Category Archives: england

Red:Sammy Hagar autobiography (2012)Book review – Hagar has many faces!

Before starting this book I had heard of Sammy Hagar and Van Halen but I would have struggled to name a song for you.

This book is interesting but it feels very one-sided most of the times, there are very few regrets made or mistakes admitted.

The book is actually more enjoyable from a business point of view than it is from the rock star element, I am sure if you were a die-hard Van Halen fan you would feel different but for me I found it interesting that Sammy decided to start a HUGE business empire on the back of a rock career,half way through the book I started viewing some songs on Youtube, I have to say a lot of his and Van Halens songs dont age that well, if you put them on in your house the people next door would presume you were having a 80’s party.

Entrepreneurs will struggle to gain any inside tips as Sammy Hagar arrived at most of his ventures with millions already in the bank, it’s not like he went from a paper round to owning very successful businesses, I have respect for what he has done and is obviously no mug but when it comes to running and planning ahead but I found it very hard to relate to the man.

On one hand he preachers that he is an OK good guy who treats everyone with respect, in the next breath he is bragging about sleeping with thousands of groupies in a tent under the stage…

When you read about his exploits you imagine a pure crazy and destructive life style, when you look at Youtube, some of the band interviews are amazingly cringeworthy, the band look like teenagers that never grew up, their only impulse is to show off the booze and drugs that they have available hidden all over the stage, the most interesting thing about the footage is Sammy, who almost comes off as sad Dad trying to be cool with his teenage kids, It made me think that Mr Hagar is very good at putting on a face, one for his music, and one for his business,I suspect the real person lies behind his business and  his music exploits are more of a front.





Has Ebay lost it’s shine?, thousands of sellers looking for alternative…

Let me start by saying that I fell in love with Ebay several years ago, I accidentally started a side business for myself after coming across a few items that I knew I could get a decent profit for if I was to sell them online, as a result I sold thousands of items, and made a healthy profit margin of around 30% when you take out all of their fee’s, in money terms I was making an extra £800 a month for doing very little, I would buy from one online outlet and get them to send it to the buyer on Ebay.

I had a 100% feedback, then in one week I had a customer claim that the item I sent was broke on arrival, even though I offered him a full refund and a replacement I was given a negative report, these things can happen but then Ebay told me that they would be keeping any future money I received for up to 21 days, this obviously ends my business as I needed the initial payment to pay for the goods to be sent, added to this I was clearing £2/300  a week, if you multiply this by the millions of people using Ebay and they have a nice little interest building up in their account that previously wasn’t there, this angered me greatly, they have the power to collect any money paid out to you, or as Paypal call it reverse the payment at a later date so why would Ebay now insist on keeping hold of hundreds of thousands of people’s money if it wasn’t for making money out of the very people who create all the revenue in the first place, if there is nothing to sell there is nothing to buy!

I had several robotic email conversations with Ebay, who always responded with a scripted response that made very little sense to anyone living on this planet which I am sure was it’s purpose.

I very rarely use Ebay now, I haven’t sold anything on there for years after my experience with them, I did buy a pair of jeans from a company on Ebay for my two-year old child, after a month my son came running into the room with blood all over his face, we were clueless about how this had happened until we found the jeans purchased from Ebay and noticed one of the buttons had fallen off and underneath there was a harsh sharp piece of metal that looked a lot like a mini knife, I am guessing these jeans were made in China and had limited safety checks for things like this, I contacted Ebay, they were not concerned for my sons nice new scar but did say they could probably refund my money that I had paid for the brand new jeans, I told them they were missing the point with regards to the danger that lay ahead for future customers of this company that were selling these cheap knock offs, I said I wish to contact the company direct, they refused to give a postal address, they told me that I would have to contact their head office in Luxemburg via post if I wanted to complain about the transaction or this company, they said sending an email was not possible and that it had to be done via post and sent to another country altogether, this for me is Ebay just trying to fob the buyer off , we live in 2014 and you can pretty much send anything on email nowadays apart from a serious complaint to Ebay.

