Monthly Archives: April 2016

20140415 – Goodbye To Paradise Until Next Ski Season.

Friday – cool and sunny

Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point  Gardens.

Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point Gardens.

Up out early and drive down to Thanksgiving Point to visit the Tulip Festival, it’s a geriatric thing. Quite impressive and lovely gardens but nowhere near as good as the Dutch Tulip Festival.

Owl with his lunch on the side.

Owl with his lunch on the side.

Then we visit the Country Farm, Dinosaur Museum and Museum of Curiosity, With the later three we really needed to rent a rug rat as they’re clearly aimed at kids. But we managed to justify it as exploring potential for Jasper. He’d love the Farm and the museum of curiosity. You could easily spend a day here.

The museums are teaming with heavily pregnant Mormon women, usually with 4 or 5 rug rats in tow. I’m amazed there isn’t a midwife on duty.

After a Starbucks we drive about a hundred miles down to Price, where we’re staying over night.

More tulips.

More tulips.

Price is a real one horse Mormon town wide streets so that all the wives can walk side by side with their husbands. Actually most Mormon town are laid out with streets wide enough that an Ox cart can be turned around. A common problem in this day and age.

Our Quality Inn hotel was pretty good, although the guy at reception needed photo Id as usual. Handed him my 50 year old paper licence along with loose passport photo in the plastic case to turn it into photo Id. He then spent the next 5 minutes examining it. In the end I had to ask for it back before he wore all the ink of it. Despite the detailed, microscopic inspection it never seemed to occur to him that the picture was just loose and it could have been anyones, but so far, apart from one border guard it Arizona, it’s always passed muster as a valid photo Id. A very disconcerting and unfriendly welcome.

Friendly sort.

Friendly sort.

We review Trip Advisor and select on a locals restaurant – Farlainos Cafe. It had pretty good reviews, where all the locals dine. What a disaster this place was. Do you sell beer. Sorry no – not unusual in Mormon country – but to be fair the waitress did offer to take our order and deliver the food to the bar next door – neat.

They passed our soup of the day test, in so far as they knew what it was, but they’d run out. Not a good sign and remind us to add “run out of soup or coffee” as another acid test – see below.

Gardens with a little waterfall.

Gardens with a little waterfall.

It took them 45 minutes to prepare two simple meals, we were ready to hand out the 5 minute ultimatum. “If it’s not on this table 5 minutes from now we’re walking out that door. By the time it arrived I needed another shave and my stomach was convinced Jihadi Johnny had modified my throat with his carving knife.

Thankfully our waitress explained why the delay. “You see we’ve only got room for 8 on the grill!”. Oh well that’s alright then, who give a rats arse about keeping customers waiting. Heaven forbid you should get a bigger grill or limit the number of tables.

Not tulips but hyacinths I think. Gorgeous colour.

Not tulips but hyacinths I think. Gorgeous colour.

Then her indoors, who is normally so calm and placid, kicked off when her chicken breast salad arrived. The chicken, what little there was of it, was just brown gristly bits and bore more resemblance to diced sausage. I tell you this poor chicken must have had some mangey breasts when it was alive. To be fair the waitress offered to replace it and provided an anorexic breaded chicken on top of what, even by my standards, was a gruesome looking salad – I could have done better and that’s a dire criticism.

I have to say my meal, the house speciality, a smothered burrito of some sort, was excellent.

Moral of that story don’t trust Trip Advisor. At least now they have a Terrible star.

 
The Edwards Restaurant Test

Three questions to ask in any restaurant before ordering food:

  1. “What’s the soup of the day?” If they don’t know, they’re incompetent, exit promptly as you can be 87% certain the meal and service will be a disaster
  2. “Do you have any soup?” If they have run out then again exit promptly. Soups a fairly basic item.
  3. “Do you have coffee and tea?” Again if they don’t serve these basic items, or have run out then exit promptly.
  4. And finally for good measure, “Do you serve Halal meat?” If the answer is yes then my monies on exiting immediately. Just remember the concept of Halal is a product of a 6th century barbaric society. If adopt those standards then what’s their hygiene going to be like?
 
Ice Londres: Project Fear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrMtxvVQAoI


Saturday – cool and sunny

Our great hunt to get a picture of Wendy at the famous "Great Hunt" petroglyph.

Our great hunt to get a picture of Wendy at the famous “Great Hunt” petroglyph.

Up early for a “continental Breakfast”. Now you’re probably thinking croissants, rolls, cheese, ham and jam. No this isn’t the the EU, instead it’s cereal, yoghurt, some cakes and waffles, always my favourite.

Balancing rock.

Balancing rock.

Drive down 9 Mile Canyon. Well it’s really 46 mile canyon but gas (petrols) cheap so who’s really bothered. The scenery is awesome but finding the petroglyphs by mile marker isn’t easy. Especially as the mile markers on the road are out by 0.9 miles, but hey ho who cares that tourists are wandering around for hours with binoculars trying to find these petroglyphs.

Find the main petroglyphs. Pretty impressive – see pictures. Even without the petroglyphs this canyon is spectacular and well worth the trip.

A few more petroglyphs.

A few more petroglyphs.

Drive back up a “backcountry road” which seems to be a euphemism for well compacted dirt track as the black top runs out after 3 miles. Then spend 10 miles on the dirt track before black top service is resumed. These places are pretty resolute only see a handful of cars all morning and can you believe it no telephone signal.

9 Mile Canyon

9 Mile Canyon

Hal drops Angela off for her tea as we look after her until Carol finishes work. Angela’s easily fed and amused just plonk her down in front of the iPad, like Jasper, and not a peep out of her.

My Sick Humour

 
Say you are an older senior citizen and can no longer take care of yourself and the government says there is no Nursing Home care available for you. So, what do you do?

You opt for Medicare Plan G. 


