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Isomatic UK Weblog

Peter Burton's daily log, covering Peter's personal interests, e.g. jazz, travel and general grumpiness plus (occasionally) the business of Isomatic and its associate companies.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Fathers For Justice 

Having just browsed Fathers for Justice, I suspect they are being very cautious with the wording to avoid legal action against them. Let's bring the nasty stuff out into the open.
An ex-wife who denies a father access to his child, threatening to accuse him of paedophilia or "unspeakable sex acts" if he tries to make contact, is evil, loathsome, scum. I don't suppose there is a God but, if there is, I appeal to him/her to let her burn in hell for eternity.
I extend my deepest sympathy to those women who left abusive men. Because of the lying scum that I describe above, they face a strong possibility of disbelief.


Friday, January 01, 2010

2009; a summary 

Looking back on 2009; what do I remember best ?
We progressed the Ampair 6kW wind turbine from blade design through to six installations in just twelve months.
Selina and I bought a bungalow in Dorset, from where I am typing this post.
We cut our jazz nights to just two per week; Magna Jazz Band and the John Barnes Quartet.
The recession caused misery for many but the greedy bankers continue to milk the system for all they can get, returning to obscene bonuses and showing no shame.
Members of Parliament were called to account for their expense claims, trivial compared with bankers' bonuses.
None of the political parties emerged from 2009 with much to their credit.
Small businesses continued to suffer at the hands of both government (anti-business legislation) and banks (tight credit).
Pubs closed at an alarming rate as high alcohol taxes and reduced customer spending power took their toll.
Primitive tribal savages in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to cause misery for their own people as well as for our forces.

Wishing all our readers a Happy New Year.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Employment tribunal 

Since I posted about employment tribunals, several people have told me of their dreadful experiences at the hands of unscrupulous employees. At last we have received preliminary results from the claim against Boost Energy Systems. The best news is that the sex discrimination claim, for which posts from this weblog were used to show that I am a sex-crazed misogynist, was rejected. The constructive dismissal claim was partly upheld but a low limit has been placed on the penalty. We are invited to dispute the amount.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Blandford Forum 

Today we visited Blandford Forum for the first time since buying a bungalow in the area. We parked in the first signed car park and followed the sign to 'Town Centre' down a long tarmac footpath. This led to a short shopping alley in the town centre, the gate of which was padlocked. We had to retrace our steps and ask advice from locals as which way to walk. This is NOT the way to welcome visitors and encourage them to spend money there. We do not anticipate returning.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Surrey County Council 

As expected, a majority of the people of Surrey have turned a blind eye to the disgraceful behaviour of its county council and voted them in again. We conclude that they are utter fools and we no longer desire to live amongst them. We can only hope that Dorset will be better managed, regardless of political party.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Employment tribunal 

We spent much of the last three days preparing for a forthcoming employment tribunal case. It seems to us that justice has become heavily weighted in favour of the employee. By far the majority of UK businesses are small. They have to carry an increasing burden of legislation protecting employee's rights. It is hardly surprising that many choose to use agency staff rather than employees. As for using self-employed staff, HMRC can arbitrarily decide that the status is incorrect and ask for back tax to be paid. What has happened to justice ? Which of the political parties will promise to reverse much of this ?


Thursday, June 04, 2009

No jazz because of polling day 

Today the Berrylands Hotel function room is being used as a polling station for European (and perhaps local) elections. The result is no jazz tonight and once again our weekly pleasures are spoilt because of an annual event.
It shows how few facilities are available in the Berrylands area of Surbiton that the only available public room is at the back of the only pub.


Monday, June 01, 2009


The public at large believes that the majority of our MPs are liars. If this is true then why should it be so ? My theory is that too many MPs are from the legal profession. As an engineer, all of my training and experience leads me to believe that my profession cannot function unless we are all honest with one another, even if it might be detrimental to our case. Conversely, lawyers are trained to 'bend' the facts to favour their client's case. The priority is to present what is favourable, and hide the reverse. Translating this to parliament, it seems natural to its members to present subjects in a way that favours their party or themselves. Unfavourable truths must be suppressed.
Unfortunately I cannot imagine many engineers offering themselves as candidates; even fewer now.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Peace Party 

We have received a European Parliamentary Election flyer from The Peace Party. This is obviously a well-meaning, compassionate, Europhile, left-wing organisation so it pains me to criticise; however, it must be done.

