Saturday, 29 January 2011

Leukaemia head shave work ban was a 'misunderstanding'


A CHILDCARE worker who sparked public outrage when she said her boss had banned her from shaving her head for leukaemia research now says it was all a misunderstanding.

Melissa Norman, 23, tweeted several media agencies about her plight and said she had been told shaving her head may offend other nationalities.

The mother-of-two wanted to shave her head in honour of her 13-year-old cousin Philip Roberts, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Ms Norman said the matter had been a misunderstanding.

For the full story click HERE.


Will the RAF have ANY Aeroplanes left after these defence cuts?



I only ask as the last 3 or so months have seen the retirement of 3 types of aircraft from the service. These are the Harrier,The HS 125 Dominie and the Nimrod,and I am now starting to wonder what will be left of the Royal Air Force inventory when they decide to retire the now 30 year old Tornado fleet from service?

It makes me sad to see the demise of so many of the RAF's fleet, but I guess that the thinking behind it is that we can't afford to keep so many aeroplanes whilst we are busy spending billions of pounds fighting a futile pair of wars in the middle east.....god help us if the Taliban ever get an airforce!.

No aircraft carriers,no harriers and no maritime recon aircraft.......Royal Air Force? More like Redundant Air Farce.

Glad I served my 12 years when there was a greater variety of aeroplanes to work on :-)


Monday, 24 January 2011

STI-571 CML Drug Breakthrough.


At first glance to name of this drug appears to be that of either a very fast car or some sort of nasty water infection. It is In fact the name that has been given to a new anti Leukaemia drug which could offer hope to many people suffering from CML.

Professor John Goldman, Europe's leading authority on leukaemia, said: 'Usually these things are blown out of proportion, but this is real.' Dr David Secher, of the Cancer Research Campaign, said the drug is a product of a new phase of research into cancer treatment. 'In the next ten or 15 years, we are going to see better treatments for all types of cancer, including the common tumours,' he added.

British experts are taking part in the next, much larger, phase of tests on STI-571 ? due to begin early next year in the United States, the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland. The patients in the pilot study had chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a form of the disease which progresses slowly before switching to a rapid and fatal acute phase.

To Read more Click HERE to visit the Mail Online Webpage.


African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) may be forced to close :-(


Launched 15 years ago in Croydon, south London, the founders of the ACLT Orin Lewis and Beverley De-Gale made a commitment after their son Daniel De-Gale was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1993.

Since then, they have assiduously encouraged ethnic minorities and those from mixed-race families to register as bone marrow donors as there are less than three percent of potential ethnic minority donors on the UK Bone Marrow Register, despite the prevalence of leukaemia amongst these groups.

To read about this in more detail click HERE.

Also in this press release is the news that another charity , the "Mission Dine Club" is also facing the same fate!.

Come on folks, this is really awful and sad news and, after reading today about the owner of Newcastle United blowing £1 million in two hours whilst gambling(?), I can't beleive that out there somewhere is someone with a few quid to help keep these worthwhile chairites open.

Remember. "Charity is the queen of all virtues"!


Saturday, 22 January 2011

FREE Unlock Code For ZTE Blade/ Orange San Francisco.


After surfing the web for details about the cost of unlocking my Orange San Francisco Android phone I came across something which you don't find very often.....a FREE Unlock Code!.

If you have either a ZTE Blade or an Orange San Francisco Android phone click HERE or HERE to be redirected to the web forums with the information of how to unlock your mobile :-)

Let me know how you get on :-)


Friday, 21 January 2011

Robot attends Russian school to help schoolboy with Leukaemia.


A very special student is attending a lesson at M oscow's school number 166: Stepan, a plastic robot, is in the classroom to help a little boy with leukaemia to follow the lesson through his eyes.

In the meantime, the real Stepan, a 12-year-old boy with big blue eyes and brown hair, sits in front of a computer at his home and takes an active part in the lesson with help of his plastic friend.

Stepan Supin has been suffering from leukaemia for two years and his immune system is too fragile to allow him to leave home.