So I have been screwed not only as a buyer but also as a seller, here are several other accounts of people’s experiences on Ebay….


Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-08-2008

Here’s one for you… I had a PREMIUM store, which is $59.95 on a yearly subscription. Because I have a below standard rating in GLOBAL (not U.S.) I have a listing limitation on my account. SO, I can’t use the Premium store anymore, it’s pointless. After 2 hours on the phone explaining why the guy who sent a BROKEN, CHEWED up system back to me should NOT count against me (and that would take me out of lower status)… I was told NO, and that I would be charged $82 to cancel my Premium store since my year wasn’t up. So, let me get this straight… I was not backed up by eBay on a defective return. Had I been, I would NOT be in lower standing. I am FORCED to closed my Premium store due to the limitations, but will be CHARGED an early termination fee. Wow… no really. After 14+ years as a seller on eBay, I am just floored. Millions of dollars of transactions and I get a big FYOU from eBay. So, yeah. I’m out as soon as I can get free.


Community Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-27-2007

‎09-24-2014 11:28 PM

One “defective” transaction in more than 1200 last week (USPS failed to deliver a single baseball card, a $25 item). Seller never contacted me. Tracking showed it stalled in delivery at his post office. I should have acted sooner than I did, but nonetheless I feel I was unfairly blamed by eBay for circumstances beyond my control. I refunded the seller his money; he had opened a claim without contacting me. He still never responded to my query as to why. Goodbye, eBay. I sincerely hope your company fails because you have just punished one great seller.


Community Member
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎11-11-2005
in reply to kansas_gal06

‎09-19-2014 07:02 AM

I have sold on ebay for over a decade and have seen ebay from the “glory days” through it’s current situation. I also have invested thousands in inventory that I’m just sitting on now becasue I don’t want to give it away to some buyer on ebay that has figured out PayPal’s “FREE ITEMS—buyer protection program.” I have had a good run on ebay and ebay put my daughter through college, but that’s all changed now. Ebay is a very bizzare experience for the seller compared to what it once was.


Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-11-2014

‎09-11-2014 08:48 PM – last edited on ‎09-12-2014 06:45 PM by Moderator

eBay lost its ways. I hope the founder is seeing this and fire all the execs that is ruining brand. Also, paypal’s days are numbered with apple pay!


Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2009

‎08-22-2014 04:46 PM

The issue is that eBay is not run by principled men. It’s run by people who have no concern or desire beyond making money for themselves.  The fact is, there are tons of places to buy things.  There are very few places to sell.  Therefore, it makes sense (from a purely financial standpoint) for eBay to tilt the scales in favor of the buyers. Why wouldn’t they? Buyers can go elsewhere. Sellers can’t.


Good People (2014) Movie Review;An entertaining film 8/10

This film is good, it’s a good old crime thriller story that keeps your brain stimulated throughout.

The two main leads, James Franco and Kate Hudson play Americans based in the UK, I normally find this kind of set up tokenistic, it’s quite rare to see two big stars playing this type role in the backdrop of London, somehow it works really well, the English actors are English so you don’t get a cross over of terrible Dick Van Dyke impressions from the Americans, and as the Americans are in fact American everything fits like it should.

The story is layered, it starts off with a drug deal turned sour, then the story of a struggling couple pining for happiness, the movie will keep you guessing, the cast are all believable without turning into a cliché of what good or bad people should behave like.

I would recommend this film for a couple not in the mood for romance.




I have just checked into WordPress and I have 36 Spam messages that are not picked up by their system

I have noticed a lot of spam getting through of late, I do not approve the spam so you guys never see it but I enjoy responding to comments and now I am drowning in spam, I have to keep clicking spam on the comments then deleting them, the WordPress system would normally stop them getting through but it’s getting worse, all of these messages are generally linked to a company that are selling or offering a service.

