Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Cheap v Expensive

Posted by Ian Blyth on 6 February 2010

I heard that “Cheap is more expensive in the long run” and “You will remember the quality long after you have forgotten the price”. I particularly like the last one and found it to be true many times. I try and remember it when I am buying a product that seems very expensive.

I have come across this recently which I like as well.

It’s unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.

– English economist John Ruskin, 1819-1900

Posted in Economics, People, Supply and Demand | Leave a Comment »

Dr Snow and the Snow Daleks

Posted by Ian Blyth on 13 January 2010

While the UK is having its snowiest and coldest winter for decades it has not stopped some people having fun – especially as they cannot get to school. While most sites are pointing to the NASA picture of the UK (which is very impressive) here is a picture I took locally from someone who is obviously a Dr Who fan.

Dr Snow and the Snow Dalek

Posted in Fun, Silly | Leave a Comment »

It’s A Funeral

Posted by Ian Blyth on 7 July 2009

This morning on the news they showed people in America  picking up their tickets for the Michael Jackson Memorial. They were screaming with joy as if they had won the lottery. It certainly did not sound like they were going to a funeral. This is one of those “events” people have to be at so that they could say that they were there – regardless of whether they like Jackson or not. I thought is was disturbing that they were so overjoyed to get a ticket to a big open air funeral. It says a lot about our society and the effects of idols.

I have seen journalists say that Michael Jackson was a genius and he was the top and other musicians were level 2 and below. The interview asked about the Beatles which flummoxed the sycophant. They use the argument on the number of records sold. Well he may have been popular and sold lots of music but he was not a genius. I think he is more like Sinatra who who also be described as very popular but he would not be classified as a genius. The Beatles on the other did change musica nd their effects are still being felt today – just listen to Oasis!

Posted in People | Leave a Comment »

Tax the Rich – Again

Posted by Ian Blyth on 24 November 2008

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, did his mini budget. No doubt with a lot of “help” behind the scenes from Gordon Brown.

VAT (Sales Tax if you are from the US) is down from 17.5% to 15% for 13 months. Hardly going to inspire people to shop, shop, shop given that some high street stores were having 25% and 50% sales this weekend. But there are plenty of other measures to make sure the government don’t lose too much such as putting up tax on alcohol and tobacco. Also there is no VAT on food and only 5% on fuel. SO the two mainstays of any household (eat and keep warm) will not be affected.

The sad thing is that it is back to taxing the rich but only if they win the next election as the previous election promise was not to put up those taxes. It is the old Robin Hood ploy again. Take from the rich to give to the poor. As there are more voters in the poor side it appeals to them but as many countries have found increasing taxes on the rich doesn’t bring in extra money as it makes it more worthwhile to find tax loopholes. Countries were they have low single rate tax found that their tax income went up. When will these politicians ever learn?

I watched a documentary about the US debt and they were making a big point about how US has the biggest trade deficit in the world but what was shocking was that the UK were 2nd last. And we are only a fraction of the US.

Importing more is great as long as you can afford it. But we are funding it through credit and not real money. The bubble just had to burst.

Posted in Politics, Supply and Demand | Leave a Comment »

Another Great Advert Wasted

Posted by Ian Blyth on 24 October 2008

This is another ad I think that is brilliant. Brains from Thunderbirds dancing to “Rhythm is a Dancer”.

I know it is about water but I can never remember the name of the company until it shows it at the end of the ad. Not good for that company but the advertising team probably got an award.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

Good Gordon!

Posted by Ian Blyth on 9 October 2008

I not a big fan of our ex chancellor and now Prime Minister Gordon Brown or “Grabber” Brown as I call him as that is what he has seemed to do for the last 10 years. Grab as much money from people in taxes as possible. Still I have to admire him for standing up to his party and the trade unions when they were saying that he should do a windfall tax on the energy companies. Now it is one thing if they were colluding to fix prices and make profits but ordinary profits should not be grabbed just because the trade unions have a bias against them. That signals to all commercial companies that there is no point in trying to make a profit as the government will just take it on a whim. It is one thing having taxes in place that tax profits. That is reasonable and the companies can plan for that. They can not plan on the whims of a government to remove their profits which may have been planned to use to invest in building up the company (and generate more employment trade union leaders take note) over the next few years.

So good for you Gordon. And shame on all the politicians and trade union leaders who clamoured for this.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Waste of an Advert

Posted by Ian Blyth on 19 September 2008

I was intrigued when I initially saw the advert from Ford for the Kuga using the theme of blank canvas. The town is covered in white and people are amazed as if it happened overnight. The ad talks about starting afresh but when you see the car it looks boring. Pity they could not have found a better product for such a brilliant concept.

Posted in Design | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Ian Blyth on 11 September 2008

The people accused of planning to blow up planes (that created the stupid ban on liquids and the extra security on planes that has brought misery to millions of travellers every day so in one respect the terrorists have won) did not get the sentences that the prosecutors were hoping for.


So much so that they are thinking about asking for a retrial. What are these people playing at? They put these people on trial and the jury came up with the verdict. As they don’t like the verdict they want to do it again. That is not British justice regardless how bad the crime is. They had their shot. If they can show the jury was biased or swayed unduelly then that is one thing but to go for a retrail because they did not get the right result is a monstrous assualt on our civil liberities. If they get a second trial and it does not go their way again how many more trials will they be allowed to have ?

And then the stupid politicians have to chime in as well.

“Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services had saved “countless” lives by disrupting the group. ”

No they potentially saved some lives and even that is moot as the jury did not find them guilty of some of the charges.

Terrorism is serious. We don’t need the police, justice service and politicians removing our liberties and changing the rules in order to “save us”. If I need saving I will ask. You can not protect Freedom by removing freedoms.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

End of the World?

Posted by Ian Blyth on 11 September 2008

At first it was midly amusing that people would think that switching on a machine (the particle accelerator at Geneva – albeit a very large machine) would bring the end of the world. But after a while it just got annoying that this story would be picked up by the news comapnies and broadcast as if it was a real possibility. It was obviously a slow news day.

According the bit at the end of this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider there has been a suicide caused by the reporting of doom and gloom. Sad. It may have happened anyway but shows the power of media to sway people.

A nice post by Eileen about it comments on experiments like this hopefully inspiring kids to become scientists.


We could certainly do with more scientists rather than politicians and lawyers!

Posted in People | Leave a Comment »

Interesting Date and Time

Posted by Ian Blyth on 8 August 2008

This morning there was a minute when it was 08:08 08/08/08.

What a great time and date. If you missed it then in 1 year, 1 month, 1 day, 1 hour and 1 minute after that date and time it will be 09:09 09/09/09. Can’t wait!

Posted in Fun, Silly | Leave a Comment »