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Knock him out Big Conk!

The Queue

Wimbledon publishes a booklet which it gives away free to people waiting in line seeking admission into it's tennis championship. There is quite a number of pages at the beginning devoted to the subject of queuing. When you join the end of the procession you are supplied with a "Queue Card" which is a vital piece of printed card (sequentially numbered) which you have to present before entering. Without it - you won't get in.

We spent 5 hours on Saturday queuing... and we didn't get in. The reason why (I reckon) is because of that thoroughly unpleasant, lanky Scottish git. Half the population of the UK had decided to descend on South West London because Mr. Charisma stands a chance of winning and that meant the venue reached maximum capacity and they wouldn't let anymore people in. We gave up at 3pm and as we were probably still at least another couple of hours from the gate.

Even our after tournament dinner had to be modified as the Mexican / Indian fusion restaurant we have dined in the last three years has closed down. Typical.

Wait over.

Rail bosses get £1.2m in bonuses...

"Some top Network Rail bosses are to receive bonuses totalling more than £1.2m, the company has announced.
Chief executive Ian Coucher will get more than £150,000 in incentive payments for the performance of his company over the last three years.
Directors Peter Henderson and Ron Henderson will each get more than £300,000 in bonuses.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union said the bonuses were "completely unjustified".
The union also accused Network Rail - which owns and manages railway infrastructure - of attempting to "bury bad news" on the day Michael Jackson's death dominated news coverage.
The company said that Peter Henderson will receive a £217,000 annual bonus and £112,000 as part of its incentive plan."

And former financial director Ron Henderson will receive an annual bonus of £207,000 plus £112,000 under the three-year plan.
Mr Coucher recently turned down a separate incentive payment, which would have rewarded his performance on an annual basis.
His current bonus is instead based on the company's performance over the last three years.
The payments to Mr Coucher and his fellow directors are likely to prove unpopular in the light of criticism levelled at Network Rail's failings.
Last month the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) warned the company Rail over its stewardship of the West Coast main line, which has been plagued by delays.
The ORR said the line's performance in recent months had been "volatile, and the problems are increasing".
'Disgraceful service'
The problems came despite a £9bn upgrade project, which was completed last December.
More than one fifth of trains on the London-Glasgow line ran late last year.
The railway infrastructure operator has also recently seen its annual profit fall and its debt level increase.
Pre-tax profit fell to £1.52bn in the period to 31 March, from £1.59bn in the same period a year before.
The company's net debt also rose to £22.3bn from £19.7bn. It also failed to meet efficiency savings targets set by the Office of Rail Regulation.
TSSA leader Gerry Doherty said: "Iain Coucher and his cronies win the Brass Neck of the Year award for taking these completely unjustified bonuses.
"They were warned by [Transport Secretary] Lord Adonis and the ORR not to take a penny this year because of the disgraceful five-day-week service on the West Coast line when they should have been operating a seven-days-a-week service.
"They are treating passengers and ministers with contempt. And their cynicism in trying to bury bad news on the day of Michael Jackson's sad death is truly breathtaking."-- BBC News website.

Again and again the public are treated as mugs. Let's fail completely but still be paid massive bonuses seems to be the motto of these top directors. Why are we putting up with this? Surely there must be comebacks... or maybe not. The politicians function under the same regime so why would they want to change it.

Rant over.


Ray Quinn may have been the runner-up to Leona Lewis in the X Factor a couple of years back... and he may have won this year's Dancing on Ice, but I don't think his performance as Danny in Grease The Musical was up to scratch. N and I were amongst the audience for last Friday's evening performance and although it was entertaining we both felt disappointed. Quinn seemed a bit too effeminate for the role and you couldn't understand a word he was saying. In fact nobody really gave a stand out performance and the only thing that carried the whole show was the strength of the songs.

Rating: 6/10

"This guy deserves a Nobel Prize..."

A chap from work emailed this the other day...

