The vinceunlimited Blog

This is the main blog page of the vinceunlimited web site.

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.

At present the vinceunlimited web site is being re-constructed with the oldest posts from 2003 being added in first, along with a few newer ones.

To allow you you search for posts there is a vSearch in the left column. Look out for new post titles here.

Alternatively go to the home page to see new posts being added during this re-building stage.

You can access the home page in several ways. The link is vinceunlimited.co.uk/mobile.htm or you could click on my face icon at the top left of the page, or click the button below. The choices are endless. Providing the end happens after just three choices.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.008 18 Oct 2017
Minor editing Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017
Further editing, explaining the re-building stage, added in Version m5.016 9 Nov 2017




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Animal Parts - Plea For A Bike - Dead Centre - The Millenium Dome - Being European - Bad Driving Habits - Fluorescent Roads - Fuels - Gender - Hi-Fi - Hollywood - Lanes - Launch Debugging - LCD Car Windows - Lottery - Sweet Tea - Version 5 Launched - Word Minutes Template




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 vSection menu above under Songs 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.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.006 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 web site. 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.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.002 1 Oct 2017
First Published: Version m5.002 1 Oct 2017



September 2017

vinceunlimited Web-site 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 at the top of the page.

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 prescence.

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, under vChoices at the top of this site.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.001 30 Sep 2017
First Published: Version m5.001 30 Sep 2017



October 2003

This article was originally written and published in October 2003 in the original version of the vinceunlimited web site and represented an opinion at the time, based on contemporaneous knowledge. It is reproduced below updated and edited.

Animal Parts As Spares

A monkey sat on the shoulder of Vince
A monkey transplant

One of the big issues facing mankind today is the moral question of whether we should be allowed to grow animals purely for use as spare parts for humans. Technological advancement is reaching the point where soon we will be able to grow compatible human parts within live animals.

And in 2017 the UK issued plans to make organ donor presumed consent a thing. If we have to go to the trouble of opting out then so can the mammals. Unless they fill out a form on the internet.

Imagine, a man's spare spleen, if you can, grown by a dog. Or a newborn baby's amputated lower arm being re-grown by a monkey. Or an arse transplanted from a horse onto a woman (I'm sure I've seen her already).

The issue centres on whether it is moral to do this. I believe it may be immoral not to do it. I would argue that mankind is no more than a species, albeit a very successful one and one which we are lucky to be a part of. And like all other species humans have developed the best way to survive and prosper. Being able to harvest parts from other species is just another development in the clear superiority of humans. All species use the resources available to them and just as our food farming is a clever extension of this ability so is improving this to include repair of damaged or old body parts. It is a natural extension. Nature.

And who wouldn't choose to live longer, providing the quality of their life through use of renewable, healthier parts was assured.

The only concerns I would personally have is to impose controls on the supply. I couldn't accept that the system was open to be abused by undesirable people. And I'm not scaremongering about a dozen cloned dictators. That just couldn't occur. No, I would worry about persistent drunks using surrogates to grow banks of spare livers. And I would have concerns about stinking smokers using animals to constantly transplant their lungs. Transplanting their brains might be a better idea.

My own view is that I would be happy for a pig to grow a heart for me, then for me to have it transplanted when mine is worn out. And I could enjoy a good bacon sandwich afterwards. Long live technology.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a Barbary Macaque monkey sat on the shoulders of the author in Gibraltar and was added along with minor text updates in Version m5.003 6 Oct 2017
The preheader was contained within the article body in Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017



Dead Centre

It's logic Jim. But not as we know it.

Photograph of Lynda pointing out Australia on a large globe
My wife clearly missing where the centre of the universe lies. Clue - It's taking the picture

Where can you find me? Only at the centre of the universe. That's where.

It is a brave statement indeed to make a claim that I can be found at the centre of the universe. Even more foolhardy to state that I can prove it. But I am and I can.

Firstly you need to understand and accept the concept of infinity. It is quite easy this bit. Infinity in terms of distance is a very long way away, then a bit more. Kind of like further than that beer on the coffee table when you are slumped in front of the TV. Even further away than your chances of dating a Hollywood megastar, unless you are another Hollywood megastar of course. Or a film producer. Or a thousand dollar hooker of course. Anyway, you get the picture. Infinity is such a huge number that when applied to distances I wouldn't like to drive it - Not without a comfort stop.

