Farty's Fortunes

Monday, 31 December 2007

Out With The Old

Meg over at meish.org has a wee thing she runs every year called The Mayfly Project. Go on, give it a try.

Friday, 28 December 2007

'Tis The Season To Be Greedy

So. Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated. Visitors to LA Zoo have been eaten by lions. Tigers. Whatever. What's far worse than that, the twat upstairs has given me six, count them, six pairs of fecking socks for Xmas!!! What part of "Under no circumstances is anyone to give me socks" do you think he heard?

I suppose it could have been worse; this is the same twat who gave me aftershave for Xmas three years running. I've shaved my beard off twice since I left varsity: once for a job interview (which was the same interview as a different company had given me, except that without the beard I got the job, go figure) and once when Mrs Farty complained it was too long (she then threatened to divorce me if I shaved it off again...tempting). What the feck would I do with aftershave?

What I did get this year that I wanted was:

  • A Girls Aloud calendar
  • A six-inch high Dalek
  • Thorntons mmmmm
  • 2 bottles of Amarula
  • A Peter Kay DVD
  • More Thorntons
  • Shrek III DVD
  • Al Murray DVD
  • Alan Carr DVD
  • Oh and more Thorntons

What I didn't want but got anyway:
  • Fecking socks
  • A ball-scratcher
  • A Bored Desperate Housewives board game
  • Jim jams
  • Chocolates (not Thorntons, but I'll force myself)

Mrs Farty made sure she got exactly what she wanted for Xmas: "Here!" she said as she thrust a large handbag into my hands. "Wrap this in that paper, stick a gold bow on it and write this tag, 'To My Darling Wife, Merry Xmas, From Farty xxx'." Sorted.

Xmas dinner, at least, was a success. I managed to avoid having any turkey or sprouts whatsoever by sharing a duck with Little Miss Farty and her fiancé, D. Made the orange sauce myself by taking tips from the fifteen million recipes on t'internet, and not a drop went to waste. YUM! D's parents and Mrs Farty shared the turkey, bits of which are still in the fridge as I write. Eeuw!

Did I mention my Sith Efrikan son-in-law has landed a job in New Zealand? Seems he's going to be managing a warehouse in Auckland. Oh, according to their website, they sell blinds (amid 80,000 other product lines). Goody, that gives me an excuse to tell a true story about my sister's father-in-law, who used to run a Venetian-blind cleaning business in Christchurch, South Island. He loved to terrify other drivers by hanging a sign on the back of his van reading: "CAUTION: BLIND MAN DRIVING". Class.

So was Santa good to you?

Farty's Ecksmas Competition Result

Can't believe nobody guessed what I'd painted out, this is a brilliant paint package! Anyways, I've decided to award the prize to Mr H, on account of him being right about the go-go dancers. And not at all because it's cheaper to deliver the prize by hand than post it abroad.


Friday, 21 December 2007

Christmas Is Coming

It's getting a bit nippy now, eh? Five below freezing this week, lovely white frost on the grass and trees and that and I left my fecking camera at home! Bolloxy buggerations.

No, wait. I took a picture with my phone. Better than nothing, I suppose.

No snow here, worse luck. Oh, how I wish I lived in a country with proper winters, like Non-Working Monkey!

We went for our works Xmas dinner on Wednesday. Partridge for starters, then a nice bit of pheasant and a nice cranachan for pudding dessert. The portions always look so tiny in the middle of those huge plates, but you never go away hungry. Or stuffed. Just poor.

I see that tosser Leon won this year's X Factor, and now all the Welsh radio stations have banned his song in protest. Oh, how I wish I lived in Wales!

Last night, my South African son-in-law flew out to New Zealand for a job interview. If he gets it, the whole family will be emigrating in the [thinks...switch to Southern hemisphere, add two seasons, translate to Merkan, take away the number you first thought of] fall. How are we going to break it to them that we'll still be taking our holidays in South Africa, with its beaches, biltong and braais? Oh, how I wish I lived in South Africa!

Not really. Embra is still the best, and here's why:

Merry Xmas, readers! Ho, ho, ho, etc.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Farty's Ecksmas Competition

Mr Farty has been oot and aboot aroond Embra with his rusty trusty camera, taking snaps (do they still call them snaps?) of the auld toon and the new deckarayshuns. After a quick dab with Paintshop ProTM, here are the results.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to identify which picture has been touched up (adding text doesn't count). Whoever spots which item has been cloned will get a virtual pat on the back. Whoever can correctly identify what has been digitally removed from the same picture will win a prize.

