Friday, October 29, 2004

Who Cares?

In case anyone in Scotland who lives outside a city has failed to notice, NHS Scotland is disintegrating---and under a so-called Labour government too! Even under the Tories' divisive Internal Market Sog saw his local hospital develop, and the Trust kept close to its budget.

In the last few years Sog has seen the same local hospital steadily declining through chronic lack of investment as a larger hospital, miles away, basically bled it dry. People in the area who have no cars now face an extremely difficult journey in order to access the services that they helped pay for. We have already lost acute surgery and our accident & emergency department. Today we find that we are losing the psychiatric ward in the hospital, a facility that transformed the care of patients in the area with mental health problems. The proposed "service" provided by a Glasgow psychiatric hospital sounds totally unsatisfactory.

We are told that all this centralisation is necessary because of increased specialisation, and other factors including the improvements in junior doctors' hours and the European Working Time Directive. So-called "consultation exercises" gather the views of the public then totally ignore them. The bottom line is the Health Board's large deficit, and the basic unfairness of offering a completely inadequate service to a large proportion of the population doesn't seem to matter.

The scandalous lack of imagination shown in tackling these issues, and blindly applying models that only work well in areas of high population density, will cause years of misery to many of the most vulnerable people in our communities, but who cares?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Lessons In Democracy

I thought this might be the only blog in the world that had no comments on the Election in the USA, but this report in Boing Boing finally prompted me to vent my spleen. The fact that children who declared themselves to be Kerry supporters at a school visited by the President were being threatened with expulsion speaks volumes about Democracy According to Bush.

It is frightening to think that this dangerous lunatic will probably be re-elected the Most Powerful Man on the Planet. How can anyone support him when he stoops to desperate tactics like these?

Bush claims he sent troops into Iraq to give that country democracy, but this story is but one small example of how his political machine tries to stifle democratic debate at home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dr Death's Undoing

One of Sog's partners in his people mechanic business, Dr Death, previously seemed a relatively sensible chap, apart from a penchant for hanging off ice covered mountains. About 8 months ago, however, he told his partners that he had finally decided to do something really risky: to become a father for the first time at the age of forty.

If only he had divulged his intentions to Sog before Wodd (Wife of Dr Death) became pregnant! Sog could have arranged psychiatric treatment, under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act if necessary, to try to cure this madness.

Doesn't he know that babies, who have their own sleep-disturbing, soiled nappy-generating disadvantages, grow into TEENAGERS with all their attendant miseries?

Anyway, as they say, it's too late now. We're all on tenterhooks awaiting the arrival of Dodd (Daughter of Dr Death). No doubt she'll look angelic when she finally appears, but don't be deceived DD: the worst is yet to come....

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rediscovering the Web

Finally got around to installing Firefox last night. Extremely impressed. Seems to me to be as fast as Opera with a much less cluttered interface. Tonight installed the Sage extension, and got it to read the feed from this very blog. To my astonishment it worked without a hitch. Brilliant or what?

Proudly showed Wosog the results of my efforts. I KNOW she's excited about it really....

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Gdog Slightly Less Than Totally Sensible Shock!!!

When Sog was at the University of Life he was nicknamed "Captain Sensible" by certain fellow trainee people mechanics who had a racier lifestyle than he. Apart from a brief spell of teenage rebellion 2-3 years ago, it seemed to the adult Sogs that Gdog had inherited her father's sensible gene.

However, since turning 18 and leaving school, Gdog has been showing disturbing signs of being, well, slightly less than totally sensible. She has been led astray by two not very sensible friends, and has on some weeks consumed more than 14 units of ALCOHOL. Last night, before her first (admittedly not too critical) exam at university she went out to watch yet another film. She then went drinking, missed her last train, and arrived home at 1.30 AM. I ask you, are these the actions of a sensible girl?

If these trends continue, there is a worrying risk that Gdog will become a normal well balanced individual rather than a neurotic, angst-ridden wreck like her father! We cannot stand by and let this happen!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Trying Essay II: The Torture Continues....

Guess what? Gsog's teacher says his English essay is still a fail. He's got to rewrite it!

Do you think it's too late to put him up for adoption?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What Would Groucho Have Said?

These are my favourite quotes from The Great Man:

  • "From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."
  • "Here's to our wives and girlfriends....may they never meet!"
  • "I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception."
  • "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
  • "Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped."
  • "Military justice is to justice what military music is to music."
  • "She got her good looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon."
  • "Remember men you are fighting for the lady's honour, which is probably more than she ever did."
  • "Marriage is the chief cause of divorce."
  • "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing....if you can fake that you've got it made."
  • "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
  • "Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy."
  • "I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks."
  • "Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot."
  • "The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his cheque book open."

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Trying Essay

The week, so far, has been overshadowed by an essay that Gsog has to write for his Higher English---not his favourite subject. This is to be a critical analysis of how Pat Barker's book "Regeneration" communicates an anti-war message. Periodically, various friends phone up with plans for skating expeditions. This doesn't help Sog and Wosog's attempts to persuade Gsog that passing Higher English would be A GOOD IDEA.

