What If… I Was The Next PM?

What If…I was the next Prime Minister?

Let’s first clear up a few perhaps obvious points.  Firstly I am unlikely to be.  It’s not completely impossible of course but highly unlikely.  The greater likelihood being that following Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation today the next British PM will be a Conservative member of Parliament, chosen by the national registered Conservative Party Membership from a whittled down list of two candidates who emerge following a public bun flinging contest on Newsnight.  Apologies if I haven’t quite got the grip of the contest rules exactly accurately.

But if I were how would I proceed with the main agendas we face at the moment?

Well firstly, and when I say firstly it means firstly after appointing all the cabinet postings, getting a new key for Number 10, thinking up a secure password for the Nuke buttons and popping over to see The Queen etc.  Firstly, I would need to do something about the most pressing issue of the day.  Brexit.

I would immediately appoint two very senior Ministerial positions.  A Brexit one and another to handle everything else.  With overall responsibility remaining with myself, like all good leaders.

The one handling everything else would have to coordinate the economy, education issues, defence, security, work, pensions, foreign relationships etc just like a normal PM but crucially not concern themselves overtly with Brexit.  That would be the sole job of the other one.  Each having equal rank and status, both reporting to me.

This way Brexit, whilst crucial to our situation, would not dominate everything else but still be ranked as highly important.

On the subject of Brexit the clock is ticking away with the latest date being the end of October when France et all will apparently cut loose the chains that bind us to Europe and we will float off to a Neverland of uncertainty.  Theresa May’s departure shows that getting agreement on a deal to stop all this happening in an uncontrolled way is extremely difficult.

To resolve this issue I would immediately revoke the current deal and start again.  This will need some time so to do this I would revoke Article 50 with a note that it is not over yet backed up by waving a new yet to be signed Withdrawal Notice at the EU saying that this is still the direction to go.

This would give time to freshly recommence the negotiations and they would start on the premise of a simple No Deal.

In truth nobody wants No Deal but the general public understand what this means and delivers on many of the concerns that drove the albeit marginal victory result of the June 2016 Election.

Because neither the EU nor the UK want a sterile No Deal I would be able to add back in the less controversial issues such as retaining cooperation on security issues such as continuing support of defence and international policing, on international ecological and climate issues, on medical and technological research projects, on food and industry standards, and on human rights and minimum wages issues.

There would be no legal precedent issues on any of these, to avoid UK Sovereignty being undermined.  Just good old common sense adoption of common standards and regulations to keep things aligned.

The EU may be minded to set about these fresh negotiations with an agenda of their own choosing, notably once more wanting to agree a ‘divorce bill’ first but this would not be acceptable.  The value of the ‘divorce’ would be considered but it would be a calculation based on fairness when all else is ready to go.  And the threat of a stark No Deal would remain to concentrate their minds if they get all bossy again.

I think the above would be a great way to start as a PM.  And don’t forget the other senior Minister would be immediately free to set to work on the other pressing issues of the day from debt reduction and the economy to Health and Food Banks.

And if you want to know what I would do on the second day as PM you will just have to get me elected.

Author: Vince Poynter

An original post for this site dated 24 May 2019
To be added to the Political Section section of my web site in due course
For more Political and Brexit commentary choose vinceunlimited.co.uk/political or  if you are on a mobile device and want a more suitable reading experience use vinceunlimited.co.uk/politicalm

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G&T

Gastroenteritis and Tartrazine – A serious warning about this article.  The subject matter may be considered uncomfortable for those of a weak disposition.  This article contains a graphic description of a bout of food poisoning and I strongly suggest that you think carefully before fully opening and reading this piece.

It is not intended to be sensational and is written with thought and honestly but for reasons of descriptive accuracy does explain the processes and results of the illness.

Blogs are about real life experiences and not all are akin to fluffy bunnies ambling on a hillside in the sunshine.  So proceed only if you are ready for some realism.  No offence will be taken if you do not read this one of my articles.  I would think carefully myself if you were to post something similar yourself.

It started on a Thursday.  My wife, Lynda and I eat out a lot and usually choose a pub offering a good meal deal.  This particular one has been a recent favourite and we have had many reasonable meals there.

We understand that post Christmas January eating out is the rarest time of the year.  It is why establishments make offers during the busy December month to entice punters back into the practice of eating out in the new year.  However, we regulars need no such enticement as the process of eating out is a common habit.

In fact in the December run up to Christmas we share the same thoughts that alcoholics do about seasonal drinkers invading their space at festive times.  With our annoyance focussed on some food based pubs taking away their usual offers in the run up.

All of which is just an explanation of why we had no concerns about visiting this unusually quiet pub on this evening for our main meal of the day.

