Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Carnation milk

A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation.

When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores in the 1940's, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.

The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with 'Carnation Milk is best of all.'

She thought to herself, I know all about milk and dairy farms. I can do this! She sent in her entry, and several weeks later, a black limo pulled up in front of her house.

A man got out and said, 'Carnation LOVED your entry so much, We are here to award you $2,000 even though we will not be able to use it!'
This is it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Uncle Alex 04

Remember the spoof agony aunt email service that I set up some time ago, well something funny happened today. The email that I set up is genuine and I've received what looks like a genuine enquiry about a computer problem. I've no idea where they picked up the email but I presume the question is genuine because of all the information that it contains. It seems too elaborate for a joke.

Anyway, here's what it says:


A friend of mine has a Toshiba Satellite laptop running Win XP Media Center Edition. It has a virus, I believe it is XP Antivirus Protection.

The laptop has McAfee on it and it gives this message:

McAfee has automatically blocked and removed a Trojan.

About this TrojanDetected: Gereric Packed (Trojan), Generic Packed (Trojan)Location: C:\Documents and Settings\Admin\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\DUJSRVXE\tsstduhii[1].htm

Trojans appear as legitimate programs but can damage valuable files, disrupt performance, and allow unauthorized access to your computer.

System restore will not work. It starts to do the restore and then when the blue progress bar gets about half way finished it restarts the laptop and then when it comes back up, there is a message that System restore was not successful and cannot be restored.

I cannot disable anything in the MSCONFIG Startup tab, I get an error message “An Access Denied error was returned while attempting to change a service. You may need to log on using an Admistrator account to make the specified changes.”

However, I am logged in with an Admin account. I also cannot enter REGEDIT, I get a dialog box that states “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator.” As an added bonus, the laptop gets the blue screen with white numbers and letters, something that looks like this (0x0000800). It goes away quickly, but I believe it says something about a physical dump and then turns itself off!

To make matters worse, she does not have the Win XP CD or restore disk. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Or should I throw it out of the window of a tall office building…or moving vehicle?

On an unrelated issue, we have a PC in the office that is running Vista and the password is lost. Now we cannot install a printer because the PC wants us to be logged on as an administrator. Is there anyway to reset the password or get around this so we can install a printer?

Thank you,


This is my reply

Dear L

With regards your first question, the tall building option sounds good. However I advise caution with this approach. Firstly the building doesn't need to be too high because if you fail to let go of the laptop, when you throw it out of the window, you don't want to hurt yourself anymore than necessary and secondly it will help you avoid a charge of manslaughter by avoiding any pedestrians. You've already got enough problems without adding to them.

This solution is also good for your second question.

Uncle Alex

Sunday, March 29, 2009

They're fine when they work

Jan's computer is overloaded with rubbish (the electronics equivalent of the ashtrays are full) and I've been struggling to put it right. What it really needs is taking back to the metal and a fresh re-install of Windows but I can't find the original Windows XP disc. With it I could do some good, despite the fact that I'd have to spend hours updating all the software and reinstalling all her programmes. These things never run smoothly and whilst I have a fair idea about what I'm doing it's when you meet an exception that can make it tricky. Do you turn left or right?

Anyway, I tried System Restore yesterday and you know what, it works. I restored back a few weeks and undid a lot of crud and got it working smoothly again. At least it's now in a state where I can instigate some repairs. Bloody computers. And before you say it Chris, I can't afford a Mac.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sort that one out

So there we were lying in bed this morning discussing the succession to the throne.

Most people have other things on their mind but not us. We were discussing the bloody monarchy. Yippee.

Anyway, the idea of allowing the monarch to marry a Catholic was featured on the news and Jan, ever the wag, said that she wondered if the queen could marry a Muslim what would the picture on stamps look like.

I then chipped in with, 'where would the Queen Muslim wear the crown. Would it be under her burqua or on top.'

Let it never be said that we are flighty and and don't discuss serious issues.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's how long?

