Sunday 31 March 2013

Spring Cruise 2013 (4)

New Inn Stainforth to Keadby Lock.

Weather: A covering of ice on the canal, the sun was weak and watery it took some time to break the frost. A good covering of hore frost on the towpath.

Car Boot: Stainforth holds a small car boot sale on Sunday mornings. However today it was bitter wind chill that kept all but the brave and foolish in their beds.

Meal: The new Inn was the location for a get together when thirteen boating crews had an enjoyable Sunday Carvery lunch.

Underway: By early afternoon, with a very cold wind that proved the worth of the pram cover. Crews taking it in turn to operated the various swing and lift bridges soon had us moored up for the night. 

Day Totals
Miles: 12.5
Locks: 1
Swing/Lift Bridges: 8
Tunnels: 0
Pump outs: 0
Engine Hours: 5.5

Running Totals
Miles: 1355.6
Locks: 916
Swing / Lift Bridges: 177
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 14

Saturday 30 March 2013

Last of Time Team.

I watched the last of the Time Team television broadcasts a few days ago. I shall miss the program because it first whetted my appetite for ancient technological history. But like all ancient historical events, Time Team has had its day. Man has come a long way in the last few thousand years. He has developed many practical technological skills. Prehistory comprises the time from the first appearance of modern man in Africa some 200,000 years ago. Up to the invention of writing and the beginning of recorded history.

The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period, during which stone flints were widely used to make tools. I watched as Phil Harding enthused over the various stone age finds. Flint, bone and antler tools were the technology of choice.  The stone age period ended between 4500 BC and 2000 BC. This period in time also coincided with another change, the movement away from hunter gatherer and the development of farming. Plus the building of some amazing stone monuments.

The first technological change away from the stone age was into the Bronze Age. This was the first of the metalworking periods. However, the move from stone to bronze happened at different times in different parts of the world. That is why there is such a wide changeover period of about 2,500 years. In Britain the bronze age evolved around 2100 to 740 BC. This gave a shorter changeover period of about 1,500 years. A much later metalworking technological change was the move from bronze to iron. The British Iron Age lasted from about 800 BC until the time of the Roman Conquest in AD 43.

The Roman conquest of Britain was quite a fast process, beginning effectively in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius. Farming was developed and significant amounts of crops were grown for the first time on a scale beyond self sufficiency. There was also a significant import export trade of goods across the Roman empire.  The conquest was all over by AD 410. However, the legacy of the Roman empire continued to be felt for several centuries in Britain. The Romans developed other technologies such as the beginnings of a road infrastructure, which can still be seen in the landscape today.

The next change was to the dark ages as a historical period. The Medieval period is the period in history that lasted from around the 6th until the 15th century.  The term dark age emphasizes the cultural and economic deterioration that supposedly occurred in the whole of Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. The reality was that when the Roman empire nose dived into oblivion so did all of the outposts. There was little call left for being anything other than self sufficient. The 15th century was the beginning of the renaissance  (circa 1453) with a return to research and learning after the dark ages. The new age of discovery with increased exploration that created new trade routes. It was the time of a new technological break through by master printer Johann Gutenberg. And his invention of movable type press (1440) that made mass-printing of books possible.

From the 16th century onwards there was a period of enlightenment once again. A time of unprecedented change, the very beginning of the modern era of science, a time of great exploration. A time of religious and political turmoil and extraordinary literature. In 1543, Copernicus published his theory that the Earth was not the centre of the universe, rather, the Earth and the other planets orbited around the Sun. Called the Copernican Revolution, his theory forever changed astronomy. Advancements were made in the theories of mathematics, geography and natural history. A time of inventions related to the fields of engineering, mining and navigation.

Out on the canals, boaters are enjoying what's left from the early days of the industrial revolution. However, the first canals in Britain are thought to have been developed during the Roman occupation of Britain. In Europe the canals came to prominence in the 15th century, with the invention of flash locks consisting of a single gate. Flash locks were only practical where there was plenty of water available.

Today we talk about the digital revolution. Digital technology has revolutionised the interconnected world. A significant technological statement was made in a research paper published in 1965. And the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. The period often quoted as being "18 months" is due to Intel executive David House, who predicted that period for a doubling in chip performance (A combination of the effect of more transistors and their being much faster in operation)

Moore's law is named after Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore, who also described the trend in his 1965 paper. The paper noted that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year from the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958 until 1965 and predicted that the trend would continue. Moore's prediction has proven to be uncannily accurate.

In 2010 Eric Schimdt, CEO of Google said "Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003."He also said “I spend most of my time assuming the world is not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening to them soon.”  A mind boggling statistic. However, what is needed now is technology to ensure the reliability of the content. Now that would be a real technological breakthrough.

To put it into context - every two days we produce as many polystyrene foam chips as we did from the dawn of civilisation until 2003.


Spring Cruise 2013 (3)

Long Sandal to New Inn Stainforth

Weather: Woke this morning to bright sunshine. With a slight breeze which was still chilling. A few snow flurries throughout the day.

Long Sandal: Under way by 9:45.

After leaving Long Sandal we stopped to take on water and do our ablutions at Barnby Dun. The shower block, was shower less as someone has purloined the shower head! Thge large hole in the towpath that we spotted last year has grown and is now fenced off.

Bramwith Lock: bramwith lock is a variable sized lock with intermediate gates. We decided to open the centre gates and bring all the flotilla into the lock in one go. However the leakage on the bottom gates was almost as bad as the the flow through the gate paddles!!! we ended up splitting the lock again and bringing the wide beam through on its own and the narrow beams in pairs. 

Stainforth: Arrived at the New Inn to find plenty of room.on the moorings. Stopped for a few beers and planed to stay overnight.

Day Totals
Miles: 5.2
Locks: 1
Swing/Lift Bridges: 2
Tunnels: 0
Pumpouts: 0
Engine Hours: 2.9

Running Totals
Miles: 1343.1
Locks: 915
Swing / Lift Bridges: 169
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 14
Engine Hours: 2517.0

Friday 29 March 2013

Spring Cruise 2013 (2)

Pastures to Long Sandal.