The fundamental platform is pacifism, involving zero military expenditure. I must disagree very strongly from the perspective of recent history.
1) The failure of Britain and France to stop the Nazis re-occupying the Rhineland when they were militarily still weak, undoubtedly resulted in World War 2, with 45000 deaths.
2) Margaret Thatcher's lack of early resolve to eject the Argentines from South Georgia and announce the presence of a nuclear submarine in the area led to the Falklands war.
3) NATO's hesitance in Bosnia caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Bosnians.
4) The West's hesitance in striking at the Taliban led to the 11 September terrorism attacks and the continuing Taliban strength.

The moral is clear; hit the buggers hard and early. Do not wait for them to grow in strength. NATO was obliged to do this in Kosovo after the Bosnian disaster to avoid losing all credibility. The result was relatively few casualties and a level of peace that is still holding.

We need to maintain our military strength to deter primitive tribal savages from attacking us. In Iran and Pakistan they could even gain control of nuclear weapons.
Sorry Peace Party, much as I like you, you are seriously misguided.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Surrey County Council Elections 

I sincerely hope that the Surrey Electorate can concentrate on the relevant issues, despite all the present distractions from national politics. We should ask ourselves:

1) Is SCC doing a fine job ?
2) Are we satisfied with the performance of our elected representatives there ?
3) Is its pension fund, for which we provide the money, in good shape ?
4) Are our roads in a good state of repair and free from holes ?
5) Are contractors who fail to meet our requirements replaced ?
6) Are we getting value for money ?

If the answers are all yes then we should vote the incumbent councillors in again. If most of the answers are NO, then to vote for them would show the people of Surrey to be complete fools.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Hurtling towards the red lights 

Why, oh why, do drivers accelerate towards traffic lights that have just changed to red ? They appear to enjoy using their fuel to heat up the brakes. I was hooted by a Mercedes driver for going too slowly towards red lights, who then overtook us and swung violently across our path in order to turn LEFT. He then stopped to exchange words of abuse.
I will attempt to characterise such drivers:
Drives BMW, Mercedes or Volvo
Superiority complex.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Haslemere via the Surrey countryside; pay-and-display 

Today we drove through the beautiful Surrey countryside to Haslemere, passing through the villages of Albury, Chilworth, Blackheath, Wonersh, Bramley, Hascombe and Hambledon. The pictures show the centre of Haslemere and the Coffee shop where we stopped for tea and cakes. The many who seem to think that Surrey is full of houses and traffic should try a trip like this. On second thoughts, perhaps we should stay quiet and selfishly keep it to ourselves.
The only black mark was the Haslemere car park, of the hated pay-and-display variety. While we walked to the ticket machine a man in uniform was already preparing to issue a fixed penalty notice. Fortunately he saw me waving furiously in the distance. I have said this before "Pay-and-display is EVIL". It is a trick to extract fines from people who either do not have the required coins or who don't know how long they will be away from the vehicle. All car parks should be either free or pay-on-exit.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is there a fraudster in Godalming ? 

A lawyer informs me that an individual in Godalming is registering various domain name variants of Isomatic UK, with the avowed intention to redirect to another site which he refuses to name.

Possibility 1) This information is genuine in which case:
Presumably he browses this site and might even read this weblog. Therefore I ask him not to proceed with any action that might harm this company. If there is any attempt at 'passing off' then legal action will certainly follow.

Possibility 2) Lawyer is a trickster trying to get me to pay for many domain names.

Why should I suspect 2) ? Because:

a) the telephone record shows 'no number'
b) I do not trust lawyers; they seem to have no concept of truth and honesty as an engineer would understand those terms.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Parcel Force again 

The latest effort from Parcel Force. They delivered two pieces of prototype machined casting to the wrong address, albeit in the same lane so with the same post code. After some detective work I found the goods; damaged. This must have involved dropping on concrete from some height.
I have e-mailed Peter Mandelson and Pat McFadden as follows:

Having just suffered yet another disastrous delivery via Parcel Force, might I suggest a plan that meets the need for private investment in the postal system without enraging MPs and the public.