Update: Either Paintshop is so good that nobody can see the join and figure out what I painted over, or nobody can be arsed. Well, I've already bought the prize, so I've decided to make it easier for you. After all, it's Ecksmas.

In the event of a tie, complete this sentence in as many words as you like: "I should win the prize because..."

So what's the prize? A superb, hand-knitted Scotch mouse-mat and matching coasters!!!

Ready...steady...one more thing. Competition closes on Ecksmas Eve. The prize will be delivered in time for Ecksmas Day1.


You will meet a good doctor

Xmas in Princes Street, Edinburgh

Embra Sparkles at Ecksmas

Princes Street panorama

Princes Street Ice Rink

Oooohhh shops! This picture coming up...

Old vs New (minus double decker bus)
Did you see it? You do know you can click to enlarge any photo here?

Old and New

Porridge. Yummee!


I can has cheezburger?

How much fir the tree?

Big Wheel

Balmoral Hotel, Embra

100ft Xmas Tree

1 2008, obv.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Say A Little Prayer

Dinner Hour

Bossy's daughter has had a mishap. With a dog. Not Stella. Please visit Bossy here and let her know you're thinking of the poor kid.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Ecksmas Is Coming

Classic. Police are offering a £20,000 ($30,000) reward for the return of the missing Child Benefit CDs. "Police have appealed to workers at HMRC, the Treasury, and the National Audit Office to search for the CDs and have set up a confidential phone line for their return." That'll make a nice Xmas prezzie for someone. Will anyone wishing to claim the reward please form an orderly queue?
An image of Lorraine Kelly dressed as Santa has leapt unbidden into my head. <clickety> Well, how about that? I need to practice with skin shading, innit?

Just when I thought my illusions had been shattered, everything is good again. I had always wondered how they got that 40-foot spruce tree into Jenners department store. Do they remove part of the roof and drop it in with a crane? "No," said Mrs Farty, "they take it in through the front door in sections and assemble it." Gasp! You mean it's - sob! - artificial?

Not any more. In a wonderful "back-to-basics" move, they've reinstated the traditional real tree and damn the pine needles! Hurrah!

Oh. They take off the shop's front doors.

This is not the time of year when you want things to start breaking down, but we've just had the "three things in a row" run of bad luck. First the DVD player turned into a doorstop, which was easy enough to replace, but then Mrs Farty's super-dooper steam iron broke down after only two years, i.e. one year past the warranty. It would cost more to send it off for inspection and repair than it did to buy, so we now have a new one with extended warranty.

And finally, we woke up on Monday morning to a flooded kitchen. The dishwasher, which we usually switch on last thing at night, had managed to burst a pipe. So for the past couple of days we've been washing dishes the old-fashioned way.
I sure hope it gets fixed soon, 'cos taking the dishes down to the river to bash them with rocks doesn't seem to work as well as I remembered. At this rate, we'll have no plates left to serve up Ecksmas dinner.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Bah Humbug

Isn't t'internet just a mine of information? According to Celtic Attic, which I guess is a front for the Oirish Tourist Board, "Although Christmas is a major holiday in Ireland, it is not widely celebrated in Scotchland. Some historians have suggested that the reason Christmas is downplayed in Scotchland is because of the influence of the Presbyterian Church or Kirk, which viewed Christmas as a "Papist", or Catholic event. As a result, Christmas in Scotchland tends to be a somber event." A lump of coal yesterday
Of course, in the real world, nothing could be further from the truth. We Scotch take great delight in exchanging such delightful gifts as a lump of coal, or perhaps a dead ferret, before sitting down to a scrumptious dinner of roast sparrow with a side order of stinging nettles. Yum!

Whatever will they be telling us next? Pope Jewish? Who's gonna believe that?

Some pictures of Embra not celebrating Christmas at all. The Kirk is the building behind the 100-foot Christmas tree.
Embra George St at XmasEmbra Castle at XmasPrinces St Gardens, Embra at XmasPrinces St Embra at Xmas

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Farty's Ten Rules Of Blogging

I've just had this brilliant and totally original idea. And anyone who says otherwise can sue me.