12923289_1056156044423274_7721948968321440329_nThe plan gives anyone 75 or older a gun (Plan G) and one bullet. You are allowed to shoot one worthless politician. This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the Health Care you need. Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or heart? They are all covered!
As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now!

And, who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you they can’t afford for you to go into a nursing home. And you will get rid of a useless politician while you are at it. And now, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any more income taxes!

Is this a great country or what? Now that I’ve solved your senior financial plan, enjoy the rest of your week!

 
IMG_0244

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
2013-11-27

Sunday – cool and sunny

Nodding donkey on the back country road out of 9 Mile Canyon.

Nodding donkey on the back country road out of 9 Mile Canyon.

Spend most of the day clearing up and packing apart from nipping down to Kimble junction for a last minute shop. Unbelievable our business class flights tomorrow have a baggage allowance of twice the normal 23Kg. I’m almost tempted to go to Walmart and buy two big suitcases and fill them with stones just to take advantage of it.

In the evening the Schmitts come round for a farewell family dinner, which mainly consist of our left overs. A great evening with great company. We’ll miss them.

My Sick Humour

 
Well I’d like to think it was another April fools joke but no it’s true. Yes, a remote controlled foot spa (bidet); emergency button; auto seat raise; temperature controlled; oscillating rear washing nozzle; turbo cleansing with high pressure rear wash. Includes a 4 minute video explaining all the loony functions. Every home and refugee tent should have one. Could be a neat way to fritter away our 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Bill Maher gets into a debate on why Islam is more Violent than Christianity:


Monday – cool and sunny

Daddy Canyon off 9 Mile Canyon.

Daddy Canyon off 9 Mile Canyon.

Lazy morning. Drop off Carols things she lent us and any food we have left over – waste not, want not. Nip up to the hospital to get copies of my invoices, then it’s coffees and Internet. Seems strange not having to leave until 13:00. We’re so used to getting up at the crack o sparrows.

Say goodbye to Park City until next February. Quite sad. At least I’ve got plenty of time to get fit for skiing.

Awesome scenery down 9 Mile Canyon.

Awesome scenery down 9 Mile Canyon.


Check in is painless, but as usual TSA is just the usual palaver. Yes, we’re pre-checked but because I’ve got a piece of Meccano in my leg I have to go through the scanners and be groped, sadly not by a fit young piece of eye candy.

Haute cuisine.

Haute cuisine.

We have Delta lounge access. I should think so at these prices. Wendy devastated as they don’t have any brandy. Considering there’s frequent flight to Paris from here you’d think they would.

Settling in.

Settling in.

It’s ok all this business class luxury but being at the sharp end of the plane means you get all the riff raff and huddled masses shuffling past, swinging their knapsacks and steamer trunks and ruffling your free newspaper as they glare at your 2nd glass of champagne, whilst contemplating joining the communist party, headed of course by Jeremy Corbyn.

Well this has to be the experience of a lifetime, not quite up to virgin upper class standards, but to experience good customer service delivered with a genuine friendly smile from the sycophantic French cabin crew had to be worth every penny of the £9,000+ ticket price I’m not paying for.

Foods pretty good, a tad on the haute cuisine side but best of all theres cheese and biscuits with port of course.

Just trying the bed.

Just trying the bed.

It seems that terrorists aren’t allowed in business class as we’re provided with real knifes and cocktail stirrers like a sharp harpoon, complete with barbs on it.

Ah it seems like there’s a 2nd wifi entertainment system which can stream the Martian to my iPad. That’s the good news, bad news is I have to download an app, which takes nearly an hour, so I’ll struggle to see the whole film before we land.

Well it’s been a very relaxing and comfortable flight, so much better than cattle class, but way too expensive even if we are frittering away the kids inheritance. Certainly not worth braking my femur for.

Sleeping on the job again.

Sleeping on the job again.

2nd business class flight from Paris to Manchester restores my faith in French service levels and attitudes. Wrong seat for Wendy and stroppy attitude from the dollies with the trolleys. Well that’s my French prejudices confirmed and refreshed for another year.

Home safe and sound. Just 6 weeks before we escape again.

My Sick Humour

 
Mr Bean flies 1st class:

 
The good life after BREXIT:

Let’s get out.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
mythicalmoderate

20160411 – Yeah Business Class Flights Home For Me; Will Wendy Be Confined To Cattle Class?

Monday – cool and sunny

Awesome.

Awesome.

Drove down towards Wolf Pass and the Woodlands Nature Reserve. Supposedly teeming with birds and wildlife. All we managed to see were more Magpies than muslims at a stoning and a Buffalo farm. Wolf pass was closed for winter fortunately they allowed U Turns.

I know lets go for lunch at that classy Blue Boar Inn at Midway. Yep, you guessed it, closed for renovation. Oh well that’s the kids inheritance saved. Stop at a cafe in Midway. What a lovely little town Midway is, very clean, spacious and Swiss like.

Park City’s Inaugural Year as The Largest Resort in the U.S.

 
How to fritter away money we don't have on so called foreign aid. Come on get your finger out Sweden are beating us!

How to fritter away money we don’t have on so called foreign aid. Come on get your finger out Sweden are beating us!

what a quaint and unusual business.

what a quaint and unusual business.

Yes, our numbskulls in the great chattering house are still frittering away billions of money we don’t even have. Let’s hope they don’t see a report in the Daily Blood Boiler that Sweden spends even more as a percentage of GDP than our 0.7% of GDP or they’ll be doling out more in order to better Sweden. Are they totally bonkers. Here’s some of the waste:

And this is their product.

And this is their product.

The granting of millions of pounds to China, even though Beijing mounted a successful moon mission;
The disclosure that more than £1billion was sent to the 20 countries judged the most corrupt by campaigners;
Millions to countries with nuclear weapons programmes;
Millions to countries who openly seek our downfall;
£30million ‘Girl Hub’ initiative that paid for officials to learn about the lives of teenage girls in Ethiopia – including their equivalent of the Spice Girls;

Heads should roll and Facebook should ban articles from the Daily (Mail) Blood Boiler.

