Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sniffin' Euros

The Euro

It has been found that 94% of Euro notes in Spain contain traces of Cocaine. The Average Euro note contains 25.18 micrograms. If this is true one could collect the particles and turn a fast buck. But how many notes would you need to collect a gram of 'Charly'.

1g / 25.18µg = 39,683

6% of notes would not carry any so total notes needed would be 42,215

The lowest denomiation of Euro tested is the 10- Euro note so you would need to borrow 422,220- Euros from the bank in 'Used' notes to obatain a gram of Cocaine. Which has a street value of 350- Euros.

If the Spaniards were not sniffing so hard it might become more attractive but at the moment I would stick to your regular dealer.

Friday, December 22, 2006


The Pride of Eydelgaard

I have to walk past this tree when I do the recycling. What a magnificent specimen. No idea what it is though. Could be an Oak, an Elm, a Beach or an Ash. There was once a documentary on local Maastricht TV about a man who has to log the condition and location of all significant trees in the city. I bet he would know.

Ayyy saw yah! Ayy saw yah! Recycling ye were!

Lock up your Rabbits

Haverton Hill Incenerator. Havvie Hill was made infamous by Auf Wiedersehn Pet
Series 3 when Dennis says 'What next a visit to Haverton Hill glue Factory'

An Eagle Owl has been spotted in Middlesbrough Town Centre yesterday. It apperently tried to attack a local businessman on his way from the office.

Eagle owls don't live in the UK naturally (only by captivity) and strangely enough the nearest known breeding pair nests in Maastricht. In the Saint Pietersburg area around a Marlstone (concrete) quarry owned by ENCI.

Saint Pietersburg is an historic area of Maastricht as it was built as the front line defence for the Limburg area from the Spaniards, Romans and Belgians. A bit like a ancient immigration office.

The Eagle Owl is quite a ferocious creature and has been known to kill other birds of prey to obtain exclusitivity of it's hunting area. The Gazette has slowly exagerated the killing power of the bird throughout the day. It is now capable of killing deer.

When the BBC visited the Maastricht pair they found limbs of rabbits and savaged wings of large birds below the nesting area.

Eagle Owls nest dangerously close to Belgians. It is planned to turn
the ENCI quarry into a water recreational area once the Marlstone is exhausted.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Miss USA ® "Trumped"

Tara Connor, she looks such a wholesome gal.

Miss USA, Tara Connor, has been given a stern telling off by Donald Trump the owner of the 3 beauty pageants, Miss Universe ® Miss USA ® and Miss Teen USA ®. She has been allegedly knocking back the liqueur, partaking in illegal substances and lezza snogging with Miss Teen USA ® in Trump Tower.

A tearful Tara thanked Mr Trump for giving her a second chance and promised she is going to better herself and become 'the best Miss USA you have ever seen'. Awwwww!

Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA

Monday, December 18, 2006

Crap Service

Beter Bed, A crap company

2 months ago we went and bought a bed from 'Beter Bed' (Best Beds) in Maastricht. The sales guy was pretty nice and we soon found a bed to our liking and the major selling point for us was that it would be delivered and constructed by Beter Bed for free.

I was extremely surprised to hear that it would take over two months before delivery. But because of the extra incentive that they would construct it we decided to go for it.

They arrived this morning, two burley guys, shot it all in flat packs into the bedroom in 10 minutes and buggered off. I was out shopping so it was up to the other half to ask why they wouldn't put it together. They said their delivery note said delivery only.

I rang Beter Bed and asked what was going on. They said there was a mistake and that with such a bed they would never suggest, or expect, 'self-build' and tried to give some tips on constructing the bed as if we wanted them to do it it would not be possible for another 4-6 weeks. He did offer us a matress cover for free though, How Kind!.

So 4-5 hours later we had managed to get the bed together, bar a few securing brakets, which the instructions described so badly we decided to wait for the free matress cover to check out how they should be fitted.

While we were constructing the bed the bottom base fell on our cat and he went into 'spook house' for the rest of the day. Which ended up him falling into the pond. So I mailed the wonderful 'Beter Bed' and asked for some compensation rather than a 10-Euro mattress cover. 100 Euros at least for sweets for the puss who is still in a sulk.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Crap Inventions

I can't believe I bought this. Was a kind of a novelty impulse buy hoping our cat would entertain us. Turns out it's a pile of old crap, destined for eBay and the next mug.

