Category Archives: Ramblings

Yes, Prime Minister

Banksy Missing Slave

Banksy Missing Slave

I was watching “Yes, Prime Minister” on TV, the conversation went something like “We raised the age of education so children could learn more to prepare them for life.”. The other guy said “No, Prime Minister we raised the age of education so we could get the teenagers off the job market to lower the rates of unemployment”. 

I read a story about increasing the school age to 18, and / or the school hours to 5pm to 5:30pm and various other ideas, it kind of made me think. It sure does sound like a hell of a way to reduce youth employment, and force more parents into working and dramatically drop unemployment rates. A by product would possibly increase spending as more people would need more things, parents would have more money, god that’s really vague. 

School kids will need more uniforms and books, Workers more food, clothing, Rush Hour will become rush hours since there wouldn’t be a staggering of School Run and End of Day workers, so more fuel and more car repairs and maintenance. So nice little boost in the economy. 

There are many stories about this from the USA, where longer school hours and indeed lots of after school clubs and classes seems to be working very well. This page Time to Learn makes a compelling argument, and makes me think it could well be the way forward. 

On a serious note, the Americans Glee Club, Electronics Club, Mathletes, Football Clubs and various other after school (and during school hours) clubs do seem like a damn good idea. The summer, christmas and end of year parties and stuff seem solid as do year books. Maybe if schools were extended some of these ideas could be transposed over here. The sorority house idea failed shockingly but maybe the best bits could work.

With all the Brexit stuff and UK based xenophobia, this article (openly admits) xenophobia and DAMNED!!!  Kinda funny tho, go on and check it out about the UK’s Failed Sorority. On a side not the TV Show Greek made the yankee greek system look amazing . 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Unavailable Until Further Notice

20th March 2017 – Update

I’m going to start working through the backlog, catch up on forums, hit emails, etc. The breakthrough pain is still brutal but I need to get back on it. 

I’ll update more once I get some notes and stuff from the quack. 

17th March 2017 – Update

I had my follow up today. I have a more complete list of what they did, still a few unclear bits. It seems lots of this were “discovered” during the process so they fixed it “while they were there”. 

My shoulder socket were in a bit of a mess, lots of debris and osteophytes on the socket part. The ball part of he shoulder were in reasonably good condition, which is apparently a good thing. I’m not quite sure how the socket side can be ruined by the ball is fine.

The GHJ had some osteophytes removed and a “slither” of bone cut away. The AC Joint were removed, which is part of the scapula and collarbone cut away. I think they did something to the Bursa under the AC, but I didn’t understand what they meant. 

They did a subacromial decompression, but the ligament were apparently in good condition so they shaved it, sectioned it. Some other ligament were also cleaned up, one which is deep inside my shoulder. 

I really need to speak to the surgeon but I don’t have an appointment for ages, its all physio and shoulder clinic. I have requested a copy of the surgical notes so I can see it all and work out from there. 

8th March 2017 – Update

Well I’m still here, the pain isn’t even close to what I’m dealing with now. The muscle pain, cuts/scars aren’t too bad, I can touch them and they are tender but not bad. However where they have cut the bone away, holy poopy, that really hurts and the drugs don’t help much. 

I don’t have an exact list of what they did, the operation notes were like nearly a whole page and I didn’t understand all of them. The rotator cuff were fine, the shoulder capsule were fine, the GHJ (I assume glenohumeral joint) were arthritic and repaired, the AC Joint were re-sectioned (removed), and a Subacromial Decompression were performed. I can’t remember what else were there, I only got a brief look while the pain clinic were sorting my drugs out.

Finally Here

Well its finally here, I’m getting my shoulder surgery done, as a result I won’t be online much and I get the feeling the times I will be, I’ll probably be dribbling from the pain medications. 

I’ll try to keep on top of urgent messages, but mobile signal is shocking and half the hospital doesn’t have WiFi, so I can’t promise anything. 

I’ll see you on the flip side ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. There are a few queued up posts which I already wrote, which may post after my surgery.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

The Smartwatch Light Hurts By Eyes

Crane Smart Watch

Crane Smart Watch

Ug ugh urgh arrgh oh ah ah, my eyes, my eyes, the light hurts my eyes, smart watch bright, arrrgh magic, burn the witch… 

I’ve been told many times I’m a caveman, mostly because well long hair, full beard, I kinda look like a caveman, but equally as often because I’ve had only 3 different ring tones since 2002, the Do-Mi-So were the longest standing, I use big-ass over-ear Beats Pro headphones, I refuse to move with the times in certain areas. I also have refused to get a smart watch, the shocking battery life and equally shocking prices always put me off, not to mention they are UGLY. 

The Moto 360 has all the featured I wanted, but damn the “flat tire” effect is nasty, but I were lead to Analogue Smartwatches or Hybrid Smartwatches depending on whose terminology you prefer. I like Analogue Smart Watch but then I’m a caveman. 

