If you are looking for my amateur radio blog this isn't it. Every now and then I have something to say that does not fit in to what I want to post at CQHQ so that will be posted here. What you can expect to find here is my opinions on current affairs, family news and funny stuff that made me smile.

Thursday 9 October 2014

Radical Terrorists or an Army of Spies

Imagine a terrorist organisation. This organisation might be seen as a threat to the security in a great number of nations. Rumours abound but in reality this terrorist organisation only exists in the minds of two radical students who probably would have grown out it by the time they left university. The Americans are worried so the CIA sends a couple of agents to infiltrate the group. Unbeknown to the CIA, Home security and the FBI have also sent agents as infiltrators. The UK’s MI5, French DRCI, Finish SUPO, Danish FE, Czech BIS, and Israeli Mossad also infiltrate the group. None of the agents know that the other agents are anything other than members of this terrorist cell. Those keeping watch on the group see that the threat seems to be growing; they are recruiting more and more members. As the level of paranoia rises more and more security agencies send people to infiltrate the group. Canadian, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese Kuwait, South Africa, Norway and Spain send agents. Australia, New Zeland, Norway and Qatar are not far behind. The group keeps growing but the original two students have discovered girls and are working hard for their degrees. To them their radical dreams are all but forgotten, but the infiltrators feel they need to prove themselves to the others in this expanding group. Small acts of terror are carried out as proof of their seriousness and loyalty. As time goes by these acts need to be made more and more audacious to impress the others in the group so the infiltrators are trusted by the organisation. What we now have is a large terrorist organisation where almost everyone is a spy, so is highly trained and has access to almost unlimited 
funds. In reality the whole thing is a non-entity but is just as dangerous as a real group of terrorists.

Think it sounds far-fetched?  It has happened in the past, is happening now and will most certainly happen again.            

Sunday 17 August 2014

Magpies and Shiney Objects

This week the BBC and various other press reports that "Magpies do not steal trinkets and are positively scared of shiny objects."

I for one know this simply is not true or at least was not true, they do or at least did like shiny things when I was a lad. When I was a child I observed Magpies nesting in a tree that I used to climb. The Magpie's nest was always full of bits of tin foil and other shiny oddments.  On one occasion I caught a Magpie trying to take or at least peeking away at a small mirror on my bedroom windowsill.

When I was a child everyone had their milk delivered to the doorstep by the milkman. A well observed habit of various birds was to peck open milk bottles to get at the cream. It was a favourite trick of Blue Tits, but on my early morning paper rounds I often saw Magpies, Starlings and Sparrows following their example.

I suspect that the Magpies associated shiny with food and tried to take that food back to the nest. Bearing in mind that the foil off chocolate and sweets might often contain traces of food and along with the milk bottle thing it is hardly surprising that an intelligent bird like a Magpie should display such behaviour.

This behaviour in Magpies was no doubt a learned rather than a natural thing and maybe due to the lack of milk bottles on doorsteps and the somewhat improved cleaning methods use in our streets, since I was a child, has been unlearned by successive generations of the birds.

The so call scientific tests with only 64 observations is such a small sample as to be insignificant. To be of any use there would need to be several thousand observations in Magpie colonies in different parts of the country, but then what would be the point. Sorry BBC, sorry DR Sheppard - Myth not busted.     


Monday 10 February 2014

Identity theft is on the increase. First my bank inform me my financial details have been compromised and now my insurance company tells me someone has been sacked for selling my details too. I am getting so paranoid I have to see photo ID every time I look in the mirror just in case I'm not me.

Saturday 19 January 2013

GB2FLB - Jan 2013 SOS radio week

Dave MW6NTG operating GB2FLB run by Flintshire Raynet Group for SOS radio week in the Flint Lifeboat station. Helen GW7AAU is logging. Dave is a 'white stick operator' and this is his first time operating on HF. Pretty good for his first try I think you will agree, but he is a professional radio presenter on Calon FM in Wrexham North Wales.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Lord Turner of FSA attacks free banking

Lord Turner, the head of the Financial Services Authority thinks Britain's tradition of free bank accounts is wrong and we should be paying the banks for looking after our money. Can somebody tell me what is actually free about free banking? They have our money, because very few companies will actually pay their workers in cash these days and so we have no choice, they then lend us our own money at exorbitant interest rates and pay us sod all for giving them the money in the first place. At one time we actually got interest on our savings, but now it is all used to finance big banking frauds and big bonuses for those responsible for those frauds. It is time the banks got their houses in order and started remembering that it is their customers who are both their investors and their biggest asset. I am no socialist, but it is time the big corporations, bankers and politicians are reminded just who put them where they are today; the general public. Personally I would set up a guillotine in Thread Needle Street and then heads would really roll, but until the revolution starts just remember banker is spelt with a capital W.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Three films I have been waiting for

Three films I have been waiting for... No 1 Ridley Scott's Prometheus

Three films I have been waiting for... No 2 Peter Jackson's The Hobbit

Three films I have been waiting for... No 3 Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises

Also out this year... Chronicle / Sherlock Holmes - Game of Shadows / The Raven / Hugo. 2012 looks like a good year for films.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Never ever buy gift vouchers.

Never ever, ever buy gift vouchers or book tokens. 30% of gift vouchers are never cashed. Most gift vouchers have an expiry date of between 6 and 12 months, but if the retailer who issues them has old stock they can be expired before you walk out of the door.

I was treated like a criminal because I tried to use £50 worth of gift vouchers I won in a competition in work. I was trying to spend them before they expired. After spending hours on the telephone I was told that because of fraud I needed to write a letter to get issued new vouchers.

Most issuers of vouchers don't do refunds or replace expired vouchers. This is corporate theft as far as I can see. I had £20 of vouchers from Capital Bonds that were short dated. I did not know where I could spend them until it was too late. When I contacted them I was told "We don't reissue or honour expired vouchers". We need a change in the law or at least someone to make a test case.