The vinceunlimited Blog

This is the main blog page of the vinceunlimited website. In blogs the latest articles are at the head of the page, with older posts appearing below in reverse date order. And so it will be on this page. To allow you to search for posts there is a vSearch in the left column. Look out for new post titles here. Alternatively go to the home page, by clicking on my face icon in the top left corner, to witness all new posts being added including during this remastering stage.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.230 13 Nov 2018
The idea of a blog page on the website first appeared as an update to Version 2.01 on 25 Aug 2005
First published in this format: Version 5.008 18 Oct 2017



August 2018

Repository

One of the most famous incidents from western history is the shooting of American President John F. Kennedy. Few reasonably educated people in the English speaking world would not be aware of some of the facts around this moment. It might just be that it was in the sixties, the assassinated President was travelling in a motorcade, Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter, there are loads of conspiracy theories and the shot came from a repository.

I didn’t fact check these six commonly known things stated above. Some may be incorrect. For instance was it the sixties? Is Oswald spelt correctly? That’s not important right now. What I want to highlight is two uncommonly used words in this short summation - Motorcade and repository. Both first heard by my young ears around the time it happened and both rarely used to this date.

I’ve never really questioned the term motorcade. Probably because it immediately seemed to describe the line of vehicles involved. Possibly because even today it is used to describe an American Presidential car outing. The British Prime Minister, for instance, never seems to get reported as travelling in a motorcade. Even though it’s often technically true.

The other newly discovered word to my young ears was repository.

What is a repository a small child might ask? A library is the short answer. So why not say library then was the response?

Presumably because if it was a library a chap firing off a high powered firearm would have elicited a cacophony of ‘shhhhhs’ from other users delivered in that passive aggressive way only librarians and library users can achieve.

However the classic response to a small child’s follow up question in those days would have been ‘because it is’ or more likely please accept this clip around the ear as a kindly note to advise you will find out when you are older and stop bothering me now, I am an adult and you are irrelevant.

I can’t recall which type of reasoned explanation was used at the time but I never really questioned the word again as it never comes up in any context, except in reference to the Dallas incident mentioned above. But it was a key memorable fact about the Texas story that still sticks today.

My website is a repository.

That’s not actually an analogy. It’s a fact. If I were to liken it to a library it would only be analogous. Described as a library it may make sense to some. It contains my web content. It has clearly marked sections for those who seek specialist subjects. It is arranged logically and is open to all. But technically it is an information repository. But it is an incomplete one because at present it is still being stockpiled. And only currently about two-thirds filled with historic content. Mainly the content from previous website iterations between 2003 and early 2010.

You may note at the bottom of this article the version number is 5.166. This is the one-hundred and sixty-sixth update to the fifth version of my website. Quite a lot of updates you might think. And you would be right. After I hand-coded and uploaded the current edition of my site I have made 166 new pieces of content. Meaning the repository now contains well over 120 separate pages, and more than 40 individual blog posts. All in HTML5 and linked via CSS styling cues.

This may seem a lot of work and it was but also consider I have done the exact same but in mobile specific form so those numbers can be doubled. In other words over 320 pages have been written or updated.

And in each case every article or blog post is first trailed on the homepage as well as being added to it’s final resting place. So the total number of alterations is more like over 640.

But there’s more. In every instance I consider whether an article may need replicating in a specialist place.

For instance this post will be added to the homepage as usual, plus added to the blog posts where it shall remain but then also added to both the geek and web sections for those who seek such specialist knowledge. Then I’ll update the vSearch page so it can be found. This type of procedure is common and sometimes articles get posted in six or seven places so the repository can be simply navigated.

And all that excludes the many times I have checked my updates only to find link errors, grammatical changes required or just additional content refreshing requirements, such as the updates to the sketches page I posted at the same time as this article.

I estimate that I have written near to 1500 page updates. And I am only two thirds the way through this initial exercise. And when all this is complete I shall continue to add to the stock with exclusively new content.

Quite a repository. And sadly like all repositories it is rarely visited. However, it is always open, it is free to enter and you are most welcome to browse.

And just like the infamous JFK incident, you can be sure there is more of this story to come.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.166 6 Aug 2018
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was carried out by Lee Harvey Oswald on 22 November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. He fired shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository at the presidential motorcade. Many people dispute these facts



December 2017

Version 5 Phase 2 Completed

So, I’ve now completed phase two of the rebuilding of my version five website.

Phase one was the preparation and initial launch back in September and this second phase was to add, page by page, an enhanced copy of the content originally published on my site in version 1.0 back in October 2003.

And it’s all done, bar the odd debugging and consistency fixing.

A total of nearly 100 pages now exist in both desktop and mobile formats. All told nearly 200 hand coded web pages.

If you have been following the uploads you will have already seen a truly eclectic mix of ideas, opinions, writing and information. Now all with added photography enhancement and detail notes. And this is just the start.

The new presentation allows you to either watch everything happen on the homepage or selectively choose to follow a style or theme.

For example follow a blog format or you can pick your type such as a geek or petrolhead and follow only the content that you have a specific interest in.

Or you can even randomly select a page, do a search for specific articles or select content based on a phrase or snippet that interests you.

So, is this all my original untouched content from version 1.00. Well, not quite. But it’s all you are getting. Things have moved on from 2003 and I have had to do just a tiny bit of editing.

Mostly it has been just grammar corrections and layout updating but I have also chosen to omit some silly links, plus those outside of the website as many now no longer exist.

Plus I have had to temper some phrases used in one article which now read a touch insensitive and I chose to exclude a full idea I previously had about a screensaver based on a then popular but now discredited television personality.

So what about phases three and onward.

Well next up, commencing very early next year, will be the website additions originally issued in subsequent versions of my site numbered 1.01 to 1.04.

Followed by selective and relevant vincepoynter.co.uk content to be added to the ‘About Me’ section.

Then I’ll be moving on to adding the 2005 onward web 2.xx versions, including my first referenced blogs from originally around 2006.

This will be followed by my 2010 onward iWeb content and then finally the 2012 to 2017 WordPress articles which include my 2014 podcasts.

Plus various interesting interim diary, Social Media content and even selective YouTube videos.

So, an awful lot to come, all to be added one bit at a time over the course of the next year and possibly beyond!

And then I can finally get around to really enhancing the site with brand new content from my extensive pending store of notes about writing and blog ideas, with more opinions, great inventions, ground breaking business plans and more planned superb content such as photography, audio and visual stuff to really make use of the new enhanced layout.

You can see I still have a raft of work ahead and I hope a few surprises along the way. So I would really appreciate you joining me on this journey to enjoy this ever growing, extensive online collection of my body of creative work.

And that should answer the question most asked of me. Why are you doing a website?

Thanks for following.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.046 30 Dec 2017
Written and first published: Version 5.046 30 Dec 2017

P.S. Remember all pages can be interactive so please email me if you have any questions or thoughts.



October 2017

Plea For A Bike

Vince sat on a Dawes racing bike on a driveway
One of my first bikes

When I was a child and through to a teenager I, like most of my peers, had a desire to own a bicycle. It was like a right of passage. Part of life development. It seemed natural and ordinary. It represented growth, freedom and independence. It was after all the status symbol of a generation. A chance to explore wider boundaries and meet new friends.

Bicycles were certainly an expensive thing. In my world at the time it had serious financial implications for parents. As one of three children getting expensive gifts was an extremely rare thing. In those days toys were reserved for special occasions like Birthdays or Christmases and the cost of bikes were probably more than treble that were spent on those days combined.

Plus there was an element of danger. Children, bikes and traffic didn't mix well with the former usually coming off worst.

It was for the above reason my father steadfastly refused to buy his children a bike. And of the three of us I was the most upset by this. Very upset. Extraordinarily upset. Boundary tantrum upset.

I reasoned that bicycle ownership would help me develop. I was a timid child, small compared to most school colleagues, a pacifist in an angry world, scared with insecurities about being considered part of it. I struggled to have close friends at school and was further alienated by being unable to be part of the cycling gangs developing. With no bike I appeared to be a loner. A loser.

It didn't help that my circumstances took me away to a remote school at twelve years old and getting there was a pain. Bus rides, long walks and being miles from friends when socialising was unbearable. It is even probably the reason I never became a rock star.

I argued long and passionately about these points with my dad but he was unrepentant. I pointed out that I, more than other children, would treat riding with respect and care to avoid becoming the jam in a car sandwich. I reasoned that by restricting this activity he was cruel, stunting my development and curtailing any after school activities. I even offered to have nothing else if only I could have a bike. But to no effect. There was no way he'll change his mind.

As a result of this I wrote a song. A duet, coupled with chorus elements served to suggest a West End musical style because that is exactly what it was intended to be. This passionate episode in my life was written to be part of a plan for a musical of my life that I was considering and working on in the 1980s. These lyrics were penned in 1989. The musical has yet to be completed.

The unedited original lyrics are reproduced in the section Songs above or can be found by clicking the appropriate tag below and despite their apparent complexity do not yet have any musical accompaniment. I will eventually get around to doing this but will first need to learn how to write music. This was a serious flaw in my plan to write that musical. So, can you help?

If the tune is great and it becomes a success I may buy you a bike. Providing you don't bloody well go on about it all the time.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.006 16 Oct 2017



Launch Debugging

Extract from Version 5 of the vinceunlimited website
Version 5 of the vinceunlimited website

Thanks for taking a look at my re-launched website. It has taken many hours to get to this stage so your few minutes of viewing are really welcome

It wasn't until I got it all uploaded yesterday that I realised there were a few bugs, as I suppose there often are with projects of this scale.

The main problem encountered was my coding. All links were shown as [typical] /linkname but in the uploading process they were saved as /linkname.htm I quickly got around this problem by renaming them all via my FTP client back to /linkname This got the site up and running. A cheeky fix but it worked.

However, as I am a perfectionist at heart and I wanted ease of use in future uploads I decided to re-code all the pages, all 107 odd desktop and mobile, to suit. I'm not sure what you did today.

Now, I shall start the actual process of updating my files so the site is properly fully populated. Watch this space.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.002 1 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 5.002 1 Oct 2017



September 2017

vinceunlimited Website Version 5 Launched

Original sketch laying out version 3 of the vinceunlimited website
The original sketch laying out version 3 of the vinceunlimited website, now finally achieved at version 5

Dan, dan, delah! Der, der, der, derrh! Tah Da! And however you might spell a drumroll. vinceunlimited.co.uk has roared into stage 5!

And it's a return to the original vinceunlimited concept idea. I have gone back to basics and have elected, once more, to learn how to and then do all the web-coding myself. And appropriately, the latest standard for web coding is HTML 5. So I've had to learn a whole bunch of updated rules.

Plus to do this properly I also had to learn the associated coding for CSS and Javascript. If you are unsure what all this means basically the HTML bit handles the layout and words, the CSS stuff seperates out the colours and styles and the Javascript jibberish allows complex page selection such as the Random Page Selector button actions on the right.

My original vinceunlimited site, forseeingly known as version 1, was catipulted onto the main stage in October 2003. It was hand coded in a contemporaneous version of HTML.

Version 2, appeared on the internet in May 2005 with coding that took my site to the next level with a better layout, a sidebar and dual colours.

I always struggled with getting HTML coding to set and wrap around images and with image links and couldn't find the time and way to code version three which was planned to look like the image above but I was saved all this effort by the introduction of Apple's colouful WYSIWYG iWeb App so this became the basis for actual version 3, in March 2010. Are you paying attention to these dates. A quiz will follow. But Apple had other ideas about keeping this iWeb pet project alive and I had to find another way to maintain my web presence.

In 2012, July to be a bit more precise, with the development of FaceBook and Twitter, personal web-sites seemed to be going out of fashion. The era of the common blog had really started. And this bandwagon was truly seized upon when I clambered aboard a WordPress site, effectively making this the fourth version of vinceunlimited.co.uk

But WordPress is mostly about piggy-backing on other people's hard worked designs and trying to disguise this plagiarism with a bit of personal customisation. I always found this awkward and unsatisfactory so decided to go back to first principles and code the thing again myself, hence this version 5.

Have I bucked the trend? Am I just showing off? Or am I just avoiding the sheeple? These questions and less will be answered in the next few years.

For the full vinceunlimited story check out the Versions link at the top right side of this site.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017
First Published: Version 5.001 30 Sep 2017



January 2015

A Resolution

Hello blog readers, Happy New Year.

Time has just turned into 1995, or 2012, or 2015, that's it, it's recently become 2015. I hope you are 'aving a luverly one. Me, I'm doing my usual at this time of year and thinking about the future and what it will bring. Or more importantly, as required by inspiring American Presidential speeches, what I can bring to it.

As is traditional at this time of the year many thoughts are turned to the ideology of making brave promises, such as getting fitter, travelling more, being sarcastic to fewer Black Rhinoceroses, that sort of thing. So, who am I to buck this trend?

Yes, I kinda want to do these things but more importantly I want to do more stuff. I want to do more content creation.

You will already be aware that I'm that type of soul. A giver. A provider. A right old show off.

You know I occasionally blog and that I have started a podcast, plus if you've scanned the page you'll know I have a reasonably active, non 'RT'ing Twitter account and a public Instagram photo feed and you might also have been inquisitive enough to discover that I have put a limited number of videos onto YouTube. All good content creationy stuff so far. But I want to go even further and I'm using this very public notice board to declare an interest in getting more stuff out there.

So, a resolution for the year, which as it's in writing and on pixels etc won't be able to be broken at all. In the forthcoming twelve months I plan to... sorry, hope to... sorry may...

Do at least twenty more blog posts.

Write, record, then re-record because I fluffed a word or two, then publish six more podcasts.

Write, create and publish six comedy videos or vodcasts or maybe even videocasts then publish these to my YouTube account.

