Monday, 23 August 2010

On Revolutionising Supermarkets

The Supermarket.
A place where you can buy just about anything from food to clothes to electronics.
It's also a place where you get all manner of people; most of them rude.

I really fucking hate the Supermarket. It's always full of people and I don't really like people, especially when they're apparently oblivious to the fact that there are other people in their vicinity. They leave trolleys in the middle of the isle and wander off, stop suddenly when you're walking behind them, allow their spawn to run amok and generally act like utter bellends.

What we need is a Supermarket Revolution and, friends, I believe I am the man to lead it.

Below I have detailed what I feel are the main issues with Supermarkets and how I would fix them.

#1 - Trolley use

The Problem

One of the biggest issues with Supermarkets is all the wankers within them and most of them are pushing a trolley (or shopping cart, depending where you're from). I've written about shitty drivers before and this is a very similar subject.
People walk every which way, cut each other off and consistently act like douchenozzles. During peak times it can become absolute bedlam. You end up stuck in positions where you can't go forward or back and you have to wait for the one cockdonkey who has stopped sideways across the isle while they try to figure out exactly what kind of Cat Food Colonel Fluffykins would prefer.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

In my revolutionised supermarkets there will be lanes and traffic control to discourage the cockish behaviour so prevalent in Supermarket patrons.
Option 1: The main isle down the centre of the supermarket would be split into two lanes and would work just like a road with two streams of traffic heading in separate directions. There would be cross junctions for the smaller isles, complete with traffic lights. There would be areas at the side of isles where people can stop to put goods into their trolley without impeding the flow of traffic.
Option 2: Due to space constraints, not all Supermarkets would be able to use the above solution. Where that is the case I propose a one way system around the supermarket. Starting at the entrance there would be a set path through from beginning to end, with an access road running down the side for if you missed anything or wanted to skip a few isles. Isles would still require the stopping areas so people can put things in their trolley without impeding traffic but, as this system would not require a central isle, I don't think that would be too much of a problem.

People who flaunt the rules would face warnings and then expulsion from the Supermarket because fuck you, that's why! Everyone else is following the rules and you are not special.

#2 - Chill-Out areas

The Problem

Supermarkets are big and fucking boring. Sometimes you just need a break. Maybe it's extra busy and you want to wait for the queues to go down, maybe you have been dragged there by your fairer half who wants to look at cheap shoes and bags, maybe you've just had a long day and need a rest, mid-shop.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

In my revolutionised supermarkets there would be a designated chill-out area. Exactly what goes into this is really up to the individual Supermarkets but they would have to be within certain guidelines.
There would need to be plenty of comfy seating. I propose bean-bags and cushions, rather than couches/sofas, as they allow greater flexibility.
There would need to be some form of entertainment. Be it a TV or games consoles, some entertainment would be required. This would also be a good opportunity for marketing. Much like in HMV/Game stores, they could have consoles for the public to play which gives people a chance to try out the consoles and the latest games, which could lead to them buying one. Oh and it would need WiFi, obviously.
There would need to be an area in which you could leave your trolley/basket. It would be wholly impractical for everyone to bring their shopping into the chill-out area so I propose an area where they can leave their stuff on a ticket-based system, like a cloakroom.

#3 - Crèche/Play area

The Problem

Shitty parents and their bratty spawn. People let their children act like fucking idiots and it needs to stop. If I had pulled a fraction of the shit I see kids getting away with I would have got a proper bollocking. I always see some little devil child pulling things off shelves, screaming and whining and on the whole being a little shit goblin whilst the parents do sweet Foxtrot Alpha.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

There would be no children allowed in the main supermarket area.
I understand that a lot of people don't have somebody they can leave their child with whilst they go shopping, but this should not have an adverse affect on my life. A free Crèche area would allow parents to leave their children in a safe, entertaining environment, do their shopping and then retrieve their child on the way out.
These areas would also be invaluable to staff members with children.
This would mean fewer obstacles, less noise and less stress for customers. I would leave it to Supermarkets to decide at what age children can enter but would propose no admittance to those under 11 years of age.

