical reasons as to why they may have done that. As I recall the car people were in the minority. Many families had a car for weekend stuff etc. we didn’t and in truth I think we were right not to have one. I was used to walking and used to changing to get from A to B via C, as a child your upbringing is the basis of normality it’s everyone else’s differences that are strange. Anyway we lived in London until 1987 never having a car and only when we moved out to Oxford did one become necessary for my Mother tho’ I used my bike to get to the nearest town 7 miles away and the bus to get into Oxford which went 4 times a day. Now I’m not trying to make out that either the 70s or the 80s were the golden age of steam or anything and I know for people who lived outside London it is a different picture, but by and large in my experience at the time a car was seen as something you used where public transport wasn’t available and public transport was definitely the desirable option where possible.

I went to the US in 1990 and lived out there for a bit, I tried cycling but since I was unable to legally drink in Ohio at the time I gave it up as too stressful. So I decided to take the bus to work. This entailed ringing up the bus company 48 hours in advance to book the bus, the only difference between that and a taxi was that the bus could plan its route to pick other people up if it had calls. The place I lived in was about 15 miles out of Cleveland and there was no way of getting to Cleveland by public transport, the nearest bus stop for a scheduled bus service anywhere was nearly 8 miles away. Even the local shopping centre did not have a bus service. This made for a very isolated lifestyle, the nearest shop to where I was living (which was a large residential area) was 3 miles, the shopping mall about 5 miles. You could go for days without actually seeing anybody. Is it any wonder people go mad there?

In contrast I have lived in Munich in 1992 and Rostock 95-96 where experience is rather different. Most people in Munich own a car and a fair proportion own a BMW but it is (or at least was) not the norm to commute into central Munich to work. The underground system in fact laid on extra trains for the BMW works shift pattern. Trains were tightly scheduled, invariably on time as were the buses and a large-scale Park and Ride system operated for most suburban train and tram stops. Suburban rail and bus connections ran smoothly, though I must stress this is all before the selective privatisation of the Deutsch Bundesbahn so I don’t know how things may have changed since then. Rostock was a shithole but even there they were expanding the tram network and updating the rolling stock, the plans for the next 5 years integrated transport policy and what it would mean were on display at bus stops and such like so you did get the impression that things were moving. Furthermore you can assume that it will get done because of course failure is not tolerated in Germany, “Get it done or you will be shot!”

To cut a long story short I got a car in 2000 as part of a job and have had to drive around 50000 miles a year ever since. I hate driving, I hate the motorways, I hate other drivers. I dislike being dependent on a piece of kit that if it goes wrong only I am in the shit (at least on a train I might have someone else to talk to) I also dislike being dependent on everybody else not wishing to get killed or to take me with them on there personal death quest. I do feel that this country is increasingly taking on the characteristics of the American way of life choosing the dogma that ‘it’s my right to drive my car’ and I don’t see this as exactly adding to the already eroded social cohesion.

In the UK currently there is something of an empasse between the road users led by reactionary forces behind the haulage industry etc. who are the same forces as those behind the countryside alliance and such like and the government who want to tow the line on climate change measures but don’t really want to upset anyone and if they do have to upset somebody then better upset Joe Public because he doesn’t really have a lot of power and isn’t giving the government very much money. Progressive governments have broken up transport policy so that one section of it appears to have no relation or relevance to the other, thus they appear to miss the fact that if you balls up the railways you will increase car useage and thus the emissions etc.

As regards the railways I’m afraid I have to reiterate a point I’m sure I’ve made at some stage before (if I haven’t trust me you’ll hear it again!) you currently have a privatised rail system where companies controlling the trains themselves and charging passengers money do so for profit. the fact that they have to offer a service for this is incidental, it is the means to the end and not the end itself. Therefore the principal operation is to ensure that costs are kept low enough to siphon money into shareholder dividends. It is not actually the case to say that these companies have it in their best interests to provide the best service for the most passengers, actually it is better for them to gain their money from investment and government subsidies and charge as few passengers as much as possible as this means comparatively low operating costs. You only have to read some of bobred’s rants to see that this is the case. Furthermore this means that any actions that are not seen as leading to short-term profit, or perhaps if you have enlightened investors at least long-term profit, must fall by the wayside. A private company cannot function at a loss the market will not allow it to do so. Thus services that may be vital to communities will only survive if they are financially expedient. This is not a public service and cannot be described as one. As for the notion of competition, what bloody competition – From Milton Keynes to London what a choice, you can take a Silverlink train which stops at all stations that might have a platform longer than 2 feet, or wait for a Virgin Express which will be 2 hours late, rammed like a cattle truck with some obsequious hoary old bint carting a trolley load of stuff that looks like it came out of a UN food parcel some years ago. Which will arrive first, no that’s not your primary concern, which will arrive at all?