"From yesterdays Bristol Evening Post: Outside Bristol Zoo is the car park, with spaces for 150 cars and 8 coaches. It has been manned 6 days a week for 23 years by the same charming and very polite car park attendant with the ticket machine. The charges are £1. per car and £5. per coach. On Monday 1 June, he did not turn up for work. Bristol Zoo management phoned Bristol City Council to ask them to send a replacement parking attendant. The Council said "That car park is your responsibility." The Zoo said "The attendant was employed by the City Council... wasn't he?" The Council said "What attendant?" Gone missing from his home is a man who has been taking daily the car park fees amounting to about £400. per day for the last 23 years...! "

The evil villian himself...

Blofeld Back for Bond 23?

Just read this on AICN, could be interesting if it comes true...

"At first, I thought there was a great deal of credibility to this morning's report in The Guardian that Michael Sheen is currently in talks to play Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the twenty-third James Bond film. Then I read the story and realized The Guardian was just passing along a tabloid rumor cooked up by Daily Express. Here's an excerpt:
"Michael is hot property right now and it is felt that he's the right man to bring Blofeld back to life," an unnamed source told the Daily Express newspaper. "Michael was a Bond fan in his youth, so this would be a dream role for him."
I've done some checking around today, and have been told to treat this as you might any other rumor from the Daily Express. I must say that this does seem suspiciously convenient, what with Sheen's good friend and frequent collaborator Peter Morgan just being announced as co-writer on BOND 23. So while I think Sheen would make a deliciously sinister Blofeld (even though, physically, he's not quite what Ian Fleming initially envisioned), let's wait until we get an official confirmation/denial before we get excited or incensed over this bit of speculative casting."

I reckon that is the route they should take with the next Bond film... bring back SPECTRE and Blofeld!

Rave over.

John Craven and Country File

I like John Craven. I always have. Right from when he used to present Newsround all those years ago. I also like Country File. I liked it when it was broadcast at 11 o'clock on Sunday mornings... now look what the prats at the BBC have done. They've bunged it on Sunday evening instead and to make matters even worse - with a whole host of nobodies presenting it, usurping JC's position. A*rseh*les...

Rant over.

Gran Torino

We watched Gran Torino last night on DVD... Clint Eastwood's latest film where he plays a badtempered old git who ends up protecting his Korean neighbours and himself from a local Korean gang. Eastwood still manages to be intimidating in his usual menacing way and the film cleverly explores the racist views that all the parties hold. The ending is quite clever and the relationship between Walt (Eastwood) and Tao (the Korean boy) is very well acted. A refreshing change from the effects laden blockbusters that usually dominate - I would heartily recommend this film.

Rating: 7.5/10

Fascists aka the BNP

As the loathsome BNP have been in the news recently I decided to have a perusal of their website just to see how they describe their policies... Jeezus. Here are a couple of examples - firstly on what they would do with the economy:

ECONOMY - British workers first!
Globalisation, with its export of jobs to the Third World, is bringing ruin and unemployment to British industries and the communities that depend on them. Accordingly, the BNP calls for the selective exclusion of foreign-made goods from British markets and the reduction of foreign imports. We will ensure that our manufactured goods are, wherever possible, produced in British factories, employing British workers. When this is done, unemployment in this country will be brought to an end, and secure, well-paid employment will flourish, at last getting our people back to work and ending the waste and injustice of having more than 4 million people in a hidden army of the unemployed concealed by Labour’s statistical fiddles. We further believe that British industry, commerce, land and other economic and natural assets belong in the final analysis to the British nation and people. To that end we will restore our economy and land to British ownership. We also call for preference in the job market to be given to native Britons. We will take active steps to break up the socially, economically and politically damaging monopolies now being established by the supermarket giants. Finally we will seek to give British workers a stake in the success and prosperity of the enterprises whose profits their labour creates by encouraging worker shareholder and co-operative schemes

And of course the classic one is their views on immigration...

On current demographic trends, we, the native British people, will be an ethnic minority in our own country within sixty years.
To ensure that this does not happen, and that the British people retain their homeland and identity, we call for an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin assisted by a generous financial incentives both for individuals and for the countries in question.
We will abolish the ‘positive discrimination’ schemes that have made white Britons second-class citizens. We will also clamp down on the flood of ‘asylum seekers’, all of whom are either bogus or can find refuge much nearer their home countries.

