Monday, 30 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 30-6-2014

I am tired: tired … and damn emotional.


Recently, I started a government-mandated Work Placement Programme: one that, unfortunately, didn’t work out for me.

The shop I was placed too, found my references to be ‘unsatisfactory’: and refused to accept any alternatives.

I was and am, understandably, very angry.

I got even angrier, Saturday, just gone.   I got a letter telling me that I would be having my benefits cancelled for three months: as a result of a failure to attend.

Despite having told them what happened.

I’m incredibly angry.

Through no fault of my own, I’m being sanctioned for events that were beyond my ability to control.   Face going into rent arrears, having both electricity and gas cut off, face falling into arrears with other payments and fines, face all that … through, I believe, no fault of my own.

Having to be up at five, this morning, to post this, and to prepare for attending a mandatory course, AND put in an appeal against the Department of Work and Pensions decision is only adding to my hair-trigger state of mind.

Tired and emotional’ is the least if it, I think.

If nothing else?

Let’s get a move on, while I’m still functioning: and before I say something tactless.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 29-6-2014: Ramadan

I … am … FUMING!

Again … !

You’ll remember that, recently, I’d been put off the Government’s Mandatory Work Programme.

From — I believe — no fault of my own.

Well, I got a letter, yesterday.   Basildon’s Benefit office have decided to suspend my benefit payments for three months.

I was and am extremely angry.   I feel I made my best effort whilst on the programme, was put off it despite my best efforts, and — again, despite my best efforts — have been sanctioned unnecessarily.

I can understand why some commit crime, frankly: if it means paying the bills, in these circumstances.

And can only hop folk start hitting that ‘Donate’ button: I could REALLY need the help.

Understandably, however … ?

I’m appealing.

After all, and as far as I know, my benefit payment — including the payments that cover my rent — are all tied to my Job Seekers Allowance.

I’d rather not get evicted through no fault of my own.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 28-6-2014: The Stonewall Riots

Blimey … !   Diego Maradona has come out out in support of Luis Suarez.

THERE’S a surprise … !

Ahem!   Cynical comments about football was not how I planned to start today’s post.

Oh, no.

I was going to tell you I had quit a few videos to add to today’s post.

Firstly?   I’ve mentioned local wrestler, Cayden Blade, before now, haven’t I … ?

He’s come out a winner at the recent Royal Rumble … 

Oh … And Dr Who series 8 starts on August 23rd … 

All that … ?   All that and Old Peculiar, Debbi, has reasons to be cheerful … 

I’d better get a move on, hadn’t I … ?   Before I run out of space … 


Friday, 27 June 2014

RIPD: Dead Fun

R.I.P.D. Poster.jpg
27th June, 2014

"R.I.P.D. Poster" by May be found at the following website: IMP Awards. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
Hmmm … Right … 

That seemed to work.

Bless them, Wikipedia’s come up with a new bit of embed coding: which now means I can embed a media file from the site on to the blog.

The net result … ?

The net result is what you see before you, now.

A blog post, about a film: one I’ve just seen with an old friend, Kevin.


I’ve GOT to confess, I’d not seen Kevin for a while.   So, when he asked if I was doing anything, tonight, and if I fancied a film … ?

Well, my answers was a very loud, ‘Yes’.

Not only is Kevin good company, he also has good taste in films: and an incredibly portable collection that can be streamed from an iPhone, over to an Apple TV.

Like the one I’ve got, since you ask …

Apple TV 2nd Generation.jpg
"Apple TV 2nd Generation" by Mike L - Self. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Sorry, couldn’t resist add ANOTHER photo.

At any rate … ?

He’d suggested a movie.

And had the 2013, Robert Schwentke directed, supernatural comedy, RIPD to hand: quite literally.

And it has to be said: despite the bad review the film got?

We both thought it was rather fun …


The Friday Question Set — 27-6-2014


I KEEP forgetting to do this … !   Post up the Friday Question Set, that is!

I could kick myself.

Except I’d possibly miss!


The Daily Teaser — 27-6-2014

You know, I have to admit to liking a documentary, now and again.

I’ve just been watching a Channel 4 one I taped, last night: Meet the Mormons.

Which followed a pair of Mormon missionaries, in Leeds.

That’s … 

Odd … 

Yes, odd’s the word.    I don’t think I’ve come across a religion quite that controlling.   The Church’s press officer was CONSTANTLY around, as were the companions: each missionary’s co-worker.   Nor can I understand quite why someone would volunteer for it: Mormon Missionary work seems even more isolating and isolated than severe forms of monasticism.