Equipped with a webcam, a microphone and a loudspeaker, the robot broadcasts in real time what happens in the classroom to the computer at the boy's home.

To read more click HERE.


Doctors criticise leukaemia drug study into MabThera (also known as rituximab).


Three Australian oncologists say cancer treatment research published in one of the world's most prestigious medical journals may have been compromised by a drug company that funded the study.

They said publication of the research in The Lancet might have boosted the drug's perceived value to doctors and patients around the world, helping its manufacturer, Roche, make billions of dollars from the product.

To read the full story click HERE.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

RBS (83% owned by the Tax payer) to give £1 Billion in "Bonuses".


So, according to todays newspapers,it appears that whilst the rest of us are tightening our belts, battening down the hatches and trying to make ends meet, those arrogant fat cats at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) are getting ready to "reward" themselves for a job well done by awarding themselves a sum, thought to be around £1 billion, in the not to distant future.

I cannot believe the cheek of the useless gits.....exactly what have they done to deserve such a huge cut of TAX PAYERS MONEY?. If it was not for the likes of the normal person on the street paying into the government kitty and thus funding the rescue deal to save their sorry arses, they wouldn't even have a job!.

If this is deemed as acceptable behaviour within a " 83% publicly owned" establishment, then I would like to ask the government what other public services are going to be getting a wad of cash thrown at them for "a job well done"? Not the NHS sadly!. The only job that RBS has done well is to show what a crap and weak Government the UK has these days.

RBS? Maybe it stands for Ruthless B*stard Swindlers......Shame on you.

By the way RBS, What interest rate did you get from the government on your £37 billion+ I would hazard a guess that It would be a damn site less than the rates that you fleece your customers with!. Also, don't you even feel ashamed that before you have "got your house in order" and paid back your debts, you all give yourself bonuses? And then you have the bloody cheek to talk down to people who go into the red by a few quid!.

What an unbelievable bunch of Hypocrites you really are!.


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Annual Pay Freeze,Possible increment freeze and Pay Band Downgrades, now they want to charge me £20 a month for parking my car at work!


Well OK, the last point is still just "on the grape vine", but I would just like to post it "on the record" that I think that the NHS are seriously having a laugh this year....NOT!

I can't be bothered to write any more about this....but lets just say that I, like many of my colleagues, am getting a little tired of the constant "what else can we do to demoralize the workforce" attitude.

"Nuff said.....for now.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Exposure to benzene at work and the risk of leukaemia.


"A substantial number of epidemiologic studies have provided estimates of the relation between exposure to benzene at work and the risk of leukemia, but the results have been heterogeneous. To bridge this gap in knowledge, we synthesized the existing epidemiologic evidence on the relation between occupational exposure to benzene and the risk of leukemia, including all types combined and the four main subgroups acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)."

I have just found this article on the web. The results it shows makes me wonder with renewed interest if my exposure to AVTUR (Aviation Fuel) during my 12 years in the RAF had any link to my diagnosis of CLL in 2006.

To read the full report click HERE.

As Fuel Prices increase, I need my fuel bill to go way down!


Using a classic car as a daily driver is great fun but my 1987 VW Scirocco cannot be described as being the most frugal car on the road!.

I decided recently that I should make an attempt to optimize the MPG for the old girl by implementing a series of measures aimed at making her 24 year old 1.8 Litre Carb engine as economical as is reasonably possible.

My first action was to replace all of the "consumable" ignition and filtration parts, so I replaced the following items:

4 new Bosch Spark Plugs
full set of ignition leads (including coil lead)
Air and fuel filters
A new rotor arm and distributor cap

After these items where replaced I then made a call to a chap named Lester who owns a mobile Crypton tuning business in Mansfield. Lester came over the the Hospital on Wednesday morning and spent around 1 and a half hours "tweeking" the idle speed,the mixture and the timing. Afterwards there was a noticeable increase in power, the engine started more easily and the idle speed was set down to approx 900 RPM, down from it's original 1200 RPM which it had run at previously.

Once Lester had done his stuff I then unloaded any unnecessary "cargo" from the boot/car and checked the tyre pressures to ensure the correct inflation pressure was present.

