Where did “Piss Poor” come from?

I thought you might enjoy this, it’s copied and pasted from an email my Father sent.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from?

Interesting History.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery… if you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot… they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low. The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.

By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old”.
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status.Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom; “of holding a wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,“saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer”.

And that’s the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring!!!
So get out there and educate someone! ~~~
Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
‘What the heck happened?’

We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.
Then we’ll be new friends.
“Smile”, it gives your face something to do!

Can Virtual Assistants Make Sausage Rolls

So I’ve been asking twitter about virtual assistants, the type of people who work remotely on very specific tasks that take away the pain. Perhaps I jest when I say pain, though I’m not sure I do really. When you’re juggling multiple projects it really does make sense to call on additional help in order to free up precious time. I have used VAs on a variety of projects and when you think about it it makes a great deal of sense. It makes sense for a number of reasons the main ones really are that you get some specialism along with a guaranteed output specific to your brief at your deadline.

I really do believe that as a business grows it is fundamentally important that you can begin to delegate the technical aspects of particular roles and this is where I find the VAs very useful. So I’m not talking about a virtual assistant that processes all of my communications, emails and handles telephone calls.

No, what I’m talking about is outsourcing very specific tasks. Tasks that can be done remotely by somebody other than myself, and most importantly, at a lower cost than my own consultancy time.

Let’s say that my business is making sausage rolls, of course it isn’t, but let’s use that as an example. For me to run a successful sausage roll making business I need to start by making delicious sausage rolls. I also need to make sure I can market my sausage rolls, have quality assurance in place, actually sell them to people and somehow package them. I’d also need to be able to do the accounts and ensure that my premises is clean and tidy and serviceable. So once I know how to do all of the specific tasks I can find an employee for each specific task. A maker, a seller, a cleaner, an accountant etc. The point is that once I know what the actual task is I can simply find somebody suitable for that very specific task.

Of course in a bricks and mortar business like sausage roll making this is called employing people. In the virtual world, which is where my business operates, I can utilise virtual assistants, or if you like, outsourced employees.

I mean this isn’t rocket science, I’ve been using outsourced experts for many years and my choice usually comes down to a few key things.

1. Cost (Mumbai is cheaper than London, Boston may also be)
2. Efficiency (if I’m paying for 1 hour of work I expect quite a lot of return for that)
3. Ability to understand my brief without unnecessary thinking on their part (this is what I need please do it in the time I set you) – take a taxi driver, I want to go from A to B – don’t take me to C.
4. Have superior skills to my own -more efficient than me at this task and in many cases have skills I do not process.

These are my four key elements and when VAs have those items covered they usually get my repeat business.

What about you, do you use VAs? Maybe you are one?

Either way post a comment, or share the post.

Criminal Penguins

So I found this on view tube.

It’s absolutely amazing and made me chuckle so much that I wanted to share it with you to make you chuckle too.

It’s quite a bizarre title “criminal penguins” but when you have a closer look at the video you’ll see just how naughty one of these penguins is, he really is a criminal penguin.

I suppose we could draw lots of parallels with people maybe. Perhaps you do lots of hard work sometimes and maybe sometimes your stuff gets stolen. Or maybe even you’re the naughty penguin. Perhaps you’re the criminal, perhaps you’re the one that takes the stones from other people. If you are you should be very very ashamed of yourself, stealing other people’s hard work is very much a criminal activity.

Anyway, I found it hilarious though I really do feel very sorry for the poor penguin who is working so hard to build his nest.

Server Hosting

It struck me today that you might not be aware that my business has its own fast internet server.

I’ve had a dedicated internet server since about 2000 and in fact with the same company too and over the years literally hundreds of sites have had the benefit of it.

Currently we host a whole variety of client sites some large some small, some niche sites, some full blown community portals and even schools!

But why am I writing a blog post about this? – well it’s just that it crossed my mind that you might know a friend, or even need a hosting solution yourself for your website.