Now, if I were to move forward, as far as possible, to the edge of infinity it would take me...? Let's see, about the same time as it would if I were to move backwards at the same rate to the edge of infinity. I shall call that time X. No, I won't, I'll call it Gerald, other people always call it X.

Anyway, in Gerald, travelling at a constant speed I could reach the edge of infinity from any direction I please. Infinity is the same distance, up, down, front, back or even sideways. Whether you are on a pushbike, in a sidecar or a space shuttle travelling at twenty six times the speed of Gerald.

If this is the case I must surely be right slap-bang in the centre - Of the Universe. Point proved.

Now, all I have to do is prove that I'm also immortal. That one could take some time.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.008 18 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Slight editing and image added in Version m5.008 18 Oct 2017



The Millennium Dome

A tribute to the Greenwich blister

A landscape image depicting the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome

An enormous carbuncle or visionary monument? That is the question

Many say that the cash should have been spent on the NHS instead? They questioned the extravagance of a structure built of a seemingly temporary design and only there for a year. And no one can see where the £800m and counting went. So why am I a supporter of this apparently whitest of elephants?

Let us consider some facts. The Dome was built in the UK, not a third world country riddled with debt and plagued by civil war. We are a first world power so shouldn't we be able to afford a bit of luxury? The money is better spent on this plaything for a few than on another weapon of mass destruction.

And I do not believe that one hospital or nurse has been cancelled because of the project. I agree the National Health Service is currently under funded and would be happy to pay additional taxes if I could guarantee an efficient service but I do not confuse this issue with the Dome. That is the job of the British Press.

As for the contents I am not a believer of criticism without seeing things first hand. So I visited this monument in it's heyday in early March 2000 and enjoyed the whole day. The content was generally of an excellent nature and there was more to see than I could in the day's visit. In particular I noted that the Journey Zone was top draw stuff (Incidently, I could not find the actual top shelf stuff).

The only disappointment was the main show. Set on too grand a scale with things happening everywhere and a pretentious story line too far up its own tent-pole to make any sense.

I predict that the Dome will eventually be fondly remembered. The media in this country is controlling how we perceive the image of this stunning structure and up to now the press has been slagging it off. Its image is at a low point so the media-mongrels [deliberate misspelling] will soon decide it is time to re-launch it as a success story.

And as for the slogan 'Only open for a year'. It will still be up and running in some form in 20 years - Mark my words.

Think about the publicity that we could get for our country if we had all got behind it - I believe it is big enough.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts the East London Thames skyline including The Millennium Dome and was taken by the author in August 2003. It was added in Version m5.013 27 Oct 2017



Bad Driving Habits

Driving Me To Distraction

A photo of a motorway scene showing cars and vans approaching a junction on the M27

Is there anyone who has not got an opinion on driving?

Well this is one to get you all going - unless you are in London at 5.30 p.m. on a weekday. Speed limits, don't we all just hate them? Come on, admit it. If you like limits then you are beyond hope. Just go out and stand in the road now. Only you won't get hurt because all the cars are going so slow nowadays because of the restrictions, humps and hopeless drivers who couldn't drive a Scalextric car.

And it's our own fault. Limits are only put there because the general imbeciles driving around today can't control their vehicles or judge when it is safe. Speed does not kill - bad driving does. And the general driver, despite their own high opinion of their ability to match Schumacher, drives pretty poorly.

So to counter this threat to innocent passers by and other road users the authorities (i.e. our elected representatives) put up arbitrary tin plates suggesting a recommended maximum. Now that would be fine if that was all it was. Instead, our protectors (i.e. the police) do their best to catch people going a bit quick and then to fine and humiliate us.

Fines themselves are fine, one could say a fine deterrent. It's the points system that gets me riled. A few misdemeanours over a matter of years can lead to diabolical insurance premiums and possible incarceration with all the attendant bottom stretching. With possible loss of employment, status and respect. Ask yourself - Is that really fair punishment for going too fast?