The next action was that from now on I will only fill the fuel tank up to 1/4 full. This is to avoid carrying around any "dead weight" in the form of excess petrol which yet again would effect the overall MPG figures.

Just to give you an idea of the effect carrying a full fuel load has upon the cars "all up weight", let me explain the figures.

My Scirocco has a 12 gallon fuel tank.
Each Gallon of fuel weighs approx 3KG
If I fuel up with 1/4 tank of unleaded (3 gallons) it weighs approx 9KG.
If I fill up the fuel tank that is 12 x 3 which equals 36KG.
My journey to work in Mansfield (which has a petrol station close by) is 86 miles
The Scirocco will (before the tune up!) do approx 33-35 MPG which is 33+ x 3 (gallons) = 100+ mile range so I have a 13+ mile "emergency" reserve of fuel.

If I fill up the fuel tank on Monday I will be carrying 27KG of "dead" fuel for that first return trip! The second day I will be carrying 18KG of "dead" get the idea?

Just so you can "visualize" how much weight that is, next time you go to the supermarket stick 27 bags of sugar in your trolley and notice how much effort you need to then push it!.

It's a tried and tested principle that pilots use to maximise their flying range.They calculate the amount of fuel they require for the flight + a little extra for "unforeseen" diversions. I imagine though that they would have a larger margin of "reserve" fuel in their calculations as they can't just pop into the local Texaco if they run out!.

I will let you know how I get on over the next few weeks :-)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Old Lady's Letter to Her Bank Manager......

Subject: Senior moment - A 98 year old woman in the UK wrote this to her bank.

The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the Times (Hope he didn't get a fee!)

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement, which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, but when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1. To make an appointment to see me.
2. To query a missing payment.
3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7. To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required.
A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.)
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through to 8.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

(Remember: This was written by a 98 year old woman; DOESN'T SHE MAKE YOU PROUD!)

I wonder if the bank manager paid the old girl anything for her efforts? No doubt he could afford too bearing in mind the obscene amount of bonuses these people get.

What are your comments?

Indian Virus Scam Phone Call. Number 01234567890


Just a quick heads up that this scam is yet again doing the rounds and I should know because I have just had one of these phone calls this morning!

The phone rings, you pick it up, it rings another extension and (in my case) an Indian lady answered and asked if my name was Mr Andrews. I told her it was not and asked what the call was about. She told me that I had a computer that had been infected by a virus and that I needed her help to "save" my computer. I told her that I did not and that I was a computer engineer and that she was running a scam and guess what........she hung up!

Apparently they try to bill you for their "service" via one of your credit cards which they will ask you for the details of!.

To read more and hear an example of this scam click HERE.

If you get a call please let me know via the comments facility on this blog.


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

NHS freeze on annual pay increments looks closer to being implemented.


I have been watching this story closely for obvious reasons due to it potentially having an adverse on my current wealth....or lack of it!

It appears that the NHS, not content with freezing workers annual pay rises for the next 2 years, have decided to look into the possibility of stopping payments of annual increments to all staff within the paybands 1 to 6.

These annual bonuses are not given to staff as rewards,perks,productivity bonuses or golden handshakes, they are actually Incorporated into the Agenda for Change terms and conditions which most NHS staff moved onto a few years ago. The increments are given to reflect the extra experience, responsibilities and workloads that staff are expected to take on as their careers progress and with the freezing of the annual pay rise from 2010 for 2 years they appeared to be the only chance that staff would have to keep pace with the worryingly high rises in the costs of living that we are currently experiencing.

I won't take up blog space by going into the fine details of what is being proposed, but instead will supply a link and let you decide for yourselves if this is a very good way of motivating an already understaffed and overstretched workforce!.

Do you work in the NHS and fear that you may be affected by these plans? Take the survey by clicking HERE

Full story overview is HERE.


Gerry Rafferty has died aged 63

The Scottish singer songwriter most famous for his songs "Baker Stree" and "Stuck in the middle with you" died after what his agent described as a "long illness".
Baker street was one of my all time favourite songs, but strangely I never knew that Gerry was from Scotland!. The saxaphone intro is awesome and i have a feeling that you may be hearing it on the radio slightly more often for a while now.

