Category Archives: Employment

Stupid DIY Mistakes

you’re only human, it’s all right to make mistakes

If you do most things for yourself, eschewing messy decorators, useless contractors, and rip-off garages, then every now and again you are bound to commit one of the classic howlers.  Mistakes you could kick yourself for.  Really stupid mess-ups that leave you thinking; ‘how the hell do I get out of this one…..?’

I might admit to being guilty of some or all of these;

  1. Painting yourself into a corner.  You can either walk on it or wait until it dries.
  2. Touching a spark-plug lead while the engine is running.  If you’re healthy you’ll just get a terrific jolt, if you have a heart pacemaker you might get dead.
  3. Opening the radiator cap on a hot engine.  Getting scalded hurts.
  4. Over-tightening a nut so the bolt / stud snaps.  That is likely to be expensive to repair, unless you know how.
  5. Sawing off the branch you’re sitting on.  The fall hurts.
  6. Sawing off the branch your ladder is leaning against.  The fall hurts.
  7. Taking off the bathroom door handle and closing the door while you’re inside, with no way to open the door to get out.
  8. Putting up a picture / shelf by hammering a nail / drilling into the wall, and going right through a water pipe.  Flooding is expensive to repair, so is the big hole you’re going to have in the wall.
  9. Ditto an electrical cable or gas pipe.
  10. Not learning how to use a spirit level and putting up a shelf.

Today I was guilty of #7.  Just as well I took lessons from a master locksmith.

Some say that we learn by our mistakes.  And that necessity is the mother of invention.  All I know is that I can now build, decorate, install, make, repair….. just about anything ~ and I have the scars to prove it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I didn’t build that,

but I could

 

Looking Better after Lockdown

it could have been worse, the liquor stores might have been closed

Now that I’m regularly out and about again after a period of government imposed solitary confinement at home, I’ve noticed just how manky some people are looking.  It’s not their fault, being subject to lockdown and being made to work from home does bad things to your health, your looks, and your well-being.  It’s a lack of sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ and too much junk food, processed food, comfort eating, too much booze, too many cigarettes, and for some too much reliance on drugs.  Add to that the lack of proper sleep, irregular hours, lazing around most of the day in sweats or night-attire, not being able to get to a hairdresser…..

Face it after a period of lockdown, and while we are working at home, it’s possible that we don’t feel or look at our very best.  I know I didn’t, and I know just how much weight I put on.

It’s pretty simple to get back to looking and feeling great;

  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can.
  • Get some exercise.  Walk the 10,000 steps a day.  Learn some yoga.  Use free exercises such as squats, push ups.  Look here’s a link to a 20 minute home workout video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKfNUOWuZV8
  • Stop drinking so much every day and every night.  Have two or three totally booze-free days every week.
  • Stop smoking all together, forever.  Smoking makes you look old, you stink, it ruins your health.  Smoking will kill you.
  • Stop comfort eating.  Don’t eat just because you’re bored, stressed, lonely, or sad.
  • Stop eating processed food, or eat much less processed food if you can’t get to a good store as often as you’d like.
  • Stop shoveling your food in with both hands, eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food properly.
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Salads are brilliant at this time of year.
  • Drink more cool, clear, cleansing water.  (Fruit juice counts too.)

I am back on a health and fitness programme again, after letting myself go during lockdown.  It’s so depressing being in solitary confinement that I found it hard to keep up good habits.  But you know what?  It doesn’t take more than a week or so to turn things around to a better life.

Some say that just one bottle of wine won’t hurt.  And, that potato chips go so well with wine.  All I know is that the dictum of a healthy mind in a healthy body is the real truth.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is bloody good for you

You Can Go Your Own Way

 a lion can lead sheep, but sheep cannot lead a lion

stand up for what you believe is right

Even here in England one cannot go very far before one encounters somebody wearing a mask, and probably surgical-type gloves too.  Here it’s mandatory to wear a ‘face covering’ on public transport; trains, bus, planes, taxicabs ~ and the Health Nazis want everyone to wear a mask anytime they’re out of doors.  In fact the doom-mongers want everyone to stay in lockdown ~ probably forever.