Weather: Woke this morning to bright sunshine. The wind was almost none existent.

Pastures: Under way by 9:45 After leaving Mexborough top lock one in the boats in the convoy had engine problems. This meant limping along at a little over tick over speed. Problem diagnosed as possible fuel starvation.

Sprotborough Lock: Four boats observed approaching the lock as we were about to leave. Indicated that we would hold the gates open until the boats entered the lock. However, we were surprised that they refused indicating that they preferred to operate the lock themselves. Requiring the gates to be closed!

Doncaster: After arriving at Doncaster visitor moorings, some boat crews went shopping. Others helped with diagnosing the engine problem. A very dirty diesel filter was removed and exchanged. The second water trap filter was also changed as a precaution. A short cruise up to Long Sandal was used to test the engine. The problems seem to have been fixed. 

Long Sandal: The wind picked up a bit as we approached Long Sandal Visitor Moorings.The wind chill was biting. Shortly afterwards the first snow shower arrived.

Day Totals
Miles: 11.3
Locks: 3

Swing/Lift Bridges: 0
Tunnels: 0
Pumpouts: 0
Engine Hours: 3.8

Running Totals
Miles: 1337.9
Locks: 914
Swing / Lift Bridges: 167
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 14
Engine Hours: 2514.1

Thursday 28 March 2013

Birmingham: its people, its history

Here is a list of curators' tours on Birmingham history, which are taking place on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  These tours all take place in the new permanent Birmingham history galleries. So if you are boating in the area and would like to find out a bit more of the history of Birmingham - here is your chance.

Birmingham: its people, its history
Curators’ talks 2013
All on Tuesdays, 1 pm £2 per person
Please buy your ticket at reception and meet in the Round Room

  1. 2 Apr Sylvia Crawley Introduction to 18th century Birmingham
  2. 16 Apr Sylvia Crawley Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick makers: Birmingham trades in the 18th century
  3. 7 May Jo-Ann Curtis Cadbury’s Angels: Experience of Women Workers in the Early 20th Century
  4. 21 May Martin Ellis The making of stained glass in Birmingham and theMidlands
  5. 4 Jun Sylvia Crawley Entertainment in 18th century Birmingham
  6. 18 Jun Jo-Ann Curtis From paintings to postcards – snap shots of Birmingham through its history
  7. 2 Jul Henrietta Lockhart Faith and Social Conscience: some examples of faith in action from Birmingham’s history
  8. 16 Jul Adam Jaffer Introduction to Your Birmingham
  9. 6 Aug Sylvia Crawley Dogs, horses and bulls: a look at animals in Birmingham’s history
  10. 20 Aug Sylvia Crawley When things go wrong: difficult times in 18th century Birmingham
  11. 3 Sept Adam Jaffer Introduction to Your Birmingham
  12. 17 Sept Jo-Ann Curtis Birmingham at War – Industry during wartime
  13. 1 Oct Henrietta Lockhart Birmingham’s role in the abolition of the slave trade
  14. 15 Oct Henrietta Lockhart Birmingham: a city made by migration


Spring Cruise 2013 (1)

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 1316.1
Locks: 892
Swing / Lift Bridges: 167
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 14
Engine Hours: 2499.6

Weather: Woke up to a thin sheet of ice on marina. However, it soon seemed to melt away. Overcast with a stiff breeze that made it feel much colder than it actually was.

Tinsley Marina: 08:30 start down the flight. There was plenty of water available and it was topping the gates.

Tinsley Flight. 10:30 last lock completed.

Jordans Weir: The approach to Jordan's weir was bad due to large mud banks forming. The CaRT signage says keep left and away from the weir which means that boats are being directed into shallow water. Two boats ended up stranded in the mud but were able to remove themselves. You have to go close to the weir to pass the obstruction. Some serious dredging is needed before a boat is pinned on the weir.

Jordans Lock: The approach to Jordan's lock is also quite shallow in places indicating that the mud is being moved along the channel towards the lock.

Holmes Lock: A couple of bricklayers were busy rebuilding some brickwork around the lock edges. The new lock gates needed some urgent attention with a paint brush. The new lock gates were so heavy that two strong adults were needed to open the gates.

Kilnhurst Flood Lock: Well known for persistent problems and once again it lived up to its reputation. We needed to put in a call for CaRT to send along a member of staff to operate the gates from the control tower.

Pastures: We all went out for a meal, and needed a table large enough to seat fifteen crew members from the various

Day Totals
Miles: 10.5
Locks: 19
Swing/Lift Bridges:0
Engine Hours: 10.7

Running Totals
Miles: 1326.6
Locks: 911
Swing / Lift Bridges: 167
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 14
Engine Hours: 2510.3

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Threats, Choices, Apps.

Social-engineering threats are rapidly growing, courtesy of the security vulnerabilities of sites that regularly use abbreviated URLs. Anyone who's read any Twitter or Facebook posts is familiar with cryptic URLs such asbitly, tinyurl, and snipurl. Because they're shortened to seemingly random letters, numbers, and characters, you don't get any indication of where they're actually taking you. But all too often, we click them anyway.

I don't use shortened URL's on my blog. I use links that can be seen in full prior to opening, by doing a "mouseover" on the link text. Here is a Sample Link Text that links to (http://Narrow-Boat.Com) which is a private domain name that I own. Which is in turn linked to my blog address on blogger. For any link short or long in a webpage, hover your cursor over the link and the true, full address should appear at the bottom of the browser window.

Whether you're upgrading an existing edition of Microsoft Office or adding it to a new system, installing the latest version of Office is unlike installing previous versions. If you expect to insert an installation DVD and run the setup program, as you've done in the past, you're in for a surprise: Office doesn't come on an installation DVD. Whether you buy Office or rent it through Office 365 Home Premium, all installation files come through the Internet. Better hope you have a good connection to the Web.

