Interested in Interest Rates

Original article from 01 04 2007 (EzineArticles)

The debt ridden economically masterminded struggle is not the chief focus of the money men today. So what is? One could argue it’s about getting the balance sheet straight? Wrong, here is the dilemma.

There are millions of people all over the world who are living on, or are close to the bread line. If every country paid back what it owed to whomever it borrowed from, the interest market would fold up and that would cause a downturn in the economy because, the interest rates are like the cream on the top of a bottle of milk. You remove the cream and you lose what it can produce. Where would you put the cream, or interest payments then? They would evaporate and that income would mean millions, if not billions of dollars not being made, so the economy would shrink because those funds have disappeared.

So what to do then? Here is an option. Across the world people are losing their respective incomes because the global economy is in tatters. So let us assume this was real. Planet Mars has a bank of Martian money, lets call it The Bank of Mars. Planet Earth would want to borrow money from it if that were possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Martians made water tight contracts to make sure their lending was financially sound.

Here is something to ponder over. Who would assume responsibility for the loan or loans? Which World Leaders would arrange it and at what price? The Martians would want the interest paid too would they not? Bah, there is always a catch. I expect some other world leaders would like to think they would be consulted and included. Others might just hide under a rock as the world enslaves itself to the Martians.

The world economy is what it is, a shambles in the eyes of the ordinary person but to financiers the world over, it is nothing more than a game of tactics. Who can manipulate the interest rates the best and squeeze out the extra dollar to make a fast buck?

Lets try another tack then. Let’s suppose that some of the worlds bigger banks arrange devices that can work in-house whereby they can shift the interest rates around to make one market look poor for a day or two to elevate those same rates on another so that every bank plays with a loaded deck of cards. They all pay less interest to each other but charge it to the customers at a higher rate to offset the losses. Of course, they’ve done that already.

Now the next thing is, they have to pay back all the miss sold products to the buyers and will do everything they can to get out of that because, it lays bear their wheeling and dealing to the very people they tried to hide it from.

So whose hand, metaphorically, was in the biscuit tin when mum walked through the door?

One day, sooner or later, they will be barred from dipping their biscuits into the creamy milk. Why? Because, they will all be locked in the cupboard under the stairs.

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Published in: Uncategorized on June 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

The lump of wood

The lump of wood.

Went to a reclaim yard yesterday to look for a lump of wood that we needed to recycle a wooden fireplace surround. The original top had been accidentally burned in a bonfire so we had to make a new one. The yard man found me a piece of wood that was about two meters long with the right depth and thickness.

“How much mister.”

“Four quid.”

“Do you take a card payment?”


“Can I pop back and clean it off a bit, get the nails out etcetera.”

“Yeah no problem.”

So, this morning bright and early, about 10.00am I’m in the yard with hand tools and the rain persisted on and off for about twenty minutes whilst I sawed and trimmed the plank off. Having got it to a near enough dimension that I needed I paid the yard man his four quid and came home a happy bunny. If I had bought the wood from a timber yard as new, it would have cost twice the price and would not have that certain feel about it. A sort of old and used quality that I needed to keep it realistic with the surround that we have for the living room.

On the way home I was thinking about the wood I had just bought and imagined it’s journey through its life and subsequent death. From the seed to the tree being planted, grown and chopped down would be maybe a hundred years give or take. Then off to the saw mill. The timber would have to be seasoned for upwards of twenty years in some cases. Then somebody would have been the first person to buy the plank from the timber yard. Then it would have been reused in some way. I know this because when I was cleaning it off, the wooden plank had been used for a base for decking. The decking had been sawn off leaving just the residue on the plank. However long it had existed before it finally ended up in the reclaim yard is who knows but the piece, or lump of wood I now have will see a new life on a recycled fireplace surround and will ‘live’ to tell another tale.

 The ends I sawed off went straight into the wood store for the wood burner in the yard office, so they will inevitably get used as firewood and in their last few moments of existence will provide heat and keep a jug of coffee warm on the stove.

When we sit back and think about stuff it never ceases to amaze me that all things created have a life form and a journey.

Within minutes of arriving home I had a cup of coffee and some Tuna fish with pepper sauce and chopped red onion bathed in mayonnaise left over from yesterday and that got me thinking about the Tuna fish but that’s another story.

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 11:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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You Can do it if you B&Q it.

You Can do it if you B&Q it. So the saying goes…

Some while ago, a couple of years in fact, we bought a new electric fire with the flame glower and coal burner thing and a fan heater, also it was remote operated so you could just sit there and go click click to set the thing how you wanted it.

For all sense and purposes it was pretty much like a fake coal or wood burner. Smokeless areas forbid the real thing, so this was a good option for us. Aesthetics I think we call them. Well, as we use gas central heating mostly, the new coal effect fire only had the lights on and was reasonably priced, even with the discount we thought it a veritable bargain compared to others we had looked at in various other outlets.