I am afraid they are going to be disappointed in me, but then disappointing people is part of finding your own way in life.  There is never going to be a shortage of right-thinking, officious, supposedly well-meaning people around, happy to advise us, instruct us, create and impose expectations about how we should think, act, and be.  ‘Don’t date that person, don’t take that job, go to that school, think the way I think, wear a face covering…..’  (Maybe I should have taken some of the dating advice.)

Sometimes taking advice and following instructions makes good sense, but only too often what people want us to do is based on their own experiences, their needs and wants, their desire for self-affirmation ~ not on any understanding of us at all.  I have never been in the least surprised if my best way ahead was to ignore advice, do the exact opposite of what others wanted of me, do something those closest to me thought was crazy.  We walk the warriors path alone.

Ignoring advice often offends some people ~ right now not wear a face covering in public seems to offend a lot of people.  The simple truth is that being true to yourself, going your own way, will always disappoint and offend somebody.  Another truth is that some people are ready to be offended by anything that does’t agree with their own warped and narrow mindset.

Don’t know which one is worse, doing your own thing or just being cool.  ~  Bob Dylan

Some people in your life will be impossible to please; parents, siblings, the wider family, ‘friends’, your current and past partners, teachers, co-workers…..  They will show their disapproval of you, whatever you do.  Fuck them.  If it’s unbearable then just move on, spend much less time in their company, stop sharing your plans, dreams, wants, needs, and intentions with them.  Stop telling them what you’re doing and whatever you’ve done in the past.

Some say; ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say.’  And, ‘you should listen when people tell you what to do.’  All I know is it’s better to make my own mistakes than to repeat the mistakes of others.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

look to the far horizons

COVID-19 Testing

trying something or someone to see if the rules are being obeyed

Out on my walk this morning I saw that a mass testing operation for COVID-19 had been set up in one of the local car parks, (otherwise completely unused).  These testing stations are manned by heath workers and the army, and each one is a pretty big operation.

In the half hour or so I had this testing facility in sight, not one single car entered the parking lot so that the driver could be tested for the coronavirus.  Goes completely against the rule of build it and they will come.  This time nobody turned up at all.

I’m utterly unsurprised.  There is very little personal benefit to going through all the hassle and discomfort of the whole ‘getting tested’ process.  In fact there are a lot of individual downsides to having a coronavirus test, and I speak as a guy who has both had the virus and been tested more than once.  (After the fact.)

Being tested will not stop you contracting COVID-19, nor will it aid your recovery in any way at all.  Being tested is just likely to make you sicker because it is very likely you will to told to undergo a period of self-isolation at home, which is bad.  What is worse it that you will be carted off to hospital and stuck in a bed in a place that is rife with the damn virus.  If you are sick, (not dying), then the last thing you need is to be stuck next to a lot of other sick people.

The very best thing you can do to ameliorate any personal effects of the coronavirus is to get out in the fresh air and sunshine, which the virus hates.  The sunshine will boost your vitamin D, which the virus hates.  The fresh air will flush out your lungs, so FFS do not wear a mask.  However, stay away from other people, you don’t know if they’re a carrier, and neither will they.

When you’re out there get some exercise ~ don’t just sit in the sunshine, complete the 10,000 steps a day challenge.  Exercise will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and if you’re stronger and fitter you will more easily fight off the virus if you get it.

The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will also give you an appetite ~ believe me, it you get the damn virus you will not want to eat, and even less so if all you do all day is sit in front of the TV.  With your meals take a good and appropriate range of vitamin and mineral supplements.  Your body will need these to fight off the virus.

Trust me, for your own personal health, being tested for COVID-19 is the last thing you want.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

here the COVID-19 testing stations are mostly unused

Personal Finance 101

neither a borrower nor lender be

The phrase above comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and actually refers to never lend nor borrow from a friend, but I would expand that to include never lending to nor borrowing from a family member, partner, lover, or anyone else for that matter.  Often you will never, ever see a single penny paid back to you.  I would also expend that to say never, ever, ever stand as guarantor for anyone either. Because as guarantor you are jointly end severally liable for the whole debt, plus interest, plus charges ~ up to and including losing your home and everything else you own.