Sell Parcel Force to the private sector and retain the rest of Royal Mail in public ownership.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Northern Ireland 

We heard on the radio a man from Northern Ireland extolling the virtues of mixed denominational schools, still a small minority there. He also mentioned that marriage between Catholic and non-Catholic is still called a mixed marriage. I really despair about the Northern Irish; have they learned nothing from their decades of troubles. I also despair about Christians, and members of certain other religions, who feel that division between sects within that religion, is more important than unity.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bankers as teachers ? 

We heard on the radio a proposal that redundant bankers could become maths teachers. What madness is this; clearly a total misunderstanding of what constitutes school level maths. In the world of finance, numbers are very limited in range. The smallest number is 0.01 and the largest number is no more than a few billion. There is no concept of floating point ('real' in computing), nor of numbers that can range from 10 to the power of -23, as in Boltzmanns constant up to at least 10 to the power of 40 as in the age of the universe in atomic units.
Apart from REAL numbers there are complex numbers as used in simple electrical engineering. I could go on but I rest my case.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Jackie Stewart no longer deserves to be called Sir 

Sir Jackie Stewart has refused to give up a corporate deal with RBS that could be worth up to £4 million. He insists that the deal should stand, despite RBS receiving £20 billion of public money and thousands of its employees facing redundancy.

Gordon Brown should start the long procedure to withdraw his knighthood. He is bringing the honour into disrepute. He is also a disgrace to Scotland, although as I am only 25% Scottish I suppose that is none of my business.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin 

I have just signed up to two petitions on the 10 Downing Street web site:

1) We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to strip Sir Fred Goodwin, former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, of his knighthood.

Sir Fred Goodwin, former Chief Executive Officer of Royal Bank of Scotland, was knighted in June 2004, for his 'services to banking.'

In late 2008, Sir Fred resigned from his post as CEO at RBS, owner of Natwest. Under his leadership, RBS was driven to the brink of bankruptcy, requiring an unprecedented £20 billion bailout by the UK taxpayer. RBS is now 57.9% state-owned, and it is likely that the bank will require further tax-payer-funded support in 2009.

It is clear that Sir Fred's knighthood was awarded prematurely. It is completely inappropriate that he should be allowed to retain this elevated status given the huge damage that has resulted from his flawed strategic business decisions.

2) We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Strip the pension of Sir Fred Goodwin former CEO of the RBS.

Any other person in similar circumstances would now be receiving job seekers allowance. I assume the thousands about to be sacked from RBS will not be getting a pension. This reinforces the public belief that there is NOW no justice... I absolutely refute the ideology that senior management should have preferential treatment above other citizens of the UK.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Our Views on 'mobs'; The Cricketers, Surbiton Station, etc. 

Following my post 'Is This Goodbye to The Cricketers' in Horsell Birch I have received two e-mail messages from other customers of this pub. One was very supportive of our firm stand against a venue that gives priority to a large noisy party over its regular Monday jazz fans. The other says that we are wrong and should apologise to the staff.

Let us state our position beyond any misunderstanding:

1) Making excessive noise while musicians are performing is insulting to them and is hurtful to those who wish to listen.

2) Those who do it are selfish, thoughtless, people who care nothing for others; they share this characteristic with burglars, thieves, drug addicts, hooligans, etc. who care nothing for the affect of their actions.

3) Large parties and other large groups (e.g. Surbiton commuters) automatically become a mob with the above characteristics so they should be isolated from other people.

4) If a business does not accept the above responsibility because of the nature of its premises and/or because it wants the instant surge of income, then that is its right.

5) Equally, it is our right to withdraw our custom from that business, be it a pub, a railway station or anywhere else; we offer no apology for this and will continue such action whenever appropriate, publicising it as widely as possible.

6) We do not accept Christmas, Birthday, large family or rush-hour as excuses for mob behaviour.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Surbiton Railway Station 

I have just noticed, somewhat belatedly, that Surbiton scooped the title of Rail Station of the Year at the 2005 London Transport Awards. The Royal Borough of Kingston and South West Trains were presented the award in recognition of a programme of improvements carried out at Surbiton Station during 2004 to enhance accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians.