  1. Keep it short. Or at least interesting. Nobody wants to hear about your 1,000 favourite cheeses, trust me on this.

  2. Never blog while pissed. Or pissed off. There's this "save as draft" option, I never remember to use it till it's too late.

  3. Oh, but never, ever delete a post. That is so annoying.

  4. Keep it funny. This is my advice to you. I am naturally funny, but you should work on it. Except, well, you know who you are.

  5. Don't take yourself too seriously.

  6. Comments are indeed bliss. Sometimes they're better than the original post (don't even think about it, John).

  7. A picture paints a thousand words. Choose them carefully.
    Supper With Stella

  8. Don't worry that you've got "nothing to write about". That's what memes are for. I mean this in a good way.

  9. Don't take everything personally. Bollocks. It's your blog. Web-log. Online journal. Diary. How much more personal can it get, FFS? If you're posting comments in someone else's blog, remember what goes around, comes around. So be nice.

  10. Window dressing. It's up to you. Tired Dad is just as funny as BOSSY; they just look different. It's content that matters.

  11. Everything is permitted. Nothing is true.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

In No Particular Order...

Donald Trump has had his plans to build a golf course in the middle of a Site of Special Scientific Interest turned down by a democratic council meeting, so he's given them thirty days to reconsider their decision.
Donald? Hello? Over here? Hi. Now. What part of "Fuck Off" did you not understand the first time?

Back at the dentist this week for some more root canal treatment. When Tanya took my hand and asked me to "Kom vith me", I thought my luck was in. Especially when she led me into a small room and bolted the door shut. Just the two of us, how cozy!
But what she slipped into my mouth wasn't her tongue after all, just an X-ray plate. Boo!

I once had a Polish French teacher called Tanya Smölka. God, she was hot! Even though I was only thirteen, I could tell she fancied me.
So did my French Polish teacher, Brian the woodwork master. But that's another story.

How do you get rid of dullards?
We've been befriended by the most boring people on the planet. A typical scenario - phone rings. "Hi, we've been out shopping at IKEA, is it ok if we pop in?" Um, ok. I put the kettle on. Before it has even come to the boil, they are at the door. IKEA is five miles away and they live beyond that.
He's ok, he just goes through to the bedroom to play computer games with my eleven-year-old grandson and his chum.
But Mrs Dishwater? To paraphrase Douglas Adams, she could talk all eight legs off a tarantula and it would still try to drag itself away and hide. I don't know exactly what she talks about, I can never stay awake long enough. Mrs Farty has to give me a poke to wake me as they leave.
Perhaps we could feign death?

Santa yesterdayElf and Safety. Killjoys in Alnwick District Council have banned Santa from driving his sleigh around Northumberland in case, breaking a thirty-year tradition, he falls off and hurts himself.

I thought I was seeing things when out shopping at the weekend, but no. There is indeed such a thing as a Snow Calendar. Just the thing to brighten up a summer's day, er...no, wait.

And finally...this, from memory, from a spoof lonely hearts ad long ago.
Let us hold hands, take flight and soar on the fiercest winds. Let us race each other to the ends of the earth and back. Let us explore the deepest caverns, go diving into ancient shipwrecks, climb the highest mountains and exalt in our power over nature. Let us share our deepest, darkest, most intimate secrets.

You first.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Time For Calm Reflection - Remix

What is the world coming to? I cannot believe that the very foundations of Christianity are set to crumble into dust because of a simple children's story, yet that seems to be the jist of the argument coming from Catholic fundamentalists, who are now running strolling amok in the streets calling for author Philip Pullman to be publicly executed flogged given a severe ticking off and for his movie The Golden Compass to be burned banned boycotted.

Thank goodness for the voice of reason. Tory MP Boris Johnson has rightfully described these reactionary forces as "utterly bonkers". He then went on to say, "Crikey, I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!"

Um, it's just a movie. But if it's anything like the book, it's going to be a stonker!
Girl with a bear behind
Anyway, they should calm down and take a leaf from Islamic tradition. You don't hear about Allah-fearing Muslims getting all hot under the collar [You've done this already - Ed.]

Released in the UK this Friday, December 7th, unless the Catholics get it banned.

Is there a prophet called Iorek?