They are also have weekly expense of £29 a week: roughly half what I’m on!

I usually try not to criticise a person’s religion.

But, to me … ?   That seems … a little too severe … 


Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 26-6-2014: The UN

Hmmm … 

You know, I think I’ve got a bit of a rush on, this morning.

Get to the job centre, get to Mum’s, yadda, yadda … !

And this is AFTER prepping up for the induction, day, at the Fresh Start course I have to attend for the next two weeks.

Which could be useful, but looks like it’s covering territory covered elsewhere.

Oh, well … guess we’ll have to see what happens.

But let’s move on … 


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 25-6-2014: Little Big Horn

Well, that’s THAT done: I’m now a learner at Harlow College.

As part of the Brentwood Fresh Start Course.

Hmm … 

It looks like it’s going to cover a lot of different territory, over the fortnight.

Personally … ?

I’m just hoping we cover interview technique.

It could be useful … 


The Daily Teaser — 25-6-2014: 10, Rillington Place

Right: it’s Induction Day … !


You’ve possibly worked out I’m job-hunting, haven’t you … ?

Well, yes: I am.

And, as part of this, my local job centre insist I have to do various things.

Currently, I’m having to attend the Job Centre, daily: and use their facilities, to look for work.

Today, though … ?

Today, I have to attend the Induction Day for a Fresh Start Course: something I’ve mentioned before.

Quite what it’s for … ?

I really don’t know.

I’ll let you know, when I do.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 24-6-2014: The Grand Lodge

Oh, now, THAT’S what I call an earworm … !

One that sticks around for a week … !

Just in case you need reminding, an earworm is a song — or, at least, the catchy parts of it — that plays itself around you head.

Right now … ?   I’ve got a … well, let’s call it a generic version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night, floating around my head: as a result of looking up the song for tomorrow’s Teaser, last week.

With the net result it’s been floating around my head, ever since.

What CAN a boy do as a result of that … ?

Well, apart from play the damn thing, and let you get on with it … 


Monday, 23 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 23-6-2014

Right … 

Back to the proverbial grindstone, today.

Yes: I back, this morning, to my daily signing routine.

Which, to be fair to my local Jobcentre, does help.   If, in no other way, by keeping the distractions indoors, while I go out to work.

Or something that’s supposed to look like it.


I’m ALSO supposed to be looking up ways of starting my own business.

Something that — as far as I know — would work, if I had a part-time job, rather than a main source of income.

Still … it does give me an excuse to contact Amazon.   The one idea I did have, involved writing stuff with links to external websites: rather than just internal links — within an ebook — to footnotes, and then back.

Here’s thinking … 


Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 22-6-2014

Oh, now THAT’S handy … !

My optician’s have made a mistake.

Well, not them, per sé: the factory they use.

They’ve gone and made me two pairs of reading glasses!

And let me have them both for free.

That’s definitely convenient: and means I’ve got one spare.

Or one for everyday, and one for best, if you want to look at it, like that … !

Either way … ?

It’s bloody handy … !


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Parking Permits In Rollason Way.

You know, Rollason Way — the street where I live — is sort of nice.

Kind of.

Sort of kind of.

OK, it s not perfect.

But, generally … ?

It’s not bad: and certainly better than some places where I’ve lived.

However, as I and many other’s will tell you, the parking is both ridiculous: and has been since the first residents moved in.


The Daily Teaser — 21-6-2014: World Music Day

Oh, well … 

England are out of the World Cup.

And I’m betting plenty of people will be blaming all SORTS of things.

The Italians, for losing, last night.

Roy Hodgson, just for breathing.

Oh, and Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge for scoring England’s only goals.


Personally, though … ?

I can’t help but think we could blame one simple fact.   The other three teams in our group — Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay — were better than ours.

Either way … ?

Well, either, I think we’ll be looking at a good few months of recriminations: and calls to sack manager, Roy Hodgson.   Unless he manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the Euro 2016 tournament … 


Friday, 20 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 20-6-2014: Queen Victoria

Right, that should be that … 

For once.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll’ve probably worked out that I’m not a football fan.

Dr Who, yes.

Football, no.

Which probably dates back to growing up in 1970s and ’80s,

I can distinctly remember one or two episodes being delayed after a match went into extra time.

Something I resented then: and still do, now, to an extent.

So, from where I’m sitting … ?   Well, from where I’m sitting, the fact England where beaten 2-1 by Uruguay, last night, and are looking at going out if Italy don’t win their next two matches.   Oh, and lose or draw to Costa Rica.