All of a sudden… (Da-da-da, anticipation) The roller that creates the flame effect decided to pack up. So we went to B&Q and gave them the receipt and they made a phone call to whomever and within about five minutes the store manager asked us if we could drop the appliance in tomorrow (Which is today) and he’ll just do a straight swap.

No quibbles, no chin rubbing’s, no “Well we could try and get a replacement part.” stuff.

Just, “Bring it back and we’ll sort it out for you.” Now that is, in this age of passing the bucket, “Pretty good service.” I’d say.

So Ill give that an easy ten out of ten, for the staff and B&Q too. Marvellous.

As the old slogan goes…

“You can do it if you B&Q it.”  Well we have and they did.

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  



The warmth of the duvet left both of the inhabitants of the bed in a state of comfort. Each away in a different dream world that would be forgotten immediately on awakening.


“What was that?” Came an unwelcome question from the wife.

“Eh, what yah want?”


“Can’t hear anything, go back to sleep.”


“There it goes again… Listen…”

“ What, what do you want me to listen to, there is nothing to listen to, go back to sleep.”


“There it was, can’t you hear it. Course not your deaf. Listen for a few seconds and you’ll here it.”


” I heard that, is that what your going on about, that beep sound?” The husband now fully awake.

“Yeah. What time is it?”

“I don’t care get to sleep.”

Both now fully awakened by the beep sound the husband recognised it as the smoke alarm telling the owner the battery was running low of energy. Not that it can ‘tell’ anything is just goes beep!

“It’ll have to wait till later, it’s 3 am for crying out loud.”

“What about him upstairs, can he hear it?” Asked the ever helpful wife.

“Well why don’t you go up the staircase, knock on his door and ask him?”

“ I can’t do that he might be asleep.. Anyway you’re the man so you go.”

“Yeah but you’re the one that wants to know if he can hear it.


“Listen, it’ll have to wait.”

Several minutes passed and the intolerant beep kept on almost growing in intensity. The husband arose from the warm bed and climbed onto a chair and unclipped the smoke alarm only to realise is was also mains connected.

“Why does it have a battery if its mains operated?” Called his unhelpful wife.

“Well in case of a power cut or whatever, it still has to function I suppose. Have we got a spare battery?”

“ I dunno’, you’ll have to look.”

“If I ain’t got one I’ll have to go to the shop and get one.”


“Why does it still beep if you took the battery out?”

“Because it’s recognising the battery is missing, so it’ll keep going beep until a new battery is plugged in.”

“ How does it know then?”


“How does it know what?”

“That the battery is missing, clever in it?”

“It just does.”

At this point the husband pulls on a few clothes and hunts the house down for his keys.

“Are you coming with me?”


“Where to?”

“The supermarket, it’ll be the nearest place open where I’ll get a new battery.”


“Do you really want me to come with you, are you afraid of the dark then?” Came an unhelpful answer.

After several minutes both husband and wife find themselves in the supermarket with a skeleton staff filling shelves. An elderly couple were pushing a trolley around with a few bits in it.

“Is that what we’ve got to look forward to, like them old people?” The wife whispered behind her hand as if not to be noticed.

“We are old already, well compared to teenagers anyway.”

The husband and wife decided to get some bread and a jar of coffee along with several other items in the wisdom that it would save them going the following day, or rather the same day but later.

As they got home the wife decided on making a cup of coffee. The husband, as the hero of the hour, installed the new battery.

Beep! Beep! It went as if to thank the husband. As both returned to bed the time was just after 4 am.

Beep! Beep! Went the alarm and the husband informed his wife that it had just reset itself.

“How much was the battery?” Asked the wife.


“Because we’re moving in a couple of weeks and  so I don’t see the need to spend too much on it because we won’t be here to benefit from it will we?”

“Good night love. Get to sleep.”


“Am I dreaming?” He thought.

“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“The beep?”

“No!” Said the wife. “Now go to sleep!”

Published in: on March 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cookers, ovens call them what you will…

So we, the lady of the household and my good self decide that we will buy a new cooker. We decide the model and get it delivered and then find that one piece of toast takes fifteen minutes to do, I say toast, but in reality it was a bit of darkened crust. A dried out piece of bread that nobody would want to eat, was what the grill produced. So, what next?

Well I rang the ‘helpline’ number and was summarily told to go back to the retailer. I did that and they said, hey presto, ring the company. Well this continued with both companies denying responsibility so I took the manufacturer to task along the lines of a summary like this…

“Hi. My name is, la di da and I bought a cooker which does not do what it is supposed to do. Come on, a grill should well grill shouldn’t it?”

“Well have you spoken to the retailer?”