Sure, I'd agree that bad driving deserves all the bottom expansion in the world but bad driving is difficult to measure. And all this makes for an increasingly stale road system. And for people like me with four star in their veins it isn't good enough. We need to fight back.

We should concentrate instead on bad driving and eliminate those poor habits. So, take a look at the few listed below and if it's you - shame...

  1. Hogging the outer lane. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Move over you pussy. I wanna go past and you ain't the police sunshine. Imbecile.

  2. Hogging the middle lane. See above. And stop worrying about filtering off the motorway. The junction is at least two miles away and its well signed. Nerd.

  3. Inappropriate speeding. I know, after all I said but 30 mph passing a school at 9 a.m. is much worse than 120 mph at night down an empty highway. Idiot.

  4. Using your hazards whilst stopped in town. There's always another car stopped behind you so all the passing cars can only see one of your indicators. Looks like you are about to pull out! Wombat.

  5. Parking on the 'other' side of the road with your lights on. The headlight dipping system blinds every passing car. And as you are stationary you hardly need to see. But we do. Dipstick

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The image depicts a typical motorway scene and is not intended to be a comment on the vehicles involved. It was taken by the author in Feb 2016. It was added in Version m5.015 4 Nov 2017



Being European

One day all this will be mine, or mined. Your choice

Image of a Border Collie Dog, stood with an arched back.
A Flexible Border...Collie

Why do so many residents of the UK fail to acknowledge that they are European? Take a look at any atlas (apart from those with the flexible borders produced by the Israelis) and the landmass of Britain is clearly in Europe. We are Europeans. End of discussion.

Of course those xenophobic Brits who refuse to acknowledge their position are really saying that they refuse to be 'European'. Some sad misapprehension that they would be forced to eat horses in the manner that the French do, be good in bed like the Italians or strut around like they own the place like most Germans. And that just isn't British.

My personal opinion is that having closer ties with your neighbours is a good thing. Less war, more trade and better pasta imports. As long as we don't have to drive Czech cars. Why suffer passport and travel restrictions? We can save all that malarkey for the other world citizens nibbling at the borders.

Europe today is a small place and should be accessible to all Europeans, including us Brits. Furthermore, European union is the first step towards world union and ultimately peace for all mankind.

And the rule applies to other parts of the world too. Africa for all Africans. The Middle East for all nations - even the Israelis. And Australia for the kangaroos.

Mind you, if it comes down to a clear choice between speaking Esperanto or becoming the next state in the good old US of A then I'm a happy hamburger eater. I'll even forgive them for not helping out in the Falklands. Or for charging us for their help in the Second World War. Or for accidentally shooting their allies everytime they open fire.

Just as long as the Yanks acknowledge that the word mum has a 'u' in it. Much like the word neighbour.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.016 9 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
Slightly edited in Version 5.016 9 Nov 2017
The image depicts a Border Collie dog taken by the author's family around 1974. It was added in Version 5.016 9 Nov 2017



Fluorescent Roads

The long and shiny road

Image of a light blue Peugeot 406 coupe travelling on a road
The road could be blue. To match the car

The technology which brings us reflective white paint to help guide us on our roads at night is one of man's greatest achievements. Obviously not in the league of the wheel or Penicillin. Or even bicycle clips. But pretty much up there.

As you hare down a country lane at night a pair of brilliant white lines guide you from one curve to another. The experience is surreal.

But, as usual, there is a limitation. In many cases, whilst we enjoy the reflection from the central lines sub-dividing the carriageways there isn't always an edge marker. And let's face it, the less unnecessary white paint embellishment on our country lanes the better.

Now, we cannot just paint the whole road surface because then we wouldn't be able to see the central white dividing lines. Plus the grip (for those of us who go quick enough to need it) would be severely reduced, particularly in the wet, the cost of paint would be exorbitant and, quite frankly, it would be an eyesore.

Unless the paint could be made black. And reflective.

So, we need a solution. How about making the roads fluorescent.

Add a luminescent compound to the Tarmac* mix. That way all the light absorbed during the day will be magically converted to a bright ribbon of road at night.

Just think of all the gorgeous colours that could be generated. Plus, the motorways could be coloured blue, the main roads green, the minor roads red and the little lanes yellow. All to match my road atlas.

We'll never turn onto the wrong road at night again.