As Microsoft’s Office has grown bigger and bigger on a version by version basis. I did not have access to freebie versions via my old job once I retired - So I began to wonder whether there’s a freebie alternative. There are only two alternatives that I have found so far. The first is Open Office which I have been using for some time now and I find it to be quite acceptable alternative. The other one is LibreOffice which I have not tried so far. However, both bits of software provide much of the functionality of Microsoft Office and are completely free!

LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite, developed by The Document Foundation. It is descended from, from which it developed in 2010. The LibreOffice suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, graphics editor, slideshow creator, database and math formula writer. It is designed to be compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office.

Apache OpenOffice (AOO) is an open-source office productivity software suite. It descends from (OOo), which was an open-sourced version of the earlier StarOffice. OpenOffice contains a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation application, a drawing application, a formula editor, and a database management application. OpenOffice's default file format is the Open Document Format (ODF), an ISO/IEC standard. It can also read a wide variety of other file formats, with particular attention to those from Microsoft Office.

I am still messing around with Android apps. I have discovered one that actually improved my Wifi experience was FarProc's Wi-Fi Analyser. As its name suggests the analyser shows you all available access points in your area. A useful occasional function when you are out on your boat. The app also includes a Time Graph (signal strength over time), a simple list of all Available Access Points, and a Wi-Fi Signal Strength Meter. I have also discovered a number of open access to the public systems when moored near town centres and out of town shopping centres. Many of which are still available late at night long after after the outlets have closed.

Another useful app is Remote Desktop which lets you remote-control your phone and access its contents from your PC. You get direct access even to your smartphone's root file system from any Windows PC, using Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox.

It was only a matter of time before a Android emulator became available for your windows PC.  BlueStacks is a free Android emulator/virtual machine that is still undergoing development the emulator lets you run your Android apps directly on your Windows PC. When it's completed you will be able to use BlueStacks to run Android apps on your PC.  BlueStacks has two components. Cloud Connect that runs on your Android phone and the BlueStacks virtual machine that runs on your Windows PC.


Tuesday 26 March 2013


I don't have much time for the Daily Mail - I have even less for Richard Littlejohn. Newspapers of all persuasions don't have a good standing with the British public. You might have thought that after the Leveson enquiry, any newspaper wanting to rebuild trust, would have kept its head down.

Nathan Upton was a teacher at St Mary Magdalen's School in Accrington. Before the Christmas break the parents of that children at the school were informed in a newsletter that after the break Nathan Upton would be coming back to work after the holiday however this time as Lucy Meadows.

The newsletter said: "Mr Upton has made a significant change in his life and will be transitioning to live as a woman after the Christmas break. She will return to work as Miss Meadows." It said the school was fully supporting him throughout his 'transition' and added: "We are proud of our commitment to equality and diversity among our staff and children."

It started out as confusion from parents, who simply didn't know what do think of it all. Most seemed to be simply concerned about the adjustment children would have to face rather than actively malicious. However, the more bigoted members of the community approached the Daily Mail, where Lucy Meadows was attacked by Richard Littlejohn who decided to single her out in the national paper.

No one deserves to have their lives turned upside down because of their gender identity being thrown into the national spotlight. The reason the parents who had a problem went to the Daily Mail is that there was no way to get her fired under equal opportunity law. So they tried to give the school bad press by saying how terrible it is that she is allowed to live her life freely. While little is known about the amount of abuse she ended up getting, the result is the same no matter what.
Richard Littlejohn wrote "He's not only in the wrong body... he's in the wrong job".
Lucy Meadows became pretty good at avoiding the press. She slipped out of her back door before the paparazzi arrived and crept round to school long before lessons started, staying in the classroom way after home time. But it was difficult, the primary school teacher told a friend via email in January, knowing there was a price on her head. "I know the press offered parents money if they could get a picture of me," she wrote on New Year's Day, just before she contacted the Press Complaints Commission, asking for journalists and photographers to stop hanging around outside her school and home in Accrington, Lancashire.

Lucy Meadows was found dead this week. If it was suicide, it was brought on from the hounding she received orchestrated by Littlejohn at the Daily Mail. The death of Lucy Meadows was enough for the daily mail to take down Littlejohns original article without comment. Archived Here

Meadows contacted the PCC in January to complain about the way she had been treated in the press. Her death on Tuesday is not being treated as suspicious, and it is believed she killed herself.
The Press Complaints Commission - which is to be replaced as one of the outcomes of Levinson. Has a clause in the editors' code, about discrimination, states that the press "must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability".

The Press Complaints Commission, does not have a good track record on this issue. Having considered objections of an Observer column by Julie Burchill that caused outrage. Decided there was no breach of the editors' code of practice. The Observer's editor, John Mulholland, issued an apology, saying the newspaper had "got it wrong" in publishing the article. But the PCC did not find any problem with the column. Which referred to transgender people as "screaming mimis", "bed-wetters in bad wigs" and "dicks in chicks' clothing".
Jane Fae, a campaigning journalist, said the issue was not about apportioning blame for Meadows' death, but about how she was treated in life and after her death – when some tabloids "were still writing about her as a man".
In the New Year's Day email to a friend, Lucy Meadows complained that the media had published one of her wedding photos, and had lifted other pictures from her siblings' Facebook pages.
Helen Belcher, director of TransMedia Watch, an organisation that monitors representation of transgender people in the media, said that press coverage had been more virulent since Leveson released his report. "It feels to me like they're sticking two fingers up at Leveson."
Kate Green, the Labour MP for Urmston and Stretford and shadow minister for women and equalities, said: "It is totally unacceptable to humiliate people or invade someone's privacy when there is absolutely no public interest in the story. Surely the media have learned from Leveson to stop this kind of horrendous intrusion into individual's private lives."

The Daily Mail defended Littlejohn's column. A spokesman said: "It is regrettable that this tragic death should now be the subject of an orchestrated Twitterstorm, fanned by individuals with agendas to pursue."
300 members of the public gathered outside the Daily Mail headquarters yesterday evening to hold a vigil in memory of Lucy Meadows.

