Monthly Archives: September 2008

Meltdown happens

STICKS AND STONES can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

In the light of today’s meltdown on stock exchanges, it’s incumbent on all of us to remember the Chinese lighter we bought in Old Bangalore during the Beijing Olympics which lasted a whole day.

I have to add that in the space of my nearly 60 years on this planet I have seen meltdowns before. The ingenuity of human beings knows no bounds. But that’s because we’re more dextrous than chimpanzees, bonobo apes or orang utangs. These apes don’t care about stocks and shares, but about food, shelter and love.  And drink. ♥

Twilight of the airlines shows in Old Harrow

IT’S BEEN A VERY fine day today here in Harrow, Middlesex, Londonland. Sort of like an Indian Summer, with clear blue skies and the sun is warm too, when it reaches your skin. Go out of the sun for a second, and you feel the cold that’s a coming.

At twilight, we saw a fantastic pink scene unfold before our eyes – it’s like a criss-criss quiz. We managed to capture the new clouds in the sky before they totally disappeared, as the sun set.

Yes – this is the shape of things to come. A perfectly blue sky with criss cross things going in all sorts of directions. We guess they must be jet clouds. The telegraph pole in the foreground delivers – courtesy of British Telecom –  DSL to our little wedge of Harrow.

Where are all these planes going? And why does DSL “enhancement”  happen when it rains? And if sparrows perch on the line, why the degradation? We’ve asked British Telecom all these questions, but answer we’ve had none, to any of them.   

“A secure home for your money, at the Bradford & Bingley”

THE UK GOVERNMENT has nationalised the Bradford & Bingley building society, using the same amount to soak up the billions of pounds of debt that it did when it nationalised Northern Rock.

Apparently our prime minister, Gordon Brown, didn’t go to Chequers over the weekend so he could stay closely in touch with developments. The word is that we, the British taxpayers, will have to eventually subsidise the whole fandango eventually.

The Bradford & Bingley is renowned, perhaps now notoriously, for its catch phrase in its adverts: “A secure home for you money, in the Bradford & Bingley”. Now the money is secure in the government’s hands. It will attempt to flog off lots of propeties in the high street and other stuff, as it bails out the demutualised building society.

Lots of people will lose their jobs. At this rate, any typical high street will soon have vacant lots which used to be occupied by formerly thriving “banks”. Perhaps Lakshmi Mittal or some other Indian billionaire will ride in like a white knight to prop up this fiasco. But we suspect not. America’s fate appears to be in the hands of Communist China.  

Lehman Brothers fat cats to pick up $2.5 billion bonus

BARCLAYS CAPITAL, which picked up Lehman Brothers’ US staff last week, will include a $2.5 billion pot of gold which will be shared out to folk involved in the crash of the investment bank.

According to the Sunday Times, three big bonuses will be shelled out to ex-Lehman staff Michael Gelband, Erif Felder and Hyung Soon Lee. But others at Lehman will also pick up bonuses, although lesser mortals can expect to be made redundant.

Administrator Price Waterhouse Coopers is trying to claw back £4.4 billion from the US operation to help pay off people in the UK. 

Mechanical digger cursed by coconut tree

WE SAID NO good would come of builders chopping down the lovely coconut tree that was next to the Examiner’s offices in Ole Bengaluru.

And it came to pass last Friday, according to reliable reporters from the 100 Feet Road. It is a well known fact that chopping down coconut palms in South India invokes a curse, and the builders are obviously double cursed because they decked a little Tulsi shrine too.

This all conspired to create a SNAFU on Friday when a bright and shiny mechanical digger got bogged down in the mud. This building project will be most interesting to watch as the weeks tick by.

Nice weather happens in London, shock

IT MUST BE an Indian summer, because suddenly the skies cleared and we had the finest day of the whole year today – yeah, I know it’s the 19th of September.

I was away for most of August, and the old solar panel display shows that the eighth month of the year was sheer misery. It rained so much that a connection failed and that’s why the last few days of the month are missing. The nice chaps sorted it out in a jiffy.

Apparently, according to the nice installers, our UK government has put the kybosh on grants installing 15 solar panels and if you get a grant for one or two, you’ll be lucky. We’d suggest they open up the old DEC fab near Edinburgh, but suspect that wouldn’t go down a storm with the Broons of this world.

Luckily, the solar panel installer tells us that despite the parsimonious nature of the Broon towards householders, there are still grants for organisations. So after he’d fixed our faulty connection, Richard W went off to install about 30 Sanyo panels in Hornsey, or somewhere. Despite the atrocious British weather, we can report that our 3.1KW system means we still haven’t paid one electricity bill since it was installed, and our supplier owes us money.

So ask your member of parliament why the subsidy on solar panels in the UK is so poor. And also ask why it can’t crank up silicon volume.

India’s visa system shows every sign of excellence

ANDREW THOMAS of this yard round here right now might have had problems getting an India visa, but we can tell you the new system is 100 feet ahead of the old one which used to happen at the Indian High Commission in the Strand.

Not only is it efficient, it is effortless, so when we put our application in for an Indian business visa on Monday it was ready by Wednesday afternoon.

One question remains. India is promoting its “Incredible India” programme, via TV and street adverts. Why do tourists going to India have to have two sponsors before they can get a tourist visa? Obviously I am no tourist, and go to India for business regularly. How can no-one who has ever been to India ever before in the whole of their lives have two referees in India who know them?  The people at this place near to Victoria railway station (picture below) are super efficient. I won’t hear a word said against them.

Their website is here. ♦