We ordered a fairly normal menu choice, me the gammon with egg, Lynda with the chicken.  We did comment to each other that it was delivered surprisingly quickly but we had said it was quiet that evening.

The food was as unremarkable as ever and expected for the price but I did note that the Jacket Potatoes were cold to the touch.  Well perhaps not technically cold but certainly far from steaming hot.  But it didn’t ring bells and we ate up and left as usual.

Later that evening I needed to use the toilet.  Again, not normally remarkable but the beginning of a story this time.  It was a standard episode but had to be repeated about an hour later.  It was then that mild stomach cramps became evident.

The third visit in as many half hours included some diarrhoea and increasing tummy tightening.  By the fourth time I was only jettisoning fluid and feeling a good throw up might bring things to a conclusion.

It was now well into the night, I was feeling increasingly weak and weary, freezing cold out of the bed and unable to lie comfortably in it, my torso demanding all my attention.

I announced to Lynda that this was serious and I had to abandon thoughts of working on the Friday.  She wasn’t really convinced until I actually vomited.  The drama of this act enough to convince the most skeptical wife that her husband wasn’t angling for a free pass.  She agreed to make the necessary arrangements leaving me free to wallow in my misery.

Being violently sick is a strange phenomenon.  For most of us a rare occurrence, frightening as a thought during build up but often strangely a sudden and fantastic release when over.

In this case thankfully it wasn’t accompanied by the often body shaking, full-on fast, sweaty, disablement that sees one writhing on the floor, virtually unable to lift oneself to a place of hygienic projection whilst feeling genuine thoughts of considered demise as a pathetic release from the perceived torture.

In my case I just suffered the intense torso trauma necessary for the body to do what it needed, which is to eject the foreign body as efficiently and fast as possible.

The reason for my coldness and feelings of weakness is explained by the total denial of any unnecessary energy allowed to the limbs and head.  All blood circulation and glucose available being required for the central body area.

Then a fantastic and impressive contortion occurs.  My stomach seized suddenly to a fraction of its normal size and caused a quickly repeating wave form heading up to the chest.  Such was the intensity I felt my skin tighten over the hips and ribs.

This was accompanied by the enlargement and straitening of my whole mouth and throat all the way down to my stomach.  It was as if you could put a whole arm down into my stomach without touching the sides.

My face contorted to maximise the final opening with my lips pulled back over the teeth as if I was reenacting the classic scene from An American Werewolf In London.

All of which pathetically resulted in just a tiny few specks of semi-digested food.

A second episode and this time all the drama with sadly none of the result.  The earlier diarrhoea having stolen all the moisture from my system.

But finally a third and more intense session and I ejected partial evidence of the suspected interloping poison.

It is only when this finally occurs that the inbuilt detective in oneself can finally hone in on the suspect.  I’ll save you from the more salacious details [surprisingly considering my attempts at detailing up to now] but I blame the gammon and suspect it had been stupidly reheated.

My misery didn’t finish there.  The body cramps hadn’t finished, the diarrhoea continued the next couple of days and I was pretty well bed bound for 36 hours in a state of uncomfortableness.

A further trio of vomiting occurred the next day, Friday, and my unexpected dieting continued as I had no desire to add anything into the cauldron of gloop festering in my innards.

All I wanted was to sleep but this was distracted by my tummy pains and frequent visits to discharge the small remaining vestiges of fluid in my system.  And flushing through an overheating anus is not ideal.

In fact it was the Saturday before I was persuaded by Lynda to allow anything other than water to pass my lips and I chose first to take on a sugary liquid.

She had kindly purchased a couple of litres of one of my favourite juices, Cranberry and Raspberry.  I considered this quite innocuous so ventured a sip or three.

I attempted to properly rehydrate whilst giving me a sugary boost to aid the feelings of extreme tiredness.  And I guess it worked.

During the day I felt better, less exhausted and only had the remaining tummy cramps to dispel, which I knew wouldn’t go until my body had satisfied itself that all badness was gone and once again offered feelings of hunger to replenish itself.

But it was an 18 hour period of living with just an empty shell filled only with a sticky juice.  And a strange phenomenon started to occur.

It started when I closed my eyes to attempt rest.  Normally on first closing eyes I see temporary visions of the intense light sources I had been seeing.  Such as dark patches where lights had been on or more recently dark square patches where I had been looking at my phone.  These recede over a short time to be replaced by the swirling out of focus cells and miniature hairs naturally floating across the eyeball.  Distinct and highly contrasting, particularly evident when the room light source is lit or daylight as it was during this time.

However, now I was experiencing something new.  Fuzzy grey, indistinct large patches with highly jagged and darker detailed edges.

These sights, through closed eyes, were the first different thing but soon my mind’s thoughts, unusually quiet during my previous sickness, had now turned quite crazy.  Crazy in the sense of all over the place.