I would be interested to know if this is a result of not paying for WordPress, are WordPress letting these spammers through to encourage people to pay for their upgraded version ?

Anyone else having this problem ?


Starred Up ( 2014) Movie Review;A shock to the system!

I really enjoyed this gritty and realistic film, there are elements of the film that will shock and stun you, but the thing struck me about the film was ability to capture the darkness of being in prison, I really felt at times that I was in the prison depicted in the film, the glum walls and the depressing atmosphere make this film feel like a documentary at times, this is a compliment to the director and the lead actor Jack O’Connell.

definitely not a family film, more for a grown adults wishing to be taken out of the their comfort zone.





Tearing your calf muscle – great link and advice

I was in the gym today trying to keep up my new healthy life style, I did 15 minutes on the Bike, 15 minutes on the Crosstrainer and then I thought I would end the session with a good run on the Treadmill, I set my run to 20 minutes, was in the 19th minute and my run felt strong and I felt like I could do more than the minute that was left, I looked at the clock and saw 40 seconds remaining, I then felt a pain shoot directly into my calf, shoot! being the optimal word as it felt like a bullet had ripped into that part of my leg! I pushed the emergency stop button and limped off the belt of the treadmill, I tried putting weight down on the affected leg but could not without the shooting pain, in the end I hobbled out of the gym and as long as I didn’t bend that part of the leg I could get away with just looking like I had shit myself as I walked.

I’m really annoyed that this happened, I was just getting the taste for exercise again and now I can’t walk properly, I did the same thing a year ago but this was more painful, the back of my calf, 6 hours later looks like Popeyes arm.

I am thinking to give the running a miss, the Bike and Crosstrainer are less enjoyable but I have never experienced any injuries from them.

I found this great link explaining what happens when you tear your calf and how to treat it –

Managing acute calf tears

Written by Tom Goom, senior Physio at The Physio Rooms Brighton. Follow Tom on Twitter.

Calf pain in runners is quite common and can become a persistent nuisance. Fortunately it usually responds well to treatment and there are a lot of simple exercises you can do to help it recover. This is the first of a series of pieces on calf injury and will guide you through early management of a calf tear. Later pieces will examine non-traumatic calf pain and rehab of strength and flexibility.

The calf is made up of 2 large muscles – gastrocnemius and soleus and a smaller muscle called plantaris. Gastrocnemius is the more superficial of the muscles with soleus sitting beneath it. Gastroc. has two heads to it and crosses both the ankle and knee joints – this makes it somewhat vulnerable to injury. Injuries to soleus are far more rare. In one study of 141 cases referred for ultrasound after calf strain just 1 had a soleus tear while 94 had gastroc injuries.

Traumatic calf injury

The calf is usually injured with sudden movements that dorsiflex the ankle (bend it up) while weightbearing. With the gastroc this often happens with the knee straight as the muscle is then stretched over 2 joints. Activities like rapid lunges (common during racquet sports) or acceleration to sprint when running are common causes of calf injury. It may also occur when the muscle is fatigued after distance running.

During a calf injury many people describe a sudden sensation of being struck on the back of the leg. Swelling is common and it can be difficult to walk initially. In more minor calf injuries people can sometimes continue with their sport at the time of the injury but the pain becomes more severe after. Of the two heads of the muscle the medial head (on the inside of the calf) is more commonly injured than the lateral head (on the outside).

Management of acute calf injury involves POLICE (formerly RICE). With muscle injuries anti-inflammatory medications are not currently recommended, especially in the first 48 hours as they are thought to delay healing. As with all injuries RunningPhysio recommends seeing an appropriate health professional. In the case of calf injuries this is especially important as there is a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Symptoms of DVT include pain, swelling and tenderness in the calf often accompanied by warmth and redness of the skin. Unfortunately these are often common symptoms after a calf injury even without DVT. In many cases people sent for investigation of suspected DVT are found not to have one, however if in doubt get it checked out as a DVT is a serious condition and can lead to pulmonary embolism which is potentially life threatening.