 
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Tuesday – hot and sunny
DSC_8626Drive down to Farmington Nature Reserve and manage to see some neat birds, but sadly no new ones.

Then we drive to Antelope Island. Go to the visitors centre, have a picnic lunch, in the car away from all the “no see ems” – annoying little black fly’s. Then we drive down to the historic ranch.

DSC_8637We’d been to Antelope Island before but it’s a pleasant place with stunning views of the Salt Lake and a backdrop of the Mountains.

Now todays useless piece of information pertains to how come it’s a Salt Lake. Well apparently several rivers drain into it but there’s no rivers draining out. OK I hear you saying, “so why doesn’t it just overflow somewhere?” Well water is evaporated out, thereby leaving an excess of high mineral deposits.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Is islam a peaceful religion: Bill Maher ways in:

 
In brief: U.K.- EU economic relations – click on image below:

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Another source of impartial research and references to other sources.

Provided by the House of Commons Library research service provides MPs and their staff with the impartial briefing and evidence base they need to do their work in scrutinising Government, proposing legislation, and supporting constituents.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
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Wednesday – hot and sunny

Ride em cowgirl.

Ride em cowgirl.

Oh the joys of watching a live sex show. This cocky little House Finch trying to get his end away with a frigid female, she was having none of it, probably got a headache, but you had to give him 10 for effort.

Go to the hospital for a last check up. Usual X-Ray’s and this time I get to see the man rather than his PA. Recovery going well. Prognosis good. Total recovery could be 6 months. No problem skiing next year. Mecanno leg is stronger than the other. Thanks to the mecanno I didn’t need surgery this time – aren’t I lucky. He does me an OK to fly letter with a recommendation that I should keep me leg elevated.

DSC_8598Great news Axa travel insurance have agreed I should fly home business class as I’ll need a bed, yeah. Tough luck for Wendy she’s left in cattle class. They don’t think I need a carer – that’s a matter of opinion after all she’s been my carer for 45 years.

On the flight home in 2015 here's my carer asleep on the job!

On the flight home in 2015 here’s my carer asleep on the job!


Perhaps they’re aware that last year she fell asleep on the job as my carer in the Virgin upper class flight home. But never mind I’ll pop back in and see her occasionally. Who knows I may even sneak her a goody bag of the scraps and left overs from mŷ cordon bleu meals.

Chatting to a Mountain Host colleague from last year and he related how he was getting off the chair lift and the person next to him somehow crossed his skis and next thing he knows he’s flat on his back with a chair coming at him. He was amazed at how fast it all happened. Fortunately for him nothing was broken. Sounds very familiar. Was he sat next to a Warlock from LA I wonder. Good to know you’re not alone.

Practicing my new stance for getting off the lift next year.

Practicing my new stance for getting off the lift next year.

Decide that next years skiing will either consist of Green runs only and walk back up, rather than use the chairlift, or adopt the following rules for using a chairlift:

  • No scumboarders on the same chair – they’re easy to spot – have less control than a ragged stoned out of his mind in charge of a rampant camel.
  • Don’t sit next to any women from Los Angeles – will mean interrogating any women next to me prior to boarding.
  • Don’t sit next to any women talking to their pet toads, carrying broom sticks or wearing black pointed hats.
  • Don’t sit next to anyone in a burka, their peripheral vision is severely impaired – mind you never seen anyone skiing in a burka yet.
  • No beginners – difficult to spot, will probably require some interrogation.
  • Sit on the far right or far left.
 
‘Does my calendar deceive me? Is it April fools day? Now I love dogs but can you believe this:

To quote one of my heroes “I don’t believe it”.

 
A reasonably independent and well rounded report on the BREXIT debate:

Click on image for the report.

Click on image for the report.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
2012-11-14

Thursday – cold, rain and then snow
IMG_7980Yes it’s snowing again. A tad too late. A typical Belthorn day, just hunker down and get on with my web site work.

Hertz are being extra kind to me after last weeks disgraceful diabolical debacle. We get to keep the Mercedes GLK350 until we depart next Wednesday. Meanwhile Axa Insurance are trying to sort how to get me home.

Wendy has the excitement of her last weekly shop.

In the evening we go round to Steve and Barbaras for a boozy dinner. Jere and Diane join us, so yet again it’s great food, great company and great wine. Meanwhile the snows coming down with a vengeance. Probably the last Zinfandel until we get back to America in September as it’s a wine I’ve never seen in the UK, although I’m told the Primitivo grape from Italy is very similar, so who knows we may find some.

DSC_8667Now the good news is that my insurers have agreed to let Wendy fly home with me in business class, rather than being condemned to cattle class. I sent them Wendy’s doctors note saying that she suffers with claustrophobia and needs to take tablets, lavishly washed down by a pint of brandy, in order to get her on the plane. She needs her devoted husband by her side. Seemed to do the trick, so we fly Salt Lake to Paris and then to Manchester with our very own beds; cordon bleu food – bang goes the diet; we’ll be trusted with proper, lethal weapon, cutlery without the need for TSA interrogation; decent wine and champagne; and free wifi. I do hope they’ve got “The Martian” on as I’d deferred watching it on the way home after I’d had time to read the book. Well I suppose every cloud has a silver lining, but I think I’d rather not break anything and suffer cattle class.

And the bad news is the kids will have to cancel their Belthorn house parties as we’ll be home on Tuesday, 2 days earlier.

  EU rules don’t stop at national borders. They fall on all citizens and all firms, including small enterprises that do no export business.

Buffalo on Antelope Island.

Buffalo on Antelope Island.

Seventy-nine per cent of business activity in the United Kingdom is wholly internal. If you buy a newspaper or have your hair cut, you are contributing to our domestic GDP, but not to our international trade.

