RADIO SILENCE AT THE SLOG: malignant attacks, comprehensive incompetence, and contemporary crap

Once  again, the technical back-up department at Slogger’s Roost is in disarray. It is in disgrace. It is standing on the naughty step, in the corner, with the dunce-cap on.

The main computer that was bombed the week before last didn’t respond to remedial treatment, but the perpetrators left a charming little message on my final attempt to post: 666. Press any button on it now, and it types ‘666’. Most amusing…and obviously
‘user error’ on my part. (If anyone recognises that MO, by the way, could they email me on

The notebook I’m using now offers touch-screen if one’s having trouble with the keyboard. But there is no guaranteed keyboard if the touch-screen produces nothing more than fingermarks and smears. The performance monitor feature says it’s working at an average 95% efficiency, so I’m assuming this is as good as it gets.

I also own a German-made Terrapad tablet, which might just as well be a terrapin for all the use it is. Every attempt to plug into social networks evokes the response ‘you are not connected to the internet’…even when I plug straight into the router. It insists my Google password is wrong. And it takes so long to bring any news site up, by the time it connects the content is a 3rd year history module. Last week the Terrapad hinted that Greek PM George Papandreou was rumoured to be on his way to Brussels with a very fat person to discuss the subject of sovereign debt.

At 1pm here CET we had a loss of internet situation, and it morphed into an ongoing situation that was fixed about half an hour ago. I didn’t know it had been fixed, however, because at 2.30 pm the power went off. My neighbour Jean-Pierre had the same problem, and put it all down to The Heat. So I went for a siesta. My neighbour Francis pitched up as I was dreaming of Mariella Frostrup applying Arnaca oil to my shoulder blades, asking if I had current. No, I said, I don’t – and neither does Jean-Pierre. “C’est le canicule,” he opined [the heatwave], and I nodded, adding “Perhaps it’s the wrong kind of heat”. “C’est sur” he agreed, unaware of
the standard British excuse about things going wrong.

Bring back analogue, that’s my motto: you could get ten solid days of of fire, brimstone and giant hailstones in the 1970’s, and the telly never so much as blinked.
Today, one dark grey cloud and/or a grasshopper landing on the dish, and everything goes breasts skywards.

While the power was off, it seemed a good idea to replace some of the hip-hop and happening 4000 hour spots that had gone ‘plounk-tinkle’ after an average of 250 hours, so I got some ladders and went to it with vigour.

Vigour is overrated. It is overrated to the point of being, well, pointless when dealing with the contemporary spotlight. The recessed spot today is so recessive, it beats the lunacy of the eurozone hands down: not only can you not get it out, you can’t get it in either. There are bishop and actress jokes in there aplenty, but don’t distract me.

Cast your minds back all ye who are the wrong side of 35, to those halcyon days of analogue telly and STD phones, when changing a light-bulb was so easy, they made jokes about it. Extracting and replacing a low wotsername spot these days is, by contrast, a major project requiring the attendance of Health & Safety.

First there was the male-female twist bayonet approach, which was then replaced by the screw. We’re back at actresses and stage-door bishops again, so let’s move on swiftly to today’s lurch backwards, the Soyuz-Apollo docking in the dark push and swear solution. Spots in 2015 are neoliberal in the sense of being anti-Marxist, as Mario Draghi is probably the anti-Christ: Marx adopted the Hegelian analytical approach of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Recessed spotlights have completed a different route that goes easy, very easy, fucking impossible.

Observe this picture closely:P1050405At first glance, this has the air of a lotech kitchen brush for tackling those stubborn greasy plates….a format redundant for all those lucky souls who own a dishwasher. But this now eschewed thingy has one huge advantage when it comes to the replacement of 21st century spots: the suction pad.

Here’s what you do: lick the pad, lick the surface of the bulb you’ve been trying for weeks to remove, and bond them together. Push very hard, twist anti-clockwise et voila – the insect and dust encrusted spotlight emerges. Do the same with the new spot, and it docks successfully at only the 27th attempt. This is an enormous step forward from the 468 twists without suction that resulted in repetitive strain injury and €250+ invested in physiotherapy, plus desperation, obscenities, the frustrated swinging of hammers, and the planning of anti-social Jihadist attacks on lighting manufacturers with a view to taking designers hostage. (The main hope would be that negotiations for their release fail)

Anyway, I’ve not the faintest idea what happened today, except that I began erecting the new terrace’s trellis this morning, but retired hot at 10.30 am in the face of hyperdrive dehydration syndrome.

