I’ve been asked a few times from friends online and in Facebook groups etc how to make basic HTML for eBay listings. So here goes a very very basic introduction including some software you can use to achieve this very task.
First of all the software is called Dreamweaver and is a very old BUT simple version perfectly adequate for the “job”. It’s been given away on a couple of computer magazines etc in the past so no worries about copyright etc. You can get it right here:
It’s in a zip file, if you’re not familiar with this you need to go off to Google and find some software and instructions then come back here. Ready? Ok you’ve got the file downloaded, unzip it to a spare folder (I use C:\Temp usually for this sort of thing) and you will have a folder called Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 in your temp folder. Enter the folder and double click on the file called setup. It will ask for a serial number which is DWW400-03771-57289-73501
When the program is installed we need to make one small change to it as most of you will be using Windows 7 or later and this software was never designed for this. Find the shortcut you would normally use to start the installed program (Start Menu or Desktop Icon) and right click on it and you will have a menu pop up and then you left click properties, then left click compatibility and tick the box that says “Run this program as an administrator”, it will then ask for permission and you click yes/continue. This stops an error cropping up later down the line which will make you go “eh, what?” Run the program and you will get a whole bunch of Windows for the software pop up. Close all except these two shown here:
Then click edit > preferences > code format and make sure the options look like this, then click ok etc. Again this saves another error later down the line:
Ok to start writing some basic html. The top window shows what is called html (hypertext markup language) and the bottom window “what it looks like”. Click in the top window and press ctrl & a then press delete to remove the “default” code (you won’t need it). Click in the bottom window and type what you want. See how the top window changes? Press enter and type some more in the bottom window and the top recreates the necessary code to “display” what you put at the bottom. If you have 2 lines of text you’ll see the code is something like this:
<p> is “start paragraph” and </p> is “close paragraph”. If you highlight the text in the bottom window with ctrl & a and press ctrl & b it will make the text bold and the html will become:
So yes <b> and </b> are the commands for bold. It’s just like using, ctrl & i, ctrl & u and so on. This is how you control and manipulate text. You can alter other stuff with the text by highlighting what you want and then going to the text menu at the top. If you can use Microsoft Word you can use this no problem.
Ok one more thing as we’re just keeping this a very basic and simple introduction: inserting pictures. If you have hosting picture site like Photobucket you can insert them easily here. So I’ve picked a picture from my website which is stored at https://www.ninjafun.xyz/img/ninjafunxyz-logo-1536485034.jpg and Photobucket etc will give you similar URLs for pictures you upload to it. So in my example I went to the next line (in the bottom window) and then clicked image on the menu and “insert image” and where it says URL I entered the link https://www.ninjafun.xyz/img/ninjafunxyz-logo-1536485034.jpg
This gives me the following code in the top HTML window:
And this looks like this when “live” on a site such as an eBay listing:
PS One other thing URLs to picture MUST be https not http, eBay will block regular http image links.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time, mainly to explain my disappointment at a number of “supposedly enlightened citizens” lack of ability to understand why “all lives matter” is so important whilst they bang their drum for Black Lives Matter/save the planet/free the whale or whatever the latest “bandwagon” to jump on is. This was mainly prompted by my disbelief at the stupidity of an “all houses matter” meme that’s been going round social media etc. The lack of understanding shown by some in this area simply defies belief etc. Of course, the downside for me in writing it is I will no doubt be branded fascist or far right or whatever and I’m not sure I can be bothered with the grief you know? But hey ho here we are.
Ok so you’ve all seen the “Black Lives Matter” protestors (I suppose it made a change from EU remoaners protests or Extinction Rebellion p*ssing everyone off in Central London). Here we go:
Well the retort of much of the populace was “All Lives Matter” and lo and behold the Black Lives Matter protestors came up with “All Houses Matter” as a meme to explain why Black Lives Matter was so important, sigh:
So I am going to explain this clearly as to why in fact all lives DO matter, well the vast majority of them at least. Let’s assume the fire brigade turns up to put out that fire and the house on fire represents racism and hey presto they put it out. Well, that’s fine and dandy IF it’s the only house on fire but it isn’t is it? The reality is if each house is a different discrimination/prejudice then the fire brigade would turn up and most of the street would be on fire not just one house. One house might well be racism, but one is sexism, one is homophobia, one is ageism, one is uglyism (seriously I don’t know the word for prejudice based on aesthetics) and so and so on.
Loads of people are discriminated against, constantly, day in and day out and I don’t see anyone campaigning for them, do you? And if anyone is campaigning for them, there’s not very many of them. Now I don’t want to make this about me but I am going to give some of my own experiences as an example. Until 2009 I was the Managing Director of a somewhat successful group of companies loosely trading under one parent company and selling products online, not Amazon level for sure but still not so bad. Due to circumstances beyond my control (a chain reaction started by the demise of Woolworths and a company it owned called Entertainment UK) the companies had to be liquidated/put into administration. It hit me hard but I didn’t anticipate the resistance and sheer obnoxiousness of what was to follow.
