Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I who have nothing....the great experiment

Until a few months ago I had spend my entire life collecting things. As a young boy I collected rocks, stamps and coins. As an adult my collecting of things intensified. I was no longer limited to a room with a mother telling me to tidy it. I had a house of my own and disposable income for the first time. Fish tanks began sprouting up everywhere as did cacti and electric guitars amongst the pizza boxes and empty beer cans.

As a landlord I have also had many people come and go throughout the years and I also seem to have accumulated all of their unwanted possessions too.

After doing some travelling in Cuba and also the Far East I was intrigued by how happy these people who had so little were. These people suffered often in very bad conditions with poor diets and a lack of education and health care. But they seemed generally happier. Was this merely a cultural difference or was there something more too it? The concept of being happy without having a lot was very alien to me. I decided to do some research. It soon became clear to me that my ideas of the way the world worked were very wrong. The poor don't sit around miserable because they are poor and the rich aren't all enjoying their wealth. What I saw with my own eyes contradicted my internal model for happiness.

I decided a countries suicide rate was a fair enough measure of happiness in any given society not 100% accurate - but the figures are freely available. After some investigation I noticed that people tend to commit suicide more frequently the further from the equator they were. This probably had to do with exposure to sunlight and S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Using wikipedia (I know its not the most accurate of resources) I looked into income by country to see whether there was a correlation of any kind to suicide rates .

In the Americas there does seem to be an inversely proportional correlation to income and suicide rates. This also seems to hold true across most of Europe and Australasia with the only exception being China (that however, is a big exception).

After giving it much thought I decided the primary difference between them and I was that I was happy having whereas they were happy being. But how do you change your mindset so that you are happy being when all your life you have been happy having? I decided it was time to purge myself of my possessions.

I have two houses full of possessions, some mine, some just left by ex tenants - and the immediate solution to getting rid of most of this was two trips, one to the charity shop and another to the dump. That done, all that remained were the valuable items which I intend to sell at a boot sale. As I sorted through a lifetimes worth of possessions almost every object I picked up I wanted to keep. I found it difficult to let go. However, once they were all gone, I didn't even miss them.

So now I have two empty houses. I am aware that to really have no possessions I should also sell them - but the housing market isn't right at the moment - so I am just going to rent them out and enjoy the small income that they make for me. After all, this is just an experiment. I also have maintained a bag of toiletries and clothes, a suit for weddings and funerals, my guitar (a constant source of joy in my life) and my laptop (without which I could not work).

So over the coming months expect me to detail the aspects of what I enjoy and what I miss about my new possession free lifestyle....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Raul Midon - Keep On Hoping (With Jason Mraz) - Youtube Video & Guitar Chords

Raúl Midón (born March 14, 1966) is singer-songwriter and guitarist from New Mexico in the States. Now he is based in New York City. He combines his distinct voice, strumming, beats, and vocal mouth trumpet sounds to create a fantastic one-man performance. His unique style has influences of virtually every musical genre which came before him, including jazz, blues, R&B, and folk.

I first came accross him whilst listening to Jazon Mraz and a duet he did with Raul and was immediately impressed by the quality of the guitar playing and his unique voice.

Guitar Chords


Do you know what it’s like to wonder?...

F Bb Am7 Gm7



Im gonna keep on hoping...

F Bb


Did you ever wish you could get away?

Dm7 ? Gm7





Did you ever wish you could get away,
Even for a day,
Where they don’t know your name?

Dm7 (?) G#ma7 Gm7


Did I ever think I could find someone
Who would be the one to love?

Verse & Chorus

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Civilization 4 Quotes

No other game has consumed so much of my life before as Civilization 4. I never grow tired of it and I love the little quotes that it comes out with whenever you discover a technology. Here is a complete list of all Civ 4 quotes as spoken by Star Treks Leonard Nimoy.


Ancient Era

"Oh farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear."

- Virgil

Animal Husbandry

Ancient Era

"Blessed be the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep."

- The Bible, Deut. 28:4


Ancient Era

"Do not throw the arrow which will return against you."