Most firms, indeed, trade within ten miles of where they are sited. Of the 21 per cent of our GDP that depends on overseas commerce, 10 per cent is accounted for by trade with the EU, and 11 per cent by trade with the rest of the world. In other words, for the sake of the 10 per cent of our economy that is linked to the EU, we must apply 100 per cent of EU rules to 100 per cent of our businesses.

And, even that 10 per cent figure will soon be out of date. Our trade with the EU is in deficit and falling, while our trade with the rest of the world is in surplus and rising.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
IMG_0241

20160408 – Yeah, I Can Still Pull The Birds; Wot No Crutches

Friday – hot and sunny

Look no crutches.

Look no crutches.

Take the Mercedes 350GLK for a spin up to Alta and Snowbird ski resorts. It’s very nice but prefer the Kia Sportage.

DSC_8231The drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon is beautiful this time of the year. There’s still plenty of snow around as the base altitude is 8,530 feet and they get an average of 514″ snow a year – some proper snow. Although it hot so the snows like skiing on a slush puppy.

Stop for coffee at Alta. Wendy quite likes this resort, it has the advantage of all the easy runs on one side of the mountain and the real plus point that “SNOWBOARDERS ARE NOT WELCOME”.

Snowbird.

Snowbird.

Afternoon coffee and Kindle time out on the front lawn. My that suns hot.

Time to get back into “House of Cards” on Netflix. Wendy finds it so relaxing to sleep through that she has to watch two episodes again to catch up. Forsake BBC and spend the evening consuming “House of Cards” episodes. AT this rate we’ll easily finish season 4 before we depart. Sadly so far not as good as season 1 but still compulsive viewing.

 
Speaks for itself. Let's get out:

Speaks for itself. Let’s get out:

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Renown Astrophysicist Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson explains what went wrong with Islam:


Saturday – hot and sunny

Is this the only sort of bird I can pull these days?

Is this the only sort of bird I can pull these days?

We decide to go down to the Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake. We’ve been there before and were impressed. Not very often Victor says it but it was money well spent. Great collection of birds and the 30 minute indoor bird show is spectacular. Highly recommend it, the only minor downside is that they haven’t come up with a solution to replace netting with glass panels or some other means of enabling you to take good photos on a lot of the outdoor exhibits.

Our all time favourite the Road Runner.

Our all time favourite the Road Runner.

Call in for a coffee at Starbucks on the way back. Then as a real treat I get 5 new pairs of underpants from Walmart. They’re great quality, her in doors says they wash well and they’re cheap – probably made in some 3rd World sweat shop so no doubt I’ll get a well deserved, psychosomatic, genital guilt rash every time I wear them!

And here he is doing what Road Runners do best - running.

And here he is doing what Road Runners do best – running.

More “House of Cards” in the evening. Square eyed and confused with all the plots and politics. If the political conventions are anything like that then no wonder the countries in a mess – they’re like a scene from Christian Lion feeding with thousands of banner totting gobby braying donkeys, dressed like clowns and jesters. Only in America!

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
2010-10-05
 

DSC_8583The European Union’s border agency admitted Tuesday it cannot fully track the flood of refugees pouring in, and said a “staggering number” of Europeans have joined terror groups only to return to the continent amid the migrant wave.

Europe reported a record 1.82 million illegal border crossings last year, according to Frontex, but the group conceded that the true number of illegal crossings is probably much higher because so many refugees have entered Europe undetected.

DSC_8573“There is no EU system capable of tracing people’s movements following an illegal border-crossing. Therefore it is not possible to establish the precise number of persons who have illegally crossed two sections of the external borders of the EU,” the report stated.


Sunday – warm and sunny

Wendy does Smores. A girl guide speciality.

Wendy does Smores. A girl guide speciality.

A sad day, it’s the last day of ski season. Resort closes until summer.

Too much fast food!

Too much fast food!

Lazy morning. We start to pack away some of the ski gear and winter clothes. Janelle our next door neighbour, whose place we’re renting for winter and summer next year has kindly given us access to the ski lockers in the garage and a locked cupboard in the main bedroom so we can leave all our gear here ready for next February.

Wendy has lunch at home and then we drive up to the mountain for the closing day celebrations, well should really be a wake and commiserations. It’s a party ski day so there’s a lot of skiers in outrageous costumes, making it a party atmosphere. My favourite goes to the girl skiing in a bikini, with a couple of chapel hat pegs to confirm how cold it is. They have a group on with a female singer whose voice is harsh enough and loud enough to make your ears bleed. We give that a pass. Then there’s free Smores and that’s it. Wow they really excelled themselves with a closing down party!

In the evening we watch the last few episodes of “House of Cards”. What a weird ending. Not the best season but still worth watching.

 

Again speaks for itself. Let's get out:

Again speaks for itself. Let’s get out:

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
DSC_8552In the interest of free speech, and hopefully desensitising muslims, I was thinking of applying to Blackburn with Darwen council to host a show of the Mohamed cartoons shown in Texas that caused so much hoohah, But then, as expected, I see that someone in London tried to host such a show and had to back off. As she said “The risk of running this exhibition is simply too high. When setting out to do something like this, one has to be prepared for the possibility of threats, or even violence, but it’s easy to underestimate the impact such things will have on the people around you. There’s a very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed, before, during, and after the event.”

Wouldn't argue with this one.

Wouldn’t argue with this one.

A sad reflection on the state of affairs in the UK, supposedly a democracy that applauds the freedom of speech. Why have we ever allowed it to come to this? What more oppression from this so called religion of peace does the future hold? We really need to get a grip before we wake up one morning lying next to her in doors shrouded in a black bin liner; I have a beard infested with leftovers from the last weeks dinners; my knees have callouses on them from 5 daily cow towing; free speech has been finally abolished and we’re all living under Sharia law.

Now let's see , are there any nice shiny bald headed landing sites out there?

Now let’s see , are there any nice shiny bald headed landing sites out there?