I figured that as a former project manager/consultant for two leading UK consultancy firms and a Managing Director for a .com I would at least be able to find a job. But no, I met a constant stream of problems and disappointments which basically came down to discrimination and prejudice primarily based on age. See, thing is I am “old” for my industry, think I’m “seeing things”? For obvious reasons (I don’t want to end up in court) I can’t go into details but I’ve seen and heard plenty of evidence that my age was clearly the issue. The final “evidence” was then I started putting my date of birth on my CV deliberately, the calls from recruiters stopped almost instantly, well “imagine my surprise”, it works brilliantly as a “time waster filter”.
Anyway, I digress. The point I am getting at is the vast majority of us are discriminated against in one form or another, be it colour, sex, gender, age, appearance, disability or whatever. So turn up to that street and virtually every damn house is on fire. Ergo, it’s a dumb stupid meme, biased to Black Lives Matter’s “cause”.
So what’s the solution? Stop sectioning off discrimination, stop making it about racism or sexism (let’s face it those are the two we hear the most about, closely followed by homophobia). If you want to give a damn about people then give a damn about people in general, whatever their colour or sex etc. Tackle discrimination in general and not just one part of it, because (whether it be right or wrong is irrelevant) if all you do is tackle racism then all you’re going to get is “but what about ….”
Care about people, care about each other, aspire to equality of opportunity. Stop being a “concerned citizen” sheep and jumping on the latest “cause” to protest about. Strive for equality of opportunity and a better life for every person who is discriminated against. In other words, let’s put out all those damn fires, not just the racism one.
PS I am aware equality of opportunity isn’t necessarily ideal BUT it’s a damn sight better than what we generally have now.
I was going to have a long winded rant about the EU and how much I think it stinks but frankly ex Marines Commando Matt Taylor has said it all before and is pretty much on the mark. Ergo, I’ve recreated the article below and hope he doesn’t mind me “lifting” it wholesale, I am crediting him here after all !!
There’s some offensive language in here but frankly I think it’s needed when referring to the EU and our current state of British Politics, I myself have probably sworn more since June 23rd 2016 than in the rest of my many years on this planet put together. So if offensive language offends you either “suck it up” or read some sort of milquetoast sort of mainly liberal orientated opinion such as right here or even here.
So without further ado, I give you Matt Taylor’s views on remainers and the EU and his answer to “Why are Remainers so convinced that staying in the European Union is what is best for the UK?”:
“Because they think that the world revolves around money, because the burden of dealing with endless growth and inexhaustible labour hasn’t been shared, and because the rich don’t live in the real world.
I wanted to lay off politics and write comedy for a while, but after seeing working class people get slurred for weeks, I feel I have to dip a toe back in.
And honestly, this shit is fucking funny.
You have a bunch of middle and upper class lefties telling 18 million working class people that they should trust the very people that have been fucking ignoring them for twenty five years!
They also seem to be making the argument that a people that spawned one of the largest empires in human history, couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery without the assistance of fucking Belgium!
They also say that workers rights, women’s rights, and equality and social justice are under threat, like the concepts were invented by the EU.
Sorry lads, but we all went to Secondary School, such shameless attempts to rewrite history both amuse and annoy me.
Go tell that shit to John Locke and the fucking Levellers.
Go tell the likes of Fawcett, Newton, Bacon, Hume and Pankhurst they have the Germans to thank for freedom of expression.
Tell them that the continent that spawned more dictators in the last hundred years than Britain did in a thousand, has the European Commission to thank for democracy.
Tell them that with a straight face while I piss myself laughing.
“And then Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Napoleon, Salazar, Petain, Tito and Vidkun Quisling all held hands and pissed on John Locke’s grave…… finally the tyrant was gone!”
Best of all, none of the Remain voters actually like the EU anyway!
Even the most ardent remain voter starts every argument with “Oh well, of course the EU needs reform…”
So what, is a lack of money and confidence the only good reason for staying in a ridiculous overbearing institution that nobody likes?
And I’ll also say this to start, the economic argument is a long way down the list for many working class people.
There is a great story here around 41:00 minutes in told by the brilliant Niall Ferguson (a staunch Remainer) regarding the matter. He explains how the owner of the largest chain of off-licenses in Wales was introduced to him, told him that Lithuanian and Polish beer is their best seller, and then proceeded to tell him why he was not a Remainer when Ferguson naively assumed he would be.
Because the working classes accepted a possible economic hit and made the decision anyway. They didn’t care, they said “This may cost us, but do it anyway. We are a proud people and we don’t want to be a federal state in the United States of Europe.”
That should have been the end of the matter.
There are dozens of arguments against the EU that I prefer that don’t revolve around cash, and I can point at the lack of accountability for openers.
The inability of ordinary citizens to indulge in the simple pleasure of going to the town hall and shouting at the twat that lauds it over you.
Nobody gets to shout at Jean Claude Juncker do they?
“Judges ruling on their own pay rise in one of the most obscene displays of judicial misconduct in human history? Endless hilarity Mr Verhofstadt!”
What about the top-down nature of the European Commission, the draconian censorship laws, the continuing taxation without proper representation, the ridiculous overbearing laws that reek of old-school communism from the Eastern Bloc.
I could go on all day, but as every Remainer answer seems to concentrate purely on coin, I shall address that issue thoroughly now.
