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FastFreddy2 last won the day on October 31 2020

FastFreddy2 had the most liked content!

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About FastFreddy2

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    Somewhere over a rainbow
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  1. Things don't seem to be improving anywhere at all, but should this surprise us? I've an increasing wealth of experience with "grumpy old men" (not me) who maybe has spent too much time away from the real world. Trump and Biden both too old to realise the world isn't black and white. Looking ahead to the 2024 administration Biden will be 80 years old at the start and Trump will have his 80th birthday a couple of years into it. Around 360 million people in the US, and the best they have to offer is two 'well funded' geriatrics? 80 year olds, should not be running a country and economy the size of the US. At home, "borders", the thing 17.4 million people voted for during the Brexit Referendum, seem to be as leaky as ever. Some days we have 1000 illegal immigrants landing on our shores, many helped by the UK volunteer rescue service the RNLI or 'professional' (funded) charities going out to ensure these invaders are landed here, not returned to France. For those who don't know, a person seeking political asylum anywhere, stops being one (can no longer claim to be one) if they leave their first port or land, of safety. After that, they become economic migrants. It's impossible for anyone leaving Africa or the Middle East to get to the UK, without first travelling through at least 2 countries where 'safe harbour' will have been achieved first. Why is the UK so popular? We have free healthcare (at the point of use) for everyone. We have social housing, given by legislation, as priority to political asylum seekers. We give an income, and a food/subsistence allowance. When these laws were created, the UK expected to see between 0 and perhaps 10 asylum seekers a year. Now we have 1000 a day. Our National Insurance contributions (that funds the welfare state) are about to rise, as is the "Council Tax" (aka community tax that funds things like refuse collection and the police). Those of us old enough to have some history of both these services, will remember weekly refuse collections (now 2 or 3 weekly) and a police visit if you had anything stolen from you or had an altercation with someone. These days, "theft" is considered a civil crime, to be dealt with by your household or vehicle insurer. Gas prices are promised to increase, probably because Russia has an oligarch who needs a new 250 million pound yacht and increasing prices for the raw material for a couple of months will pay for it. Of course the gas companies were privatised to give us a better service and more choice. What it's done is give us the same (effectively) single source of supply, and now we have to pay shareholders dividends too. At least covid may finally be taking a back seat to our lives. It hasn't gone, but the UK vaccination programme has made us all less vulnerable, and life as we knew it, is verrrrrry slowly returning. We will never really get it back fully of course, but hopefully we will be able to stop treating everyone we meet as our prospective executioner.
  2. Similar story with me really, that and my long held view this place was sometimes more like a personal blog for me than a forum. I've done lots, happy to share but unlike some areas in HHp, any photos posted here are subject to collection by google and other search engines. I asked for one administrative change something like 18 months ago, still not actioned. Posts bring interest, which in turn may or may not bring more frequent visits. Like others, I 'stick my head in the door' from time to time but the site does very little for me. HHp might be of interest, but as I've mentioned once or twice previously, I got banned from there because I said someone posting a picture could have made it look better from another angle. Word to the wise, don't fall out with the site owners two best (American) mates. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if that remark got me banned.... I suppose 13 years here is not a bad run ..... 4500+ posts, roughly four times the next most prolific commenter, Puffer.
  3. I only watched the video long enough to decide I couldn't work out who was wearing a heel and who wasn't. (Trousers all 3 inches too long?) Sadly, 70's "inspired" clompy platforms and heels are "on trend". Copyright acknowledged. No commercial benefit, review purposes only. This is undoubtedly an attractive woman, with great (aesthetically pleasing) legs. But those shoes..... Really? >> Full article <<
  4. I had thought that 'Crocs' (almost as painful to type as to look at) were just the ugliest design of shoe I had ever seen. Plainly, I was wrong. Balenciaga made them even uglier. Wondering what the raison d'etre for this might be, I had a look at their website, and found this: 2021 Couture Collection (Not office safe as it has 'music' included in the video.) While many of the styles were just plain awful, they did make a determined attempt to make Collection, pretty androgynous. What I consider completely unacceptable, was hiring skeletal models made to look like drug-addled zombies. Even if I were the richest person on the planet, this 'design' house would not see a penny of my money. I just don't get it, even from an 'art' perspective.
  5. When I left feedback, the 'seller' had just sold two pairs of shoes. Looked at the same seller today, as I'm waiting for the reappearance of the shoes I wanted to buy..... Seems the buyer of the two pairs didn't get their purchase either, and has left negative feedback for both items and as I did as they too had to use Ebay to get a refund. I don't understand this behaviour. AFAIK, if a seller doesn't resolve a claim before Ebays involvement, when Ebay does find against the seller and issue a refund, Ebay keeps the listing fees. So the seller has not only found themselves with negative feedback (hopefully for good this time) but has lost money to get it. Plus, they might likely, still have the shoes they were selling? It was suggested to me, the three pairs of shoes might have been sold for a higher price off Ebay. Possibly. But why wouldn't you then just cancel the sales, give a refund and avoid the negative feedback and ill-will? Just makes no sense to me at all.