My local Aldi were doing a Clearance Sale and they had big chunky analogue smart watch, it has basic shower / sweaty beast 5 bar water resistance, notifications (calls, texts, whatsapp, etc), step counters, goals (calories, distance, steps), and some other feature, and it were less than ยฃ15 quid. I got dragged kicking and screaming into 2017 by my mother who bought me one, after I told her she should get one since she got into walking (10 miles a day she does). 

The step counter seems very accurate but doesn’t count everything, like for example, I use an elliptical trainer instead of normal jogging (saving my knees) and it doesn’t count the steps, it randomly counts leg movements when cycling, and sometimes counts the odd pot hole while driving. 

The battery seems rock solid, but I’ll report back once I’ve been running it a full week. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Apple Too Big For Its Boots

I saw this story on Vox, and as a non-Apple using person aka Not-A-FanBoi, I don’t pay too much attention beyond slaying “Power User” Mac’s with my PC and listening to their excuses. Namely that Apple Pro’s are not being updated, and boohoo Apple essentially cripple the machine so its barely upgradable and hobble the software so you can’t use other vendors hardware.

Apple Fanboi Anatomy

Apple Fanboi Anatomy

I always highlight Hackintosh too, which is essentially a Frankenstein Mac, Mac Software running on non-mac hardware. I mean lets face it, there is no mac-hardware its just IBM PC hardware which mac runs on anyway.  

In my eyes all these arguments are akin to moaning you don’t like McDonalds but still eating there 3 times a day, 7 days a week and still moaning about it.

Walking Money Talks Loudest

When it emerged a few years ago that a bunch of Restaurant Chains were taking various amounts of staff tips or indulging in bogus deals, I didn’t like that practice, so what did I do ? I sure as heck, didn’t start going 5 days a week to tell them I didn’t like it, while still paying them.

I sent an email to corporate HQ of the companies I previous frequented, with details of my last few visits. I continued to explain I would NEVER attend their venue, would actively discourage everyone I knew from attending their venue and would continue to do so until their policy changed. Effectively I kicked them in the proverbial, they either fix the issues or lose my money and money I have influence over. 

The article in Vox, highlights what I pointed out a month or two ago, that apple seem obsessed with making things thinner, lighter and more minimalist rather than capable of doing the job. 

Pro Spec for Power Users

I’m a power user, my laptop (I use the term laptop lightly), weighs in at about 5kg, its has 2x SSD, 1x m.2 SSD, 2 Graphics Cards, an i7 Extreme Processor, a 330w Power Brick and it is a brick, 32gb of ram, and sounds like a Harrier Jump Jet when it gets going. I don’t really care about how heavy it is, how bulky it is, or how it looks. 

What I care about is, from pressing the power button, to having Photoshop loaded, takes about 30 seconds and I’m ready to rock. I care about being able to plug a 32″ Output TV to my left, and a second 27″ monitor to my right while using Premier Pro to edit video. I care about it effectively rendering video in real time, about it cranking out Crysis on maximum settings with hi-res resource pack at 60fps+. Most of all I care about the fact that I can pull out the processor and upgrade it, I can pull out both the GPU’s and upgrade them, I can change out the m.2 and the SSDs, hell I can even move from Intel to Killer on the Wifi/BT or upgrade the ram. I can and have overclocked the processor/graphics and ram.

iPhone 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

iPhone 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

The machine is a Pro Powerhouse, can you do any of that on you’re outdated Mac Pro, hell could you do even half of that on your brand new Mac Pro ? 

While some of Apples things are cool, but planned obsolescence and control freak nature is such a downer and stops me ever buying them.

I firmly believe while you, yes you fan bois accept inferior, sub-standard, crippled  and outdated tech and proceed to hail them as the messiah, you will always be stuck with more Tosh than Mac.

The meme on the right, is one of many which compares contemporary phones with iPhones and the story is nearly always the same. The iPhone has an array of red doesn’t have, and the competing phone has green straight through. 

I owned the very first iPhone, you couldn’t even MMS, no bluetooth, if you faced the screen inwards towards your leg in your pocket, it would stop working until it cooled down, there were no apps, no flash for the camera, it were shite. I took it back to Carphone Warehouse who exchanged the phone over the screen not working before I figured out it were because I face the screen inwards for protection.

There is an article on Gizmodo which compares the original iPhone 1 (2007) to the iPhone 6S+ (2015) and its shocking devastating how little has actually changed, not to mention how feeble the specs are 1gb of Ram, Dual Core Processors, its almost embarrassing. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Samantha Cameron Starting A Fashion Label

Samantha Cameron

Samantha Cameron


I don’t really want to get into political posts, but since my take it somewhat humorous I thought I’d go ahead. I read in the paper a few weeks ago that Samantha Cameron (Ex-Prime Minister David Camerons Wife) wants to run a fashion label / company.