If you live in a house you don’t own, work for someone else, have ever needed to use state-funded services, or even just worried about paying a bill… ask yourself this one question.
Do you benefit from an endless supply of cheap labor?
Look at the “top answer” in here, what is he, a Ph.D from Cambridge? (he’s referring to someone who answered in the original thread on Quora).
Yeah cheers mate.
Oxbridge types with expensive degrees, MPs, the heads of giant conglomerates, BBC writers and Guardian journalists, I’m sure they all had a mega hard time competing with Romanian laborers and Polish bricklayers when the EU collapsed 28 borders and 5 million people moved to the UK.
“Hey we had to compete with the working classes of Eastern Europe to get on a train once, its basically the same as living in a sink estate in Hull!”
Yes, I bet John Snow suffered through an ordeal trying to get a council house.
The well off probably struggled to find a place at a shite state school for their kids.
And I bet they have an absolute nightmare seeing a doctor or a dentist.
While my dad was sitting in a packed waiting room with 30 foreigners waiting 4 hours for an appointment, I’m sure he was thinking “I pity the middle-class Guardian readers that use BUPA!”
The wealthy have a hard time too. That’s why they all say “Pah, just educate yourself and be a better job candidate you loser.”
Not because it’s a tough argument, but because integrity is rare.
The elites are purely motivated by self interest. Look at the middle-classes in the likes of London and Manchester. They want to keep house prices nice and high, so they can rent them out for extortionate rates while they go backpacking in Asia for a “year out” with Tarquin.
They want to keep importing third-world labour so they can pay Polish blokes under the table at their businesses, keep rents high, and keep feathering their nests.
The rich, the middle and upper-classes, the MPs and the like, they all want to stay in the EU because they know which side their bread is buttered.
Most amusingly of all, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of billionaires, millionaires, oligarchs, Brussels elites, bankers, big corporations and hedge fund managers are all pro EU (obviously) they point at the tiny fraction of wealthy Leave supporters like Dyson and Jacob Rees Mogg and say “Look! The rich want to leave Europe!”
“Quick get a picture, its one of those rare-as-rocking-horse-shit elites that supports leaving the EU!”
I didn’t actually vote for Brexit, but the last few years have swayed me because frankly, they insult my intelligence. How stupid do they think we are?
They insult our intelligence, their betters.
And we are their betters.
Do you think someone is a bastion of morality because they can get themselves elected to high office or build a global company?
It is the exact opposite.
“To summarize the summary of a summary, I wouldn’t believe an MP’s radio!”
The people, the producers, the working classes, are both the backbone and the moral compass of Britain.
We care about hearth and home, about family and friendship and community.
The elites care only for coin.
And when a rare wealthy man of integrity stands up and points out that rent would be lower and wages would be higher if we had a sensible, managed process for immigration, they fall back to “racism and xenophobia”
We, the backbone of Britain are being slandered by the elites because of their own shortsightedness and greed. We aren’t prejudiced, we simply know a broken system when we see it.
The EU has fucked Europe. The outsourcing of labour in pursuit of endless growth with no thought for tomorrow has totally fucked both Europe and the world.
Just to build their own wealth, they fuck the working poor. Brussels has strip-mined labour from economically struggling parts of the world, taking all of their young go-getters and thus, keeping poor nations in the doldrums perennially.
This is why they are pissed off in both Britain and France.
The French are even more Eurosceptic than the British are, why do you think they let us vote on the matter? Entirely because Cameron and our lot were all absolutely convinced we would vote to Remain!
Do you think Paris has been on fire for 6 months because France is a nation of pyromaniacs?
“I am so ‘appy they won’t let us vote for Frexit, I ave been setting Fiat Punto’s on fire every weekend for six months!”
The jig is up folks. Working peasants are much more sensible than the elites think they are. This is why so many of them think that the sun needs to set on the “Empire of the Good” that the European Commission is so desperate to build.
“Not scary at all.. I would trust this creepy MP with my life old chap!”
The elites in the likes of Britain, Germany, and France will do everything they can to stop Brexit, Frexit, and any other mechanism that the working people of Europe may use to return power to the democratically elected leaders of Europe.
We must continue to fight them, and our friends in Europe (the citizenry, not the Commission) will thank us for it come the end.
We will ensure the people of Europe remain free.
I’ll leave you with a nice quote from Mr Verhofstadt, who did a better job of talking me into leaving the EU in 30 seconds here than anything Farage has ever said!”
Steve with much thanks to Matt Taylor, a man who I don’t know from Adam but hell he says what I wanted to say.
So here we are, the 22nd of July 2019, the day before we know who our new Prime Minister is to be here in Great Britain. It is pretty clear that this will be Boris Johnson (if it’s Jeremy Hunt then there will have been some major league “stitch up” occurred). Let’s face it, bookmakers are usually “right” about such things and as of 10.00 GMT 22/07/2019 the odds on Boris winning are 1.01 and on Jeremy Hunt 65 (if you’re not familiar with “decimal odds” basically the lower the number, eg closer to “1” the more likely to “win”), the gap between 1.01 and 65 is “pretty damn big”. However, if you stick a tenner on Jeremy Hunt and he wins you’d make a lot of profit and yes I put money on Boris, long before the odds went down to 1.01 as they are now.
