New Year’s Resolutions for 2009

It’s that time again to plan, more in hope than anything, for things that I’ll do (or not do) in the New Year and beyond. I did this last year, and managed to get a 60% success rate. Not too bad, but could do better.

So here are ten New Year’s resolutions for 2009 that I aim to stick to:

1. Buy a house
I hate renting, I consider it money wasted, and in the current housing market there are some bargains to be had. However, with many lenders stopping 90% mortgages to get anything in Manchester would mean at least a £22,000 deposit (which I don’t have) so somehow, some way, I intend to buy a house this year.

I may even opt to buy more than one so that I can let one out. I’m already letting one house and would like to build up a property portfolio (how poncy does that sound?).

2. Clear my bank loan
I was going to put this on last year’s resolutions, but as I had other, bigger, problems I left it off. This time it’s on, and I aim to do it in the first few months. It might not seem much of a resolution, but I’ve had the same loan (in some form or another) since I graduated from University. It was a graduate loan, then became a personal loan, then a refinanced loan… etc etc. So I’ve had it for about 12 years, and it’s about time it went.

3. Don’t buy a new car (unless it’s a DB9)
Every now and then my head gets turned by a new car, such as a BMW Z4, but I must resist. I’ve fought hard enough to keep my Z3, so I don’t intend to sell it and get a new one, until that is I can afford a DB9. It’s not as crazy as it seems, you can get them for less than £60k now… still out of my reach, but it’s something to aim for.

4. Be more outspoken on
I’ve been running now for nearly three years, and have managed to anger a great many people, from government agencies to business owners, but I’ve only had one solicitor’s letter. That’s very poor; clearly I’m not being outspoken and offensive enough. I aim to anger many more people and expose much more incompetence. Hopefully I’ll get more legal letters and aggressive phone calls that I can turn into more blog posts.

Yes people, I record ALL of my phone calls, so phone me up at your own risk!

5. Invest more
I recently invested in some shares for a high street bank, and made a profit (which was immediately invested back into more shares I hasten to add, before the CSA ask about that). Therefore I’d quite like to do some more of this. I’ve been interested in shares since I worked at GAME and we were offered a share scheme, but sadly I didn’t have any money to buy any. Shame, because they were about 50p per share, and now they’re about £3.

6. Don’t have any fault (or non fault) accidents
Crashing cars seems to be my thing, and I’ve had three fault accidents in the last few years. Well, one was my fault (definitely), one was due to some wet conditions and one was a sodding taxi driver stopping on the roundabout in front of me so that I crashed into him.

Then when someone reverses into me, the twat lies about it afterwards to his insurance company, despite my having a witness, there being security cameras filming the scum bag, and getting his details.

No more car crashes.

7. Go to the premiere of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
In 2007 I attended the London premiere of Transformers with some mates, mingling with the likes of Megan Fox and Michael Bay. The film was so-so but the premier was cool. The new film is out in the summer 2009 and I intend to be there again, this time with more of a presence. It was annoying that we only had 4 tickets to the first one when TheTransformers.Net is the biggest Transformers website in the UK, and other, lesser, websites received dozens of tickets, one for every person who had ever visited their website I would imagine.

8. Get my back sorted
As I have scoliosis, and was operated in 1990 (right in the middle of the World Cup) my back has always been a bit of a problem. Recently it’s got worse to the extent that my left leg goes dead after walking for a few minutes. This started happening after that twat reversed into me in the car park in Cheshire Oaks, and lied about it to his insurance company. I’ll sort him in due time, but I need to get my back sorted because it makes pub crawls very difficult when there’s more than a few hundred yards between pubs!

9. Get in shaped (at least try)
I’ve used to be very fit (around 2000 I think) but since then have let it go, barring the odd few months where I’ve tried to pick it up. I don’t need to go to the extent that I once did (170kg on the chest press, no one believes me) but I do need to do something. Maybe take up bike riding, or a light workout at the gym. I must do something in 2009 to stay healthier and fitter.

10. Cook more
Bit of an odd one here, but I’ve never been much of a cook and have managed to live off takeaways and Lloyd Grossman sauces for some time. However, the few times I have cooked (either on my own or with help) the meal has turned out blindingly good. There’s a lot to be said for doing it, it tastes much better and is healthier. It’s not cheaper though, despite what Jamie Oliver may say, but I intend to cook properly at least once a month. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but three times in a year is my record so far.