Treatment of a calf injury depends largely on severity (timescales detailed below are approximate and may vary considerably between individuals) but I follow these principles of treatment for calf injuries;

  1. Respect the healing process
  2. Allow a period of relative rest
  3. Maintain calf flexibility and strength where possible but exercise within pain limits
  4. Gradually re-introduce activity that involves stretching or loading the calf muscle
  5. Rehab any deficits that exist after the healing process (this might include calf strength, power, endurance or bulk, reduced calf flexibility, altered movement control etc etc.)

With a minor calf injury symptoms will be mild with minimal swelling, you will be able to walk unaided with slight discomfort but sudden movements that stretch or work the calf may cause an increase in pain. Initial treatment involves rest for 2-3 days after which you can often resume gentle cross training, providing it’s pain free. This might include swimming, or cycling (with low resistance) but should avoid impact, heavy resistance or sudden movements. Once symptoms settle you can start some light jogging on a treadmill and see how it feels before gradually returning to training. The timeframe for this varies from around 1-4 weeks depending on the injury and the individual. When you do return to running avoid hill training and speed work initially as this places a greater stress on the calf muscle.

Moderately severe calf injuries need to be treated with a little more caution. In the early stages there will be noticeable swelling and discomfort. You will be able to walk unaided but with some difficulty and pain. Any movements that place even a small stress or load on the calf are likely to be painful. This might include going up or down stairs, moving the ankle or pressure on the calf area.

The first 2-3 days are likely to involve bleeding within the muscle and significant swelling. In these acute stages you’ll need to be more attentive to rest, elevation and ice and I wouldn’t recommend cross training. You may benefit from offloading the calf a little. This can be done by putting a heel wedge in your shoe, strapping the calf or even wearing shoes with a heel (although probably something stable rather than stilettos!). This should be a short term strategy and you should aim to walk in normal shoes or barefoot as soon as comfortable to do so.

By days 4-7 you may find you’re comfortable enough to start very gentle exercises for the calf. Simply move the foot up and down, first with the knee bent, then with it straight. Move only as far as comfortable – don’t push through pain. Little and often is usually best – around 10-15 reps 3 times per day. The aim is to encourage the muscle to contract and relax, this should help clear swelling and maintain flexibility.

After day 7 you’re usually in the sub-acute phase of injury. The muscle is still healing and that new tissue will be vulnerable so you want to avoid excessive stress on it. The body is amazing when it comes to healing and it’s worth respecting that. We often aim to accelerate things but perhaps, in truth, our aim is more to promote the best environment to allow things to heal at their normal rate. It’s important to maintain flexibility and strength in the calf muscle as things heal, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of the healing process.

From approximately day 7 to 21 post injury scar tissue is still developing but isn’t usually strength enough to handle large loads. As a result I would avoid static stretches during this period, instead use the 2 traditional calf stretches (pictured below) but do them dynamically. Rather than moving until you feel a stretch and holding it, just focus on controlled, gentle movement in pain free range. Alternatively a minisquat is a simple way to maintain ankle mobility. You can also start some supported calf raises if able – do on both feet (rather than just 1) – push up onto your toes and slowly lower. You can usually resume cross training from 2-3 weeks post injury but keep it pain free and avoid impact and resistance work.

From 3-4 weeks after calf injury the scar tissue will usually have developed enough to handle a little more load, at this stage you may benefit from starting static calf stretches if comfortable. In which case stretch both the gastroc and soleus muscles, using the techniques above and holding for around 30 seconds for 3-5 reps. You can often progress strength work at this point, if comfortable try single leg calf raises on your weaker side. Do as many as comfortable and gradually increase until you can do the same on both legs. Stop if painful!