I present 'Smart Cat'. I'm glad to see they didn't ™ it. Would have been a waste of Prolink Internationals money

Shit in a box

The idea is that as your cat approaches the bowl the lid raises up revealing din-dins then when it walks away the lid shuts again. Simple but ingenious I thought popping it in my trolley at the DIY store. In the summer it'll keep off the flies, keep the food fresh. What the ingenious boffins forgot to factor into the equation is that cats are jumpy creatures and they don't like being repeatedly twatted in the face by a metal lid.

So after about 4 attempts 'Spike' had decided he wasn't playing ball with this device and won't go anywhere near it. To prove why it doesn't work I "youtubed" Spike. He was hungry and with a few tasty biscuits in the fly-trap and 10 minutes cautious walking around it he went in again.

Pot Noodles and Fireworks

Fuel of Britain apparently (I thought that was half a loaf and a packet of crisps)

After dropping the other half off in town for a spot of Christmas shopping I decided to be a devil and visit the English Shop for an unhealthy lunch of a Pot Noodle and a can of Lilt.

My mother used to tell me that Pot Noodles were the work of the 'devil'. It is pretty evil that you have to wait so long to prevent burning your mouth before you can start on them.

Driving back drooling over the oncoming monosodium glutamate fest I passed a large imitation firework outside the local toy shop so decided to go in and purchase the New Year's Eve fireworks. I have left this task till the last minute before and it can be a nightmare in this shop. Literally 100's of people scrambling for the counter. They gut the shop from toys as there is no other way of fitting the hoards in.

So I made a choice for some cheap selection pack from the display then went to ask for them. Only to be told you can't buy any fireworks until the 28th December. This is to prevent kids wandering the streets with 'vuurwerken' for the next two weeks. Oh and don't try and buy them on the 31st as thats a Sunday. It is illegal in Holland to let off fireworks on any other day than the 31st December.

He gave me a brochure and order form and pointed me to the website, where he said I could watch footage of the more expensive items in the brochure. (Not the one I was going to buy).

So I sat down with my 'fuel of Britain' pot and watched the fancy fireworks.

The firework of choice in Maastricht on the 31st December is the chinese firecracker style rolls that you lay on the floor. And for only 50 Euros you can purchase the 'Super Celebration', which has approximately 10,000 bangs. I am planning on buying on of these and then taking back the charred red remains and demanding a refund as we all only counted 9,995.

After finishing the Noodles I had to let the cat in as he was crying at the front door. Some kids had just let off a rocket and it exploded right above his head.

Mindless Entertainment, and a lot of clearing up for the council in the morning

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sports Personality of the Year

This year I think the best choice is not to vote. I know it's supposed to be about personality, but as ever the 'powers that be' have gone with what they think are the best achievers in sport this year.

the candidates :

1: Jenson Button

113 attempts before achieveing a grand prix win in Hungary this year

2: Joe Calzaghe

A boxer

3: Darren Clarke

One of the favourites unfortunately due to the loss of his wife Heather. The News of the World (scum) printed a story this morning about Darrens new partner insinuating it might be too soon to have another relationship following the death of his wife. Nice timing!

4: Nicole Cooke

For me Nicole deserves to win, Before Cooke, no man or woman from Britain had even made the top 20 of the world road race rankings, but she topped them. A sport we have never been much cop at and now the world no.1. But have you ever heard of her.?

5: Ricky Hatton

Another Boxer

6: Andy Murray

He cuts his own hair you know!. Deserves to win by defeating Roger Federer alone.

7: Monty Panesar

The turbanator, who has not even started in an ashes test as yet.

8: Zara Phillips

Royal horse totty, who will be the best dressed tonight. "Mummy won it in '71 so why shouldn't one prevail"

9: Phil Taylor

Probably the best darts player in the world. And owner of the worst tattoe in the world.
13 times World Champion and on the board of directors at Sky TV.