Friday, 30 November 2007

Time For Calm Reflection

What is the world coming to? I cannot believe that the entire religion of Islam is under threat from a children's teddy bear, yet that seems to be the jist of the argument coming from Sudanese fundamentalists this week, who are now running amok in the streets calling for the immediate execution of schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons.

Thank goodness for the voice of reason. Tory MP Boris Johnson has rightfully described these reactionary forces as "utterly bonkers". Mind you he also claims that "There was a time when Britain would have sent a gunboat to rescue her".

Um, Boris, old chap, Khartoum is 400 miles inland. True, it lies on the Nile, at the junction of the White Nile and Blue Nile, but that's a hell of a long way to send a gunboat. By the time you got there, there wouldn't be much left to rescue except for a pile of bleached bones.

Not that the Sudanese still go in for cannibalism, God forbid! There hasn't been a single recorded case of that since, lessee, 1993. Ok, bad example.

Still, they should calm down and take a leaf from Western tradition. You don't hear about God-fearing Christians getting all hot under the collar over a disagreement about how their children should be educated. No, wait.

Still, with any luck she'll be out of there and on her way home in just over a week.

Unless they find the other toy first.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Top Ten Jokes

This isn't a joke site, but I just had to share these. They're only my favourites because I can remember them. Mostly.

A husband asks his wife, "If I died, would you remarry?"
"Oh darling, what a horrible thought! Don't say that!"
"But if I did," he insists, "would you?"
"Well," she replies, "a woman has needs..."
"And would he sleep in our bed?"
"He would be my husband, so of course he would."
"And would you let him use my golf clubs?"
"Oh no, dear, he's left-handed."

A man comes running into the house and yells to his wife, "Pack your bags, I've won the lottery!"
"Hurrah! What should I pack, scuba gear, skis, bikini?"
"I don't care, just feck off and don't come back!"

Three scientists are sitting at a pavement table outside a bar, enjoying a quiet pint. Across the road lies an empty building. Over the course of the afternoon, two people walk into the building and three people emerge.
The physicist says, "There's been a measurement error."
The biologist says, "It's reproduction."
The mathematician says, "If exactly one person enters the building, it will be empty again."

How many male chauvenist pigs does it take to change a light-bulb?
None. Let the bitch cook in the dark.

What's the difference between babies and marbles?
You can't stack marbles with a pitchfork.

Three girls step into a lift: a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. In a corner, they see a small puddle of a pale, viscous fluid.
"Ew," says the brunette, "that looks like man juice."
The redhead leans right over, puts her dainty little nose close up, wrinkles it and sniffs. "It smells like man juice."
The blonde leans over, dips a finger in the puddle and pops it in her mouth. After a moment's thought she declares, "Well, it's nobody from this building!"

It's moose hunting season, so two Canadian hunters hire a plane to take them up north for a shooting trip. The pilot drops them off and promises to pick them up after a week.
Next week he's back and the hunters are delighted - they've bagged five beauties between them.
"But this is just a small plane," complains the pilot, "I can only carry two, three moose at the most. You'll have to leave some and come back later."
"No way, eh," says the first hunter, "the coyotes'll have a feast while we're away. You'll have to take all five."
The argument goes back and forth, but eventually the pilot caves in and agrees to take both hunters and all five moose (meece?).
Sure enough, barely fifteen minutes into the return flight, the engine conks out and they plummet into the jungle trees in Canada.
After a few minutes, the first hunter pokes his head from the wreckage. "Well, at least we survived!"
The second hunter emerges and takes a look around. "Maybe so, eh, but we're hopelessly lost."
The pilot replies, "Nonsense, we're only half a mile from where we crashed last year!"

Two girls: a blonde and a redhead (it's the brunette's day off), enter a lift. A young man gets in and stands with his back to them, facing the doors. Whispering to each other, they agree that he's very tasty, but he has bad dandruff.
"We should give him Head & Shoulders," hisses the redhead.
"Ok," replies the blonde. "How do you give shoulders?"

Two South African hunters are out shooting in the veldt (I am so varied, me). Suddenly, one of them gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. The other hunter realises that one braai too many have finally taken their toll. He takes out his cell-phone and calls the emergency operator.
"Hello, my hunting companion has had a heart attack. I think he's dead."
The operator replies, "It's ok, don't panic, I've had training on this and I know exactly what to do. First of all, you must make sure he's dead."
"Ok, just a moment."
There's the sound of footsteps, then BLAM! BLAM!
"Right, now what?"