[As for Railtrack, don’t get me started on them, as if I’m not pissed off enough that the government, the tossers, failed to take the initiative and say ‘look the tories tried it, it fucked up, now we’ll have it back’ we have to endure the bellyaching of the middle-classes who thought they could make a killing based around the assumption that the government wouldn’t let Railtrack fail and would keep pumping public money into it. So in fact we should be asking them for all the dividends they did get to be paid back to us, but no they say, they must be compensated, my answer to this is FUCK OFF, don’t you read the small print -shares can go up as well as down, yours just went down to nothing, investment in the stock market is a risk, you made enough money in the 80s now piss off, if you weren’t prepared to take the risk put your money under your bed or in the bank if you really must. This lunatic suggestion that the public who have paid out in subsidies for the dividends of these shareholders must now also subsidise the buyout at what these people deem an appropriate rate, it isn’t even standard capitalist economics that’s not the way it works, sometimes you win sometimes you don’t, deal with it. “We don’t like this we’ll take our money elsewhere” Oh boo hoo hoo like loads of other general publics are going to welcome you with open arms to sponge off their state subsidies until you decide to pull out regardless of whether it might harm their infrastructure or not. As a matter of interest how much state subsidy was paid to Railtrack and how much was paid at the same time in benefits to asylum seekers? You can see where I’m going with this…Who are the real drain on resources eh?]

Other methods of public transport, well, talk about the postcode lottery if you’re in Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Croydon you’ve now got Trams which is a start. If you’re elsewhere you have buses run by companies that have the same operating principle as the train operators and in many instances ARE the fecking train operators so you’re stuffed. When I lived in Oxon the village started out having 1 bus a day that went into Oxford in the morning and 1 bus that came back in the evening. It wasn’t the busiest because it had to go round a number of outlying villages so you’d only catch it if you lived there but it was the only link to nearly all of these villages, the fuckers axed it because it didn’t most sense from a cost-effective point of view. Interestingly enough when it was run by the council-funded pre-deregulation Oxford bus company it was a double decker and quite full, after de-reg it was palmed to a private carrier who reduced it to a hoppa bus and it barely filled that. It was fortunate that a retired bus driver in the area bought himself a bus a did the rounds 4 times a day after that but had it not been for him that would have been it. For such a situation to be allowed to happen in the 20th/21st centuries is an absolute scandal and those in regional and national government ought to be thoroughly ashamed. After all they always have transport -you don’t hear of a council jolly abroad getting stuck because a couple of people missed the bus. It’s hypocrisy, double-standards and makes a mockery of democratic accountability.

So what do the government do. Do they tax private transportation to get people off the roads, yes supposedly, but have they made sure there is a viable alternative to the roads, ah……no…..shit…..sorry….knew there was something we forgot. Fucking space cadets I mean how long can you debate about reforming private transport before thinking about the public transport alternatives? You have the congestion charge in London, in my view a good idea, provided it is used entirely to fund the public transport alternative. The car road tax should be used for the same purpose, then you can invest in the expansion and modernisation of the public transportation system. There should be lower road tax for people who need to use cars like Doctors etc. But there should be higher taxes for people who drive distances of less than 3 miles and for those driving alone and finally tax the fucking 4X4 users off the road ‘cos they have a fucking off road vehicle anyway, serve the bastards right! Of course the whole public transport infrastructure has to be in the public hands because that way it can be run as a service rather than a business. The advantages to this are: the safeguarding of ‘non-profit-making’ services. Lack of dividend payouts means surplus money can be used to substitute unprofitable services and ploughed back into the R&D, maintenance, upgrades etc.

See – it’s not hard THAT’S AN INTEGRATED TRANSPORT POLICY it took me a couple of hours and I’m no genius so who are the tossers running the country-I submit my transport manifesto for open scrutiny and discourse from the blog community. Come on bobred this one’s got to illicit a comment from you, what do you reckon?

