Monday, August 28, 2017

This Post is Dark and Full of Spoilers

Thrones! Now Game of Thrones now.
Game of Thrones now. Game of Thrones now.
Gonna watch it. Gonna watch it.
Gonna watch it. Gonna watch it.

There are Lannisters and Greyjoys.
In a pie you'll find the Frey boys.
Little Arya can be Faceless;
Ramsay Bolton's always graceless.

Littlefinger can't be trusted:
He's a slime-ball - that's enough said.
Little Tyrion killed his papa
With a crossbow on the crapper.

Cersei's scheming didn't aim
To have her take the Walk of Shame,
And her revenge on the High Sparrow?
Much more special than an arrow.

Jaime needed some first aid.
Now he's less handy with a blade.
And Ser Bronn just wants a castle;
Quite a lot for hired muscle.

Cross the Narrow Sea to Essos.
Watch the rise of Queen Daenerys.
'cos it surely isn't easy -
Rise from chattel to Khaleesi.

The Dothraki and Unsullied
And her dragons. Are you worried?
Missandrei/Grey Worm are besties:
Such a shame he has no testes.

In the North, at Castle Black
The Night's Watch waits for the attack.
There are doers; there are talkers;
There are zombies and White Walkers.

If they ever breach the Wall
It will be curtains for us all,
Though White Walkers hate to feel
A blade made of Valerian steel.

Plus the dragon-glass, of course,
To knock the Night King off his horse.
When the battle is upon us
Lots of people will be goners.

In the meantime, Samwell Tarly:
He learns who Jon Snow is really.
Will there ever be some marryin'
Of someone from House Targaryen?


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Watch those Air Miles

Of the numerous loyalty schemes out there, the Goat has stuck with Air Miles for many years. To clarify: these are not the frequent flyer miles dispensed by airlines, but something from "The region's most exciting loyalty programme."

Collect the miles by buying stuff or by using the credit card supplied by Red Triangles Bank; the bank that is both local and global. Actually, buying stuff with a VISA card from a shop that does Air Miles doubles up the number collected, so is even better.

Enough with the free advert.

The Goat bought his first diving watch when he started scuba diving in 1996. very quickly he upgraded it to a similar model but in titanium. A Casio DEP-610, since you ask. And very good it was too. And then, in about 2003, Beloved Wife gave him a new watch. This Casio SPF-100S has proved to be excellent and the Goat's been wearing is almost continuously ever since. And, incidentally, the guy to whom he gave his DEP-610 reports that this one is still running, although it does admittedly now look rather tired.

But because nothing lasts forever, he's been looking for a replacement so that he can still tell the time when the SPF-100S ultimately dies. Or the irreplaceable O-ring gets damaged during a battery replacement and the watch fills with salt water. Or it gets dropped, lost, or stolen. The story of the Goat's life is that when he finds something that's perfect, it gets discontinued and, sure enough, the only SPF-100S that he can find is on FleaBay priced as 'rare' and 'collector's item'. But new in box, allegedly. And in Brazil.

At around $1300, which is almost AED4800, the Goat can find something newer and cheaper that will do the job.

There's a Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand, priced at around AED 4000, or maybe a bit less, in Dubai. The Goat spotted one in Budapest for around AED 2850, and Amazon sells them for about AED 2750 plus shipping  and the inevitable 5% import duty. Solar rechargeable means that the back should never have to come off, and its analogue, so arguably looks more 'professional' than a digital LCD. However, the thing is massive, would do well in hand-to-hand combat, and would probably allow the Goat to dive without a weight belt. Anyway, it went on to the Goat's wish list for when the Casio finally slides down the curtain and joins the Choir Invisibule.

And then at last, after years of the Goat being told by various Casio retailers that "The SPF-100S is long obsolete, and no; Casio does not make a diving watch" the new Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF-D1000 popped on to the local shelves. It is, for practical purposes, an updated replacement for the SPF-100S, having the same date and time functions, the same diving functions and memory, and a whole load of other bits and pieces that the Goat would never use.

But the Frogman (which is a smaller watch than the Citizen but what isn't?) is solar rechargeable so the back should never have to come off. And the compass might be useful under water or in the desert. It's also got the atomic clock radio receiver, so should stay spot on. Except that last bit only works in Japan, North America, and Europe. A bit expensive at around AED 4000 to AED 4300 dependent on the colour of the case: inter alia vile turquoise, nausea-inducing yellow, dark blue, black and silver, black and blue. So another for the list of Definite Maybe on the Goat's wish list.

Then Air Miles dropped the Goat an email that essentially advised, "Dear Mr Goat, You have an absolute shitload of Air Miles accrued over the last several years, and they're going to expire really soon. Use them or lose them."

It turns out that Arabian Centre, one of the shopping malls near the Crumbling Villa, will redeem Air Miles for vouchers that are worth actual cash money to spend in any shop in Arabian Centre. And there's also a Casio G-Shock shop. And they had the range of Frogman watches in sensible colours. And the sales staff clearly knew the casio brand: "That's an SPF-100S you're wearing, sir. They're really good and a shame Casio discontinued them several years ago."

As if the Air Miles vouchers weren't persuasion enough, the salesman pointed out that there was 30% discount until 12th August. Sold. Less than AED600 out of the door.

Happy tenth wedding anniversary from Beloved Wife.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Called it

You called it four years ago, you tangerine gobshite.


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