From a personally perspective?   I always say I hope England do well.   But look forward to them going out of the tournament, as that signals the end of the media rumpus for another four years

The one thing I really resent?   Is the way people bang on about it.


Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Machine: Interesting …

18th June, 2014.

It HAS to be said … THAT was enjoyable!

No, really.

The movie, I should say … 

Um … 

I should try and tell you what on Earth I’m talking about, shouldn’t?

Yes, I should … 


The Daily Teaser — 19-6-2014: Spies Like Us

Hmmm … 

That’s that started on, then.

Just so you know, I’m jobhunting.   

Which means, of course, I’m on benefits, at the mo.

No, that’s not easy.

And yes, it means I have to do what the job centre tells.

Which is fair enough.

Saying that … ?

Today, I have to start a regime of daily visits to the Job Centre.   Thankfully, that’s only around the corner from me.

And next week … ?   Next I have to start on a Fresh Start Course.

Which possibly sounds like I’m expected to be in two places at once.

On top of this … ?   I’ve ALSO had to tell the section of the Job Centre that runs the Mandatory Work Programme, exactly why I was at the Saint Francis Hospice Charity Shop for two days.   They think I was there for one.

Sounds like the branch’s manageress hasn’t told them she gave me my marching orders at Four in the afternoon: and didn’t tell me the complete story of WHY she was booting me off the placement.

Don’t you just hate that … ?


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 18-6-2014: SALT 2

Right, well that’s THAT bit sorted out!

I now have official confirmation that I’m due to start on both a Fresh Start course … 

And a dose of Daily Signing … !

Hmmm … 

I’ve a feeling the proverbial diary’s going to get complicated … 


The Daily Teaser — 18-6-2014

Hmmm … 

I have to admit to liking repeats, occasionally.

I’ve got one on in the back ground, now, actually: part 2 of Fossil Wonderland.

Mostly discussing feathered dinosaurs, including our old friend, Archaeopteryx: something I was taught was the first bird, but that we now believe to have been to have been more of a link between dinosaurs and birds.

Fascinating stuff to watch.

But, after a throw away comment from the presenter, I can’t help but wonder one thing.

Did Archaeopteryx taste of chicken?

Well, you have to ask, don’t you … ?


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 17-6-2014: Mum’s Gone To Iceland … !

Gosh, I feel tired … !

Which is what happens when you stay up late, making Teaser movies … !

But at least that batch is one job out of the way: including today’s themed one.

Which was fun … !

Especially finding the photos: this is going to sound daft, but it’s — however minor — a nice intellectual challenge.

Ho hum!

At any rate, let’s get a move on, shall we?   The quicker we start, the sooner I can get on with the next batch … !


Monday, 16 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 16-6-2014: IBM

Now, that’s frustrating … !

More so, than usual … !

I’ve told you — before now — about the term earworm, haven’t I … ?

Basically, it’s a tune — or part of a song —that get’s stuck in your head: and loops its way around your head.

Of course, me, being ME … ?

I’ve got a piece of recurring incidental music from the classic era of Dr Who going through my head: from an old Jon Pertwee called Death to the Daleks.

And not just the leitmotif, itself, no.   I’ve ACTUALLY got Nicholas Briggs version going through my head!

Turns out he taught himself to play it on the penny-whistle.

The WEIRD bit … ?

Is just not finding it on YouTube, so I could irritate you with it … !

Oy veh … !


Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 15-6-2014

Oh, that’s something … 

Or, at least, something eye catching, in  the midst of the frenzy about the World Cup*.

Britain is ALSO looking at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List has been released: with its array of traditional gongs, all round.

One of them … ?   Went to a chap called David Braben: one of the co-designers of the Elite game for the BBC Micro, back in the day.

And also worked on the Raspberry Pi.

Which is what caught my attention, frankly.

I grew up in the 1980s: when Britain really WAS leading the world in knocking out programmers.

And the Pi†’s default mission, of encouraging kids to programme … ?

Looks very familiar!


Saturday, 14 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 14-6-2014: UNIVAC

Well, that’s THAT sorted … 

In theory, anyway.

Hmmm … 

Let me try explaining, here.

You remember I was placed in a Work Placement scheme at the start of the week … ?

Which, unfortunately, didn’t work out: unsatisfactory references!!

The up side to that … ?   Was that I managed to update my references with a pair that are a touch more flattering.

On top of that … ?

I had a meeting with my Job adviser: who’s managed to place me on a Fresh Start course.