Be sarcastic to no Black Rhinos whatsoever, no matter how much they goad me.

Turn one of my 'songs' into a real song with actual music and stuff, written and recorded to match the lyrics I've already done so that at least one doesn't just look like a lame poem.

Finish the book I started writing in November 2014 year which was abandoned in November 2014 by which I mean do all the chapters and not just turn it into a Novella. Then get it published in the iTunes bookstore for proof and actual purchase and stuff.

So, That is the plan. How I'm going to achieve all this, what with all my getting fitter and travelling more, nobody knows? But there is no going back now. No, seriously, there isn't. Time doesn't work that way. So onto some writing, recording, videoing, novelising, singing and more.

I just hope the singing doesn't threaten the Rhinos. Thankfully they do have a tough skin.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.230 13 Nov 2018
First published: WordPress Blog 2 Jan 2015



August 2014

All White

As you may have noticed I've been fiddling with my format again, but don't worry it will be all white.

I felt I needed to freshen things up a little and in line with modern design have decided to forgo the previous skeuomorphism in favour of a neater, simpler look.

I'm not alone. This sanitisation has been happening all over the place from interior design to computer operating systems.

Ironically, with their new, less fussy environment designer's minds have been freed to experiment more radically and along with the availability of cheaper and simpler manufacturing, general designs have become more ambitious. Less simple. Take a look at some modern upmarket watches or maybe car headlight design for instance.

I'm hoping this new approach will help me as well. So look forward to more exciting content soon.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.206 8 Oct 2018
First published: WordPress 4 Aug 2014



July 2014

Zoopla

A large colourful advertising poster on a bus shelter for Zoopla saying 'Smart explares the local area' with a note pointing the distance to the nearest school
The question you have to ask is if Smart is so clever why is it waiting at a bus stop?

This summer Zoopla are currently running an advertising campaign. That's fine. That's their inalienable right. They have to do it. Get and keep their name out there. Build some business.

As you can see they have gone for a unique tact. Great, that's what they should do. In this case the idea of smart as a conceit. Well done Zoopla. Where did you get that idea from?

Yes come on? Where did you get that idea?

Well I suspect it was your advertising agency. I can picture the meeting now. All stripy shirts, coloured braces, goatee beards and over enthusiastic shouting. With them selling you this unique idea of smart as a conceit.

But where did they get this from? Was it my blog post on 19 July 2012, I wonder?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

But acknowledgement is the most honourable.

And reward the most appreciated.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.205 5 Oct 2018
First published: WordPress 20 Jul 2014



August 2013

The Ups and Downs

Ladles and gentlepens. Apologies if you have been checking my WordPress site recently and have been seeing strange things. That is, stranger than my normal posts.

You see, I used to have a full website full of words, ideas, opinions, thoughts, writing, quotes and stuff all of which I hand coded. Clever me. However it was all a bit texty and pre-2005 so I transferred it all to Apple's own Web publisher some time ago and added some pretty images to lessen the impact.

Unfortunately Apple never moved on with iWeb so it too became out of date and not very Web two point zero. Plus no other site wanted to talk with it. Its life had come to an end and following an unrelated falling out with my hoster it all passed away.

Determined not to let my public down I started WordPressing. Particularly as the blog model was overtaking the personal site in internetland.

However, I still harboured an underlying desire to return to full sitery. I cherish my historic content and further I have a growing interest in podcasting and you need a base from which to launch your voice onto an unsuspecting public.

So I have been investigating the possibility of using this WordPress pad to base my online empire. But have hit a wall.

If you have been getting auto-updates from this site you may have seen some pages come and now go. This is because I have experimented with uploading sheaves of historic content here. But it all failed at the fourth picture upload. So it's clearly not the way for me to go.

Looks like I am going to have to find a proper text editor, update my HTML5 skills and do a crash course in CSS.

I'll let you know when it's ready. Expect my call in 2017.

I would be interested in learning how others do it. I am aiming for a Web 2.0 site with clickable icons, multi-paged, commonly themed website with photo and audio uploads. It needs to be created by an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) as I am aiming to move away from the desktop/laptop model. It must be future proofed, so not some fly-by-night App. I own my domain, have coded in HTML and have sorted hosting so only need a web developer tool or decent text editor. Any help will be appreciated. By which you are not to assume recompensed.

And I won't fiddle with my WordPress again.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.200 27 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 4 Aug 2013



June 2013

Watchpad

A photograpgh of my lower left arm in a black shirt with a red and green apple sitting on top of a traditional watch to appear I am wearing an apple on a watchband
Prototype designs of the Apple Watch were proving too impractical

As the Apple WWDC draws closer the fervent ramblings of all tech commentators are reaching a near hysterical shriek about a supposedly new Apple iWatch.

Even Apple's competitors are getting in on the act with rumours about watches from other phone and tablet manufacturers such as Samsung, Microsoft and Google.

However no one is looking beyond this point. So obviously I must.

I think the easing of device suppliers into a traditional watch industry will trigger a backlash from the real watch makers who might just think the crossover could work both ways and some interesting concepts may follow.

For instance, Breitling has adorned the wrists of many a wannabe pilot so it would make sense for them to branch into tablets that perpetually showed dedicated flight sim apps. The detailing would be fantastic but there may be too many buttons on the side of the chronograph model for an Apple purist.

Rolex may wade in with an ultra high quality phone, costing about fifteen thousand pounds. Think Vertue but with added bling. Unfortunately the thick gold case would be far too heavy to hold in one hand and there would be about £30 of glittery stain left on the pavement every time it was dropped.

Timex would opt to sell a device for about £3.50 and it would have so many functions it would confuse an Android App enthusiast with a degree in Multi-tasking.

And finally, TAG Heuer will think about building a phone fit for F1 drivers. This would be all carbon fibre and feature all sorts of seemingly unnecessary edges.

And if you think I'm just jesting try searching for Tag Heuer racer smartphone in your favourite browser.

The post iWatch time is already upon us

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.199 26 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 4 Jun 2013
The first version of the Apple iWatch was first formally announced by CEO Tim Cook in an event on 9 Sep 2014 and finally released on 24 Apr 2015
Many traditional watch manufacturers are now starting to incorporate smart functionality
On 1 Jan 2017 the news agency Reuters claimed the iWatch had reached 50% of market share
In the Apple Keynote in Sep 2018 Tim Cook proudly claimed the iWatch was now the best selling watch overall



May 2013

Driving Like Me

I don't like anything.

That is to say I don't LIKE anything.

I don't mean I don't like any thing. That would just be ridiculous. Or perhaps suggest my only experience of tech is the Amstrad emailer phone, the Sinclair C5 and the Blackberry Playbook.

What I mean is I never click on little digital thumb symbols to give my unadulterated approval of anything I see on the Internet. It is beset with implication.

It is such an easy thing to do and I often think I would love to give a simple little nod of approval to an article that's posted or a comment made. A nice way to encourage the author to keep up with their fine work.

The problem is I'm aware that the simple little LIKE feature can be a powerful tool in the hands of a menacing Corporate Social Media baron.

Say for instance I read a great tip on how on how to mend a leak in a Dutch levee and so added my approval. Before long and unbeknownst to me, my contacts may be bestowed with the message that Vince likes Dykes. My mates would exclaim, "Crikes, Vince likes Dykes."

As you can see I am no longer controlling my Internet profile. It is being blown out of proportion to my original simple and contemporary appreciation of my friend Michael's great posting on travelling Dutch waterways - Mike's Bike Hikes On Dykes - if you're interested.*

I personally wish the LIKE button remained just an innocent way to compliment something and where I would most appreciate this function is when I'm out and about on the road.

Imagine a LIKE button feature on cars using a simple dash mounted switch to display a screen mounted message. Wouldn't it be great if you could just flick your knob every time you saw something you appreciated on the road. And a little LED screen message popped up with the word LIKE.

You could use this to commend other motorists on good behaviour such as being let out of a side turning, leaving a proper stopping distance or generally getting out of my way when I'm trying to get home quickly to listen to a live video podcast.

I would love to get an acknowledged thumbs up for a great overtaking manoeuvre I had just performed or perhaps to dish one out as appreciation of you bringing out your posh new sports car on a wet Wednesday.

The natural extension of the motoring LIKE button is the obverse DISLIKE message. This would be applied for commenting on bad driving such as cutting in, poor lane discipline or running over a child.

And in this interconnected world the messages could be linked. When a LIKE or DISLIKE is given it could be Bluetoothly transferred between vehicles. In this way all the LIKEs and DISLIKEs could be tallied up over a period to give a measure on how considerate a driver you are.

The downside would be that before long this score would be wiretoothed to your insurance company to affect your premium. And unlike Stock Markets this value never seems to go down as well as up no matter how many LIKEs you would receive.

Another vehicle to vehicle message could be based on the the 'blue flag' indicator commonly seen in F1 racing. Imagine having an illuminated blue lamp to signify that the car behind is going quicker and is wanting to get past.

I travel, ahem, promptly but always leave a good stopping distance. This can confuse the average, ambling, myopic driver ahead, loping along thoughtlessly in an outer lane. He hasn't used his rear view mirror since 1973 and refuses to use the perfectly adequate and strangely empty lane to his inside but will politely move over if it is bought to his startling attention that another car is on the road and wishes to travel quicker. Even if on passing he immediately re-engages his previous position once more in that unfathomable lane change manoeuvre.

The 'I want to overtake you blue flag light' would be more polite than the traditional aggressive flash, the inside lane parallel formation drive with attendant shrug or the oft-used rear approach to within 6mm of the bumper. The latter being the favoured approach by drivers with four interlocking rings on their grille.

Incidentally all small Japanese cars driven by the elderly will have to have their blue flag message light illuminated every three minutes by law as they are invariably in the way.

I say bring on car to car comms. I would LIKE that.

P.S. if you like this blog click the LIKE button. I know I wouldn't.

P.P.S. *Did you really Google this?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.198 25 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 5 May 2013 [where there is an actual LIKE button. Go there and press if you feel so inclined]
Inter-vehicular comms, known now as V2V, were first proposed within an education document authored by Chai K Toh in 2001



March 2013

Soul Trading

Contract or permanent, that is the question?
Whether 'tis nobler in the industry to suffer
the slings and arrows of outraged employees
Or take arms against a drying sea of Contracts

I apologise Mr Shakespeare but your soliloquy does help present a conundrum I have wrestled with lately.

Contract or permanent, that is the question? And I think the answer lies in time.

Often employees are subject to a three month trial. I'm not sure of the legal validity but it is common to hear this. So, if someone has lasted just three months in a company as an employee you may be entitled to ask why? On the other hand Contract work, being more ephemeral means three month assignments are more commonplace so the same suspicion may not arise.

However extend that duration to one year and there is real dilemma.

Consider first that this was a permanent position. A year as an employee initially suggests that the role was sufficiently carried out. The 'three month trial period' was easily surpassed so any failings would show well within this time but why just a year in a 'permanent' post? Questions of unfulfilled ambition and restlessness start to emerge and no one wants to waste money recruiting this attitude. Is there natural negativity here?

However, look at the exact same individual taking the exact same job on a Contract basis. This time any trail period was over in the first week and Contracts are usually job based so a whole year assignment suggests a successful conclusion. Here there is only a feeling of positivity.

So unless that employer is offering more than a year of work go Contract. And who can guarantee more than a year these days?

So permanent positions...

...by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.197 24 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 13 Mar 2013



December 2012

Minnie's Mini's Mini

A rather battered green two door Corgi Toy Mini with red hand painted door, roof and bonnet.  A large blue 'o' is on the door, the suspension is collapsing and the tyres and trim are damaged
It would take more than the skills of Jony Ive to fit an iPad in here

The two subjects that most interest me at the moment are cars and computers and they do so for much the same reason.

Both technologies are full of shiny new things promising thrilling, interactive experiences barely limited by previous experience. And integration of the two is becoming closer. Or more specifically, the computery stuff is getting more and more wedged in the cars, as I've yet to see anyone promising actual reality travel on a mobile phone chassis.

The self-park, auto-cruise, blind-spot, iPod-connected, SatNav world of our auto-world is coming along nicely. However whilst a new phone, laptop or operating system is muted a few months ahead of release new cars take much longer to develop, possibly years. The cost of getting a chassis wrong is much greater than accidentally releasing a heavy, spiky edged laptop in purple that fails to attract an audience. If your latest hatchback is a dog the whole breed can suffer and we do not forgive easily [do we poor Lancia?].

But cars are increasingly having to differentiate themselves by their included technology, perhaps because they find it so difficult to distinguish themselves in the homogenous world of exterior automotive design.

As an example, my car, a year 2000 Jaguar, could be an all time classic because the dials and gauges on display look like they developed glacially from a WWII Spitfire but the simple green-LED trip computer, inbuilt text only SatNav and multi-CD changer date it, by sheer coincidence, to around the year 2000. No Bluetoothing, WiFi enabled MP3s here. Electro-technology develops at a vastly different speed than mechanical stuff.

So my first thought was why not combine the two. It's happening a little bit with iPod connections in almost every new car, allowing a feed of your latest downloaded beats into the built in car speakers. But this cable connector dangles the device on the seat next to you so when the new MapApp is opened it's hardly conducive to safe viewing.

As I've said, some now incorporate all that SatNavery, iPoddery and SeatAdjustery into their colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen displays but in a decade or less won't they seem just a little bit, say, 2012ish.

The answer lies in an updatable colourful, dash mounted, fingerprinty, widescreen display that can move with the times. And the computer world is conveniently supplying these already.

Initially the iPad seemed the answer. A popular and current, ever customisable device that has secured a solid foothold in the market. But few cars could afford the dash space for a plug-in behemoth the size of a small plate of kippers. Then Apple released the Mini. All the adaptability of a full sized tablet almost designed to fit in a reasonable dash opening.