I hate prejudice whether it is done by creed, colour, sexual orientation, gender reconfiguration or any other reason. I hate even more those who would support and encourage prejudice in others. If you are like me, you might like to sign a petition against Littlejohn.   Click Here


Monday 25 March 2013

One to support.

Dear sir,

I would be very pleased if you would kindly publish the email below into a suitable diary event on your Web Site.

The Lapal Canal Trust wishes to host a Work Party on Saturday April 6th, to perform some Spring-time preparation of the channel in Harborne Wharf and Selly Oak Park.

This will coincide with the enquiry phase of the latest Sainsbury's Planning Application to Birmingham City Council and thereby provide strong evidence that there is a viable remainder channel and a set of enthusiasts who wish it to be a canal again !

The Trust is pleased that many residents groups in Selly Oak and elsewhere in the wider canal circles, are promising to attend.

We will meet at 0900 at the 1st Ariel 113 Scouts HQ, off Gibbins Road, B29 6PG, and perform a series of litter-picking and gardening-like tasks, until about 1500 hrs.

Refreshments will be available throughout (with a customary adjournment at the end ! ).

On arrival, please make contact with a designated Party Leader for a safety briefing and task allocation.

Please wear strong shoes or water-proof “wellies” with gardening clothes and gloves.

If you are unable to attend on that occasion, but know a friend who might like to come, please put them in touch.

On the day, the Trust Chairman; Peter Best, will be available for enquiries and co-ordination on 07831 202 535 and PMR446 Channel 5 (Sub 9).
Many thanks

Peter Best

0121 454 8391

Friday 22 March 2013

Passing out parade.

I like politicians, but looking at the size of some of them like Eric Pickles, I couldn't eat a whole one. I like them irrespective of their trading colour, red, blue or yellow. Though I must admit to having much more of a preference for the green variety. I listen to what they have to say, then when the glaze has gone from my eyes - I muse about which planet they are from. 

There is this constant theme - you ask a question of whoever is in power. Then, what is supposed to be an informative answer, always starts with how bad it was under the previous incumbents. In other words, all answers start with an excuse for not being able to put right a problem. I don't need a lecture on the performance of the previous government - I had a few years to absorb their level of performance. Tell me what you have achieved!

Now call me old and cynical - but we elected the latest party based upon a list of promises about how to make things better. I don't mind if they are unable to fix the issues or to improve the situation. But for Christ sake when things start to get worse a wise man stops digging. But we are in megalomania land. 

By way of an example, last night I watched "Question Time" on the BBC. There he was Michael Gove - the man from Nightmare on Elm Street. He was answering a question when he suddenly issued a dismissive statement "yadda yadda yadda" then went on to lecture everyone in the room about the school curriculum. The question posed was "do you ever listen to the views of other people" - obviously not!

To paraphrase Gove, he famously suggested "by the age of 6, children of low ability from affluent homes were out-performing brighter children from poor backgrounds." In reality what he actually said to the Commons Education Select Committee was "In effect, rich thick kids do better than poor clever children when they arrive at school and the situation as they go through gets worse." your child's education is in his hands!

What was that anthem of the Blair - Brown years, ah yes - "It can only get better" By the time it came to an end. The words of the anthem proved to be very prophetic. It could only get better, or so we thought. Now we have the Con-a-Lib consortium. The one time we need them to do a U-Turn because we are heading for financial disaster. Like the passing out parade of a thousand highly trained troops, Mr and Mrs Osborn's little lad is the only one in step! I know I should not judge a book by its cover - but I have the feeling that he should not be aloud to issue guidance on stacking chairs, never mind fiscal policy!


Thursday 21 March 2013

Where am I?

I read something a few days ago that made me stop and think. It was a throw away comment by a paramedic. It seems that one of the problems that they have is finding properties that do not have an easy to see door number. Imagine that an emergency call has been made. The ambulance is on site in good time - but time is wasted looking for the correct address. It could be a matter of life and death!

Now, lets suppose your out on your boat, moored up for the night and someone is taken ill. You need to make an emergency call. Could you describe your exact location. Could you describe the best route to get to your boat?

Canal bridge numbers or lock names will be of little or no use at all, to the emergency services. They are looking for a house number, post code, road or street name. Just the stuff that's not readily available for mooring locations along the canal. 

About 15 years ago we lived on a busy cross road junction. From time to time we would hear the bang of an accident outside. A quick look through the door would confirm the diagnosis of yet another road traffic accident. We had a little sticker on the phone containing the "A" road numbers to aid the emergency services. Later, the road junction was staggered which helped to reduce the number of bumps. Later still the junction was converted into two mini-roundabouts. I think the accidents have now stopped.

Today, there are electronic devices that can pinpoint your exact location to within a few metres. It might be a cheap and cheerful satellite navigation system as used in your car. 

Alternatively it might be a map application on your android phone. The thing is, it would be easy to establish your location - yet at the same time it might be difficult in the heat of the moment if someone is suddenly taken ill.  You might well be using your android phone to make the emergency call. 

A quick check of your location when you moor up for the night night. Noting down any road names as well as any "A" and "B" road identification, might just save a life one day. It could even be yours! 


Wednesday 20 March 2013

Georgie Boy's Budget

Well the mad house that purports to be our parliament has had another fun day. The chancellor has frigged with the figures and made the usual promises he cannot keep. Just by chance, any savings made will come into being at the same time as the run up to the next election. Then again - like student loans - manifesto promises are made to be broken. But its not all that bad for the Con-a-Lib coalition, as the alternative political parties can't offer any better solution either.

Now I know and you know that the government is looking to save money on everything and anything it can. The military (who we like to send to various parts of the world to force countries what have large stocks of oil to toe the line)  Army, Navy and Air Force are being downsized to make them more efficient and by a happy coincidence, just happens to save money.  The NHS is in meltdown and being privatised by the back door. The fact that the private companies eager to get a foothold in the NHS give donations to political parties is just another happy coincidence. 