Alas United Kingdom is a divided nation as far as the populace is concerned now, with the populace and our politicians arguing (still) over “Brexit”. Without trying to make too many generalisations (but it holds roughly “true”) on the remain side we have remainers, people who voted remain (fair play to them to be fair, we had a vote and whilst many are displeased with the result they accept it, they understand the concept of “vox populi” and respect the majority vote of 2016’s referendum). Then we have leavers (who arguably have “right” on their side as no matter how you slice and dice it 52% > 48% and a majority ruling for “leave”). Then we come to the “discontented”, the so called “remoaners” who are doing everything they can to BACK the status quo and force the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union (hereafter referred to as the EU).
Of course the most vocal remoaners of all are mostly Members Of Parliament, which of course where most of the attempts to block our EU departure happen, which is understandable and has come about due to the efforts of Gina Miller who took the United Kingdom Government court to ensure a “meaningful vote” was held on our EU departure terms. Gina Miller did this because she knew it would obfuscate the process and keep us tied to the EU in the process, presumably in the hope the government would just “give up” concluding it was easier to just remain an EU member? Ironically though Gina Miller did leave a favour because the “deal” our Prime Minister came back from Brussels (the so called Withdrawal Agreement Bill) was truly atrocious, more of a surrender to the EU and not much of a so called “deal” to be seen. Our MPs rightly rejected it three times in Parliament, so they’re not totally incompetent.
We’ve gone beyond what MPs want now though. No matter how you present the numbers the aforementioned 52% in favour of leave is still greater than 48% to remain. The arguing has to stop, the so called remoaners are tearing the United Kingdom apart with the constant battles to halt our withdrawal from the EU, especially the remoaners in the Houses Of Parliament, people like David Gauke, Keir Starmer and Philip Hammond to name but a few. I understand and respect Parliamentary sovereignty, HOWEVER, we had a referendum and the majority said “leave”, there was no mention of a “deal”, no mention of single markets, customs unions or anything else. We were asked “leave or remain” and the majority said “leave”. After 3 years of obfuscation, delaying tactics, sheer “bloody mindedness” and remoaner based manipulation it’s time to “bite the bullet” and leave.
Boris Johnson needs to address exactly that spirit, quickly and affirmatively. Clearly it’s no longer the 1930s or 1940s but what we need is more “Churchill spirit” and a lot less “Chamberlain meh but spirit” now. Leaving with “no deal” isn’t going to be easy, but it’s clear the EU is unlikely to offer us a real “deal” as oppose to Theresa May’s surrender and the leave date being 31st of October 2019 is far too close for anything to actually change anyway (I mean come on, it’s taken Conservatives a month just to decide who’s going to be the next Prime Minister, so set up a trade agreement in 3 months? Good luck with that idea). It’s time for a “Churchill moment”, let’s just hope Boris can deliver one. Boris himself knows this, hence this Daily Telegraph article. I know my support accounts for “diddley squat” in the greater scheme of things but I’m behind him and wish for his success.
So here we are, the 23rd of June. Memorable for certain reasons, firstly for “hell I was basting in my own sweat this time last year, where’s the damn summer gone?” but most importantly for being the 3rd anniversary of Great Britain’s Referendum on EU membership in which it was announced (on the 24th naturally) that the people of Great Britain had voted “leave” by 52%.
Yet we have been betrayed by our political “elite” ever since that day. I’m used to people arguing about results of elections/referendums/votes, after all who can forget Charlotte Church screaming down the Tories after the 2015 General Election? Yet these sort of demonstrations usually fade away and life goes on and the vote is respected. Not so with the EU Referendum alas, it has been a 3 year onslaught of constant betrayals, remainer spin, media bias and a never-ending attempt to derail what was, a majority vote, eg the “vox populi”.
Academically my background is primarily psychology, in particular mental health and psychology of religion (a sort of unknown nobody version of Jordan Peterson, lol!) but it wasn’t always so. Before returning to university, despite having more than adequate qualifications to go straight into university, I did opt to go back to college for a year just to be sure I “was ready” for it and I’m glad I did, for I studied a range of disciplines including politics and economics. The history of politics is fascinating and in this particular scenario the history of democracy.
Basically we have the Greeks to thank for it and the word democracy itself comes from Greek and means “rule by people”. In modern democracy we elect people to represent us and they follow the will of the people (aka the “vox populi“, a Latin phrase meaning “voice of the people”). Now pragmatically our elected leaders (Parliament in the case of the United Kingdom) can’t keep going to the public and saying “do we do this or that or something else?” so we only give those “people” a voice for the really “big stuff”, be it via the opportunity to elect new leaders (a General Election) or on important issues via a referendum. “Do we stay in the EU yes/no?” certainly comes under “big stuff”, ergo a referendum was held and rightly so.
Some facts to consider:
Before the referendum we were constantly assured our vote “counts”.
June 2015 our MPs voted in support of the referendum by 544 to 43.
Every single eligible voter was sent a card (I believe the government called it a referendum leaflet or something like that).