  6. I watched the trailer for the documentary, and heard the struggle he still has with speech. I'm was disappointed to read in the Guardian story, two of his assailants only got probation. They didn't quite kill him, but gave it a good go. Probation? Since the "Welcome" version wasn't a 'feel-good' movie, and certainly wasn't suitable for children given the storyline and sexualisation of the female models (dames), I wonder who the target market might have been perceived as? While many of us here would say 'men into wearing high heels' is a larger group than most of us will ever be aware, I very much doubt that particular group could carry the cost of the film, much less make it commercially viable. Maybe one of the producers needed a tax loss?
  7. Weeeelllll, I finally got around to watching the film. I would say, it doesn't make great entertainment, especially if you had paid to see the film in a cinema. In many respects, the storyline would probably have played better as a documentary. I didn't mind the treatment of the story that featured quasi-plastic characters imitating their model counterparts. In fact I would say it helped me to understand how the 'stories' played out. (In Mark's head.) In terms of portraying the struggle of a severely injured person to get into a kind of second life, it was all quite disturbing. For me, not least because I too enjoy wearing a heel from time to time, and I know there are many other men out there who enjoy the same experience. Yes, I think disturbing is the right word. What the film didn't do, is go anyway to explain the how's and why's of why he (and we) like to wear a heel nor why there might be anger by anyone about that liking. Not the purpose of the film I suppose, which was more about how someone dealt with life changing injuries and the PTSD that followed. Precis of his story care of The Guardian >> click << I keep thinking "sad" horrific" "challenge met" ..... But overall the one word that describes the story ..... Disturbing.
  8. As a foreigner, we are repeatedly told America is the home of capitalism and to us foreigners, it does appear to be the case. That isn't necessarily good for anyone in the US unless they own a business with a good income from it. For employees, things don't seem to be so great. Lose your job, probably lose your healthcare. Some places we understand, workers don't get a wage, their income comes from tips. Consequently, in some places, tipping is mandatory. American business models brought 'zero hour contracts' to the UK. When so many people work for businesses with the word Trump in the title, it's likely the owner will to some have a seemingly god-like status. I would suggest it's a false impression provided by someone of little substance. I have read a couple of times recently "history" will not be kind to Trump. From the little I know of his actual achievements and behaviour patterns, I would say he earned that unkindness.
  9. And an indicator of that ...... Full article >> here << Like there's anyone on the planet that's interested, that hasn't seen this already ... Notice the Louboutins have gone, replaced by casual flat shoes that go along with potato sack dress she is wearing. Designer it might be, unflattering it certainly is.
  10. Which I now know, Ebay removed "by accident" and can't reinstate. What is the point of a feedback system to assist buyers, when the market place removes the warning to potential buyers?
  11. I don't think you would have liked my 'teenage entertainment' portfolio. Authored by artistes such as Eric Stanton and John Willie. John Willie example: Almost completely unrealistic, although women were almost certainly slimmer in the austere 1930's, 40's and 50's. And those shaped heels not a million miles away from reality either. In fact I have include a photograph on this site somewhere, of boots not unlike those in the drawing.
  12. This perfume was reported recently, to be the most popular at this time (Early 2021.) Having had a few sniffs of it myself, I have found it pleasant, but not worth the price by some margin. I strongly suspect the real reason for the "popularity" is the design of the bottle the perfume is sold in. I bet Louboutin is kicking himself over it.
  13. I will wholly agree, online shopping doesn't suit everyone, and in some cases is the least desirable option. Sadly, the world is changing. Rents and rates have become exorbitant, especially when a town council is involved. Retail 'parks' or malls are becoming the norm for at least two reasons I can think of. For the retailer, potentially less expensive without what seems to be spiralling rents and rates in council run high street venues. Out of town parks or malls do not attract premium rates, nor premium rents. For the consumer, shopping in a covered space amongst a wide variety of retailers is much more comfortable than trudging around uncovered streets. Gone are the days of people getting wet while shopping, being an acceptable part of (say) food shopping. No longer. There is obviously a breaking point where footfall and sales don't support rent, rates, and staff costs - before profits are even considered. When House of Fraser, Debenhams, Mothercare and so many others can't make a profit in a bricks and mortar environment, it might not be because there is no demand for them, but there just isn't enough income to pay all the running costs which seems to ramp up every year too. I have priced up the cost of setting up a shop several times, and once, with two prospective business partners, priced up retail properties in Brighton. The costs of getting to the point of opening a shop, were frightening. I've a pal who opened a bar, and to get the front doors opened: £80k. Rent and rates to go on top. For thousands of years, 'retail' has been centralised in a town or village centre, so shoppers only went to the one location. Travel was difficult and time consuming. We now can travel easily and cheaply. Our tendency is to shop in bigger venues, because they have greater choice, and greater choice too, for food and refreshment. I suspect that these have had their best times too. INTU, a group that owns several large malls went into administration last June, two months into the first lockdown. Doubtless, others will follow. These management groups depend on rents to finance their business, and with shops closed - no rents. (And some of those shops may never open again either.) Conversely, someone starting in online retail (done that) is easy and very very cheap. Start-up costs are negligible beyond stock purchase, and if you can get a 30 day credit account with your supplier ..... You may never need to use your own money either. The times they are a changing, and I would agree, not necessarily for the consumer.