For the bod in the street - well they are not going to increase the level of duty on diesel and petrol. This is a sort of three card trick - where they make it known that there will be an increase - then do everyone a favour  by not implementing it. What was known for many years as the "Irish Pay Rise" - you know - a sort of a pay cut - that has been backdated! Then after banging on about supermarkets selling cheap booze, such as cheap beer and lager. Rather than implement a "unit of alcohol" charge - they knock a penny off the duty on a pint of beer! 

I'm going to let you into a little secret - just ask yourself where the money is going to come from to pay for the lost revenue. Well, we have the bedroom tax - a sort of poll tax on steroids - which is dipping into the pockets of the poor. However purely by happenstance - multi millionaires are getting a significant tax cut. The fact that the wealthy individuals give donations to political parties is just another happy coincidence. Then there is the lack of any significant move in the budget towards getting the hundreds of millions of pound of tax that is being avoided by many business like Amazon. It's nice to know where their priorities lie. 

The Con-a-Lib alliance has introduced a version of the smoke and mirrors trick. Which has been combined with a new version of the mushroom treatment. The house flipping - expenses fiddling over paid and under worked MP's have much to answer for. Its easy to tell when an MP is telling porkie pies or making promises they intend to break - their lips move.


Tuesday 19 March 2013

I'll keep an eye out for you!

With all the rubbish being stirred up about constant cruising - constant mooring - bridge hopping - over staying - call it what you will. I would sooner just enjoy my boating and get on with it.  However, I was minded of a story....

A boater walks into a canal side pub and the landlord says, "Hey Bill, I haven't seen you in a quite a while. Whatever happened, you look absolutely terrible!" "What do you mean?"Bill replies, "I'm feeling fine." The landlord pointing a bills leg says, "But what about that wooden leg. You didn't have that before."

"Well," says bill "there was a fight with a Constant Cruiser over a 48 hour mooring. We were in a real battle and a cast iron windlass hit my leg. But the hospital surgeon fixed me up, and I'm fine, really." "Yeah," says the landlord, "But what about that hook? Last time I saw you, you had both hands." "Well," says Bill, "I was in another battle with a Constant Moor'er and we boarded his boat. It was a real hand to hand fight and my hand was cut off with a Chainsaw. But the surgeon fixed me up with this hook, and I feel great, really."

"Oh," says the landlord, "Then what about that eye patch. Last time you were in here you had both eyes." "Well," says Bill, "One day when we were out on the canal, some birds were flying over the boat. I looked up, and one of them shat in my eye." "So?" replied the landlord, "what happened, you couldn't have lost an eye just from some bird crap!" "Well," says Bill, "I really wasn't used to the hook yet."


Monday 18 March 2013

Amazon and eBay

Everybody want's to be a comedian these days, or so it would seem. More than anything else the Internet has created a wonderful repository of information of the crazy things that people do, say or get involved in. There is no site on the internet that is any better than eBay or Amazon for giving an insight into the off the wall humour. Both are big companies that are essentially serious in nature. But every now and again on eBay someone wants to sell their spouse or alternatively someone will write a mind boggling review, on one or more Amazon product.

A typical Amazon product that has been the recipient of a colourful review is the "Guardian Angelwhich the product description claims that it is a Korean acupressure device.  You may have a different opinion as to what the device actually is...

Link to Product

Here is a typical customer review:

It's in here somewhere. With me. Woke up this morning to find that my Guardian Angel had shattered. The inside was slimy and green. Moments later, heard a skittering sound behind some furniture. Found that during the night, phone lines had been cut, and all the doors and windows are shut with some kind of Super Glue like substance. My cell phone has been smashed. I can't get out. It didn't cut the cable internet, so I've got online to warn you, don't buy the guarslkdj;al b bbbbbbbbbbbbbb,,,,,,,,,,,wke;lj

Feeling better now. Everything is fine. I will be sending a Guardian Angel to all of it's friends, family, neighbors, and associates. All humans must get one. Five stars. The most relaxing experience ever. I will never have another worry ever again after buying this product, and you will feel total fulfillment in service of a force infinitely greater than yourself. Buy it. You will never know pain after you feel the slight pinching at the back of your skull.

eBay has an auction of a wonderful velvet painting of "Admiral Ackbar" Admiral Ackbar is a fictional character in the Star Wars science fiction saga. A member of the amphibious Mon Calamari species, Ackbar was the foremost military commander of the Rebel Alliance who led major combat operations against the Galactic Empire.

This is an original, hand-painted black velvet portrait of Admiral Ackbar which was hand-painted by vims from India, the professional Indian velvet artists. It was specially commissioned for Rajasthan art palace gallery, INDIA. After huge demand from USA, its inspired us to make our own limited addition in BLACK velvet painting. Each genuine, authentic Black Velvet Painting within this series is guaranteed to have been painted entirely by hand in by awarded artist from India, This exclusively painting by the talented hands of artist... and each one of these velvet paintings was created entirely for you.


Sunday 17 March 2013


St Patrick's day, is a time of celebration for anyone who is Irish or with Irish ancestors. I count myself amongst the celebrating throng.  My grandfather was blessed with the natural wit and carried the DNA of the Blarney Stone. Here are a few of the quotes by the sons and daughters of Ireland, enjoy their wit!

