Monthly Archives: August 2023

  • 2020’s Stollen US presidential election takes the cake

    On Thursday the perpetual victim otherwise known as the disgraced 45th President of the United States of America, one Donald John Trump, surrendered to the authorities at Fulton County Jail, Georgia on more than a dozen charges stemming from his efforts to reverse the 2020 election results in that state, brining to four the number of times he has faced criminal charges in 2023.

    During his 20 minutes in custody, the Fulton County Sherriff’s Department took the congenital liar’s fingerprints and photograph (aka a mugshot), the latter of which was released and in which the disgraced former commander in cheat shows off his compassionate and humane side to best advantage.

    Mugshot of Donald Trump taken by Fulton County Sherriff's department
    The Donald looking like his mother’s told the toddler him that he cannot have a cookie.

    After leaving custody and returning to his perpetual hobby of cheating on the golf course, Trump found time to voice his continual grievances on his own Truth Social [sic] social media platform, griping yet again that the 2020 US presidential election being “RIGGED” (note block capitals. Ed.) and, er, “STOLLEN” (one more note block capitals. Ed.).

    Post reads For the first time in three years, brave American Patriots will be able, in Court, to show how the Presidential Election of 2020 was RIGGED & STOLLEN. For those RINOS, Radical Left Democrats, Communists, Marxists, Fascists , & others who say, “Don’t Look Back, Look Forward,” they either do not want to reveal the answers because they “got away with murder,” or are FOOLS & COWARDS because we now know the answers to all of the Fraud, Irregularities, & Cheating, & WE CANNOT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

    Stollen, Mr disgraced former president? According to Wikipedia, “Stollen is a cake-like fruit bread made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Orangeat (candied orange peel) and candied citrus peel (Zitronat), raisins and almonds, and various spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla, other dried fruits and nuts and marzipan, may also be added to the dough. Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar. The finished bread is sprinkled with icing sugar.”.

    Image of Stollen from Wikimedia Commons
    Stollen. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    It has yet to be determined by the courts whether a German Christmas speciality is less of a threat to the constitutional integrity of the United States of America than its 45th head of state and his credulous supporters.

    If it did come to a vote and your ‘umble scribe was enfranchised, he would always vote for a German Christmas than someone who can’t even be honest when he plays golf.

  • A sad day in BS5

    Friday 25th August 2023 marked the end of an era and a sad day for Easton in Bristol. After 14 years of serving the public St Mark’s Community Café based at St Mark’s Baptist Church opened for the very last time after 14 years.

    Of the local media outlets, only the BBC appears to have covered this event, but gave it a very sympathetic write-up.

    Your ‘umble scribe has been going there 2 or 3 times a week for the past few years to enjoy baked potatoes, good cooking and the undisputed best cakes in all BS5, the latter baked by the remarkable Lesley, whose baking skills put my own late mother’s to shame (and that’s saying a lot, coming from a loyal eldest son!). My own particular favourites amongst her regular baked wares were farmhouse fruit, barra brith and anything with gooseberries or ginger. Furthermore, all the food served and the ingredients used to prepare it were ethically and locally sourced wherever possible.

    However, this was a café with a difference: paying customers like your correspondent meant that the homeless could eat there for free. Below is a short video with interviews of both customers and café staff/volunteers to give an idea of what has now entered the annals of local history.

    Although I’ll miss you all terribly, here’s wishing Lesley a happy retirement and I’d like to express my thanks to you, Nettie and all the café volunteers for keeping me fed over the years and being such wonderful people.

  • Daily Brexit – crime against syntax

    As a title in the Reach plc newspaper stable, the Daily Brexit (which some still call the Express. Ed.) has long inhabited an alternative reality, a world where the economic disaster otherwise known as Brexit is a roaring success (e.g. ‘Global Britain is thriving’).

    In recent times the title has gained a reputation more of right-wing posturing than for the factual reporting of news and current affairs

    A new charge must now be added to the title’s many crimes against reality and journalism – a crime against English, as seen in the headline below posted today on the paper’s website in its continuing campaign of hate against Harry Mountbatten-Windsor and his wife.

    Headline - Harry's six word response as to why him and Meghan won't give up titles

    Wouldn’t it be a boon to journalism if those who write for the fourth estate – even on trivial, gossipy matters – had a basic level of competence in the language in which they are writing?

    Your comments would be welcome below.

    PS: for any passing illiterate Reach plc hacks in search of enlightenment, the grammatically correct version of the headline would read: “Harry’s six word response as to why he and Meghan won’t give up titles“.