Three men: an engineer, a manager and a software programmer, are in a car coming down a steep mountain road when the brakes fail. The car gathers speed, but after a desperate struggle the driver finally manages to slow down by steering it against the mountainside, scraping off most of the side of the car in the process. After it finally comes to a halt, the three of them have to decide what to do next.
The engineer pops open the hood/bonnet. "Ah, yes, we just need to patch up the thingumybob with chewing gum, that'll see us clear to the next garage."
"I disagree," says the manager. "Firstly, we need to form a committee to appoint a task force to investigate all the possibile options going forward, then arrange a series of followup meetings to consider how to arrive at a decision."
The software programmer says, "Before we try anything else, we should push the car back up to the top of the hill and see if it happens again."

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Xmas Poll

Blue Peter are putting up an Xmas tree this year, but can't decide what to call the fairy at the top. So they've decided to have a poll amongst their few remaining viewers. Please select a name from the list on the right - we promise the winning name, regardless of what it turns out to be, will definitely be used.

Note: Anyone picking the name Mohammed will be given forty lashes and jailed for up to six months.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sith Efrika

Been composing a few posts on a trip we made to South Africa a few years ago. This was in the days before we went digital, so all the photos are printed on wossname, paper? Which is very nice, but low-tech and not easily amenable to uploading and that.

Help is at hand in the form of a second-hand Xerox scanner. I've tried it out and it's very good at scanning in photos and printing them out to a printer. Er, but not so good at saving them to a file in between times. Apparently you need PaperPort(tm) software for that, which seems to cost £50 for the cheap version.

My supplier is in the process of digging through his CD collection in the hope of finding the original software disc in there somewhere between Queen and Westlife. In the meantime, here's a taster from some later trips:

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Loue Doth Bleede

Fro romaunce cut off
Ich ye peyne smert suffreth nat
Onis or tweye tymes ynogh was
And vainlye was it al
Tyme wendeth onn
Ere ye knowest it ye be freezen

But som thynge chanced
Wyth thee initiallye
Myne heorte vnto ye very soile doth melte
Som thynge trve descouvert
Eek everich oon ys castynge aboote
Weneth Ich am becom as Heather de Mills

But Ich rekketh nat what they speake
Ich dost loue thee sikerly
To pewlle me awaye they doth try
Yet they noot sooth
Mine herte ys y-cripped by ye veine
That Ich dost shutten ayen
Thou bvtchereth me & Ich

Kepe y-bleedyng
Kepe, kepe y-bleedyng loue
Ich kepe y-bleedyng
Ich kepe, kepe y-bleedyng loue

Wyth apollogys to Geoffrey Chaucer and Leona le Wys.

Friday, 23 November 2007

In The News

Loved this quote today from In The News.

The M/S Explorer was the "world's first custom-built expedition ship" when it began operating in the early 1970s.

Canada-based Gap Adventures claimed it "goes where other ships cannot" on its website, describing its "ice-hardened double hull and a fleet of robust zodiacs" making it a "go-anywhere ship for the go-anywhere traveller".

The firm says the ship's captain, Uli Demel, is "widely regarded as the master of Antarctic navigation".

Excuse me, but I think you'll find quite a lot of ships have already been there, most famously this one in April 1912.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Whinging Again

To: Customer Services, Electronic Arts
From: Farty
Date: 20th November 2007
Subject: SimCity Societies

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you concerning your latest PC game, SimCity Societies. I purchased a copy of this in good faith from a car boot sale this week after reading excellent reviews in the press and that. And not after seeing a mate's bootleg copy at all.

I feel I must point out that the game suffers from some quite serious shortcomings. The characters presented are dull and unimaginative, the settings are dreary to the point of boredom and is there really any need to have detailed descriptions of 25 million Sims, down to the level of names, addresses, dates of birth, Child Benefit numbers, National Insurance numbers and bank or building society account details?

On the plus side, I'll admit it's good fun to cut off welfare to the whole of Liverpool and watch the Scouse scroungers fighting each other over stale bread and sour rat's milk.

On second thoughts, do you have a French version? I could get into this.

