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Monthly Archives: December 2009

It seems that the good and mighty fall foul of political correctness – I just heard on the BBC radio that a council clerk in Sudbury, Suffolk, has told the local Bingo caller that he mustn’t use the traditional chant of ’88 two fat ladies’  for fear of offending his audience.

According to the BBC, John Sayers, who runs charity games in Sudbury, Suffolk, says he was told by a council clerk the traditional bingo call could upset some players. Mr Sayers said no-one had complained before, but now players moaned his new numbers-only style was boring.  Apparantly a town council spokeswoman said it was “sad” they had to give the advice but they had to be “politically correct”.

The 75-year-old, a member of Sudbury Town Council and former town mayor, said the clerk advised him to cut the traditional comic calls in case the authority found itself facing legal action.

All of this got me thinking about alternative versions – just for fun of course;

88 – Two plump birds

88 – Two BBW’s

88 – Two large and luscious ladies

Even so there is room for offence so what the heck lets stick with tradition and yell ’88 to fat ladies’ I’m sure the rumble of laughter will still roll through the halls of darkest suburban life and the worse that can happen is the two fat ladies turn into sparkling celebs ripe for the TV world and join the role of honour of ordinary people who have that 10 minutes of fame we all crave for at sometime in our life.

Could there be other, alternative calls – I wonder?

Graham – The Essex Lockey

vita est plenus

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I thought I was a good Beatle fan till I read this, how do you fare – 20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Beatles

The Ministry of Silly Walks” is a sketch from the Monty Python comedy troupe’s television show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, episode 14, which is entitled “Face the Press”. The episode first aired in 1970. The popularity of the series was unquestionably high and its cult status continues today.  I was thinking that the ministries of the UK government are still trying to emanate the ministry in its dealings with the british public, every day we hear and see the results of such daftness around us.

Our sometimes faceless MP’s who this year have been walking into all sorts over rows over expenses are still at it, and now our dutiful peers in the House of Lords seem to be filing their boots with festive public funds and so the debate and un-hinging goes on.   It is alleged that some peers are abusing their £174-per-day overnight allowance and this got me thinking about other areas of allowances for those on the public purse.

Ask any firefighter how much they might receive for having to go overnight to another fire station to keep a fire engine ‘on the run’ and it probably won’t make the 30 quid mark, and thats if he can provide receipts for good housekeeping and open accounting.  The MP’s and peers, have abused their position but what can be done when these people who mange our money on our behalf are self-regulating the system.

To make things worse Labour’s Baroness Adams, who did not speak in the Lords during the year, got a whopping £66,896 in allowances, not bad from any point of view.

As a caring citizen with a community spirit to match I’m quiet prepared to give up my job for a year and form a new committee to look at allowances and benefits of MP’s and Peers, I worked out that if I have just 50 nights out money and few other allowances I’ll probably be able to earn three times what I earn now and have a very nice life thank you – about time that serving the communities of the country stopped taking and started giving something more  – come on guys see the bigger picture it’s not all about self.

Readers may have seen reports on the television news or in the newspapers of a weakness in the Locks on UPVC doors. The weakness is being exploited by burglars in the UK.  Judging by the news feeds coming out our police forces attacks appear to be getting more common.

This problem is growing around the country; various methods are used by the burglars using simple everyday tools, allowing them to exploit an inherent flaw in the design of the Euro Profile Cylinder used in the UPVC locking systems. The cylinders can be overcome in a matter of seconds and although we know the methods used we will not disclose them in any detail, as a precaution against more  “copy-cat” burglaries.

The lock in question is not of any particular make, but is the type of lock fitted to the majority of UPVC and some wooden doors throughout the world and is commonly known as a Euro Profile Cylinder. It is the part of the locking system that provides the key operation to the system fitted to the door. No matter how secure or elaborate the multi-point locking mechanism is, if the cylinder is compromised the multi-point lock can be opened in seconds without difficulty.

All major Lock Manufacturers have been working hard to find solutions to the problem, and new burglar resistant cylinders are available.  

There are some very good albeit limited products on the market to combat this form of attack. some of the major  lock have produced newly designed cylinders which ensures that if the cylinder is attacked the door is still secured and still requires the use of the correct key to unlock the door.

Although this design of cylinder is still not 100% guaranteed to prevent all the methods of attack used on uPVC doors. It will prevent the most common methods slowing down the burglars attempts and making it considerably more difficult, therefore increasing the chance of him giving up.

In addition to these cylinders some manufacturers notably Squire and ERA are producing cylinder enhancers or cylinder security devices. Various designs are available to suit UPVC and composite doors these consist of a metal surround which is secured to the existing cylinder underneath the door handle. ERA’s range is possibly the most secure, with the designs securing through the door to sandwich the cylinder in place making it virtually impossible to remove the ’snapped’ cylinder. These devices used in conjunction with a Break Secure or SnapSafe? cylinder will ensure the methods currently being used are ineffective.

The risk of forced entry via the methods used is reduced if the cylinder fitted is of the correct size and properly fitted. However often when cylinders have been replaced in the past it is found that an incorrect size has been used leaving the door vulnerable. It is recommended that the euro profile cylinder should not protrude outside of the door furniture any more than 2-3mm.

Remember burglars always choose the easy option!

In order to ensure you do not become one of the many victims of this type of forced entry review your current door cylinders now and consider upgrading your cylinders to the newly available ‘Break Secure’ or SnapSafe? ranges currently available or fit an additional Cylinder Security Device or Enhancer to your existing cylinder.

In the meantime, ensure you DEADLOCK your doors whenever your home is unattended. We also advise that a door chain be fitted and used on the main entrance door when the house is occupied and if UPVC doors are fitted to other areas consider fitting additional internal secondary bolts as an alternative to replacing the cylinders.

Other sensible precautions include ensuring that any keys (particularly car keys) are not left where they can be found by burglars. (The most common method of car theft is by breaking into homes and stealing the keys). Other portable valuables should also be removed from vulnerable areas.

A safe will compliment any form of security to the property by reducing the risk of sentimental and valuable items being taken should a burglar gain entry. Securing small valuables can save a great deal of inconvenience and upset and it is recommended that you keep spare keys, passports, jewellery, cameras etc. locked in a safe.

So here we go on a crisp Christmas Day eve 2009.  My first blog which I’m sure will be uninspired and rough to the bone.  I’m not a particularly educated guy, a tadge awkward on the keyboard and I need to use the spell checker to make sure that I have everything pretty much correct.

I feel awkward because at my age it’s not easy to start writing about things – life, work, friends, family and all manner of other things when you haven’t done so before.  We have a whole generation of people who can do this kind of thing much better than I, but I feel that I should do this for myself.

I was reading an article in a national a few months ago about the ‘text generation’ and how the thumb has become the predominant digit for all sorts of things.  This new generation of ‘digit’ users will probably use the thumb instead of the forefinger to carry our a range of functions of previously ‘forefinger only’ operations because of the way in which we now use the mobile to communicate.  One example is probably ringing a door bell.  How do you ring the door bell? with your forefinger or your thumb? Me, I’m still on the forfinger but many I’m sure are on the thumb.

Whatever the outcome lets hope that the door bells keep ringing and that the text doesn’t take over as the preferred means of personal communication, can there be any other better method of keeping in touch with friends and family than by dropping by and ringing the door bell – I think not.   

key ut vita est illic , iustus vultus