  1. Work out your monthly budget, with hard numbers.  How much do you have coming in, and how much goes out, and on what?  If you have more going out than you have coming in, then stop fucking wasting money on cigarettes, booze, gambling, drugs, vacations, sex, new clothes and shoes you don’t need….  Or get a higher paid honest job.
  2. Only ever borrow for two reason; #1 a mortgage to buy your home  #2 to buy your car, if you must have a car.  (actually student loans to pay for your education sometimes make a third reason)  The only borrowing I have ever had, in my whole life, was a mortgage on my home.
  3. Pay off your debts just as soon as you possibly can, and only take out a loan if that is allowed in the documentation with no penalties.  Don’t ever borrow from anyone other than highly respected, and properly regulated institutions.  If you have never heard of them, don’t touch them with a barge pole.
  4. Never, ever, ever borrow on a credit card, for any reason whatsoever.  Only buy something on your plastic if you can afford to pay for it in hard cash right there and then, and always pay off all your card debt in full every single month.  The interest rates on credit cards are stupidly high.  Anyone who says using a credit card / line of credit to consolidate your borrowing is a crook.
  5. On the other hand, I buy everything on plastic.  I do that for 3 reasons #1 I get good points which I can use to get other things #2 because I pay off my card bills in full every month, I get 1 month’s free credit  #3 if I have a dispute with the seller, then in the UK the card company will, at the end of the day, refund me in full in the seller will not, or cannot.
  6. Save for your retirement, however that works in your country and in your company.  Save as much as you can afford for your retirement.
  7. Never ever trust anyone who tries to sell you any kind of financial product whatsoever.  If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.  If you don’t understand it, then it’s a scam.  Never, ever believe anything you see on the internet ~ especially on YouTube.  Everybody lies sometimes, sales people lie all the time.  Often they believe their own lies, or they’re to badly educated to understand their own products.  (That applies to all sales people.)

We had a mantra when I worked in Banking and Finance in The City of London;  ‘My Word Is My Bond’.  Sadly that no longer applies anywhere.  The world of Savings, Loans, Credit Cards, Banking, Finance, The Stock Markets, Real Estate….. are today full of the ignorant, dishonest, liars, charlatans, confidence tricksters, and crooks.

We had another saying in the City of London caveat emptor; which is Latin for Let the Buyer Beware.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Monochrome Monday ~ Dystopia

with chaos and neglect the civilised world slowly fell apart

~

~

~

~

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

those men had something real to protest about

 

Spiritual Energies

the fundamental interconnectedness of all things

Crowd Psychology dictates that everyone in a group tends to do the same thing at the same time ~ whether on not an individual member of the group intended to act in a certain way, crowd psychology means that they will follow the herd.  This applies to people watching sports, people fleeing from disaster, crowds of protesters, and mobs of rioters.  It even applies to groups of friends sitting around shooting the breeze.  Crowd Psychology also applies to herds of buffalo, flocks of birds, shoals of fish, and swarms of bees.  And today, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, awake or asleep, you are part of a group / several groups.  Instantly connected to the entire world by TV news, social media, video chat, email, telephone, and the spiritual energies of the infinite shared unconsciousness…..  You are never more than six degrees of separation from every other person on this planet.

My strongest spiritual / religious belief is in the interconnectedness of all things, that everything and everyone is connected through space, time, and their life energies.  This is a universal concept and explains many things ~ like why we say to those that we care for; ‘you’re in my thoughts’, ‘you’re in my prayers’, ‘I love you…..’  It also explains the Titanic Disaster, 9/11, The Great Depression, Wars, Black Lives Matter, and the public outpourings of grief at the death of Princess Diana…..

Here’s the thing.  During this COVID-19 pandemic the feelings and thoughts of us all, the news media and interpersonal communications have mostly been negative.  Turn on the news and I get the number of coronavirus deaths,  the rioting and violence in big cities around the world, the tales of personal tragedies, opinions on the economic doom facing us…..