- Kurdish Proverb

Bronze Working

Ancient Era

"It is entirely seemly for a young man killed in battle to lie mangled by the bronze spear. In his death all things appear fair."

- Homer


Ancient Era

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

- Lao Tzu

Horseback Riding

Ancient Era

"If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup."

- Turkish Proverb


Ancient Era

"If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both."

- Native American saying


Ancient Era

"It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls."

- Aristophanes


Ancient Era

"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back."

- The Buddha


Ancient Era

"The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."

- Confucius


Ancient Era

"I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

- The Bible, Exodus


Ancient Era

"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God."

- Cicero


Ancient Era

"Not at all similar are the race of the immortal gods and the race of men who walk upon the earth."

- Homer


Ancient Era

"Hath not the potter power over the clay, to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?"

- The Bible, Romans


Ancient Era

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."

- The Bible, Numbers


Ancient Era

"You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails."

- Unknown

The Wheel

Ancient Era

"Put your shoulder to the wheel."

- Aesop


Ancient Era

"True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read."

- Pliny the Elder


Classical Era

"Art for art's sake is an empty phrase. Art for the sake of truth, art for the sake of the good and the beautiful, that is the faith I am searching for."

- George Sand


Classical Era

"Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world."

- The Buddha


Classical Era

"For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven."

- Ecclesiastes

Code of Laws

Classical Era

"To bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, so that the strong should not harm the weak."

- Hammurabi's Code; Prologue


Classical Era

"The wisest men follow their own direction."

- Euripides


Classical Era

"And on the pedestal these words appear: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' Nothing beside remains."

- Percy Bysshe Shelley


Classical Era

"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

- Publius Syrius


Classical Era

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts."

- William Shakespeare

Iron Working

Classical Era

"You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot."

- Publius Syrus


Classical Era

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested."

- Sir Francis Bacon


Classical Era

"If in other sciences we should arrive at certainty without doubt and truth without error, it behooves us to place the foundations of knowledge in mathematics."

- Roger Bacon

Metal Casting

Classical Era

"And them that take the sword shall perish by the sword."

- The Bible, Matthew


Classical Era

"A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king."

- Herodotus


Medieval Era

"Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."

- Thomas Jefferson

Civil Service

Medieval Era

"The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy."

- Unknown

Divine Right

Medieval Era

"I am the state."

- Louis XIV


Medieval Era

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupry


Medieval Era

"I will to my lord be true and faithful, and love all which he loves and shun all which he shuns."

- Anglo Saxon oath of Fealty


Medieval Era

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public."

- Adam Smith


Medieval Era

"A god from the machine."

- Menander


Medieval Era

"If music be the food of love, play on."

- William Shakespeare


Medieval Era

"One doesn't discover new lands without losing sight of the shore."

- Andre Gide


Medieval Era

"I cannot live without books."

- Thomas Jefferson


Medieval Era

"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law."

- Aristotle


Medieval Era

"Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self; the heavenly by the love of God."

- St. Augustine


Renaissance Era

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."

- Plato


Renaissance Era

"Chemistry means the difference between poverty and starvation and the abundant life."

- Robert Brent


Renaissance Era

"No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, or in any other way destroyed, except by the lawful judgment of his peers."

- The Magna Carta


Renaissance Era

"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."

- Ambrose Bierce


Renaissance Era

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

- Winston Churchill


Renaissance Era

"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."

- Albert Einstein


Renaissance Era

"There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance."

- Ali ibn Abi-Talib


Renaissance Era

"You can get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word."

- Al Capone


Renaissance Era

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

- Benjamin Franklin

Military Science

Renaissance Era

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philisophy."

- John Adams

Military Tradition

Renaissance Era

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

- Sun-Tzu


Renaissance Era

"A man does not have himself killed for a half-pence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him."

- Napoleon Bonaparte

Printing Press

Renaissance Era

"What gunpowder did for war, the printing press has done for the mind."

- Wendell Phillips

Replaceable Parts

Renaissance Era

"The whole is more than the sum of its parts."