Quite what that is, I don’t know.

But I keep getting mental images of a group of Terry Pratchett characters … 

Right … let’s get a move on, shall we?


Friday, 13 June 2014

The Friday Question Set — 13-6-2014


My brain’s getting worse, isn’t it … ?

This is the second time I’ve forgotten to post up the Friday Question Set, recently!

My only excuse id that I’ve been busily doing stuff, over the past week: including organising my (now finished) work placement.

Which, frankly, is a LONG story … !


The Daily Teaser — 13-6-2014

Right … 

I have to admit, I’m off to the Job Centre, today: for an appointment with my advisor.

Hopefully … ?

Hopefully, we’ll be able talk over what happened at the start of the week: with the Work Placement Bad Reference situation.

Getting the boot from a charity shop — because of bad references — is not something I’m happy about.

But at least I could do something about that aspect.

On the OTHER hand … ?

I’m faced with having to go BACK on to the Work Placement scheme, and start all over again.

Wasting TWO days that otherwise would’ve counted towards it.

Frustrating is not the word … !


Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 12-6-2014: The Peasants Revolt

Right, that’s something … !

Remember that I  — effectively — was kicked off a Work Placement place, on Tuesday … ?

NOT nice, I can tell you.

And basically down to bad references.

No, not quite: unsatisfactory references.

Slight difference!

But, at any rate … ?

At ANY rate, I have managed to update my references: adding a couple of favourable — or balanced, at least — personal references.   I’m also chasing up the administrators for one former employer, to see what I can see: and will have to chase up another, today.

Granted, I may have had a setback: but can have picked up something positive, because of it.

With that said … ?

Let’s move on.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 11-6-2014: Down Under

Hmmm … 

Right … 

That’s THAT sorted … 


As you’ve possibly worked out from this morning’s Teaser, I’m not EXACTLY a happy bunny.

Mostly where I’ve been given the proverbial heave ho from a work placement: unsatisfactory references!

I’m STILL not a happy bunny.


Well, at least I’ve been able to organise a better class of references.

I’ve been able to do something, in other words.

Right … with the rant out of the way … ?

Let’s get a shift on.


The Daily Teaser — 11-6-2014

I … 

Am … 

Happily … 


If you’ll excuse the language!

You know I recently started out on a Mandatory Work Placement Scheme, just recently?

And got placed in a local branch of the Saint Francis Hospice Shop.

I got the proverbial boot.

Apparently?   I have unsatisfactory references.

I didn’t challenge that, when I was told why I was getting the heave-ho: but went as far as offering alternative references, as a counterbalance.

Nope, not wanted.

Once I was out of the proverbial office?

I was fuming, as it leaves me stuck on a programme I may well never be able to complete.

I immediately went to the Job Centre to let them know what had happened.

I’ve ALSO got to phone SEETEC, to talk to Val: who’s my handler, there.

Right now … ?

Right now, I’m in the proverbial lurch, and I really don’t like it!


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 10-6-2014: Nice Legs, Shame About The Boat Race

Blimey … !

You probably worked out that yesterday saw me start at a work placement, at a local charity shop.

Tiring stuff, frankly.

But at least I can say I’m doing something positive with my time.

At ANY rate?

At any rate, I came home to rather shocking news: at least, for any one my age.

Comedian, Rik Mayall, died, yesterday.

Now, I don’t know if I was ever a fan, per se: both Filthy, Rich and Catflap and Bottom seemed to be repeating some of his and Ade Edmonson’s earlier work*.

But The Young Ones … ?

I think the sheer slapstick lunacy of The Young Ones — which Mayall appeared in, and co-wrote — managed to burn itself into the minds of a generation: and ended up as reciteable as any of Monty Python sketch, or quote from Blackadder.

Comedy genius?

I couldn’t tell you if Rik Mayall was or wasn’t a comedy genius.

But he made me — and many others — laugh.

Can a comic ask anymore?


Monday, 9 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 9-6-2014

Eeeeeeewwwww … 

I think my eyeballs are melting … !

I have to admit, I’m up nice and early: I officially start my work placement, today.

The net result?

Is that my eyeballs are feeling just a touch bleary,

Personally … ?

Well, personally, I’m thinking I’m going to try and get an early night, today.

I think that’s going to help in the morning!


Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 8-6-2014

To paraphrase The Mamas and The Papas?

La, La, Sunday, Sunday … !

Yeah, you’re right.

I’m looking at having a nice quiet day.

Which seems apposite, somehow.