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Oscar Wilde 
I can resist everything but temptation. Oscar Wilde 
As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her daughters, she is perfectly satisfied. Oscar Wilde 
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don’t interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty. Oscar Wilde  
Murder is always a mistake...One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner. Oscar Wilde 
I like Wagner’s music better than anybody’s. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without people hearing what one says. Oscar Wilde 
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Oscar Wilde 
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything. Oscar Wilde 
I never saw a man who looked

With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky

Oscar Wilde 
The good end happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means. Oscar Wilde
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train. Oscar Wilde
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.  Oscar Wilde
Man always wants to be a women’s first love. Women have a more subtle instinct:What they like is to be a man’s last romance. Oscar Wilde
The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you. Brendan Behan 
The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less. Brendan Behan 
I am a drinker with writing problems. Brendan Behan 
One drink is too many for me and a thousand not enough. Brendan Behan 
Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis. Brendan Behan 
There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary. Brendan Behan 
I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer. Brendan Behan 
I only drink on two occasions -- when I'm thirsty and when I'm not Brendan Behan 
When I came back to Dublin I was court-martialed in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence. Brendan Behan 
No strangers here, just friends you haven't met! Brendan Behan

Education is not filling William Butler Yeats 
The intellect is forced to choose: Perfection of the life, or of the work. William Butler Yeats 
The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober. William Butler Yeats 
A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honours  the men it remembers. John F. Kennedy 
I think the Irish woman was freed from slavery by bingo. They can go out now, dressed up, with their handbags and have a drink and play bingo. And they deserve it. John B. Keane 
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Oliver Goldsmith
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.  George Bernard Shaw 
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversations. George Bernard Shaw 
There is no love sincerer than the love of food. George Bernard Shaw 
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation. George Bernard Shaw 
A man who loses his money gains, at the least, experience, and sometimes, something better. George Bernard Shaw 
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor. He takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.  George Bernard Shaw 
Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.  George Bernard Shaw 
A life making mistakes is not only more honourable  but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all. George Bernard Shaw 
When I die I want to decompose in a barrel of porter and have it served in all the pubs in Ireland. J. P. Dunleavy 
I'm troubled, I'm dissatisfied. I'm Irish! Marianne Moore 
No human being believes that any other human being has a right to be in bed when he himself is up. Robert Lynd 
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity. Samuel Butler 
The Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another. Samuel Johnson 
Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead. Robert Lynd 
All I ever seemed to get was the kind of girl who had a special dispensation from Rome to wear the thickest part of her legs below the knee. Hugh Leonard 
There is an Irish way of paying compliments as though they were irresistible truths which makes what would otherwise be an impertinence delightful. Katherine Tynan Hinkson 
A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other. Sean O'Casey 
At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely. W. Somerset Maugham 
One wonders in this place, why anyone is left in Dublin, or London, or Paris where it would be better, one would think to live in a tent or hut, with this magnificent sea and sky, and to breathe this wonderful air which is like wine in one's teeth. J. M. Synge 
May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

An old Irish proverb 
May those who love us, love us.

For those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if God can't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping!
An old Irish proverb
Laughter is brightest where food is best.

An old Irish proverb
May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.
An old Irish proverb

Sásta Lá Fhéile Pádraig!!


Saturday 16 March 2013

Not what it seems

What people say can sometimes be quite bizarre. Why is it that people say "I slept like a baby" meaning that they have had a good nights sleep. However, we all know that young babies often wake up several times during the night. So the truth can often be confusing and not factually correct.

To prove the point, I shall tell you the story of a young woman who was very depressed and decided to end it all by throwing herself into the canal. Just as she was about to do so though, a young handsome sailor ran down the towpath and talked her out of it. He said "Look, you are young, beautiful and very very voluptuous  There is so much you could do with you life. In fact, my ship is leaving Goole in the morning and sailing for America. I'll smuggle you on board, it will take about a month to get there. I will make sure you have plenty of food. If you'll just help me pass the lonely evening hours, I will get you across the Atlantic to America where you can start a whole new life."

The story sounded very plausible to the young women. The idea of a new start and a new life in America made her feel much better. the sailor was a handsome cove, so she took up living secretly in a cabin on board the boat. Every evening the sailor would bring her some food and the two would spend the night together. After about a week of this the skipper discovered the woman hiding in the sailor's cabin. "What are you doing in here?" asked the skipper. "Well, I have a deal with one of your sailors. He is smuggling me over to America, and he's screwing me." "I'll say!" replied the captain. "This is the Humber Dredger."


Friday 15 March 2013

Out to lunch!

Does your boat lean at a bit of an angle. Is there some rock mixed in with your jelly roll. Now that Christmas has been and the pounds have just piled on. (I know the feeling) Not only that but the new year resolution has failed yet again? Is dieting a weigh of life for you! The first thing is never tell anyone that you're going on a diet, taking up exercise or quitting smoking. They'll encourage you to death.
Here is a weight-watchers tip for the scoffers amongst us....

The Independent recently reported that Dean Kamen (who invented the Segway, a sort of standing up scooter) had developed, along with a medical team from the USA a slimming device. It appears to work as a "reverse feeding tube" that will vacuum out up to 30 percent of any food in the stomach before it is digested and converted into calories. After installation of the stomach pump the user could then operate the device without daily medical help.

The bit that gets me is that some people drive their cars to the Gym just to climb on to a rowing machine or bike - which then goes nowhere. Why don't they buy a boat or a bike and go for a ride instead!

But for an old cynic like me there is always a surprise chuckle.  Like when the floor collapsed at Swedish Weight Watchers clinic. The Weight Watchers clinic in Växjö in Sweden collapsed beneath a group of about 20 participants in the diet programme. The participants had gathered in the group’s facilities to see how much weight they had lost. One of the participants said "We suddenly heard a huge thud; we thought it was an earthquake and everything flew up in the air. The floor collapsed in one corner of the room and along the walls. Then floor then started to give way in other parts of the room. Shortly thereafter, the smell of sewage began to waft up into the room. "When everything had calmed down, the participants moved the scales to a nearby corridor and set about seeing how many kilos they had shed. And this time the floor held. No one was injured in the incident, the cause of which is still under investigation.

Needing to shed a few pounds, Bob, and his wife Jen, went on a diet that had specific recipes for each meal of the day. They followed the instructions closely, dividing the finished recipe in half for their individual portions. Bob and Jen felt terrific and thought the diet was wonderful; they had never felt better, nor did they ever feel hungry. As time progressed, Bob and Jen realised that they were, in fact, putting on weight and not losing it. They decided that they ought to check the detail of the recipes just one more time. It was then that they found their error. There, in small print, big Bob and bonny Jen saw to their horror: 'Serves 6'.