- Aristotle


Renaissance Era

"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

- Mao Zedong


Industrial Era

"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."

- Frederick the Great

Assembly Line

Industrial Era

"People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black."

- Henry Ford


Industrial Era

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, but the one most responsive to change."

- Charles Darwin


Industrial Era

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in car."

- E.B. White


Industrial Era

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."

- Dom Helder Camara


Industrial Era

"We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."

- Thomas Edison


Industrial Era

"The great masses of the people... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."

- Adolf Hitler


Industrial Era

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One... I am become Death, the Shatterer of Worlds."

- J. Robert Oppenheimer, quoting "The Bhagavad Gita"


Industrial Era

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wage possible."

- Henry Ford


Industrial Era

"As to diseases make a habit of two things - to help, or at least, to do no harm."

- Hippocrates


Industrial Era

"To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction."

- Isaac Newton


Industrial Era

"I fooled you, I fooled you, I got pig iron, I got pig iron, I got all pig iron."

- Lonnie Donegan, "Rock Island Line"

Scientific Method

Industrial Era

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

- Galileo Galilei

Steam Power

Industrial Era

"You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bon-fire under her deck? I have no time for such nonsense."

- Napoleon, on Robert Fulton's Steamship


Industrial Era

"Before that steam drill shall beat me down, I'll die with my hammer in my hand."

- from "John Henry, the Steel-Driving Man"

Advanced Flight

Modern Era

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth - Put out my hand and touched the Face of God."

- John Gillespie Magee, Junior


Modern Era

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

- Aristotle


Modern Era

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

- Steve Wozniak


Modern Era

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

- Native American Song

Fiber Optics

Modern Era

"There is a single light of science and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere."

- Isaac Asimov


Modern Era

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."

- Leonardo Da Vinci


Modern Era

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

- Arthur C. Clarke

Future Technology

Modern Era

"The future will be better tomorrow."

- Dan Quayle


Modern Era

"Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease."

- Bob Edwards


Modern Era

"Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws."

- Douglas Adams

Mass Media

Modern Era

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

- Oscar Wilde


Modern Era

"I just want to say one word to you. Just one word: plastics."

- Calder Willingham, The Graduate


Modern Era

"Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New York station. You know her life was saved by Rock 'n' Roll."

- The Velvet Underground, "Rock And Roll"


Modern Era

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."

- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


Modern Era

"The real problem is not whether machines think, but whether men do."

- B.F. Skinner


Modern Era

"The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot eternally live in a cradle."

- Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky


Modern Era

"Beep... beep... beep... beep..."

- Sputnik I


Modern Era

"Behind a veil, unseen yet present, I was the forceful soul that moved this mighty body."

- Jean Racine


Modern Era

"What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

The Cost of Mortgages is at an all time High

Although interest rates are at an historic low the cost of borrowing is relatively expensive as the difference between the rates charged to customers and the swap rates between banks grows ever larger.

The average swap rate between banks at this moment is 1.26% with the average 3 year fixed rate 3.35% higher at 4.61% This means that on a £150,000 mortgage the difference between the cost to the bank and the cost to the customer is on around £4,000 per year.

Many of the banks have received public funds to ensure they did not fail and now they are taking bigger margins that ever on mortgage repayment. As both a tax payer and a borrow this seems far from fair.

Apparently mortgage rates are dropping but lenders are being slow to reduce rates. As a former mortgage adviser, I suspect they would react with great haste to a rate increase.

Google's Ipad?

Speculation is growing on the internet that Google is planning  to release a tablet computer to rival the Ipad. According to rumours Google has teamed up with HTC and Verison and will be releasing the tablet at least in the United States before Christmas.

The tablet will run Googles Chrome OS rather than the Android OS designed primarily for mobile phones. To me this seems a strange choice if they are wishing to compete with the Ipad as Android already has a large user base and an existing app store. ChromeOS seems to have neither.