Admittedly, as far as I know, luminescent paint is slightly radioactive. So all our cars will need lead underpans (lead underpants for cyclists). Then the handling and performance will be affected. So we won't be able to go quick after all.

Come to think of it, it's a silly idea. I tell you what - let me take another look at that bicycle clip concept again.

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Author: Vince Poynter
*Little known fact: Tarmac is a registered name used in a generic way, much like Hoover
Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts a Peugeot 406 Coupe travelling on a typical British A-road, taken by the author in April 2016. The image was added in Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017



Fuels

Image of toy Shell classic petrol pump

Oil be seeing you. Oilways

Do you consider yourself green?

I suppose the answer would be yes if you are either a resident of the planet Nerasis (sector 45AF.789 in the Zarciod Belt, turn right past Uranus and it's only a block or two away) or a pedal cycling, anally retentive killjoy with a huge chip on your shoulder. Either way, you ain't gonna like what I say.

Fossil fuels. Burn 'em.

I make no secret of the fact that I'm a turbo charged V8 with nitrous injection.

I overtake people on the pavement (that's the sidewalk to all you Yanks) in the same way that I pass them on the road. Life is for living and we today are fortunate to have been blessed with the black stuff.

Oil. Fantastic product, all that energy easily stored and able to take us on adrenaline fuelled trips that crack cocaine would struggle to produce. I'm a petrol junkie.

Hold it old chap, I hear you politely say. What about the resource issue?

If we all go around mindlessly using these decomposed dinosaur reservoirs then there won't be any left for the next generation. Stuff them! It doesn't matter. If we didn't have oil we would invent some other way of getting our automotive kicks and so will the next generation.

Let's pass on something useful - The ability to have fun.

Just one reservation about oil. Why did someone invent Diesel, then think it might be a good idea to use it in cars? Beats me.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.017 10 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The unedited content represents a view held at the time, long before the adoption of powerful electric or hybrid vehicles and modern, clean diesel engines
The image depicts a toy Shell classic petrol pump, circa 1970, taken in December 2002 and was added in Version m5.017 on 10 Nov 2017



Gender PC

Two similar photographs of the author and his wife both sat astride a Can-Am three wheeled motorcycle

A man and a woman. Entirely different.

First things first. Let's not confuse gender with sex. Heidi Klum doesn't have gender appeal and I've never had gender in the back seat of a car. Nor Heidi Klum come to think of it.

However, I am against too much of this modern fetish with political correctness. Men and women are different. Live with it. In fact, celebrate it. We don't want to end up in an andronomous society where you can't tell your mother from the plumber.

I'm not a misogynist (look it up) and I'm not against lesbianism. In fact I think I might be a lesbian. I share all their ideals, I just don't get to change in the same cubicle when I go swimming. And I have better hair.

I applaud equality. That is, I applaud fair equality, not the trumped up excuses used in positive discrimination. All women shortlists should only be reserved for surrogate breast feeding jobs. Not to select members of parliament. Even if they are all tits which people suck up to! - Couldn't resist that one.

Men love the way women look so good. In all shapes and sizes. Keep those curves on view and appreciate it when we look at your thighs. You know that if you hide yourselves away you will end up putting up your own shelves. And it has taken men millions of years to learn how to read a map. Women won't achieve it in their lifetime.

And as for the men. Stop being a bunch of wimps. Don't be afraid to get down the gym and pump those pecs. And it's not an insult to hold open a door or offer your seat. Stand up and be counted. Women will only be Kylie if you are prepared to be Russell Crowe.

As for me. I'm off down the gym, to pick up my map and drive over to Heidi's.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.018 13 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003
The text is reproduced, unedited, as published in Oct 2003 and represented the author's views at the time
The image depicts the author and his wife sat astride a Can-Am Spyder three wheeled motorcycle as manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products. It was taken on 25 Sep 2016 and added in Version m5.018 13 Nov 2017



The Meaning Of Hi-Fi

Image of a high end Hi-Fi stack comprising top-loading DVD player, sound processor, laserdisc player, video cassette deck and a pair of power amps on a substantial alloy triangular base stand
My Hi-Fi in 2001

This page is not about to describe my hi-fi to you. You'll have to get to know me much better if you want to hear my set up.