In the 2017 General Election both Conservative and Labour stood on manifesto COMMITMENTS to implement the Brexit referendum result and leave the EU and all its associated “stuff” such as the Customs Union and the Single Market etc.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour promised “to respect the result of the referendum” and that “the freedom of movement would end once we leave the EU”.
Our Prime Minister (then, she is soon to be a mere blip in history) said she would negotiate hard with the EU, she would be “that difficult woman”, she also said “no deal is better than a bad deal”, she said “Brexit is Brexit” (whatever that’s supposed to impute).
Theresa May publicly declared we are leaving the EU no less than 108 times.
March 29th 2019, the “leave the EU” deadline came and went, still no Brexit ….
The “deal” Theresa May did bring forward was a disgrace, an embarassment, a surrender to the EU.
This has been betrayal after betrayal, a constant barrage of defeat snapped from the jaws of victory if you will. We now have a “deadline” of October the 31st (Halloween and the day after my birthday!).
I make no secret of the fact I voted to leave, for a number of reasons, some not the usual reasons of the MAJORITY, some in common with the majority. But EVEN if I had voted remain I would be pushing for us to leave. Why? Because this is not about “nobody voted to be poorer”, this is not about “but the economy”, this is not about “but British Aerospace jobs”. This is about everything our political system is built on, the very democratic foundation of the way the country is run. Let’s be honest, despite being a democracy, the people’s voices aren’t “heard”, the people are, for the most part, ignored by the “elites” in Parliament. To not enact the will of a majority vote of the people is just totally and utterly WRONG, on so many levels and one step towards a dictatorship. Think I’m exaggerating? Hardly, in a dictatorship the “leaders” get to do what they want and “sod everyone else”, are we not edging ever closer to that if we ignore the referendum result?
It’s time now to be “blunt”, the United Kingdom needs to “sh*t and get off the pot” and just leave the EU and be done with it.
** Previously published article, brought back for reasons I have no need nor desire to go into **
You’ve all heard of Amazon right? Oh, come on surely you all have. I myself started using Amazon.com back in the 1990s, when Amazon.co.uk was but a twinkle in its .com daddy’s eyes. I discovered it mainly because of university, more precisely university books and how much the damn things cost if you bought them from “bricks and mortar” bookshops and like most people I never gave much thought to how Amazon could sell them cheaper than Waterstones or whatever bookshop was around, I was an academic damn it! Not a damn entrepreneur and/or business man. I was just glad to save a few dollars (yeah I bought from the .com site then) on my books, especially as I could pay £24.99 here or $19.99 with delivery, it was a no brainer for me and probably every other student I told about it.
Fast forward a couple of years and I started selling things on eBay and on Amazon BIG TIME. My business was the highest rated eBay UK seller account for a number of years and the Amazon feedback and rating wasn’t too shabby either but it was always tough, no matter what you sold some ba*&^rd (usually Amazon) was selling what we sold but cheaper and like every eBay seller I could never quite get my head round “how” exactly. As I understand it (I’m not sure there’s a class about this specifically if you’re an MBA student but maybe) there’s a sort of “unwritten rule” that 40% of a retail price has to be profit to the retailer, anything less is basically considered “not worth getting out of bed for.” So let’s have a look at some mathematics here:
1 x Marley & Me DVD – Wholesale price £13.61 plus VAT (this is just an example, it was that price when it was released, it isn’t worth squat now) = £16.33 just to get it from a DVD wholesaler (a rare beast these days, they’ve virtually all gone under.) Amazon probably got a “discount” on that £13.61 of up to 40% (I never heard of anybody getting more than that, even the “mighty” Amazon) = £13.61 -40% plus VAT = £9.80 and Amazon probably flogged it for £10.99 maybe? That’s not a lot of profit % there. So looking at Amazon’s business model back in my eBay/Amazon (I no longer sell on either) era I tended to scratch my head and go “eh? You what? Run that by me again.”
It turns out Amazon doesn’t make any money. Worse still, for Amazon (but not for CEO Jeff Bezos but we’ll come back to that) the shareholders are starting to get a bit pi**ed about this little fact. Since Amazon’s launch (.com was the first in the USA) in 1994 Amazon has struggled to actually break even, let alone make a profit. Rejecting standards of success such as “loads of dollars in the bank and happy shareholders kerching” Amazon measures its success with stuff like “profitless prosperity.”
You’ll just have to “imagine” the concubines I guess ….
So we come to: profitless prosperity. This is basically a way of saying that the company is growing and growing until it reaches a critical point when it becomes all powerful and makes so much money the directors and shareholders will be diving into swimming pools of Dollars, Pounds and Euros whilst surrounded by hordes of gorgeous concubines and admirers (but presumably no ducks) and being finally able to buy a gold plated Rolls Royce or something equally pointless. Despite having had an extensive university education none of it was in business or finance but I have learnt a handful of “rules” over the years:
There’s ALWAYS competition (unless you’re the first, in which case there soon will be competition.)
Some ba*&^rd will always but always come along thinking “I can sell that as well but cheaper, we’ll be rich mwuahahaha.”
Nothing lasts forever.
Don’t buy shares in Amazon (something else we’ll come back to later.)