A man wakes up in hospital, bandaged from head to foot. The doctor comes in and says, 'Ah, I see you've regained consciousness. Now, you probably won't remember, but you were in a pile-up on the freeway. You're going to be okay, you'll walk again and everything, but.....something happened. I'm trying to break this gently, but the fact is, your willy was chopped off in the wreck and we were unable to find it.'
The man groans, but the doctor goes on, 'You've got $9000 in insurance compensation coming and we have the technology now to build you a new willy that will work as well as your old one did -better in fact! But the thing is, it doesn't come cheap. It's $1000 an inch.'

The man perks up at this. 'So,' the doctor says, 'it's for you to decide how many inches you want. But it's something you'd better discuss with your wife. I mean, if you had a five inch one before, and you decide to go for a nine incher, she might be a bit put out. But if you had a nine inch one before, and you decide only to invest in a five incher this time, she might be disappointed. So it's important that she plays a role in helping you make the decision.'

The man agrees to talk with his wife.

The doctor comes back the nextday. 'So,' said the doctor, 'have you spoken with your wife?''

I have,' said the man.

'And has she helped you in making the decision?'

'Yes, she has,' said the man.

'And what's the decision?' asked the doctor.

'We're going to re-do the kitchen." said the man.

Thanks to Chris for this.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Processionary caterpillars

These pests are a real worry for dog owners. The area around us is covered in Mediterranean Pines which are home to this insect. You can easily spot the nest (above).

The pine processionary caterpillar, is so called because of its habit of forming a long snake like procession at certain times of the year. They're coming down from their nests around now.

Don't let your dog, go anywhere near them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Abort mail

Have you ever written an email whilst pissed? Have you ever regretted sending an email? Have you ever remembered that you had forgotten to add an attachment seconds after you hit the send button?

Well, for all you Gmail fans there's help. Read this.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Byetta again

Grief, it's true. Less than a month after starting to inject with Byetta I've lost over 3.5 Kilos. Now the cynics amongst you, and you know who you are, would say that for me to lose 8 lbs shouldn't be too difficult, especially with so much to lose in the first place but I did it. Tomorrow is the next test. I have a blood test to check my sugar content, as it were, and that doesn't lie. Well not in a way that I can change it. As Doctor J keeps saying, if you lose weight then your blood sugar will automatically get lower so that's the target. We shall see.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Good news, bad news

It's Saturday and, fancying a quick one, it was off to the market in Sommieres. The bad news was that, according to Peter, I'd left too much money last week for my share of the drinks and the good news was that Peter picked it up so he was buying today. Now that's what you call a friend.

Get out of the way

First you crash land in the Hudson, then you take the passengers home. That's what you call a door to door service!

A once only offer

I'll do it for 50 Euros and it won't hurt!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Please Sir, I have to get 6

I was taught at a Jesuit College in Leeds and we were subjected to corporal punishment. For a serious transgression, we were whacked on the hand with a 'ferula' by a rather nice priest who always laughed and joked with you when you went to his office for your punishment.
The ferula was administered in 'threes', so you had to get three, six, nine or twelve. The higher numbers were absolutely stupid because once you'd had six your hands were totally numb and you couldn't feel any more after that.
Reading this article has made me think about starting a class action for physical abuse. I can't say that I suffered sexual abuse but there one or two dodgy priests (one priest we called Sister Mary Edwards) and pupils so you always had to be careful picking up the soap off the floor in the showers.
Despite the punishment, I look back at my time there with affection. I got a good education, had a great laugh and made some long lasting friendships. Not only did they gave me a good education but the thing for which I will always be grateful is that they taught me to 'think'. Unfortunately that is why I'm now an atheist, so in that respect they failed.
I have many fond memories of school. This one come to mind. We were in a physics lesson being taught by the same priest who gave us religious instruction. Being a bunch of smartasses we were always trying to trap the priest with silly questions. Anyway, we were talking about the speed of light or some such when one wag put his hand up and said, 'Please sir can you tell us at what speed Our Lady ascended into heaven?'