Original Comments:

john made this comment,
“Veree interestink” as our Kraut cousins would say.It’s strange that trams have recently been pronounced a failure in this country when they seem to work so well elsewhere in Europe. I have worked in Cologne and never found it so easy to get about a city, the same goes for Amsterdam where I never seemed to wait longer than two minutes for a tram.
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-01 14:55:55’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
In no politician, but I recon that with it being the year 2004 and all, we should be having colonies on mars and shit like that… Failing that, at least we should have a decent public transport infa structure, where you shouldnt have to wait any longer than 2mins for a tube off peak, 5mins for a bus, and 10 mins for a train. But if you take this to anyone incharge, they will laugh at you and ask how the hell are we supposed to do that! Well, thats not my concern… its the year two thousand and bastard four.. cant we get away from all the snide and underhandedness of a privatised rail company and actually do something in the interest of the customers for once? Why dont they just rub it in by changing their slogan to “you need us more than we need you” and be done with it. As for driving, i am also like you, I dont like driving very much, and when i do its usually early in the morning or late at night when not many cars are around and only when there is no other realistic altenative for the round trip. Im agree in principal about taxing the 4x4s but taxing people who drive for short distances would be tricky… what if there was no other way for them to get there? It would be ok for me, walking has been my primary way of getting around as we didnt have a car until i was 20. Another thing that i would add would be to get cyclists off the roads. And onto specially made cycle lanes, with kerb separators to stop shit taxi drivers from cutting into their lanes and vice versa thus reducing the number of cycling accidents whilst doing something for the envioronment.
Hope these comments made sense from one transport user to another, this had been a bobred mini rant
until next time…

red

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-01 15:03:07’} GMT+01

Red Baron made this comment,
I agree entirely John, in Europe trams are de rigeur and are an effiecient way of traffic calming as well.
Bob -good rant enjoyed that, as for the short distance tax thing -I ought to clarify the infrastructure must be in place to provide the choice, where no choice is provided it would be wrong to do it. Equally where a legitimate reason exists such as medical or such like this also should be excempt. What I’m trying to do is cut the school run of the Mothers taking their kids round the corner in hubby’s gas guzzling BMW 4x4s!

Visit me @ http://redbaron.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-01 15:30:28’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
Cheers mate, glad you enjoyed it! Yeah if the infra structure and medical excemtions were in place then i totally agree as those BMW 4×4 are really annoying moving roadblocks!!!
Anyway, youll be pleased to know that the armed police didnt take me down during my airsoft match! but i am seriously cream-crackered! anyway, ill try to add a blog entry about it tomorrow!
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-05-02 23:12:33’} GMT+01

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I decided to have a trawl thru’ my statistics today, call it boredom, call it vanity, I’m not proud of myself but there you are. Anyway whilst at work whenever I tried it actually took me to somebody else’s blog. Very curious.
So, I got home tonight and it all seemed ok. BTW check this out – http://www.worldstargazette.com/ the baron got famous! I don’t know how that happened I had nothing to do with it but it was rather pleasing. I suddenly feel a little global! Well, little things please little minds eh. If someone else posted it on there for me then thanks to you it gave me a lift.

Having looked at my stats a big thank you to my top referrers lizardbreath, jealoustwin, bobred, ducks-echo and jimmysunshine who have propped up my blog so I didn’t feel too isolated. My blogging strike rate seems to be about 20 a month with about an average of 10 hits per blog and 1 comment in 2. That’s not a bad start. I’m pleased with how I’ve done in April I’ve managed to put some serious stuff in with the inane banter so I don’t feel too self-obsessed [jimmy -I’m relying on you -my blog ever gets like vix you kill me right, I mean it!]

I’m going to do a general transport rant very soon, it’s currently welling up inside. I’m at the less lucid end of my biorythmical month I think, I don’t feel that inspired, I think the Immigration blog took it out of me, that and the seminar I gatecrashed yesterday at the Uni on ‘Marxist reflections on European studies’ Very interesting, very highbrow and my poor old brain hasn’t really be called upon to function at that intellectual level since my finals nearly 7 years ago.

Americans -christ they make some shit TV, why is it whenever I’m bored there’s never any really good program on. I mean last week when I was blogging and quite tired there was a series of Harold Pinter plays on the box which I would have liked to watch, now it’s all just shite so I am reduced to watching Dutch football on channel 5 -is it any wonder my brain is in meltdown!