Amazon also have something called “free cash flow” which at $2 billion a year sounds mighty impressive don’t it? Heck, what I could do with $2 billion a year, I’d be up to my eyeballs in concubines and gold plated Aston Martins. Trouble is free cash flow in pragmatic terms basically means “the money we pay suppliers with on time.” Well, errr, paying suppliers is kind of important you know? Amazon wouldn’t have a business at all if they didn’t do that and that money comes under “expense” on your Excel spreadsheet (although I’m guessing Amazon’s finance department has gone beyond Excel?) and not under “net profit.”
Yeah, I actually Googled for gold plated Aston Martins and found one …
For some reason I can’t quite get, these are seen as indicators of a good, solid and successful business model. I can see why Amazon is so big, a lot of people are “vultures” (I mean this in a kind way, I do understand you want to save money) and if widget A is cheaper at Amazon than at Target/Gamestop/Virgin Records/HMV/whatever then people will buy widget A at Amazon. The harsh truth here is the average “man in the street” doesn’t care if Amazon goes under tomorrow as long as he only paid $10 delivered for Taylor Swift’s latest CD as oppose to $15 from the shop up the road. It’s not the man in the street’s problem after all.
So how did Amazon get so big? It’s a PLC, a public limited company. Some basic explanation here as I realise not everybody will understand how this works (feel free to skip down a few sentences if you want.) In the United Kingdom where I reside there are essentially three main types of business:
A sole trader. This is someone who starts a business for themselves and they are essentially “the business”, if it goes under money wise they go under as well. This tends to be your basic stuff like taxi drivers, couriers, small shop owners and the like. Don’t be fooled by “sole”, a sole trader can still have employees, the “sole” part just means one person is the business from a legal perspective.
A limited company. This is where a company is registered with a government organisation (in the case of the United Kingdom Companies House) and the “one person” who registers the company owns one “share” of the company for which they pay £1.00 (sterling, about US $1.60) and the company becomes a “legal entity” in its own right, if it goes under it goes under but the shareholder doesn’t go under because he/she isn’t legally responsible for the company although they have an obligation to keep the company in good standing and accountable to scrutiny etc.
A PLC, a public limited company. Most limited companies start as 1 person 1 share 1 pound although if two people start it 1 person may have 1 share the other 4 shares so the owner of 4 shares gets 80% of the profit (4+1=5 and 4 = 80% of 5 etc) or it may be a 1 share each 50/50 arrangement, whatever. Later on a limited company (I presume a company has to be limited as a prerequisite to becoming a PLC) can “float” their company on the stock market and make available more “shares” of the company to all and sundry, this is a “public” (hence the all and sundry) limited company. The shares are then bought and sold on the stock market, you can buy some shares at say £2.50 each today and maybe next week they’ll be worth £5.00 at which point you can sell them, kerching 100% profit minus a bit of commission and money in the bank.)
Amazon is a public limited company. I myself owned several thousand pounds worth of shares in Amazon until I sold them last year, spring 2014 to be precise. In October 2014 Amazon’s shares took a hit and lost 20% of their value (I was a bit early in selling them but spring was better than October obviously!) and Amazon made a loss of US $437,000,000 for the YEAR, a tenfold increase on the previous year’s loss. January 2015 and the next “loss” is US $241,000,000, damn that’s a lot of money. Naturally Amazon’s directors are keen to reassure the shareholders (not me I’m out) but it doesn’t look good does it?
Remember that £1.00 a share to start the business? When a £1.00 a share limited company becomes a public limited company and grows and the value of shares goes up the directors (themselves being members of the public as well as directors) can buy more shares in the company, and that’s how the CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos got to be worth US $3800,000,000 so he’s alright (as long as he sells them quickly) even if Amazon went bankrupt tomorrow …. It comes across to me as a sort of “retail charity”, all it achieves is giving consumers cheaper products giving nothing back to the shareholders, the people who basically invested in Amazon (granted some were just hoping to buy them and flog them later for a profit like myself), but if it went under think how many people would lose their jobs and businesses that would go under because they supply Amazon and so on.
Well it’s time to bring this back to your attention as someone I know has been “suckered” by them. There’s a company going around that basically promises to give you cheaper gas, electricity, internet and telephone, they are called Utility Whorehouse Shithouse Warehouse. It all sounds good but it’s a lie, a big fat lie at that.
First of all this is how it works: They give you a quote for what your bills will be and it’s always better than what you’re paying currently paying so off you go and sign up and the bills come in and they are cheaper BUT later on you suddenly find these bills are basically all “estimated” and you owe them a load of money and then when you sit down and work it all out it’s actually more expensive. Don’t be suckered by this, they are just a reseller of another company’s services, so how can they be cheaper? It’s not possible, they don’t buy gas and electricity “wholesale” like British Gas, Scottish Power and all the others who are REAL energy companies, this company is just a reseller so they can NEVER be cheaper.
