Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Inverness Swimming pool Highlife

This is an email I have sent to info at invernessleisure dot co dot uk but information contained within it is important to remember generaly.

I am writing concerning the security of the personal information provided by users of the High Life membership scheme. This information contains a photograph name, address and telephone number and credit card details which could be used by identity thieves if it is not properly secured. Is the data encrypted at the storage level? Who has access to the data and are they vetted for a criminal record etc.
The use of remotely readable cards to carry information is dangerous as it is possible to create a fake remote readable card if the card has passed within 25cm of a thief's (boosted) RFID scanner. A criminal could also wipe or change the details on the card.
It is very important that all personal information is securely held and as limited as possible because Identity theft is a self perpetuating crime where the criminals are making so much money that they can afford to have their own research and development people to work out how to extract personal information in order to make more money and unless those companies who are collecting the money keep it securely they could have the data stolen and their customers would loose money and the company would loose face and possibly be sued. You have my personal information (under my real name) and I want to make sure it is well protected.

Yours sincerely
Max Randor

Monday, August 28, 2006

read the sign it says

Paper Only!

I was recycling some paper and look what I saw inside the recycled paper container. If you look carefuly you can se expanded polystyrene sheets. There was also some cardboard which you can just see in the top right of the opening.
We removed the polystyrene sheets and cardboard (with difficulty) but someone is very stupid and rude or cannot read putting polystyrene sheets in the paper recycling could corrupt the whole lot and make it unusable. It is also illegal since someone who did something similar to their concil recycing (we don't have door to door recycling) was charged for corrupting 300 peoples recycling. (recycling in the Highlands is not very good the only place to get paper recyclins is Invergordan there is an industrial estate there where someone does paper recycling.

Sometimes I feel...

Sometimes I feel like someone is inventing new stuff and then changing the past so that it has been there years. On this occasion I heard about House yesterday and saw an advert in a magazine today – apparently lots of people have been obsessed with it for ages – but I don’t watch much TV especially not Channel 5.

I found out about IRC on Worldforge and saw it mentioned in a blog a few days later.

I know this feeling is wrong it is just that you don’t always see things until you know they are there and also because lots of clever people are inventing things and they may have been around years before they reach my attention and by that time they are probably going somewhere in the world.

Thus ends my pad of paper blog posts series. 1660 words. I hope you enjoyed it.

but the title just cried out for this
... Sometimes I don't :)

The return Journey

The continuing tragedy of Virgin Trains (episode 2)

The local train from the station near the camp was fine with plenty of space and luggage room (this was a not a virgin train).

However the Virgin train to Edinburgh was terrible fully booked with seat reservations all the way to Edinburgh and despite my seat reservation I ended up sitting on my bag in the vestibule, there was an elderly man in the seat I had reserved and he needed it more than I did. It should not be possible for all seats to be fully booked and the additional passengers which pay more for valid tickets which work all day have no where to sit. Also neither of my bags would fit in the overhead racks and the small luggage sections were full to the ceiling. There were additional complications caused by an irate passenger (who had also been annoying on the previous train) who complained that she would faint or have an epileptic fit if she could not be provided with a seat. (standing up causes epileptic fits? I think not). She resorted to insulting England and English people. Slightly loopy I am afraid. Oh well.

I asked if it was possible to advise the management of Virgin trains that not allocating all seats through reservation and then having additional passengers but instead reserving a few seats for the additional passengers might prevent repeats of the severity of the problem.

I was told that I could try but that there were “government plans to reduce the number of trains running and so it would only get worse and I should make the most of it”[approximately] this from the manager of the train. (what the government has to do with the decisions by virgin trains of how many trains they run I do not know – though perhaps they could be reducing the amount of subsides paid to Virgin)

Soon afterwards the slightly loopy lady complained that the train manager had been extremely rude to her after the manager had managed to create a seat and persuade her to move and sit in it (the lady did not want to squeeze along the corridor). The lady then proceeded to be rude to surrounding passengers which I later learned caused much hilarity. The train manager was not even in the same carriage when this supposed rudeness occurred. As I was originally writing this the train manager was phoning up to see if a policeman could get on at the next station and remove the lady because she was “upsetting everybody”. I pity the poor employees who have to deal with this.

One of the train crew agreed that ‘it is often like this’.

Train crew and passengers should not be subjected to this for the greed of the higher management.

Oh and the doors do not check whether anyone is between them before they close – lots of slightly squashed people. :)

A policeman came aboard at Carslie to try and remove the loopy lady sensitively she left but the manager was unsure whether she had reboarded but then she saw that the lady was on the station as we were leaving and so someone else will have to deal with her.

The plastic bag the lady left behind was disposed of in the bin, no one wanted to find out what was inside.

All the vestibules I can see are packed with standing people.

But Virgin does have Fair trade sugar. PR I think.