Has Berlin exploded? Is Jereboam Drivelbloke still in a job? Has Janet Yellen had a nervous breakdown? It’s time to go and look….

25 thoughts on “RADIO SILENCE AT THE SLOG: malignant attacks, comprehensive incompetence, and contemporary crap

  1. I find the best tool for gripping a recessed spot to get it out of the socket is a cardboard tube from a toilet roll. I can usually get it around most of the perimeter, and it provides enough grip to twist the thing out. Oddly, getting them i is no problem once the pins are lined up.


  2. Sod Europe, I’m off down the patent office with JW’s dish brush/spotlight extractor…going to be THE hot product! ;-)


  3. I’m so low tech I haven’t a clue what all that was about! My good lady, who is a bit younger and more switched on changes the light bulbs and other needed duties.


  4. Hiya dude.

    The 666 monicker is well known among the Hell s Angel Chapters of the Deep South.

    It is an evil bitch of a virus which once implanted offers an quasi irresistable temptation to accept all the extremes life has to offer in exchange for eternal perdition of ones immortal soul .

    In Europe its offshoot has been tentatively traced to a Satanic Mill sited not two miles from Old Trafford now fallen into disrepair and disrepute. I understand used respectively as a drug shooting squat by night and a hotdesking location for Uzbek hackers by day headed up by one Lucifer of Mephistofeles Associates , a co operative wrapped into an Anstalt in Balzers Liechtenstein. Their latest scam is to target porn watchers and send them alerts from a fake police website advising that the victim is logged as watching illegal paedophilia and bestiality videos online and jail time will be avoided only on payment of an immediate fine of £250 within the hour via Paypal. So I am surprised that you have been infected at all . Perhaps they will accuse you of libelling French banks and threaten to give your nane to the Deuxieme Bureau.

    The consolations are two ; a) it will weaken to nullity if your soul is in a state of grace ( unlikely in your case) and b) it wil not work at all if your surname is not Faustus.

    Visited the deed poll office lately?


  5. Please do not junk me into digital void forever, but might’nt you consider one lousy apple that doesn’t have these kinds of problems? You don’t have to trust it to do anything but work. You don’t need any more frustration looking in your windows.


  6. Ever tried upper and lower dentures OAP? However be goddamn careful ! First extricate from mouth . Second , grip the spotlight VERY GINGERLY using one denture on either side to give purchase. Too strong a torque and the resultant glass splintering from the spot may fall into eyes with disastrous consequences .

    Wear safety goggles over bifocals at ALL times when attempting …..


  7. Household light bulbs were once all incandescent types with a bayonet fitting. You went to the shop and bought a cheap 40 watt or a 150 watt for t’big light. Nowadays, a whole supermarket aisle is needed to cover the range: Energy-saving, compact fluorescents which only come on after you’ve fallen down the stairs, Energy-saving halogens which are supposed to last 10,000 hours but only manage about two and then are impossible to return because you’ve probably thrown away the receipt and anyway can’t prove that it was the duff bulb that matched the receipt; or energy-saving LED’s which require a bank loan to purchase. They come with a combination of big/small bayonet; big/small screw or twist pin fittings.
    This complexity hasn’t made life easier or less expensive.
    Manufacturers of light bulbs, (tooth brushes and razor blades too) should be flogged daily.


  8. And there was i thinking it was the proverbial stick a brush up your jacksy whilst you clean the toilet out! Best for use with constipation but if you have that little point in cleaning the toilet?


  9. The boring stuff:

    Lamp fittings are in transition, from old-style BC & ES, which withstood the high temperatures from incandescent lamps. New Compact Fluorescent, LED and halogen lamps are still made in BC & ES fittings because of the huge replacement market. But as new homemakers nest they will naturally purchase the latest light styles and these will mostly be anything but BC & ES.