In a way it's ironic that an anti-war book has, at times, generated near warfare in the Sog household. Wosog has been trying her level best to encourage Gsog to buckle down to the task, but it's certainly been an uphill struggle. Hopefully we'll get the essay finished today, then we just need to persuade the reluctant scholar to study for his Maths test....

The joys of parenthood, indeed!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Man on Fire

Man on Fire. Posted by Hello

A Night at the Cinema

Went with Gdog last night to see Man on Fire starring Denzel Washington (see picture). It was quite a late showing (started at 8.30 pm), and the cinema was packed for once. I thought it was a really enjoyable film. The reviews that I had read suggested that the first hour was good, but that the second half basically consisted of Our Denzel shooting most of the rest of the cast! I don't think this is fair. There is quite a lot of violence, but I don't think it's excessive. There is a decent plot, and the movie comes to a satisfactory, credible conclusion: what more can you ask for?

I haven't mentioned before that Gdog is a major movie fan. One of the local cinemas has an arrangement where you can pay £10 per month and see as many films as you want. Gdog certainly makes sure that she gets value for her money, and a spin-off is her growing DVD collection. She doesn't like going to the cinema on her own, and is always looking for someone to accompany her. I like films too, but Wosog and I can rarely agree on which movie to go and see. Gdog has very catholic taste in films, so we've now gone to see several together.

I'm still wakening too early, and I'm not sure this holiday is benefiting me as much as it should. If not a Man on Fire, I'm certainly not as cool as I'd like to be....

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Monday, October 11, 2004

An Unusual Week

This week is a little unusual in that Sog, Wosog and Gsog are on holiday while poor little Gdog has to get up early to travel by train to the University of Life. Unfortunately, no one has told Sog's body clock about this, and he still switched on like the proverbial light bulb at some ungodly hour. On the plus side, this did give him the opportunity to witness first hand how unimpressed Gdog is about being the only "worker" in the house! To say she is unhappy about the situation is like stating that Al Queda has certain reservations about US foreign policy!!

On a normal day in the Sog household Sog gets up first and reminds Gdog of the dreadful significance of her bleeping alarm. While Gdog showers in an attempt to convert her zombie-like state to something akin to consciousness, Sog has a leisurely breakfast then shaves. By then, Gdog has emerged from the shower and Sog can fight his way through the steam to shower himself.

Gsog relies on his parents to wake him up, never seeming to have grasped the concept of an alarm clock....or any other sort of timepiece, for that matter! The first attempt to raise him from the dead is made by Sog, but this practically never gets him out of bed. Sog next attempts to wake Wosog. After several episodes in which she dreams about being awake in response to Sog's increasingly unsympathetic entreaties, her body catches up with her brain, and she stumbles, blinking into the light. Now almost completely in contact with reality, Wosog, with the righteous indignation of an ex-smoker berating an unreformed nicotine addict, verbally blasts Gsog out of bed!

This morning here I am tapping away at my keyboard while a scowling Gdog wings her way to work, and the other two remain firmly fixed in suspended animation. Does anyone know the address of a body clock repairer?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

An Old Friend from Med School

In the he olden days, when Sog was a trainee people mechanic, students were loaned a half skeleton to help them learn the names of the bony prominences etc. This is the skull from Sog's half skeleton. I'm not sure how they got over the fact that each skeleton had only one head: maybe 50% of graduates from those days have only a hazy knowlege of the anatomy of the skull! Worrying isn't it? Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Teenagers....Who would have them?

Isn't it amazing how lazy teenagers are?

Only a teenager could let the bin in their room overflow rather than pick up the blessed thing and walk the short distance required to empty it. Only a teenager could let the floor of their bedroom get so cluttered that an adult trying to walk across it feels like they are attempting to negotiate a mine field!

Why is it that teenagers walk out and leave the door lying wide open, or have a shower and leave wet towels all over the floor? Why do they expect the stressed, exhausted wage slaves that fund their cosseted existence to pick up after them?

Up until now, Wosog has felt that it was more efficient overall for her to do the washing and ironing for all the Sogs. Recently, however, Wosog and Sog decided that Gsog and Gdog should shoulder their share of the burden of washing and ironing, and learn to be more independent in the process. What consternation this seemed to cause! How could they be expected to fit doing their own laundry into their busy schedules? Where could Gsog accommodate it between sleeping, eating, skating, reading skating magazines, Sky television (extreme sports channels), surfing the Internet (for skating sites), playing computer games (skating mainly), and....oh yea....studying his school work? Where could Gdog fit it in between sleeping, eating, surfing the Internet, studying for her degree and partying?

We're now in an uneasy transition period where both junior Sogs are waiting to see if Wosog really means it! They have each operated the washing machine once, and ironed the items that they consider essential. The other items needing ironed seem to be waiting for the services of the Ironing Fairy. Unfortunately, she doesn't appear to have visited yet. Watch this space....