Remember the Monty Python films. No one died or was injured over them. Why is it that just one sect of a religion (they don’t all agree with the banning of images) cannot stand back and laugh at its self. Do they really believe that a supreme being cannot cope with a few cartoons and a bit of comedy.

Bear in mind that In Islam nothing in the Qur’an explicitly bans images. In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions.

 
Boiler plate letter to annoying Companies:

Dear Sir / Madame

Yet again you’ve sent me an email telling me:

DSC_8416I owe you money / my car hire is due / my flight is due / renewal is due / asking for a meter reading / there is an important letter (usually a public announcement and not something that requires all the secrecy of “The Secret Fives” treasure map) …………………………………………. but I am forced to log into your site to find out the relevant, usually trivial, details. Makes me madder and hotter than a PC trying to divide by zero.

Has it never occurred to you that, I’m the customer who pays your wages, and rather than allowing the greedy little nerds in the marketing department try to “engage with me” by getting me to log into your:
awful / useless / badly designed / confusing / common senseless / crap web site. In the hope that you can sell me something.

DSC_8335Instead you could treat me with the courtesy and respect I as a customer deserve by:

Having a URL (ask your IT department what it is, if you haven’t a clue) in the email that takes me direct to your web site with just one click. It’s not rocket science, trust me, and most email apps even have a simple insert facility.

Better still have a URL (by now you’ll know what one is) that not only takes me to your web site but also fills in my name. Wow, wouldn’t that be better. If your IT department don’t know how, then sack them and get someone who does.

DSC_8305Better, better still have a URL that takes me to you web site and even logs me in. Again not rocket science very doable.

Better, better, better still have a URL that takes me to you web site, logs me in and present me with the appropriate page of the details I need. Again very doable.

Of course perfection would be to tell me in the body of the email, all the relevant details, amounts and dates to save me going anywhere near your accursed web site. Wouldn’t that be heaven.

DSC_8298Now I know if you can even be bothered to answer this complaint you will spring to the notorious, totally misunderstood and abused “Data Protection” defence. Because of course, you think Joe public doesn’t have the wit to understand that. You think you can blind us with legalese and make us think you’re doing us a great service by “protecting us”. But I suggest before you do so, you take the trouble to read the Data Protection Act 1998 (yes those blue underlined words are the now infamous URL you so well understand) and consider which of the 8 principles would be contravened by such a common sense, customer focused, ease of use approach.

If your IT department tell you that any of the above is impossible then I suggest you:

Snowbird.

Snowbird.

Sack the lot of them and replace them with some competent programmers / pay me a reasonable fee to organise it / sack your marketing department replacing them with customer focused, common sense individuals / better still sack the marketing department anyway, they’re usually the source of all evil, a load of self serving individuals who don’t give a post it note about the customer. Once you start to focus on the needs of the customer rather than trying to manipulate him you’ll probably find that success follows.

Now in all my years I’ve never dealt with a more hopeless company than Comcast, they’re a nightmare to deal with, they even make BT look marvellous, you could do a comedy series on their antics, but just to rub it in they seem to have got the hang of it when it comes to emails for payment:

Dear Comcast Customer,

Your monthly bill is now available. Please sign in to My Account to view your bill and other important messages or notices regarding your Comcast services.

Bill Overview
Amount Due: $36.59
Payment Due Date: 02/27/2014

Account Information
Account Number: ****1234
Service Address: 1234 ANY STREET
PARK CITY, UT 123456

Note: If you are enrolled in automatic monthly payments, your payment will automatically be deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit card on the payment due date.
If you have any questions regarding your bill, please visit our Help and Support Site for more information.



Thank you for being a valued Comcast customer.



Sincerely,

Comcast

Alta.

Alta.

Simples. The bills within tolerance so I don’t have to waste any more time on it. Not only do they send you the above but they also send you a brief video that explains “your” bill using actual values. All without needing any log in or other crap. How neat is that?

If they can do it why can’t you?

You’ll have to forgive me for this boiler plate letter, but there are so many other companies out there who don’t give a dam for their customers that I’ve had to resort to this approach. Please make allowances for the syndrome I suffer from. It doesn’t yet have a medical name, yet, but basically I go through life thinking: “I’m a customer”; I pay your wages; I’m important to you; I expect some common sense from you; I expect you to test out your web sites; I expect you to test your letters; and you should be making my life as easy as possible. I’m receiving medication for it but so far with little success. You’ll be glad to hear that my syndrome is not contagious, nor am I a danger to myself or the public, although your antics do make my blood boil and induce in me a strong desire to come around to bang heads together and hand out brown envelopes with a P45 in them.

Yours With Boiling Blood


20160404 – Yeah, 2017 Season Ski Pass Purchased; House Booked For Winter & Summer

Monday – mixture of sun, cloud and occasional rain

Snow Basin's palatial ski lodge,

Snow Basin’s palatial ski lodge,

Have a day out to Snowbasin ski resort, scene of the 2002 Mens Downhill Olympics. One of my favourite resort but must be over 4 years since we skied here. It’s about an hours drive. All very swish – see photos. Wendy has lunch there.

Just look at these awesome toilets in the ski lodge. Bear i mind this is a ski lodge full of skiers in clunky boots, wet clothes etc.

Just look at these awesome toilets in the ski lodge. Bear i mind this is a ski lodge full of skiers in clunky boots, wet clothes etc.

Then we drive down a scenic canyon into Ogden. Thought we’d explore it but a tad disappointing so we just drive through and drive down I15 to Salt Lake.

Well that was our day out. Thank the FSM we have a car and can get out and about.

Snow basin.

Snow basin.

Today was a major breakthrough day for my recovery. Now it may not sound much to all my able bodied blog readers – all 4 of you – but today I PUT MY UNDERPANTS ON STOOD UP. I know the mind boggles, too much sordid detail. Last year it took me 9 months of recovery and physical torture
to achieve this.

