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Status Updates posted by Rich

  1. @bigmuff69 you have a PM.

  2. What I love about LinkedIn is how it knows me so well. Earlier it suggested that I might want to connect with Grant Shapps.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. TheGreek


      He sent me an email:


      Grant Shapps MP <[email protected]>

      To: mick

      Fri, 8 Oct at 17:25

      Dear Michael,


      I hope you and your loved ones are doing well.


      Given the events on our roads and at the petrol pumps recently, I thought you might appreciate an update on the measures we’re taking to both stop the protesters and alleviate fuel and other distribution strains post-Covid.


      First, the Insulate Britain protests. As you will have seen protesters have been walking onto motorways, gluing themselves to carriageways, and blocking traffic on vital roads. Targets have included the M25, the Port of Dover, and the A1M in Welwyn Hatfield.


      These protests are reckless and disruptive, as well as being counterproductive when it comes to pollution. The UK has the most ambitious plan to decarbonise transport of any major economy, but preventing people from travelling to work, delivering supplies and, in some cases, trying to get to hospital is simply unacceptable.


      As Transport Secretary, I directed National Highways to take out injunctions against these protesters. Now if they attempt to block traffic again, they will be in contempt of court. This can result in up to six months in prison and unlimited fines.


      Next, fuel supply and logistics more widely:


      Countries from the USA to Europe and beyond are suffering a temporary Covid-related lorry driver shortage. With our excellent vaccine programme having released us from lockdown quicker than elsewhere – the UK economy is growing faster than any G7 (major) economy.


      During the lockdowns we were unable to provide HGV licence testing which should have brought 30,000 new truck drivers onto the road. However, since the spring we have been working to get more HGV tests done. And have so far taken more than 24 measures which has hugely expanded capacity.


      Even with this Coronavirus-related shortage of 300 tanker drivers, fuel pumps continued as usual for months. However, once the story was widely reported, demand inevitably grew, resulting in the queues for petrol that we recently saw. It is worth saying that at no point was there an actual shortage of fuel at any of the 6 refineries and 47 storage centres in the UK.


      Which takes me to a wider point…


      Lorry drivers are essential to our economy. They do an incredible job day and night. Yet unfortunately their pay and conditions has been poor for years. Free movement whilst we were in the EU meant that many equally hardworking European drivers were attracted to drive here. A lower cost of living back home meant that lorry driving wages here were suppressed and job retention became a problem. To put numbers on it; 99% of UK lorry drivers are male and the average age is 55. In short, new recruits were not forthcoming because salaries were too low.


      Better remuneration means that nearly a thousand HGV provisional licences are being applied for every day. At this rate we will be able to fix the historic shortage of lorry drivers once and for all and in the short-term the country is grateful to dozens of men and women from the army for stepping in to fill up the gap.


      As ever, if you have any queries about what’s happening, or anything else that’s on your mind, feel free to reply to this email or call my constituency on 01707 262632.


      With warm wishes,



      P.S. You can view the list of 24 measures I’ve taken to resolve the long-term lorry driver shortage by clicking this link.





    3. Rich


      You were lucky to get anything. Liam Werrity Fox only ever responds to praise. I'm still waiting for a reply to 2 emails I sent him concerning Dominic Cummings in May 2020.


    4. Teebs


      P.S. You can view the list of 24 measures I’ve taken to resolve the long-term lorry driver shortage by clicking this link.



      And how many have worked?



  3. My first cold for 2 years. Bleugghh.

    1. alyctes


      As I get older, I get fewer and fewer colds, and they get worse and worse.  Get well soon!

    2. Daz39


      Now the kids are back at school we're getting the lurgies: youngest (not at school) has chickenpox, and youngest daughter who started in Reception last week is off with a bad cold.

  4. Tonight's rehearsal and Friday's gig cancelled. Singer has tested +ve. 

    1. JapanAxe


      Sorry to hear that. I'm afraid this is just going to be part of our lives for a while now.

    2. Rich


      Sadly I fear you are correct. Things will never be completely the same again for live music. A few of the places that were regular gigs of ours before The Event have disappeared permanently from our calendar.


  5. Awesome service from Strings Direct again this week. Ordered at 11am on Friday, landed on my doormat 11am Saturday.

    EDIT: originally said 11pm. D'oh.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. sykilz


      Blimey, what couriers are still delivering at 11pm Saturday, even Amazon stops at 10 pm here..??

    3. Rich


      Whoops. I did of course mean 11am.

    4. sykilz


      Ah!!! Easily done!! I think strings direct are based near Southend, not far from me, they've always been my first port of call for strings too 👍👍

  6. The DR Black Beauties on my ska Jazz (not for much longer) are the worst strings I think I've ever used. The G was dull straight out of the pack, the replacement string I eventually got was the same, and they're going dead already after just two rehearsals. And they sound crap too. The only thing in their favour is that they look good. New set of Elixirs in the post as I write.