I took them up on there offer of a complementary drink and the orange juice and biscuits distracted me for at least 10 minutes.

At Lockerbie the train got even fuller and I do not think many people got off – though lots got on.

1 hour on the train from Lockerbie to the next station standing in a hot overcrowded vestibule. I do not anticipate this to be fun.

I usually like travelling by train, less hassle (especially with all the airport security checks) better for the environment… but travelling by Virgin trains is pushing it. Ahh my poor knees I will delve again into my in search of knee braces and hope that the weird pins and needles like pains that assault me after wearing wetsuits don’t get too bad.

The Scottish countryside however is living up to its usual beauty.

I think seeing me scribbling away in my notebook may have unnerved the crew slightly but they were all nice. I pity them the most as they have to do this every Saturday and probably have other journeys on other days. I know that this is the last weekend of the Edinburgh festival but this is no excuse if more people want to travel run more trains.

The strain lessened slightly at Haymarket but it is only a few minutes from there to Waverly.

Freedom at last 1 hour 20 minutes to eat my packed lunch before my connection leaves.

Thus ends episode 2 of the Tragedy of Virgin trains.

My GCSE Results

can be viewed by those who know me on my private MSN blog.
it boils down to 4A* 6A and 2 B

What would I do with £200 million?

(this was brought on by hearing that someone got £200 million in a divorce payment – impossible to spend?)

First I would put it in a bank – or perhaps several and make it a trust fund with myself as trustee and use the interest above inflation for renewable energy projects for peoples home offering and additional 30% grant on top of what the government offers which would be paid back twice in the excess electricity sold back to the grid or a fixed payment until it is paid back twice (if the electricity sold back is too low) – the payment would still be cheaper than buying the electricity or heat. I would also use it for other worthy causes and to make a state of the art energy efficient house when I need one. Putting the money back in later of course.

Virgin trains (episode one)

Not Enough Luggage Space!

Trying to fit more people in by having smaller luggage racks. I most definetly do not understand why the overhead racks are curved so that bags don’t fit in them. (perhaps the air conditioning?) argh, and I had to wait ages for them to open the doors – not as if they were doing anything inside. But having electronic displays rather than paper tickets stuck into the seats to show reservations could be good but the way they have done it means that a seat can look like it is vacant if someone has not used it for one part of the journey you are on but the fact that someone else has booked it later is not shown – and the positioning means that people sitting in the seats cannot see it. And also the insissent announcements encouraging you to upgrade to 1st class for ‘£10-20’. Fortunately the company was good do it was still an interesting journey and the scenery was great as well.

I had an interesting read of “Disciplines of a Godly Man” more of that later when I have finished it.

Ahrg overzealous air conditioning making it so cold you have to wear a coat is stupid and the doors cannot stay shut when the train rocks and open slightly before shutting again.

Paying toilets

It is not good that the toilets at Edinburgh Waverly are paying ones and that you have to scrabble around in your pocket for a 20p piece then wait in a queue before getting to some dirty toilets with no toilet paper, especially since most of the users will be spending a large amount of money on tickets anyway.

The Journey out

“All luggage on seats will be charged at the full adult fare’! I suppose that is one way of increasing the number of available seats.

Why did the guard pull all the luggage out from the racks by the door up onto the overhead racks. A little old lady could not reach her luggage (though later when she wanted to get up she did manage to get it down with difficulty).

The reason I did not put my bag in the overhead rack was because it was big and heavy and I did not want to drop it on someone’s head when I took it down or to lift it up in the first place

While I was away I wrote posts onto a pad of paper and I am copying them up onto Blogger.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Going away again

I will be away on a scripture union camp from tomorrow (saturday) until the following saturday and so I will not be able to post during that time sorry.

Also I have moved to the blogger beta because it has categories which should remove the need for several blogs and copying and pasting between them to make it easier to find stuff.
so there are still a few problems in the beta such as the navbar and normal blogger users posting comments under their user name. unfortunetly it is impossible to change back and so I hope these problems are fixed as soon as possible.
Hmm now where do I assign categories - I will go exploring.
See you next saturday and have fun!

Ahhgh I cannot find it and I don't have time to look through the help files now. - but they have feeds for comments! yey! and also for individual posts! :)
I need to use their new template layout things as well - and I definetly don't have enough time for that now. bye

3/4 of Palestinian children want to be suicide bombers!

3/4 of Palestinian children want to be suicide bombers!!!!!