My Sick Humour

 
Muslim master mind:

 

Snow Basin

Snow Basin

David Cameron threw the full weight of the government machine behind the campaign to remain in Europe last night by announcing a taxpayer-funded leaflet to be sent to 27 million homes.

No 10 angered Brexit supporters by saying that it would spend £9.5 million on the 16-page glossy brochure, a new website and online advertising designed to persuade the public to vote on June 23 to stay in the European Union.

No doubt more biased deceitful scaremongering. Best advice seems to be RETURN TO SENDER  ie.  10 Downing Street, SW1A 2AA. 


Tuesday – windy, cold and sunny

We now know it's Spring as the Sandhill Cranes are back.

We now know it’s Spring as the Sandhill Cranes are back.

Lazy morning. Book our Hertz mobile for next week, I’ve enough points to get a free week – about time after all the blackout dates.

Set off for a stroll around the estate but the winds enough to freeze the nipples off a French tart in a brass bra. Abandon that idea after 5 minutes.

Excitement of the day is a trip to Dans supermarket for a weekly shop, so much more enjoyable than having to go skiing!

Get some web work done on Hals site. Battle with he vagaries of the various widgets. Take some figuring out but keeps me out of trouble.

Just a reminder of our view from the lounge before the snow was cruelly taken from us.

Just a reminder of our view from the lounge before the snow was cruelly taken from us.

Great news our next door neighbours who we’re renting off next year are letting us store our clothes in their lock cupboard until February next year. Skis are already in the garage. Really handy.

In the evening we go round to the Blind Dog restaurant with Helen and George for a farewell meal. They leave on Thursday. Food was excellent. Mainly sushi, which I quite enjoy occasionally, Wendy’s not that keen but they have a good selection of other items. Company was awesome as always and as usual George and I manage to put the World and Trump to rights. Politicians they’re the same the World over. We all seem to suffer the same lunacy.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
2005-11-25

 
One would hope this is an independent view of the in / out arguments. But knowing the BBC it probably about as biased as a muslimist on the peaceful nature of the Quran.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32793642

However it is a good source of references to both sides of the debate. It strikes me that you can read all the scholarly analysis on the economic arguments until you get mind constipation and resort to a medicinal bottle or two of red wine to ease the numbing confusion. Surely at the end of the day it’s all about immigration, safety, independence and sovereignty. The economic arguments are just how much we may have to pay.


Wednesday – hot and sunny
Another gorgeous day here in paradise.

DSC_8198Off down to Red Butte gardens. It’s what geriatrics do before they get carted off to the retirement home. Pleasant walk around and then lunch sat out in the sunshine on the patio.

 
A good web site that gives independent analysis on the EU fiasco and the BREXIT debate:

http://openeurope.org.uk

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Why do people become religious extremists:


Thursday – hot and sunny
Lazy start to the day as usual.

IMG_7946
Take the Hertz mobile back to swap for my next rental. What a pearler of crap customer service, could be made into a customer service training video.

It was a planned swap out but of course there’s no one there. Ring the number and told sorry we have no car available. They’d only had days to sort this. They hadn’t bothered to email to tell me not to bother, I’d have to keep this boring Volkswagen Passat. I complain that this is the 3rd week I’ve been here and every week there’s a problem. Hertz man tells me that’s it, if I don’t like it go elsewhere and slams the phone down.

IMG_7955Scrat around on their web site for a contact number. Bounced around every department conceivable apart from the one that specifically deals with “Booking a car on Christmas day when it falls on a Wednesday and its raining”. What is it with this company do they have no one with a brain who can take a problem and deal with it end to end. This is the Ford principle gone mad and they seem to be staffed by foreign goldfish with no ears who can only remember how to do one simple transaction. Finally manage to register a complaint about the Park City location.

Drive up to the mountain for lunch out on the plaza. Have a chat with my favourite barista – Eva – who’s led me into this obsession with dirty chai’s, one of the best Starbucks secret menu coffees ever. It’s absolutely gorgeous sat out there in shirt sleeves enjoying the mountains.

The Mystery of the Danish Pastry
12963802_10153594334439226_7994320818312236343_nEva tells me a young lady was in the other day, bought a Danish Pastry for me and left it with her. Sounds promising. Can’t for the life of me think who it would be and of course every one is younger than me so it’s a vague description. Who know’s perhaps it was a young piece of eye candy who had seen me handle these crutches with such panache that she wanted to get my attention – what a fantasy world I live in at times.

I drive home and Wendy has a walk home.

Sit out on the lawn with a coffee and Kindle chatting to our neighbour. My it’s so hot and that sun is frying us.

Hertz deliver a Mercedes GLK350 SUV to my door. Perhaps they’re trying to make up for their screw up and rudeness.

 
Why would we want our unemployment levels dragged down to the EU norm of 8.9.

image

My Sick Humour

 
Enjoy terroism says George Carlin, a tad extreme even for George:


To Ski Or Not To Ski?

 

The Big Philosophical Question?

The birds have started to arrive.

The birds have started to arrive.

After a second broken femur, two years in a row, I keep asking myself whether to ever ski again? Its been a big philosophical debate with me. It’s long and rambling so save yourself the boredom and skip this. I’ve only documented it for my benefit and justification. Here’s hoping next year I don’t regret it.

A broken femur two years in a row, to add insult to injury it’s even the same leg. Is there a message there? Who from? After 4 weeks skiing this year I was just getting back in my stride and feeling fit. The first few weeks were a major mind game of caution versus getting back on the blues and black and remembering that speed is my friend. Skiing is always a confidence game. At 35 mph a wrong edge and you’re doing the impression of a escaped wagon wheel.

DSC_8202Should I give it up? This has been a constant refrain over the past 5 weeks.

