Monday, 26 December 2011

Tools- it's what makes us more than monkeys

There's a good chance that over the festive period some of you may have received a tool for Christmas. I myself had my eye on a cordless Bosch drill with two lithium-ion batteries.

I didn't get it, but I'm not bitter.

Anyway it got me thinking as to what the best tools were. I've had to seperate them into categories as it's not fair to put a hammer against a drill, there would just be no competition.

So to start with let's kick off with hand tools-


Screwdriver (flat head)- It's a good one to kick us off. There's nothing better for removing flat headed screws (although a rarity these days). Where it really comes into it's own though is removing lids of paint cans.


Chisel- The scope of the tool is limited, and once blunt it's nothing more than a crap screwdriver. However when it's sharp wood better watch out. It's other advantage is that when blunt you get to sharpen it on a wet stone. Which, if you've done it, is pretty cool.


Screwdriver (posi-drive)- You won't get far in life without one of these bad boys in your tool box. Now the screw of choice for most this screwdriver makes mean work of most. It's only drawback is that it is not a one size fits all. This can lead to screw stripping and the ensuing headache.


Hammer- Boom. Who would have though that a lump of metal on a stick could bring so much joy. It's uses are endless (as long as those uses are hitting things, or removing nails). You can build and destroy in equal message with this tool. Want something made? Club it together with a handful of nails. Not happy with it? Smash the shit out of it after.


Hand saw- They look mean. They don't just cut wood. They gouge it. As long as you're dealing in straight lines, and have arms like a WWE wrestler, you can halve wood all day long.

The winner- Hammer.

The next category is where we really get into it, power tools-


Sander- Sick of splinters? Smooth those fuckers out with one of these bad boys. Take the effort out of repetitve sanding by strapping your paper to the under side of this and let it go to work.


Jigsaw- Don't let the name fool you. This is no toy. Even the basic models now come with laser guides. There is no better way to quickly cut a wonky shape.


Nail gun- With some tinkering you can actually shoot nails. Amazing. Unfortunately this also requires that you don't use a hammer, so it loses point there.


Circular saw- Sick of using the manual saw? Upgrade to this beast. It's no wonder power tools feature so often in horror films and Casualty. Don't take your eyes of it for a second. This fucker will have your fingers off faster than a chav's staffy. For added manliness cut without the hoover extractor and spray your wooden victims all over the floor.


Drill- Screwdrivers? Fuck' em. Unblemished wall space? Fuck it. With a handful of rawl plugs, a drill bit, and a heart full of dreams you can turn any wall into a picture hanging, shelf having, paradise. You can also assemble furniture, hang doors, and drill out locks with this puppy. Plus once you've got the hang of using the chuck without a chuck key, you'll feel like a god.

Winner- Most people will have guessed my winner, it is of course the mighty drill.

Of course there are a multitude of tools that have not made this list. Some simply because i've forgotten about them. Others because I felt they didn't quite belong in either category. So I'd now like to present the honourable mentions. Tools that compliment the above-


Tape measure- You can do a lot of things without this, but the chances are they won't end that well. Only a metal retractable one will do.


Spirit level- Is it a game? What's the spirit? Who knows, what I do know is that without one your shelves will be pissed.


Stanley knife- Before it was adopted by 'football casuals' in the mid-eighties the stanly knife was perfect for cutting carpets, trimming errant wood, or sharpening pencils in a manly way.


Plane- A now underused tool, but if you need to take gouges out of the side of a door, there is nothing better. If you get it going properly it's a joy to use. Get it wrong and whiplash awaits.


Pliers (all types)- This was close to being included in the hand tools section. Pliers can do so much, from gripping things, to, well...er, gripping other things.

So that's it. If you can have only two tools opt for the hammer and drill.







Monday, 19 December 2011

The labyrinth that is the mind of woman


A lot has been written on this subject. I have no doubt that a lot more will be written, and my humble efforts will be by no means the most well formed, or conclusive.

There are certain situations that almost all men will find themselves over the course of a relationship. Here they are documented with the safest reponse, and the horror that is the response I may, or may not have given.