Thursday, March 19, 2009


With thousands of Africans dying daily from Aids I think the Catholic Church needs to take a long hard look at itself. The pope can never hope to be taken seriously when he comes out with stuff like this.

A friend recently returned to France from Zimbabwe. We talked about all the usual things, Mugabe et al, and I asked about the cholera epidemic and the numbers dying from it. He said forget cholera, ten times more people die from Aids each day. It's a catastrophe.

The Daily Mash sums it up nicely.

A call to arms

It's been nearly two months since the last one so I think that I'll go on strike today. I'm not sure exactly why or what I can seriously hope to achieve but I fancy a day in the sun, hate that Sarko and, as lots of others are doing it, then maybe I should as well?
As we all know it's the perfect answer to dealing with all our economic woes. While we're at it we could have a bit of a riot. Please understand, it's not me that wants to riot, it's those idiots that have hijacked our demonstration but hey, it could be fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Isn't she sweet?

This is a story about the bond formed between a little girl and a group of building workers. It's allegedly true and might help to confirm your belief in the goodness of people and that there is hope for the human race.

A young family moved into a house next door to an empty plot. One day, a gang of building workers turned up to start building on the plot.The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and started talking with the workers.

She hung around and eventually the builders, all with hearts of gold, more or less adopted the little girl as a sort of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had tea and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important. They even gave the child her very own hard hat and g loves, which thrilled her immensely.

At the end of the first week, the smiling builders presented her with a pay envelope - containing two pounds in 10p coins. The little girl took her 'pay' home to her mother who suggested that they take the money to the bank the next day to open a savings account.

At the bank, the female cashier was tickled pink listening to the little girl telling her about her 'work' on the building site and the fact she had a 'pay packet'.

'You must have worked very hard to earn all this', said the cashier. The little girl proudly replied, 'Yes, I worked every day with Steve and Wayne and Mike. We're building a big house.'

'My goodness gracious,' said the cashier, 'And will you be working on the house again next week?' The child thought for a moment. Then she said seriously:

'I think so, provided those wankers at Jewsons deliver the fucking bricks.'

The alternative view

Monday, March 16, 2009

No more three hour lunches

This article about French (or rather Parisian) eating habits is interesting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Toasty warm

We've now had over a week of beautiful spring weather so it's with confidence that we can say that summer is just around the corner. That of course means jobs in the garden. Jobs like tidying up the wood pile. It may be toasty warm during the day but its still chilly at night so a fire is in order.

By accident, rather than by design, I've tried different types of wood on the fire and it's amazing how they burn differently. At the end of the day, as long as it's dry, it burns. However, the intensity of the fire can be quite different. Historically I've used a mixture of 'white' oak and beech and even some vine wood. The latter burns intensely and give out a lot of heat but soon disappears. The type I like best so far is chene vert. It's quite a dense wood and gives off lots of heat but also leaves a lot of thick ash.

After a bit of effort I found this old ryhme:

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year

Chestnut is only good they say

If for long it's laid away

Make a fire of elder tree

Death within your house will be

But ash new or ash old

Is fit for a Queen with a crown of gold

Birch and Fir logs burn too fast

Blaze up bright and do not last

It is by the Irish said Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread

Elmwood burns like churchyard mould

Even the very flames are cold

But ash green or ash brown

Is fit for a Queen with a golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke

Fills your eyes and makes you choke

Apple wood will scent your room

With an incense-like perfume

Oaken logs, if dry and old

Keep away the winters cold

But ash wet or ash dry

A king shall warm his slippers by.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How true

Barbara gave me a good giggle with this picture. How true it is.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bobbing Bobcat

This new drug (Byetta) I'm injecting is messing me up. It makes me feel permanently full, so I'm eating less. I face each meal and don't think that I can finish it. Bloody hell I'll fade away.

Anyway, despite not feeling too good after I got up it was a day of significant activity with painting walls this morning and spraying weeds this afternoon.

Still, there's some good footy on the box tonight so I'll take that as my reward for being so industrious.