There was a period when I used Surbiton Station for trips to London. I had to stop because I could not stand the selfish mob behaviour from the regulars. The stairs were divided in two with a narrow section reserved for those coming down to catch the train when the majority were those leaving the train. Having most of the stairs available was not enough for the mob; they had to use it all, risking injury to any frail person coming down. I just cannot understand the minds of such people. Were they human beings once but lost all humanity through commuting to London by rail every day ? I tried battering them with my brief case as I came down but I was so heavily outnumbered that mob rule won and I just gave up on Surbiton for rail travel.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Aldi demolished our pub 

German discount supermarket chain Aldi has now demolished the 'Green Man', a public house since the 16th Century and possibly before, in Burpham, Guildford, where we live. For many months the old pub has been left in an unsightly state, with no roof tiles, presumably to wear down local resistance. We appeal to all Burpham residents to oppose any planning application from this evil company and to make it clear that we will never spend money in any Aldi retail outlet, anywhere, ever. We are British and will never surrender to German efforts to destroy our culture and take money from us in return.

Another aspect is the effect another supermarket would have on the local environment. The 'Green Man' roundabout cannot cope with existing traffic levels; just imagine the impact of all the shoppers driving to and from that very spot. If plans for flats above the shop were to be approved then we would have even more traffic plus the problem of resident and visitor parking. Aldi is not wanted here.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Is this goodbye to the Cricketers ? 

For the last few years we have been eating, drinking and enjoying jazz at The Cricketers in Horsell Birch almost every Monday evening. We spend about 2000-2500 pounds per year and we attract others to join us at our table, two of whom now eat there regularly. Yesterday evening was ruined by an excessively large party making the inevitable deafening noise, with no care for other customers or for the musicians. We cancelled the table for next week because it is clear the same will happen again and that its regulars are not the priority customers for this pub.

The pub manager's business plan (if there is one) is deeply flawed. He can fill the side area every Monday with jazz fans so it is counter-productive to put large one-off parties there. He has the front area and the snug empty on Mondays so that is where the extra customers should be seated. If he has to split them between tables then that is all to the good, as the two end groups on a long table cannot communicate and it is very difficult for the middle back customers to get up to relieve themselves.

The band was the 'Famous Four' comprising Chris Lowe (trombone), Richard White (bass sax), Martin Wheatley (acoustic guitar) and, new to us, young Ben Cummings (trumpet, vocal). We would have liked to hear Ben from our table as he sounded good when we danced close to the band.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Personal involvement in a company 

Today I was accused of being unable to separate my role as Director and Company Secretary from my personal involvement in the Company. These are the words of somebody who previously always worked for the tiny majority; the large corporations.
It occurs to me that personal involvement is what makes it good to work with or for the vast majority of companies, i.e. the small ones. Directors with no personal involvement are those that cream off huge salaries and bonuses regardless of company performance. They care only about their own wealth and care nothing for their employees, suppliers or even for their shareholders.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Windsor for Selina's birthday 

To celebrate Selina's birthday today (I am not allowed to say which one) we went to Windsor for much of the day. This involved kissing and cuddling in every place we visited; so I too enjoyed her birthday. We had lunch in 'The Crooked House', then toured Windsor Castle, as pictured. We spent the rest of the afternoon in shops, coffee bars and a pub before having dinner at a new Chinese Restaurant, two doors away from the Royal Theatre. 13.50 pounds buys as much as you can eat, far more than we wanted. The alcohol license was still to be granted so we were each given a free glass of wine.
At the theatre we saw the Agatha Christie play 'And Then There Were None', advertised as following closely the original novel. It was certainly gripping, with a typically devious plot.
One warning to visitors to Windsor: DO NOT use the car park immediately behind the theatre or any other privately owned car park. They use a clamping company but do not pay them. Result is over-enthusiastic clamping to make as much money as possible, see Windsor forum. We actually witnessed this happening.
Ideally we, the car-driving electoral majority, should have our own political party, pledged to re-introduce hanging, drawing and quartering for clamper scum, thus discouraging any others. As this will not happen, the only alternative is to starve the private car parks of funds by NEVER EVER using them. If the local authority car parks are all full, PLEASE DRIVE AWAY from Windsor and post to the forum explaining why you spent no money in the town.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Selina's advice to young men contemplating marriage 