As a tool to watch Youtube, browse Facebook and check email this will certainly be appealing but I am confused  as to why google doesn't seem to want to take advantage of the App store business model. It strikes me that such a device would have to be sold much cheaper than the Ipad to have any real sort of impact.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bill Hicks - My Hero

Many years ago a flatmate of mine introduced me to an American comedian named Bill Hicks. We sat together and watched a DVD called Revelations. Within minutes I was fixated. Despite how dated the jokes were (mainly relating to George Bush Sr and the first Gulf war.) However, it all seemed so current what with another George Bush in the White House and a second Gulf war in progress.

Over the coming weeks I searched the Internet and book stores for as much information as I could find on this man, I was saddened to find that we lost this great mind to cancer several years before I had even heard of him - something that made Bill Hicks own words at the end of this stand up sketch even more poignant to me.

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…” …It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” — The Late Bill Hicks, Comedian

Monday, August 16, 2010

One of my favorite poems - IF by Rudyard Kipling

Sometimes, things just don't work out the way we plan. Whenever this happens to me and I am feeling low. I take comfort in a poem my father would read to me as a small child: If -  by Rudyard Kipling. At the time I was not aware he was also the author of the book The Jungle Book, another publication that brought happiness to my childhood.

IF you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Why doesn't Orange offer a Pay as You Go Dongle?

A friend of mine lives in the small Norfolk village of Swaffham. Coverage in this area is patchy with all networks however, 90% of the time I was able to get a 3g signal with my personal dongle. The next day we decided to go to the shops to buy an orange pay as you go dongle.

After arriving at the orange shop - I was shocked to see that orange does not have a PAYG option for mobile broadband.

Prices do start at £5 per month for a meager 500mb of browsing (which is probably suitable for this low user.) However, they require that you are an existing pay monthly customer. This means we had to go for the next option up. The £10 per month deal. This provides you with a free dongle if you sign up for 18 months or a £29.99 dongle if you want to sign up for just one month. Finally when we had agreed the product we wanted we found we were unable to purchase it there and then as we had not brought along the ID required for a credit check.

Every other network in the UK offers a PAYG deal, which does not require you to pass a credit check and I am baffled as to why Orange does not do the same. Hopefully when the merger with T-mobile completes this madness will end.

The Future of the UK housing Market

As a landlord and former mortgage adviser I maintain a keen interest in the UK Housing Market. Recently I placed my house on the market in an attempt to sell it.

It is a 3 bedroom property on the outskirts of London very close to a tube station and near the new Olympic site. I initially decided to test the market by putting it on at a price I knew was unrealistic £260,000.

At the time mine was the only property in the block for sale - however, I had not enquiries. Shortly after my property came up for sale two other similar properties entered the market priced at £247,500 and £240,000 respectively.

As I was keen to sell and loosing money every month that it was not rented I priced my property accordingly at £230,000.

As soon as I dropped the price I had a series of viewings. I was not willing to drop much below this as these properties have changed hands for over £245,000.

Six months into this process my buyer pulls out leaving me back at step one and now I have to make the difficult decision to jump one way or another. Do I re market it and hope to get a new buyer? Or do I bite the bullet and rent it out until conditions improve.

The future of the UK housing market is uncertain with strong pressures in both directions.

Upward Pressure on House Prices
  • Population Growth and a lack of new homes especially in the London Area.
  • Historically Low Interest Rates
  • Proximity to the Olympic Park
  • Proximity to the new Stratford International Train Station
  • Inflation means increasing wages which reflect in increased house prices
Downward Pressure on House Prices
  • An increase in Sellers due to the abolition of the HIP
  • More restrictive lending criteria
  • Continuing economic uncertainty
  • Public sector job cuts
Then you have to consider the pressures on rental yields. With many people being unable to buy the rental market has remained buoyant and people will always need a place to live. Inflationary pressures should increase wages and hence increase rents. But what will happen only time will tell.

I personally am going to retain ownership of my portfolio for the meantime and try to rent out my second property. Hopefully come the 2012 Olympic games property prices will be back on track and if not - at least I have covered the cost of servicing the debt on the two properties.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'll follow you if you follow me.