Here’s a few of the plus side arguments:

  • I had 4 awesome weeks skiing every day, more than most get in a year.
  • I never fell once.
  • My confidence and speed was back.
  • Being tripped up by some witch from Los Angelas is just bad luck.
  • Shit happens, suck it up.
  • I’ve been skiing over 50 years and had two breaks, an average of one every 25 years, not bad odds.
  • I’ve skied for over 93 weeks in my life, more than most, thats 1 break every 325 days.
  • Most people of my age have had 2 or even more serious accidents.
  • How can you give up being up in these mountains here in paradise.
  • What a glorious way to spend the winter.
  • How would I cope with a winter without the mountains and skiing.
  • I’m not alone, there’s at least 6 sports club members out of action.
  • I love skiing and being in the mountains.

DSC_8218Then there’s the negative side arguments:

  • I must be crazy.
  • It hurt like hell both times.
  • Nearly a year to recover last year.
  • Probably 8 weeks to recover this year.
  • It’s a dangerous sport and shit happens.
  • I suppose I could always stick to the green runs and walk back up!
  • In the first two days after this accident I’d decided it wasn’t worth it and time to call it quits.
  • My injury has a major impact on my family.

How can you possibly say NO to this?

How can you possibly say NO to this?

Conclusion:

  • Last year it was my fault, my lack of skill, this year was wrong place, wrong time.
  • Worst things happen.
  • If I hadn’t broke my femur last year and had some meccano in my femur, this would have been a major incident, probably required surgery and a long recovery.
  • How can I ever give it up.
  • To give up would be to accept old age.
  • I’m not ready for the knackers yard yet. I’m too young.
  • Carpe Diem – for rumour has it you’re a long time dead.

I’M SKIING NEXT YEAR.


20160401 – Geckos; 45th Wedding Anniversary

Friday – warm and sunny
IMG_7596Nerdy day today as Hal and I go to a web site meeting with Target Marketing. Interesting little operation gives you an insight into typical American small business; laid back dress mode, jeans and tee shirts, with a nerdy display of underwear from the chief nerd; donuts for all; bring your dog to work – all very lid back and relaxing. I’d forgot what it was like to deal with real nerds, as you talk to the chief nerd he’s playing with his phone, keeping an eye on his PC and giving you about 4% of his attention.

In the after noon finish off some work on my website.

Go up to Deer Valley for coffee on the deck to watch all those poor people having to suffer skiing. Then we go to the Park City Mountain Sports Club TGIF celebration.

My Sick Humour

 
Bohemian Rhapsody:

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Can sharia and freedom co-exist:

Saturday – hot and sunny
IMG_7895We’re looking after Angela for the day so we have a trip down to the natural history museum to keep us all amused. It’s an awesome museum and well worth the entrance fee. They’ve a gecko exhibit. with live exhibits you get to pet. The dinosaur exhibit is fantastic so creatively laid out. Angela gets to stroke gecko and snakes.

Then in the evening we’re round to the Schmitts for a family dinner. As always great food and great company, a relaxing family meal.

IMG_0233Amazing Gecko facts:

Their are over a billion fine hairs on each foot that attracts by van der waals molecular attraction.

Each gecko can support the weight of two grown men – 130Kgs.

They store valuable nourishment in their tail.

If attacked they amputate their own tail.

They will revisit the sight where they left their tail and if it is still there they will eat it.

They can regrow their tail.

IMG_0232There are over 1,500 different species.

Sex of their eggs is determined by temperature.

They can’t attach to Teflon.

They are the only reptile to use chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos.

They have a tooth attached to their heads so they can break out of their shell. It then disappears over time.

They can regrow their teeth every 4 months.

All shed their skin, some every 4 weeks.

They will eat the skin they shed, valuable nourishment.

Isn’t evolution awesome.


Sunday – warm and sunny
It’s our 45th wedding anniversary.

IMG_7925Lazy morning and then for lunch we go up to Silver Star cafe. Sit out on the sofas enjoying the sunshine and the snow. Wendy has an awesome Ruebens.

In the evening I decide to celebrate with a bottle of Zinfandel. It would have been a sin to leave half of the bottle overnight so I had to finish it off. Barefoot Zinfandel, cheap and very tasty. I’m going to miss this when we get back to the UK.

 
Since 2010, the EU has introduced over 3,500 new laws affecting British business. Business for Britain highlighted in its report in June that the sheer volume of red tape that affects the UK is costing billions.
“The British Chambers of Commerce has shown that the total cost of EU regulation is £7.6 billion ($12 billion) per year,” said the report.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Time for votes of no-confidence.

IMG_7365It’s time for the governments of Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and more to fall. I’m not talking about violent revolution. There are mechanisms for the peaceful replacement of governments in most European nations at times when the existing government is seen widely to be inadequate for the task at hand. It is time to put those mechanisms to use. The existing governments are responsible for policies that have turned Europe into a war zone, and that war is just beginning. The political and media elites have failed Europe and the free world, and put Europe on a course toward civil war and bloodshed unseen on the continent since the days of Hitler.

IMG_7915A new Hitler is in Europe. It is not Donald Trump. It is not the “right-wing.” The new Hitler is very much like the old Hitler: he hates Jews. He has contempt for the historical patrimony of Western civilization. He means to rule by an iron fist and subordinate every other power to his will. He respects only strength, and despises weakness. The new Hitler is not just one man, but millions — millions who believe in an ideology that teaches warfare against and subjugation of free people under its heel.

Historically, Europe saw the threat that the men who held to this ideology posed, and shed blood to resist their advance. Now, the sons and heirs of those who gave their lives to make sure their children and their children’s children would live free have flung open the gates and invited in those who would enslave them. They have invited them into their countries in massive numbers, and vilified and ostracized anyone who dared note the lessons of history and the content of the invaders’ ideology.

IMG_7901This morning, as a result of these policies, Brussels is engulfed in chaos and the grief of blood shed in war. There will be much, much more to come of this.