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Bassmonkey


      I absolutely love them. Use them on all my fave basses. Really surprised to read this. I also like that they retain their tone for so long and last ages with little tarnishing. All a matter of personal choice of course and Lord of the strings is a kosher provider I guess. They defo look cool too (I know I am a tart ha ha)   

    3. Kazan


      Agree. Plus don't care for the feel of them and, unless they've changed, the coating insulates them from ground. They do look cool though.

    4. Rich


      Elixirs on there now, all is right with the world.

      *sigh of relief*

  7. That disappointing moment when a name bassist whom you befriended and greatly admired chooses to belittle you on Farcebook when you take issue with their alarmist vaxx-skeptic views.

    Closing that door with a heavy heart.

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. lou24d53


      Never mind Alex Berenson, if it is who I think it is, they are also retweeting Right Said Fred...!!!

    3. hiram.k.hackenbacker


      Just scanned through it on FB. Does this person have no life? Hundreds of comments and replies. I think you’ve done the right thing mate.

    4. Woodinblack


      Always disapointing but sadly quite common

  8. Now here's something I never imagined happening... actually considering going back to a 4 as my main gigging weapon. I love my 5s but I just fancy a change.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. ezbass


      I only have the one fiver these days. But having recently bought a decent Mustang, my long scales have been feeling unloved and have cause to feel twitchy about their long term status.

    3. DiMarco


      Go 6!


    4. GreeneKing


      I’ve  gone back to 4s for some time now, since re-emerging from just about giving up. 

      I like it. Simplicity and I’ve not needed a 5 in the band environment or when practicing.


      I used to view a 5 string as the ‘standard’. 

  9. My car has never looked better... 



    1. TheGreek


      Won't be long before your name becomes "Grandad can I have"...


      Hope the wedding goes off without a hitch.

    2. Vic Bass

      Vic Bass

      NIce Ride SIR!!

    3. Rich


      Oh man, what an amazing day!


  10. Watched a set by Sophie Ellis-Bextor at Bath's Pub in the Park yesterday. At first I thought she might be lip-syncing, but it turns out she's just very good. Her band were on fire too. They did an excellent version of Madonna's 'Like A Prayer' and the bassist (her husband I think? She called him Richard at one point, seems like a coincidence) absolutely nailed Guy Pratt's sublime octaved part on the original.

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. yorks5stringer


      Richard Jones is also the bassist with The Feeling

    3. Rich


      I think much of her band is/was made up of members of The Feeling, if not all of them.


    4. sirmuppet


      Rich also stood in as Bassist for Bryan Adams a few years back. 


  11. Oh my god oh my god oh my god...

    Billy Sheehan 'liked' my Facebook comment.

    You can take me now. Life is complete.

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. DiMarco


      Billy who?

    3. Lozz196


      Nice one Rich

    4. Teebs


      Oh my god oh my god oh my god...

      Billy Sheehan 'liked' my Facebook comment.

      You can take me now. Life is complete.

      Sorry Rich - that was me using my Billy Sheehan 'Tribute Page'... embarassed.gif.05f86e70dee687600701c083a80745a6.gif


  12. Cheap'n'cheerful Thunderbird copy project incoming :)

  13. Fresh set of batteries in the Shuker, because (I can barely believe I'm saying this) I've actually got a full band rehearsal tomorrow :D

  14. 2022 holiday booked... 10-day rail odyssey across France & Switzerland. Counting the days. 

    1. adamg67


      Some of those train journeys in the alps are just jaw dropping.

    2. Teebs


      rail odyssey

      Busman's holiday? :)

  15. Sky Arts HD right now, 'Classic Albums'... Queen's Night At The Opera. 

    1. Kevsy71


      Love it! The sheer variety on that album is astonishing.

    2. Rich


      I liked that they concentrated on tracks other than Bo Rhap, but I was disappointed that they didn’t say anything about Prophet’s Song, my favourite Queen song. 

  16. When your work laptop crashes and has to be rebuilt, and you subsequently find that the cloud backup system imposed on us by the IT dept hasn't actually been working. Months of data, documents, specs etc. gone. I don't know where to even start. 

    1. Rich


      Managed to resurrect some stuff, thankfully. Everything I've been working on for the last 2-3 weeks has gone though. Absolutely gutted. If there's one thing I absolutely hate, it's having to do something twice through no fault of my own. The company will be buying me an external drive this afternoon, whether they want to or not.


    2. TheGreek


      I was just listening to the Dean Martin - "That's amore" video on @SpondonBassed post and automatically went into "when your worktop laptop crashes...." when I saw this....