No, this page is a direct attack on all those manufacturers and suppliers out there who bandy about the term hi-fi when it clearly isn't warranted.

Hi-fi, or to give it it's full title, high fidelity, was popularly introduced in the seventies. The term may be older but it's use became more widespread, probably to coincide with the style of denim Jeans at the time. The distinction allowed for the purity of sound extracted from the growing number of specialist separate components that outperformed the all in one music-centres of the time. Eight track anyone?

I know that the latest head-banging, superwoofered ghetto blaster can outperform these early attempts at music reproduction but that's not the point. The term hi-fi is a moveable datum. As the general melee of equipment improves, the true high fidelity components are those that still rise above the masses producing crisp, clear sounds to die for.

And the number of lights, displays, bells and whistles don't count either.

So, next time someone tries to flog you a 'hi-fi' product, at a price a teenager could afford, ask them how it compares to a top end CD transport coupled to a pair of dedicated amps and running through some major floor-standing speakers. Then get them to show you.

You might just get an idea of what my system sounds like.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.019 16 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author's Hi-Fi stack in 2001 and was added in Version m5.019 16 Nov 2017



Hollywood

Cellulite and Celluloid

Image of the author in his back garden holding a clapperboard, next to a tripod mounted classic shoulder mount camcorder, next to a wallpaper table on which is a clipboard a book.  In the background two deck chairs and some soft toys
An audition taping in action

I'm in two minds about this one. These pages are all about getting a gripe off my chest, without the use of a fine pair of tweezers and Hollywood must be a prime target.

There is much to dislike about the pumped up, pretentious American film industry.

The powerful network can easily create a dream but so often wrecks them.

The play it safe attitude of film commissioning stifles genuine new raw talent and makes it hard for newcomers to break in.

The industry's hypocritical attitude to sex which rams it down your throat but ensures you never see it.

The obsession with mindless violence and the assumption that pain, maiming and killing have no subsequent consequences.

All these things are gross and frankly unnecessary in such a matured industry.

Yet, somehow, all the glitz, glamour and style makes me hold back from really winding in the knife.

Some of my best memories come from watching the spectacular stunts and settings that multi-million dollar budgets can achieve. And anything associated with Kristin Scott Thomas must be OK.

And then there is the British Film Industry.

Great ideas, talent and films but no balls when it comes to funding. So don't go whinging when Mr. USA rewrites the great British stories in his own style and makes zillions from them.

So, I have to decide one way or another, whether Hollywood is destined for the landfill dump or the mantelpiece.

Let me put it this way. Deep down, anyone who writes harbours a deep wish to become part of the circus.

Case closed.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.020 17 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts the author in the process of creating an audition tape in May 1998. The show was a Channel 4 project entitled Trash Talk and the audition taped failed to do it's job. The show now appears nowhere on the internet [It's not the later NFL show]. Was it even made? Has it been removed from history? Did they pick the wrong presenter? You do the maths. The image was added in Version m5.020 17 Nov 2017



Lane Discipline

A motorway scene
Lane discipline is good here. Probably.

I'm a fan of driving. Sure there are many reasons why I shouldn't be. Take a peek at my opinion on driving habits if you need to see a few reasons why. But I am also an optimist, if things are bad they can be fixed.

All we need is the will and a bit of clever thinking. And that is a speciality of mine. I have worked out how we can reverse one of the worst habits of British motoring by changing some simple rules.

Why not let people who drive correctly, drive faster?

We all want to go quicker but need to do this responsibly. Here is the way.

Without changing the rules about only overtaking on the right, let us allow drivers to go quickest on the inside lane, then progressively slower in the outer lanes.

Sounds crazy? Well just think about it for a moment.

Imagine a three-lane motorway. When you are driving along with no other traffic (remember the seventies?) I propose that you should be able to charge along safely to your hearts content.

If you then come upon a slower vehicle ahead then you will need to move out a lane to pass. But you have to temper the speed a bit and go past carefully. If you again want to get going once past you will be encouraged to move back to lane 1 to be allowed to travel again at speed.

