Public transport in winter is a crime

I managed to catch my connection this morning with one minute to spare, and only because I ran. I am technically supposed to have ten minutes’ grace to catch my connection, but it’s more often five or less.

It’s so easy to lose your fitness — I haven’t done regular running since I got to Scotland and I was definitely short of breath with a racing heart when I sat down with relief (and a thump). I have got to get a car and cut down my commute so I don’t feel so tired at the end of the day and can bring myself to go to the gym. We’re thinking a second hand Clio or 106 would be ideal. (Update: or a Corsa. Apparently I will turn into a skank, but the size and price is probably right.)

If I had no issues with big cars and paying too much for a vehicle (what am I talking about? I’m from Singapore, for God’s sake), I would go for a PT Cruiser. No idea what it is I like about the car, I just think it’s great.

Yesterday I was aided in getting the train on time by the tail winds, which actually pushed me along the road just that little bit faster. Neil thinks I’m a freak for mentioning that, but y’know, the truth’s the truth. On the way, I saw a stretch Hummer. And I really shit you not with that.

The weather continues to be shitty (rain, rain, rain), and this is how I discovered that my formerly fairly water resistant jacket is losing its resistance. TK Maxx sells snow sports parkas for about £50, so I may go buy myself a Christmas present after I get paid.

Sad, very sad

Further to my previous and comparatively lengthy post on animal testing, there’s news that scientific experts will back the continued use of primates in experiments.

Fewer than 1% of animal tests are conducted on primates and the committee has spent 18 months examining if these are sound and relevant to humans.

Testing on any animal is sad. As I said before, it’s the law of the (modern) jungle. There is an older piece, also on the BBC, about how scientists are trying to stop using live creatures, but we’re a long way away from being able to halt live experiments altogether.

Update: and here is something on Sean Gardner, the boy suffering from dystonia and was profiled on Monkeys, Rats and Me.

Ahh, winter

I am wearing tights UNDER my trousers, it’s that windy and cold (but I still can’t wait for real snow): “Every region except Grampian had a severe warning while one flood alert and 15 flood watch notices were in force.” — Scotland braced for storms

Business is not just business when it’s populist

People who got burned by Farepak closing down are planning to demonstrate outside Halifax Bank Of Scotland when they hold a champagne reception today. There’s always a need to blame anyone but yourself. It’s plain stupid to expect HBOS throw money away (they already donated £2m and ‘victims’ are claiming it’s not enough) just because some people were silly enough to get involved with this ‘savings‘ scheme.

HBOS is a profit-making entity, they do business to — shock horror — make money. It was Farepak and its parents that failed the customer, not HBOS.

As a very astute editorial in The Scotsman states,

When it comes to deciding who to trust with our savings we must never lose sight of two inescapable truths: companies go bust and money corrupts.

For these reasons, it is madness to ever entrust your hard-earned cash to any company or individual other than a fully regulated financial institution or credit union. These too can still go bust, or have staff with their hands in the till. But it doesn’t matter: there are safety nets in place which ensure the bulk of your cash will always be safe, short of political and economic Armageddon.

Personally, I have found the entire Farepak saga unedifying from start to finish. The individuals concerned made a terrible investment. When it turned out to be just as bad as could have been predicted, they blamed anyone they could find for their mistake, without ever conceding their own folly was partly responsible.

They also seemed to take it as their right that the rest of us should bail them out.

And all the bloody politicians running around and demanding ‘justice’ and what not are so bloody TRANSPARENT. There is an election coming up. Peh.