    Now there’s GU10 (the twist pin type, as above) and MR16, when heat isn’t a problem. Plus capless G4 & G9 (flattened glass with wire loops emerging) when it gets hot.

    I don’t use razor blades and I’m not sure what “toothbrushes” implies, but at least you now know why light bulbs need a whole aisle.


  10. broderickcrawford……….I saw the real (inebriated) Broderick Crawford attempt to extricate himself from a car parked curbside at LAX years ago. He finally managed to pull himself out of the car and stagger into the terminal. He was too late to be arrested by the highway patrol and I don’t think the staff at the airport were about to to call the sidewalk patrol to arrest the aged star..


  11. I’m assuming by ‘Spot’ you mean lightblub? For those of us on the North American continent some of JW’s missives can be quite a challenge.


  12. Also, of course, correct me if I’m wrong, in order to comply with new legislation concerning the sensitivity of inanimate objects, you should only ever attempt to change a lightbulb if you are quite certain that it does in fact want to be changed.


  13. 2Wheel Hero……..trunk call…. LOL…….. in the us we called it a party line there too you could get infected. Good night


  14. I have an Android tablet. There is an issue with the Mail Online and Telegraph websites doing something that causes the web browser (Opera) to shut down and reopen. Most of the main news websites have something on them that makes the screen freeze for up to a minute before the page loads. Mail, Telegraph, Manchester Evening News, Mirror etc. and this doesn’t just happen on the tablet.

    I assume they are pulling up some crap from elsewhere: ads or the Google stats system which is sluggish. The Independent website is almost unusable on some devices especially an older laptop. The latest craze is for hidden video ads in the middle of news articles. There is no way to stop these playing as you try read the story and they loop. In Opera on Android the video automatically enlarges to full screen.

    On the PC I have a range of blockers installed to prevent all of this junk so I see no ads at all. I would guess these sites will notice a massive fall in their readership very soon or a fall in ad income.

    Being nagged by Google to “upgrade” your browser every five minutes because they’ll “no longer support it soon” is the 2015 equivalent of Microsoft Windows. And just so you can grab your email from GMAIL or watch a small video! If you’re poor, or in a third world country, using old equipment then you’re pretty much stuffed trying to access some of these sites.

    The web was supposed to be usable by all with simple web browsers that worked with all sites.


  15. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…..


    You know you wuntu!


  16. If you need a handy suction pad in the future, try using the sat-nav window-mounting sucker.
    Mine has a handy release tag which saves you struggling to break the vacuum.


  17. If you have bought a new laptop and still have the old bricked one hanging around, why not take a punt on what Jeremy suggests, stick Ubuntu on it and use as (reliable) emergency backup?


  18. If John is being target, they can knock his apple over too.

    Assuming they have not got into the BIOS a boot into a USB drive operating system that has all the tools to contact his sources and write his blog is what I recommend, but John is a creature of habit and is not willing to change his spots even if he has become worthy of attention from particular people.


  19. Some & Ghost (above)
    That’s because we speak English and you don’t, you speak North American! LOL

    One thing that get’s on my wick (nerves) is the phrase ‘Step up to the plate’, used by the U.K. media, TV, radio etc. We are British, not North American.

    What they should say is ‘Take guard at the crease’, but I suspect that people are so dumb in the U.K. now, that they wouldn’t know what it meant…or am I wrong in suggesting that?


  20. Mariella Frostrup ??? Denise Lewis, ex heptathlon winner & regal looking woman, is more my line of fantasy, JW.
    I wonder what she’s like at…changing lightbulbs ;) ?


  21. That indeed was me … I think . I cannot of course be sure for as you say I was ten sheets to the wind as was my wont .

    Yes of course nobody arrested me . Would a low level police staffer have the cojones to arrest a senior liutenant of his own Highway Patrol ??. Tenfour.


  22. 1/ Go to ‘torproject.or*’, (amended as appropriate). Download ‘TAILS’. Burn it to a CD/DVD. Boot from that. Use it to your heart’s content.

    2/ Go to Purism @ ‘’. Follow link to order a new laptop to your required specifications.


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