Your Sincerely,
Mr Farty

Monday, 19 November 2007

Visions of the Future...from the Past

Robotic Cars

DIESEL engine idling, Alice peers left, right, then straight at me. With her headlights on in the hazy morning, the imposing grey Ford van emits a loud beep, warning the world she is about to set off with no one at the wheel.

According to New Scientist, 17 November 2007, cars like Alice are a glimpse of the future.

Alice was developed for the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Urban Challenge, which aims to prove that cars will, one day, be able to navigate through a city autonamus automatous completely without human help.

"Robotic cars could become a feature of our cities, and maybe reduce road deaths too."

Reduce or increase? 1

Prison overcrowding

One way to deal with prison overcrowding and the shortage of organs for transplant would be to, er, kill two birds with one stone. Take one prisoner from Death Row, match his blood and tissue types to a deserving, dying (or simply rich and overfed?) hospital patient. Snip, slice, stitch, and Robert is your mother's brother.

Surely nobody would be that ghoulish?

Oh. Right. Nobody except a major government. And if China's doing it now, can the rest of the world be far behind? 2

Non-Lethal Weapons

TASER International, Inc. has recently unveiled the eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP(tm)), which "incorporates wireless Neuro Muscular Incapacitation (NMI) technology and is designed to be launched from a 12-gauge shotgun".3

Armed Robots

A company called...wait for it...IRobot, has announced a robot warrior called Sword. Don't worry, though. "The military insists it is not unleashing a mindless killing machine. A soldier must press the fire button."

And, as we all know, a soldier isn't a mindless killing machine. 4

Where will it all end? Or indeed, where did it all begin?

1Into The Shop, Ron Goulart, 1964.
2The Jigsaw Man, Larry Niven, 1967.
3Not quite 1960s Star Trek style phasers, but getting there.
4Talos, 300BC.

Mr Farty Gets A Bit Upset #2


From: Farty@myisp
Sent: Nov 14, 2007 1:35:22 AM
Subject: McAfee Customer Service - Service Request #123

Description: When I boot up, I get an alert that my PC is not protected.

I get a prompt to verify my subscription, which comes up ok but doesn't clear the alert.

When I run VT [Virtual Technician] I firstly get an alert that I need to reinstall McAfee Personal Firewall and McAfee Privacy Service, then VT tells me it found nothing wrong.

When I go into My Account on your website - which automatically recognises me - to reinstall these services, I'm told I don't have a subscription for anything.

How do I reinstall my products?


From: McAfee EMEA Technical Support
To: <Farty@myisp>
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:17 PM
Subject: RE: McAfee Customer Service - Service Request #123

Dear Farty1,

Thank you for contacting McAfee Technical Support. My name is <name>. Having reviewed your e-mail regarding your concern, I would be happy to support you in this.

Farty, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused in this regard. Please let us know did the software come on a CD or was it a download from the Internet. I was unable to locate an account under the e-mail address you have provided. However, you are not subscribed to any of our services under this account. Usually when we see this type of scenario, our customers have registered using a different email address. Can you provide me an additional email address that you might have registered under? Please reply us with the requested information and we will be able to resolve your issue.

If you are not able to find that please contact our Customer Service. Please use this link to contact Customer Service.

I hope that I’ve answered your questions effectively. If not, feel free to contact support again. Please include all previous correspondence when replying.

If you find it difficult to follow these steps feel free to contact our free technical support chat option at <url>

Technical Support Agent
McAfee Technical Support

Slightly Pissed

From: Farty
Sent: Nov 15, 2007 3:32:43 AM
Subject: Re: McAfee Customer Service - Service Request #123

Hi <name>,

First of all, thanks for your prompt reply.

When I originally bought the PC from Dell, and switched it on, the McAfee software, as I recall, was already there. Or at least the installer was. It insisted on my supplying a valid email address, even though I had not even contacted an ISP at that time to connect my PC to the internet. So I supplied my email-via-tv address, farty@old_isp and later, when I had an internet connection established, transferred the email address over via your website. I thought this transfer had worked, as the product worked just fine until a few days ago.

I have attached the original emails I received from McAfee at that time.

Does this help?

Best Regards,


Not Really Helping

From: McAfee EMEA Technical Support
To: Farty
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:13 PM
Subject: RE: Re: McAfee Customer Service - Service Request #123

Dear Farty,

Thank you for contacting McAfee Technical Support. My name is <different name> Having reviewed your e-mail regarding your concern, I would be happy to support you in this.