Given that tomorrow is the first day on the Work Placement Scheme.

OK, granted, it’s a local charity shop.

But it’s nice to say I’ve got to get up for something in the morning!

Now … 

Let’s get a move on, shall we?

I think I’ve got some writing to do, before hand … 


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 7-6-2014

I’ve got to admit, I’m glad that worked!   

An old friend’s recently got himself a new(ish) laptop — a second hand MacBook — after getting one too many virus’ on his Windows machines.

And, bless ’im, he let me cannibalise his two old desktops for parts, letting me have a couple of internal DVD drives, and the smaller internal hard-drive.   One with a older PATA connection.

I was and am grateful.

I get some extra storage space for my aging G4: and an upgraded DVD re-writer drive.

He get’s to sell on any other bits and bobs: a couple of video cards, a larger and more modern hard-drive, and some more substantial RAM modules.

Frankly … ?

Everybody’s happy!


Friday, 6 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 6-5-2014: Weeeeeeeeed

Blimey, there’s a thing … !

Bless him, survival expert, Ray Mears, has been doing a three part series about the natural environment of the USA.

And … ?

Well, he’s just been doing a bit about stagecoach travel across the various bits of Arizona’s desert.

I’m just betting anyone travelling in the bloody things would’ve been glad when train travel became a viable alternative.

The trains would have been a LOT less cramped than the coach.

That’s not why I’d’ve taken the former.


It strikes me the trains would’ve had something the stagecoach didn’t.

An on-board toilet … 

Yeah … 


Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 5-6-2014: The Apple ][

Hmmmm … 

In with the new and out with the old.

Which sounds like a strange thing to say: until you realise I’ve got the last ever episode of The Tomorrow People on in the background.

In one sense, it’s a shame it’s been cancelled: it was starting to shape up.

AND lead up to a frustrating cliff-hanger ending that will never be resolved.

On the other hand … ?

Channel 4’s E4 channel is trailing something called The 100: which looks like it could be interesting.

Possibly, we’ll have to see, won’t we?


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Brentwood Gazette’s Weekly Teaser — 4-6-2014: Dunkirk

Hmmm … 

Well, that’s officially official, then.

I’ve now got a placement at a local charity shop, courtesy of the Work Placement Scheme.

For four weeks.

How much help this will be, I don’t know.

But … ?

Well, if it does some good, that’s helpful.


The Daily Teaser — 4-6-2014

Hmmm … 

That seemed to go well.

I told you, yesterday, that I was off to sign up for the government’s mandatory Work Placement Scheme.

Run by SEETEC, who I’ll happily admit to having a bad time with, during the two years on the Work Programme.

Yesterday’s meeting didn’t seem to go to badly: they’ve managed to arrange a placement for me in a Brentwood based charity shop.

Who want an interview: they’ve had some sorts, apparently.

Fair enough.

Although my ONE question … ?

Is what happens if I don’t get through the interview?

Hopefully, there’s a back up plan … 


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 3-6-2014: John Dykstra

Hmmm … 

OK, I’m up, comparatively early.

Just in case you didn’t notice … !

There’s a reason for that.

I’ve been signed up for the government’s Mandatory Work Placement Scheme.

Run for them, by a quango called SEETEC, over in Basildon: where I have to be by 9:30.

Hence the early start.

Speaking personally?   Well, frankly, I’m not expecting much in the way of help.

SEETEC may have improved its services and staff in the six months since I left the Work Programme.

Somehow, though … ?

I doubt it.

We’ll see what happens, shall we?


Monday, 2 June 2014

The Daily Teaser — 2-6-2014

Oh, wait, hang on … 

That sounds … 

Ominous … 

 Are you familiar with the name of Madeleine McCann … ?   The three year-old girl who went missing, whilst on holiday with her family, in Portugal?

Apparently, she’d been taken — by someone —from the holiday apartment the family were staying in.

It’s ALSO one of those cases that didn’t exactly endear they press to the British publice: they weren’t exactly behaving especially well: practically accusing Madeleine’s parents of killing her.

This, on top of accusations of bad police handling of the case: by both the Met, and Portuguese.

Recent years, though, have seen a re-run of the investigation.

With the result that today sees a search of an area of scrubland in Portugal, near the resort where Madeleine McCann went missing.

Apparently, search parties are searching for something.

Personally … ?   Personally, I can’t help but think that sounds ominous.

Outside of that … ?

Well, I feel sorry for the child’s parents.

And think I’d’ve rather found out what happened — good or bad — a lot sooner.