Difficult Questions

These are loaded questions that have an honest answer (wrong) and the correct answer.

The weight gambit-

Question: Do I look like I've put on weight?

Safest answer: No, of course not. If anything I think you've lost a couple of pounds.

Why it works: It sounds like the truth, and it's what they wanted to hear. The positive reinforcement of observation shows you care, and pay attention. Good boy.

Terrible answer: Maybe a little bit, but so have I. Your body shape just changes as you get older. I love you regardless.

Why it fails: It may have been the truth, but first of all she doesn't give a shit if you've put on weight. Secondly you're telling her she looks old. Finally you're trying to cover your crimes with an 'i love you'. Get thee to the dog house.

The celebrity delusion-

Question: Do you think {insert your choice of hot celebrity} is attractive?

Safest answer: No. Not at all. She seems a bit false.

Why it works: Immediate negative response. Follow this by what your better half is thinking and you're gold. Of course she's false, I'm glad you agree. Smug face.

Terrible answer: Maybe a little. She seems nice.

Why it fails: It sounds like a lie. What you're actually saying is that if you had the opportunity you'd tear your arms off to sleep with said celebrity, even if that is the truth.

You're also saying that if your significant other looked more like the celebrity in question, you'd love her more.

The ex conumdrum-

Question: Do you still speak to her?

Safest answer: No.

Why it works: This is the only answer to give. Don't be fooled, the truth doesn't set you free. Unless you call 'free' a potentially never ending barney.

Terrible answer: Yeah, we're actually really good friends.

Why it fails: Men have a wonderful ability to seperate emotion from sex. Women do not. By having contact with an ex, you're actually still shagging her. Apparently.

Question: Have you done that {insert menial task} that I asked you to do?

Safest answer: I'm doing it now (drop whatever you are doing and begin menial task).

Why it works: You both know that you'd forgotten. The only way out is to do it without hesistation.

Terrible answer: I was going to do it {give rough estimate}. It will get done, just in a bit (commence staring at TV whilst hammering the playstation joypad like an automaton).

Why it fails: You're ignoring her, and you've forgotten to do something. Not only that you're not admitting you've forgotten, you're pretending you actually planned to do it later. It also highlights that something that is important to her, is not to you. Bad news.

Sticky situations

Not questions as such, but situations that might lead to a similar line of questioning as above.

The work phone call (daytime)-

The set up: You've given her your work number for emergencies. One lunch time she decides to call. You answer the phone, a little anxiously. It's ok it's just a chat. That's quite nice you think. The call draws to it's inevitable close. She says 'I love you'.

You become acutely aware that the office has got very quiet. It's almost as if all the men are listening to see what you do, as are the women. The pause has been too long. You mumble back 'yeah, me too'. Quiet, the receiver goes dead. All the men in the office smirk, you pussied out. All the women scowl, you shit. You're in trouble. Fucksticks.

The fall out: Silence. The cold shoulder, and the dreaded 'there's nothing wrong' statement. Despite you vainly trying to explain the predictament the only way out is to man up and declare your love in the office. Red faces don't last. A woman's memory does.

The work phone call (evening)-

The set up: For whatever reason (hard week, leaving do, Christmas party) you're out with work colleagues. You've made it exceptionally clear you'll be out and that you might not answer your phone.

Your phone rings. You think twice about answering, but you do anyway. It's loud where you are, but you can just about to hear. You're in a throng of colleagues. Your conversation is stunted and unintentionally you sound distant. Next to you Jane from accounts (who's now merry) guffaws loudly in your direction. With crystal clarity it is picked up by the receiver.

'Who's that?' you betroved asks, half angry, half concerned.

'That's Jane from accounts', you innocently reply, 'she's pissed'.

'You've never told me about her'. Short, sharp retort.

'Erm, I never really usually speak to her, that's all. We're all in the pub', again innocently.

'Well I can see you're busy with i Jane i, I'll leave you to it'. Phone goes dead.

The fall out: Similar to the previous situation. You're in trouble for nothing, but you're going to have to take it on the chin. Jane should never be mentioned again.