If you were currently launching your latest Sports Utility GTi 4 x 4 convertible Sportwagon hatch wouldn't it make sense to let Apple or even others such as Samsung do the flatscreen bit for you so you can concentrate on the important things like finding ever more inventive ways to incorporate cup-holders?

Your new dash-tablet could be programmed to interact with your car in ever more cunning ways, such as service/sensor monitoring, lap timing and cheap fuel finding. And there are a host of third parties that will do the awkward development bit of this for you. Just charge a fee for your API integration. Simples.

OK you will have to allow some small flexibility over choice of device that will fit in, in case your Audi owner went for Android, your Mercedes customer wanted a Mac or your Westfield's chap wanted a Windows device if they choose to. OK silly point, no one who buys a car with the intention of wearing a flat cap will want a screen that does more than show the oil pressure warning lamp.

Just one caveat. When I specified my Jaguar I could have been at the forefront of this technology/car interfacing. But right now my car would be fitted with a great big plug-in Motorola StarTAC flip-phone. And who wants one of those today?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.196 23 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 24 Dec 2012
Apple's Car Play, their software integration within existing vehicle display screens, was first introduced two years after this article was written in Mar 2014 and Google's Android Auto followed a year later in March 2015



September 2012

The Social Medium

I don't like what you post on FaceBook. Or the way that Twitter is used. I'm annoyed why photo sharing sites are ignored and think that most LinkedIn comments are preposterous. But don't worry, all is fine.

I suspect you feel the same about my use of social media. And probably the way your other contacts do all this as well. It's because there are no rules here so we make up our own.

The reason that I dislike all this is that you don't use these social networks as they should be used. Which is to say that you don't use them in the way that I interpret they should be used. I'll give you an example.

I don't use FaceBook to store and distribute my digital photograph collections. For a start I would think it presumptuous to assume you'd like to see them all and I do like to keep some of my life to myself. Plus if I wanted to share shed-loads of pretty pictures I'd use a proper photo-sharing site, like Flickr. It's the way it was first devised and shall always remain so.

Some selective photos of mine are published on FB which may be of interest to the few friends and family I save this site for. And every one of them is in focus I might add.

Ephemeral photos that I take are much more suited to the casual nature of Tweeting so you only get to see these if you follow me there.

Which brings me neatly onto the issue of followers and contacts. And a specific question. Why do you have so many? Yes, on the face of it it seems flattering that so many others want to be in your gang but there is a limit to these things and too many lessen the impact. It is a privilege to be considered a friend but not if everyone is. And I think it impossible to follow the posts of more than fifty or so active others, across all sites. So how do you manage your seventy, seven hundred or several thousand?

So this is how you should use Social Media.

At present FaceBook is the worst of the lot. It has become a dumping ground for everything that is good or bad in social media and tries to emulate and steal the ideas from every other format. It wants your posts, your pictures, your locations, your timeline, your soul. By all means use this as a one stop shop if you know no better but as you are are reading this I guess you do know better so don't!

If FB must be used, use it only for close friends and family. Restrict posts to interesting things about what you are getting up to. If you need to arrange a meeting use the phone or text.

Only share photo collections on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr. And group them by activity, event or date. With all miscellaneous content clearly labelled so. And just delete the duplications and the ones with your damn thumb in the corner.

Don't however treat Instagram as a photo sharing site. Use this to create interesting, vivid content not as a place to dump every photo of parties, pies and peers.

Respect your Twitter stream by properly following just a handful of people who genuinely interest you, whether they be friends, famous or followable.

Your friends and relations do like to see where you are and what you are doing there so use a site designed for this purpose such as FourSquare. Or if you are watching something try sharing with GetGlue.

Keep LinkedIn professional. Only post relevant notes about your career and work related issues. And no avatar photos of you on a beach or the piste, unless that is your workplace.

If you can't think of anything amusing, pertinent or interesting to say post nothing. And when a thought enters your mind carefully choose the appropriate medium.

Only selectively requote or link to other peoples content. Stop constantly referencing other people's stuff. If I had an interest in their diatribe I'd find it myself. Save the plagiarism for satirists.

And finally, ignore Google+ because that upsets geeks, was far too late for the party and Google should stick to searching.

Only please don't do any of the above. Because you are you not me.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.195 14 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 11 Sep 2012



August 2012

Birth of a Car

A remarkable thing happened two days ago. I saw a TV advert for a car I had not previously seen.

No, not an unforeseen TV advert. They happen frequently. Not frequently enough to make the programme intermissions tolerable but frequently enough to make my opening gambit a little more interesting. No, it was the car I couldn't recall seeing before.

Now this may be relatively common to many of you. After all that is one of the three key objectives of advertisements, to introduce new things and you are forgiven for not being as interested in new cars as I am. Few are.

In case you were wondering what the other two main advertising objectives are, the second is the necessity to ingrain concepts, products and trademarks into our subconscious. After all we all know beans, hamburgers and replacement glazing products exist. But just as importantly you are already subconsciously thinking Cross & Blackwell, Wendy's and that annoying, shouty man who knocks over the window panes. Weren't you?

The third key element in advertising is the attempt to make you purchase that which you had no intention to do so. Chocolate, trips to the Isle of Wight and the unnecessary replacement of perfectly good settees fall into this category.

I too am subjected to many new things in advertising, be they two for ones, money squirrelling or feminine hygiene products only an engineering graduate could master. Although I think I've acquired all knowledge a man ever needs to know about comparing insurance rates. However it is rare that I ever see a TV advert for a car that I had not seen before.

I am a confirmed petrol head. In the past I have confessed more to worshipping at the feet of Clarkson than showing any affinity for God, Buddha, Ganesh or any of the other normal deities. And I use a diverse method of feeding my brain so consume much news, commentary and opinion from a wide range of sources. I really should have it all covered before an expensive TV advert is launched.

After all a car is not cracked out of an egg suddenly. It does not emerge from a birth canal. It isn't dropped from an alien spacecraft. No, it is conceived, presented in an wildly, exaggerated form, discussed and touted long before spanner meets galvanised panel. And at each process the media is fed snippets and prose to both build the tension and test the theory. And my collated media covers all this with animated glory.

Yet yesterday I saw a vehicle I had never set eyes on before. And it wasn't even one of those dreary, soulless, forgetful Korean products either. This was a curvaceous sports coupe. And not even from a tinpot niche maker. This was from one of Japan's mega machine suppliers.

In truth the car was already in my radar scope. It was on the front page of TopGear magazine which was given to me the day before. I had not yet had a chance to read this so it had languished in the magazine rack. I suspect it was also in the car blog I follow but work has prevented much blog reading lately. So it got through my net.

By now you may be wondering what this magical beast was. That is if you're not wondering when this diatribe will eventually end. But I have chosen not to do the final reveal as it isn't really the point. The denouement should not weaken the preceding opinions and in this case the mystery will be more tantalising. Whether your head is made of petrol or not.

Apart from that I saw another one today.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.194 13 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 27 Aug 2012



Olympics 2012

The concrete, interlocking, five Olympic rings high on a hill overlooking Portland

So rarely something happens that changes our perceptions so completely it takes you a bit by surprise. The 2012 London Olympic Games was a rare example of this. And from what I hear and read I'm not the only one who has had to refocus their original opinion.

A BMW 3-series 320d painted in the orange, yellow and white Olympic branding
An official Olympic branded BMW 320d passes by close to my front door

My thoughts about the 'OGs', as I shall refer to them to avoid a lot of finger pressing, started earlier than most. Yes we all had a passing interest when we heard that we beat the French in the first game of the season by winning the rights to spend a fortune on the spectacle. But a lot of thoughts turned elsewhere very soon. After all, you can only do so many laps of French gloating.

But I thought there may be quite an overlap between the OGs and myself. I earn my tech-spend money in construction and moved in close enough circles to think I may get some work out of this massive money pit. Not only in planning and commercially running some of the work but also in the likely delay and disruption claims that seemed sure to follow in the subsequent three years.

But the Lord Coe & Co had other plans and secured the construction via an alternate consortium who for some peculiar reason managed to build it all on time and within budget. Leaving me with no pie encased finger and nothing to pick over later.

I was never asked to lift a finger to help. And from history it seems this was a shrewd move by LOCOG. Ahem.

So it was with the rest of you that I did the marathon ignorance of the whole caboodle until the organisers started a spectacle of individuals chundering through the countryside with a naked Greek flame. Even then my cynicism vented through my first words as I tweeted '..As the Olympic torch relay passes from worthy individual to worthy individual. Each carefully selected from those without eBay accounts..'

A mid-size coach painted in the orange, yellow and white Olympic branding
Another official Olympic vehicle passing by. This time a coach

But soon I became quite fond of the procession. Instead of seeming repetitive the flame relay with its smart convoy of BMWs, buses and outriders became quite the thing. I wanted to see it all but not so much as to bother to move from my front porch. Then it went past the porch and I got all fan-like again.

I then had reason to visit London on a couple of occasions and felt a palpable frenzy in the air. London, washed clean and made green by the preceding months rain, smelt fresh and the £11bn expenditure was everywhere. Particularly in the never-ending barriers. Even the Olympic lanes looked right. And there was still a week to go.

And when the sport started and the infectious crowds recorded by our rightly partisan broadcaster got into the swing I started to regret not paying a small mortgage on the chance of seeing a sport I wouldn't normally cross the park to observe.

And so normality got put on hold. Meaning for me, I barely posted a Tweet. Subconsciously avoiding tempting fate because as you all know if I said "Ooh, this is Good" almost certainly Katherine Grainger wouldn't have won Gold and Steve Redgrave would have missed out on his hug. And I couldn't do that, could I? Even worse I wondered how poignant praise may be if Johnny Terrorist suddenly decided to let rip. In hindsight he seemed to have been as engrossed as we were.

I'm not saying everything was perfect as some commentators have suggested. The overuse of the word historic for the event and individual contributions had been both abundant and annoying. In wearing my pedant hat either everything is historic or nothing is. A first woman's boxing win may be classed as such but a double gold in two events or multiple successes or medalling may be repeated again. And the event itself, no matter how much we enjoyed it is not historic in the way it was suggested.

An aeroplane awaiting passengers painted in the orange, yellow and white Olympic branding
Even aeroplanes parked up nearby for various visiting Olympic dignitaries

I also noticed not every medal winner was happy. I'm particularly thinking of the Silver medallists. When Gold was earned it was either great joy or relief. Bronzees did the same. But the guys who got Silver often looked pretty miffed. I presume this is because Silver was seen as failing to get Gold. The reason why Bronze medallion wearers were equally as proud as the Golden guys was that they could rightly be classed an Olympic medal winner. And they weren't fourth.

My final thought has to go to the legacy. After all that's what won the bid for the Brits over the French and The London Olympic Committee can be glad that this will manifest itself in two distinct ways.

Firstly the games legacy will inspire a nation of young fit athletes. In Jamaica.

And more importantly, the London 2012 font will inspire a whole load of copycat writing. Mark my words [with an angular felt tip pen].

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.193 12 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 20 Aug 2012
The photographs were all taken by the author and added to the website in Version 5.193 12 Sep 2018
The header photograph shows the concrete Olympic Rings structure erected on the hill above Portland, Weymouth and was taken on 2 October 2014, more than two years after the 2012 Olympic Games had finished
The other photographs show the special liveried Olympics 2012 sponsored cars, coaches and aeroplanes and were taken in Southampton on 15 Jul 2012



July 2012

Smart

Does it pay to be smart?

If you are in the need of new staff you want the best don't you? You want someone who is smart. Your business needs smart. There's enough dumb around and smart is better than stupid, right?

All positions are about risk and opportunity and if you hire smart the risk is reduced and the opportunity increased. A smart manager will hire smart staff. Don't you agree? Or maybe not?

You need to fill a role and you meet a really smart candidate. This candidate will present great future opportunity and fantastically improve your business. It's a no brainier. You want smart and there they are right in front of you. All you have to do is make the offer.

But you hesitate. You know there is a real downside to smart.

Firstly, smart is good, possibly too good for the role you have in mind. Smart will soon become disenchanted and want to move on so you will have to hire all over again.

Or smart will move on taking all your company skills with them. Nothing worse than having smart only for smart to get better and then move to the opposition.

Even worse smart may rise through the ranks. You know smart rises to the top and between smart and the top is you. If you're not smart, smart may become you. It takes a brave person indeed to hire someone smarter than they are. Are you that brave?

All I can say is that I'm smart. But don't worry. I'm not quite as smart as you.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.192 11 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 19 Jul 2012



Augmented Reality

Sooner than you can say head up display we'll all be meandering around pointing our mobile devices at the world and immediately knowing that the shop to your left is offering 50% discount on crop tops, the restaurant to your right has a bean soup salad special for just £6.73 and the bus about to run you over for not actually paying attention to the road is going to Tottenham via Purley Green.

Yes the future is just about here and it is going to be augmented reality mad.

This is a great technological advancement and will enrich our lives like nothing else. Soon you will never be caught not knowing your neighbour's dog's name or how late the six fifteen to Manchester Piccadilly will actually arrive. Our computers will overlay street names, ingredients on tins and localised weather forecasts as if we couldn't live without such information.

And when the tech really gets going it won't be a mobile phone held aloft but a pair of high tech glasses. Google have already broken ground on this one. Soon it will be so uncool not to wear glasses.

The only downside will be the inevitable viruses. Not the predictable blank screen version although that won't be pleasant over your whole vision of course. No, fear the augmented pranksters.

Oh, it will start very friendly, perhaps with odd additions such as the next bus is due in 316,928 years, size 10 - you've got to be joking madam or this bacon is suitable for Jewish vegetarians.