I have been thinking recently whether I should reveal a little more about myself on my blog. There’s certain stuff that I would withhold but other things that I could tell people about myself, first name, age the boring shit!. My quandry is that this would be admitting that my blog would be playing to the crowd wouldn’t it? If my blog is truly just for me then I don’t need to tell me about me, but that being said if I were to divulge such info would this really be for other people or would it just be to satisfy myself? Would other people be particularly interested, I know blogs that have and blogs that haven’t, perhaps it is the fear of publishing that info and people not being interested?

I really shouldn’t take myself so seriously.

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
i think your rantings here are already a reflection of who you are. some people might get you the wrong way but, it’s perception that’s playing in every reader’s mind.
btw, i like the new look.

rayts

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-30 03:01:50’} GMT+01

john made this comment,
It’s not just ‘when you are bored’. I seem to spend half the evening trying to find something worth watching on TV. How come when we only had one or two channels in black and white we spent hours in front of the box ? Now we have hundreds of channels repeating the same old crap. Still it’s good the catch up on your reading. Now get on with the transport rant – please !
Visit me @ http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-30 15:51:33’} GMT+01

Bloody stupid idea, early lunch, you’re not completely hungry yet (as today was ironically one of the few days I had a proper breakfast, ok I say proper I had a bacon & egg muffin on the way to work but it filled a hole!) you have your lunch and then lo look at the time still a brain-shattering 5 hours left to go. Shit, that’s a lot of time to avoid doing any work this is going to take some careful planning. Not only that I used the morning writing comments on people’s blogs so that’s out the window. Bugger. I’m going to see if anyone’s on iChat.

Original Comments:

Lizard Breath made this comment,
dontcha just hate that…actually having to WORK while you’re at work?
as far as not being able to give blood, just think of it that you were willing – but given a reprieve.

lizard.

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-29 21:00:40’} GMT+01

http://cancergiggles.blog-city.com/ -have you seen this? I am speechless, it is the most uplifting blog in horrible circumstances that I have ever read. The resilience of the human spirit amazes me sometimes tho’ I feel now a very inferior and petty individual of such comparatively little merit. It’s the kind of thing that I will only be able to make trite comments about so you’ll have to read it for yourselves and I urge you to do so.

Original Comments:

Cancergiggles made this comment,
Glad I could uplift you. My experience is, that most people who think they would be very weak in circumstances like mine, actually surprise themselves and the “inferior, petty, little merit” people become amazingly strong. Thanks for your very kind comments – I’m now a regular and have linked to you.
Regards
Cass
Visit me @ http://cancergiggles.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-30 03:15:29’} GMT+01

OK so there’s much debate about the EU expansion and how this is seemingly going to lead to mass immigration from Eastern Europe as all the Slovaks and Poles flock en masse to Dover to get into Britain. Leaving aside the obvious question -Why do they want to come to a Scheissladen like this anyway? [Answer -doesn’t it make you think about the circumstances that they’re coming from?] I would like to address a couple of points based around my existing views and what I have heard recently. Firstly it is irrefutable that the British public, or at least the majority, are seriously concerned about immigration. Most people will say “I’m not racist but this country doesn’t have any more room” the less liberal will say, “Britain for the British” etc. etc. So is there a genuine immigration problem, what is it caused by and what is the solution?

Is there an immigration problem? Well that’s debatable and you can find statistics that can back up the point of view of yes and no quite easily. Proportionally Britain does not take more immigrants than many other countries in the EU, furthermore there are large sections of the country that are suffering from a shortage in the labour force, particularly in unskilled work which by and large is the staple of the economic migrant. This shoots down the notion of immigrants coming and taking jobs away from the British, that is a ludicrous idea. Most immigrants who work illegally do so in bad conditions with no labour rights and pay that is often far below the minimum wage, most people living here legitimately would not take such a job as they would be better off within the benefits system to which the illegal refugee is not entitled. Most refugees do not want to come to this country to ‘sponge off the state’ they are as proud as those who live here and the stigma attached to not working is often stronger in many poorer countries. The refugee is seeking a better life for him/herself and often his/her family and will utilise whatever is at his/her disposal to acheive this. This is natural and is part of the human instinct for self-advancement and protection of the family unit. If this country wasn’t so affluent there would be many people here who would look abroad to do the same and this happened amongst the middle classes with the ‘Brain drain’ to the US through the 1970s and 80s. It is not a decision to be taken lightly to uproot and travel across a continent to seek a better life in another country and after all there are never any guarantees that life will genuinely be better there so you have to be pretty sure that life is shite where you are to want to take the chance.