This affects us all because of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, group psychology, and the universal unconsciousness.  No wonder so many people are unhappy, depressed, distressed ~ without really knowing why.  It explains the weird and negative things happening today, like the protests and riots, why our politicians and others in authority are suddenly being exposed as liars, charlatans, adulterers…..  Like why our Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s personal popularity rating has crashed by 45 points, going negative for the very first time.

And yet, amid all this negativity a few have risen above the herd and shown great personal courage and goodness.  One needs look no further than 100 years old Captain Tom Moore’s gallant fundraising effort for our National Health Service.  Captain, (now Colonel), Sir Tom’s efforts raised £32, 795, 065, and inspired a nation.

Some say we should stay safe, stay at home, obey lockdown, be afraid.  And, that we can’t have fun, can’t go anywhere, can’t have sex.   All I know is that I will not add to the negative spiritual energies flooding the infinite shared unconsciousness.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

among his other honors Captain Tom was granted a flypast by a Spitfire and Hurricane from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Flight.

Time to Build a Recovery

 when you’re not at work weekends are seven days long

Today, as the whole pointless lockdown begins to be eased, the British economy is in a worse state than it was during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.  Officially there are 2,100,000 unemployed in Britain today, but that is an utter fiction.  There are also more than 11 million people being paid by the government’s furlough scheme, a half a million teachers who aren’t working but are on full pay, and another 5 million civil servants who weren’t working all during lockdown but were still on full pay.   So, 18,600,000 workers weren’t working here, and lots of them still aren’t working.

Add to that 5 million self-employed who couldn’t and probably still can’t work but are not included in the official unemployment figures, and another couple of million people supposedly ‘working from home’, and there are perhaps 25 million people not working for a living here in the UK.  That’s out of a total possible workforce of about 35 million.

Trust me on this, most people ‘working from home’ mostly don’t do any actual work.  When things start to get back to normal I predict that many who are ‘working from home’ today will be staying at home because they have no job to go back to.

The British economy has tanked, and government spending has skyrocketed ~ a perfect storm for economic disaster.  The US economy is in an equally parlous state, and all the lawlessness, rioting, looting, arson…..  will merely serve to make matters worse.

As an indicator, vehicle production here has fallen by 99.7%.  Only 197 cars rolled out of the factories here in May, and even when production begins again there will be many lay-offs, redundancies, and people taking early retirement.  Rolls Royce, the prestige car maker expects to cut 3,000 jobs.  Rolls Royce the aero engine manufacturer expects to cut 9,000 jobs, and the Gods only know how many airline staff will not have a job in the foreseeable future.

We need to get the global economy going again.  Anyone with any sense of history, honour, or business ethics will not include China in their future business plans.  The ex-head of MI6, (the agency James Bond worked for), says that COVID-19 is a man-made virus and that it may have been purposefully released by China.  Made in China, is off my shopping list forevermore.

We each of us know what we can do to get the global economy kick-started, time we got off our backsides and made a difference.

Some say that it’s right to protest.  And that violence is a necessary weapon in the war against racism.  All I know is that the protesters may never work again either, looting and burning down places of employment is economic suicide.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

To protest at being out of work the men of Jarrow peacefully walked the 300 miles to London in the cold October of 1936

Home Alone

for many, the greatest fear is abandonment

I am pretty certain that over the past couple of months there have been more people living mostly at home, alone and isolated, than ever before.  All of the reasons for people being abandoned at home and alone are related to the COVID-19 virus.  At best they could be working from home, and / or suffering lockdown, quarantine, self isolation.  Many will have lost their jobs, or in the UK have been furloughed, or been unable to work at their business because of the lockdown.  There may be more tragic reasons such as a severe illness or death.