#4 - RFID Checkouts

The Problem

Currently there are two types of checkout at most Supermarkets. There's the auto-teller self-checkout style and the old school person-behind-a-till style. Both of these methods require every item to be individually scanned and then bagged which can cause long queues.

If I were heading the Supermarket Revolution

The technology already exists to have RFID checkouts. Radio Frequency Identification is used for many things. Basically, a small radio transmitter sends a signal to a receiver which identifies what it is. RFID Checkouts would work in the following way: You would push your trolley into an area, the RFID scanner would scan everything in your trolley, without you having to take anything out, and would then give you the total cost. This would allow whole trolleys of shopping to be scanned in mere moments which would seriously reduce waiting times.
The reason massive supermarket chains don't already have these installed (Tesco have already basically perfected the system) is because it would instantly make the job of checkout monkey obsolete.
To help counteract this, I give you my last idea:

#5 - Staff Reallocation

All these new areas and ways of doing things means that some jobs disappear whilst others are created.
First off, there would need to be people monitoring the traffic flows and making sure people are doing it right. This would require no experience or qualifications, much like till-work, so a number of people whose jobs were eradicated by the RFID checkouts could be moved over to the traffic control department.
Staff would also be needed to oversee the Chill-Out Area and the Crèche (where some training may be needed) so that's some more jobs there.

In the end, I think it would square out ok.

So, in conclusion, I believe deeply that I am the man for this job!

Write to your Local Councillor, Mayor, Governor, Senator, Congressman, whoever.
Let's make this happen, people!

Monday, 16 August 2010

On the Safety of Criminals

Author's Note: Once again Monday has rolled round and I have nothing prepared. I am working on a good one that will have diagrams and everything, I promise. For now, here's a post about a news article I read this morning.

Last night some scumbags broke into a motorbike shop in Altrincham and drove away on £20,000 worth of motorbikes.
Police were called to the break in, saw the aforementioned scumbags fleeing the seen on the motorbikes, radioed for instructions and were told:

Don't chase them as they aren't wearing safety equipment or helmets.

What. The. Fuck.

 Supt Steve Nibloe, of GMP, was quoted as saying:
"The officers were asked not to pursue the suspects, as they were not wearing the correct safety equipment and were not wearing helmets, so it is clear to me the correct decision was taken."

No, Steve, it absolutely fucking wasn't. I don't know about you but, personally, if one of these fucking thieving little cunts fell off one of the stolen motorbikes and killed themselves, I would call that karma. If they choose to break into a shop and steal motorbikes then they have chosen their path. If they die whilst fleeing the scene, good.

Criminals have too many rights in this modern age. The law has been totally skewed so that the health and welfare of a criminal is put ahead of that of the victims. Like if some son of a bitch broke into my house and I kicked the fucker down the stairs and he broke his neck there is a damn good chance I would get done for it when he came onto my property and got injured in the course of committing a crime.
During the course of a crime and any ensuing chase, criminals should have exactly zero rights of any kind. Between commencing the crime and being taken into custody it should be a free for all where any victim or bystander can do what they like.
For instance, you're driving along and you see some prick nick and old lady's purse. You should be allowed to run the bastards over! Purse is returned, scumbag is caught. Where's the problem? If they get injured or killed then who cares. They had it coming the moment they chose to mug an old lady. The world will be better off without them.

There has been cases, more in the States than the UK, of burglars injuring themselves whilst robbing somebody's house, suing and actually winning the fucking case! Any judge who would allow that to happen should be removed from the bench immediately as they are clearly a moron with no concept of right and wrong.

In conclusion, fuck criminals and anyone who thinks that the rights of a criminal are more important than the rights of a victim. If that's you, I advise you take a long, hard look at your life.
Imagine if the victim was you or one of your family members. Would you rather be able to defend yourself, regardless of the outcome, or just have to sit back and let the criminal do as they wish, even if that means dying yourself?

I know what I'd pick.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

On the Pets I have loved and lost

Author's Note: The following will not be very funny.
If you would rather read something humorous, go here, here, here or here. Or watch this video.
You have been warned.

Last week I told you about my dog. This week I want to talk about some of the other pets I have had.
I'm gonna put them in the order they affected me, least first.