That’s it, my New Year’s resolutions in full. Time will tell if I stick to them, but I fully intend to succeed with all ten.

So happy New Year everyone, and let’s look forward to pissing people off en masse in 2009!

Google profile

Being the blatant self publicist that I am, I was very interested to learn of Google’s new profile maker when you have a Google account. You can enter profile information for yourself, places you’ve lived at, companies you’ve worked for and such like.

Why is this important? Well, you can create links to your own websites, websites that you like or even pages such as your Facebook or LinkedIn pages. These links are hosted on the Google domain, which could well have some bearing on your SEO. Also, by creating your own profile page you’re helping with your own personal reputation management, as the pages are indexible, and will rank for your own name in the SERPs.

Whether you’re an outrageous self publicist, or just someone interested in SEO, it’s worth checking out the Google profile maker.

Victoria Pendleton is from Wythenshawe

While watching the BBC Sports Personality of the Year I noticed that one of the Olympic cyclists who wasn’t nominated for the top award was a woman called Victoria Pendleton. I recognised the name, so did a quick Google search, where I found this photo. Ah yes, she was on Jonathan Ross just after the Olympics, where he also showed this photo. Wonder why?

Rossy also did a mock up of the Photo with himself on the bike, a horrid image.

Anyhow, when I Googled her I found an interview she gave to the Telegraph where she criticised motorists in her area who shout abuse at her while she’s out training on her bike. The animals eh?

It is hard to deal with. I am trying to do my training – it is my job. In Manchester when it’s fairly busy I can guarantee there will be one occasion per hour where somebody takes a stupid risk and basically puts me in danger. You are not trying to hold them up. I don’t go out with my bike at rush hour just to **** people off, I wait until it is over. People are very proud, but I wish they were a little more considerate for our cyclists.

It can get you down, it can get quite depressing when people are shouting abuse at you.

Of course, this is all well and good, except that she’s from Wythenshawe, Manchester. When she says that motorists shout abuse at her and almost knock her off her bike, she’s talking about me!

Ahem… sorry 🙂

Last year’s New Year’s Resolutions

This time last year, for the first time ever for me, I actually made some New Year’s resolutions. The question is, did I stick to them? Let’s have a look and see how I did.

Stay in credit and even save up some money
A big yes. Despite having to pay out the odd £500 excess to Direct Line and some repairs on my car (the last one being £2,350) I’ve still managed to stay in credit.

Get a written apology from Royal & SunAlliance
Not so much success with this one. They did fix my car, and it has all been sorted, but I never had any kind of apology from them. Not sure it’s worth pursuing now as I have bigger and more important battles to fight.

Receive compensation to the tune of a few thousand pounds from Direct Line Insurance
No to this one as well I’m afraid. In truth I haven’t had time to chase it as much as I’d have liked, but rest assured they will be paying at some point, in some way!

Get a written apology from the CSA
Mixed success with this one. Yes I have had apologies from them, most people have, but they’re still taking money from me that I don’t owe. The problem is that you can’t actually appeal to anyone because it’s all handled internally. I’ll keep plugging away, and through CSA Hell I’ll keep promoting their mistakes.

Take WhatDVD to the next level
This I have finally done. It took the best part of a year, but it’s all live and ploughing away. It has support from PR companies and is doing very well for itself.

Those ideas for websites I’ve got… make them!
50/50 on this one. I have made several new sites this year that are getting traffic and earning income, but I’ve not done all of the ones on the list. This one might be ongoing into next year.

Don’t get married
Success! I managed to avoid getting married all year, yay me!

Crush my enemies
Another one that’s ongoing. I have crushed some enemies, have received apologies and compensation from people (such as Cwmbran Leisure Centre and Direct Line) but am still in the process of crushing others. It’s fun, but all winnable.

Make a living from Affiliates
To be honest this one has taken something of a back burner, as other interests have taken over.

Absolutely yes. I used to be completely reliant on Adsense, but now I barely check the Adsense stats because it’s not so important. Other revenue streams have become much more important and lucrative.

So, as far as my resolutions for 2008 went, I’d chalk that off as a partial success. I’d say about 6/10, which isn’t bad. I’ll make some for 2009 and aim to hit all ten this time.