Thanks for the music Gerry. RIP.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Fuel Protest's are planned for UK. Let me know your views.


As the cost of Diesel in the UK edges closer to £1.40 per litre there has been a resurgence in calls for the public to fight back against these crippling costs by way of some form of protest.

As you will know if you read this blog on a regular basis, I travel over 86 miles per day to my job and back, and I am currently spending £13 per day to complete this trip. Only 4 years ago It cost me £9 per day!.

I remember the fuel protests that took place a few years ago which,although they did cause me a few problems due to lack of fuel supplies, also gave me a feeling of satisfaction in the fact that for the first time (in my experience) the public had shown those in charge (or pretending that they were!) that they could take a stand and at the very least make these overpaid, perk ridden politicians that they had a voice.

I am not stupid, I understand that the country is in a state and needs to generate cash, but with MP's living in cloud cuckoo land enjoying a variety of unfair allowances which cushion the effects of living in the "real" UK, I, along with millions of other hard working people that are hit by the ever increasing burden, get more and more p*ssed off.

If you want to voice your opinions,suggestions or concerns, please feel free to click on the comment button and let the world know your thoughts.

To read more about this issue click HERE.

To read more facts about fuel costs click HERE:

Blogaway test post


This is yet again another experiment to find new and novel methods of posting on my blog...wonder if it will work?

It worked fine!. Excellent application for your Android Phone :-)

To get it for your mobile click HERE.


Sunday, 2 January 2011

dame kelly holmes wins famous and fearless ch4

I was glad to see dame kelly holmes win this competition, but just have one question for Chris Evans.
Who the feck is Sam Branson....(except from being the son of Sir Richard Branson)...and what exactly makes him "famous"?
And one other gripe. Please stop "bigging up" the 7 year old does more dangerous stuff every day of the year!

The First blog post from my android mobile...well almost!


Well it would have been had I been able to actually fill in the main body of the post!. The problem is that even though I can enter details into the Title part of the post, when I press "next" on the phone it jumps to the Labels for this post are....and it won't let me write anything in the main body of the blog post. A bit of a pain especially as Android is a Google sourced system!

Come on Google, sort it out!


I found that if you change the post option to "Edit HTML" rather than "Compose" it allows you to fill out the post contents box.

Sorted! :-)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

"open" prisons set alight and Bankers give themselves a huge bonus.Hello 2011!


So the prisoners in Ford "Open" prison (isn't that an oxymoron?) have started the new year by setting their holiday camp......sorry...prison alight, and all because they got caught with some booze in their cells.


Hopefully those involved will now be placed in a "closed" prison whilst the decent, constantly put upon tax paying public pay for your cells to have the damage repaired. What a bunch of tossers you porridge eaters are!


And whilst we are on the subject of tossers, lets just mention a select group of our population who seem to be so far up their own asses that they are oblivious to the financial turmoil that is all around them at the moment.

£7 Billion......yeah that's right BILLION in "bonus's" for doing what? A job well done? Steering the good ship UK through debt infested waters? Or perhaps for being clever enough to con the Government out of Hundreds of Billions to keep their own sorry arses safe when they couldn't manage to balance their own books.

Bankers? Not quite the title I would use for this greedy self satisfying bunch of hypocrites, but if you replace the "B" with a "W" you would have a title that is more fitting for them.

To see Janet Street Porters opinion on this story on the Mail Online the click HERE


Happy new year for 2011 folks.


There are so many things going on in my life right now (not all good sadly), that I was going to post an entry listing all of my hopes and fears for this new year. But to be honest I don't want to start 2011 on a downbeat note so I have decided not too!.

Anyway, lets just hope that this year, with it's threats of job losses,pay cuts, tax increases and cost of living increases, turns out to be not quite as bad as a lot of us are probably fearing.

At least we made it into 2011, sadly,several of my good friends and colleagues did not..........

Happy New Year ! :-)