Since creating my blog I have had over 12,000 unique visitors to the site. This has generated me around £20 in advertising revenue from the various affiliate schemes and advertising programmes that I am a part of. I sometimes struggle to generate significant inbound traffic from google, although I notice that improves dramatically when I blog regularly. Based on revenue of 0.5p per unique visitor - I'm gonna need 200 million blog views before I make my million.

For the next 6 months I am going to have a major push with this blog. Writing on it daily or more frequently if possible.

I would like to get my readership levels up and am happy to follow any person who will follow me in return via google friend connect.

So if you would like a subscriber to your blog. Just subscribe to mine - and lets make our blogs mutually more popular.

I have created a blog follower exchange page on facebook - please join it and list your blog. If enough people join we will be able to enrich everyones blogging experience.

My favorite George Carlin Quotes.

Always do whatever's next.

At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.

Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.

Electricity is really just organized lightning.

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer's disease where they slowly began to recover other people's lost memories.

I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam.

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.

If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.

If we could just find out who's in charge, we could kill him.

If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.

In comic strips, the person on the left always speaks first.

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.

Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.

Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.

One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think.

Religion is just mind control.

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

Standing ovations have become far too commonplace. What we need are ovations where the audience members all punch and kick one another.

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept.

The status quo sucks.

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.

Think off-center.

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?

What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?

When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?

When Thomas Edison worked late into the night on the electric light, he had to do it by gas lamp or candle. I'm sure it made the work seem that much more urgent.

When you step on the brakes your life is in your foot's hands.

When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.

You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.

You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.

George Carlin The Ten Commandments Broken Down

George Carlin is one of my Heros. Here is some of his stand up. Expect to see more on this website in the coming months.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adsense is down again!

For the past two hours I have been getting the following message when I try and log into Adsense:

We apologise for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it.
Some of us are trying to earn a living here Google!

Facebook removed my fan page and is blocking links to my site.

Shortly after having the wonderful idea of setting up http://www.freefacebookcredits.co.uk I decided to set up a Facebook fan page to promote this website (which I consider to be a local business).

I first encountered problems with the name. The fact that the fan page name included the word "Facebook". I decided to get around this by calling the group Free FB Credits.

Within 2 hours I had 15 fans. It was at this stage that Facebook deleted my fan page - and warned me about violating their terms and conditions. I can see no easy way to appeal this or anyway to reverse the decision. Still this is not the end of the world - I was aware that it was a little bit cheeky.

I asked my friend Tony to post a link to the site on his Facebook page. Remember, this is just a simple link and in my opinion you should be able to post whatever you like on your own wall.

However, the link stopped working immediately and Facebook stated that it had been reported as being abusive. I fail to see how a blog relating to obtaining free Facebook credits is abusive.

Sometimes I am very much in love with Facebook and other times the whole site just pisses me off. Lets hope that the diaspora project pulls its finger out and builds a suitable alternative. As lets face it Google Buzz is just naff, Bebo is for kids and Myspace, well, I'd rather eat razorblades than put money in Rupert Murdochs pockets.

Free Facebook Credits

Today, I got 25 Facebook credits for free to trial premium games and premium content. I have searched the net and found that there are multiple ways to get free Facebook credits.

I really am quite enthused about Facebook credits - and hope in the future that they offer a method to cash them out.

As I am just getting back into blogging I decided to register a domain name and set up a website devoted to obtaining free Facebook credits - I have called the site : http://www.freefacebookcredits.co.uk. It is going live this week and I plan to detail all the places that you can get free Facebook credits from - and hopefully generate a bit of revenue from pay per click advertising.

I have successfully installed wordpress on a fasthosts server and have chosen a theme that makes the site look like facebook.  If you would like help installing wordpress on a fasthosts site I can sort this out for you for only £50. Please contact http://www.mastersofcreation.com for more details.

Stay tuned for more information regarding free facebook credits - if you have any suggested methods of getting facebook credits - please let me know.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Stella and Me

A few weeks ago a little dog called Stella came to live with me whilst we found her a new home. During those two weeks I have become very fond of this little dog and its going to be sad to see her go.