Severe calf injuries can result in a complete tear of the gastrocnemius muscle. There will be significant swelling and pain and a haematoma may develop. You may be unable to walk without help from crutches, even then it will be difficult to weight bear and many people choose to hop instead! Management of these injuries varies considerably and will be guided by your consultant or physiotherapist.

Final thoughts: calf injuries can be painful and potentially debilitating and should be assessed by a health care professional to rule out serious complications such as DVT. As ever on RunningPhysio if in doubt, get it checked out. Most calf tears respond well to treatment but the healing process must be respected and it’s important not to do too much too soon.



Re-joining a gym and the Bullshi* that goes along with it!

I remember when I felt young, I could play football for 90 minutes and then think nothing of a game of squash an hour later, I am now 33 but my body feels like it is closer to 50.

I decided to re-join my local gym, with all the budget gyms in my town I managed to pay £13 a month, there is no extras like a sauna or steam room but as I paid but never used these luxuries in the past I knew I was on to a winner!

I phoned the gym, I got passed around a couple of times before someone with a high-pitched tone accepts my call, Hi MY NAME IS AMY AND I UNDERSTAND YOU WANT TO JOIN OUR GYM !

Yes I do, I am a previous customer, I would just like to sign up without all the bumf if that is possible.


I have used all the machines before, I am only interested in the cardio machines, can I not just sign a waiver so if I break my leg I can’t sue you ?


(I book in a time slot)

When I arrive at reception, the lady looks at me like a lost dog without a home, CAN I HAVE YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD PLEASE!

No, I am joining today, I was told to ask for Amy ?


Nope! ….. 1st day today.

( Minutes go by before a girl named Sarah arrives at reception, her demenor is that of girl who has just broken up with her boyfriend)


(We arrive at her desk shortly afterwards and in a high pitch she says…)


I have done all this before… I just want to focus on running and using the treadmill…



No thanks, I just want to do my own thing.

(She is now looking at me like I am have just informed her that she is in fact adopted)


( I am introduced to Matt who looks like he has just woken up, hair covering his eyes when he is not flicking it back with his own head movements)



Yes I have used this one, and several others.


(I show him how to start three machines, 2 minutes have past and he says…


( I get stuck straight into to the crosstrainer, I am feeling good as I motion pumping my fists forward while treading mud, there are a few fat ladies working out around me, I don’t really think anything, my mind is vacant, about twenty minutes into my standing workout an attractive blond-haired woman gets onto the machine next to me, as a married man I don’t play away from home but I cannot deny that I attracted to this woman, in over thinking the situation I find that I am pounding the crosstrainer harder than I was before she arrived in the gym, while doing this I am looking everywhere except in her direction, I don’t know why I feel the urge to do this, I guess the opposite reaction of me looking at her once in a while might me confused with me perving on her, so out of paranoia I decide to play it safe and play the role of Stevie Wonder on a crosstrainer.

I am married but I don’t wear a ring, not for the reasons you may think, I hate jewellery of any kind on my skin, always have, but as I am sat there in the gym I notice some girls checking out a guy and making it so obvious that all the guy would have to say to pull her would be to smile and say hello,(The guy in question does not notice any of his admires, or pretends not to notice them )  at this point I have an urge to be wearing a wedding ring, I want to wear it as a beacon of comfort to all the single ladies in there who now don’t see me as a threat , I hate it when you are just being friendly but this is confused for making a play….

45 minutes in and I head to the water area, while guzzling a few cone-shaped cups, I gaze at the fitness classes on the wall, a plane woman in her 40’s is a yard away from me, I casually ask about one of the groups, ( what type of exercise do they do in that class ?)  the woman looks at me like I have just asked if she fancied a quickie in the toilet, she looks uncomfortable and replies with, Errr.. I don’t know, but as she walks away she smiles to herself as if to say, ( Yeah, nice try fella!)  I can’t tell you how annoyed this makes me, Oh well I will have to take it out on the treadmill.

1st day of Gym