Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts)
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Amazonian to Amazon

September 11, 2017 2:37pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 22 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Prolific ‘Off Piste’ Posting!

Look – there are things on my mind and if I don’t get them off my chest *looks at chest – can’t see things – what a weird saying. I digress…* then I can’t concentrate on the million and seventy-seven proper things I’m supposed to be doing. Don’t worry, you’ll still get your Whimsy On A Wednesday – I already have it prepared. THAT’S how good this week has been already…

So, let’s roll.

Back At Ya, Jules!

I hurt my back. Viciously. It happened on Thursday evening. Thus, my whole weekend has been totally ruined by disability and has caused me to fester and over analyse everything in the world. I have answers to every single problem on the planet – Go on – ask me!

On Saturday morning, after realising that paracetamol, rhubarb gin, my heated car seats and walking like a supermodel and yelling at everyone wasn’t working, I made an appointment with Physio The Rapist. Oh yeah.

Out strolled a gigantic, Amazonian woman. Brilliant. She isn’t gonna take any prisoners, is she?

“Juliette,” she snipped. “My room.”

Whoa…steady on chickadee. I ain’t down for those kinds of games…

“How have you hurt your back?” No small talk.

“Dunno. I wouldn’t mind if I’d fallen off an ‘oss or a pub stool or danced myself dizzy in a den of iniquity, but no.  Didn’t do a thing.”

“You must have done something. Explain to me the day it happened.”


“Well, I sat bleeding at a computer as usual. Not at my normal desk though. And I wasn’t on my normal, spinny, I look like a bossman chair, no. I had to sit on a hard dining chair at an angle cos I couldn’t get my laptop on the desk properly.”

She took a sharp intake of breath and shook her head.

“And then I walked for 45 minutes to meet my pal at the pub in ill fitting cowboy boots. Well, they’re not so much ill fitting but they aren’t trainers. Still, they’re the only ones I can get my Texan blade tucked into should I want to peel an apple.”

“It’s the desk. Sitting awkwardly will have caused serious spasms.” I wasn’t going to argue with her because she looked the sort that was well up on spasms. Besides, that meant walking in cowboy boots is OK. Like.

Protects Boots, Nearly Pukes And Leaves

“And the boots. This is still stupid.”

“Err, hold on a minute, love. Nobody calls my boots stupid. They are a work of art with shot pound coins and all manner of memory trinkets.”

“Walking for this length of time in bad footwear will bring you problems.”

GASP! How very dare she call my bewwwts, bad footwear! I nearly strode out but didn’t have a stride in me. Walking at a snail’s pace was effort enough.”

“Lie down. On front.”


“This very bad. Whole of left side is locked. You will need at least four sessions before OK.”

Oh yeah…This equates to ‘I need at least a ton twenty in cash to make it worth my while,’ therapist talk.

“Look, just go for it and let’s see how we go. You can’t hurt me, I like it hard.”

Dear Lord! Pain? I nearly puked through the face hole in the bed onto her gigantic feet.

She made it worse. Evil Dark Queen. Now I really do have to have four goes on the medieval punishment rack in case I break.

Talking of break…

The Kindle Swindle

It took me a long time to embrace the virtues of a Kindle. I’m very much a paper person. I like proper books and refused to be modernised. But then, with all the travelling I am forced to do, sigh, I realised that too many books were taking up essential shoe space in my luggage. Hmm.. I conceded and asked for one for Christmas. If you don’t buy it yourself, it doesn’t count against your principles. Of which I have many, obviously.

I didn’t use the bloody thing for four months. I didn’t like the feel of it. If you’ve got one, you’ll know what I mean. It feels like rough toilet paper. Or something. I ignored it. This resulted in the person who bought it for me, taking it away! Rude!

“Gimme my Kindle.”

“Why? You don’t use it so I am.”

“D’ya want a fight? Fine. I’ll use it. Give it back now before I feed it to you. ” I downloaded 36 books in the space of an hour to make a point. Then I got the usefulness of this funny little tablet.

So, what does it do? It goes and breaks. Well, I’m not sure if it was really the fault of the product or the fact I couldn’t remember which charger ( of the gazillion wires I have in my study) went into it. Having forced a few contenders, it ended up with the real one not going in. Bugger. Broke the port hole.

Amazon – Your Friendly Online Store

I’ve had a few run ins with this place because of the following:

*They once made me pay some Prime membership that I never asked for.
*They once sent me a gavel (oh yes, it’s true) instead of sending me a  Zen singing alarm clock.
*They delivered a whole pile of my books to the mad old bint down the road with the three legged dog and an aversion to strangers wanting their books back.
*Getting hold of them is the most painful experience ever.

Still, they’re the only ones who can mend the Kindle. Well, apart from some dodgy bloke just outside Gatwick airport who reckons he can sort it out but I didn’t like his ballsy tone and the way he dropped his H’s.

The Online Chat.

Amazon Kindle

Thankfully, not the chess chump sort but just as irritating.

After several wasted minutes trying to rip through the site and actually find someone to speak to, I got the chat line. For Kindle.

‘Hi- Kindle’s broke. Can you mend it?’