Seven things I would ban if I became Prime Minister

If I became Prime Minister (or if I at least had some hold over the current PM) here are seven things I’d ban in the UK.

  1. Bus lanes
    We don’t need bus lanes; they cause congestion and result in buses pulling out on you without warning. Why do the poor need to get to where they’re going before me? Come to think of it, we don’t need buses.
  2. Disabled drivers
    By their very description, they are disabled. Not able to do something; as in, drive! Disabled drivers are a menace to other road users. They have slower reflexes and can’t park. They should all be banned.
  3. Cyclists
    I don’t care how many Olympic gold medals we won, it’s not worth having to put up with cyclists on the roads of Britain. They get in the way, slow down the traffic and for what? So some git can win BBC Sports Personality of the Year? Bloody useless.
  4. CSA
    These money grabbing Nazis have never been needed in the UK. They steal money from parents, and keep most of it for themselves. They even steal money from parents when the parents have an agreement to pay between themselves. The CSA don’t care. They’re answerable to no one and have the power to dip their sticky, thieving, fingers directly into your pay before you get it.
  5. People who drink soft drinks in pubs
    These people are scum. They take up valuable space at the bar; space needed for us real drinkers, just to order their mineral water or their lemonade. It shouldn’t be allowed, it’s not big and it’s not clever. The only reason you should be allowed to drink soft drinks in a pub is if you’re so utterly wasted that you can’t physically get any more alcohol in your body without dying.
  6. France
    Enough said, what’s the point of it?
  7. Estate Agents
    They’re lazy, money grabbing bastards who do sod all for a percentage of your sale. Luckily, I shouldn’t have to ban them as the economy is seeing to it for me. They’re all going out of business and are desperate for a lead. Good.

BBC Watchdog doing a follow up story on Providence Properties

You may remember the posts I made a few weeks ago about the letting agents in Leeds who appeared on BBC Watchdog. The posts generated a lot of comments from angry people who claimed to have had their deposits kept by Providence Properties. They were very angry indeed.

As a result of the posts I also received an email from Providence Properties’ solicitor, who threatened to take me to court if I didn’t remove the posts.

Then I received a phone call from Basharat Zaman asking why I was trying to destroy his company?!?


Well, followers of the excitement take note that this Monday, 22nd of December on BBC One at 19:30 the chaps at Watchdog are doing a follow up on Providence Properties, where they say they’ve managed to get a face-to-face interview with Tariq Zaman. Watchdog have asked me to spread the word on this so as many people as possible watch the show.

Remember, BBC One, Monday 22nd December at 19:30.

David Brailsford wins best coach at BBC sports personality of the year

What the crap was that about? How the chuff did David Brailsford win the award for best coach? He was the coach of the British cycling team at the Olympics, who admittedly did quite well in Beijing, but seriously… a coach? For cyclists?

What advice and leadership could he have possibly given? Go out there, ride your bike and pedal faster that the other guy. It’s a nonsense. He was up against Fergie for Man UTD’s Premiership and Champions League win, Gatland for Wales’ Grand Slam, and Redknapp for Portsmouth’s FA Cup win. Surely any of those deserved it more?

Coaching a rugby nation or a football side takes real knowledge and tactics, it deserves the acknowledgment. Coaching some cyclists to pedal quicker is a farce. Yes they did well, but be serious with these awards or don’t bother doing them. Bloody joke.

Manchester congestion charge thrown out

Manchester has voted, and the proposed congestion charge that would have seen people who work in Manchester paying an additional £1,500 each, per year, to fund some more busses and a few trams so the people who don’t work can get around a little quicker has been thrown out. Manchester has voted no.

What an utter waste of time and money the whole affair was in the first place. Why would anyone, in their right mind, vote yes to the congestion charge? It would mean more buses on the road, and motorists down £1,500 every year!

We can all agree that public transport is shite, however charging motorists more money in a pathetic attempt to fix it isn’t the answer. Only this week I tried to get a train from Manchester Piccadilly to Heald Green, or even the Airport, that would have done, but there wasn’t a train to be seen. The boards said that a bus was due in over an hour, which was of course utterly useless. It would have been 2:00am before getting home. We got a taxi, obviously.

Give up on public transport, it doesn’t work. It never has. The Germans can do it, the Japanese can do it, shit, even the French can do it. We Brits however haven’t got a clue.