It is time to sweep them out. All of them: the multiculturalists, the cultural relativists, the internationalists, the levellers, the elites who have brought this death and destruction upon Brussels today, and Paris yesterday, and the rest of Europe tomorrow. Europe, if it is to survive as a home of free people, must turn out its entire political and media establishment. This can still be done peacefully, and must be done quickly. If Europe is to survive as a home of free people, it needs governments who recognize that the “refugees” storming into their countries now include an untold number of jihad murderers who mean to kill their people and destroy their societies, and who have the courage to stand up and stop that refugee flow, and turn it back. Saudi Arabia has tens of thousands of air-conditioned tents for hajj pilgrims, and not one refugee. Why? Because they have noted, correctly, that there are jihad terrorists among the refugees.

IMG_7908Can Saudi Arabia protect itself and Europe cannot?

This is a war. It is a war for survival. It is a war that will determine whether Europe (and North America is not far behind) will live in freedom or slavery. The present European political and media elites are inviting the slavery of their people. They must be soundly repudiated. Too much is at stake to continue to countenance their self-delusion and fantasy. Those who are struggling to survive cannot afford to be unrealistic about what they’re facing. In the United States also, we need leaders who will speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the war we’re in. Surely there are some people in Europe who are both able to lead and willing to tell the truth. It is time for them to be peacefully installed in power — before it’s too late, as it very soon will be.


20160328 – Why Is It Oh So Quiet?

Monday – cold and snowy
IMG_7882

Highlight of the day , returned the car to Hertz. I got a lift back from Hertz while Wendy walked. Big question – should you tip for the lift back? Opinion amongst our American friends on this seems to be divided. Needless to say, having just spent $400 with Hertz and he was a salaried employee, I didn’t.

We are now car less.

Stayed in the rest of the day and worked on my web site.

No wine and we even manage to stay up to see Noddy go past Big Ears.

Wow it is oh so quiet now that Jaspers gone. Starting to miss him and Fiona already.

My Sick Humour

 
Syeten opera – Men’s Rights Movement:

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
IMG_0229
 
IMG_7883Classic, Internet is up and down like a brides nighty. I’m sure it’s all based on a fundamental law of physics “Internet failure and dropout is directly proportional to how much rain and snow falls”. What is it with IT and technology. All this money spent. Can nobody get it right. Heads should role. Only in the IT sphere do we tolerate this atrocious customer service and abject failure rate.

Tuesday – cold and snowing
IMG_4589
Woke up to 15″ of snow on the mountain in the past 24 hours. Had a few inches down here.

Excitement today as we catch the bus to Starbucks, have a reserve coffee and Wendy walked back. The cripple took the bus.

Yet another evening of no wine.

 

IMG_7885

Yippee the new iOS 9.3 has a bug in it so that no URL’s work in Safari. Does anybody out there in La La land bother to test their software. A temporary fix requires 13 steps and may have to be tried several times. If at first it doesn’t succeed either try again with your left trouser leg rolled up and stood in a bucket of water by your front door or swear and give up.

It takes Apple over a week to fix.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
Islamic terrorism, what muslim must do:

If only!


Wednesday – cold and snowy

Don't you just love the name for this business.

Don’t you just love the name for this business.

Highlight today was a trip to Kimble junction for the a visit to Best Buy. Buy a couple of USB dongles and an iPad HDMI output adaptor. I’m sick to death of the bad language caused when streaming BBC iPlayer programmes to Apple TV. It drops out more often than a skier turns in the trees.

HDMI adapter does the trip. 2 hours of BBC and not a foul word between us.

No wine again – missing Fiona – and I’m out of macaroni pudding.

The all important price of a MacDonalds.

The all important price of a MacDonalds.

 
Some of the many reasons to leave:

On past form, the EU will continue to stretch its tentacles wider and deeper into every nook and cranny of national life. Hence, the costs of its interference will rise substantially and hence the EU budget will surely increase.

If the rest of the EU moves towards full fiscal and political union to make the euro work, it is going to be very uncomfortable for the UK to be inside the EU but outside that bloc.

The EU is likely to fall in relative importance in the world. If the rest of the world is continuing to grow in relative importance, then the benefits of EU membership would be proportionately smaller, and the costs yet more unnecessary.

 

The middle east problem:


Thursday – cool and sunny
Day starts off with flat light. A skiers nightmare. Then it brightens up.

What a delight this mornings walk to the bus stop was. A woodpecker just 4 feet away as bold as brass and then I hear the sandal cranes are back. If we’re lucky perhaps wel will even get to see them.

Work on my website in the morning. Can someone explain the mystery and vagaries of CSS positioning statements – a bloody dogs breakfast.

Hal comes around with Angela in the afternoon for some work on his web site and to prepare for our web site meeting tomorrow with Target. Angela’s is captivated, as always, with playing on the iPad – not a squeak out of her.

In the evening we’re off around to Jere and Diane’s for dinner. It’s only a few hundred yards away but in true American fashion we go in the car – more browny points towards my green card application.

George and Helen are there also. We have a great boozy night, after 3 nights on the wagon I’m a tad thirsty. Great food, great wine, great company and an awesome Almond pie – got the recipe for Wendy.

Religion – Beyond Belief

 
IMG_0228
 
Teaching children fundamental British values is an act of “cultural supremacism”, teachers have said, as members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) vote to replace the concept with one that includes “international rights”.

A legal duty on teachers to promote so-called British values was passed two years ago after the “Trojan Horse” controversy.

However, teachers argue “fundamental British values” set an “inherent cultural supremacism, particularly in the context of multicultural schools and the wider picture of migration”.

The motion, which was passed at the NUT’s annual conference in Brighton, also calls for a campaign to promote “policies that welcome migrants and refugees into Britain” and called on members to “gather and collate materials on migrants and refugees” to be used in schools.

Separately, teachers rejected the Government’s anti-radicalisation strategy over concerns it is silencing conversation in the classroom and damaging community cohesion. The union called on the Government to withdraw the Prevent strategy regarding schools, which since summer 2015, has obliged teachers to refer to police pupils they suspect of engaging in some sort of terrorist activity or radical behaviour.