Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fig-ure this: Dept of tax avoidance: You are what you eat: The knobs on the bus: Time to slow down: and the Dunollie Castle de-daws.

Sort of non atmospheric conditions at the Castle this morn-warmish, calm and dry with an iota of opaque wet stuff in the air, orf to Tesco on the stale bread, gruel and his Maj’s food run and I spent a couple of hours at my lovely young ladies (who trims my locks) house sorting out her computers yestermorn, nice to feel useful again...

In the atrium of the £235 million portcullis house stand twelve weeping fig trees, they were rented from Plant Care UK for £32,500 a year, including maintenance and have so far cost us £400,000 in total.

Are they taking the piss or what....?

Allegedly more than 25 senior Department of Health officials, some earning more than £250,000 a year, have had their salaries paid to limited companies, enabling them to reduce their tax bill, it has emerged.
Despite many of them being employed by the department for a number of years and in “very senior positions”, officials denied they were “civil servants".
The “problem” emerged when Ed Lester, the chief executive of the Student Loans Company, was able to avoid tens of thousands of pounds in income tax by having £182,000 a year paid to his private company.
According to leaked internal documents, the health staff earned almost £4.2 million in one year for their work with the department.
One contractor is said to have earned £273,375, while a further 19 officials were paid more than £100,000.
The majority of the “limited companies” are registered as business and management consultancies.
One Whitehall source said: “We cannot defend these arrangements, but it may be it is very common in Whitehall and this is just the tip of an iceberg.”
A “full audit” is now being conducted by the Treasury into the arrangements.

Don’t hold your breath...”all in this together”.

One Las Vegas man has painfully discovered that what you eat can have a big impact on your health.
The man was dining on a "triple bypass burger" in the The Heart Attack Grill in downtown Las Vegas when he suffered an apparent heart attack.
According to ‘Nurse’ Bridgett who was working at the restaurant when the man in his 40s began experiencing chest pains "He was having the sweats and shaking,"
The restaurant is known for not holding back on the food it serves. Signs around the business glorify bad eating habits and the menu includes items like Flatliner Fries, and Butterfat Milkshakes.
The "quadruple bypass burger" can easily exceed 8,000 calories. what big burgers that young lady has...

A Route 815 public bus near the Beijing Guomao area was jam-packed. With the bus doors blocked by passengers, some passengers struggled to climb into the bus through the windows.
A traffic officer on the side tried to keep order without effect, and could only help stuff the passengers one by one into the bus. 15 minutes later, this severely overloaded Route 815 public bus finally set off.

Reminds me of my commuting to London days…

Greg Smith noticed an unusual school zone speed sign in White Lake about three weeks ago.

“You practically have to come to a stop to read it,” said Smith, who lives nearby.

The sign lists six different times when drivers need to slow from 45 mph to 25 mph on about a mile of Bogie Lake Road near three schools.

“I’m thinking of printing out the speeds and attaching it to my dashboard.”

The sign — installed Jan. 12 — tells drivers that on school days, they need to slow down to 25 between 6:49-7:15, 7:52-8:22 and 8:37-9:07 during the mornings and 2:03-2:33, 3:04-3:34 and 3:59-4:29 during afternoons.

Bogie Lake Road: no it’s snot a joke....

And finally:

One of Scotland’s most romantic and historic ruins is to undergo a £1 million restoration programme – without disturbing the residents.
Dunollie Castle, which sits on a rocky crag above Oban Bay, is the iconic spot where the kings of Dalriada ruled the Western Isles in the seventh and eighth centuries and which later became a Clan MacDougall stronghold.
It is now home to an unusual colony of European cave spiders, which have made their nest in an opening in the eight-foot thick medieval castle walls.
The MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust says its £1.1 million project to save Dunollie from the elements and the ravages of recent vandalism will make sure that the spider colony is protected.
Project director Catherine Gillies said: “We are going to have an ecologist with us and we need to decide what we do about our cave spiders. They are one of the largest spiders in the UK and are living inside a window opening, in the seven to eight feet thick castle walls. We hope we can leave them in peace.”
European cave spiders are shiny satin black to reddish brown in colour with adults reaching roughly a five centimetre leg span and 15 millimetre body length. They usually live in caves and tunnels away from the light.

Not in this Castle they won’t...

And today’s thought:


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