Whatever the reason, being at home alone and isolated from physical social contact, is bad.  It will make people very sick; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  People suffering solitary confinement, (and effectively having to be at home alone is solitary confinement), become depressed and distressed.  They will suffer insomnia, either be unable to eat or eat far too much, they may drink too much, use drugs too much, and feel so exhausted they can’t or don’t want to do anything.  People in that state stop looking after themselves, don’t wash, shower, shave, clean their teeth, or get properly dressed ~ maybe they wear the same dirty stuff day after day.  They may have thoughts of hurting themselves or others, they might go out and kill someone, loot stores, set fire to cars…..

Being at home alone and isolated touches the greatest fear most people have ~ that of abandonment.  It’s a deep childhood fear, an abandoned child will quickly and certainly die, and our innermost psyche remembers that visceral fear.

There are some solutions, but none of them are easy, particularly for someone who has already suffered serious physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual decline.

What we need to do is;

  • Go outside.  And I don’t give a flying fuck what the rules and guidelines and official advice says, we all need to get outside into the fresh air and natural daylight.
  • Get some exercise.  And I don’t care how bad you feel. You’ve got to walk, do yoga, find an exercise routine on YouTube…. but do something to get your muscles and blood moving.
  • Have  strict routine.  Get up at the same reasonable time every fucking day, get clean and dressed, have breakfast, do something positive or your job maybe, have lunch at the same fucking time every day, do something positive then prepare dinner.  Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Eat healthily, don’t drink, smoke, or indulge your other nasty habits too much.  Take good nutritional supplements.  Especially vitamins B, C and D, along with iron, magnesium, zinc, and a good fish oil.
  • Stay away from depressing news, and keep well away from social media.  Instead reach out to your family and friends.  Telephone, Skype, email, chat, write a fucking blog…..  But don’t be alone, even if you can’t be together.

Some say that lockdown and social distancing are there to keep us safe.  And that they can start living again when all these restrictions are lifted.  All I know is that life is not a dress rehearsal, this is it, make the most of it.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

refuse to be a prisoner

Take Good Care of Yourself

courage is about doing what needs to be done, when it needs doing

It turns out that COVID-19 is a very selective killer virus.  It’s racist, ageist, fattist, and discriminates against those who have cancer, diabetes, or a heart problem.  Doesn’t much like men either.  You are also far more likely to get seriously ill or die if you live in a big city and don’t get much exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.  If you want to sail through a pandemic then you should be younger, fitter, and free from underlying health conditions and addictions.

There is a little evidence that smokers are less affected by the coronavirus than people who do not and have never smoked.  If you’re a smoker don’t congratulate yourself because smoking will kill you faster and more certainly then COVID-19 ever would.  Also, smokers tend to be unfit and have a host of chronic illnesses ~ like heart diseases.  In fact, anyone with any addiction; booze, drugs of any kind, gambling, junk food, casual sex….. is far more likely to die from that addiction than from COVID-19, but this virus could well just push you over the edge.

As an example; working age men are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than a similar woman.  And, the 70 to 79 age group are 50 times more likely to die from catching the coronavirus than the under 40s.  It’s complicated.

We do not know yet how to account for this.  Socio-economic factors may be an influence…..  There could be hidden genetic factors we do not yet understand.  ~  Professor Karol Sikora.

We can’t alter our age or ethnicity, and it’s hard to change our socio-economic status, or where we live.  But, how long is a piece of string?  There is usually a big difference between someone’s chronological age than their physical age.    Most chronic illnesses are caused by what we do and how we live; alcoholics will routinely suffer from liver and kidney diseases, heart diseases, cancers, and dementia ~ as well as having a strong chance of dying in an accident or committing suicide.  Type 2 diabetes is all about lifestyle…..

So, to have a longer, healthier, and more rewarding life we need to be brave enough to change, have some self-discipline, stop being self-destructive, and just take good care of ourselves; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

For a start, no matter what else you believe or have been told, get out there and get some fresh air and exercise.  Stop drinking, smoking, hanging around in bars, and eating junk food.

Some say you are just as old as you feel.  And that they’re not really an addict, they just smoke the occasional joint, and like a beer or two.  All I know is that most of us were on the Road to Hell but we can get off any time we like.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a glass of red a few times a week might be good for you

%d bloggers like this: