Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What A Shame ...

Top French stuntman, Remy Julienne, was sued by French film producer Luc Besson over the death of a cameraman while shooting the 2nd in the popular 'Taxi' series. Shot in 1999, one particular sequence included a car leaping off a ramp. On its way back down to earth it struck and killed cameraman Alain Dutartre.

77 year old Julienne, who's credits include 7 James Bond films and the infamous original "The Italian Job", was then pursued by film bosses and Besson. The prosecutor had asked for a 6 month prison term and a €6000 fine. On September 11th of this year, the veteran stuntman was sentenced to an 18 month suspended sentence and a €13,000 fine.

The prosecutor accused Julienne of "not taking all the necessary measures for the security of the stunt in question" and notably to have "neglected the speed calculations of the car and the length of the jump".

Funny how lawyers suddenly become experts in any field they see fit.

I met Remy Julienne last year during the 'Salon du Cinema'. Here's the link: http://nooffenceintended.blogspot.com/2007/01/i-need-my-space.html

A charming man with a fascinating back-catalogue of stories and experience of up-ending vehicles. He wasn't very well then and I doubt that he's any better now.

Looks to me as though the money people won ...


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rugby World Cup ...

Well, I'm busy again. After a month's retreat in the French countryside, it's back to work and I'm currently in Bordeaux with the Irish Rugby Team. Literally.

There could well be a RWC blog at this rate - we have nothing to do during the day so ... I can only take photos with my telephone (soft focus and huge pixels) but anything's possible.

I'm back up online as LJ from NI gave me a nudge!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cheap, But Funny ...


My thanks to MB of the People's Republic of Ireland.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cluedo ...

For anyone following the Michael Barrymore fiasco in the UK, here's how closely the Police are (allegedly) holding their cards;

(my thanks to DM)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Worth Thinking About ...

After a little over 10 years, I've kind of had enough of this place, it's mentality, it's inability to adapt and it's petty bloody rules and regulations. Rather like a small child learning to live with the world, whilst constantly being told off by an over-bearing adult: "Can't to this", "can't to that", "that's not allowed" and "don't even think of it" ...

It's not that I want to commit any form of crime, but simply the daydream of 'going postal' in the lobby of some institution brings a smile to anyone who cares to think about it. I even think that some of the locals have often dreamt of it too.

To get anything done around here means collectively raising your voice and your blood pressure. You have to be aggressive if you need anything from a public service provider and you're required to blow a gasket if a supplier spins you a yarn. Posturing like a B-movie mercenary is all they do and I've never seen a punch-up between two aggrieved motorists. They just posture and shout, rather like two warring birds of Paradise.

I was recently told that if I was to move to Rome, then two TV stations would give me as much work as I could handle. The News Editor was semi-serious. Hmmm. A move to another country at my age? With girlfriend and her child? I'm sure my beloved would love to go to Italy, after all, she swears beautifully in Italian.

With the French being quite so difficult to deal with, I fear that hopping over the frontier to mix with the equally highly-strung Mediterraneans may well be a case of "out of the frying pan etc".

But worth a thought. Let's see how the rest of 2007 goes ...


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh No, Not Again ...

Friday, June 8th:

My Mac iBook has been making grinding noises. Time for an upgrade, methinks. I wander over to the local Mac dealership, a large bright space on the other side of the road from the Pompidou Centre. I finally get served by some young whipersnapper, "Yes sir, What can I do for you?"

I replied that I'd like to buy a new laptop and that the Macbook that I'm pointing at would be perfect ... and I'd like a firewire cable so that I can transfer information from the old iBook.

I approach the counter and he slips around the other side to take my details. Yes, the machine is in stock and how would I like to pay? I produced my VISA card. A look of horror hijacked his fizzog. "Non, non, non sir. We don't take those cards". "But", I began, "it a VISA card and accepted all over the world!"

All except France, it would seem.

"If your card doesn't have a chip inside then we can't take it" can the response.

So, how do foreigners around the world deal (or not) with the French retail system? Hotels? Car hire? Food?

Being a clever sort of chap, I wasn't going to have this bugger up my purchase. Where there's a will etc ...

I returned home, logged onto their website and paid for the self same machine with the self same VISA card, the same card as I've had for years. Almost immediately an email came bouncing back saying "you have paid your bill using a credit card" and that the machine was "ready for collection at the shop". Good. I'll pop round in the morning.