I’m not big on fashion, and remember being as equally bewildered over the commentary of Kate Middleton’s dress sense as I was about the various times Samantha’s keen fashion sense were wrote about. All I remember is they were both praised for using high street and off the hook brands. A quick search shows lots of posts and articles about this, many of them appear to suggest she is behind her outfits and often the fact she has a degree in fine art and a history of working in fashion design is sited.

I read another story more recently, about how various “Camerons Cronies” were getting OBEs and the likes. These included her Barber, Spin Doctors and Nutritionist, but one name caught my attention. Isabel Spearman, various people have suggested she’s just a PA, and such but I were interested in what were listed as some of her jobs and astounded by her pay packet. 

Isabel were responsible for handling Mrs Camerons diary, appointments, correspondence and one article suggested dialing her phone and wiping after toilet. Many stories were a little sexist, and playing up the toff angle, even more talked about the fantastic pay, roughly ยฃ300 PER DAY!!.

Amongst the list of things on her job list were managing Samantha’s wardrobe, purchasing her clothes, arranging discounts with clothing suppliers and planning her outfits. It also listed attending fittings with various suppliers to enable accurate purchasing and fitting. 

Given Isabel Spearman wa responsible for Samantha Camerons reported excellent dress sense, NOT the woman herself, yet now she seems to believe she can run a fashion company. 

The Tory’s Secret Range

What tickled me some what is this fashion range, will include a Lingerie collection, and I have an idea or two for Samantha to include.

I’m thinking there should be some of the sort of underwear which is kinda tight fitting, not much substance, kinda thin, digs in, really rides up and gets right up, deep into you’re arse crack, and generally uncomfortable. You know the type you constantly need dig out to stop it getting too at home in your bum. 

She should call it the “The David Range” or perhaps The “Tory’s Secret” range ๐Ÿ˜› 

Photo By Lawrence Jackson, White House Photographer – Public Domain.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Shoulder Surgery and Driving Test

Austin Powers 3 Point Turn

Austin Powers 3 Point Turn copyright of Warner Brothers.

January is turning in to somewhat of a monstrous month on the whole, and February is shaping up to be chock full of pain and misery. The first 3 weeks of 2017 have been monstrous, and the next month is shaping up to be equally horrific.

Welcome to 2017, its not exactly year I had in mind… in any way, shape or form. 

Shoulder Surgery

My Pre-Op and Surgery have clashed not once but twice with my driving, and now the surgery classes badly with some work related issues; same day to be exact. The surgery clashed with my Driving Test, and the hospitals waiting list manager were shall we say unsympathetic and unwilling to change the date. This may end up being a moot point as I’m getting ill, I have a sore throat, and shivers. I seem to be coming down with a cold or flu and less than 2 weeks til the surgery. Again the waiting list people don’t seem concerned even though all the NHS Documentation paints a very grim picture. 

Aside form that, there does seem to be a little discrepancy, the lady who also weren’t very sympathetic told me I were having slightly different surgery to what the surgeon / consultant told me. They did confirm the two biggies which are Subacromial Decompression and AC Joint Excision. I assume once they open it up they will do whatever else is needed which were debridement and clean up stuff. I’m still praying my Rotator Cuff and Glenohumeral something are in good condition and don’t require any intervention.

Driving Lessons and Test

I finally got around to sorting driving lessons, literally after 1 lesson I got the notice for surgery and it all clashes, so I’m not going to have time to fit it all in and get to 100% test standard. Since then 1 lesson were cancelled due to snow, and 2 needed to be cut a little short due to traffic. Better to bank the time than sit in traffic.

I’m struggling with two things, one of them is alluding me and its not getting easier, the other is procedure. Bizarrely the things most people struggle with (3 point, parallel and bay parking) I have nearly nailed. 3 point I have never once hit the curb.

Even when I had to go all Austin Powers (Spy who shagged me) and do a 10 point point in a narrow road. Seriously, The instructor actually compared the amount of turns to the above clip, and still didn’t hit the curb. Other more simple stuff but potentially more important isn’t coming easy. I need more time on the actual road, a longer gap between lessons to practice.

I think the added pressure from the surgery and other stuff has just left me not in the best mindset. I left it too late I fear to actually sort enough lessons or perhaps not enough time to practice due to the lemon car I purchased.

The Future

The pisser is I’m not sure I will have recovered in time for Body Power 2017, which I think will the first one I will have missed since it started ๐Ÿ™ This year its in the middle of May (19th-21st) at the NEC in Birmingham. A little bit sucky as I already things in place and moved work around so I can do the show again. Every year I end up getting a different bit of work and missing at least 1 day, this year I’ve planned it all bang on and now surgery is just a few months before the show.

On a side note, this post has left me really wanting to watch Austin Powers, I think I need to check if I its on Amazon Movies or order the boxset

Austin Powers video and still capture used for commentary and comedy purposes, I do not own copyright to either of them. I am using them under the fair use clause to parody an event which happened. If you are the rights owner (New Line / Warner Bros) and wish me to remove them, please use the contact form.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.