Farty, we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused. We have searched our data base using the e-mail address Farty@old_isp, but we are unable to pull up any records using this e-mail address also. So please provide us the e-mail address that you have registered with McAfee or provide the Order ID. If you do not remember the Order ID, please contact our Customer Support, as they are the people who deal with sales and registration issues, please call the below number in order to resolve your issue. Kindly explain them clearly about your concern and you can also refer the case number for this interaction to them which will help then to narrow down the same issue. Please call <phone number> or Visit <url> for the further support options.

I hope that I’ve answered your questions effectively. If not, feel free to contact support again. Please include all previous correspondence when replying.

If you find it difficult to follow these steps feel free to contact our free technical support chat option at <url>

Thank you for contacting McAfee Technical Support

<different name>
Technical Support Agent
McAfee Technical Support


From: Farty
To: McAfee EMEA Technical Support
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 6:41 PM
Subject: Re: Re: McAfee Customer Service - Service Request #123

Hello again.

Ok, earlier I was just confused. I thought, "Perhaps I only thought I had a free subscription, but it was only a six-month trial, now it's expired and I have to pay."

So, not wanting to remain unprotected, I signed up yesterday and handed over £39.99 for a year's subscription to your admittedly top-notch product. I attach a copy of the purchase receipt.

But even after installation and a couple of reboots, I get a warning on startup that I am not protected against: Identity Protection, Spam Protection, Content Blocking.

I also attach, yet again, an email sent from your company to my old email address Farty@old_isp - which you deny ever having sent - in which you say:

"Thank you for registering your McAfee SecurityCenter subscription. You are now entitled to updates and upgrades for your McAfee products.

McAfee VirusScan
McAfee Personal Firewall Plus
McAfee Privacy Service
McAfee SpamKiller".

To top it all, I have also managed to dig up the original purchase order for my Dell PC - attached.

And guess what? This order confirmation, dated 12th January 2007, includes the following item:
235-12764 Free 36 Month McAfee Security Centre Subscription

Note the words "free" and "36 Month".

Somewhat less than 36 months have expired since 12th January this year. In my opinion, this means I have now paid twice for something I already own. Now I'm annoyed.

Please refund my £39.99 immediately and instruct me on how properly to reinstate all of the products for which I signed up at the start of this year.

If I do not obtain satisfaction within 7 days, I shall approach the Office of Fair Trading and ask them to prosecute you for fraud.

Yours Sincerely,

1 No, not the name I used in this exchange.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Rewriting History

Funny how the mind plays tricks on you. Back in 1999, Scotch tv presenter Gail Porter famously had her lovely bum projected onto the outside of the Houses of Parliament, a move which was generally seen as a vast improvement on the arseholes inside the building.

Since then, the poor girl has suffered a series of misfortunes which have resulted in her progressively losing her beautiful long hair. Even her eyebrows.

The thing is, even though I know that 1999 photo was taken before she lost her hair, in my mind's eye she's up there in Westminster right now, bald as a coot.

And still gorgeous.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Blog Nap

I have resolved to join the writer's strike.

Ok, I just can't think of anything to write today.

There's a mildly amusing post here.

And this is rapidly going downhill.

Meh. Just browse through my blogroll, will ya? They're all better than this post.

I'm busy touching up Gail Porter. So to speak.


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Look Before You Leap

I couldn't help laughing when I saw this story in today's news. If you can't be arsed clicking on the link, or it doesn't work, I'll summarise.

Someone was seen trying to break into cars in a casino parking lot in Florida. When police approached a completely innocent bystander with 25 previous convictions for car theft who matched the perpetrator's description, he ran off and jumped into a lake. Such as you find in Florida's alligator-infested Everglades.

Sorry, but anyone who ignores a sign saying: "Danger! Live Alligators!" deserves what they get.

This is even better than the one about another criminal who jumped over a low wall to escape the police. It was only three feet high on his side. And twenty on the other. With a railway line at the bottom.

File under "self-inflicted".

Do you have a favourite Darwin Award winner?