What is so depressing is that members of the public actually voted for these lowlifes...

Rant over.

Retards who hold down a handle... and that's it!

A couple of years ago I ranted about tube train drivers...

I can't find exactly what the pay scale is for a tube train driver but it seems apparent that it is well over £30,000 pa. What exactly do these arrogant tossers do? They hold down a handle and use a pedal and look down a tunnel... and that's it. They think they should have more, work less and have it all guaranteed - utterly UNBELIEVABLE!It is about time that London Underground changes the trains to run automatically (as the Docklands Light Railway) and sack every last greedy, scumbag moron they employ that holds down a handle (can't even see why they are called drivers).
Now here we are in the midst of a recession where many thousands of people through no fault of their own have been made redundant or suffered pay cuts. So what do the tube train drivers do? They demand a 5% pay rise and a guarantee that they will suffer no compulsory redundancies. It simply beggars belief! This cannot be allowed to continue - IT IS ABSOLUTELY TAKING THE P*SS!!!
Rant over.

Arctic Roll

Apparently there has been a resurgence in the sales of Arctic Roll. I haven't scoffed a slice for years - to be honest I thought they had disappeared in the mists of time. I can remember always having a slice for afters when I had me tea when I was a kid. I would carefully unroll it, eat the sponge and then gorge my way through the ice cream!

By the way this is the 500th post on The Hammond Rants roll on the next 500...!

Terminator Salvation

I went into this film unsure as to what to expect. I had read a few reviews some of which liked it, others hated it. I actually thought it was quite good - although no way was it in the league of T2. One of the things which I thought was quite refreshing was the fact that it broke away from the plotlines of the first three films where someone is sent back in time to protect someone else. I won't go into the plot as there are a couple of twists and I don't want to spoil for people that haven't seen it yet. Christian Bale isn't that great to be honest as the hero John Connor however I did quite like Sam Worthington who played the mysterious Marcus Wright a former death row prisoner who has a dark secret. Worthington is Australian and his "American" accent did waver some what during the film. He reminded me very much of Max Beesley in Survivors. There is a special guest appearance by someone very well known to the series (albeit in CGI form). The film concludes fairly abruptly and it very much looks like a fifth film is in the offing.

Rating: 7/10

"Gay Penguins raise abandoned chick"

"A pair of gay male penguins are raising a chick from an egg abandoned by its parents, officials at a German zoo have said.
Bremerhaven zoo veterinarian Joachim Schoene said the egg was placed in the male penguins' nest after its parents rejected it in late April

The males incubated it for some 30 days before it hatched and have continued to care for it. The chick's gender is not yet known."-- AOL news website

How do they know they are gay penguins?

"Football stars to dodge 50% tax"

I read an article in last week's Sunday Times about how Premier League footballers are planning to dodge the new 50p income tax rate by asking clubs to pay their seven figure salaries as interest free loans, which attracts a negligible levy. So let me get this right - whilst we all have to pay income tax (so as the country can function) these multi-millionnaire a*rseh*les believe they should be exempt. Apparently some of these players are actually considering playing in lower leagues in countries where the tax rate is less. I like this bit taken from the newspaper...

"Only last week Andrey Arshavin, the Russian born Arsenal midfielder, revealed that he had received an unpleasant surprise from Britain's high taxes and was now seeking a rise on his £80,000 per week salary"

It makes you want to puke!

Rant over.

"Gordon's Alive!... DIEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Have you ever had the misfortune of watching All Star Mr & Mrs? A truly excruciating programme that is so tedious I cannot believe some d*ckhead ever commissioned it. Anyway that isn't the point of this posting... what I wanted to say was that the very loud Brian Blessed featured on it the other week along with his wife Hildegarde (how apt!). I always thought he was very good as Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon - however one thing struck me... he doesn't look much different now from what he did then (the film was released in 1980). So I looked him up on Wikipedia and discovered that he was born in 1937 which means he was probably 42 when he was filming Flash Gordon... which also means he was only one year older than I am now!

Oh good grief!