“Why do they all come to Britain, it’s not the first EU country they get to, why can’t they stay in Germany or France?” Well my dimwitted friend the answer to this is simple, you reap what you sow, England has rammed its culture and language down people’s throats for so long that it is now a worldwide lingua franca -so, sorry but you’re the victim of the sucess of the British empire and US TV and film for that one. Why would anybody coming to a foreign country want to make life more difficult for themselves? If they speak English, they’ll go to England, if they speak German like many Czechs and Poles they will like as not go to Germany. Likewise the French have influx of Algerians and many other North Africans and areas where they once had a substantial influence, it’s basic common sense really.

“Britain for the British -charity begins at home” Oh goody, I hoped you might say that, who are the British? How far back in history do you want to go? Let’s start with the easier known historical quantities, when the Romans (from Rome, so they’re Italians basically not British) invaded in the first century AD there were existing tribes who are collectively known as the Celts although the Scottish variant are the Picts and actually the Celts is a rather loose formation of a number of tribes who have various origins including France and Germany but let’s assume for the sake of arguement that they are the indigenous population. So you have Celts and Italians, then the Italians shipped out in 410 AD (Emperor Honorius I believe, if you pressed me for details.) You then have a period of time that isn’t studied a great deal where all sorts of people came over including Angles from Northern Germany, Jutes from Denmark, Saxons from Central Germany one suspects the odd Gaul or hundred and other Barbarians from many quarters. What a multi-cultural land it must have been, how did they get on surely there were race riots on the streets of Londinium? Add to this in the North a plethora of Vikings coming over and doing a bit of raping and pillaging you have to anticipate a fair amount of norse children knocking about. Not only that there was even a Viking king, Canute. By the time we get to 1066 the population is collectively known as Anglo-Saxon -so German then. Now the Normans who were by this time French, originally came from Scandinavia but let’s stick to French it’s easier, invaded and conquered Britain -(Britain has various names -Brittania is used by Tacitus in Roman times and Anglia is often used in the Middle Ages, we still use East Anglia today) So from 1066 you have a ruling class who were French (of Scandinavian origin) and a working class who were German, then some Vikings and quite a few Celts who were still staming around in the West in N. Wales, Scotland and good old Hibernia. Now after that there isn’t really an invading force so whilst you get migration there is no complete shift of the native race. Which means that if you are ‘British’ you can pretty much choose to be French, if you’re feeling hoity toity, German if you’re feeling oppressed or Celtic if you’re feeling militant or druidic. Bear in mind of course that many of these tribes in continental Europe didn’t just go to England they went all over the place, look at the Huns -somehow some of them seemed to end up in Finland hence the fact that the Fins and the Hungarians speak a language more like each other than any of the neighbouring tongues Scandinavian or Slavic. So in fact most of continental Europe are related to us, we populated the US and the Antipodes, we all originally come from North Africa as a species so really it’s the Chinese and the Antarcticans who shouldn’t be allowed in because they have no claim to be here, ah but the Chinese have provided us with tasty food that has in fact become part of our way of life so we have to keep them. So it’s just the Antarctic. Penguins Out -get back to your own glacier boo hiss! There’s no room for Polar Bears here.

Sorry went off on a tangent there, I hope though it does go some way to showing the utter futility of a racist arguement, it just has no sense. So we’ve tackled the fact that there isn’t a great deal of a problem and also why people are coming so what is to be done? There are 2 fundamental points here and they are probably the most important points I wish to make in this whole blog entry.

The first is that the rabid media must be curbed, the incitement to racial hatred is absolutely blatant, it is particularly severe in the right-wing press (which is most of the press) but the ‘left’-wing press doesn’t put much forward to counter-bbalance, it tends just to stay reasonably silent. Most people’s views on immigration in this country are fuelled by what they have heard/read in the media and this is very dangerous indeed. In fact in reality when Radio 4 has sent people to Slovakia and Poland to report on whether there will be an influx of people they have come back with the information that it is highly unlikely to be that many and these are people working for Migrationwatch and such like. Mori recently polled people and it transpired that 80% were worried about the immigration situation and thought there should be tighter measures, but the people who thought that the country had too many immigrants were largely those demographically from White areas of the country with a proportionally far lower amount of immigrants. It is not true to say that people are inherently racist or even exclusively clannish. If you look at Russia after 1917 there was not an explosion of anti-semitism, there weren’t huge areas of racial tension. Views like the racism and concern for immigration are being spoon-fed to people who do not have access to the same level of counter-arguement. If you tell somebody that there is a problem and you tell them often enough and you use alarmist and apocolyptic language then it is small wonder people will be concerned. I will come back to the media in a future blog and tackle them as a seperate issue.