……. Vehesteen is typing………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………. Bloody Hell, Vehesteen, have you only got one sodding finger? Crack on!

………………. No Joke. Siri has learnt new curse words because of me. Well, because of Vehesteen.

‘Hello. My name is Vehesteen and I am here to help.’


‘Cool. So, my problem – can you sort it?’

…………………. Really?

‘It is very nice to meet you, Jules’

I’d like to say the same but FFS……

‘Right. My Kindle, V, it’s bollocksed.”

‘Would this be the Jules Kindle?’

No – it’s Harold’s – what do you think?

‘Yes, V. That will be the one.”

“Let me just check. Two minutes.


‘Hello, I’m back.’

Hello. I’m pissed off.


‘You have to go to the UK centre we are in US.’

‘But I WAS on the UK site! Why would I come to American Amazon? Besides, I don’t know what bloody time zone you’re in but it’s night – night time there!’

‘The link automatically brings you here, but here is the UK link.”

So help me God.

I had to go through it ALL. AGAIN. This time with Marihinsia who, I believe, didn’t actually have any fingers and probably types with a carrot.

‘Can you give me the Kindle serial number.’

‘Where’s that? Can’t find it.’

‘On the box.’

‘Not got the box. Why would I keep the box?’

‘Go into settings on Kindle and into device info. It will be there. ‘


Kindle battery low. Yeah, yeah I know. That’s cos I can’t charge you because you went and broke. I found it and started to type it in the chat box to Marihinsia.

‘G190 …….’ Sudden Kindle death. Kaput. Fin. ‘Err.. my Kindle just died.’

‘I need this to verify product.’

‘No. No, you don’t, M. I can’t give it to you. Just fix it. You’ll know it’s mine when you get it. I wouldn’t send Harold’s back and pay to get it mended, would I now? I cannot stress enough how close to the edge of violent frustration I am right now. I may self-combust.  Go and get a supervisor or the Kindle man, whatevs, but get me someone who is going to sort this out.’

‘I will be back shortly…………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………..Maybe in twelve years…….before one of us dies………..or the ice age begins……….and Bruce Jenner is President…………………

I got so annoyed that I stood up very quickly in utter frustration, pulled my already pulled back, dropped my laptop and lost the chat connection.

I never wanted a blasted, stupid, horrible Kindle in the first place.


The Jules Project

September 10, 2017 10:21am Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 27 Comments

Jules Project

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Serious Biz On A Sunday!

In the early hours of this fine Sunday morning, it was brought to my attention (by members of the JS (B)Admin team) that I am in fact being spied on and possibly cloned. I knew it. This has been going on ever since I started blogging and I may have to change tack just to throw them off.

They’re Onto Me

JULES science meetings usually take place over two days, with delegates arriving for lunch on the first day and leaving after lunch on the last day. There is also usually an evening dinner for participants (not included in the conference fee). Very biz savvy – make ‘em pay. No such thing as a free lunch in JULES world.

Our Vision For The JULES System

JULES is available to anyone for non-commercial use, free of charge. Errr… hold on a minute, pal….

This has led to a large and diverse community from across the globe using JULES to study on a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales. The JULES community has regular meetings where researchers using JULES can present results and discuss issues with their peers over a glass of wine. <~~~ Classy. Like.

The development of JULES is governed by a community process and is presided over by committees comprised of representatives from organisations providing significant resources for the ongoing development of JULES.

Archive Tutorials

These are still worth going through to pick up tips, but n.b. they do not refer to (and therefore cannot help with) the latest versions of JULES. <~~~ Correct.
JULES does not have a ‘known errors’ page for any of its versions: Tick 🙂 If you are aware of any defect in the model, or have ideas for an enhancement, Pffft! Whatevs… then please help the community  ( no – don’t ) by raising a ticket about it. For larger issues, you might want to start up a working group.
Some small changes have been made to tidy up some of the boundary layer code -this is mostly removing unused variables and tidying up subroutine argument lists. Won’t work, I don’t have boundaries.
JULES takes advantage. Duh…Information on how to build and run JULES can be found in the JULES User Guide. Note that although this development has proven stable during testing,  hehehe, lull before the storm.. it is still experimental and is considered to be for advanced users only.

If you can’t get hold of any paper via institutional subscriptions, please email the JULES help list (am sure the request will be well-received because we know many don’t have easy access and someone will almost certainly have it).

Rumour has it that I am being smuggled out of the country for a few days next week by the JS team in order to come up with a battle plan. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, keep your head down, stay locked and loaded and if anyone asks you about the JULES, deny everything, make counter allegations, blame someone else and start talking in Russian.

Over and out.

Before I Leave This Quirky Little Island…

August 27, 2017 4:48pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 22 Comments

Rule Britannia

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You a Bonus Amuse Bouche!


I’m just about to go, but before I do, I thought I’d leave you with this:

Yesterday, when out shopping for totally necessary holiday stuff like strawberry lip balm and Euros that are worth about as much as soiled toilet paper, I noticed some bizarre goings on in my town. It made me wonder if I actually should be leaving. I mean, what if when I get to the Mediterranean I get bored? I might miss the nutty life that tips me over the edge here. Who knows? I impulsively went in search of moral guidance by popping into establishments and asking people I know for their wisdomous advice.

