July 24th, 2007


Just a couple of things...

When natural disasters hit developing countries with arrogant leaders,
the western papers are often filled with comments to say that there is
emergency aid money freely available, but they won't ask for it. Now,
the disasters are affecting Britain, and our government has not yet
asked for the EU money that is set aside for just such events. What
exactly is going on here? I'm sure that my taxes pay into the fund, so
why won't anyone even apply for support?
Elsewhere, it seems that Facebook may take up at least as much time as
LJ, if not more. This can't be a good thing for my real life.
Bus fare systems are only good when people know how to use them. Top
up a stored value card, use it to pay for journeys. Easy? No, I want
to top up my card but the drivers don't know how to do it. It's not
hit crisis yet: five trips till I run out of credit, but it does show
I shouldn't wait till the last moment. Meanwhile, of course, Cheshire
County Council is benefiting from the interest on the cash I have used
already to load the card with credit. On the other hand, stored value
cards give me a 10% discount. Actually, it's more than that, because
some of the drivers haven't worked out how to debit the card either.
For Metro readers: when in a pub, Nemi still smokes. How can this be?
The rest of the cartoon is very clearly set in Britain. Or could it be
that Metro is using old cartoons. Hey, it could happen. And is there
something wrong when the 118118 cartoon advert is as good as the
proper cartoons on the page?
Blue skies for once, though it was drizzling when I got on the train.

Executive Playhouse

Imagine my surprise yesterday. As I walked along one of the longest
corridors in England, just outside the staff canteen/restaurant I
found that a small, roofed, wooden building had been erected. No
question at all, the corridor had a shed. I wondered why it was there,
and this mystery was revealed today. Described as an executive
playhouse, it is apparently to be reverse auctioned. Each bid will
cost £2 and the lowest unique bid will who the shed. So, if I want to
win the shed (and who wouldn't?) how much should I bid?

No more cross-country Virgins

So Virgin has lost the cross-country franchise to Arriva. This seems
remarkable news. What will happen? Virgin's route network will
obviously shrink dramatically, and many journeys previously 100%
Virgin will no longer be. On the bright side, it seems that they will
use many of their Voyager trains on the surviving West Coast lines, so
maybe they will be less crowded, assuming that V are willing and able
to increase peak time frequency. Wait and see.