Thursday 14 March 2013

Record breaker?

It has certainly been long life for Wadsworth who is claimed by the Metro Newspaper as being the world’s oldest cat after turning 27 – or 125 in human years. The cat, known as Waddy, didn’t have the best start after being born the runt of the litter and was even thrown out by his owners. His life began to turn around when he was adopted by 66-year-old Ann Munday in Ravensden, Bedfordshire when he was just four weeks old. ‘I’ve always had cats, but he is an absolute dream and he has been a fantastic companion since my husband died 13 years ago,’ she explained. ‘He was a tiny and very poorly little thing so it’s a miracle he has survived.’ Waddy has been treated by the same vet ever since meaning he has records to prove his age. ‘He doesn't have any back claws so he is a house cat, but can go for a run in the garden,’ Ms Munday added. ‘Now he is like a little old man and mainly sleeps and eats. He has some ailments but he still gets up on my bed and the table.’

A year ago, we lost our old cat - he was a few weeks short of his 30th birthday. We never realised that he was a record breaker. He was collected from a litter of steel works cats in Sheffield in 1982. I picked him up during the Easter break. He was the smallest cat in the litter, but unlike the others. He was fearless and pushed past my hands to get to the food. (It was at a time when the steel works were closed down for the long weekend holiday. I used to go and feed the cats when the workforce was on holiday.) As he only ever visited the vet once in his life it would have been hard to actually prove his age. I was always of the impression that a few cats lived on into their 30's so I never thought the old boy was exceptional - other than the way any owner thinks their pet is exceptional. I put down his longevity to the fact that he would not roam outside of the garden and we lived at the end of a cul-de-sac, so there was very little traffic. 

I still think about him most days....


Wednesday 13 March 2013

Holy Smoke!

Since the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the appointment of new Pope Franko has proved to be "manna from heaven" for jokers, with thousands of people grabbing the opportunity to poke gentle fun at the pontiff. Often the joke ties in other events. One of the best is "You know the economy is bad when even God is laying people off." As a nation we tend to make jokes about most items on the news - as long as it is not a tragic event. If it is a tragic event then there is a sort of period of mourning before the jokes start to show up. Sometimes I think that telling a joke about a tragedy, helps people come to terms with the event. 

It seems that texting-a-joke on your mobile is the latest way for jokes to spread. I got one a few days ago - "The day I take sex advice from an 82-year-old virgin pope, is the same day I take parenting advice from Kate and Gerry McCann." Most people would accept the current flurry of pope jokes because the outgoing one is still alive. However, at first I thought the McCann bit was in bad taste. I remarked about it to my phone-a-friend. He said - every time someone reads the joke - they remember the McCann story and it helps to remind us that the child is still missing. Maybe it is tasteless but it has a very important effect.

Then there are the visual jokes such as the one about George W Bush - a man well known for being thick. 

  1. Why do people make jokes about the church leader - come on - is the Pope a Catholic?
  2. I would make a pope joke but there is already a mass.
  3. Why doesn't the Pope use cash? Because he uses Papal.
  4. Maybe the pope quit to spend more time with his wife and kids?
  5. He could be the next Chelsea manager to provide the miracle they need to win the title.
  6. How much sex does a pope get? Nun!
  7. The Pope sacrificed himself to save the world from horse jokes.
  8. Withdrawing early is terribly Catholic of him.
  9. The Pope resigned. I believe he broke a cardinal sin.
  10. You will be going to hell for smirking!
But maybe the pope jokes are a McCann like reaction to the bad news about various senior members of the catholic church and their sexual activities with children and members of their congregation.

Let he without sin cast the first stone.


Tuesday 12 March 2013

Boris courts floating voters.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson reveals plans for UK's largest floating village!

Boris Johnson said "The capital would have a major role to play in Britain’s economic recovery as he revealed plans to build the UK’s largest floating village at the city’s Royal Docks." BoJo said "London was benefiting from a post Olympics boom. London is the locomotive of the UK. We have got to stop talking the language of austerity. That is not a policy for economic growth.” The Mayor’s plans for the Royal Victoria Dock site will see 15 acres of water developed into hotels, restaurants, bars and new homes.

When it is built it will be one and a half times the size of Green Park in central London, with transport links including a new Crossrail station, DLR, and a cable car linking it to central London and Canary Wharf. “This site is unique. It has the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital while breathing new life back into London’s waterways.” Mr Johnson said. The formal procurement process to create “the Venice of London” will begin this summer. International developers must have a London-based partner to qualify for work on the scheme. The Mayor said the Government needed to do more to boost the construction sector and infrastructure to drive UK growth.

BoJO has also published his Vision for Cycling for the capital, the centrepiece being what he has termed 'Crossrail for the bike' - a 15-mile corridor running from East to West across the city. He claims it will be "the longest substantially-segregated continuous cycle route of any city in Europe" and says "It will use a new segregated cycle track along, among other places, the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover" - turning one lane of one of the capital's most notorious roads into a two-way, segregated cycle lane.

The Mayor's Vision aims for four key outcomes;

1. A Tube network for the bike. London will have a network of direct, high-capacity, joined-up cycle routes. Many will run in parallel with key Underground, rail and bus routes, radial and orbital, signed and branded accordingly: the ‘Bakerloo Superhighway’; the ‘Circle Quietway’, and so on. A ‘bike Crossrail’ will run, substantially segregated, from west London to Barking. Local routes will link with them. There will be more Dutch-style, fully-segregated lanes and junctions; more mandatory cycle lanes, semi-segregated from general traffic; and a network of direct back-street Quietways, with segregation and junction improvements over the hard parts.

2. Safer streets for the bike. London’s streets and spaces will become places where cyclists feel they belong and are safe. Spending on the junction review will be significantly increased, and it will be completely recast to prioritise major and substantial improvements to the worst junctions, though other junctions will still be tackled. With government help, a range of radical measures will improve the safety of cyclists around large vehicles.