Once the excitement of having a new puppy around had started to wear off I became increasingly aware that a little puppy is a big responsibility. She chews everything if I leave her alone - so the first change that I made was having her come to work with me every day. As I don't drive this was made more difficult by the fact that a lot of taxi drivers don't want to take her. I was even refused entry onto a bus as I had the small pup. Combine that with the constant cleaning up of dog poo/wee.

I took Stella to help out a friend but always knew that at some point we would find a new home for her and she would be leaving me. As it happens that day is tomorrow and I am surprised at the strength of feeling I have for her and how little I want her to go. For the last two weeks she has come everywhere with me. She sleeps in my room, comes to work with me and then we spend the evenings together generally trying to combine a good walk with a dog friendly pub so that I can have a beer or two - as Friday and Saturday nights at the pub have stopped since I got her.

Anyway, the story has a happy ending for Stella who is going to a new home with loving owners and a garden. I'd like to think the story has a happy ending for me too. Although I have lost the company of one great little dog, Stella has warmed my heart and made me feel a lot more positive about the world and the creatures and people in it. I had managed to convince myself that the world was a cold and horrible place where everyone was out to get you. My time with this little dog has shown me different.

Advertising your business on Gumtree

Four days ago I tried to re list my ebay local ad - an advert that had generated business for me in the past and was free. However, ebay have since changed the rules and do not allow this type of classified listing - they kindly referred me to Gumtree.com.

I paid gumtree £5.88 to feature an advert about mt new computer repair service that I am offering in Chingford and the surrounding areas. Thus far it has generated no new business for me unlike my google advertising campaign which has produced instant results.

I have however, been contacted by several people looking for jobs. This got me thinking back to when I tried to advertise my house for sale using gum tree. I got no genuine responses just estate agents trying to sell me things.

However, my friend who is a dog trainer gets a good response to his advert. I suppose there are some areas of business that lend themselves well to the gumtree website - and others that don't.

The search for new customers continues - somewhere other than gumtree - or am I just doing it all wrong. Any suggestions are welcome.

Interesting Information about my blog at Google Webmaster Central

A good few years ago The BBC produced a series called Robin Hood. It was fun entertaining and best of all Maid Marion was hot. I decided to let the world know and blogged about it and her.

Sadly Lucy left the show after series two and with her departure I lost interest. I stopped watching it - I stopped blogging about it. But my old posts remained up on my blog.

Now I have decided to breathe new life into my web design business - I figured it was a good idea to resurrect the blog in some capacity. Even if was just to build a few links.

As I got more involved with the various services there are out there for tracking the progress of the blog I saw that I had received over 13,000 hits. What could these relate to? Using Google Webmaster Tools I checked into what search terms by blog was coming up under and was surprised to see that the vast majority of these searches related to Robin Hood. I was surprised that I was a front page result for over 40 search terms.

Query Avg. position
robin hood marian dies 1
robin hood lucy griffiths 1
lucy griffiths fake 1
lucy griffiths fakes 1
robin hood 2010 marion 1.7
lucy griffiths robin hood 1.9
robin hood i marion 2
robin hood and marian 3
robin hood serie 3 3
anjel jay 3
robin hood 2010 marian 3
robin hood marian 3.6
robin hood series 3 3.6
robin hood series finale 4
marian robin hood 4
robin hood marian and robin 4
marion robin hood 4
marian robin hood bbc 4.5
robin hood 3 serie 5
robin hood bbc series 3 5
lucy griffits 5.4
neg dupree urban sports 6
will e djaq 6
death of robin hood 6
robin hood bbc djaq 6
robin hood season 3 6
robin hood djaq 6.2
will and djaq 7
bbc robin hood series 3 7
robin hood 3 stagione 7
djaq and will 7
djaq robin hood 7.5
robin hood uk series 8
robin hood and maid marion 8
djaq 8.2
bbc robin hood season 3 8.3
lucy pinder maid 9
plc explained 10
chess telephone 10
sports t-shirt 10
robin hood series 2 10

Not bad really. It has generated enough advertising revenue for me to have a beer and a curry and maybe have a little change left over. I never watched series 3 of robin hood as it lacked Lucy  - but maybe I will give it a try and have a little blog about it.