  • LibreOffice 7.6 released

    LibreOffice 7.6, the new major release of the free and open source office suite is now available for download for Linux, macOS (Apple and Intel processors) and Windows (Intel/AMD and ARM processors) operating systems.

    This is the last release of the software based on the historical release numbering scheme (first digit for release cycle, second digit for major release). Starting from 2024, The Document Foundation (TDF), the organisation behind LibreOffice, will adopt calendar based-release numbering, so the next major release will be LibreOffice 2024.02 in February 2024.

    LibreOffice 7.6 banner

    LibreOffice is the only open source office suite which can be compared feature-by-feature with the alleged market leader. However, your ‘umble scribe would rate LibreOffice higher on the usability scale than MS Office. The TDF says that fter twelve years and five release cycles – cleaning and refactoring code, polishing the user interface, extending to new hardware and software platforms and optimising interoperability with OOXML to support users – it is increasingly difficult to develop entirely new features, so most of them are refinements of or improvements to existing ones. A description of all new features is available in the release notes.

    LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite market segment, with native support for the Open Document Format (ODF), superior support for MS Office files, as well as filters for a large number of legacy document formats to return ownership and control to users.

    Microsoft Office files are still based on the proprietary format deprecated by ISO in 2008, and not on the ISO-approved standard, so they hide a large amount of artificial complexity. This may cause handling problems with LibreOffice, which defaults to a true open standard format – ODF.

    For the 2 proprietary operating systems the minimum requirements for installing LibreOffice 7.6 are Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 and Apple macOS 10.15.

    For more cautious users or those who don’t need the latest features and prefer a version that has undergone more testing and bug fixing, The Document Foundation maintains the LibreOffice 7.5 family, which includes some months of back-ported fixes. The current version is LibreOffice 7.5.5 and is available for download from the same source as version 7.6. In addition, technology enthusiasts and those who would like to help test forthcoming releases can also download development versions of LibreOffice, where links to nightly builds and the source code are also provided. Your correspondent has been using LibreOffice 7.6.0.* without complaint for months before the announcement.

    Finally, LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members are encouraged to support The Document Foundation with a donation.


  • English linguistic chauvinism defeated twice in Welsh courts

    A little over a year ago, this blog covered the case of a Welsh court dismissing the case of a Welsh motorist prosecuted for not paying a parking charge because the notice and other correspondence were all in English and the refusal of the parking management company’ – One Parking Solution (whose registered office is in Worthing, West Sussex. Ed.) to provide the court with Welsh translations thereof. (posts passim).

    When a judge dismisses the case, that’s the end of it, isn’t it?


    Nevertheless, in this instance the monoglot English parking company decided to appeal the original judge’s decision, as Nation Cymru reports.

    A bilingual car park sign in Caernarfon
    A bilingual car park sign in Caernarfon. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

    The case at Aberystwyth Justice Centre did not go well for One Parking Solution, even though the company had in this instance bothered to send legal counsel to the court.

    Deputy judge Owain Williams decided the company had delayed for too long before launching its appeal and introduced it under incorrect rules.

    In addition, the judge ordered that One Parking Solution pay Mr Schiavone’s travel expenses. The defendant said that this money would be donated to Cancer Research Wales.

    Mr Schiavone was triumphant, stating:

    The travel costs of the counsel alone are more than the cost of translating the fine and the cost of conducting the case are a hundred times or more the cost of providing a Welsh fine.

    The company’s attitude has been completely contemptuous and completely against the rights of Welsh speakers.

    Siân Howys, of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Welsh Language Rights Group, stated the following after the hearing:

    “We are pleased that the judge ruled in favour of the defendant, as in a similar case in Caernarfon, where the judge Mervyn Evans-Jones ruled that the defendant did not need to pay an English-only fine.

    It is becoming increasingly evident that these companies need to change their attitudes towards the Welsh language. To put pressure on them we will today be launching a campaign encouraging people not to pay for parking in car parks with English-only signs, nor to pay the resultant fines.

    The Government should set Standards in this area and for other businesses, such as supermarkets and banks, so that there is a requirement for the private sector to provide their services in Welsh.
  • The benefits of literacy

    As seen on Roman Road, Easton in Bristol.

    Van parked on pavement in front of sign reading Show you care, park elsewhere

    Not only can this particular driver not read, it would appear he is also suffering from colour-blindness. Are those double yellow lines denoting no parking at any time that I see to the left of the vehicle?

    This driver is not only illiterate and colour-blind, but is also blissfully ignorant of the fact that parking restrictions extend over the full width of the highway from boundary to boundary, so parking on the footway (which some call the pavement. Ed.) will not absolve him or her from getting a thoroughly well-deserved parking ticket!