Song snippets, earworms, raced repeatedly around.  Thoughts jumped from one subject to another at an unbelievable and frightening speed, perhaps six to ten a second and when I did finally ‘sleep’ for a few minutes vivid dreams featuring regressive situations coupled with modern characters in my life filled my imagination.

I concluded I was suffering the alleged fate of small children with underdeveloped minds reacting to what I understand as an excess of Tartrazine in their diet.  In their case often accompanied by random, uncontrollable, disruptive actions.

Thankfully as I proceeded to rid myself of the sickness and tentatively returned to normal eating the effects wore off, the only permanent result being this scripted article penned in lieu of a good nights sleep.

I hope I haven’t laboured too much on the murky details in my story, having only included what I felt needed to get to the interesting aspects of violent sickness and my personal thoughts on ‘Tartrazine’.  I am aware that the subject matter has been intense and appreciate any reader who has come this far with me.

I include this as blogging stories are nearly always about the good and positive in life and the more realistic aspects are usually less well documented.

Maybe someone someday might be interested in how food sometimes affected us in the early twenty first century.

In stating this I assume it is the year 2743 or something.  By which time I shall have fully recovered.

A few final thoughts.

Firstly, I have no intention of naming or shaming the establishment which I believe caused my distress.  I have eaten there on perhaps dozens of occasions and believe there was no ill intent or lack of hygiene practice to cause this problem on this occasion.  It is part and parcel of regular eating out.  If they made a mistake on this day then this is unfortunate.

I do not plan to ostracise the establishment and whilst won’t immediately rush back will probably be tempted back eventually by the enticing offers which lead us there in the first place.

I do not seek compensation as I have lost nothing really except an unscheduled holiday date.

The cost to me was temporary the pain a fading memory save for this piece but we all got a blog from it, so some positive.

The anxiety and additional work imposed on Lynda was accepted unequivocally as one does for a lifetime partner.  And she did get a virtually uninterrupted day of Netflix out of it.

I have not studied the phenomenon of Tartrazine, have no proof of this chemical in my drink and do not in any way cite myself as an expert in this field with only general circumstantial and hearsay stories leading me to the conclusions above.  Further, I have no particular interest in pursuing knowledge in this field and do have access to Wikipedia should I change my thoughts on this.

I particularly have no interest in children with ‘behavioural difficulties’ and again my thoughts above are as far as I personally wish to explore such matters.

I know there are blogs out there that deal with much more severe trauma, sickness and even death.  Probably with greater humanity, thought and compassion but please don’t assume I need a list of such places to view.  I can use search myself if I wish to go down this route.

Any comments are welcome but if you wish to espouse views on diarrhoea, vomit or children please try to maintain an understanding that not everyone wants to know every tiny detail, particularly about the two most icky subjects.  Obviously one being children.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 13 Feb 2019
Originally written but not published  on 15 Jan 2018

Remastered

Yes, I’m calling it.  I have now completed the remastering of my web site.  The foundations of version 5 are done.

It’s taken some major commitment from me over the past 15 months and I’ve managed it all in less time than a Brexit.

From now on it will be all new content never before seen on any previous versions of the site.

Yes, I will still need to spend a little time finally tweaking some pages and entries but perfection always needs a bit of polish so that’s just an ongoing chore.

So, tell your friends, inform your colleagues and update your associates vinceunlimited is in business.  The future can begin.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Web section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 11 Dec 2018

Redacted

You may have noticed that I have not been posting much on this blog lately.  Don’t panic my typing finger hasn’t dropped off.  It’s just that I am continuing with the time consuming update of my web site, page by page on a near daily basis and I have reached 2014, the date that I started my WordPress blog.

Obviously there is no point in recreating these ancient WordPress blogs back onto this site as they already reside here, albeit from many moons back.  However I was using other forms of communication at the time, such as FaceBook and this is one post that I only shared on my FB site [albeit availably publicly at the time] and can share with you all now.

A FaceBook status update originally posted on 8 Nov 2014

Redacted

Hi guys, I’ve been lax in my post updates lately.  I really ought to let you all know what I’ve been up to lately.  Hopefully this post will get you all up to speed.

Just one note before I start though.  I hope you don’t mind but I’ve had to redact some of the more personal data as I don’t want FaceBook to have too much personal information on record.

Firstly work.  I used to [redacted] but just recently, in fact just [redacted] years ago I decided to have a change and now I [redacted].

I am really enjoying doing this partly because I get to [redacted].

On a personal basis I’m still with [redacted] despite [redacted] and the incident with the large mole.

Health wise my doctor said my enormous [redacted] even though I use the cream daily.