What I do find strange is the fact that whenever I search for any of these terms - my site doesn't seem to be coming up. Does anyone out there know why?

Do I help the world or just myself?

Due to unforeseen circumstances I've ended up living in a house with very little furniture and no TV. Having subscribed the largest Sky TV / Virgin Media package I can at every opportunity presented to me in the past, I was quite scared by the prospect of no TV.

After a few days of going cold turkey I realised my life was richer without it. I suspect I lost around a day a week of productivity to television - and what was I watching - utter crap. After Lucy Griffiths left Robin Hood, Neighbours moving to channel 5 and the rise of Quiz Shows and reality TV I felt my relationship with my television (a historically close one) was coming to an end.

I still use the Iplayer and the various commercial offerings from ITV, Channel 4 etc.... but never leave it on just as background noise. Have you ever seen the movie They Live? Well after a few weeks I realised that I was thinking differently, being able to choose which information I watched and read via the wonders of the Internet made me draw different conclusions. I found that my views were quite often different to my television watching friends, that of the Sun newspaper and even my most trusted news channel BBC News.

It is that background noise that I now realise subliminally fills your head with rubbish about what reality TV star said to which footballer, which products are best to have to improve your life and the news channels that constantly reminds us of how many murderers, rapists and drug dealers there are in our society. Fear is a great tool for promoting social cohesion. I find it strange that when I look outside - the world seems as safe and as risky as it ever did..... I don't subscribe to the belief that society is in someway in a downward spiral of crime - it all seems quite safe out there.

There is so  much advertising everywhere. Something I didn't realise till I went to Cuba where there is very little advertising as there is very little private industry. I must say however, Cuban television wasn't up to much. It infuriates me that we spend most of our lives buying into a system that perpetuates itself through consumption of products and is weighted so heavily in the favour of the rich - who can own Ipads whilst thousands of children a day die of preventable diseases. Anyway, I digress. Wasn't this rant about television?

So, what am I going to do with the time I gained by giving up television? I think I'm going to spend it designing an advertising campaign to make people buy my products and services for my new business CCS So that I can have a bigger house to put more stuff in. I justify my existence on the basis that by repairing things that are broken and recycling things that are unwanted I spare new things having to be made and resources consumed. Saving our precious little planet for a short while whilst hopefully we sort out this sustainable food and energy problem we seem to be having. Also I like to think I help people and make them happier. Thus my business is of a benefit to our planet.

I've done some basic mathematics based on some figures I just pulled off of the net (I'm unsure how accurate they are).

This paper states that approximately 6400 megajoules of electricity to make a desktop computer and a 17" CRT monitor in 2000, which would be about 1778 kwh. As much electricity as the typical household uses in two months.

I'm currently fixing between 5 and 10 PC's per week. Lets say 7 per week to make it easy. meaning that every year I save the planet 60 years worth of household electrical bills.

I know that isn't strictly true - as the parts would probably be recycled. But it lets me sleep a little bit easier   at night.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Masters Of Creation

The initial big push by Chingford Computer Services seems to be going well. Every day bringing me new and repeat customers. This week I have fixed 8 PC's and laptops. If I can maintain this level of repairs and even grow it I will be able to enjoy a very comfortable standard of living for not much work at all - happy days.

The facebook page is now setup and the number of fans is growing daily - connected directly to the CCS twitter page. .

We have a google maps listing now. 

Chingford Computer Services
2a Crown Buildings
The Green
E4 7EX
Tel: 07970 035540

View Larger Map

However the Chingford Computer Services website makes little mention of web design. So I decided to finish up the Masters of Creation website which is now ready. Any comments or suggestions will be welcome

Thursday, August 05, 2010

New Beginnings

As much fun as running a shop was it was never a very profitable affair. With a team of staff and a shop we increased turnover dramatically but increased costs. Something had to change. So I have decided to break from the shop and go back to working alone.

I have a new website and a new workshop see http://www.chingfordcomputerservices.com for more details.