The second point is this: Does nobody ask the question exactly why there is such a migration of people from many more easterly countries, do they just think we have a nicer blend of tea? If Romania and the romanys are such a tricky problem why not look at what the causes are, what is going on in the country that seems to make people so desperate to leave. If you address the problems in a country you will automatically decrease the desire of many people to leave. There will always be people who will choose to seek new horizons but others will not feel forced and that’s the crux. I know I’ve made this point before and I’m sure many other people have too it just seems so obvious that it astonds me that you don’t hear it mentioned in mainstream politics, and the only thing that says to me is that mainstream politicians have far more to gain by immigrants coming here and being used as universal scapegoats rather than to ‘stem the tide’ and make life uniformly better. Of course business wouldn’t be pleased if the influx of cheap labour dried up overnight, how would the BNP recruit from the dissolutioned working classes without the foreigners to blame all the problems on.

That’s all for now, I’d be interested in your comments my fellow blogsters.

Or rather not so bloody hell. I plucked up the courage to go down there, filled in all the forms, sat and waited nearly 2 hours only to be told because I had local anaesthetic yesterday and I still have a cold that I can’t give blood. – Denied! I feel a bit of a plonker now and not best pleased at having shat myself for half the afternoon only to have to go thru’ it all again next time in August. Bugger.

Original Comments:

Bob Red made this comment,
Sodding typical isnt it?? Oh well these things happen i guess. At least you tried which is more than can be said for me!!
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-28 23:02:33’} GMT+01

A visitor made this comment,
jeez. just when you’ve finally decided to donate, that kind of thing happens. frustrating isn’t? maybe u could try next time. i’m sure there’s always a next time.
rayts

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-29 07:08:23’} GMT+01

moog made this comment,
bastards!!!!!
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-29 21:42:47’} GMT+01

Well, it’s shit-your-pants-time! I have 3 hours now to sit and mull over the idea of donating some of the redbaron’s red. This means I could come out being just The Baron.

Again…more dentistry with my very sweet but sadistically maniacal dentist, Manisha. I put all my hair up under a baseball cap today (no mean feat I can tell you) to try to convince her that I’d had it cut, she wasn’t impressed when I took the hat off. Ho ho. Who does she think I am, doesn’t she know what happened to Sampson? I am consequently feeling a little jaded so having more hosepipes stuck in me is not high on my agenda today I think I’ll defer until tomorrow.

Blog news -things seem to have gone mad -I’ve had 18 comments in 3 days and my visitations are up to 586, this is great I’m Mr. Chuffed now. Although I am worried I’d becoming statistically-driven so I’ll be writing a serious rantblog tonight or tomorrow on the latest immigration news that came out today. I am cultivating my seething accordingly so I should be downright apoplectic by the time I write.

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
i think (almost) all dentists are “sadistically maniacal” in some way or another. my dentist talks to my teeth, can u believe that? she can’t reproach me (everytime I failed to visit her) and so she’s telling it all off to my teeth. hehe!
include me in your stats. i kept coming here to have a taste of your political rants and a few Blair here and there.

rayts

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-28 02:37:35’} GMT+01

The debate on giving blood has been interesting, thanks to those who responded. BTW when I was waiting for my 500th visitor it took an age (Congrats Leah!) and then 24 of you come along in quick sucession, where were you eh?!

As for the blood thing, I’m going to have to see, there is no doubt that it is the noble thing to do, it is also the scary thing to do, I wouldn’t classify myself as an especially noble person and I tend to run a mile from anything scary -no C4 for me tonight Leah! There just seems to be the irritating little voice in my head that says, “go on it’s the right thing to do”. Not that I often get voices in my head telling me to do things, your honour, but this little voice saved my bacon when I was at university by telling me in the February of my final year that if I didn’t get started on my dissertation I was going to fail. I was so surprised by its conviction that I actually listened to it and worked like a maniac for 3 months solid and got my diss finished the day of the deadline. hence my belief that this little voice knows what it is talking about. I did have another thought, a rather more sinister thought, that if I do give blood then the redbaron will in fact proliferate himself all over the place. Bearing in mind I come from a good genetic line of loony lefties I could in fact bring about the revolution by peaceful means! OK it won’t be a bloodless revolution but it will be blood being given not spilt! Marvellous, Muhaahaaahaahaa!