I had a falling out with [redacted] so don’t expect a Christmas Card this year.  But at least I made a new friend when the [redacted] [redacted].

Now for the most important bit.  I had a great bit of fortune recently on the [redacted] and won nearly [redacted].  I am going to share this all with my FaceBook friends.  All you need to do is turn up at [redacted] on the [redacted] at [redacted] o’clock.  All those that read my messages will now know this and be able to share in this.  So see you on the [redacted].

Bye for now.

And remember if you don’t share this post you will [redacted].

Author: Vince [Redacted]
From the Social Media section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 5 Nov 2018
First published as a FaceBook status update on 8 Nov 2014

Ingreedyents

From the vinceunlimited Blog dated 16 Mar 2011

I have to read things.  It’s part of my make up, who I am.  I am curious and love gathering knowledge.  And a great source of detailed information is plastered all over our products and the most enlightening and interesting is the ingredients list on seemingly simple products.  I’ll give an example just to see if you can guess the product before the end reveal.

The first ingredient listed is always the largest component and in this particular case is Aqua.  Now if you were paying attention in double Latin you will know that this comes from the old English word meaning Akker, short for Acker Bilk a clarinetist who became famous for being the only clarinetist anyone could name.  The Akker term was used to describe the spittle and dribble emanating from the business end of his instrument.  Later this ‘Akker’ became Aqua during the Latinisation of old English words during the 1950’s when certain Oxbridge elements wanted to seem more clever than the general populous.  In other words Aqua just means water and no one except Stephen Fry can understand why they just don’t say that.

The second most common element is a compound, which is really two elements so by combining have jumped up the list unfairly.  This compound is Sodium Chloride.  As any chemistry student knows this is actually just salt so why the pretentious ingredient listers bother with fourteen letters and a space when four will do can only lead one to suspect that they are in it up to their necks with the Ink Printing Association and frankly the Government should look into this rather than wasting all that time on the Hutton Enquiry.

Coming in in third place is the second Sodium collaboration, this time with Benzoate.  Why Sodium wants a second billing is as strange as the word ‘in’ wanting a second billing at the head of this paragraph [I bet you five pounds you had to check].  What is even stranger is that Benzoate is a common misspelling of the term Benz 08, the eighth car produced by Mercedes.  We all know that Sodium and old cars don’t really mix so this ingredient actually just refers to rust.  Or as the aforementioned Ink Printers & Affiliates Association would put it Ferrous Oxide.

The next listed ingredient is Polysorbate 20.  Clearly the manufacturers of this product had to undergo years of testing just to establish that Polysorbate 20 was clearly better/cheaper/more environmentally friendly [delete as appropriate] than Polysorbate 19 or any other number less or indeed more than this.  For the technically minded amongst you you may like to know that Polysorbate 1 is the amount of liquid you can mop up using a single Standard Unit parrot.

Next up is the old familiar Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate or SLGC for short.  Again Sodium has chosen to get in a mix with other products rather than stand out on it’s own.  In fact if it did it would probably rate above Aqua so one must conclude that Sodium is inherently shy.  In this case hiding amongst Lauryl, Glucose and Carboxylate, an unknown comedy trio who’s fortunes turned around when Carboxylate left them to join another team.  Lauryl and Glucose re-branded themselves Laurel and Hardy and Carbo, as he became known, joined the other Marx Brothers.

The next listed ingredient is Malic Acid.  This is obtained from the Hollywood actor Art Malik so is very expensive.  It is a well kept industry secret that after his work on ‘The Jewel In The Crown’ and ‘A Passage To India’ he was ground down using a large Mortar and Pestle for use in various products and his appearance in True Lies was actually done by Ronnie Corbett on a pair of stilts with some clever post production work and Ronni Ancona’s voice-over.

Next up, according to the list is Lauryl Glucoside.  But I think this is just a lie because I had a very close look using a quite big magnifying glass and I couldn’t see any.

Nearing the end now and we come across Parfum.  Now many think this is just a smug way of saying perfume intimating this to be a pleasant thing.  Again this fallacy must be redressed and if broken down into it’s constituent parts of Parf and Um you will see it’s true meaning is a fart.

The next ingredient is the most difficult to explain.  Not because it is a complex compound it’s just so darned difficult to spell.  It’s the trips off the tongue, old familiar, we all know it as Methylisothiazolinone.  A long word that scientists use when they haven’t really got a clue what they found but without it the Ingredients Standards & Ink Printing Affiliates Association Incorporated will not sign off the packaging [Has that Hutton Enquiry finished yet?]

Third from last is Aloe Barbadensis Extract.  This is a passage from the Hawaiian novel ‘Hello Barber Dentist’.  A short story about a young girl who hooks up with a hairdresser who has a secret life as a doctor.  I believe the word for doctor and dentist is the same in Hawaiian which might seem odd but not as odd as the six-hundred and fourteen words they have for podiatrist.