Then it will move on to projecting strange images. UFOs will appear up in the sky, Zebra crossings will appear to have actual Zebras crossing and irksome gnomes will pop up all over the place being positively irksome.

Finally like all things it will eventually follow the more sinister route. Lord Lucan will be sat on park benches all over town, brick walls will suddenly appear in the central lane of the M25 and eight foot scorpions will be lurking in every Fried Chicken doorway, even in Kentucky.

Who cares that the building society is lending at 0.03% over base rate if the Troll behind it is eating a goat?

You have seen the future here. If you have those glasses of course.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.191 10 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 17 Jul 2012
Also published with permission on The British Tech Network Blog on 2 Apr 2013



A Modest First Initiative

My first ever WordPress blog

When you are serious about writing the choice of subject for your first new blog is extremely important. It has to set a style from the outset, it has to have a subject impact to attract readership and should ideally be timeless. So I have spent some time contemplating a suitable subject matter and have decided that I want, no less, than to solve the global financial crisis.

An acknowledged ambitious challenge for a new blog with initial limited readership but rivers can be formed one dig at a time and water will not flow until the first spade is swung.

First a quick economics lesson. The world is in a bit of a fiscal state at the moment. Few understand why but it is generally thought that it is the fault of greedy bankers holding onto their cash and not giving it out to one and all. Due to this selfish action by these pin-striped ogres the economy has stalled, no one has had a pay rise for a couple of years and so nobody goes to the shops to buy any luxury goods. However as we still need to eat and drink and heat our homes the price of some commodities is increasing.

It was all well and good in the fifties. Back then nobody owned anything so bought themselves a fridge, a record player and a motorbike with sidecar.

By the time we entered the allegedly swinging sixties the family decided that they needed a whole kitchen, a stereo system, a television and then upgraded their motorbike for a small car.

The seventies crowd went for exotic holidays on the edge of the mediterranean, enhanced their TV with video players and upgraded their small car to a mid-sized saloon. In brown. Then they bought the house as well.

In the eighties monied, Italian suited men were hailed as heroes as they invented ways to make money fall out of the sky so we all swapped our flats for apartments, videos for disc players and the Rover for a BMW.

By the nineties though we had most things we needed so could only really swap some of the old stuff for new. We spent cash on better computers and DVD players and a second home.

But during the past decade we ran out of ideas for things to want. So just idly spent a few quid on making our TVs flatter and stomachs fatter. We generally lost the will to spend.

Furthermore we became reliant on the rest of the world trying to catch us up but then worried they might use all the ingredients in this planet in doing so. We became green, mean then selfishly obscene by hoarding what we had. The aforementioned bankers played their part and the whole system stuttered to a halt. And no one seems to know what to do.

Except me.

You will have heard of quantative easing, even if you don't know what it really means. In essence it's the process of giving bankers money to get back in the system. In theory they should filter it down to you and I via cheaper loans and business assistance. The reality has been ever inflating banks and cash4mepocket.com. They are not giving it out to the right sort.

Now some of you may say "Yes. I agree. Don't give the bankers money. Give it to me. I could well do with that 50 billion to pay off the loan on my Ford Cortina and beer-fuelled credit card." But that would not help. You would only pay off your debts and then sit on a sofa you had formed from all the rest of the cash. You are as likely to spend the wonga as the bankers are to pass it to Joe Small Motor Dealers for a bit of well needed collateral.

No the money needs to go to those that will spend it because they have no choice. Let's quantatively ease the poorest people on earth.

Let's see how sub-Saharan Africa deals with just one of those 50 billion. I guarantee it won't be wasted on opening Hardlyfax accounts. No, providing it misses the warlords and gets to the good folk it will be spent on food and pots to put it in.

And the person who makes and sells this food and those that make the pots will upgrade to a bicycle to enable their new multi-drop delivery services to operate.

And the bicycle sellers will be able to buy new tin roofs, from the tin roofs men who will be selling so many they'll buy fridges in celebration.

And the fridges will be made in Korea and shipped using Japanese built ships whose owners will buy new German cars whilst holidaying in London, meaning several people in several countries will have work to do and be able to feel confident enough to book an exotic holiday. In Africa.

The circle of wealth.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.190 7 Sep 2018
First published: WordPress 16 Jul 2012



Technically Version 4

The release of the fourth iteration of my website presence

A screenshot of my WordPress site
A sample screenshot from my WordPress site [from 2 Jan 2015]

Another significant milestone has been reached in the remastering of my website. Version 4 has been released. Technically.

Allow me to explain, particularly to those of you who have not read my Versions page.

Versions 1 to 3 of my vinceunlimited.co.uk website [plus all vincepoynter.co.uk versions] were hand coded in HTML with an increasingly sophisticated look. However I noted that many others were abandoning the owner website model, preferring the simpler, specialist, preformed, blog or webpage model offered by the likes of WordPress and Facebook.

I too had started a FaceBook account and envied the simplicity of easily updating articles into a blog like WordPress compared to the HTML fiddling I had been using on my previous website versions. I choose to use WordPress as it was a market leader and required less explanation to interested others. Plus I considered it the best option for probable cross-platform free advertising I could get for my online presence.

So I set about abandoning my previous hand-coding efforts and on 16 Jul 2012 opened a WordPress site with a view to doing daily/weekly/sometimesly blogs.

Initially I wanted to wholesale import my entire website back catalogue of articles, opinions, ideas and writing from my website into WordPress but it didn't seem designed for this and didn't quite seem to work that way but I soon understood that in time I could add WordPress 'pages' which could be retrospectively populated with all my excellent historic nonsense. So I kept my 'old' website going but started to add new things on WordPress and redirected links to vinceunlimited.co.uk to the WordPress site.

WordPress had technically become the fouth version of my website.

The first task was to get it started so I wrote a 'first' blog post plus added an introduction page to tell the WordPress community about myself.

The first blog post will follow but this was my 'introduction'.

A strip of five headshot photographs of Vince.  In a white shirt in an office, a black and white photo with tousled hair, a thoughtful pose with head in right hand, a smiling photo with the caption stating the vinceunlimited podcast and one in a black shirt with head resting in left hand

Vince was created in the South of England in a decade where skirt lengths and popular cars shared a name. As a teenager in the seventies Vince was forced to work for a living which effectively oozed all the creativity out of his life for too many decades.

Occasionally the real Vince emerges and you are witnessing one of these occasions. A biker [motorised, please], ideas man, fan of technology, humorist, petrol-head, imaginatist. All words indeed, with some even making sense.

The blogs and content will be about these things and more. Like the changing weather in the country if you're not sure about the current post wait around, the next may be just the thing for you. Conversely this does mean that if you like something you are unlikely to get that same feeling again. Ho hum.

What you will get though is true creationism. No, not that fallible religious notion but genuine new thought provoking content. And if this isn't your thing then go forth and be sheared.

Finally, please do feel free to comment, if your device and aptitude is up to such things. Never be afraid to pop your head over the parapet. You are highly likely to receive a smile.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.189 6 Sep 2018
Written 6 Sep 2018 [except as below]
The WordPress introduction was written and first published on my WordPress site on 16 Jul 2012
The first image is a screenshot from my WordPress site taken on 2 Jan 2015 and does not reflect the 'scheme' originally chosen in Jul 2012
The second image is the individual page header image used on my WordPress website on 16 Jul 2012



March 2011

Ingreedyents

I have to read things. It's part of my make up, who I am. I am curious and love gathering knowledge. And a great source of detailed information is plastered all over our products and the most enlightening and interesting is the ingredients list on seemingly simple products. I'll give an example just to see if you can guess the product before the end reveal.

The first ingredient listed is always the largest component and in this particular case is Aqua. Now if you were paying attention in double Latin you will know that this comes from the old English word meaning Akker, short for Acker Bilk a clarinetist who became famous for being the only clarinetist anyone could name. The Akker term was used to describe the spittle and dribble emanating from the business end of his instrument. Later this 'Akker' became Aqua during the Latinisation of old English words during the 1950's when certain Oxbridge elements wanted to seem more clever than the general populous. In other words Aqua just means water and no one except Stephen Fry can understand why they just don't say that.

The second most common element is a compound, which is really two elements so by combining have jumped up the list unfairly. This compound is Sodium Chloride. As any chemistry student knows this is actually just salt so why the pretentious ingredient listers bother with fourteen letters and a space when four will do can only lead one to suspect that they are in it up to their necks with the Ink Printing Association and frankly the Government should look into this rather than wasting all that time on the Hutton Enquiry.

Coming in in third place is the second Sodium collaboration, this time with Benzoate. Why Sodium wants a second billing is as strange as the word 'in' wanting a second billing at the head of this paragraph [I bet you five pounds you had to check]. What is even stranger is that Benzoate is a common misspelling of the term Benz 08, the eighth car produced by Mercedes. We all know that Sodium and old cars don't really mix so this ingredient actually just refers to rust. Or as the aforementioned Ink Printers & Affiliates Association would put it Ferrous Oxide.

The next listed ingredient is Polysorbate 20. Clearly the manufacturers of this product had to undergo years of testing just to establish that Polysorbate 20 was clearly better/cheaper/more environmentally friendly [delete as appropriate] than Polysorbate 19 or any other number less or indeed more than this. For the technically minded amongst you you may like to know that Polysorbate 1 is the amount of liquid you can mop up using a single Standard Unit parrot.

Next up is the old familiar Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate or SLGC for short. Again Sodium has chosen to get in a mix with other products rather than stand out on it's own. In fact if it did it would probably rate above Aqua so one must conclude that Sodium is inherently shy. In this case hiding amongst Lauryl, Glucose and Carboxylate, an unknown comedy trio who's fortunes turned around when Carboxylate left them to join another team. Lauryl and Glucose re-branded themselves Laurel and Hardy and Carbo, as he became known, joined the other Marx Brothers.

The next listed ingredient is Malic Acid. This is obtained from the Hollywood actor Art Malik so is very expensive. It is a well kept industry secret that after his work on 'The Jewel In The Crown' and 'A Passage To India' he was ground down using a large Mortar and Pestle for use in various products and his appearance in True Lies was actually done by Ronnie Corbett on a pair of stilts with some clever post production work and Ronni Ancona's voice-over.

Next up, according to the list is Lauryl Glucoside. But I think this is just a lie because I had a very close look using a quite big magnifying glass and I couldn't see any.

Nearing the end now and we come across Parfum. Now many think this is just a smug way of saying perfume intimating this to be a pleasant thing. Again this fallacy must be redressed and if broken down into it's constituent parts of Parf and Um you will see it's true meaning is a fart.

The next ingredient is the most difficult to explain. Not because it is a complex compound it's just so darned difficult to spell. It's the trips off the tongue, old familiar, we all know it as Methylisothiazolinone. A long word that scientists use when they haven't really got a clue what they found but without it the Ingredients Standards & Ink Printing Affiliates Association Incorporated will not sign off the packaging [Has that Hutton Enquiry finished yet?]

Third from last is Aloe Barbadensis Extract. This is a passage from the Hawaiian novel 'Hello Barber Dentist'. A short story about a young girl who hooks up with a hairdresser who has a secret life as a doctor. I believe the word for doctor and dentist is the same in Hawaiian which might seem odd but not as odd as the six-hundred and fourteen words they have for podiatrist.

The penultimate ingredient is Propylene Glycol. As opposed to Impropylene Glycol. Glycol is a fancy word for antifreeze and in this case is proper lean. In other words weak antifreeze.

The final ingredient of this mysterious product is Tocopherol Acetate and let's face it as it is the final ingredient it hardly features at all so is not really worth considering. In fact given there are ten other more copious compounds one wonders whether the actual product would be substantially altered by it's omission. In fact let's start a campaign here and now to reduce the number of products in our products by leaving out the least included. Except in the case of salt of course which will otherwise just revert to Sodium, which as we have already established wants none of the attention.

So, have you guessed the product yet? I'll give you a reminder of what's in it:- Sodium, Water, Salt [i.e. more Sodium], Rust, Slapstick, essence of Art Malik, a bit of fart, some paragraphs, a spot of weak antifreeze and a teenie bit of something not really needed. Which all makes it much clearer than the arse-wipe list on the actual packet as insisted by the Ink Printers & Bankers Bonus Society Corporation Of America, Honduras & Affiliated Offshore Accounts PLC.

So would you eat this only good for flushing straight down the loo stuff?

I hope not because it's actually a real arse-wipe list. Check out the back of your next packet of bottie wipes and you'll see what I mean.

Well what do you expect me to do whilst sat here waiting? I have to read something.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.185 30 Aug 18
First Published: Blog within Version 3.0 on 16 Mar 2011
If you want to hear me read this blog post to you I adapted it for my sixteenth blog post, Pod 16 - Ingreedyents, posted in iTunes and on my WordPress site dated 19 Nov 2014



February 2011

Cucumber Campaign

At first all the cucumber aficionados reading this will be salivating at the thought that there is to be a Cucumber campaign. No doubt the thought of selfless promotion of their favourite green cylindrical vegetable will drive them wild with excitement. But this campaign is to reduce their use. I hate the things and I am fed up with them turning up uninvited in my sandwich rolls.

For the last few years we have been constantly droned on at to eat more healthily and my relatively recent contribution is to engage full on with the salad world. Well, when I say full on I don’t mean the whole banana. I don’t relish radishes, crave cress or press for peppers but I have taught myself the art of enjoying a little bit of lettuce, providing it’s not masquerading as that rocket/garden weed nonsense. And I have always liked tomato and egg so with a bit of proper food [i.e. meat] I can handle a salad sandwich from time to time.