10: Beth Tweddle

Also another deserved winner in that she has succeeded at a sport we are pants at. It takes 3 shire horses to pull Beth's hair into position before a competition. She will be trying to outshine Zara Phillips tonight with a black number, and loose hair as the horses were not allowed to attend

The bookies have it at:

Darren Clarke 1/9
Zara Phillips 6/1
Joe Calzaghe 14/1
Monty Panesar 40/1
Andy Murray 40/1
Phil Taylor 80/1
Jenson Buttom 100/1
Beth Tweddle 100/1
Ricky Hatton 100/1
Nicole Cooke 100/1

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lancaster Bomber

Two different satellite photos of the same location, the corner of Lake Way and Hayeswater in Huntingdon, taken around the same time but 1 striking difference.

View from Virtual Earth:

View from Google Earth:

Spot the difference.

The second one features the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster, the City of Lincoln pictured below. It was discovered by a resident of one of the houses in the photo while he was trying to locate his place of residence.

'the City of Lincoln'

The plane was used in the film Guns of Navarone

Guns of Navaron featuring David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.

The 'Guns' featured Greek actreess Irene Papas who also starred in Captain Corelli's Mandolin and was was once dubbed by Catherine Hepburn as "one of the best actresses in the history of cinema"

Irene Papas

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flying Bedrooms

Sometimes during the day I listen to the local airport's Air Traffic Control Tower's transmissions from my upstairs office. I can see the aircraft taking off and landing (depending on the wind direction) so like to know what is coming next.

Maastricht-Aachen Airport (Almost inappropriately named as Durham Tees Valley Airport) is not a busy place. It has 2 passengers routes, Berlin and Amsterdam. Around 12 routes for charters during the holiday season and a steady cargo haul to places like Nairobi, Istanbul and Pskov.

It also houses a couple of aviation companies, one that paints and one that maintains and converts planes. So it is not perculiar for an arriving plane instead of taking off again after 1 hour to disappear for a few days. One such plane was a Flyjet B767 reg G-FJEC which landed on the 27th November.

G-FJEC B767 as it was

Today the plane re-emerged from the hanger of the painting company in new Silverjet colours. It is the first plane ever to display silverjet's colours. Silverjet is a new airline founded by Lawrence Hunt are looking to revolutionise the business travel sector.

When it did reveal it's new look the plane had also a new registration G-SJET. An obvious sign that Silverjet are looking to attract the business person to its seats. Personalised Mercedes owners should only travel on personalised planes.

For an hour or so the plane flew around in the CTR (control zone) of Maastricht airport whilst being photogrpahed for the marketing bods at Silverjet before leaving to land at Luton Airport.

G-SJET B767 first flown 07.12.2006 Thanks to Bjorn van Velpen for the picture

Silverjet will not start flying until the 25th January 2007. The first route is Luton Airport to New York (Newark). The plane (normally a 300 seater) will only house 100 passengers on 75" flatbed convertible seats. Check-in time will be 30 minutes through a private terminal. The price for a seat/bed around £999.

A similar seat/bed that will be onboard Silver Jets 767's

7 more planes are due to land at Maastricht to be painted in the coming months. I think Silverjet is going places. In honour of this first inaugural flight I think we should commemorate it by a short clip of the Cats UK singing the 70's hit 'Luton Airport'

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I wanna be an Astronaut or an Accountant

Words from my mouth in 1981 in Mrs Burtons first registration lesson when I had to introduce myself to the rest of M1 form class.

The former I never really thought I would ever achieve but the latter was probably more likely. I hadn't planned on mentioning accountancy but a fellow pupil asked before me, Nicholas Johnson, had done so mentioning his Father was one so he wanted to follow in his footsteps and that made me quickly add it to my list.

I didn't really know what I wanted to do at 11 or even at 18 when I picked Air Traffic Control and Ordanance Survey. Well I suppose I kind of achieved one of them even if it isn't that fruitful.

Six years earlier a young Saltburn lad may have also announced his ambition to be an astronaut and this Thursday at 2:30 GMT he will be lifting off from the Kennedy Space Centre in the Discovery Space Shuttle on a 12 day mission to the International Space Station.

Nicholas Patrick

The Astronaut in question is Nicholas Patrick. He will be the fourth Brit to visit space but the first one born in Saltburn oddly enough. His CV shows that he studied Mechanical Engineering, the same subject I ended up taking. I dropped out thinking I didn't want to be an engineer. Neither did Nick apparently.