The penultimate ingredient is Propylene Glycol.  As opposed to Impropylene Glycol.  Glycol is a fancy word for antifreeze and in this case is proper lean.  In other words weak antifreeze.

The final ingredient of this mysterious product is Tocopherol Acetate and let’s face it as it is the final ingredient it hardly features at all so is not really worth considering.  In fact given there are ten other more copious compounds one wonders whether the actual product would be substantially altered by it’s omission.  In fact let’s start a campaign here and now to reduce the number of products in our products by leaving out the least included.  Except in the case of salt of course which will otherwise just revert to Sodium, which as we have already established wants none of the attention.

So, have you guessed the product yet?  I’ll give you a reminder of what’s in it:- Sodium, Water, Salt [i.e. more Sodium], Rust, Slapstick, essence of Art Malik, a bit of fart, some paragraphs, a spot of weak antifreeze and a teenie bit of something not really needed.  Which all makes it much clearer than the arse-wipe list on the actual packet as insisted by the Ink Printers & Bankers Bonus Society Corporation Of America, Honduras & Affiliated Offshore Accounts PLC.

So would you eat this only good for flushing straight down the loo stuff?

I hope not because it’s actually a real arse-wipe list.  Check out the back of your next packet of bottie wipes and you’ll see what I mean.

Well what do you expect me to do whilst sat here waiting?  I have to read something.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 30 Aug 2018
If you want to hear me read this Blog post to you I adapted it for my sixteenth blog post, Pod 16 – Ingreedyents, posted in iTunes and here on my WordPress site dated 19 Nov 2014
First published within the Blog on 16 Mar 2011

Cucumber Campaign

From the vinceunlimited Blog dated 6 Feb 2011

At first all the cucumber aficionados reading this will be salivating at the thought that there is to be a Cucumber campaign.  No doubt the thought of selfless promotion of their favourite green cylindrical vegetable will drive them wild with excitement.  But this campaign is to reduce their use.  I hate the things and I am fed up with them turning up uninvited in my sandwich rolls.

For the last few years we have been constantly droned on at to eat more healthily and my relatively recent contribution is to engage full on with the salad world.  Well, when I say full on I don’t mean the whole banana.  I don’t relish radishes, crave cress or press for peppers but I have taught myself the art of enjoying a little bit of lettuce, providing it’s not masquerading as that rocket/garden weed nonsense.  And I have always liked tomato and egg so with a bit of proper food [i.e. meat] I can handle a salad sandwich from time to time.

The trouble is the purveyors of such delicatessen insist on chucking as much ingredients into their wares as possible and this usually includes an obligatory slice of Cucumis Sativus.  No doubt using two thin slices of this cheap creeping vine pod appeals to their sense of value but for me it’s strong flavour just stains the rest of the sandwich and puts me off purchase.  And don’t go telling me that they hardly taste of anything as they are 90% water because if that is the case don’t bother adding them in the first place.

My main issue is that nobody really likes these things.  My misses claims to like cucumber but not once have I seen her purchase one for snack consumption.  Despite the easy natural packaging no one eats a cucumber in the street, such as happens with apples and bananas for instance.

You may think why pick on the cucumber?  After all in a similar way the tomato is not universally appreciated yet this is added to salad rolls for presumably the same reason and people don’t eat them in the street.  The answer is in the design of the tomato.  It may have the same convenient outer packaging as a cucumber but it packs a surprise squish inside rendering it impossible to eat anywhere except leaning over a sink.  So totally unsuitable for street snacking.  And to reinforce the positives of a tomato it adds a new and exciting colour to a salad sandwich.  Cucumber’s just ape the green of the lettuce that’s already there.  Plus I like tomatoes.

So lets ditch the cucumber.  The most pointless addition to a sandwich ever.

Apart from sweetcorn of course.  That nasty little cancer gets everywhere.  Try buying a salad or pasta snack in your local supermarket and there it is.  Little yellow bits of stinking pus-pebbles ruining every dish and impossible to remove without tweezers and a sieve.  Tastes even stronger and twice as sickly than crappy cucumber.  And for some reason always added to otherwise delicious tuna offerings.  What is this stupid fish/corn-cob relationship based on?  As far as I know nothing in the natural world that David Attenborough has ever enlightened us about despite an almost obsessive annual BBC series on the subject.  I adore tuna.  Tuna is good for me.  Sweetcorn makes me puke.  Why stop at Tunacorn?  Why not just go the whole hog and pointlessly insist on adding dandelion leaves to every smoked salmon slice?