Nibbles - My First Hamster

This is not Nibbles but this is what he looked like.
Like many children, one of the first pets I had that was solely my responsibility was a hamster.
He was a large white Syrian. When I bought him they put him in a little cardboard box which I put inside the cage I had waiting in the car. During the ride home he chewed his way straight out of the box so I named him Nibbles.
Nibbles was a good hamster for the most part. He only ever bit me a couple of times and I'm sure it was my fault. He did, however, live up to his name. The cage I had him in was one of those plastic ones that isn't really a cage but a transparent box with a wheel coming out of the side. His favourite thing to do was shun his little house and drag all his bedding into the wheel. Once in there he would chew away at the inside of the wheel and the place where the wheel connected to the rest of the cage. He actually managed to escape like this as he chewed so much he disconnected the wheel from the cage. I found him on the opposite side of the room, on top of a wardrobe. He'd obviously chimney climbed up between the wardrobe and the wall and was chilling behind my stereo. He also liked to try and run in the wheel whilst it was still full of bedding which was always pretty funny. He also loved going down stairs in his hamster ball. The first time he did it we thought he would die but by about the 5th time we figured he must enjoy it as it never seemed to bother him.
One day I found him lying on the bottom of his cage. I've never really had a problem with death, per se, but I was very sad he'd gone and so I carried him downstairs, dug him a little grave and buried him in the garden under a rose bush.

Lemmy The Rat

A beautiful creature. The rat's pretty cute, too.
A lot of people have a problem with rats and I really don't understand it. They're very intelligent, very clean and very trainable. It seems to be something about the tails? I dunno.
Anyway, I loved my rat. I got her from a friend who had just had a new baby and so needed to get rid of her. She brought her into the bar where we both worked, inside her coat. Lemmy had just been chilling in there on the bus ride over. She was named Lemmy after Lemmiwinks from South Park, the gerbil who had an adventure in Mr. Slave's ass. Not my doing, though I fully approved.
Lemmy used to sit and chill on my shoulder whilst I wandered around the house and she'd play on the couch whilst I watched TV. Whenever I got up and left the room or anything she'd come to the edge of the couch and wait until I came back. She came when I called her name and had the sweetest temperament.
The problem came when I met my fiancée as she had a certain little Terrier who, being a Jack Russell, really wanted to eat Lemmy. When we moved in together I had to keep Lemmy in a back bedroom full of boxes to keep the dog away. In the end it became too much hassle and it wasn't fair to Lemmy so I gave her to my Fiancée's brother. He loved her just as much as me. She even found him a £20 under his bed (she had a thing about money).
Sadly, she started to get ill and the vet diagnosed Meningitis. She died soon after. Even though she wasn't with me all that long I was very attached to her and her death really affected me.  I would love another rat as they make amazing pets but, due to the little bundle of rodent hunter I have running around the house, I can't.

Finally, we come to the last entry:

My First Dog - Bonny

She's actually in the middle of howling at the moon in this picture.
We got Bonny when I was four years old. My sister was away at a summer camp type thing and me and my parents went to the local dog home. There were loads of puppies there, all waiting for someone to take them home. We knew our dog as soon as we saw her.
She was a little black, white and brown mongrel. We picked her out, went and bought her a collar and lead and took her home. We let her into our tiny back yard and watched her through the patio doors as she explored. I wanted to call her Peaches and a host of other stupid names but, in the end, we settled on Bonny.
Me and Bonny grew up together. We played in the field behind our house, we ran in the snow, I kept her company on Bonfire night when the fireworks scared her.
My sister used to walk her in the mornings, on a field near our house. One November she got spooked by a firework and ran away. My sister looked for her but couldn't find her and ended up taking the day off College to keep looking. That night we were all sat in our front room, wondering if we were ever going to see our dog again, when I heard a noise at the front door. I ran and opened it and there was Bonny. She'd obviously been hiding and then, when she felt safer, had found her way back to us.
That wasn't the first or only time she ran away. The first time was when she was quite young and my Mum was walking her on the field behind our house (these stories span two houses, hence the two different field locations). A hot air balloon fired it's hot air jet as it was flying over my Mum and the dog and it freaked the dog right out. She did a runner and it took my Dad ages to find her. We were terrified she'd fallen in the marsh on the field. After that she always howled at the moon.
I loved that dog so much. When I couldn't sleep she would cuddle up with me on a cushion on the floor of my room. When I was sad she would comfort me. When I came home from school she would go absolutely mental, dragging herself along the floor and then rolling over so I could pet her belly.
As she got older she developed a lump on here leg. We took her to the vet and had it removed but it grew back. Time and again we took her to have it removed and would have kept doing it, but for her suffering.
One day she was in a very agitated state, running up and down and rubbing herself on the carpet. When we stopped her and rolled her over we discovered a huge tumour between her back legs that seemed to have come from nowhere.
We took her to the vet, knowing this was it. One of the staff knew why we were there and took us into a back room where I said Goodbye to one the best friends I ever had. She was only 11 years old.
It was the worst day of my life and I will never forget it.
You can never replace a dog. You can get another and you will love it the same but it is never a replacement. I still miss Bonny. I always will.