Then there’s the pyramid scheme …. You can be more than just a customer, you can sign up and get a commission on all the suckers who become customers that you sign up, worse still (for them, maybe not for you) you can sign up other people to be sellers as well and you get a commission of their commission, bla la bla and so on. They call it “network marketing” but essentially it’s a pyramid scheme or multi level marketing and that means 99.9% of the people who sign up will fail to make any money and get ripped off. Because that’s what the BUSINESS MODEL is: you pay the £200 (or whatever it is now, it was £200) and 99.9% of those £200 pound “joining fees” will end up lining the pockets of Utility Warehouse and you’ll make squat. Fortunately most people have common sense if someone knocks on their door and says you can get the cheapest gas or electricity etc and tells (as I would) them to go “boil your head” (or in my case something a lot less polite.)
When I signed up I should have known better, I’d been burned before (Herbalife), you had to get a minimum of 6 customers and then you started earning your monthly commissions. Trouble is it’s hard just to get that. People don’t believe you and rightly so. They say it’s easy but in reality if, like me, you’re the sort of person who can’t even sell £10 notes for £5 and not a natural sales-person you’re buggered. If you are a natural sales-person then yes you can make it work BUT if you were that person there’s far better ways to make far better money selling something more ethical.
The bastards never paid me my commission, despite getting the arbitrary “6 customers” and frankly the people who signed me up were no help at all and couldn’t give a shit about me. I was in desperate straits at the time, I had been suicidal and lost my home and business due to the recession and nobody gave a flying sh*t. Do you really want to deal with such a business?
MLM companies, bastards the lot of them, I hope you all burn in hell and I wouldn’t urinate on Utility Warehouse if they were on fire, I’d chuck some petrol on instead.
Was perusing an old hard drive last night when I came across some MP3s I didn’t recognise. They turned out to be a selection of comedy sketches, some Ben Elton for example, Eddie Izzard and Derek and Clive …. I’d forgotten about Derek and Clive, although of course it’s all a “bit before my time” whereas Ben Elton was at his height when I was in my late teens.
If you’ve not heard Derek and Clive (Peter Cook & Dudley Moore) you might on first hearing consider this to be simply puerile and offensive drivel but I don’t know I find something humorous about it, but I’m a bloke so puerile and lavatory humour, well you get the idea. So anyway, Derek and Clive (according to my wife, she being significanlty older than me and remembering it so much better from the time) caused merry hell at the time and the complaints came streaming in, although I guess it wouldn’t cause so much outrage now as it did then. However, one sketch might, due to the fact that many people object to word “cunt.” This of course is called the “cunt Sketch” (how appropriate I guess.) Puerile? Offensive? Sure, but still funny and superb in its austere minimalism and at least they were funny unlike that total cunt Frankie Boyle ??
Here it is, in all it’s glory:
Dud: I tell you, the other day, some bloke came up to me, I dunno who it was, an’ he said, “You cunt.”
Dud: I said, “Wot?” ‘E said: “You cunt.”
Pete: Yeah, and you replied, “You fuckin’ cunt.”
Dud: I said … well, no, not straight away … I said: “You cunt,” I said …
Pete: Yeah, yeah …
Dud: … An’ then ‘e said …
Pete: … What’d he come back with?
Dud: ‘E come back, ‘e says, ‘e said “You fuckin’ cunt.”
Pete: You’re jokin’!
Dud: ‘E said, “You call me a …”
Pete: ‘E said “You fuckin’ cunt”?
Dud: ‘E said, “You call me a cunt? You fuckin’ cunt! …” I said, “You f—,” I said, “You fuckin’ cunt.”
Pete: I should ‘ope so. “You fuckin’ cunt …”
Dud: I said, “You fuckin’ cunt.” I said, “You fuckin’ come ‘ere an’ call me a fuckin’ cunt …”
Pete: I should say so.
Dud: I said, “You f—,” I said, “You cunt.” I said, “You fuckin’ cunt.” I said, “‘Oo are you fuckin’ callin’ cunt, cunt?”
Pete: Yeah, what’d ‘e say, cunt?
Dud: ‘E said, “You fuckin’ cunt!”
Pete: Well, you fuckin’ cunt! ‘Oo are you to say to ‘im that ‘e was a fuckin’ cunt?
Dud: Well, what d’you f—, what d’you fuckin’ think, mate? I’m fuckin’ defendin’ my fuckin’ self, aren’t I?
Pete: Well no. ‘E come up to you, call you “cunt,” that’s fair enough, or ‘e said, “You fuckin’ cunt,” an’ you said back to ‘im, “You fuckin’ fuckin’ cunt,” …
Dud: I said, well …
Pete: … well, what d’you expect ‘im to say back, apart from, “You fuckin’ stupid fuckin’ cunt”?
Dud: Well, I don’t … I don’t expect nothin’, do I?
Pete: No …
Dud: But the cunt come back with, “You fuckin’ cunt, cunt.”
Pete: Oh Christ.
Dud: I said, “You cunt?” I said, “You callin’ me a fuckin’ cunt? You fuckin’ …” I said, “You fuckin’ cunt.”
Pete: Jesus Christ, yeah.
Dud: I said, “You …,” I said, “You … you fuckin’ cunt!” …
Pete: Yeah …
Dud: … I said, like that.
Pete: Yeah. You said it, like that, did you? To ‘im.
Pete: Or was ‘e gone by then?
Dud: No, ‘e fuckin’ ‘it me. F— …
Pete: ‘It you, did ‘e?
Dud: Yeah, fuckin’ cunt.