The trouble is the purveyors of such delicatessen insist on chucking as much ingredients into their wares as possible and this usually includes an obligatory slice of Cucumis Sativus. No doubt using two thin slices of this cheap creeping vine pod appeals to their sense of value but for me it’s strong flavour just stains the rest of the sandwich and puts me off purchase. And don’t go telling me that they hardly taste of anything as they are 90% water because if that is the case don’t bother adding them in the first place.

My main issue is that nobody really likes these things. My misses claims to like cucumber but not once have I seen her purchase one for snack consumption. Despite the easy natural packaging no one eats a cucumber in the street, such as happens with apples and bananas for instance.

You may think why pick on the cucumber? After all in a similar way the tomato is not universally appreciated yet this is added to salad rolls for presumably the same reason and people don’t eat them in the street. The answer is in the design of the tomato. It may have the same convenient outer packaging as a cucumber but it packs a surprise squish inside rendering it impossible to eat anywhere except leaning over a sink. So totally unsuitable for street snacking. And to reinforce the positives of a tomato it adds a new and exciting colour to a salad sandwich. Cucumber’s just ape the green of the lettuce that’s already there. Plus I like tomatoes.

So lets ditch the cucumber. The most pointless addition to a sandwich ever.

Apart from sweetcorn of course. That nasty little cancer gets everywhere. Try buying a salad or pasta snack in your local supermarket and there it is. Little yellow bits of stinking pus-pebbles ruining every dish and impossible to remove without tweezers and a sieve. Tastes even stronger and twice as sickly than crappy cucumber. And for some reason always added to otherwise delicious tuna offerings. What is this stupid fish/corn-cob relationship based on? As far as I know nothing in the natural world that David Attenborough has ever enlightened us about despite an almost obsessive annual BBC series on the subject. I adore tuna. Tuna is good for me. Sweetcorn makes me puke. Why stop at Tunacorn? Why not just go the whole hog and pointlessly insist on adding dandelion leaves to every smoked salmon slice?

Or better still why not make things simpler? Sandwiches, rolls, baps, tacos, submarines and pittas should only contain one ingredient. An obvious main ingredient, such as the meat, or for those vaginatarians say an egg. Then also on display at the same point should be the personal add ons, such as lettuce, tomato and [if you really insist] cucumber, sweetcorn and dandelion. The user could add these extras at will and build a sarnie to their precise taste and health requirements.

Yes, I am aware that the Subway sandwich chain already take this approach but why not our local supermarket, corner shop or garage forecourt?

Lettuce start the Cucumber Campaign today.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.184 29 Aug 18
First Published: Version 3.0 on 6 Feb 2011



December 2010

SM Best Friends

Just updated to the latest FB update.

It can now allow me to state who my best friends are.

Or, in other words, show all the others they are just a bunch of second-rate monkeys.

Dumb. Needless to say you are all my best friends. Even the monkeys amongst you.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.182 27 Aug 2018
First Published: FaceBook Status Update 29 Dec 2010



April 2010

Oh Yea! Oh Yea!

So the site [Version 3] is finally up and running. A few teething troubles getting iWeb to publish it on the Apple Server farm in the correct way then republish it in the proper place at the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL but it’s there and raring to go.

I did some tests on the formatting both on my Apple machines via Safari and then on my Dell notebook on both IE8 and Firefox. Firefox handled the layout well but IE8 seemed to want to put the photo captions below the photos, pushing the whole page down and off the end. Frankly this is the result of using a MS Windows browser and serves you right. It may be an XP issue so I’ll wait for the comments to filter through.

Regarding comments, the Apple version at [Apple link no longer available] should provide an easy way to add comments to these blogs. Go via the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL and the facility isn’t repeated. However the mail link can be used to send comments to me.

Also, the process of adding to the www.vinceunlimited.co.uk URL from iWeb converts the site address to an unnecessarily complex www.vinceunlimited.co.uk/vinceunlimited/Home.html which could be altered by complex HTML reprogramming but Version 3 was meant to eliminate all that.

For any way you visit the experience should be similar and finally I can announce that vinceunlimited is back where it belongs and I duly did that at some of my various SM sites.

Posted on my Facebook site

Hi All, just to let you all know the spammers have been defeated, the moat refilled and the drawbridge raised so I can formally announce that www.vinceunlimited.co.uk is up and running again.

I have redesigned it completely using a preformed skin and uploaded some photos to enhance the many and increased words.

Let me know how your browser deals with it as it was composed on a Mac and so far only quickly tested on that and a Windows notebook.

I found that Firefox handled the layout better than IE8 but then again if you are using IE8 then you deserve no better!

If you visit via [Apple link no longer available] then you should get the full experience including ability to post comments on my blog, although why I'm telling you lot that I've no idea.

Any feedback will be most welcome.

Keep FaceBooking, Vince

Posted on my MySpace site

Just a quickie to let you all know that the vinceunlimited website is back up and running.  Get your browser to show you www.vinceunlimited.co.uk and you'll see what I mean.  Revamped, new content, pictorially enhanced and continuing its theme of idling away the time for any reader.  Makes you wanna go all [smiley]

Finally...

You will have to wait until the end of the year to see what I twittered, unless you go to www.twitter.com/vinceunlimited. Still you have all year now to read the site.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.179 23 Aug 18
First Published: Version 3.0 on 1 Apr 2010



March 2010

Version 3

Screenshot of the Home page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 3.  It has a stamp style photograph of the author leaning on a column at the Colosseum.  Surrounded is a yellowish background with travel style stamps and a four colour biro.  The leather style header contains the various section links.  The site is subtitled wow.vinceunlimited.co.uk
Screenshot of the Home Page of vinceunlimited.co.uk version 3

Finally, at last and thank Poodles, all the toiling is done and I finally release Version 3 of my revamped vinceunlimited website onto the world wide web.

As you can see it is finally a colourful affair, containing all the previous wordy goodness and supplemented from my photo-montage of relevant imagery all dressed up in a stock Apple cloak.

The content from previous versions of the site is shoehorned into the new sections and a bit of new writing is also included just to make you read the whole lot all over again. Highlights include new Jokes in the Comedy section, geek data in the Computers section, new Writing and the inclusion of previously written, selected, journal entries which can be found nestling in the archive section of this Weblog.

As I write this last piece of the jigsaw I am not entirely sure that the final button press will send this to where it needs to go but if you are reading this then my work is done. Only not quite, because this is Version 3.0. I’m not about to promise Version 4 as you and I have waited long enough for this but this new format allows me to update things much quicker and will encourage me to prise all the old articles from my baggage, write brand new words to further enhance your enjoyment of my site and savage my iPhoto content for more piccy wizardry.

You may also note that the site is much more personalised. You should see much more of the Vince in the vinceunlimited coming through the ether. My online persona has finally got a face and with that face comes eyes. Two of them to be precise. And those eyes like to read and so I invite you to send more feedback to satisfy said eyes. For instance, let me know if this new format formats on your machine, whether it takes too long to download, perhaps gets strangled by your puritanical office web-nanny, if an important bit is missing or if any of the words are like that young female fur-trapper - Miss Pelt. Or even comment if all is just hunky-dory. Email me if you like stuff, or don’t, or want something developed. By which I mean writing development as I cannot offer a photo-negative developing service.

So get the fanfare trumpets at the ready. Prepare the dancing bears. Send the message to the jugglers. Light the pyrotechnics. Let’s rock…

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.178 22 Aug 18
First Published: Version 3.0 on 29 Mar 2010
The image is a screenshot of the Home page of vinceunlimited.co.uk Version 3



January 2010

dadPad

Yesterday Apple finally launched their much anticipated iPad and I have been lapping up every Tweet, blog and story about the thing.

One reason for the interest, other than my confirmed fanboy status, is that for months I seriously considered that such a product may well be the answer to my personal electronic needs. However, I recently saw sense and avoided waiting for a 1.0 version of an untried, theoretical device, with no known cost and purchased instead a MacBook.  I think my decision may be correct.

The iPad is gorgeous, but not available for six months, still uncertain in UK price and may not actually do all I want it to do. No-one has mentioned working with iWeb yet, my primary reason for a hand held device.

However, as Tweeted today, I think there is a market for this that is as yet untapped. The elderly.

Or rather the non-tech, reasonably wealthy elderly who have yet to get a computer or on line. I'm thinking my in-laws here.

This product is designed for my father-in-law. The standalone design meaning no awkward telephone connections. The user friendly intuitive GUI meaning no keyboard/mouse learning. The inbuilt simple bookstore. The scalable text for failing eyesight. I'm convinced. He has admired my iPhone for some time and I am going to recommend this iPad to him.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.163 31 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 28 Jan 2010
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
I did buy an iPad, but not until the second version, the iPad 2 3G and WiFi 64Gb model in Nov 2011
My father-in-law did eventually get an iPad, having never owned a computer. I gave him my second iPad, the Air 2 WiFi only 128Gb model, in Sep 2016. He was then 90 years old and still uses it so my original thoughts in 2010 about suitability for this sector are fully validated



Kangafood

Had a late lunch with the wife's family to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday.

We made our now seemingly monotonously regular trip to The Otter at Otterborne.

Personally I always see a typically dingily lit Public House with grimy floor and facilities and a smattering of unwelcoming angry looking bar locals. However, the in-laws only see the back restaurant and seem to like the food.

Here the Otter does well and surprisingly serves a quite exotic menu.

Often I'll order the Ostrich Steak but like so many other things today this was off the menu.

The waitress offered kangaroo, which I jumped at.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.162 30 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 18 Jan 2010
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010



December 2009

Christmas Smut

A pretty red brick hand-built classic fireplace with electric fire and substantial dark wood mantlepiece, set in a lounge with thick maroon carpet.  The fireplace is flanked by a flat screen TV and sub-woofer and has three pink and white mantle pots and matching carriage clock
Why do we think industrial brickwork indoors is a good idea?

I live in suburbia.

Not a town called suburbia but a good facsimile of it.

It is a mid-eighties detached property built using the standard UK model with many featuring that most essential of British faux Victoriana features - The fireplace.

This ancient Dickensian accessory is thankfully rarely used.

Unfortunately, being Christmas, many fools succumb to the lure of a smoky hellhole and fire up their soot inducing possession.

As a result my clean white windowsills are now peppered with smut.

And frankly the only thing I like peppered that way is my late night TV.

I'm definitely going to move this year.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.160 25 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 26 Dec 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The photograph shows the author's fireplace, taken around 2005 and was first added in Version 3.0 Mar 2010



Temporary Message

Website update.

Decided to completely remove my old vinceunlimited website content due to the malware infections and replace it with a temporary message.

If for any reason you have bookmarked my site or any content pages I suggest you delete the links, particularly as these will never be used in that format again.

I'll keep you informed when the proper version is ready.

My vincepoynter site is unaffected

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.159 24 Jul 2018
First Published: FaceBook 10 Dec 2009



The Fun Of All Smears

Well I've had no response to my 14 September entry so I figure I'm all alone out here in MSLand.

Not that this will discourage me from posting a warning to anyone inquisitive enough to check out my website.

Unfortunately, due to some scandalous spanners Google has slapped a Fear All Ye Who Enter Here sign on the door.

I'll get it fixed by the end of the year and simultaneously launch the exciting v3.

I would venture to suggest you may not be able to wait but as no one is there I guess you can!

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.158 23 Jul 2018
First Published: MySpace 9 Dec 2009



Website Fail News

00:33 - Hi guys. Just a quick note to warn you all not to head for my website at the moment as some shady spammers have attempted a Somalian Pirate move on it prompting Google to ward off visitors. I have hoovered out the culprits and reset settings but you will still get the Nuclear melt-down messages for now. This could be my incentive to get on with finalising version 3.0

19:32 - Can anyone recommend a great web hoster? Primary ability must be to have a closed front door

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.157 20 Jul 2018
First Published: FaceBook 8 Dec 2009
At the time the Web Host I was using was Web-Mania



November 2009

Home Work

Today I am working from home. No, really, I’m at home and working. I’m not just messing about on my computer. It’s real work.

I know it’s work because I have to open an Excel spreadsheet. As usual, it is a complex, multi-formatted workbook with SUBTOTAL functions and my Mac’s pretty little spreadsheet, Numbers, does not seem to support these professional tools.

As a result I have had to install Sun's VirtualBox which will allow me to load in my copy of Windows XP and the MS Office package on to my Mac.

I really do not want to do this, other than for the fascination, as it will be like fitting a Kia sunroof with ill fitting lock into my Jaguar.

The process involves adding Sun’s VirtualBox, Microsoft’s XP, the XP SP2 disc, MS Office 97 Suite [I can’t afford the extortionately priced upgrade, alright], adding AVG virus protection, then running several dozen Windows Updates, each of which wants to have its very own restart.

I will then be able to fire up the Excel sheet.

All of which is very time consuming and will mean I won’t be finishing early today.

Despite working from home.

Which I am.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.156 19 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 27 Nov 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010



Jet Wash[ing Up]

A photograph of the back of my wife in a red tee-shirt and beige cap stood on a balcony just as a nine plane Red Arrows jet formation flies past, trailing their blue, white and red smoke
A Red Arrows display begins in August 2009. No idea of how many pilots were wearing make up

I'm in the process of readying the next update to my vinceunlimited website.

To be honest I've been in this process for some time.

I recently made a decision to abandon the plan to hand code a replacement and instead rely on the built in iWeb application that came with my Apple software, despite all it's limitations such as lack of meta tagging, inability to child page and inability to include the basic widgets on non-Apple standard servers etc.

I deduced that it really is content that matters.

Thankfully, I have now discovered I can quickly copy paste content from my current version so I do not need to retype all the 120 pages of content.

However, having the site on the operating table and not up and running means that days like today frustrate me as a great story came out about the first female Red Arrows pilot.