And when the traffic is so bad that all three lanes are needed then all the overtaking in lane 3 has to be so much slower, therefore safer. It is a self-restricting system. Slow when busy but with less restrictions when the roads empty.

And drivers will voluntarily move over to the left after overtaking. Simple. Like all great ideas.

Of course, the set limits would have to offer something if this is to be sold as a good system. If the government gets hold of this idea then some quango think tank will decide that on motorways the limits should be 70, 60 and 50 mph. Much easier to sell the idea to a sceptical public at 90, 70 and 60 mph.

Mind you it won't stop the arsehole cruising along at 60 in the centre lane, clogging up the whole system. For that I propose a simpler system. That I shall be legally allowed to carry a firearm and shoot him.

(Note: Americans and Europeans will have to read this page in a mirror to get the idea)

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.023 23 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image depicts a typical British motorway scene and is used to illustrate lanes being used. There is no implication to suggest the vehicles are in the correct or incorrect lanes. The image was added in Version m5.023 23 Nov 2017 and updated in Version m5.024 24 Nov 2017



LCD Car Windows

The new black in car windows

Image of a blue Range Rover with black out side windows
Blacked out windows

Maybe it's because I wear glasses and so cannot instantly pick up the oh-so-fashionable Oakleys everytime the sun comes out.

Maybe because I hate it when all those pillocks keep their sunvisors down long into the evening, or later. Or forever.

Or is it just that I hate that time in a winter's evening when the sun is right in your face, just above the steering wheel rim.

I think we need to do something about sunny days.

Why not use LCD technology to automatically black out car windows on a summers day?

It's a well-known science, relatively cheap and controllable. Look at the watch on your wrist (no, not you Mr. Breitling). Control could be light sensitive, or switched by yet another button with a strange logo on the dashboard.

Just imagine you've been out cruising all night, so your windows are clear. It's early morning and you are thinking of an excuse to tell the boss that you need a day off. You know, dead grannies, leaves on the line, working from home; that sort of thing. When you pull up next to a car and it's the man-boss himself, on his way to work.

Just flick the switch and your car becomes a haven of seclusion. Or a Mafia staff car. Yes, you too could look like a reclusive film star. In your twenty-six year old Datsun Cherry.

There is only one problem as far as I can tell. Legislation would prevent the technology being applied to front windscreens, so all the problems listed above would still irritate me.

I guess I'm gonna have to get that Laser Surgery done.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.025 27 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The image was added in Version m5.025 27 Nov 2017. It depicts a blue Range Rover with blacked out windows, taken by the author in April 2012. That is, the photo was taken, not the car. That would be theft. And naughty.



Lottery

A personal view of the British Lottery system

Image of the author stood next to a Bentley Arnage
Typical pose of a lottery winner

I'm a big fan of the National Lottery.

Where else could such a simple act as shelling out a pound bring such substantial life altering consequences?

And I do not fall under the category of 'it won't change my life'. The hell it will. Big time.

Not that I have such a bad life, it is just that I do have an imagination and too much of my precious time is spent doing what I must, not what I would like. So winning would be a truly selfish act. Yes. Bring it on.

I will not try to convince you that I play the game for good causes. I have a strong belief that we should not need charity because need should be properly addressed through taxation. I have no issue with the government taking a percentage of the lottery cost for extra special causes as long as it stays that way. The causes should remain special, not need based. The organisers already make a tidy profit and the winnings seem to be sufficiently generous to tempt me.

The only downside I see is lack of integrity.

Virtually every week one, two or more people are made very wealthy. Camelot boast of the hundreds of millionaires made. But there is very little evidence.

Bentley Motors shares are not going through the roof and I, nor anyone I know, is personally aware of any big time winners, except the tiny minority of reprobates featured in the red top rags.

And don't tell me that mostly they want to keep their identities quiet or that they are all wrinklies who stuff it all under a mattress. If I won a jackpot everyone would know. The smile alone would give it away.

So, what stops the organiser saying there are four jackpot winners when there is only one? I am sure that the system is correctly monitored but the ease in which this could occur stirs the conspiracy side of my mind.

Camelot you need to demonstrate your propriety better.

Finally, a lottery tip.

Buy two sets of numbers.

The second set (providing they are a different set, numbski) will double your chances of winning. You could not improve on that.