Pete: Killed you dead, did ‘e?
Dud: No, ‘e … ‘e fuckin’ ‘it me.
Pete: Yeah, …
Dud: I said …
Pete: … well …
Dud: I said …
Pete: … you can’t blame ‘im, can you?
Dud: I said, “You … you rotter.”
Dud: An’ ‘e … ‘e went off.
Pete: Did ‘e?
Dud: An’ ‘e said, “You cunt,” again.
Pete: Well, that’s the only way to deal with ‘im, isn’t it?
Dud: Yeah, well, I showed ‘im, didn’t I?
Pete: Yeah, well, you ‘ad to, didn’t you? You ‘ad to stand up for what you stood for, didn’t you?
So our Prime Minister has finally announced her resignation and yes I’m glad. But do I feel any empathy for her? Do I feel any sympathy for her? Well, yes and no really.
I do empathise with her situation, she had a difficult job to do. It was never going to be easy with the EU’s bullying tactics and their desire to “make an example of the United Kingdom” so no other state would want to leave the EU. However, her “error” (in my eyes) was revealed glaringly in her resignation speech when she uttered that one word …. You know the one: “compromise” and that has been her downfall all along.
When the United Kingdom runs an election (or indeed in this scenario a referendum) there is a clear “winner”. This is because the United Kingdom is a democratic state and as such referendums and elections are held when deemed necessary to “listen” and enact the “vox populi” (voice of the people). Now obviously a democratic government can’t have a referendum on every single aspect of the state’s “running” so we have a system whereby we elect a political party that best represents what we stand for to enact the running of the state as they see fit, in the United Kingdom’s case: according to their manifesto (snigger). However, big “important” stuff we have a referendum and so we should; you know, stuff like “leaving the EU yes/no”. It’s not rocket science after all?
Therein lies the problem. Theresa May has been trying to “compromise”, she’s tried to keep leave (52%) happy and she’s tried to keep remain (48%) happy. This is instead of thinking “ok 52% is bigger than 48% so let’s go with that because it’s a majority”. Oh no, instead she’s tried to keep everybody happy and in the process annoyed virtually everybody. You can’t have a compromise in these scenarios and that’s where the state is going wrong. Leave won so just LEAVE. And what does Theresa May waffle on about in her resignation speech? “Compromise” …. Sigh.
I do sympathise with her, I know it’s not easy but that comes with the job. If you don’t want “grief”, if you don’t want “difficulty”, if you don’t want “abuse” then my advice is “don’t become a Public Servant”, because (let’s not forget this, it’s important) that’s what an MP (especially the Prime Minster) is, a PUBLIC SERVANT. Elected by the people to do a job, an MP is still, at the end of the day, a Public Servant.
Yes I feel some sympathy, it’d be heartless not to feel a little twinge of sympathy for her but it’s over now and like I say that’s the price you pay for that job, be it right or wrong you’re going to get grief.
I just hope now we can move on, a Brexiteer MP will become Prime Minster and does what Theresa May should have done and showed some backbone when dealing with the Eurocrats instead of basically rolling over and surrendering. Make no mistake, that’s what Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill was: a surrender treaty. It certainly wasn’t a “deal”.
First up I have to tell you I am no conspiracy theorist. I have no patience with the idea of chemtrails, CIA/SIS (MI6) mind control or manipulating the weather via HAARP etc. The idea that a state government could organise a social engineering program on its populace is often ludicrous, simply because most of them couldn’t organise a booze-up in an off licence (liquor store if you’re not British). Let’s face it, if government was competent then we’d really be in the crap right?
Anyway, enough of the disclaiming (is that a real word?) and on to my “point”. Our illustrious political leader (snigger) has “negotiated” a deal with the behemoth that is the European Union and, to be frank, it’s a “well polished pile of you know what”, well in my opinion at least. So I put forward to you two possible “perspectives”:
The Prime Minister has done a superb job and considering the complexities of Brexit etc the deal is well done and about as “good as it’s going to get”. Ergo, we should applaud her wondrous diplomatic negotiations and get behind her and so on.
Now like I said above I am no conspiracy theorist but let’s consider the following:
The Prime Minister doesn’t really care about the whole thing because she’s the fall guy. She’s been an MP for several years but never really “shined” or been put forward for “greater things”, as her time as in the Home Office indicates.
She’s coming up for retirement age and she was “put forward” (with other candidates standing aside one at a time, Andrea Leadsom etc) for Prime Minister with the intention of wrecking the negotiation, because the government wants us to stay in the EU.
It wrecks her career essentially but she’s over 60, up for retirement and so on. As a former Prime Minister she’ll get a yearly allowance of £148,500 per annum and a £65,000 pension per annum (no state pension £120 a week here); she’s probably been offered a peerage; and also her husband is a multi-millionaire. All this money is worth wrecking your career over, heck most of us would gladly wreck their career for that sort of income !
As my friend (who inspired this post) also pointed out: This is why she’s “thick skinned” about the whole business, it makes no odds to her because she’s far better off AFTER the whole business when she can retire, probably prompted by some sort of health scare (possibly diabetes related).
You know what? Conspiracy theorist or not the second scenario sounds far too plausible.