Or better still why not make things simpler?  Sandwiches, rolls, baps, tacos, submarines and pittas should only contain one ingredient.  An obvious main ingredient, such as the meat, or for those vaginatarians say an egg.  Then also on display at the same point should be the personal add ons, such as lettuce, tomato and [if you really insist] cucumber, sweetcorn and dandelion.  The user could add these extras at will and build a sarnie to their precise taste and health requirements.

Yes, I am aware that the Subway sandwich chain already take this approach but why not our local supermarket, corner shop or garage forecourt?

Lettuce start the Cucumber Campaign today.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Opinions section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 29 Aug 2018
First published within the Blog on 6 Feb 2011

Repository

One of the most famous incidents from western history is the shooting of American President John F. Kennedy.  Few reasonably educated people in the English speaking world would not be aware of some of the facts around this moment.  It might just be that it was in the sixties, the assassinated President was travelling in a motorcade, Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter, there are loads of conspiracy theories and the shot came from a repository.

I didn’t fact check these six commonly known things stated above.  Some may be incorrect.  For instance was it the sixties?  Is Oswald spelt correctly?  That’s not important right now.  What I want to highlight is two uncommonly used words in this short summation – Motorcade and repository.  Both first heard by my young ears around the time it happened and both rarely used to this date.

I’ve never really questioned the term motorcade.  Probably because it immediately seemed to describe the line of vehicles involved.  Possibly because even today it is used to describe an American Presidential car outing.  The British Prime Minister, for instance, never seems to get reported as travelling in a motorcade.  Even though it’s often technically true.

The other newly discovered word to my young ears was repository.

What is a repository a small child might ask?  A library is the short answer.  So why not say library then was the response?

Presumably because if it was a library a chap firing off a high powered firearm would have elicited a cacophony of ‘shhhhhs’ from other users delivered in that passive aggressive way only librarians and library users can achieve.

However the classic response to a small child’s follow up question in those days would have been ‘because it is’ or more likely please accept this clip around the ear as a kindly note to advise you will find out when you are older and stop bothering me now, I am an adult and you are irrelevant.

I can’t recall which type of reasoned explanation was used at the time but I never really questioned the word again as it never comes up in any context, except in reference to the Dallas incident mentioned above.  But it was a key memorable fact about the Texas story that still sticks today.

My website is a repository.

That’s not actually an analogy.  It’s a fact.  If I were to liken it to a library it would only be analogous.  Described as a library it may make sense to some.  It contains my web content.  It has clearly marked sections for those who seek specialist subjects.  It is arranged logically and is open to all.  But technically it is an information repository.  But it is an incomplete one because at present it is still being stockpiled.  And only currently about two-thirds filled with historic content. Mainly the content from previous website iterations between 2003 and early 2010.

You may note at the bottom of this article in my website the version number is 5.166.  This is the one-hundred and sixty-sixth update to the fifth version of my website.  Quite a lot of updates you might think.  And you would be right.  After I hand-coded and uploaded the current edition of my site I have made 166 new pieces of content.  Meaning the repository now contains well over 120 separate pages, and more than 40 individual blog posts.  All in HTML5 and linked via CSS styling cues.

This may seem a lot of work and it was but also consider I have done the exact same but in mobile specific form so those numbers can be doubled.  In other words over 320 pages have been written or updated.

And in each case every article or blog post is first trailed on the homepage as well as being added to it’s final resting place.  So the total number of alterations is more like over 640.

But there’s more.  In every instance I consider whether an article may need replicating in a specialist place.

For instance this post will be added to the homepage as usual, plus added to the Blog posts where it shall remain but then also added to both the Geek and Web sections for those who seek such specialist knowledge.  Then I’ll update the vSearch page so it can be found.  This type of procedure is common and sometimes articles get posted in six or seven places so the repository can be simply navigated.

And all that excludes the many times I have checked my updates only to find link errors, grammatical changes required or just additional content refreshing requirements, such as the updates to the Sketches page I posted at the same time as this article.

I estimate that I have written near to 1500 page updates.  And I am only two thirds the way through this initial exercise.  And when all this is complete I shall continue to add to the stock with exclusively new content.

Quite a repository.  And sadly like all repositories it is rarely visited.  However, it is always open, it is free to enter and you are most welcome to browse.

And just like the infamous JFK incident, you can be sure there is more of this story to come.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the BlogGeek and Web sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 6 Aug 2018
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald on 22 November 1963 in Dallas, Texas.  He fired shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the presidential motorcade.  Many people dispute these facts

dadPad

A MyDiary entry from 28 Jan 2010

Yesterday [27 Jan 2010] Apple finally launched their much anticipated iPad and I have been lapping up every Tweet, blog and story about the thing.