The scope for a playful blog was hardly satisfied by my Tweet entry suggesting all displays would now run at precisely five past three to allow for a quick lipstick fix.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.155 18 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 12 Nov 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010
The photograph shows the arrival of a nine-plane Red Arrows display over Bournemouth in August 2009. I took the picture timed to show the exact time of arrival as my wife waited patiently for the start of the display



An Old Fashioned Diary

As if I haven't got enough places to write things down - my blog, Facebook, Twitter. I couldn't resist the idea of having a personal diary again so have downloaded the MyDiary App onto my iPhone.

I remember my last real journal was an A4 white bound affair with stupidly narrow lines. I wish I could read it now.

Today is Armistice Day. It is also my sister's birthday. Mum and Dad nearly called her Poppy because of this but went with Dawn instead. Something about being born early in the day I understand. If all parents were like mine a quarter of all girls would be called Dawn.

The siren rang out at the Warminster site I was working at today at 11am to mark the two minute silence. I stood and thought about all the soldiers dying and being injured in Afghanistan. This solemn moment was only disturbed by me sneezing half way through.

Finally I started trading on iTrade today, another App on my iPhone. This little piece of fun allows a virtual trade using real stock values. I decided to reduce the confusion so decided to keep to stocks starting with the letter V.  Egoistic or what?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.154 17 Jul 2018
Written as an entry in MyDiary 11 Nov 2009
First Published: Version 3.0 Mar 2010



September 2009

Four Play

I thought I'd do something on [MySpace] as I am quite impressed by the new MySpace iPhone application.

A phenomenal improvement on the previous unintelligible tat that I've been suffering for the last four months.

Other than the fact the sign in page still resolutely refuses to remember me I will give it four out of four.

All I need now is for a few of my friends to rekindle their interest and I might start using the service as much as FaceBook.

Which is about every four months as well.

If anyone notices the fact that I have made this entry please let me know. I might even be encouraged to post again.

Bye four now.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.153 16 Jul 2018
First Published: MySpace 14 Sep 2009



July 2009

Not Over The Moon

An American astronaut stands in his white spacesuit and large glass fronted helmet on a rocky moon surface next to the foot of his lunar landing module
An astronaut stands on the lunar surface near to the Lunar Module Eagle foot

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing by a man in a white suit with a big pack on his back and it seems the world has gone mega-moon nostalgic.

The airwaves are full of grainy imagery and everyone is so pleased with themselves you can hardly hear the naysayers claiming the rocks in the picture are made of Hollywood papier-mâché now stored in Area 51.

This led me to excitedly mention to my misses that the nine 1969 Kodak Memorial Colour Slides we have diligently stored in the cupboard might well meet a good premium on eBay.

And her to disappointedly mention that she threw them out a month ago.

A month ago I acquired a natty slide converter and spent a few moments [read hours] transferring all my old colour slides to a more manageable electronic format.

With this I can now see them more regularly and indeed have added some to this very website.

I also knew that most were gradually deteriorating, over time loosing their natural crisp brilliance and turning darker by the year.

I realised that after the transfer there was little point keeping the cumbersome little blighters and that Mrs Clear-It-Up was going to put them in the big grey bin.

However I presumed she might keep the singular little box of collectable, commemorative slides.

Why do I make these basic errors of assumption?

So the NASA eBay collectors of the world were denied the opportunity to get a contemporary set of 60’s memorabilia and I was denied my probable forty quid anniversary present.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.152 14 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 20 Jul 2009
The photograph is a digital transfer from a Kodak Slide original [ask your dad] and is of one of the Apollo 11 astronauts from the 1969 manned lunar spaceflight mission. The photo was not taken by the author. If it was I would be a lot more famous. And older, as I was about six at the time. Credit belongs to NASA. Added in Version 5.152 14 Jul 2018



November 2008

The Smelliest Car

I read in Advanced Driving magazine about a new car from the French battery company Bolloré.

An electrically propelled vehicle to be called the B0. That is the ‘B-zero’.

I somehow doubted that it will be called that.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.150 11 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 19 Nov 2008
The first prototype was called La Blue Car. It became the La Pininfarina B0 [zero] in 2008 with model releases in 2013 and then with Renault in 2015. Since then it appears to have passed in the wind. Like the Mercedes-Beans
Advanced Driving magazine was published by the Institute of Advanced Motorists [IAM], an advanced driving charity with a purpose to improve driving standards, now called IAM RoadSmart



March 2008

My Space Blog

Hi, thought I'd try a blog on MySpace to try to re-kindle some enthusiasm for my entry.

So far have been a member for a few weeks but only have one friend - Tom. Not that Tom is a great friend. He is some sort of automated start-up tart who befriends everyone just so they don't look like Billy no-mates.

Being a Billy no-mates has seemingly attracted a few stunning females who claim to want to be my mate, but as they reside in Wisconsin, USA and claim they hail from Salisbury in the UK their cover as porn links are blown so get sent to the great junk dump in the sky.

Seriously, if you are a fit female and genuinely want to chew the cud at least make out you have read my site. Or mention the word Hippopotamus. At least that way I know you're not just after my credit details.

Not that you have to be fit or female to get a response. I'll reply to anyone. Except Tom.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.149 10 Jul 2018
First Published: MySpace 1 Mar 2008



May 2007

No Choice

A colleague of mine at work today, when questioned about her smoking habit, replied that "It is my choice."

I really think that she, along with anyone else who peddles this pathetic line, is plainly wrong.

If true choice were being exercised, not a variant based on pier pressure, obvious and subliminal advertising along with nicotine addiction, then no sane person could choose to partake in an activity that shortens life, makes them stink, discourages friendship, causes or accelerates numerous painful diseases, stifles fitness, wastes time as well as money, dulls their senses, destroys their brain cells and makes them prematurely age.

Still, as she said, it's her choice.

Is it?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.148 9 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 17 May 2007



Mac In The Firing Line

Wherein I discover Apple Products

A MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive powers a 23 inch Mac monitor filled with photo icons, coupled to an optical mouse, printer and small stereo speakers, all on a dark wood desk unit with matching shelving and adjacent file system.  Files are in the filing system and an iPod Classic is on one of the shelves
This is the screen that turned me into a Mac user. Most just get there from using their iPhone

I'm in the long process of converting one of my bedrooms into a home office and central to this new environment will be a shiny new PC.

I have been looking for a machine that hits the right aesthetic notes as well as performing magnificently.

My major problem area was finding a decent screen and I stumbled into a corker in the new Apple Store that someone kindly set up in my nearest town.

This got me thinking all Mac and I've decided that I would suit a quirky set up.

Now, whilst I await latest product news, I am getting all keen and buying up all the Mac magazines and trawling the website constantly.

As a result I'm very familiar with the Mac adverts [both US and UK versions].

Naturally, being me, I immediately turned my attention to thinking up a new ad. As with all the other ads it opens with the familiar 'PC' and 'Mac' characters.

PC: "Hello, I'm PC and I'm very popular, though I sometimes don't get on with everyone."

Mac: "Hi, I'm Mac and although not as commonplace as you PC, I get on with anyone. Straight out of the box. This makes me smugly better."

A third party joins.

PC: "But, who is this Mac? I can't seem to make it out. You're so cleverly compatible Mac, tell me who it is."

Mac: "No. Sorry. At a loss there for once." [To third party] "Who are you?"

Third party: "Hello, I'm Amstrad emailer."

Mac: "Nope."

PC: "Does not compute."

PC/Mac [together]: "You're fired!"

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.147 6 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 14 May 2007
The advertising campaign for Apple at the time was the "Get a Mac" campaign and used two contrasting characters. The informally dressed Mac character, performed by Justin Long, appeared cool and composed and usually got the better of the more stuffy, formal performance of John Hodgman as the PC character. The campaign was created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab. A UK version of many of the ads were re-shot using Robert Webb and David Mitchell
The image is of the author's first converted bedroom Apple Mac set up showing the MacMini on top of a matching back-up drive powering a 23" Mac monitor displaying many photo icons, coupled to an optical mouse, printer and small Bose stereo speakers. An iPod Classic and webcam are on one of the shelves. The image was taken by the author, in Jul 2008 and was added in Version 5.147 6 Jul 2018



The Next Big Thing?

Sun rays burst into an aquarium containing a medium sized shark and a large schoal of fish
It's not just the author that likes the taste of a bit of Sashimi

The really big questions interest me the most.

Like, why are we here? Or, where did we come from?

Or, why I am still hungry after eating a hugely expensive sashimi meal?

And it seems that one of the biggies is about to be discovered.

Around the end of November this year, at CERN, The Large Hadron Collider, an enormous machine that can accelerate weenie little particles at an astonishing speed through an 27km underground oval tube in order to hit each other is due to attempt to create the conditions at our universe's big bang moment. All so geeky professors wearing white coats and holding clipboards can 'tut' knowingly and say "I thought so" in an annoyingly cocky manner.

Either that or the big bang will occur again and we'll all be instantly sucked into an energy field smaller than my blog entries for the first three months of the year.

Personally I wonder whether this answers two of the really big questions.

Why there are no other developed organisms like us in the massive universe? And secondly why there are so many black holes out there?

Are these questions linked? Is it that when species reach a mature enough state to ponder the universe, then scientifically test it, they can't help but twitch the nose of Armageddon.

Looks like I could afford that delicious sashimi after all.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.146 5 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 4 May 2007
CERN can be found at home.cern
When the test was successfully completed we didn't all disappear. Just thought I'd let you know
The image is of a scene in the Pier 39 Aquarium in San Francisco, taken by the author, in May 2016 and was added in Version 5.146 5 Jul 2018



Well Spun Lie

A close up the author, facing left, wearing a white shirt and clutching a red cricket ball
The author wondering why cricket is played in white, when on a grass pitch using a bright red ball

I couldn't give a flying off-spin for cricket.

I was forced to endure it as a school child and my only contribution was to suggest they use a lighter ball, such as was used in tennis. I didn't see the point then and don't much care for it now.

All this would make you wonder why I became engrossed in the events of the recent world tournament.

It had nothing to do with the on pitch shenanigans but the more interesting, albeit tragic, story of the murderous death of the Australian born Pakistani coach, Bob Woolmer.

As has become fashionable in such circumstances the question was soon posed as to what to do to honour the respected coach.

After much [?] consultation the Pakistani team decided to play on. Noting, no doubt, that Bob Woolmer was a fan as well as cricket enthusiast so would have liked to see the game continue. So Pakistan dutifully played on, a match which they lost incidentally.

What troubles me is this notion spilled out regularly on these occasions that a dead person would appreciate the symbolic agreement of a professional sports team to carry on in their honour.

I know nothing of Bob Woolmer but would have been much more impressed by his reputation if Pakistan had called the match off and retired from the tournament.

I'd be even more impressed if they had cancelled the actual tournament.

Or postponed all cricket altogether for five years.

So remember, if you hear of my untimely demise, don't think I would want you all to just carry on regardless as if nothing had happened. I'm stating right now, for the record, that I want nothing less than true despair.

Throwing yourself on a six-foot spike would seem the right thing to do.

Or, at the very least cancel cricket.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.145 4 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 2 May 2007
The image is of the author clutching a cricket ball during a stage performance of A Cricket Match, one part of Alan Ayckbourn's play Intimate Exchanges



December 2006

Back For Good

Yes, much like Take That I have been neglecting my audience for too long and have decided on a comeback.

As usual the grind of daily living has conspired to rob you of my wordly goodness for a time but now I'm back on the case once more. I have even coincided this with an exciting new version for my site.

I have been partly spurred on by the discovery of a similar site to mine. The site author has chosen to include ideas and rants and has even parodied the Yanks by adding simple 'translations' for them, just like I do.

John Rostron's site is more surreal and colourful and even has photos and is very funny so I'm going to have to get my act together.

It did make me wonder if there are others like ours. And how they could be classified.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.144 3 Jul 2018
First Published: Version 2.04 19 Dec 2006
The exciting new version mentioned in the article was version 2.04
Unfortunately johnroston.co.uk no longer appears to be on the web



First Feedback

Although not technically a blog article, this started as a separate page called Points of View. Now similar such comments are directly added to specific pages.

Word Has Got Out

Comments have literally been flooding in at an estimated rate of one comment for every ten readers of this site. If only there were more readers there would be more comments. And I would be left with an inbox as sore as a teenage mum with quinns.

Word Has Come Back In

The first comment I ever received was a colleage reading my site over my shoulder. So, despite the fact that he was so disinterested that he couldn't actually be bothered to type in the URL he will be honoured here. He was reading one or two of the pages and, quite impolitely I thought, suggested that it was rather opinionated. Guess which page? My opinions one!

Next comment came from abroad. Niek, the lucky Dutchman, searching for data on a Kwacker GPz quizzed Google and happened on the site. Thanks Google. Intrigued he delved deeper and enjoyed a full-on whole site experience. His message started off rather disparagingly suggesting that to land on my site was an unlikely scenario, given the wideness of the centre w in the www. Then, after cheekily suggesting that I manipulated the Queen's English for my own personal use accidently dropped in a spot of praise. But this was naturally short lived as he went on to correct an anomoly in the page he first set eyes on. You'll have to read my GPz750R page to see his comments.

Superbly Written

Then, right out of the blue and almost seamlessly - well one month later - I got another e-comment. This time from another colleage at work. You see it does pay to have vinceunlimited on my desktop screensaver. Simon, as I shall call him, for that is his name, promised to take a peek and reported that this action was a satisfactory one. He noted an omission from my Tarmac page then went on to describe my Dictaphone sketch as 'Superbly written', which for a writer can only be described as superb.

Links

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.141 28 Jun 2018
First Published [as vinceunlimited.co.uk/pov]: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006



July 2006

Monkey Business

Lynda in Gibraltar with a Barbary Ape tugging at her hair
A small monkey checking for signs of grey hair on a dominant female

It is fairly common knowledge that Kingpins in gorilla clans are called a Silverback.