Monday, 12 November 2007


Many moons ago God how I hate that phrase! Twenty years ago, when I was taking LMF to nursery, I used to stop off to pick up her wee pal Jimmy (or whatever the feck his name was, come on, it was twenty years ago).

Jimmy's Mum could, I suppose, have dropped him off herself, but it was really no problem for me. I was glad to help out. It gave her time between getting Jimmy up, fed, watered and out the door and getting herself dressed.

Because regardless of how well turned out her little boy was, er, Suzie never seemed to have the time to even don a housecoat over her see-through negligée. Not that I ever complained. I'm not one to complain, as you know.

After leaning waaaaaaay over to kiss young Jimmy on the top of his head, she would turn and flounce back up the stairs as the front door slowly swung shut.

Did I mention she was drop.dead.gorgeous?

Then she moved away.

Last week, Mrs Farty and I were shopping in The Gyle when whom should we see coming towards us but Mr and Mrs Suzie? And as Mrs F pointed out when we engaged them in conversation, Suzie hasn't aged a day. Like Goldie Hawn in that film, but without the hole where her guts ought to be.

Goldie Hawn
Anyway, she's a granny now, but I still would.

Friday, 9 November 2007

The New Winning

The Funniest Blog On The Interweb, with a massive 5.1% of the vote, is officially...BOSSY!

If Dubya can win with only a handful of votes, so can any other Merkan citizen.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Blog Awards



That is all.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Lest We Forget

When I was a lad at school, my form master revealed that during the war, he was in military intelligence. Exciting, eh?

Anyway, one of his many tasks was, after the war ended, to debrief the doctors who used to work in the Nazi concentration camps. It was never entirely clear why they had doctors in the first place, given what happened next...

This isn't easy.

Apparently, the doctors had to examine the Jews and decide whether they were fit enough to be gassed.

I'm really confused.

So. George (his real name) asked one of the doctors how on earth he could stand to send his fellow human beings to their deaths?

"Oh, they weren't human beings. They were Jews."

What The Fuck?

Monday, 5 November 2007

Naked Singularities and the Grandfather Paradox

According to New Scientist, it's theoretically possible, if you can find a naked singularity, to build a time machine. Apparently, naked singularities are an embarrassment to physicists, prancing about with no clothes on and that.

"I don't know why people immediately think that time travellers will be overcome with a desire to commit murder," says boffin Fernando de Felice, referring to the grandfather paradox. This states that you can't go back in time because you might kill your grandfather and thus prevent your own birth.

I think he's got it back to front.

Alex has a rich and powerful grandfather and can't wait for the old miser to keel over and pass on his riches. So he borrows capital against his inheritance and builds a time machine to take him back to the years of his grandfather's youth, neatly sidestepping the security guards in the process.

He murders the defenseless youth, then realises that Grandad hadn't yet made his fortune as the time machine promptly disappears.

But wait! Alex knows a bit about the stock market, so he's able to buy low and sell high when there are large, "unpredictable" swings in the market - which he remembers from his history lessons.

He makes his fortune, marries a nice girl, and gradually comes to realise that his wife is Grandma. Which make Alex his own grandfather. How to prevent his own grandson from going back in time and killing himself?

I hate naked singularities. They give you a sore head.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Kat Fight!

Things are really hotting up over at Battle to da DethThe All New 21st Century Online Collaborative Internet Novel.

Remember, Remember

Tourettes Society Bonfire Night

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Winter Draws On

The nights, as they say, are fair drawing in, and Scotchmen and Scotchwomen across, er, Scotchland have taken to wandering around with their heads tilted back and mouths hanging eagerly open. Aye, there's a nip in the air...
Cat Deeley. Hot or Cold?

In the run-up to Halloween, police have been warning ordinary folks that "young people" are evil monsters and will be arrested if found in possession of flour or eggs. "We do not want to be seen as killjoys", said a killjoy yesterday, "but would you like it if some young-un were to bake you a sponge cake? Why, the chloresterol could kill you in twenty or thirty years!"
A cake yesterday.

If they can avoid getting arrested while they're at the shops getting kitted up for trickle-treating, the kids will of course be buying the usual bag of nuts - "and no' too many coconuts!" I still love that one.

Good news for nerds this week. Apparently, boffins have declared that love and sex with robots are inevitable. Given the choice, which of these would you rather have? Pervy dwarfSexy Robot

Happy Halloween! WWFSMD?