I am a very lucky man, still very happily married after 42 years (see picture). Many men tell me how lucky I am to have such a lovely wife. I have just asked Selina what advice she would give to a young man contemplating marriage. Her answer was "Don't do it !"
Let me expand on this by saying that, in the likely event of marital breakdown, the odds are now so stacked against the husband that he will always emerge the loser. Even a pre-nuptial agreement appears to mean little in the UK. The politicians have gone so far to seek the female vote that the law discourages men from marriage. I have said in a previous post that the law also discourages the employment of women of child-bearing age. All this bias in favour of women is self-defeating.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Size of UK Enterprises 

Some people seem unable to accept that, to first second or third approximation, all UK enterprises are small. From the official statistics; distribution of enterprises by employment size band shows that 89.0 % had less than 10 employees, and 98.1 % had less than 50 employees. So-called large enterprises - those with 250 or more employees - accounted for only 0.4 %.

I cannot find a statistic for the number of really large organisations but even the FTSE 250 includes many that are not huge. I conclude that there are a few hundred at most, compared with millions of businesses in total (7 million ?). The percentage is therefore around 0.003 %

This disparity will increase as large companies shrink or disappear and many more small enterprises start up.


Saturday, July 05, 2008


Guilfest is back ! We can hear the noise from here, 1 mile away, and it is only 17:00.
We know that we are a grumpy old couple but we have grown to hate all mass-attendance events. Surrey County Show, Guilfest, Glastonbury, Royal Ascot,...........; you name it we hate it. They disrupt the lives of all those like us who take our pleasures daily or weekly, either with a small group who share our tastes or just the two of us. What pleasure can there be in suffering in traffic jams to mingle with hordes of people in an overcrowded, and probably muddy, field.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Gordon Brown & David Cameron; are you listening ? 

One of the Peters at the Berrylands says he likes the rare political comment here so:
How about voting for the party that will

1) Help small businesses, not burden them with endless regulation
2) Help exporters, on which the country's economy depends
3) Help the oppressed car drivers, i.e. the biggest single section of the electorate
4) Stop the kamikaze cyclists, not blame drivers for killing or injuring them
5) Bring an end to faith schools and all institutions that seek to brainwash children.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Grumpy Old Misogynist 

I have always been against misogynists, having argued strongly that women should be given the opportunity to undertake any job and rejoicing in the appointment of female airline pilots, etc.
Experiences this week are driving me towards the woman-hating camp.

When I tell a woman that an ex-wife who denies an ex-husband access to his child is evil, I expect some measure of agreement. Instead I get irrelevant arguments that men are evil in different ways.

When I say that the laws on maternity leave are making it too risky for small businesses (i.e. the vast majority) to employ women of child-bearing age except through agencies, I expect some sympathy for that view. I do not get it.

Must I conclude that women in general (and this does not include Selina) believe that they can inflict extreme cruelty just because they are vindictive or ruin a business just because they are selfish ?


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aldi; not wanted here, go back to Germany 

German discount supermarket chain Aldi has now had the roof tiles removed from the 'Green Man', a public house since the 16th Century and possibly before, in Burpham, Guildford, where we live. For many months the old pub has been boarded up in an unsightly fashion, presumably to wear down local resistance. Now they are pushing us further by making the building look even worse. Let me tell you again you evil Aldi Germans and your equally evil British quislings that the people of Burpham hate you !
This is a marginal political area so expect no support from local politicians.
To the staff of Aldi, I point out that you are working for an evil German Company and should be ashamed. To existing Aldi customers, I ask you to consider the alternatives for your shopping rather than provide income for such a rotten German organisation.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Bank Job 