And that brings us to the end of this very cheerful post.
I will try and be funny again next week and will also try and post on time.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

On TV Series, Books and Endings

You know that feeling, when you come to the end of a book and wish you hadn't?
Like, with Films there's always an Ending (with a capital E) and everything gets tied up in a nice little bow. But so many books end on a sort of, "huh..." and then there is no more and you'll never know if White Fang went on to have more adventures or not.

Did he get over his injuries? Did Collie ever stop being a Bitch?
Dammit, why can't I know?!

The other place this happens a lot is TV Shows. This can be because they got cancelled (possible due to Fox Network being a load of dicks), the latest season has not started yet or that's how they choose to end it. Regardless of why, it is really fucking annoying.
I fear change and get very attached to the things I watch and the characters there in. You watch and you watch and over time you grow to love the characters and then suddenly, one day, that's it. You get to the end of a seemingly innocuous episode, never suspecting the abandonment just around the corner, and BAM! There is no more. It's like the TV show is saying, "Look, I know we've had good times together and it's been fun, really, but we both knew it had to come to an end one day."

We'll always have Hallmark.
Law and Order: SVU is one of my favourite shows ever and it fucking finished. You watch a show from the very beginning, you think you know it, you think you have a connection and then it goes and finishes without any concern for your feelings or how you're going to fill the void it has left in your life.

My planner is empty and I feel weird inside.

Ok, I just Googled it and it would seem that I have seen to the end of season 10 and they are currently making season 12...
So where are the new episodes? Why has Hallmark gone back to the beginning? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME?!

The last episode I watched was filmed in June 2009. Does this mean I'll have to wait till next year for the newer episodes to hit Hallmark? Why wont IMDb tell me what channel they're on? Why are they all conspiring against me?

Now there's a very good chance I wont know they're airing the new episodes until I've already missed most of the season (which happened with House and Lie To Me) and then what the fuck will I do? I'll have to wait for Hallmark to play them from the beginning all over again! I cannot wait that long!

I'm going to go find a quiet corner and have a little cry.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

On my Freak of a Dog

Oh, Hai!
My dog is a fucking nut job. She may look cute but she is an epic pain in the arse.
She is a very good dog, in all fairness... When it suits her, but she is far to intelligent for her own good. She knows more words than it is reasonable for a small dog to know and is apparently unconcerned by tone of voice. You get the same reaction if you use the usual 'Who's a good dog!!' voice as if you whisper to her. She's very clingy and can be exceedingly needy at times. She's also ridiculously small - 9 inches tall, to the shoulder, and only 18 inches long!
This article will detail the main things that make my dog who she is.

#1 - Hiding Food

One of her most annoying little habits is hiding food fucking everywhere. We don't know if it's because she was the runt of the litter and maybe hid food to protect it from her sisters or if it's because she has something against me.
You can see it all over her face, as well.
You give her a treat, such as the one pictured here, and her eyes start darting around the room looking for the perfect stash place. Instead of just leaving it on the carpet or, you know, eating it, she will take it and hide it somewhere, probably in some washing, so that by the time we find it, it's gone through a wash cycle and has now become part of my jeans.