These large males were, to my knowledge, silver in colour because of their age, because just like humans they go grey. However, a fact I discovered recently was that there can only be one Silverback in each gorilla clan.

If a new gorilla asserted itself on the group and successfully challenged the dominant male for the role then the newly demoted Silverback will revert back to being a black-back - He would loose the silver.

I discussed this with the misses and we had wondered why.

This was a few weeks ago I had accepted that I couldn't work out why and how this occurred. However it now appears that my other half had been mulling over this for some time.

Today she announced with great pride, as if discovering the cure for cancer, that this was in fact due to the gorilla realising it's dominance which promoted change. A physiological hormonal reaction.

If I am being honest I hadn't realised this in such clarity but I had given up considering the whys and wherefores because I realised that I wouldn't be able to answer the reasons on a chemical scale.

But her clarity did make me think that if gorillas can hormonally change their hair colour from silver to black then we as humans, being 99.9% similar on a biological level should be able to do the same. Or at least we should be able to artificially produce and use the same hormone.

Have we in our grasp the cure for age hair greying?

All we need to do is collect a hair from a Silverback and from a newly demoted ex-Silverback and make a DNA test for the difference.

All this supposes we can find someone brave enough to pluck a single hair off the back of (1) A dominant male gorilla who thinks he is the Lord of all beings and (2) A newly demoted gorilla who a few days ago thought he was the Lord of all beings and is now one very miffed monkey.

I deigned to suggest that I wouldn't be keen to carry out this next stage of discovery and got accused of being a complete lightweight.

Sometimes it really is hard being a superhero. The slightest crack in the armour and there are accusations of failure. I failed to be fully heroic over quite an insignificant matter and was accused of being a big girl's blouse.

My reaction? Typical Vince.

I likened the thought of being a blouse on a large girl as a positive thing.

But now she's not talking to me.

And I have to be careful, I've noticed she's going grey!

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.136 19 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 7 Jul 2006
The photo is of the author's wife, Lynda, interacting with a native, wild Barbary Ape in Gibraltar, in Oct 2005



Bloody Foreigners

I would like to blame an exciting World Cup competition for not updating my blog for a while.

Unfortunately no one team seems to have really produced anything remotely like a beautiful game which makes England's quarter-final exit against Portugal even more frustrating.

As ever with an England defeat those responsible are being lined up for critical analysis and Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo seems to be taking centre stage in the blame arena.

The vitriol being dished out by email [and presumably other media if I could be bothered to read it] is diminishing my view that he was the best player on the pitch that day.

He had no support from his lack-lustre colleagues but performed his part well, even successfully antagonising England's most short tempered player.

It may be an ugly part of the beautiful game but viewed as a world-wide sport only Englishmen seem to want to play with honour.

Is it time to join them?

I've decided to take the initiative so next time I pass my client in the office I'm going to throw myself to the floor and yell 'Compensation!'.




Today a colleague of mine complained about a noisy neighbour.

This individual has apparently been creating havoc in her neighbourhood by driving fast with loud music playing.

As if this wasn't enough this Mediterranean individual has a provocative 'Italian Stallion' bumper sticker.

I suggested she get a black marker and overwrite 'Tony the Pony'.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.135 15 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 6 Jul 2006



June 2006

According To Me

My first mention of autonomous driving and the insurance implications...

A close up photograph of toy green classic mini in a rather tatty state with red overpainted opening doors, bonnet and roof with a blue circle logo on the door
The result of an accident between a car and a small child

I have just read about a development of a technology from one major car manufacturer that encompasses radar, cruise control and the ability to follow white line markings whilst steering to effectively allow the car to drive itself.

All these technologies are already produced but this car combines them all.

The car in question is a Honda Accord - the pensioners of Britain must be wetting themselves with glee.

All this relies on effective road marking of course but nobody has yet made that quantum leap into the future to envisage who might have to take responsibility should it all go pear-shaped.

Can we look forward to the accident case where the driver claims that he was not actually controlling the car, whereas the manufacturer will be pointing to some small print in their instructions whilst the insurance company attempts to blame the road maintenance companies?

All of which means the poor motorist that was crashed into will be a pensioner himself before he gets compensation.

All of which he'll spend on a new Accord.

And the circle will continue ad infinitum…

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.125 1 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 14 Jun 2006



Four From Two

Have just completed some tidying up work on the latest version of my website so you should now be seeing this online.

You will note that it is still in the old version 2 format.

By now I had hoped that I could find enough time to create version 3, which will be the first to feature actual images.

As for four? Three dimension? Smellivision? Touchscreen? Who knows what I have planned?

I certainly don't!

Note the date, one day before the start of the 2006 World Cup [Note to Americans - this is a ball sport that all the world participates in].

Given the hype that has been bandied about the tournament I feel my website may be lost if I don't include the words football and Rooney. Just as well they kicked in just then.

Mind you your average footy pundit, eager to find out the latest score might well be disappointed if he were searching for striker information and his search engine header came up with this site, bypassing more obvious places.

My site is more off the wall than offside.

However, the penalty for missing the official England site will be new fans of vinceunlimited, which is a goal I have set myself.

Mind you if too many fans pitch on my site and it crashes it will be an own goal so the referee is out on that one.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.124 31 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 8 Jun 2006



May 2006

Genius Rights

Recently the press has been wondering if Sir Paul McCartney ought to retain the major share of his fortune if his spilt with Lady McCartney [Heather Mills McCartney] results in an acrimonious divorce settlement.

The argument has been made that as Sir Paul is so obvious a genius in his given profession he should have the greater share of their accumulated wealth.

Personally, although so obviously in the genius category myself I find this argument uncomfortable.

I could sympathise with the view that his share was greater than hers when they met so future distribution of wealth should reflect this.

I might even be persuaded that his assets were more instrumental in increasing their wealth during their time together so this should be considered.

But to consider only on a subjective measurement of genius is fundamentally wrong.

After all, a successful businessman could equally argue that his money making talent is measurable in geniusness.

And what of Lady M?

Surely marrying a rich Beatle could be classed as an act of pure genius.




My own brand of genius emerged again today.

I have been tasked with assembling some notes about my client's current business practices. As part of this I have to jot down some ideas for efficiency improvements, a task that an idea's man like me can relish.

However, to me, this raises interesting questions about intellectual property ownership.

Normally IP will reside with the company, provided such IP is undertaken by the company but my circumstances are slightly different.

As a self-employed man, working through a third party my role is fairly rigidly defined.

I am certainly not directly contracted to the company I am working in and have not been employed with my novel abilities in mind. I am just contracted to do a standard day to day job efficiently.

So if I bring in my own brand of innovation the company I am working for will benefit unduly. And you can be sure there is no process to reward such special talent. I can't even complete the company staff suggestion form and claim my pony because as a contractor I am ineligible.

But if I don't exercise my full potential I will be cheating the world of my input. This is why I'll go only so far but not all out.

Again, my natural talents defused and demeaned.

So to my idea. Well after all that it doesn't seem so great. They can have it.

In many ways you have just had the best bit.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.123 30 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.03 25 May 2006
In the end Sir Paul McCartney's divorce settlement ended in 2008 with a payout of £24.3m [c.$50m] plus £35k annual childcare costs to Heather Mills [Lady McCartney], his former wife. She had claimed £125m and Sir Paul wanted to settle at £15.8m. I have no idea whether genius was considered. For either party



April 2006

Not Stirred

Thought for the day.

If the contents of a can instruct 'Shake well before use' does this mean shake thoroughly or does it mean a long time before using?

I worry about these things.

Just in case I'm going home to agitate all of my canisters - in case I might need them next week.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.122 29 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 7 Apr 2006



March 2006

Not So Free

A close up photograph of a black and white rabbit
This is what a proper happy bunny should look like

Not a happy bunny today.

I have been thinking about an email that my illustrious ISP sent me last week.

From now on there is to be a 'small change' in the way that the account is charged.

Online time will now attract a nominal one pence or so per minute.

This may be relatively small beer but it is a huge principle.

Rising prices by one pee a minute is marginal but introducing a new charge from a previously free service is a fundamental sea-change.

I am powerless to stop it so will now be looking for an alternative. Any ideas?

Other than suggesting a small beer must be a good thing for an unhappy bunny.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.134 14 Jun 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 29 Mar 2006
Do you remember when it was common to pay for online time by the minute? I was particularly miffed because the free to use ISP service that I was using at the time was branded as Freeserve and I thought that per minute charging was not exactly as 'labelled on the tin'. In fact Freeserve were bought by Wanadoo in 2000 and then by Orange in 2006. I never knew this at the time and was still using 'Freeserve' and my Freeserve email at the time of posting. I soon noticed the change to Wanadoo and Orange, as noted in my formal website vincepoynter.co.uk version 1.02 in Jun 2006. The future it seemed was indeed, as the advertising stated, Orange



No Flying Aircraft

A photograph of the back of my wife in a red tee-shirt and beige cap stood on a balcony just as a nine plane Red Arrows jet formation flies past, trailing their blue, white and red smoke
Lynda, dreaming of a fast jet ride in a Red Arrows display

Today, on one of my local radio stations [we seem to have so many nowadays] someone won a popular competition to spend a day with the RAF Red Arrows.

Ideally this would have been a chance for me to trounce the opposition with my witty entry and win this prize for my beloved.

She has always hankered after a high-octane ride with a naval airman but taking a seat with the Reds would tick most of her boxes.

However, presumably due to the elderly demographic audience of this particular station, the winner will never get to travel in an actual jet. Instead the frustrating day would include attending a pre-flight briefing and chatting idly to the technicians.

How infuriating would that be? So close yet no banana.

It would be like winning the supermarket dash and finding all the shelves empty, or playing football at Anfield after the crowd has left, or visiting a lap dancing club and leaving before the bits are bared.

Intolerable.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.120 25 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 16 Mar 2006
The photograph shows the arrival of a nine-plane Red Arrows display over Bournemouth in August 2009. I took the picture timed to show the exact time of arrival as my wife waited patiently for the start of the display



Bad Blog

Been having trouble getting back into the blogging groove due to allowing the work/play balance to become decidedly unstable over the last few months, which explains the gap between entries becoming a colossus.

It didn't help that I constructed an entry a couple of days ago then accidentally wiped it off my thumb drive.

But I am still here and raring to go. Only I've got a sudden bout of writer's block.

Or to put it in a less authoritarian way, can't be arsed.

Which all makes this entry the most anti-climatic blog in the whole of web history.

Which, if you think about it, is actually quite interesting.

Were it to be true.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.119 24 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 15 Mar 2006



December 2005

Bit Of A Gap

Hooray. I'm back.

It seems that I left you all alone for a while there, in fact nearly three months. At this rate I'll never make blogger of the year.

The reason for the absence has been, as it always is, work related. I was assigned a fresh role that allowed me to work locally. The lack of three or more hours a day commuting on a train meant that I never seemed to find time to update my site.

And there was you thinking that version 3.0 was about to be launched on an unsuspecting public. Mind you, if you thought that the site was about to be launched then the public was not at all unsuspecting and better described as anticipatory.

But I diversify, as ever.

The break from writing my site hasn't subdued my thoughts on what needs adding and updating and I'm always thinking about new ideas and concepts. The only trouble is that by not getting them in print when I think about them can mean that others stumble on the idea.

For example I have been giving some thought recently to the idea that the baby boomer generation, who seem to run the world, may not accept death and we may all soon benefit from everlasting life.

After all this is the generation that invented youth culture, foreign holidaying for the masses, major home ownership, the dot com age, fame, celebrity, greed, modern fitness and leisure pursuits and now cosmetic surgery to keep their youth.

They are suppressing real youth by dissolving upcoming celebrity and sexualising and thus diminishing the young, both male and female.

They hold power positions, wealth, fame, patents and property.

They make the laws to suit themselves, hence the freedom of the eighties is being replaced with the ASBO and spy-camera culture of the current decade to protect them as they get older.

In short they believe the world is theirs and don't want to pass it on, even to their own children.

Mark my word, the next ten years will see frantic developments in anti-ageing treatments and not just skin care products. Plus huge rises in pensions including suggesting the young retire much later than they had to.

Unfortunately some of this content was also considered by a journalist writing in a real paper recently. In Bryan Appleyard's article in The Sunday Times on 27 November 2005 he discussed most of these points. What a swizzle.

Down, if not out.

Still, there's no point in dwelling on what ifs when there are a host of new ideas bubbling in the cauldron. You never know, I might get some of them down in pixels by Christmas.

Christmas 2006 that is. Have a festive one, Vince

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.118 23 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 22 Dec 2005



September 2005

Well Executed

A screenshot, with lower relection effect, of the vinceunlimited website versions page, version 2.02
In those days all websites looked like this. A screenshot of my website, version 2.02

Well the 2.02 version of the site was launched with the usual lack of fanfare and ticker-tape.

Compiling a site like this is a thankless task.

However, I'm in it for the long run and recognise that all this early effort will, one day, be recognised and appreciated in the way that it has been designed.

First up I had to reconfigure this blog section so that there were useful links to my past blog sections.

Now I'm all properly set to mesmerise you with my blogging thoughts. This blogging lark* will prove to be useful to my regular readers as it may be some time before the next proper update is compiled.

There are three reasons for this.

Firstly I am being reassigned at work [no, not gender-wise] and need to settle into my new role in a professional manner, secondly I always plan to update bi-monthly to give myself a reasonable target and finally, because I want my next update to raise the game significantly. More on this later if it comes to pass.

One reason for my re-assignment is the imminent conclusion of a current task that I have been working on for a client.

The last job to be done is create an Executive Summary compiling all the raw data that I have produced over the last few months.