Original Comments:

Lizard Breath made this comment,
oh good lord, another red.baron running about the planet, are you sure we’re up for it?
thank you for the insightful comments on my blog, as usual. always welcome.

what a small world, as lizard worked the “back forty” as well, giving the arms and fingers quite the nasty scrapes hauling away winter debris after hedging and trimming.

CONGRATS on the milestone 500….here’s too 5k.

lizard.

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 17:13:12’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
395 im afraid!!!
Close, but no cigar 🙂

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 23:07:06’} GMT+01

Leah made this comment,
i think that confirms it. i won pants down.
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 23:40:22’} GMT+01

Leah made this comment,
that amused me that did! 🙂
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 23:41:33’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
Im not sure who got in in the end, as the next time I checked the counter, it said 402!! Therefore, unless anyone steps forward, I am declaring both you and Red Baron Joint 400th readers!! Go on… take a bow and pat each other on the back!! youve deserved it!!!
Red
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-27 00:01:06’} GMT+01

Bob Red made this comment,
Perhaps if leah was winning with her pants down as she puts it, i should disqualify her for streaking 😉
Only Joking!!!!
Red

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-27 00:06:49’} GMT+01

Red Baron made this comment,
I’d say if Leah is prepared to lower pants for the occasion I am quite happy to cede any rights I may have to the prize!
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-27 16:10:38’} GMT+01

Damn, I had one of those Sundays, scary stuff. What have I done today, well I cut some branches in the garden and started a bonfire with them. Then I went down to B&Q and bought a drain unblocking thing and unblocked the drain. Then did some washing and put some stuff up into the loft. Now all that would be ok if I was sitting here saying what a crap day I hate my life etc., I have to say the unblocking the drain was hardly a laugh a minute but quite satifying when completed having saved £50 on having a plumber deal with it. The bonfire I quite enjoyed, I got a great deal of personal satisfaction at keeping it going and piling half a tree onto it, then, wait for it I used the potash on the garden and to clean the patio! Oh God -I’ve become my Dad, I have clearly inherited his laissez-faire attitude to gardening that necessitates going out only once in a blue moon and getting stuck in. On the negative side I feel guilty at having polluted the environment for the last 4 hours -there was quite a lot of smoke, I reek of it. Anyway having read bigjohn’s blog I see there is life after 35 so I’m sure I’ll be alright, it just comes as a shock when you’ve been afraid of turning into your father and you suddenly find that you did without really noticing!

There’s a good chance if you’re reading this that you’re the 500th visitor to redbaron -you’ll have to imagine the streamers and party poppers but they are there in spirit. Next milestone will be the 100th blog which will come in about 6 weeks or so.

There is a chance I may be able to get the network up and running tonight so I may blog again, we shall see.

Original Comments:

Leah made this comment,
damn it! i was visitor no.49bloody4! do you know, i can’t win anything, me
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-25 20:42:34’} GMT+01

Leah made this comment,
496 this time. it’s like a slow game of bingo this! i’ll go and put the washing on and maybe it will be me when i come back.
well. here’s hoping, eh?
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-25 21:20:09’} GMT+01

Leah made this comment,
woo hoo!!! bring on the party poppers!! we have a WINNER!
(and there was me comvinced i was gonna be visitor 503 or something! but no.
Leah 500 Sumner – that’s me!
congrats to you of course, redbaron 🙂
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-25 21:36:35’} GMT+01

john made this comment,
You are on track ‘Baron’. I became my Dad about 30 years ago.
Visit me @ http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 15:31:51’} GMT+01

Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
it was the cheesy jokes and bad puns that made me realise i’d turned into my dad, and trying to stop the slide is impossible. i think i’ll go tinker in the shed.
Visit me @ http://jimmysunshine.blog-city.com

comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 20:19:10’} GMT+01

Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
drain off the oil from the sump, and keep it in a rusty can at the back of the shed. then clean your hands with swarfega. now, THATS your dad!
comment added :: {ts ‘2004-04-26 21:25:44’} GMT+01