“Yep and your company is asking them to get an engineer out to test the cooker, if they find it okay then I’ll get a bill for wasting their time. Here’s the problem. The retailer didn’t design the cooker or manufacture it, or put it on the market did they?”

“Well no, it’s our oven but we’ve had no complaints and you need to speak to the retailer again and ask them to return it to us and get a replacement.”

“They said they don’t want to do anything until the engineer comes out to look at it and I ain’t paying ‘nuffin to anybody to get it tested. You’ll need to speak to them to sort this mess out. Bye…”

So the days pass by and then a phone call from an independent company who want to send out their man to ‘fix’ the oven, (Cooker). He comes out and takes fifteen minutes to produce a  piece of toast and says. “Well the flame picture is working according to the specification, so I don’t know what else to suggest.” Or something like that.

He trips off as though he has nothing else to do except write his report out. Then we get a phone call from the manufacturer telling us they have sent the report to the retailer who also rang us, to bear us the bad news that there is nothing they can do, as the oven works according to its design.

More than a week has passed in this situation and I am starting to think I’m going mad. Am I being unreasonable in expecting a brand new cooker with a grill to make toast which actually resembles toast? Oh yes I forgot to mention the fact that they advised me to ‘buy a toaster’ the retailer that was. Is that up selling I wonder, you know, buy a cooker and a toaster at the same time? Well bully for you, I’ve got a toaster but it can’t do the much loved midnight snack of cheese on toast with that lovely golden bubbly top splattered with tomato sauce and a large mug of tea to wash it down with.

So anyway I digress. I rang the manufacturer, again, and asked to speak to somebody in charge. A lady comes on the other end of the phone and says “Have you spoken to the retailer?” Is this a mantra I wonder? So I say…

“Look it’s quite simple the engineer did not give you all the facts and the retailer is saying they can’t do anything which is rubbish, because we’re  protected by the consumers acts thingy. Anyway I just want one thing and that is for SOMEBODY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!!! Is it the retailers fault that your company designed the cooker. No! Is it the retailers fault that it does not do what it is designed to do? No! Is it the engineers fault that it took him fifteen minutes to produce nothing more than a dried out crust of bread as a piece of toast? No! It’s like your hiding behind the retailer and the engineer to cover your end. The retailer is hiding behind the engineers report and your design to cover their back and the engineer is in the pay of the retailer. So I want you the manufacturer, to send out you own tester to look at the cooker that you one; designed and two; pass of as a working model. Is that so difficult?”

“We don’t send people out and the retailer has done that already and the report was sent to the retailer, you’ll need to get them to take the oven back.”

“Look missus, we want you to admit that the cooker is a duff and you need to try it out for yourself, to prove to me that it is capable of doing toast, its supposed to be a grill not and incinerator.”

“What level are you putting the grill pan in?”

The bottom one and its too far away from the flame to cook anything.”

“Can I ring you back in am minute, I want to check something?”

“Yes….” So I put the phone down and wait. Ten minutes later the same lady rings me back and asks me why I don’t use the top runner so I tell her it does not fit. Well she disappears again and another girl rings me back and I try their other suggestion. So I ring them back and get back to the reception lady and ask her a simple question…

“When you put the grill pan in on the top runner, is it supposed to scrape the metal guard rail in the top most position? It’s either “Yes.” or “No.”, can you find out for me, thanks?”

“I’ll ring you back.” Ten minutes later the original lady calls and say she has looked at the same model in the show room and says “I’m sorry that we have misled you, the oven is designed for both electric and gas and  the gas model only has one setting for the grill that’s why you can’t use the top rail.”

“So why does it not toast then?”

“Well we’ve had no complaints about it not working.”

“Well you go and plug your cooker into a gas supply and then try and cook something on it, say like a piece of toast and you’ll find it takes way too long and you’ll realise what I’m talking about.”

Days pass and more phone calls result is us getting the cooker taken away with a new cooker, from a different company, getting delivered and some compensation from the retailer with free delivery and they will also pay the gas man to unplug and refit the new cooker as an, in their words ‘Out of pocket expense.’

We have now taken delivery of our new cooker, the second one in two weeks. The chaps that collected the first cooker remarked on how clean it was.

“Well,” said the lady “If it doesn’t work, it won’t get used or dirty will it?”

Who says women can’t be logical?

It seems in these days of consumerism that the manufacturers will always avoid taking responsibility and pass the buck. Well a result for the little guy here, we got the manufacturer to admit they were at fault and it only took two weeks and about fifteen phone calls and two trips to the retailers.

The engineer company apologised for not submitting a full report and the manufacturer probably took the retailer to task over this sorry mess but we won and hopefully will not need a new cooker for ages.

As for the toast, well we’ll see but I suppose a midnight takeaway is not off limits yet, so shish kebabs here we come… (more…)

Published in: on March 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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