Is it all down to chance?

Is everything we do governed by or down to chance?
After this week, I think so…

You know what it’s like, your working day is dictated by events which may have been arranged or planned by others, and they seem to assume that because those things are written down or added to their diaries, that they will happen whatever.

Well this week, I know better! Things don’t happen in the way we assume and that’s mainly because we think things will always happen in the way they were planned. In fact these “things” are much more likely to happen in the same way experienced by a gambler. Let me give an example:

Assume I order something from the internet, I see the item is in stock and happily accept the suppliers delivery date… Mistake! – How on earth can the supplier know that their delivery company will have all their staff on hand to deliver my goods? How do they know the ferries to the Island will be running? etc etc….

The situation is far more like a gambler throwing a die/dice – sometimes it’ll be a 6 but much more likely is a number 1-5. OK, so my delivery is predicted on Monday, but that assumes we threw a 6, mostly we don’t; perhaps we threw a 4 as it snowed near the courier’s depot, that means we won’t see our purchase until, at best Tuesday and probably Wednesday or perhaps even Friday!

At every stage in the supply chain everyone “throws the die”, the end result is difficult to predict but as a rule of thumb, it’s safe enough to assume that not everyone will throw that elusive 6 and that your delivery will be late…

Irish Newspapers Will Now Be Ignored

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

This newsletter often points to interesting articles available elsewhere on the web. I usually give a 2- or 3-sentence introduction, followed by a link to the article of interest. According to a coalition of Irish newspapers, if I provide a link to an Irish newspaper, I am a pirate.

The National Newspapers of Ireland has adopted a new policy. Any website which links to one of the 15 NNI member newspapers will have to pay a minimum of 300 Euros ($395 US dollars), with the license fee going up if you post more links. See for the details.

Note that this is not a fee to post an excerpt or some punitive measure for the copying of an entire article. No, the NNI wants to charge for links alone. It doesn’t apply just to newsletters or web sites, the NNI wants to charge the same fee to ANYONE who even posts a single link in a Twitter message or any other message in any public place on the Internet. That includes Facebook, all blogs, all web pages, and perhaps anyplace else online!

This is one of the most stupid ideas I have read in recent times. The National Newspapers of Ireland obviously has no idea how the web works and also has no concept of the amount of valuable publicity that links to their members’ newspapers can provide.

Online news site Slashdot suggests this is an elaborate way to commit suicide.

Whatever the reasons, I will abide by this rule. I will no longer refer to any Irish newspaper web site until the National Newspapers of Ireland wakes up and rescinds this foolishness.

Investigating this madness a little further, I discovered an Irish Solicitor who agrees with Dick.

1950s Golf at Shanklin and Sandown GC

I have to thank James for the video here.

The quality isn’t great but it’s certainly worth a watch to see if you can recognise any of the holes after 60 odd years.

You can use the controls at the bottom to go full-screen which may help make things a bit clearer (although I think it looks better as it is here). Oh and the sound is now working – unfortunately it’s just a “lift music” type track as I suspect those old cine cameras didn’t have sound recording.

Get Flash to see this player.

Fox in a Box…

Saw a fox running across the road the other night and it reminded me of a conversation with my Swindon neighbour Dave (both perfectly sober btw).

The gist was that we should start a company called Fox in a Box which would advertise their humane fox catching service. It went something like this; flood an area with leaflets offering to drop off a humane fox trap in any garden for a fixed fee, details of how any captured fox would be treated were clearly described and, of course, the fixed fee was pretty reasonable and would only be charged if and when the trap caught a fox. Basically the animal would be transported to safe place and then released, unharmed, to rebuild its life in the new location.

The USP was that the next leafleting exercise would cover that self same “new location” , meaning the whole scam could be repeated forever (well pretty much)…..