Whilst doing this I was moved to consider why they are called Executive Summaries. Surely an Executive, having achieved such a high rank, must be able to absorb facts and data in a manner better than others.

Therefore the summation should be entitled Idiot Summary. I feel the fact that it isn't proves the real ability of Executives.

Finally, I read in the papers today that a firm has developed a tracksuit for that automatically monitors performance and provides instructions to the wearer about training regimes and performance.

This reminded me that my intelligent shoes idea is not so far fetched.

*Is that related to other Larks I wonder?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.117 22 May 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 29 Sep 2005
The photograph shows a screen grab from the vinceunlimited website, version 2.02. It was first added to the website in Version 3 on 29 Mar 2010



Food For Thought

Vince Poynter sat, tucking in to a Pot Noodle, with a female friend in the background
Yummy, yummy, yummy. This is going to [temporarily] fill my tummy

I purchased a Pot Noodle from Tesco today.

This is not a regular thing now but I used to have one or two when they were first introduced.

This quite unremarkable fact would have gone unreported, even in my detailed blog, other than the fact behind me in the queue was a chef. I knew this fact from his dirty, white, wrap-around top and silly check trousers.

He saw my Pot Noodle and I could see his mind visibly sighing.

He was buying a pile of fresh ingredients and I'm sure was about to produce a masterclass in scrumptious eating.

My sad fast food option was clearly letting the side down.

However, I did think that if this chef was clever enough to have thought up the concept of my humble snack he wouldn't be in Tesco now looking down his nose.

It tasted delicious.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.107 26 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 21 Sep 2005
The photograph shows the author tucking into a Pot Noodle and was taken around 1985. It was added to the website in Version 5.107 26 Apr 2018



Remaining Unlimited

Following a close friend's change of job recently and his necessary formation of a limited company to serve the position I resurrected thoughts about my own position.

Professionally I work as a sole trader (self-employed) but could form a company to trade through just as many of my work colleagues do. However a call to my accountant friend dispelled any myths about saving tax and threw doubt about the promises of limited liability.

This all meant that the novel company name I created yesterday was now redundant. Shame. It was surprisingly difficult thinking up a relevant, short and memorable name that was not previously registered in Companies House and could be purchased as a .com or .co.uk web address.

But I did manage it.

Well, did you expect otherwise?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.106 25 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 20 Sep 2005



Disaster Into Opportunity

Monday morning and the day is already living up to it's reputation.

I travel through about eight sets of traffic lights in my short bicycle journey into the city and at least twelve of them were on red.

When I got to the office the lift was once more out of action and upon starting my computer I find the office network is down so I cannot get on with finishing the important task I started for my client, even though I have now just two weeks left to do the estimated twenty-days work.

So it seems I have just found time to get my September 2005 version of the site finalised. It is important that this is done during the next fortnight as I am moving to a new assignment in October and do not know what facilities I will have to hand.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.105 24 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 19 Sep 2005



Work Musing

Have to attend a work related interview today and it has made me think again about my career.

I work in the construction industry, not through choice but fate. I despise everything about it but year on year the fiscal reward has been growing.

I dislike the way that it limits creativity, is a male dominated, brutish, dirty environment and now only concerns itself with money.

Service and pride have become lost concepts and the industry is full of parasitic consultants. I should know, I work as one!

I work mainly through one agency and they pitch my skills to suit the job - I have become a specialist in nothing more than fitting into any role they ask.

Whilst this provides interesting variations in an otherwise tedious job it does prevent me from climbing up away from my present level into further management. A role I would be much more suited for, mainly because that is where all the hyperbole I have learnt on the way would be of most use.

The flooding of New Orleans is dominating world news at present.

Personally I have never been there and had no wish to. The place is primarily the home of Jazz music which has always been overhyped nonsense and reminds me of tunes that a Country and Western band might rehearse with before they actually hit on the melody.

Awful that the situation is that the poor townsfolk find themselves in I couldn't help doing what the English tend to do in these situations, cracking a joke or two.

I suggested that, as always in these situations, the entertainment industry should show their support by staging a fund-raising concert or two. I suggested a recital of Handel's Water Music, a performance of Riverdance and a staging of the Merchant of Venice. Don McLean could adapt his American Pie song to 'Drove my Chevy to the Levee and the carburettor flooded...' and there could be special showings of Kevin Costner's epic Waterworld.

Does all this frivolity in times of international horror make me a bad man?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.104 23 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 8 Sep 2005



Launch Preparation

It's now September and in line with thoughts that my site should be updated and added to every couple of months I'm thinking about uploading the next batch of pages.

My output is not prolific as I have to balance the work/pleasure/website proportioning sensibly. I sometimes work on the site during my daily return commute (I sleep on the way in!) but this time is often hi-jacked by a game of Spider Solitaire - it helps me unwind.

I'm ready to launch version 2.02 (this blog was launched in this version) and am thinking about the next update. The next version may be the first to contain images, although as the whole site is hand-coded in HTML I need to establish how to control image size, quality, positioning and word-wrapping first. I could use a proprietary application but that would be cheating.

Another thing I need to do is get the site advertised. Already I have registered the site's credentials with Google and Yahoo but searches for 'vinceunlimited' are producing unreliable results. Google manages to find my Opinions page and as a secondary thing my Versions page but falls short of listing the actual homepage. Perhaps my Opinions page is where readers start?

Yahoo searches actually yield diddly-squat. I cannot understand why a search engine cannot find a name that is actually part of the domain URL.

I do know that search engines use as one factor the number of external links but my site is too eclectic to be linked from one set of other sources. I'll have to start requesting links for specific pages from some sites. So, if you run a site, like my content and can think of where to link your site please don't hesitate to add that link. Let me know about it and I'll return the compliment.

Meanwhile I better get back to devising content. Or Solitaire.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.103 20 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 6 Sep 2005
h2g2 can be found at https://www.h2g2.com



August 2005

Capitalist Dilemma

A photo of a very white bathroom showing the close-coupled WC, part of the pedestal mpunted basin on the left and the bath on the right
A picture of the offending item [The WC and cistern, not the leak]

Had a call from our last tenants about the cost of their water bill. Apparently the reading for the most recent five months was nearly double that of the previous six.

I might have blamed their increase in numbers due to the child production line that they have started, perhaps thinking that the toddler who scratched our window cill also spuriously ran the bath from time to time. From the state of the grease in the kitchen it is clear that they weren't squandering water on cleaning so the problem appeared to stem from the leaky WC cistern.

They reported this a few months ago and I thought that my temporary repair had solved the crisis. I had purchased a new cistern innards and was waiting for the call to say that it was still leaking but the call never came.

However water was running when we took possession. I deduce that this leak was in part responsible for the higher bill.

So, quandary time.

Technically the tenants are responsible for not informing us that the leak had re-appeared. However, as Landlord, it appeared that I failed to stem the leak the first time so feel partly responsible.

On moral grounds Lynda and I decided to pay a sum toward the bill.

So, would this act of generosity to the less well-off bode well in Landlord of the Year competitions or does our lack of capitalist leanings disqualify us completely?

At least we'll sleep at night. Unlike the tenants with their young family.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.102 19 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 30 Aug 2005
The accompanying photograph shows the actual WC and cistern installed at the author's apartment let, taken in Feb 2004 and first added to the website in Version 3 in Mar 2010



Bank Holiday

This blog is rapidly turning into a diary. I didn't envisage listing virtually everything that I do but editing the fun is difficult when there has been so much of it.

The main thrust of the Holiday weekend was spent working. The misses and I own an apartment that we rent out and this weekend was spent between tenants. As we market the one-bedroomed flat as 'prestige' we had to return it to that state in readiness for our next occupier. This meant getting all the grease out and some artwork in.

We had a break on Sunday and visited a local motor event where my niece was performing in a Junior motorcycle display team. As is usual with these things I got involved. Insofar as I sat in my sister's car when it was being jumped by a lad on his Kawasaki. The view out of the rear window was impressive, being sat in the last car in the row. I figured that if I had captured the moment on a digital camera it could have featured in the BBC's picture of the day. The experience also made me think about my autobiography structure because of the innumerable things that I get involved in. [You will have to visit the Autobiography section] to discover more.

The cricket that I mentioned earlier is picking up pace. England took a second win in the Ashes series to lead the Aussies by one with one to go. Suddenly everyone is a fan and I too was bowled over when watching the conclusion on Sunday evening but I doubt this is happening in Australia.

Finally had another browse at h2g2 and found many gaps that I could fill. Am considering registering as a contributor. Why is it I always think this way?

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.101 18 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 29 Aug 2005
h2g2 can be found at https://www.h2g2.com



Maintaining The Good Start

Although I never intended entries to be added daily the initial momentum carries me into the second entry under full steam.

However, I am already thinking that adding a [heading] next to the date may be an error. Often one of the most edited parts of my new pages whilst in preparation are the quick-fire headings. They have to be snappy and relevant whilst offering a subtle hint at the humour within the page. Not easy in a word or three.

It is a working day again but I grabbed a quick browse on the Internet within the BBC site (again) which led me to their h2g2 page. This is a growing collection of information that realises the ideas of it's founder, Douglas Adams, who envisaged such an information source in his novel 'The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy'. I'll no doubt return again to this ocean of knowledge in due course but today had a quick surf in the philosophy section where I discovered many fascinating gems.

One was a page answering the familiar conundrum about the chicken and egg (as I had already deduced it was the egg). This itself was not educational but a link to an alternative answer by Alice Kaswell amused me. In it she determined the result by posting both a chicken and egg to herself. You have to click the link [below] to read the amusing story.

Another article within the philosophy section briefly described transhumanism, which is the convergence of humans and technology to give us more than our three score and ten. Whilst reading this I had to suppress an urge to add a comment in a similar vein about an idea I have been working on. I'm often suppressing urges like this. It's been my nature since very young. Question and answer sessions following lectures normally see me asking probing questions.

In simple terms my particular idea envisages a future time when due to progress humans can live forever but as their reproduction would soon swamp the world a choice would have to be made between longevity and procreation. Most parents claim they would sacrifice themselves over to protect their offspring but if it came to it would they? And if they were given a choice of kids or long life what would they choose? I think this could make a fascinating subject of a film so didn't post it on the site.

It just goes to prove that when I spend time reading and regurgitating the thoughts of others I am not preparing my own. Just like the writing of this blog prevents me from developing fresh new pages on my site. So a genuine philosophical question arises, the sort that becomes harder to answer the more it is considered.

Is this website better without this blog?

Of course there are many other side issues developing here.

I'm reminded that yesterday I came to the conclusion that virtually no-one has an original idea and even the most original thinkers and raconteurs are merely re-stating in their own manner all things that they have previously absorbed. Or at least that's what I do!

Each person has a stack of knowledge that is in part passed on to a variety of others.

A few months ago I thought I might try to record all I know in some sort of database for no other reason than my ego thinks it would be useful to others. I was going to add it as a sub-section of this site, entitled 'The Knowledge'.

I procrastinated as it is a major undertaking that may take some time to develop into a useful database and the sapling versions would be hollow. Further it would, by its nature, lack humour, the underpinnings of this site, so it is still on the back burner. Barely alight to be honest and now almost extinguished by the discovery of Mr. Adams' BBC offspring.

My version had one feature not on the BBC site which is that I envisaged all my facts to be graded.

I figured that each subject should have three categories. Firstly, the basic explanation, almost a precise brief dictionary expression. In the second category there would be a few facts and interesting related asides, the sort of fact that would impress at a dinner party without appearing to be an anorak. Then finally the third level would be the full anorakal description.

So I have a choice. Develop my original idea - this will take literally years and may be superseded long before it matures. Secondly I could invite the formal BBC site to take on my grading idea. And thirdly just get on with my work again.

I'll take three.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.100 17 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 26 Aug 2005
The BBC no longer maintains the h2g2 link. It is still live and can be found at https://www.h2g2.com
Wikipedia was launched in Jan 2001 and had about half a million entries by the time my article was posted from around 750 contributors. The lack of my mentioning this source leads me to believe I wasn't fully aware of this information source at the time of original posting
The Alice Kaswell link is https://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume9/v9i4/chicken_egg.html
I have not finished with my idea about human longevity and am currently working on a book called 'The Southampton Conundrum' which explores some ideas in this field.



Blog Off

Vince Poynter sat in a old aircraft trainer cockpit
Finally the blog is launched on an unsuspecting airfield somewhere overground

So here we go. I've mused, considered and procrastinated enough it's time to launch my blog.

Nowadays it seems everyone is at it. Well at least those with a website. According to a recent BBC webpage there are over 14 million blogs so my humble effort is going to have to be sharp to cut the mustard. Not that mustard needs a sharp blade but you get my point.

I launch this blog at a pretty inconsequential time. It's a Thursday and as is the norm for my working week I've travelled to London. Due to the aftershock of the recent terrorist attacks the city was unusually quiet when I ventured in. Either that or everyone is staying home to watch the fourth instalment in a cricket match with Australia for a trophy small in stature but large in importance to some. By the time you come to read this you will know the result, or more likely not care so I won't bore you with it.

I started this blog as it seems a good way of passing on all the snippets of information and ideas that spring to my mind on sporadic occasions, plus to recount all the amusing anecdotes that invade my existence. In fact the launch was eventually spurred on by a couple of great stories but as is the way with these things now that I've put fingertip to keyboard I cannot for the life of me recall them. I suppose in a way that's exactly what this will be all about. Just that now the framework is ready I'll now be able to record the notes before they disappear.

Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.099 16 Apr 2018
First Published: Version 2.02 25 Aug 2005
The photograph is of the author sat in a trainer cockpit at The Yorkshire Air Museum, taken by the author's wife at the beginning of Aug 2004. It was first added to the website in Version 3 in Mar 2010