If you want to measure your reaction times, this is good fun. The best I've done so far is Bobbing Bobcat at 0.2466 seconds. Pretty damn good if you ask me. I bet you play it more than once.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy birthday sweetie pie

It's Jan's birthday today and, as a treat, I let her help me chop a huge pile of wood. After about 30 minutes and a lot of cursing, I managed to get the chain saw working. It hadn't been used for ages so needed freeing up.
Jan ferried the wood over to the horse and I scythed through it with the machine. We had it all finished by 11.30 because, when all is said and done, there's only so much fun that you can have in a morning.

It's amazing how self righteous you feel after accomplishing a niggling, back breaking job like that. If you look over the horizon and see a halo floating over our village, you'll understand what it is.

A recession busting tip

Now call me a greedy bastard but there's lots of money to be made out there my friends. (Take a look in the mirror. There's a clue there - Ed)

Man Flu

Women just don't understand.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Le Fourneau de Clelia

Out with Gill and Harry last night to Le Fourneau de Clelia for a double birthday celebration for Jan and Harry.
As far as we know, this is still the best restaurant around here although of late restaurants in Nimes, which is a little too far to be deemed to be local, are raising there heads.
What was interesting is how the owner of the restaurant, Laure, has changed things as a result of 'le crunch'. The menu used to offer a choice of three from starters, main and pudding for around 35 euros. Now, she offers no choice for the three course meal, which changes weekly, but has reduced the price to 24 euros. The food was still good.
Last night we had salmon gravlax, blanquette de veau a l'ancienne and pear tart. The wine list has also shrunk but a local domain, Domaine d'Orviel, from just down the road, featured well and we really enjoyed the wine. Overall very good.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

In the rough

For all my golfing buddies here's some new terminology. Stop me if you've heard them before.

A 'Rock Hudson' - a putt that looked straight, but wasn't

A 'Saddam Hussein' - from one bunker into another

A 'John Kennedy Jr.' - didn't quite make it over the water

A 'Rodney King' - over-clubbed

An 'O.J.'- got away with one

A 'Princess Grace' - should have used a driver

A 'Princess Di' - shouldn't have used the driver

A 'Condom' - safe, but didn't feel very good

A 'Brazilian' - shaved the hole

A 'James Joyce' - a putt that's impossible to read

A 'Ted Kennedy' - goes in the water and jumps out

A 'Paris Hilton' - a very expensive hole

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tourette's Syndrome

A man walked into a library and asked for a book on Tourette's Syndrome.

The librarian said, "Fuck off you twat."

The man said, "Yes, that's the one."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Leroy Merlin

I just love Leroy Merlin near Castries (for all you fellow anal types it's near Junction 28 on the A9). It's the biggest and best store of its type that you've ever been in. I could go there for a fun day out and just browse. When I'm in there, I find it difficult to pass an aisle without checking out what's on offer (unless it's girly stuff like wallpaper). Tools, electrical bits, you name it, I like it. I could spend hours looking at this stuff. (You're weird - Ed)

I even like the name of the place. It has a magical feel (they'll come and get you! - Ed) if you excuse the pun. I don't know if we were lucky but there also seemed to be lots of people to ask for help. It must be my female side but I have never been shy to ask for help in a store, or ask for road directions come to that. Nothing drives me more nuts that going or doing something without knowing all the facts.

Anyway, I was buying the chimney fittings for a satellite dish and the nearest employee was a woman. I'd always rather talk to woman than a man. A man is more likely to sneer at you. Didn't you know you needed a number 13 countersunk left hand thread thingy, you prat?

I told her what I wanted and she went bang, bang, bang, these are all the bits you need. Bryan, who gets an even bigger stiffy than I do in these places, couldn't fault her. And, she was a girl. What a woman, what a turn on! Excellent.

Are you lucky?

I've always considered myself a lucky person, but I haven't got anything on this guy! Take a look at this.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How's my invading

It's raining here today but this cheered me up. Then this.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Paying the price

Maybe prison isn't so bad after all. Whatever happened to chain gangs?