Saturday 9th June:

I rang the shop and said that I'd paid online for a machine and could I come by and pick it up? "No sir. All internet transactions must be collected from another branch". The address was then given to me, I thanked the chap in question and rang the other shop (the HQ of the group). Upon answering his phone, I gave the salesman my name, my order number and quoted the two lines which were on the email: "you have paid your bill using a credit card" and "the machine was ready for collection at the shop".

"Well, we're open until 7pm" came the reply. So off I went.

At the other shop, I spoke to a chap who took me to a terminal and typed in my order number, "Oh dear, don't sem to have any in stock. Please call us on Monday". I was more than I little confused, "So why was I told to come here today by your colleague?" He shot me a well-rehearsed blank look.

"If there's a machine in stock in another branch, then can't I go and pick it up there?" I said. A smile spread over his face, "Yes, of course. Just check beforehand".

Wanting to cover my bases, I checked again and asked him "are you sure that they'll release one?" He replied in the affirmative so I called my local shop and explained that I was at their HQ and that they'd given permission for me to pick up a machine down with them. "Well, come on down sir!" came the enthusiastic reply.

I shot down to my local store and explained, at some length, the morning's running around. I was met with a somewhat aggressive salesman who thought I was going to rob the place. "No, I am not going to give you a machine. You have to call our HQ on Monday." I started to get a little hot under the collar. "But I've just come down from there and they told me that I could take the machine from here! Call them if you like."

I paced the floor for a good 10 minutes while the chap was on the phone. He came back with the same answer. I was now getting a tad furious. The machine had been paid for, they had some in stock but refused to let me have one. Once outside, I rang the Commercial Service boss at their HQ and explained everything, including the bit about one of his employees who gave me permission to pick a machine up at the other branch. He was very sorry for what I had been put through and would call me back. He did just that but told me that the money had not been released, that was why I couldn't have the machine. Would I call back on Monday? F**k it. You HAVE my money, YOU call ME!

Monday 11th June:

I wrote to my bank asking then to confirm that the payment I made on Friday had, indeed, reached its correct destination. An email came straight back to say "yes, it arrived in their account on the very day". I called after lunch and the Commercial Service boss said he'd look into it. Three hours later he called back to say that he had not been able to reach the accounts dept (in the same building) and that they would call me in the morning. Just as as throw-away question, I asked if he had any machines in stock? Yes, he did and he expected me to pick one up on the Tuesday morning. I thanked him and put the phone down.

Tuesday 12th June:

At 10h15 the phone rang and it was the Accounts Department of the company. Yes, the money had been released. Released? I told them that their money had been with them since the Friday afternoon and what was the problem? She skipped an explanation but told me that I would have to wait a further 5 days for the machine. I asked to speak to the Commercial Service boss. The line went dead, so I rang him. He seemed both pleased yet nervous to talk to me. Once he'd guffed his way through another explanation, I reminded him of what he had said the previous evening, that the machines were in stock. I asked him to explain why I had to wait a further 5 days. "Ahh, well, the machines we have were reserved." Well why wasn't it explained to me last night? I was lead to believe that machines were in stock available ...

My next line drew a rapid reply and a sense or urgency in his voice. "OK", I began, "I will give you until the end of the day on Wednesday to find me my new computer or I will be cancelling my order." He suddenly started to panic. It's not the sort of thing that they want. He assured me that he'd do his best.

Dicked around on the Friday and told I hadn't paid. Saturday, the same story but as there were no machines, I could pick a machine up elsewhere. I was refused. Monday, my money was still not there (see bank confirmation that it was) and the boss tells me that machines are in stock. Tuesday, told that the money had arrived but they had no machines for another 5 days.

++ Game over ++


Monday, June 11, 2007

Sorry I'm Late ...

It's been a long Spring period and with pots going on, this blog hasn't exactly been top of my agenda

We've had the Presidential Elections, preparations for the International Airshow, the Legislative (Parliamentary) Elections and other miscellaneous bits and pieces.

It's now non-stop until the end of the first week of July; the second (and, quite frankly obvious result) of the Legislative Elections next weekend and then 7 days at the huge International airshow. Follow this with 24hrs back in the UK, polished off with 5 days out east on another aviation-related event.

Sadly, I'm not in a position where I can update my miserable existence on a daily basis or bring you all regular postings of fun stuff found in the press. My excuse has to be along the lines of 'time consuming' but that's not to say that I won't be bringing you 'more of the same' in the future.

There's been so much that I've missed out on: Paris Hilton in clink to name just one. Yes, she deserved to be locked up - we would be. And for missing out on such gems, I will be forever kicking myself. But that's what being busy does for you ...

So, as I might say to dear Paris, bide your time and I'll be back ...