    3. SpondonBassed




  17. First hangover in about 10 years. 
    Now I know why I hardly drink these days. Please just kill me. 

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. charlietuna


      You stood no chance with that mix!  You usually have no idea until it's too late.  Stay hydrated today and good luck.

    3. Rich


      I'm fine now, I only really felt dodgy up until mid afternoon Saturday.

    4. Sharkfinger


      What a mix, yes you were asking for it.  We've all been there I'm sure.

      Dioralyte is your friend, especially if you remember to drink it before going to bed.

  18. Scientists: We're going to send an unmanned spacecraft on a 7 month 120 million mile journey, where we will land a vehicle in a precise place on another planet to spend 2 years making detailed studies.

    Public: Wow, that's amazing! I can't even begin to comprehend how you'd do that.

    Scientists: Also, if you wear a simple piece of cloth ply over your face, like surgeons do every day, you can keep from spreading a nasty virus to other people.

    Public: Oh f*** off, you know nothing.

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. CameronJ


      Also: 5G is the cause of COVID 19!!! It’s them mobile towers that are spreading it!!

    3. TheGreek


      One of my neighbours works for BT and was getting verbal abuse to that end last year...mainly from students who were passing joints around amongst themselves!!

    4. Rich


      Rare footage of engineers covertly installing the 1G mobile network that led to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

      Rare footage of engineers covertly installing the 1G mobile network that  led to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 (photo 1916) : fakehistoryporn

  19. Yesterday the COV002 trial 'unblinded' me -- i.e. I was told whether I'd been in the vaccine group or the control group. Turns out I had the vaccine. Still no long-term side effects to report.
    Apart from growing the flippers, and the extra head.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Teebs
    3. Daz39


      Could have been worse side-effects: you might have started to GAS after a Rick 4001...

    4. MacDaddy


      How did the trial work? Were you exposed to the virus to test the vaccines efficacy, or was it only to test side affects?

  20. Sad day. Lost a dearly loved ex-colleague to cancer this morning.

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Daz39


      Condolences. This year can do one too!

    3. merello


      Terrible. So sorry to hear this.

    4. PlungerModerno


      The bonds we make in our working lives are professional, but also a kind of family. I'm sorry for your troubles.

      Take care. 

  21. There are two things I can tell you about rotator cuff tendonitis.

    1. It hurts.

    2. It really, really hurts.

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. stewblack


      It does get better with the physio (at least mine did). Good luck Rich.

    3. Rich


      4 in the morning. Right now I would give my Wal for a decent night's sleep.

    4. Lozz196


      Well this thread must have tempted fate as I managed to tweak my dodgy shoulder on Sat and have been in some discomfort ever since. Wasn`t too bad sitting at home watching snooker, a tad more difficult whilst at work.

  22. Just made some beef jerky. Cheapy Lidl steak hammered very thin, cut into 1" wide strips, marinaded for 12hrs in a witches brew of golden syrup, soy sauce, per-peri spices and Bovril(!), and then baked on a rack in the oven for 6 hours at 75deg. Turned twice and brushed with marinade during that time. Bloody marvellous.

    1. LukeFRC


      this is a good status update - I approve 

    2. Reggaebass


      What time do you want me round for dinner rich 😁

    3. Rich


      Second batch will be hitting the oven in the morning. This time the marinade is syrup, kecap manis and Jack Daniels.

  23. Anybody ever had difficulty getting a reply from DR Strings? Sent them three emails so far and not heard a dickybird. Not tremendously impressed.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Rich


      My first contact with them was in early November, via the Contact Us on the website... emailed them directly on the 4th of this month and again last week. Nothing.

    3. Rich


      Story has a happy ending; I emailed Lord Of The Strings earlier, from whom I bought the strings, and they have just replied to say that they've put a replacement string in the post. A 90 minute turnaround, now that's proper customer service, and the reason why I shall be buying from them again in the future. But I've bought my last set of DRs. 

    4. tvickey


      I put DRs on my bass... Lo-Riders... absolutely love them.  Sold all of my spare packs of Ernie Balls!  

  24. Continuity announcer on C5 has just described Home Alone as "the greatest Xmas movie ever made". I can't decide if that's complete boIIocks or complete and utter boIIocks.

    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Ricky 4000

      Ricky 4000

      That's the badgers! 🙂

    3. Si600


      Die Hard.

      End of Discussion

    4. Ricky 4000

      Ricky 4000

      Nope, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before. Or, The Muppets A Christmas Carol,  It's a Wonderful Life,  or Trading Places.

  25. Now GASsing hard for a short scale Strat-bass. Thanks a bunch, Farcebook.

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. TheGreek


      Bought this:


      Hohner Rockwood LX30 Black Childs Electric Guitar


    3. Kiwi


      My three year old daughter asked me for a guitar for Christmas, yesterday evening.

    4. TheGreek



      Arrived today....now looking for the parts to do the conversion to 4 string

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