Blighty’s Finest


I found a couple of people (who are responsible for my moral guidance when I’m out in this area or otherwise) what they thought.

We have: 

Paul the pond man and intellectual philosopher.

Anniesu, the psychologist and cleverest person I’ve ever met ( she has more qualifications than I’ve had margaritas. Right…)

Andy the framer – an outstanding pillar of the community and an even bigger cynic than me.

And…Matt the most logical creator ever to exist and picker upper of yours truly when she goes off on one.


Turns out that so long as you aren’t a wet fingered pudding stealer you’ll go far in life. You may as well go away and enjoy yourself ( despite being surrounded by sweaty faced chip eaters) because if you don’t you’ll be stressed out by demanding people, plied with free drinks and end up doing the two step in the weirdest places.

Rule Britannia: Full of nutters. Anyway, I have a plane to catch so I’ll leave you with this video evidence.

The Malocchio Of Bodie ~ A Western By Jules Smith

April 30, 2017 8:28am Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 10 Comments

The Malocchio of Bodie


The Blurb

The Evil Eye “Malocchio” seems to circle Alonzo Augusta, especially when he arrives back in the town of Bodie to capture the heart of Estelle Winburne. But the girl he is sweet on is protected by the big men in town who are hell bent on having the broody ‘Eye-Tallion’ put in the ground. Under suspicion for the gold robbery on Dutch Schmidt, Augusta finds his real friends come in the form of a black magicker, a dry goods sourpuss and a Mormon blessed by God. But can the unlikely underdogs win the day and save the girl when it comes to a shoot out along the gold road?


What’s in it for you?

This isn’t just any western, this is a Jules Smith western which means this: 
A gripping, page-turning story filled with crazy adventure that will whisk you away to the freedom of the wild west and ravage you with romance, danger, duplicity, gun slingin’ and consequence!


What to do next

Buy it.  Available in paperback and kindle from an Amazon retailer near you.

Y’all just press that link below, now – Go Git ‘Er Done!

For UK here.

For US here. 

Bigger Blogger Glory

April 23, 2017 6:50pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 14 Comments

Bigger Blogger Glory - How to Write the Perfect Blog

What’s the best thing to do on a lazy blogging Sunday? How about reading? That’s always a good idea along with self improvement and taking up a new project like you promised yourself.

What about that blog you’ve always wanted to write but didn’t know how?

Well, look at me coming up with the goods and killing two birds with one stone! You’re welcome.

A Knickerbocker British Treat On A Sundae

Anyone who tells you that blogging is easy probably isn’t a blogger. If you’ve always wanted to write online for either business or pleasure, then there’s a successful method to follow. In this glorious ebook, I will teach you the seven deadly steps on how to write the perfect blog from start to finish and take you on the journey to Bigger Blogger Glory.

And what are those seven deadly steps?

How To Choose A Great Blog Title
Content And Post Structure
Consumer vs Personal Blogging
Understanding Your Audience And CTA
Writing Creative Content And Not Boring People To Death
Readership And Followers
Social Media marketing

New kid on the blog

Hey, newbie! You need this book! And yes, you will spend the rest of your life thanking me.  Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you it’s not very often that I part with my wisdomous advice, but when I do, it’s usually sold for at least 3 margaritas and a packet of Quavers. Consider my guide to “Bigger Blogger Glory” an opportune gift and the bargain of the century.

Been around the blog a few times?

Obviously, the hardcore bloggers that have followed me over the years don’t need this book but since when has need got anything to do with it? You should want it! I know you’re dying to hear what I have to say and who knows, I might just teach you a thing or two. And, not to play on emotion or anything, but have you heard of loyalty?

Stick a cherry on the top

Don’t do things by halves, people. Be a leader and excel in your chosen field. Nobody trusts an amateur.

The seven deadly steps to “Bigger Blogger Glory” awaits you  RIGHT HERE.

~ Available in kindle format worldwide~ Jules Smith

Comic Relief

March 24, 2017 4:01pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 13 Comments

Red Nose Day

I’m here to inform you, as High Priestess clown,
To put on a smile and iron out your frown,
For today is all about things that are funny,
And to get you to part with some of your money!

My money, you say? Why should I do that?
I need a vacation some shoes and a hat,
The car needs repairing, there’s decking to paint,
I’ve a lot of expenses, I must show restraint!

If I buy that kid’s cake or drop change in that pail,
I can’t buy that frock in the John Lewis sale,
It’s not that I mind all this ‘Red Nose’ hilarity,
But I haven’t enough to donate to charity!

Forgive me, I didn’t know it was so antiquarian,
To behave in a manner that’s humanitarian,
If you can’t give one coin to help combat world famine,
I think it’s your morals you need to examine.

For those poor little poppets so fit and so able,
Who have a warm bed and food on their table,
A quid is not much for somebody in need,
My my, how do you live with your greed?

So give thought for those beyond your front door,
For you have so much, so much and more,
Make a change from your pocket and give up a treat,
For it’s not you who’s walking down Poverty Street.


Make Your Laugh Matter



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