#2 - Being unreasonably cute

Look at that fucking face! She has being pathetic down to a fine art, including the sad ears and holding one paw up.
She uses this to great affect when she's in trouble or when she wants something.
She also combines it with the slow walk when I wont give her a treat and want her to leave the kitchen, the belly crawl or the snuggle. Imagine trying to be angry with that pathetic specimen of the Canis lupus familiaris.
Trust me, it's very difficult... No matter how much you want to strangle her.

#3 - A love of teddies

I guess most dogs like toys of some kind. With my dog her favourites are teddies.
Now, when I said she was clever, I wasn't exaggerating. She knows her teddies by name and will bring you whichever you ask for, assuming she can find it. The one pictured is her absolute favourite. It's called Bearguin because it's a bear wearing a penguin suit, for some reason.
Bit of a weird name, but she learnt it in about half an hour. She knows the difference between balls, teddies and toys (dog toys, like ropes, etc.) and if you put them all in a pile she will bring you whichever you ask for.

#4 - Staring out of the window

Her absolute favourite thing to do is stare out of the window. At nothing. In the picture she's staring into an empty garden but usually it's the empty street we live on that she stares at.
Wherever we go she finds a window and if there isn't one she can look out of she reverts to #2 until you pick her up so she can see nothing's going on.
This need to know what's happening outside causes her to act like a Grade A Moron. She will hear a noise, like a cat farting 3 streets over, and hurl herself towards the window, often jumping straight into the side of the armchair on the way.

# 5 - Blankets/Duvets

Fuckin' poser!
By christ does my dog like a blanket! When she's tired herself out being a pain in the arse, she likes nothing better than to curl up under a blanket. As you can see from the pic, she also likes getting inside the duvet. This resulted in us being woken up at 4 am one morning because she'd gone inside the duvet and then got caught between two buttons on the way out and was thoroughly wedged. We don't know how long she'd been stuck there but she was hanging off the side of the bed, growling and not at all happy! We now have to keep them unbuttoned as this minor incident did not stop her climbing in there and we'd rather get sleep! I bought my better half a Doggie IQ Test as a joke-y stocking present one Christmas and one of the tests was to throw a blanket over the dog and see how long it took the dog to get out from under it. We never actually tested her IQ but I suspect she would have gone to sleep when we threw the blanket over her.

#6 - Being fucking giddy!

Not only is she a giddy, little ball of energy but she insists on being at her giddiest at the most inappropriate times, such as bed time. For some reason, my dog sees getting in bed as some sort of sign that now is the time to grab a teddy and start running around like a fucking lunatic.
She gets over excited and you have to open the bedroom door so she can run up and down the tiny space between the upper rooms of our tiny house, which would be fine if she didn't make so much noise with her running. It's not that she barks, she's just heavy footed for a creature who only weighs about 6.5 lbs.

# 7 - Being Silent

My dog is the quietest dog I have ever known. It's actually quite unnerving. It's not that she can't make sound, she just doesn't. She will occasionally squeak when she's very excited or growl when you're playing tug-of-war with her but she doesn't, for instance, bark at people who come to the door. She runs up and down from window to door and gets all worked up... but doesn't make any noise. She's like the Michael Myers of dogs, but without the vicious murder (unless you're a teddy). When she's with my Mum and Dad's dogs (who bark like it's going out of fashion) she will occasionally bark along with them but she almost never does otherwise. It's one of those weird things you notice every so often, and when you do it always seems weird.

#8 - Posing for photos

These are some other pics I wanted to use in this article but didn't have space for.
They see me prancin'. They hatin'.
Bat Dog
A Challenger Appears...
A Sunny Spot
I will get you, Bird.
This was not my doing.
Searching for a hiding place.
After bath time.
It's a Dog's Life.
As you may have guessed, I take a lot of pictures of my dog.

If you want to tell me about your dog, please  use the comments section. I never get bored of talking about dogs and the weird shit they get up to.

© Fulmination Without Foundations

All views and opinions expressed on this website are my own. All research is done with the minimum of effort. By subjecting yourself to my insanity you give up the right to be offended. If you do find my website offensive, I suggest you follow this link.