According to a survey of 1700 Palestinian children by a psychologist in Palestine. This data is from last nights newsnight which you can watch or listen to online. This is very very bad news, if the children are ready to die then this conflict will not end. It will continue forever unless everything changes. Both sides are locked in conflict and held there by the conflict itself. Either Israel which is the only side which is coordinated enough to change changes its entire strategy and reaches out in love rather than in hate, of there will be war between them forever until one side is completely destroyed down to the last child. There are 1 billion Muslims. Israel cannot kill them all and if it tried then we (the rest of the world) would have to stop them. They would have to perpetrate a holocaust 333 times worse than the one they suffered. If they are not capable of this they could not do such a thing and would not want to do such a terrible thing. but after many generations locked in this struggle they would be destroyed. There are more Arabs than Jews and their number is growing faster. When one father has four wives! and 54 children! and the Jewish people are more restrained then they cannot hope to succeed if nothing else they will be outnumbered and out-bred. In the long term Israel cannot win, in the short term it can kill lots of people but in the long term they will loose. Israel I know your history I know that with God 300 can defeat thousands but is your God with you? Will he rain down meteors for you? Will he change the flow of time for you. Did he clear away your enemies before you? Does he prevent you from stumbling? Does he bring down fire from heaven at the call of your prophets. Where are your prophets? Where are your Judges of old? The anointed kings you demanded. Is he with you. At the end of a 2000 year exile you cried out to him and went home. With him you can withstand anything but throughout your history you have been conquered and exiled you turned away from him and so after warning you and when you ignored his warning he turned away from you. Only the guilt and pity of the West has sustained you thus far. But you have made enemies more numerous than yourselves. Enemies who will fight to the death and with their blood poison you.

Israel you must find again your appointed king and with your God you must wage the war of ideas you must love your enemy or they will destroy you. Or are you prepared to fight to the death? Knowing that you will loose? The only way out of this mess is love. And if you fail your God made you from one man children of Abraham remember he had another son Ishmael remember also Esau. Where are their children? in Palestine? Lebanon? Jacob fought Esau in their mothers womb. But would he kill Esau? Will you kill his children's children?

And if your enemies are not the sons and daughters of Abraham. they are the sons and daughters of Noah and before that Adam and Eve. Will you kill family? However far removed or will you mend again the broken bonds and stand together. There is only one way for Israel to win the war and it is harder for every missile they fire. Winning the war would I think be the greatest achievement in the history of humanity. Remember if you have the Creator of the Universe on your side anything is possible for he so loved the world that he sent his one and only son to die to save the world.

Will you choose love and life or hate and death?

Will you hear me at all?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A shock to the system

My recent move to Inverness from London has been a bit of a shock to the system. You should not have to wear a jumper and two pairs of socks in august!
However that was only for one day. The rest of the time then one pair of thick socks and a jumper suffices inside and putting a coat on is good for outside. There have only been about 2 days in which it has not rained in the three weeks we have been up here. That does not mean that there has not been lots of sun it just means that the weather is more unstable - it changes more every time you look out the window the view is different because the sky has changed and whether or not you can see which of the distant mountains.
It is usualy much more windy but some days the sea of the moray firth is as still as a sheet of glass with hardly a ripple. The Sea! Still! watching a sand castle (they do have sand up here) assulted by a sea with no waves is quite scary even without waves it easily overwhelms the defences that can be thrown up with sand - eventualy it over tops them (the only sand on the local beach is near the bottom and the tide rises several meters above the highest point of sand).
It is beautiful up here and there is a different walk for every day of the week with a few spare as well. It is 8 minutes to the nearest Tesco (though bread fish and other perishable stuff is half rotten or stale by the time it reaches Inverness) so going to the nearest farm shop provides nicer food that actualy tastes of something - but they do not sell everything.
In short I like it up here but it will take a while to get used to the temperature. I am sure Global warming wil sort out the temperature at the expense of making the weather worse and doing so much damage to all sorts of things that it is not worth it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My position on the Middle east Crisis (updated)