Meeting friends for drinks, solo-

You've given due notice, you've even put it on the calendar. You've gone through the usual questions, you're not sure when you'll be in, you don't need dinner, and you'll try to be quiet.

You feel confident and happy that a good night lies ahead. You're in the snug chatting away with mates, reminiscing with friends. You decide on a trip back from the loo that you'll ring the mrs. After all you're a nice guy.

Then the unexpected happens. 'When will you be home?'

This is unexpected. You're on the back foot. You weren't going to get in until after lasties with a skin full. No matter how this conversation goes, whether it's a good or bad outcome, you'll be uncomfortable for the rest of the night. You'll probably even leave early. Was this her plan? Maybe.

Meeting friends for drinks, couple-

Her friends: It's going to be a long one, and it's going to cost. Make the best of it and accept this fact early. You might even have fun.

Your friends: Are a distant memory reserved for furtive phone calls.

The final solution-

Should you decide that your relationship has run its course it's important to handle it the right way.

The right way- Meet at a discreet neutral location. Be brutally honest. Prepare for a scene, accept it when it comes.

Don't drunk dial a week later.

The wrong way- Dial her number. Be vague and evasive. Arrange a date when she's out to pick up your stuff.

If you do choose the above option, if you're offered an easy out, take it. 'Is it someone else?'- YES. You'll save on your phone bill, and what will become a very circular conversation.







Monday, 12 December 2011

The 2011 Shit List

In a new feature to the blog (another in a long list of features that never went anywhere) I've compiled a list of companies and people that have royally pissed me off this year.

So here's The 2011 Shit List-

SouthEastern Trains

I stopped using these retards about 2 months ago when I changed jobs, and I couldn't be happier. They are completely incompetent. Their failure to run a train service is only matched by their failure to treat their passengers with any degree of respect.

I suspect that if I even take one journey with these numpties in 2012 this will be a non-mover.


Every dickhead who fails to indicate


****WARNING**** The c-bomb is dropped shortly.

I'm concerned. I fear there is a shortage of indicator bulbs. Either that or there is going to be a monumental number of MOT fails next year.

Or it could be that you're one of the human filth who fails to use that small lever on the steering column to let other motorists know your intended direction.

It's not difficult to use, and it is required by law. So stop being a cunt and use it.

****C-BOMB DEPLOYED. WOMEN OFFENDED, 100%****

Drivers in the wrong lane


The guys above are lucky, they retain their status as human. They're still scum, but they are human. It's only thanks to these guys though.

If you drive in the wrong lane you are sub-human scum. A handy indicator is if the people to the left of you are traveling faster than you are, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LANE. YOU DICKHEAD.

I'll accept that sometimes you just end up in the wrong lane, as long as you make an effort to move, that's fine. It's the people that stare straight ahead determined to force people to carve around to get by.

We're all looking at you, and we all hate you.

123reg

These guys have managed to swoop in at the last possible moment. Again incompetent customer service is a major factor.

You'd think if you buy something you'd be able to use it, wouldn't you? Not with these boys. After a week of fruitless endeavour it only cost me £12 of phone calls to get my money back.

EDF Energy

Customer service is becoming a theme here. EDF get the next entry, why? Well I finally decided to compare my utility costs, EDF came up cheapest. Apparently the change over would be easy.

6 months on and EDF have yet to bill me as they can't agree a starting meter reading with British Gas, I've now moved to nPower. Will they be here next year?

BBC Radio 1


I sit next to the radio at work. I'm sure Radio 1 play more than 10 songs. However due to the 10 songs that they have on heavy rotation it's all I remember. Most of these songs are complete dog dirt.

The DJ's with a few exceptions are also vacuous idiots.

The twat that can't work the padlock


Unless you use the car park I share this will have no relevance to you. This person always puts the padlock on backwards. Everyone else puts it on the other 'correct' way.

I know this because it's hotly debated with my neighbours. If I catch him at it he will learn the error of his ways.

Dover Pier


I broke my fishing rod here a couple of weeks ago. Black listed as a fishing venue from now on.