One reason for the interest, other than my confirmed fanboy status, is that for months I seriously considered that such a product may well be the answer to my personal electronic needs.  However, I recently saw sense and avoided waiting for a 1.0 version of an untried, theoretical device, with no known cost and purchased instead a MacBook.   I think my decision may be correct.

The iPad is gorgeous, but not available for six months, still uncertain in UK price and may not actually do all I want it to do.  No-one has mentioned working with iWeb yet, my primary reason for a hand held device.

However, as Tweeted today, I think there is a market for this that is as yet untapped.  The elderly.

Or rather the non-tech, reasonably wealthy elderly who have yet to get a computer or on line.  I’m thinking my in-laws here.

This product is designed for my father-in-law.  The standalone design meaning no awkward telephone connections.  The user friendly intuitive GUI meaning no keyboard/mouse learning.  The inbuilt simple bookstore.  The scalable text for failing eyesight.  I’m convinced.  He has admired my iPhone for some time and I am going to recommend this iPad to him.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Computers section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 31 Jul 2018
From an entry in MyDiary dated 28 Jan 2010
First published in the vinceunlimited.co.uk website in Mar 2010
I did buy an iPad, but not until the second version, the iPad 2 3G and WiFi 64Gb model in Nov 2011
My father-in-law did eventually get an iPad, having never owned a computer.  I gave him my second iPad, the Air 2 WiFi only 128Gb model, in Sep 2016.  He was then 90 years old and still uses it so my original thoughts in 2010 about suitability for this sector are fully validated

Kangafood

Had a late lunch with the wife’s family to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday.

We made our now seemingly monotonously regular trip to The Otter at Otterborne.

Personally I always see a typically dingily lit Public House with grimy floor and facilities and a smattering of unwelcoming angry looking bar locals.  However, the in-laws only see the back restaurant and seem to like the food.

Here the Otter does well and surprisingly serves a quite exotic menu.

Often I’ll order the Ostrich Steak but like so many other things today this was off the menu.

The waitress offered kangaroo, which I jumped at.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Food section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 30 Jul 2018
From an entry in MyDiary dated 18 Jan 2010
First published in the vinceunlimited.co.uk website in Mar 2010

Christmas Smut

A MyDiary entry from 26 Dec 2009

A pretty red brick hand-built classic fireplace with electric fire and substantial dark wood mantlepiece, set in a lounge with thick maroon carpet.  The fireplace is flanked by a flat screen TV and sub-woofer and has three pink and white mantle pots and matching carriage clock
Why do we think industrial brickwork indoors is a good idea?

I live in suburbia.  Not a town called suburbia but a good facsimile of it.

It is a mid-eighties detached property built using the standard UK model with many featuring that most essential of British faux Victoriana features – The fireplace.

This ancient Dickensian accessory is thankfully rarely used.  Unfortunately, being Christmas, many fools succumb to the lure of a smoky hellhole and fire up their soot inducing possession.

As a result my clean white windowsills are now peppered with smut.  And frankly the only thing I like peppered that way is my late night TV.

I’m definitely going to move this year.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog  section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 25 Jul 2018
Written as a MyDiary entry on 26 Dec 2009

First published in Version 3.0 in Mar 2010
The photograph shows the author’s fireplace, taken around 2005 and was first added in Version 3.0 Mar 2010

Home Work

A MyDiary article from 27 Nov 2009

Today I am working from home.  No, really, I’m at home and working.  I’m not just messing about on my computer.  It’s real work.

I know it’s work because I have to open an Excel spreadsheet.  As usual, it is a complex, multi-formatted workbook with SUBTOTAL functions and my Mac’s pretty little spreadsheet, Numbers, does not seem to support these professional tools.

As a result I have had to install Sun’s VirtualBox which will allow me to load in my copy of Windows XP and the MS Office package on to my Mac.

I really do not want to do this, other than for the fascination, as it will be like fitting a Kia sunroof with ill fitting lock into my Jaguar.

The process involves adding Sun’s VirtualBox, Microsoft’s XP, the XP SP2 disc, MS Office 97 Suite [I can’t afford the extortionately priced upgrade, alright], adding AVG virus protection, then running several dozen Windows Updates, each of which wants to have its very own restart.

I will then be able to fire up the Excel sheet.

All of which is very time consuming and will mean I won’t be finishing early today.

Despite working from home.

Which I am.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog , Software and Worker sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 19 Jul 2018
First published on 27 Nov 2009

Jet Wash[ing Up]

A MyDiary article from 12 Nov 2009

A photograph of the back of my wife in a red tee-shirt and beige cap stood on a balcony just as a nine plane Red Arrows jet formation flies past, trailing their blue, white and red smoke
A Red Arrows display begins in August 2009.  No idea of how many pilots were wearing make up

I’m in the process of readying the next update to my vinceunlimited website.