This evening we went to the Ambassadors Cinema in Woking to see The Bank Job. Based on a true story, supressed at the time, this was a gripping variant of an old theme. Good writing by the famous team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and fine acting from the all-British cast. We recommend this film.
N.B. Why are the Oscars awarded to crap American films when there are such good ones coming from Britain, China, France and Germany. Is it another case of 'The World Series' when supposedly international awards are just for the USA.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Modern shopping 

Why have all the department stores adopted this modern system of collecting multiple franchises under one roof ? When we are looking for a particular item of clothing we want to see all such items together in one place so we can choose from all that is on offer. Instead we have to wear out our feet walking from one franchise to another, with 100% chance of missing something and 90% chance of leaving the store empty-handed. This cannot be good for business.
I used to shop in the old-style Debenhams but Marks and Spencer is the only place for me now. Even they are beginning to scatter the womens clothing between Per Una, Autograph, etc. Selina buys trousers and lingerie there but it is not vey good for her trademark mini-skirts. The exception pictured is an M&S 'tunic' that she wears as a dress.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury 

(Roughly to the tune of Joshua, Joshua)

Cantuar, Cantuar, oh what a foolish man you are
Do you think we'll all put up with Sharia
When drinking is the culture of Britannia
And we like our women just the way they are.
We like our pork pies and our caviar
And our country's staying secular.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wind needed 

Today we finished bench testing of a prototype electronic circuit for use with the Ampair 600-230V grid-tie wind turbines. We were then ready to test using real wind, of which we had plenty for a few days. In direct accordance with the law of SOD, the wind stopped at that moment and has not returned. Frustration rules OK !

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Location rules OK 

Why do businesses think they can just move the name to a new location without offending the customers. Examples:
1) Grosvenor Garage moves from Pitch Place to Crockford Bridge, replacing Crockford Bridge Motors
2) London Boat Show moves from Earls Court to Docklands so the new one has to be called the Earls Court Boat Show
3) Hotel chains.................................

To me, and probably to most people of my age, Grosvenor Garage is at Pitch Place, the London Boat Show is at Earls Court, the round hotel at Heathrow is the Ariel and the one over the road is the Heathrow Hotel. I refuse to spend any money at any of them ever again (unless they revert to previous names). The one case I know where this worked was at East Clandon. The pub name was changed so the locals refused to use it until it was changed back. Three cheers for the East Clandon locals !


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mistresses on BBC1 

This evening we stayed at home and watched television for a change. After a good programme about the discovery of the atom we watched the first episode of the new chick-flick Mistresses on BBC1. I have complained before about lack of entertainment for adults and I expected better from this; noting that it was after the 21:00 watershed and advertised as being sexy. It promised but failed to deliver. For example, when a female character shows her knickers to a male work colleague we expect to see the scene from his viewpoint, not from hers. This is just teasing us to the point where we become angry.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Aldi is not wanted here 

German discount supermarket chain Aldi is planning a store and 14 flats on the 'Green Man' site in Guildford, where we live, that has been a public house since the 16th Century and possibly before. For many months the old pub has been boarded up in an unsightly fashion, presumably to wear down local resistance. Let me tell you Aldi Germans and your British quislings that this action will only make us more determined to oppose you. You are not wanted here !
Bear in mind that this is a marginal political area and both the local Conservatives (one of them pictured here) and the Lib Dems will be fighting you to avoid losing votes.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Couriers again 

We had representatives from two courier companies in today to listen to our complaints about rising costs and poor online booking systems. We received the typical large company answers; summarised as 'we will report back but we can't change the system'. Should we conclude from this that we should not use large companies as suppliers of goods and services ? I have already turned away large company customers who try to impose their terms and conditions and refuse to accept ours.


Friday, December 07, 2007

West Dorset Internet AKA Wessex Broadband 

Do any of its other customers know what is happening at West Dorset Internet AKA Wessex Broadband. I am receiving no e-mail via that route, nobody is answering the telephone and there is no response to an e-mail sent via another ISP. I cannot log on to e-mol webmail either.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Failed to reach the Berrylands 

On Thursday evening we were required to interview a candidate at 17:00 so we left at 18:00, then had to stop for fuel on the way home. Dinner took longer than I expected and we had to pack for the weekend trip to our Cornish trials facility. Result; too late for our regular Thursday evening at the Berrylands to see the Magna Jazz Band.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The English Language 

There have been some posts on an IEE/IET chat line about American attitudes to English. I don't think we can be too high and mighty about language when there is such wide disparity within this small island. I find it easier to receive phone calls from continental Europeans speaking the simple but effective 'international' English than I do from Brits with strong Scottish or Geordie accents. Once, when travelling to Newcastle I had a long conversation with a woman who I thought had lost her keys. It transpired that she had lost her case !

