bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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  • My Life and Times

    I was born in 1939 BC. That's 'Before Computers'. Luckily I survived the following events in my life, such as World War II, The London Blitz, Rationing, and worst of all... Archbishop Temple's School.

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    During the mid 1950s I was enjoying Rock 'n' Roll and being a first generation teenager, when suddenly, just like Elvis, I found myself in uniform during 'The Cold War'...and then

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    I became 'a family'. Which meant that I sort of missed the 'swinging sixties', but still managed to look a complete prat in the 70s, just like everyone else.

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    During the 'Thatcher Years' I lost my hair and a lot of people lost a good deal more. My career fluctuated to say the least as I was demoted, promoted, fired and hired a number of times, but still I managed to stagger on into a welcome retirement and to celebrate 50 years of happy marriage.
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Archive for November, 2011

Shoot a Santa for Christmas.

Posted by Big John on November 30, 2011

Many years ago when I used to take my daughter to see Father Christmas, I was always a little embarrassed when she would ask for a boy’s toy, for she was not big on dolls and the like, so she usually walked away with a toy pistol or rifle. I was reminded of this when I read this “Only in America” story. 

I also read that, in this country, if anyone wants a job as a Santa in a store or mall this Christmas they will have to be vetted in case they have a record for child molesting. Well I can’t see them including it on their ‘CV’ can you ?

OK, I know that paedophilia is a serious subject, but I have to smile a little when I see it reported that children can no longer sit on Santa’s knee just in case some pervert has slipped through the security net, and is intent on doing a bit of groping in the grotto.

Personally I think that ‘nonces’ should be recruited as Santas, and then be packed off to Arizona, where I’m sure the parents at Scottsdale’s gun club could use a few live moving targets.

Blimey! No wonder the bloke in the red suit and long white beard in the gun club photos…

… is looking so nervous ! 

Posted in humour | 2 Comments »

Holy murder.

Posted by Big John on November 27, 2011

Anyone who is familiar with this blog will know how much I enjoy a good religious nutter story, but here’s one that most definately did not bring a smile to my face.

Yes, it would seem that a bunch of dangerous loony witch-doctors masquerading as Christian pastors have been exposed as being responsible for the deaths of at least half a dozen people in this country who believed the claim that their mumbo-jumbo cured the HIV infection through exorcism and prayer.

Now I get a bit confused when it comes to all these weirdo churches, but most seem to belong in the category of .. ‘fundimentalist Pentacostalism’ .. or .. ‘loony Evangelicalism’. This latest crazy bunch call themselves the Synagogue Church of All Nations, and as you can see from their website there are a number of ways in which they can fleece their gullible flock.

It wasn’t so long ago that even churchmen in the more mainstream Churches were indulging in ‘back to the Middle-Ages thinking’, with talk about Aids being “a plague sent by God”, so I’m not surprised to see this story about some bloke wearing a purple frock and waving a crucifix declaring that .. “Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter”, and guess what ? …

Yes, he used to be the Vatican’s chief exorcist ! .. Just as Pope Benedict XVI, when known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s enforcer of doctrinal orthodoxy, or what used to be called … “The Holy Inquisition” ! .. an outfit in an altogether different league to the Synagogue Church of All Nations.

Before I get too carried away on the subject of religious brainwashing and intimidation I’ll take a breather, and leave you with the words of the French essayist and philosopher Denis Diderot, who was one of the originators and interpreters of the “Age of Enlightenment”, and who summed up my feelings exactly when he said that ….

…  “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”.

Posted in rant | 3 Comments »

Pass the turkey burgers.

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2011

Firstly may I wish all my American friends a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. I hope that you all have a great time.

Having said that I wouldn’t mind betting that, somewhere here in the UK, some greedy bastards are working on some way to turn this all American celebration into a British one.

Already in this country we have adopted so many aspects of American life which may bring enjoyment to adults and children alike, but also make hundreds of millions for the money grabbing bosses of the companies who have encouraged our traditional festivals to be replaced by such events as  … ‘Trick or Treat’ ..  Valentine’s Day ..  Mothers’ Day .. Fathers’ Day .. and more !

It can’t be long before our children are ‘brainwashed’ into wanting Fourth of July fireworks and barbecues, and some clever dick comes up with a story about giving thanks for those descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers who returned to England and opened …

… the first McDonald’s. :-)

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

I bet it’s a case of … “One hand giveth etc …”

Posted by Big John on November 22, 2011

Don’t you just hate it when you pick up the mail and find one of those thick brown government envelopes ?

Well, last week I received one. … Oh ! shit … I thought, I bet the tax man thinks that I have some extra cash stashed away somewhere (which of course I don’t) and wants his share, or else he wants a bit more of the pension I slaved and sweated .. grafted .. worked .. pissed about for all my life.

Here we go ! … I thought as I opened the envelope and discovered several pages. I expected to find the usual questionaire about what I had earned since the days of pounds, shillings and pence and what I had spent on travel in the days before motorways and parking meters.

Then I noticed that the covering letter was not from ‘Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’, but from ‘The Pensions Service’. The enclosed documents contained bewildering sets of figures regarding the various amounts deducted from my pay over the years as contributions towards my state pension, and the details of how much I had been paid each week since I retired.