Shelling out another quid will only increase your new chances by a third, a fourth will only increase your chance by another quarter, etc.

And don't play on Wednesday, you'll just bugger up my chances of a rollover from Saturday if you win.

P.S. Calling it Lotto doesn't fool anyone. It makes it sound cheap. Which, I guess is the idea. Trouble is, it is still a pound. And I, for one, do not want a 'cheap' win.

What I couldn't do with twenty million? Well, a better website for a start.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.028 30 Nov 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
This article was written when Camelot owned the rights to the British lottery. It has since been sold to some teachers in Canada [seriously, look it up] and because teachers are not well paid it now costs two quid a go. So now I cannot afford it.
The image depicts the author stood next to a Bentley Arnage in 2000 and was added in Version m5.028 30 Nov 2017



Sweet Tea

A Refreshment Revolution

Photograph of the author in a suit serving tea to a table full of pensioners whilst some workers look on
One lump or two?

I love tea.

But then again I am supposed to. I am British.

I even wrote a prose on the subject.

Admittedly, the way I take it - black, weak and with one sugar is a little unconventional. If it is an inviting, red, watery, sweet liquid where you can clearly see the base of the cup I'm a happy bunny. The taste is so subtle, not disrupted by the artificial thickness of bovine mammoidal fluid.

I learnt to appreciate the subtleness of tea as a drink after a Japanese restaurant supplied me with green tea. An oriental fusion of hot water with bits of their garden chucked in it. Strange to the eye but welcome in the mouth. The Japenese have been drinking it like this for hundreds of years before they told me. How inconsiderate is that?

This ancient heritage can be easily traced because in essence tea has hardly changed since the first chinaman boiled a pan of water in autumn. That is why the British love it. We are superb at tradition. So much so the developments in tea distribution have been few and far between.

For a start there was the tea bag. A major revolution. And then. Well almost nothing.

Except tea bags of various shapes offering dubious claims to increase efficiency. I don't even want my flavour to flood out. I take it red ferchrissakes.

So when I came upon this idea I thought I could claim a lankmark. A revolution in tea making. A quantum step no less.

Will they name it after me?

Like all good ideas it is simple and comes from need.

Recently, I tried to make a cup of tea but there was no sugar. Someone had used the last of it and all that remained were a few grains amongst the coffee granules.

Little interim note, if you have coffee with sugar - put the sugar in first so the spoon doesn't contaminate the sugar. That coffee granule really spoils my weak tea. And I'm tea total, I never drink coffee.

Anyway, back to the case in point. I wanted a cup of tea and there was no sugar. I looked at the teabag. If only the sugar was already in it I thought.

One of those little lightbulb thingies illuminated over my head and there it was.

Tea bags, containing tea and sugar.

A marketing edge.

I even have the logo. "Sweet tea's the one for me".

Do you have the ability to turn this into a consumer product with me? Tea bag and sugar producers click away.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.039 15 Dec 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The tags were added in Version m5.039 15 Dec 2017, along with the image which depicts the author serving afternoon tea to some pensioners whlst some co-workers look on



Word Minutes Template

Take a minute to read this

Image of a Windows XP screen with multiple windows open
There must some minutes in here somewhere

The thing with big software applications is that they are so well developed that they are often hard to fault.

Thousands of pounds and man-hours go into producing a top class product worthy of the fortune you have to spend on it.

Or rather thousands of dollars, because let's face it. The yanks have got it all tied up.

So when I came across a need for an elementary layout in a powerful popular application I was surprised by its omission.

Microsoft Word '97 doesn't have a standard template for minutes.

How did this occur? Surely when they were beta testing the product they would have held meetings.

And minuted them.

Have I discovered a secret here? Do they use Lotus Ami-Pro in Seattle? We should be told.

By the way, I have created a template myself. If you need a copy, send me a request.

And if Bill Gates is reading this. Get in touch. You'll find my hourly rate very reasonable. Compared to yours.

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Author: Vince Poynter
Version m5.030 4 Dec 2017
First Published: Version 1.00 in Oct 2003 and reproduced here in full, unedited
The tags were added in Version m5.030 4 Dec 2017, along with the image which depicts a Windows XP desktop with multiple windows open