To be honest I’ve been in this process for some time.

I recently made a decision to abandon the plan to hand code a replacement and instead rely on the built in iWeb application that came with my Apple software, despite all it’s limitations such as lack of meta tagging, inability to child page and inability to include the basic widgets on non-Apple standard servers etc.

I deduced that it really is content that matters.

Thankfully, I have now discovered I can quickly copy paste content from my current version so I do not need to retype all the 120 pages of content.

However, having the site on the operating table and not up and running means that days like today frustrate me as a great story came out about the first female Red Arrows pilot.

The scope for a playful blog was hardly satisfied by my Tweet entry suggesting all displays would now run at precisely five past three to allow for a quick lipstick fix.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog and Geek sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 18 Jul 2018
First published on 12 Nov 2009

The photograph shows the arrival of a nine-plane Red Arrows display over Bournemouth in August 2009.  I took the picture timed to show the exact time of arrival as my wife waited patiently for the start of the display

An Old Fashioned Diary

A MyDiary article from 11 Nov 2009

As if I haven’t got enough places to write things down – my blog, Facebook, Twitter.  I couldn’t resist the idea of having a personal diary again so have downloaded the MyDiary App onto my iPhone.

I remember my last real journal was an A4 white bound affair with stupidly narrow lines.  I wish I could read it now.

Today is Armistice Day.  It is also my sister’s birthday.  Mum and Dad nearly called her Poppy because of this but went with Dawn instead.  Something about being born early in the day I understand.  If all parents were like mine a quarter of all girls would be called Dawn.

The siren rang out at the Warminster site I was working at today at 11am to mark the two minute silence.  I stood and thought about all the soldiers dying and being injured in Afghanistan.  This solemn moment was only disturbed by me sneezing half way through.

Finally I started trading on iTrade today, another App on my iPhone.  This little piece of fun allows a virtual trade using real stock values.  I decided to reduce the confusion so decided to keep to stocks starting with the letter V.   Egoistic or what?

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 17 Jul 2018
First published on 11 Nov 2009

Not Over The Moon

A vinceunlimited blog article from 20 Jul 2009

An American astronaut stands in his white spacesuit and large glass fronted helmet on a rocky moon surface next to the foot of his lunar landing module
An astronaut stands on the lunar surface near to the Lunar Module Eagle foot

Today [20 Jul 2009] marks the fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing by a man in a white suit with a big pack on his back and it seems the world has gone mega-moon nostalgic.

The airwaves are full of grainy imagery and everyone is so pleased with themselves you can hardly hear the naysayers claiming the rocks in the picture are made of Hollywood papier-mâché now stored in Area 51.

This led me to excitedly mention to my misses that the nine 1969 Kodak Memorial Colour Slides we have diligently stored in the cupboard might well meet a good premium on eBay.

And her to disappointedly mention that she threw them out a month ago.

A month ago I acquired a natty slide converter and spent a few moments [read hours] transferring all my old colour slides to a more manageable electronic format.

With this I can now see them more regularly and indeed have added some to this very website.

I also knew that most were gradually deteriorating, over time loosing their natural crisp brilliance and turning darker by the year.

I realised that after the transfer there was little point keeping the cumbersome little blighters and that Mrs Clear-It-Up was going to put them in the big grey bin.

However I presumed she might keep the singular little box of collectable, commemorative slides.

Why do I make these basic errors of assumption?

So the NASA eBay collectors of the world were denied the opportunity to get a contemporary set of 60’s memorabilia and I was denied my probable forty quid anniversary present.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog section of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 14 Jul 2018
First published on 20 Jul 2009

The photograph is a digital transfer from a Kodak Slide original [ask your dad] and is of one of the Apollo 11 astronauts from the 1969 manned lunar spaceflight mission.  The photo was not taken by the author.  If it was I would be a lot more famous.  And older, as I was about six at the time.  Credit belongs to NASA.  Added on 14 Jul 2018

The Smelliest Car

A vinceunlimited blog article from 19 Nov 2008

I read in Advanced Driving magazine about a new car from the French battery company Bolloré.

An electrically propelled vehicle to be called the B0.  That is the ‘B-zero’.

I somehow doubted that it will be called that.

Author: Vince Poynter
From the Blog and Petrolhead sections of the vinceunlimited.co.uk website dated 11 Jul 2018
First published on 19 Nov 200
8
The first prototype was called La Blue Car.  It became the La Pininfarina B0 [zero] in 2008 with model releases in 2013 and then with Renault in 2015.  Since then it appears to have passed in the wind.  Like the Mercedes-Beans

Advanced Driving magazine was published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists [IAM], an advanced driving charity with a purpose to improve driving standards, now called IAM RoadSmart