The hosting is not cheap, nor expensive, we range from 25 pounds a month to well over 500, depending on the service and bandwidth but one thing is constant – 100% up-time, super-fast speed and very little restrictions.

So I just wanted to put it out there that if you need your website hosted or know a friend, just ask.
More soon.

The emperor has lost his clothes

I’ve taken a particular interest in the current media scandal taking place in UK, not so much for the hideous activity of phone hacking (which is heinous) but rather in the fall-out that is now taking place.

Regardless of your preferred news outlet, the rabbit’s hat goes deep on this one. It reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with a Zimbabweian friend of mine.

Jo was particularly fascinated with how England was not overtly corrupt, and was trying to figure out how the social circles operate (that’s not a Google+ reference). She felt there was a level of snobbery and closed ranking regarding the flow of information – she was right! I’ve heard the same thing from other foreign nationals looking to understand British culture.

I had explained the “old boy” network and that in high society it’s all about following the money that flows initiated through back room deals. It’s not even hidden really, it’s more a case of “the social silence” as Gillian Tett states.

Of course the average Mr Smith living in blissful ignorance soaking up the red top daily tabloids is typically unaware of how the upper echelons operate in schmoozing for a piece of the various big deals. There has also been a lack of awareness with the extent of how our political system has been affected.

It is indeed the case that even our political system has been entrenched, and at the perils of the press editors, the media moguls for years.

So I’m following this with great interest, it really is one of those major moments in British history.

Steve’s Templates

This post is nothing more than a boomark for me really, though you might find it handy if you ever need some smart themes for Drupal.

I’m building out a new Drupal project and I’m in the processing of presenting a few theme ideas to the client.

It’s a handy process as you can quickly and easily display radically different designs to test the waters and see what the client likes.

I may never use these themes, but they are a great way of presenting different feels and design concepts.

Anyway you can find these at Steve’s Templates.

Farmer’s Tan and Boats

Did I tell you that I have been enjoying a period of “in between work”? – well that’s not exactly true. I am still working, but I’ve been helping a friend out with people that want to “hire a boat in Falmouth“.

It’s a nice new learning curve in many ways but in other ways it is going complete full circle. One of my first jobs, when still at school, was helping out on the self drive boat hire business in Falmouth. I couldn’t wait to finish school and get down on the quay, and of course all weekend and every day during the summer holidays. I was about 11 or so when I started that job and it stood me excellent stead for a life of working and business.

The work was all about turning up at about 08:30, getting the boats off the moorings, cleaning them, and then touting for business with the tourists, it’s the same business model now, nothing has changed. Although they do have a Facebook Page now 😉

So as I’ve been doing this for a several weeks (when not working and growing my Social Media Business). I’ve obviously been getting shed loads of sunshine. Yep, of course I’m helping them grow the boat business too. 🙂

It’s been good for me, I feel fitter, I feel stronger, I feel more virile, I feel great. BUT – I have a farmer’s tan….. maybe I should share some pics?

You know?

Taking Pictures for Facebook

I was researching a little today about the laws and what not regarding a client taking photographs and using them on their Facebook page. ElementalUk is a Water Sports Adventure Centre in Cornwall and they’ve a nice shiny new facebook page.

So I was curious what the law had to say regarding these guys taking pics of everyone enjoying themselves on the beach and then uploading to facebook. I mean they want to show the World how cool a place it is right?

After some deliberation and much chat it was Rachel Clarke on Twitter, who was really helpful in helping me understand the laws and guidelines for taking pictures and using them on a facebook page.

So thanks Rachel.

After studying a few resources such as the one here, it seems that as the beach is a public place it is legal to be able to take photographs providing they are not for commercial use – which in this case they are not as they will not be “DIRECTLY” making money from the photographs.

A nice Friday win for the guys.

Do Not Put Anything In The Toilet

This struck me as so amusing, it really did.

I guess communication is all about getting the message across, the desired message, and I’m really not sure it worked in this case.

I mean not anything? Really?

You think?

do not put anything in the toilet