Americans, Australians and New Zealanders are easy by comparison, although at an international standards meeting an American delegate confused everybody by announcing he was 'tabling' his proposal, meaning 'shelving' it.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stock-Taking is over ! 

We have just spent five days stock-taking, in the week we were more short-staffed than ever for a variety of reasons. This was my first time; in previous firms there were always others to do it. Ideally I should have:

Known all the parts by sight;
Known where they are all kept;
Understood the drawings;
Understood the accounting system (MYOB).

I failed on all counts but I know a lot more now.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Molly Millar, Wokingham 

On Tuesday evening we were working late so broke for dinner at The Molly Millar in Wokingham. Food was good and very cheap. Wells Bombardier was on draught. The pub appears to be aimed at the 18 year-old end of the market; loud music, coffee shop decor, 25 lager keg taps vs 2 real ale pumps. What happened to those wonderful days when the young enthusiasts from CAMRA temporarily halted the decline of beer provision.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Evil Transport Companies; damage again ! 

How do transport companies justify their appalling behaviour. They smash goods with impunity, expect the customer to pay for insurance and then say it does not cover xxxxxxxxx.......... My view is that if they damage the goods it is their duty to pay full compensation. It is not my concern whether or not they insure or pay from profits. If they were not so rough with the goods then compensation would not be a financial problem. The pictures show the latest damage to two transformers. The slender arm and hands belong to Marja, our finance director.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Parcel force 

I have often moaned about transport companies on this weblog but now Parcel Force has proved worse than even my expectations:
1) delivery took far too long
2) an attempt was made to collect import VAT from our customer, despite the fact that I had already paid by credit card
3) the relevant depot refuses to provide any receipt for this payment
4) I can only get a breakdown into VAT and other charges verbally over the telephone, no documentation is available.
The award pictured would appear to be worthless.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Royal Ascot; horse racing nuisance 

Are we the only ones who think Royal Ascot horse racing is a nuisance. Our normal route home from work is 21 miles, takes 40 minutes and has just two sets of traffic lights. Unfortunately we pass Ascot race course. For four days we have to make a major detour with traffic jams and countless traffic lights, making us late home, all so that the idle rich can enjoy themselves. We are working hard to bring manufacturing into the UK; do we not deserve some consideration ?
Obviously Ascot also brings money into the UK but only for a few days each year.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Transport damage again 

We have just received more damaged goods, this time electric motors. The picture shows the most badly damaged, with a crack across the end casting. Do transport companies hire special people with a qualification in throwing heavy items into the air ? Then they have the nerve to offer a sheet, or screen, for signature that includes words such as 'received in good condition'. Cowboys is too polite a term !


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Homebase for cut wood 

Boost Energy Systems urgently needed 10 wooden panels so we dashed out to local suppliers. All sold standard boards that are too large to fit in the back of the car but only Homebase offered a cutting service. Three cheers for Homebase but thumbs down to the others. The picture shows the final result, with panel painted black for photogenic reasons.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Indesit gas cooker 

On Sunday morning our new Indesit gas cooker arrived. It has two major advantages; low price and drop down door. The latter was a requirement due to past problems with door catches. Unfortunately the electric ignition only works for the hob and not for the oven. We await a service call.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Dinner without Jazz due to Zena's party 

We arrived at the Cricketers on Monday evening to find that Zena had
reserved the main section of the pub for her birthday party with 80
guests. No chance for the other regulars to get near the jazz although
we were able to eat in the other section of the pub. I understand that
the pub is very pleased to get such a big booking on a Monday so no blame
is due. I do think that it is very selfish of Zena to hold such a
function on jazz night; it is her group that always talks loudly during
the music. Why do they come at all on a night when live music is available?



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