3. More people travelling by bike. Cycling across London will double in the next 10 years. We will ‘normalise’ cycling, making it something anyone feels comfortable doing. Hundreds of thousands more people, of all ages, races and backgrounds, and in all parts of London, will discover that the bike has changed their lives.

4. Better places for everyone. Our policies will help all Londoners, whether or not they have any intention of getting on a bicycle. Our new bike routes are a step towards the Mayor’s vision of a ‘village in the city’, creating green corridors, even linear parks, with more tree-planting, more space for pedestrians and less traffic. Cycling will promote community safety, bringing new life and vitality to underused streets. Our routes will specifically target parts of the Tube and bus network which are over capacity, promoting transfers to the bike and relieving crowding for everyone. Cycling will transform more of our city into a place dominated by people, not motor traffic.

Your scribe has been a bit quiet of late - that's because I managed to fracture a finger and badly bruise the rest. 


Sunday 10 March 2013

Going Dutch

Our European cousins in Holland have a broad minded approach to sex. There are legendary stories told of visitors to Amsterdam and the various red-light districts where sexual services are openly on display. 
One recent news story is about twin sister pensioners who have decided to retire as prostitutes after half a century in the sex trade, having slept with 355,000 men between them. Louise and Martine Fokkens, both 70, say they are finding it a ‘painful’ struggle to go on working in Amsterdam’s notorious ‘red light zone’. They claim to be the oldest prostitutes in the Dutch city and last year starred in a documentary film named Meet The Fokkens. Mother-of-four Louise admitted, though, that her arthritis means some positions are now ‘too painful’ – while mother-of-three Martine complained about a drop in custom.

Only one elderly man addicted to his weekly S and M sessions remains a regular, she said. ‘I could give him up. He’s been coming to me for so long it’s like going to church on a Sunday,’ Martine added. Brothels were legalised in the Netherlands in 2000 – but the sisters say this ‘has not improved prostitutes’ lives’. Martine said: ‘It is better for the pimps and the foreigners, but not for the Dutch girls.’ But the twins are confident their income from film rights will keep them solvent in the years of retirement ahead.

Now contrast the Dutch view to sex in the street, to the British reaction on a typical high street in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
A young woman caught performing sex act on boyfriend in high street bank foyer. CCTV footage showed Phillipa Botting kneeling in front of Gareth Healey, a court heard. Phillipa Botting, 23, was seen kneeling in front of Gareth Healey, 23, after sneaking into the foyer open for cashpoint withdrawals. But a court heard the pair were caught by the Lloyds TSB security cameras at 6.30pm - and were also spotted by passers-by.

Botting held her head in her hands in court as the X-rated footage from the bank foyer was shown to magistrates. Prosecutor Ellie Weale said: "A housewife and her 10-year-old niece were at a high street taxi rank when a group of rowdy and loud men and women went past. The woman said "The couple came close to them and began rubbing against each other in a very sexual manner. Another member of the group came over and said: "Stop this now, there are kids here and you are making me horny. They then went into the bank foyer."

Miss Weale said the young girl was very upset by what she saw and needed to be calmed down. Police were called to the bank at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, after reports of a couple engaging in sexual activity. Police watched the CCTV footage of the indecent act and recognised the couple.

Mark Layton, defending Botting, said: "It was an impulsive act - a moment of madness. It was not done to offend anybody and not an offence which she gained any sexual gratification by the public nature of the offence. She wasn't aware there was a child present who could see what was happening. A child of such tender years should never have to witness to this kind of act." Both defence solicitors said alcohol "played a large part" in the incident.

The court heard the couple are no longer together. Botting and Healey, both of Haverfordwest, admitted outraging public decency by committing a sexual act in a public place. Healey was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 24 months, and was ordered to complete 15 alcohol awareness sessions and complete 180 hours unpaid work. He must pay £150 court costs and and £80 victim surcharge. Botting was also given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and must attend 15 alcohol awareness sessions and complete 220 hours of unpaid work. She must pay £2,000 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

However, the Entrepreneurial Spirit is not dead! 

One of Britain's most famous "madams" announced in January that she was coming out of retirement to set up a brothel exclusively catering to disabled people and the terminally ill. An ordinary brothel would be illegal in the town of Milton Keynes, but Becky Adams insists that the government could not shut hers down without illegally discriminating against the disabled. [Milton Keynes Citizen, 1-11-2013]


Friday 8 March 2013

European Green's - Black Forest Division

My fellow boating bloggers, as you know I'm a bit of a conservation nut. However, I do try for my own pleasure and wherever possible to recycle and keep to the green ethos. When out boating we do our bit - but its hard to have ultra green credentials when you burn a few hundred litres of red diesel over the cruising year.

I had never realised that as a blogger I was creating a carbon footprint on the Internet. But, in keeping with my all things green ethos, I do assure my readers that no electrons were harmed in the production of this web blog!
It seems that the European Green Party (German Wehrmacht Black Forest Division) has come up with a wheeze. As bloggers we are being asked by them to "Just write a short blog post about their programme “My blog is carbon neutral” and point a link to their blog and then they will plant a tree to mitigate the carbon. Thereby neutralising the carbon dioxide emissions of your blog. It states that the trees will be planted by the Arbor Day Foundation. After the reforestation of the Plumas National Forest the tree planting will be continued in another National Forest. 
As the website says - My blog is carbon neutral - is an initiative, originally started in Germany by the “Make it Green” programme, that has the goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We plant a tree for your blog and thereby neutralise your blog’s carbon footprint for the next 50 years! Everyone can make a small contribution to the environment. Every tree counts! 

Basically, its a scam to get you to put a link on your weblog to publicise and or recommend their website. The tree planting process by the Abour Day Foundation will go on whether you put a link to the website in Germany or not.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a large tree-planting organization in the USA The foundation began in 1972 with a mission "to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees". The Foundation is supported by donations, selling trees, merchandise and by corporate sponsors. The Arbor Day Foundation is a  non-profit conservation and education organization.