Sunday, July 29, 2007

Barry Shopper and the Deathly Discounts

I bought the book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. I was in Tescos, shopping for bread and teacakes and... there they were! A pile of HP&DHs, £10 each. So I did an impulse purchase, and put one in my trolley. What the heck, I was planning to get it anyway. Thence to the checkout, where all my shopping was duly scanned and rung up. And then the fun started.
The girl at the checkout looked at me and said, "You know that the Harry Potter's only £5 if you've spent more than £50?"
"No." I replied, "That's great."
The bill was £54.
But the girl had problems.
"I can't get it to subtract the £5. I'll need to get someone..." She pressed the help button and waited. And we waited. And the lady behind us in the queue was placing her shopping on the conveyor.
The supervisor soon worked out what the problem was.
"It's got to be £50 without the book."
Ah, all was clear. When the £5 discount was taken off, the total dropped below £50 which meant that the price rose to £10 again which pushed it back to £54... and so on in a recursive manifestation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle applied to quantum economics.
"So how much are we short?"
"I could get some more teacakes." My wife had been swithering earlier about getting an extra packet, and this pushed the decision firmly into the extra packet camp. She went off to the bakery section, while I wondered desperately how to shop for a fivers worth of stuff in as many seconds. The confectionery shelves were nearest. I rushed over and grabbed a couple of packs of Kit-Kats and a box of chocolates, and returned to the checkout.
"There's teacakes coming." I told the girl as she checked my new purchases through. Then we waited. And waited. The lady behind us in the queue had by now placed all her shopping on the conveyor, and she was waiting. I bet she was thinking how Sod's Law always places you in a checkout line that gets held up by nutters.
Sod this, I thought, and headed for the bakery section, checking each aisle as I went along to make sure my wife wasn't heading down. Fortunately she was on her way back. I grabbed the teacakes from her and ran back to the checkout and slammed them down triumphantly. The girl checked them, brought up the total and tried to subtract the discount.
Then she tried again to subtract the discount.
Then she pressed her help button.
By this time, I was beginning to think I had House Elf problems. The little buggers had obviously put a hex on the till.
The lady behind us in the queue would be thinking the same thing I reckoned.
The supervisor came and tried to subtract the discount.
She stared at the screen. She must have been giving it a silent retailer's Expecto Patronum, because the second time she tried, she succeeded!
Relief all round. Soon, all was paid for, and we were out of the store.

The book's good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Vengeance is mine!" sayeth the Demon Landlord

My friend the Demon Landlord is back in the news. The Sunday Mail has yapped at him with an article lambasting his new website which he has set up as a service to other landlords and letting agencies warning them about two (ex) tenants who up-sticksed owing him unpaid rent, and trashed the property before leaving. His blog has the full story, with a link to the offending article.
What gets the journalist's tighty-whiteys in a tizzy is the matter-of-fact way the Demon Landlord refers to this website as revenge. It's as if there's some sort of taboo in today's polite society about admitting to humanity's more visceral emotions. ("I mean... revenge! ... it's just not the done thing!")
Listen, The Demon Landlord is one of the last of the red hot capitalists. He does have a tendency to be brutally blunt, but he is running a successful business, and likely to become one of Scotland's wealthiest people. So what if he upsets the sensibilities of Sunday Mail journalists? He's providing a much needed service in a time of housing shortages and rising prices.
What's wrong with revenge anyway? It can be very satisfying, and good for one's peace of mind, especially when it's a dish served cold.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cheerleader saved. World saved.

So farewell then (for a time at least) to Heroes, that fab series on the Sci Fi channel. Mondays are going to drag until it comes back on. It's a perfect example of how far television has come over the past decade. Watching the last twenty three episodes, has just been like reading a novel. How much different to the SF shows of the seventies, where there was no story arc, and there would be a display of superpowers three times during the show. The villains would be defeated just when they thought nothing could go wrong. The Heroes would have some sort of illogical transformation scene (and I'm thinking here of Wonder Woman's twirl and the Hulk's trousers) into lycra costumes - though come to think of it Indestructable Cheerleader's costume might have been interesting - and the episode would end with one of them summing up the preceding 43 minutes with a pithy comment.
Heroes has so many good things in it - Christopher Eccleston, Malcolm McDowall, and George Takei for starters, and of course Mr Bennett! The guy who's set off a whole new trend in glasses wearing. Ultra ruthless, but loves his family. My favourite character of the series.
They're doing a second series, so until then, remember:
Save the cheerleader - save the world!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another can of memes

Martyne's just tagged me with a meme that I've actually participated in before, but I don't mind, as there was a different book within reach. Da roolz r: go to page 123 of the book closest to hand. Go to the fifth sentence and write down the next four sentences. People then have to guess which book you chose. Guess what? I was spot on with Martyne's choice!

Try this:

And the brotherhood of nations

Aboot the love of a woman

And the gifts of creation

He'd soon be a star - 'The Ayrshire Sensation'

You're so not going to guess this one.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Here we go and here we go...

I've just finished The God Delusion, and now I feel fully armed against anything the fundamentalists can throw at me. A lot of it I knew already, but some things stood out.
Did you know there won't be any women in heaven? According to Revelation, only 144,000 people will be saved, none of whom will have defiled themselves with women. That means they're all male - and virgins! I wonder if they're the ones promised to islamist suicide bombers?
So if you're a girl, you're not going to heaven. The bible says so.
Just imagine what heaven would be like. A large crowd in a celestial Wembley, all clean cut young men in white suits worshipping the band on stage - Father on bass, Jesus on lead guitar and vocals, and Holy Ghost on drums, rocking out Kum-by-yah all over the new heaven and new earth for all eternity. Who wouldn't want to be a part of it?
Me? I've got better things to do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cuiken: the books

There's a new library opened in Penicuik, so yesterday, we went to have a look. It's in the new leisure centre, along with the gym and swimming pool, so that after exercising your body, you can exercise your mind.
It was like walking into a branch of Waterstones, or Borders. It's got plenty of seats for reading. And straight away, I came across Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion! What a find! I'm now on the last chapter. I'm more determined than ever to try and prevent what's happening in the USA from happening here.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The real McCoy

It's a shocking indictment on the training of doctors. These are intelligent men, highly skilled, one of them a neurologist even. And yet they can't build a working bomb between them! I mean ... it's not rocket science! (Uh ... well actually, given the amount of explosive materials it probably is.)
Never mind, they can at least fall back on the "Bones" defence :
"I'm a doctor, dammit, not an explosives engineer!"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pish Bish

As you know, according to the Bishop of Carlisle, the recent flooding in parts of England are not due to the natural effects of geography and meteorology, but due instead to the immorality and permissiveness of our society in allowing gay people to marry. Thus he posits a causal relationship between human behaviour and bad weather. So now we have the means to alleviate the extremes in weather. All we have to do is behave in a manner pleasing to his Grace, and we can expect pleasant summers and mild winters for ever more.
It is quite obvious, that Sheffield and Doncaster are sinkholes of vice and depravity, and fully deserved to be submerged, as opposed to those worthy centres of gay culture, Brighton and Manchester which were not affected.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sibling rivalry?

I've just watched the last episode of Doctor Who. Wow! I must admit, I've got questions. Are the Doctor and the Master siblings? We've had hints. I bet they're setting up the plot lines for the next season. I wonder if we'll get a bit more of their early life. It would be nice to find out the significance of the Doctor's name. He chose it after all. And what's his real name? I bet it's something obvious, like Hu Jann Smyt. The Master once called himself James Stoker. James and John? Hmm.