Monthly Archives: January 2011

Comedy 101

Last night we went out to see another live comedy gig, Having been browsing the Internet earlier in the week, Jo stumbled upon an event just down the road from us called Love Comedy. Held in the auspicious and grandiose setting of the local Holiday Inn, this evening offered 4 comedians and a compere for £10 each. That’s pretty bargainous by anyones standards at just £2 a comedian.

I had never heard of any of the acts on last night, which is a shame, as I spent a lot if time laughing. So I am writing this blog post for a number of reasons, firstly, it’ll help me remember the names of the comedians so I can look out for them in future, secondly it will be an opportunity to give them an extra bit of publicity and recognition, and thirdly, it’ll stop people hassling me about doing a blog post 😉

The compere for the evening was Benjamin Schofield (or One Man Wanking In An Isolated Shed as he is sometimes known). Ben is a funny man, no doubt about it, looking like a cross between Jesus and Hagrid he managed to get the crowd going and keep them laughing. His introductions seemed a little bit longer than normal for a compere, but this was a bonus as his material was excellent. Almost as amusing as his material itself the crowds response to his newspaper article routine, an interesting, and quite accurate, view of how the same story gets twisted by the media. His Daily Mail article was spot on. I’ll be keepin an eye out for Ben on future.

First act was a character known as Danny Pensive. A rather surreal start as a short duffel coat wearing man walks on stage and starts singing (albeit out of tune, but it wouldn’t have been as funny if it was in-tune) about the virtues of keeping fish as pets. Danny is an odd character, that sees the world in odd clarity, and questions the accepted norm with a very simplistic and amusing approach. Buying a TV will never be the same.

John Gray was up next, and unfortunately he was the weak link of the evening, his material showed potential, but the whole set was the telling of one story and you were egging him on to get to the end. Alas it seems that John was very nervous and stumbled over his words a few times, but with a little confidence and a bit of work on his delivery he will do fine.

Adam Staunton was our third helping of fun for the evening. A twenty something Liverpudlian that looks like a fourteen year old, all helped by his glasses and “long” hair. I’ll say it now, Adam is funny. Playing on his looks he pokes fun at himself, and his life using witty one liners to lead you along with a storyline and then completely skew your view with a hilarious backhanded comment. Adam is another one I’ll be keeping an eye out for, but not on a school night. 😉

The headliner for the evening was…… Strange. It has been pointed out that Canadians have a weird sense of humour, and Wes Zaharuk is no exception. A very eclectic collection of one liners, audience participation, quick change routines and a fetish for things that suck or blow (vacuums and leaf blowers that is ). Wes was good, in a semi naked overweight middle-aged man with a sink plunger kind of way. Highs and lows of his set both involved audience members, the high was the skit at the end where someone provided his arm movements ( a la “whose line is it anyway”) complete with the fastest banana peeling known to man. The low….. the audience numpty who thought it would be funny, instead of shuffling the cards, to throw them in the air mid card trick.

All in all an excellent evening. The next one is the end of February, and we will certainly do our best to get there.

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G24 are a bunch of timewasting idiots

I don’t mean the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development, I’m referring to the bunch of Stetson wearing parking enforcement numpties.

Let me explain. A While ago a vehicle registered to me was photographed entering a car park of a retail park. A little over 3 hours later the same vehicle was photographed leaving the same car park. On this basis and the promise that signs are prominently displayed in the car park (honest) a Parking Charge Notice was sent to the address of the registered keeper of the vehicle i.e. me.

The Parking Charge Notice (or invoice) was demanding I pay £95  (or £75 if I pay within 14 days). Now I’m not a numpty, and I know that they have no legal entitlement to make me pay a thing. For starters, it says that I as the “driver of the vehicle”….hang on, what makes them think I was driving it? yes it’s registered to me but that doesn’t mean I was behind the wheel. It says I exceeded the maximum permitted time as displayed prominently n the notices, this is obviously using an obscure definition of “prominent” that I am not aware of, heres me thinking it meant “easily visible” or something like. I would also question the setting of the time limits, for instance, if someone were to visit this retail park, go for breakfast at one of the fast food places, catch a film at the cinema there and then stop for a bite of lunch they would easily exceed the time limits with out setting foot outside the car park limits and also spending a sizeable amount of money there.

The first invoice (polite request for payment with no legal standing whatsoever) came before christmas and was duly ignored. Not long ago I received a FINAL NOTICE demanding I pay the outstanding amount or the “debt” will be passed on to a debt recovery agency. Ha! ooooooo scary, G24 will pass on my unenforceable request for payment to a private citizen with no powers whatsoever who will send me a few more threatening letters.  I am expecting this to be from CCS Collect, which is a subsidiary of G24 Ltd (wat a surprise).

No doubt in about 3 weeks I will receive a very formal looking letter from CCS advising me of intended court action, fine, take me to court, prove I was driving, prove I saw a notice, prove the vehicle was there for the full time stated and not just dropping off and picking up.

A few weeks after that will be a harsher “NOTICE OF LEGAL ACTION”, yeah, whatever!

And finally should be a “72 Hour Notice of a Home Visit” to settle the debt or ascertain my financial standing. What utter tripe.

G24 Ltd and CCS Collect are the same company, their Director is Adrian Robert King (who for some reason keeps changing how his details appear on the directors report each year), they currently have a charge over the company with Natwest Bank which was either taken out or renewed on the 20th May this year, and quite laughably their Share Stock at the moment is only worth £600. See Adrian, it’s not just you that can get details about people.

The Debt Collection Agency they threaten with is no more than a person with a word processor. They are a private citizen, they have no legal standing to demand the money, they cannot threaten you with bailiffs and if they ever were to turn up at your door like they threaten, you can tell them to “go away” in as colourful language as you see fit without fear of repurcussion.

Debt Collectors are not bailiffs, bailiffs only get involved where there has been a court action, and for this, as mentioned above, they would have to prove things they cannot.

In short, G24 is a company that is run purely on threats. Adrian Robert King is a bully and the best thing to do with any parking charge notices you get from G24 Ltd is use them to line your budgie’s cage with.

This little rant is bought to you as I wouldn’t be surprised if loads of people get these notices. Hopefully this will help spread the word that these parking charges are basically a scam. So if you know anyone who has received a notice make sure you point them to the internet to look into it. G24 Ltd has lots of entries on google about its dodgy practices.

And now there’s one more ;o)

Cheese, Laughs and no Languages

Keeping up with established procedure I haven’t posted for ages and now I will submit you to a long drively blog post about what I’ve been up to, that will end up with me promising to post more often.

So what have I been up to?

Biggest recent news was the very recent visit of my brother and his wife. They live in foreign parts these days and so visits to this quaint little isle are not too frequent. We pounced on the opportunity of the visitation to have a wee breakette ourselves and tootle down to sunny Wolverhampton to partake in merriment and gin. We were not disappointed. It’s the first time that Jo has met both my brother and his wife together, but everyone got on like a house on fire. We went for a very nice curry, drank red wine and gin (the latter from the kitchest cocktail fountain ever) we laughed, we played Jenga, we had hangovers. Due to a slight glitch in communications we weren’t expected to be around on Saturday night, so another impromptu night of drinking was hastily arranged. Itt was a really good weekend, and I can’t wait to get back out to visit them in Merkin land.

On the subject of weekends and drinking we’re just in the middle of another really nice weekend. Last night we had The Kiwi & the Carbon Offsetter over to stay for a session of drinking and raclette (a cross between fondue and an indoor picnic – very delicious) there was much alcohol drunk  (judging by the empty bottles) and much cheesy nibbles eaten, as well as much laughing, chortling and discussions of Non=Newtonian Liquids. Tonight we took the boys out to the local Italian restaurant and they were so well behaved and ate so much, and now we are sat watching DVD’s drinking and chilling out. Tomorrow will involve trawling the second-hand market and taking the boys to ride their bikes.

My job is great. For those that don’t know I got promoted last October, I now get a little more money, work closer to home, don’t do evenings or weekends, don’t have to work with the public, and I’m working with spreadsheets and the like which I love doing anyway, so all in all I enjoy what I’m doing and they are paying me for it. Win – Win situation.

Oh and the list….I’ve made a few alterations. Gone are the challenges that are ludicrously impossible due to time constraints, money or my ability to do things and in are a few more viable and satisfying challenges. I am no longer expecting myself to learn 3 different languages, at the same time as doing a years worth of university courses. committing myself financially to things that would unnecessarily stretch my budget Or trying to master things that, as soon as left unattended, would be hijacked by the Demons and utilised for the powers of evil, Instead I have replaced them with things like taking time to give praise where it’s due, giving more attention to the boys, ensuring that they learn new things, making an effort to change little things about myself that I feel could be different, as well as making sure that I give a little time to making sure I appreciate myself as well as all those around me.

So there we have it, fairly long and drively, but I promise from now on I shall be posting more often….honest ;o)