X Factor


I'm not going to bang on about the contestants or the format, or the scurriously exploitation. No, my problem is with the adverts. Does it really not already generate enough cash?

BT


For the i n t e r m i t t e n t broadband service. I just want constant service. It doesn't have to be fast, just constant.







Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Christmas Post

This isn't about Royal Mail.


It's that time of year so I'm going for a 'best of' kind of feel here. First up-

Best Christmas song-


Fairytale of New York

Everyone loves this, and it's definitely aimed at booze hounds. Sing cheerfully with mates, or sob along alone. However it's not the winner here.


Feed the world

Good ol' Midge and Bob eh? It's certainly synonomous with Chrimbo, but as it contains a healthy dollop of guilt it doesn't win either.


Merry Christmas Everybody

Surely the winner? Noddy giving it the big'un and a killer line that a drunk Uncle can bellow from the next room 'It's Christmassss!'. Sorry, not the winner though.

Merry Christmas every one

Bingo, we have a winner. Light hearted and full of festive mirth it's exactly what we all need. However the real clincher is the truely epic jumper that Shakey wears throughout.

Best Christmas film-

Bond

Is there any better way to spend a Christmas day afternoon than to snooze to the dulcit tones of Connery or Moore whilst gently leaking turkey farts? Well, yes, actually.

Star Wars

Not the shit new ones. The classics. This used to be a firm fixture, and it was my first taste many years ago. However the force is not as strong as it once was, so, not the winner, it is.

Zulu

This seems to be on at Easter more these days. As a child I had to endure this film every year to the point where I now love it, along with the slightly inferior, yet still great, Zulu Dawn. Despite it reminding us all of the glory days of the Empire and the bravery we displayed massacring barely armed locals with our advanced weaponery, it's not at top spot.

Die Hard

Could it be anything else? Although released in July 1988, it's set on Christmas Eve. There's no better way to get the family involved (the male side at least) as all ages can unite over the joy of seeing a dirty man in a vest taking out German terrorists. 'Now I have a gun, ho ho ho.' Yippee-ki-yay motherfuckers.

Best Christmas food stuff-

Roasties

In oil or in the more fashionable goose fat, crispy spuds are manna from heaven. They don't quite triumph here though.

Stuffing

With sausage meat. I can't stress this enough. Standard stuffing counts for dick. Even with the sausage meat it's not quite meaty enough for the win.

Pigs in blankets

Two words- DOUBLE MEAT. Winner. Fact.

Best cracker toy-

Fortune telling fish

We all know how it works now, still it's nice to think that the claminess of your palms can predict your future. Not entertaining enough for the win.


Nail clippers

A perfect distraction later in the day as the recipient absent mindly clips their nails long after dinner. It won't be long before the spring flies out to nearly blind Granny and the poorly made clippers are consigned to the bin.

Mini playing cards

Perfect for a adhoc game of poker for the multitude of nuts that inhabit most houses at Christmas. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but you quickly realise that the cards are incredibly fiddly. Dad thinks he's smart by bending the ace cards and the games ruined for everyone.

Mini screw drivers

The holy grail of cracker toys. Normally with a swish case as well. I've changed plugs with these bad boys. Just for fun. Clearly the winner.

Best use of leftovers

Bin

Despite best intentions the mountain of food you've nobley tried to tackle didn't go down, and so to the bin. This isn't the most romantic so it doesn't win this group.


Sandwiches

Turkey sangers for the week after? Sounds like a winner at the time. Until 3 days in when arid turkey is clogging your wind pipe like sand.

Cold buffet

You've already consumed over a days worth of calories at lunch, why not top it up? Inexplicably you're still hungry so picking at the Turkey carcass sounds like a great idea.

Curry

And the winner is- a cuzza. Don't kid yourself, the only sure fire way to use up a Turkey is to boil the bird and put the resulting flakings in a curry. Watch as family and friends gleefully shovel week old bird into their mouths flavoured with exotic spices.

So for the best Christmas ever-

Listen to Shakin' Stevens, eat pigs in blankets, watch Die Hard, fiddle with tiny screwdrivers, and then eat a curry.

Merry Christmas!







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