  14. I think it makes a difference. It would be churlish for me to suggest unskilled/semi-skilled or trades people have a completely different outlook, but there are marked differences. My take on a management role is that you strive to make yourself redundant in the general running of things. Training is important, to ensure those doing the work understand the demands, resources and tools needed and how to make them available to meet the challenge of the demands. Highly skilled, technical and professionals should not need training if they are paid to be in the positions they occupy. "Management" roles in those environs, is to do with managing resources from project to project as dictated by either the business or its owner. In the world of manual employees, which there is a significantly greater number, training and the lack of it is a serious problem. Both for the employee (who is usually rated by their performance in a job they have inadequate training for) and the employer who might waste time recruiting more than one person until someone who happens to arrive fully trained, is able to keep their position in the business. When everyone in the team is adequately trained, even in that environment a manager should not spend much time managing (interfering) in what would otherwise be a well run ship. In my experience, "managers" who repeatedly get 'involved' with workers, are people with little self-confidence which shows up in their work life.
  15. Seems odd the supervisor would complain if your brother is supposed to answer the phone? I'll wait for your PM. Here's a thing though...... Everybody complains about the workplace and the people in it, often the supervision/managers. It might be part of "us", in that it's part of our nature and how we read things going on around us. Do we prefer living with the situation, or would we actually do something about it if given the chance? My experience suggests people mostly are inclined to suffer and vent. Which of course, changes nothing. I once worked for a fella who was fairly entrenched in the company. I was brought in to do a specific job, and (of course) I like to think I did it well. But this fella was a real pig to everyone (bar me) possibly because he was an a-hole first and a manager second. Not sure how long I lasted, I think under three months having proved I could do the job (and learned faster than expected) showing I could predict manufacturing requirements better than the sales or operations directors, but just couldn't work for this animal of a manager. I left, just as I went on holiday for a week. By the time I got back I regretted leaving, but the job had gone. Some years later, I rang the fella I was supposed to be replacing to ask if he would give me a reference for a job in a similar line - obviously in another company. He was happy to. He asked me if I'd heard what happened to the bully/animal manager? I responded 'no'. Seems everyone knew why I left, including the ops director (his boss). They weren't overly happy they'd got a trained replacement, only for them (me) to leave because of an unpleasant (unprofessional) manager. They gave the bully my job. He'd been in the company close to two years at that time. He just couldn't do it. Manufacturing planning isn't for everyone, and it certainly wasn't for him. After a production meeting where his ineptitude at his new role showed itself once again, he was given 10 minutes to clear his desk. (Boy, did I thank Karma for the visit.) Losing that job did put a dink in my self-confidence for a short while, but, you get back on the horse. My point really, is that sometimes self-sacrifice is necessary not just for you, but for the greater good. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was told about a situation where employees were being bullied by one manager, and three of her next tier supervisors. It was all there. Individuals getting ganged up on, favourites getting recommended for raises. I can't know this sort of stuff goes on without doing something about if the opportunity arises, and I'm not adverse to making an opportunity. In this instance, I made sure the top-banana got hold of a whistleblowing letter from me. I spoke to two people after that, one of whom told me they would ensure the matter was dealt with. The ringleader was let go the first chance the company had to get rid. The second left (seeing the writing on the wall). The third joined the ranks, and the fourth still has a job. The difference now, the last one in the group with supervisory powers is kept on a very short leash and EVERYONE in management knows about her. If there are any more redundancies, she will be first out the door - and she probably knows that too. In a highly competitive environment, bullying and harassment is probably a fact of life. ("If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".) But companies are aware of the power of social media, and the damage it can do to reputations. If I had a FB page back in the 1990's and told the story above about the fella I worked for, he likely would have been hauled up in front of his boss and been read the riot act or just fired. Same is true of my whistleblowing story, although others might have gone if the sources were known. (To this day, no-one involved is aware of what I did, nor anyone from the company who was involved with the letter and phone calls.) The take away from this is: Do nothing, and nothing changes. So something and things have to change. The challenge with the 'do something' option, is doing the right thing.
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