Archive for September, 2009

I am me!

This was emailed to me this morning by Ron of West Finchley.

Ampers

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family, for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 &70’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love …. I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody’s beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength, understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore.

I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day(if I feel like it).

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The head versus heart

Gordon Brown, in his speech to the Labour faithful, talked about the choice between Labour offering prosperity and hope, and Conservatives who have “no hearts”.

There are families all over Britain who fall into two categories. There are some who live within their means and if they cannot afford something, they will wait rather than fall into debt. There are other families, and sadly these fall in the majority, who overspend on their credit cards and get deeper into debt to give their families, and themselves, everything they ask for.

Once you work out which families are the sensible families and which families are the foolish families you will be able to choose which party to vote for.

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Tough on crime

Being tough on crime creates a problem. Our prisons are already overcrowded and single cells are now housing two people, cells for two people are housing three people and cells for three people are housing up to five.

It doesn’t take an Einstein to realise that we have to attack the cause. Attacking the crime puts a further penalty on taxpayers whereas attacking the cause of crime may be a little bit more expensive in the first place but will save millions in the longer term. This is apart from criminalising thousands of young people unnecessarily. Naturally, whilst attacking the cause of crime, we also have to punish the present generation for committing their crimes. In other words, I’m not a bleeding heart! But I am a realist and know we cannot afford to carry on this way.

Governments never seem to get this right. They do not seem to know the difference between being proactive and reactive.

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Mining for gold

The other day I heard about a juror who used the Google search engine to find out if the defendant in the case they were judging had a record of similar offences. He did, and this juror then told the other jurors of this.

The judge was furious and gave him a heavy fine and also told him that he (the judge) had considered a custodial sentence!

Although this may not happen again — I am referring to a juror passing the information on — surely the cat is now out of the bag. Jurors all over Britain will be searching into the history of defendants on all cases which take over a day; in other words, when the juror goes home for the night.

I’m sure the establishment will try and halt this practice, but short of putting them up for the night in hotel rooms with a guard on the door, I’m not quite sure what they can do.

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Formula One Is Not about Driving around in Circles!

I was talking to a friend the other day and he seemed surprised that I was a keen follower of F1 racing. “How can you sit there just watching cars whizzing around the track?” He asked.

This got me thinking. How many people out there are under the same misapprehension? Formula One is far more complex than just the drivers racing around the track.

The driving is a small part of it. Decisions have to be made, by the entire team, depending on the size of the track and the number of circuits that have to be raced. Should one elect for a one-stop strategy, a two-stop strategy, or with the longer races, a three-stop strategy? This simple decision could make a huge impact on your position at the end of the race. Then, if the safety car came out, should you take the opportunity — depending on your present position — of whether to go straight into the pits or continuing your position?

Then, prior to the race, which is always held on a Sunday, what should you do on the practice days (Friday and Saturday)? On the final day, the last practice set will depend on what position on the starting grid of the main race you are allotted. However, you have to have the same amount of petrol in your petrol tank at the beginning of the main race as you had in this final practice session. A bad decision could mean losing ground in the first few laps of the race which could hinder your performance throughout the rest of the race!

During the main race the entire team have to make decisions such as how hard do you push your car? The engine in your car has to be used for two races so, if you push your car too much in the first race, it will not perform quite so well in the next race! A bad decision could lose you overall points.

You also have to decide which tyres to use. Hard tyres? Soft tyres? And, if it begins to rain during the middle of the race you have to ask yourself: “Is this a shower?”; “Is this going to develop into heavy rain?” Or “How long will this last?”. Depending on your decision, will decide on which wet tyres you decide to put on. A bad decision could lose you the race!

In addition to all this, you need to have a strategy for the entire season as it is the driver with the highest points during the season who becomes world champion. However, this strategy has to be reassessed at the start of each race depending on the type of circuit you are racing on, the number of good overtaking points on the circuit, and whether you have your lucky rabbit’s foot with you! Of course, the last point is a little frivolous but I put it there to admit that, although all these decisions require great skill, there is always that element of luck needed.

I have covered some of the points on which to base F1 decisions upon, but hopefully only enough for you to realise it isn’t just about a lot of men whizzing around the circuit.

Ampers.

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The brave NuLabour MPs

Gordon Brown is ruining UK PLC and nobody within the Labour ranks are trying to get rid of him.

I am not sure exactly what this indicates but, on the surface, I can see it is because of one of two reasons.

Reason 1: They all agree with what he is doing to our beloved country.

Reason 2: They are too frightened of him to try and get rid of him.

Conclusion: If Labour win the next election, the new PM will be someone who either agrees with everything that Gordon Brown has done, or will be a coward who did not have the gumption to get rid of him!

And regular readers know there is no way I would vote for a Conservative MP until everyone, in 1973, who voted us into the EC was dead and buried – there are still seven alive!

As people in this country are either blinkered Labour voters, blinkered Tory voters, blinkered LibDem voters or floating Labour/Conservative/LibDem voters, they will continue to get the Government they deserve. And, at 70, without children to worry about, I just laugh at all this madness from the sidelines. I shan’t be paying back trillions over the next hundred years or so.

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A new idea for government

I am pretty certain that everyone who is reading this realises that the present way we are governed leaves a lot to be desired.

I have come up with a few different ideas recently, such as voting for the other party at every election to ensure that MPs don’t get their feet under the table for too long. I have also advocated the idea of voting for small parties to enable them to grow larger and give the major parties a better fight.

However, I have now come up with what I think is a better idea. It costs a certain amount of money to prepare for an election. Having many elections, localised, should not cost very much more, if at all, to what is being spent now.

My idea, seeing that the EU is now making 80% of our laws, would be to reduce the number of seats in parliament to 300. The next idea is to set the period that an MP serves to a fixed four years.

We should then divide the 300 new constituencies by eight, making about 38 constituencies per period. My idea is then to hold a revolving election every six months for just those 38 constituencies.

During the period of four years, every constituent in the entire parliament would have gone through one election.

This would mean that if we had a government like the present government, and with the leader like the present leader, every time a crass policy was put forward, the leader would know that people would judge him at the next sectional election. Depending on how crass the policy would depend on how many MPs he would shortly lose. And I mean shortly. Naturally, there would be those dyed in the wool supporters who would vote positively no matter what was done in their name. But those sorts of supporters are dying out and there are far more floating voters than there ever were before. In addition, government supporters might be tempted to vote against them knowing that they would not lose power, only that their life might be more “difficult”.

There would also be continuity as, at each election, there would be at least 262 sitting MPs and out of the 38 standing for election, quite a few of those would be returning again.

However, I’m sure you will realise that there isn’t a leader of any party who would countenance such a radical idea, especially if it meant they would be kept on the straight and narrow.

Ampers

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