Belated publication yes but long held

Firstly Israel is making a huge mistake.
The military option is not an option that can solve the problem it will only cause further terrorism and it will achieve that through causing immense suffering.
Secondly even if Israel had decided to be so stupid as to decide on the useless military option they are using entirely the wrong tactics and strategy they are playing right into the hands of the terrorists. You have superior technology and firepower use it stupid don't bomb people and cities and villages and bridges and roads and infrastructure. Don't try and put Lebanon back 20 years in time you stupid fools. If you are going to blow anyone up blow up the people firing the rockets. You have the technology. You have cruise missiles that can travel almost at the speed of sound and hit the correct target with devastating power. You have radar systems that can track a tennis ball traveling at mark 3 hundreds of miles away. And that is with one warship that warship (launched recently from somewhere in Scotland the HMS Illustrious) can then hit that tennis ball with a missile. Why then does Israel not make its radar systems capable of detecting and tracking every single missile that Hezbollah launches and calculating the position of launch hit that position with a cruise missile in less than 30 seconds(It doesn't because each cruise missile costs £1.2 million and each Hezbollah rocket costs a couple of hundred). Turning every missile launch into an expensive suicide mission would quickly lower the number of strikes (and any computer connected to the Internet could then become an air raid warning speaker). I place this plan just to show the stupidity of their current military plan (except I did not consider the cost) . Of course this plan would not work it would not stop Hezbollah it would just win the battle and not the war. In the process it would bankrupt Israel and anyone who was prepared to support them but hey.
The Palestinians and Lebanon are the victims victims for is not the bully frequently one who was bullied? This is not an excuse but it is the cause all through their history Israel has been persecuted it was exiled to Egypt, Babylon, Persia and by the Romans all over the world. 2000 years being its longest period of exile and all through that it was persecuted. Then again it returned and this time as when they spent a while in Egypt their land was populated by another people and this time as before they drove the people away. They could have lived together in peace but they chose terrorism - Israel became a nation through kidnapping soldiers and blowing people up. If only Israel had listened to its prophets long ago instead of killing them. But so would any people.
Israel must reach out its hand in peace to the government of Lebanon if they are not strong enough to fight Hezbollah and disarm it if they are not lords of their own castle then Israel must help Lebanon it must stand beside Lebanon and ease its path letting Lebanon choose its own destiny and then helping it get there. Rather than putting Lebanon back 20 years it should put it forwards 30 for all they destroy must be rebuilt. They must not make another victim. They must be and raise up Lebanon as a beacon of peace, freedom and prosperity in the Middle East. They must ask for forgiveness and repair the damages they have made. If terrorists stand against you be not terrorised. Open your hearts and let the whole world see the love inside. And if the unruly and dirty children laugh at you and throw stones take them by the hands and wash their feet feed them and give them clothes teach them justice. But if you close your hearts and kick them in the face they will hide behind the tree and mug you when they are grown.
A cause is not an excuse but it still needs to be solved.
But I am like another prophet speaking in the desert and we all know what happens to those - they get their heads chopped off. and for this I think a wry smile.
Remember Solomons temple was built with cedars from Lebanon provided by the friendly king of Lebanon let it again be as it was before with Lebanon and Israel united in trade and in war against a foreign aggressor let them fight together the battle of ideologies together they may defeat terrorism but divided as so many dry twigs they will be broken.

Okay this post has been updated scram-jet has been changed to cruise with the corresponding change in speed because scram-jets are not yet anywhere near production. I also learn't that cruise missles cost £1.2 million and this means that my plan would be ruinously expensive. My excuse is that I thought that since such a large volume of military material is being bought for the wars in the Middle east the price must have gone down.
Apparently the HMS Illustrious does not have such a good radar as I thought I thought from what I was told that from Scotland it could track a Mark 3 tennis ball over the English Channel - maybe I misunderstood.
Ooh and look pictures of big explosions nice and dramatic.


by Sir John Betjeman (1930s ish)

Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow
Swarm over Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
Those air conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town -
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half-a-crown
For twenty years,

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washed his repulsive skin
In women's tears,

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sports and makes of cars
In various bogus Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives fizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales

Now this Is quite an old poem and so some of the words may not be known to all readers
Cad is an impolite word for someone who chases women (I did not know this one)
I do not think there are any other particulary dificult ones and if you don't understand them read more old stuff some old words really are quite good.
I hope you enjoyed this poem because I did.
An aristocratic home grown terrorist? No I think I agree.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Rose Tinted Spectacles

Shall I look upon the world
With rose tinted spectacles
Seeing not the pain and sorrow

Or shall I with ice coated ones
Stare out upon the world
Seeing not the joy and laughter

Or with mirror coated ones
Thinking only of myself
And hiding from the world
See not the love of others

Or with ones that look behind
Seeing only mine and others pasts
Not caring for today or the morrow
Seeing not the changes coming

Or in short sightedness
Living today for tomorrow we die
And seeing not the bigger picture

Or again in long sightedness
That the smaller joys in life are
And caught by misty cobwebs

I would see the good, and the
Bad – not to dwell on but to change,
Learn from the past
But look to the future
And here and now I
Will write this poem
Seeking a very strange
Pair of spectacles
For my eyes are not enough.

I’mmmmm Back

I am very very sorry for my extended absence but Orange and BT conspired against me and the wheels of corporate beaurocarcy took almost a month to turn. I think it was BT more than orange because they could not cancel the old people who used to live in the house we have moved to's broardband account until we had been here two weeks. But orange did not tell us we would need to do this when we called ten days before we moved and so we spent 13 days waiting for the line to be cleared and only one waiting to be connected - but orange had those 13 days to get ready.

Getting ready for moving and the moving itself took up another few day as well.
I would also like to mention their stupidity and time wasting nature of the system and the fact that domestic users treated as second class and have much longer delays than commerical users.

Anyway I will be getting back to exisiting on the internet again. I tremble at the thought of reading through my feed reader it will have grown very long indeed for such an absence.

I will be blogging soon.