OK ! … I said to myself … So how much do they want me to pay back ?  …. and then …

BINGO ! … I suddenly noticed the following … “We will make a payment of £1,616 (approx. $2,500) into your account. This is the money we owe you“.  Yes, the buggers had been under-paying me by about four quid a week since I put my feet up back in 2004.

Now that is not the end of the story, because today I received another brown envelope from the same people informing me that I would receive a further payment of £173 (approx. $250) ..”to cover any loss of use of this money”.

So a good result so far, but I can’t see the blood suckers at Her good old Maj’s Revenue and Customs Dept. letting me get away with it, and that the next brown envelope will probably herald that …

… “the tax man cometh” !

Posted in humour | 5 Comments »

Big ‘phone, small print !

Posted by Big John on November 19, 2011

You may remember that recently my “DECT” telephone decided to call it a day at the same time as my computer was playing up. Well I managed to sort out the computer, but I had to buy a new telephone.

I know ! .. I thought, I’ll buy one of those “easy for old farts to use” models with the BIG number buttons, large bright display and adjustable volume control. Well, none of us are getting any younger and I could be needing all those features anytime soon.

So I searched the web for a simple cordless telephone which incorporated an answering machine, and spent bloody ages trying to find one. In fact there is no such thing as a “simple” telephone anymore, for they’ve all got …  Handsfree speakerphones … Baby phone / room monitoring …  5 polyphonic sounds & 10 melodies …  Alarm call & date reminder …  Paging … 150 numbers & name VIP directories …  20 last number redial …   Automatic redial …  Caller ID/CLIP … Call transfer  … Intercom …  40 minute answering machine …   Remote access … Call screening … and … a PIN protected mailbox. It wouldn’t surprise me if some had a “Beam me up, Scotty” button !

Now why would I want to store 150 numbers ? I can count the people I call on the fingers of one hand and none of them are VIP’s and I would probably forget the PIN number to my “protected mailbox” if I had one. 

Well to cut a long story short, I did eventually find an ‘old git friendly’ DECT ‘phone, and I’m quite pleased with it. It’s fairly simple to use and can be silenced when I’m having my afternoon nap. The only problem came when I unpacked the box and started to read the instructions which come in every bloody language under the sun, and mainly consist of tiny little diagrams linked by even smaller arrows, which must be difficult for even a young person with perfect sight to see and understand. How the manufacturers expect old biddies with dodgy vision to manage I don’t know. Ah ! well … 

… Pass the magnifying glass !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Don’t panic ! The cavalry is coming.

Posted by Big John on November 16, 2011

I can promise you that when ‘The Games’ start next year this will be an ‘Olympics Free’ blog, but until then I will be commenting on any aspect of this unwanted event that gets my attention.

Just as we are coming to realise that our Border Control Agency has been letting into our country just about anyone who waves a passport under their noses, someone has started to get in a panic about the terrorist threat to the Olympics, which prompted our Defence Secretary to state in the House of Commons that … “there will be a full level of multilayered defence and deterrence for the London Games, including ground-to-air based missiles in London”. Umm ! .. Does he mean to tell us that London is not protected from suicide pilots at the moment ? As usual I get the impression that no one in the government has got a bloody clue about what is going on !

Still, never mind, for the Yanks are coming. Yes … the FBI is on the way, and it is reported that 1,000 armed US Federal agents are being sent here to ensure that nothing happens to their fellow countrymen and women when they arrive in “Little Old England”. From what I recall, in recent years, they have not been all that good at protecting their fellow citizens back in “the good old US of A”. I dread to think how they will react if they find themselves passing through ‘Londonistan‘ on their way to the stadium.

Now I’m always happy to welcome our American cousins to these shores, and never forget that if it wasn’t for them I’d probably be speaking German now, but I’m afraid that if Al-Qaeda or some other group of murderous loonies (including our home-grown variety) is intent on causing mayhem, a bunch of gun-toting ‘G’ men will be as much use as …

…   George Armstong Custer was at the Little Bighorn .

Posted in humour, political, rant | 3 Comments »

“Ouch !” .. We shouldn’t laugh, but ….

Posted by Big John on November 12, 2011

I know that I often refer to stories in the press as being … “a load of old bollocks” … Well here is one that most certainly falls into that category !

“It must have been excruciatingly painful.” said the judge.  I bet it was ! .. Testicles and teeth coming together doesn’t bear thinking about; but what I can’t understand is how, during a drunken brawl, did Martin Douglas come to expose his ‘meat and two veg’ to the shark like teeth of a very mad Maria ? It must have been a very peculiar punch-up indeed.

During such a fracas one might expect to receive a black eye, a thick ear or even a kick in the cobblers, but not a set of knashers round the nuts !

Perhaps Martin is a member of some ‘fighting flasher’ martial arts cult, who push their ‘crown jewels’ into their opponent’s face as they pin them to the ground; and if that is the case then Maria was a very brave lady for facing up to this dangerous willy waving warrior, and …

… “biting off more than she could chew” !    :-)

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »

“At the eleventh hour …”

Posted by Big John on November 11, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

 
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