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Monday, August 29, 2005


*** edited version as i spelt dave sim's name as sims. and in dave's world this is a major sin. ***

for the vast majority of my working life dave sim's cerebus has been a constant.
for 300 issues he published his comic, it is a singular vision and an amazing piece of sustained work and endeavour.
for about 100 issues or so i counted out the majority of the comics that came into the uk and then went out to the uk retailers. somewhere during that period i stopped reading the comic.
i was always going to sit down and read the whole epic from start to finish when all the trade paperbacks were available.
well they are now and soon i think i will try to make the effort to read them all. it is a daunting task.

the reason i mention this now is that currently i am reading the collected letters of dave sim 2004. and it reminds me of some of the controversy that has grown up over sim's work.

there is the story about how he wanted to have a fight with jeff smith (creator of bone) over smith's wife. no sim didn't want to shag her, he just thought she had turned smith into a bit of a pussy.
but most of it all came about his anti-feminism (don't read it emma... don't do it) and his conversion to christianity (and a very hardcore (and unique) version of it).

anyway i have a major admiration for sim because he set out to do his comic his way. and he did. he went the self publishing route and never sold out (unlike so many of the voices of artistic integrity in the comic field - and yeah frank miller i mean you). however it seems that it came at a cost - the man is mad.
for me he has now crossed a line that makes me put him in the same category as david icke. i will enjoy reading his work but i will have to take it all with a huge amount of salt.

to see the tangent essay go here (but not you emma). but when you start be sure to be prepared to scratch your head, to pick your jaw off the floor and to shake your head a few times in disbelief.

and to think cerebus started life as a conan parody.


with great sadness i must decline to put my name forward for the conservative party leadership contest.
i do this not because i want to spend more time with my family (which currently consists of a very frayed teddy bear), and it is not because i want to pursue other activities (i know i am stuck in my job for as long as they have me...)
i decline for the simple reason that i might make them more electable than any of the people they are likely to elect.

as i understand it they will not have a new elected leader until the start of 2006.
tony blair must be happy to see this mess in the opposition.
gordon brown must be rubbing his hands with the thought that he will be able to lead labour to a 4th term.

so out of respect for both tony and gordon i am not running. i do not want to piss on their parade.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


had an important meeting at work today - it went well(ish). still the office i inhabit is much tidier than it has been for a looooong time. the question is how long will i keep it that way? (answer not long at all.)

the tidying up of the office has meant that i am not fully up on many things so i am not making the usual well thought out, skillfully argued and of course just plain right (in the correct sense rather than the political conservative party of maggie and new labour of tony way....)

in fact i am knackered.
i am also a tad disappointed as i was planning on buying my new digital camera today. can't find my credit card so will not be getting it today. bummer, that has taking a shine off of the day.

so i have been out and about in london, although the city is busy you can see it still has not completely recovered from the bombs. still one thing that does seem to have stopped in the mass of police making an appearance on thursday - but i will be able to check tomorrow.

in going out i am now soaked - looking very much like a drowned fat bear.
so i am going to go have another coffee (all praise coffee, all praise coffee@ the best coffee shop in the whole wide world...) and then i am going to go home, hunt for the card, maybe watch a dvd or listen to some music.
i am knackered so i suspect i will be asleep before long.

normal service here will be resumed sooner than you think, (well it will be tomorrow.....)

Monday, August 22, 2005


was listening to the radio the other day and they were discussing the change in the licensing laws which will allow pubs and clubs to serve booze 24 hours a day.
there was the usual hand wringing about binge drinking. the usual debates about work related issues and general questions about health and safety.
i have to declare a certain bias here: i don't drink. i grew up in pubs, i have seen what booze can do, both my parents were alcoholics. i also know sensible drinkers who know how to enjoy themselves and not cause problems for anyone around them (ok richard you don't count in this case as you are a sloppy drinker). the issue of booze, like so many things, is that on it's own it's fine, but once you add people you have a whole world of problems.....

anyway one of the participants in this debate was the head spokesman for the libertarian movement in the uk.
he was arguing that the state shouldn't interfere with licensing laws and in fact anyone, anywhere should be able to sell booze if they choose to. (this particular argument was countered by saying that the requirement to have a license meant that troublesome establishments could be closed down easily..)
when the libertarian chap was confronted with the medical issue he pointed out that tax on booze meant that drinkers more than paid their way.

now i have to say i didn't like the bloke - he had one of those voices that meant you knew he was just talking down to everyone who was involved in the debate. you could imagine his pinched cheeks and thin bloodless lips. one of the commentators on the show did point out that the libertarian guy didn't sound like the sort of person you would want to leave you kids with (while this might be true it was such a cheap debating point that the commentator lost so much ground it was not true).

anyway libertarian guy was so certain in his views, there was no wavering, no sense that there was grey in the world.
for libertarians: "every individual should have the right to do as he pleases with his property (which includes his own body), to the extent that doing so does not infringe on the same rights of others to dispense with their property as they please" (go here for more). where they see a role for government and the state it is in a minimal sense and then only in so far as it protects individuals liberty.
in many ways this is a utopian view, and as such it allows it's adherents to pontificate to a great degree about all sorts of things because they know that no one is going to vote them in, and because of the nature of what they are arguing they do not have to take responsibility for what they are saying. (the socialist workers party is in a similar position, it can bang on about not doing this, or not doing that because it will never have to worry about the practicalities of what they argue for).
the libertarians are philosophers who know their hands will never get dirty by what goes in the real world so they can argue that the ills of society are down to the fact we are not "free".
like anarchists and revolutionary socialists the libertarians are just people who are keen to hear their own voices, their own theories and are all keen to forget that the world is more complex than their theories.

i am not advocating a fully pragmatic politics that moves any which way the wind blows, but even the most attractive theory has to be tempered with a good old dose of reality.


weather mild and sticky.
so far 3 cups of coffee and morning is just about to finish.

canary wharf on a monday morning is a joy to behold. women of every shape size and colour there. a paradise for a man such as myself who likes to lech, albeit in a grown up non threaterning non drooling kinda way.

but tescos still have let me down.
no cheese and pickle to be seen. the pickle shortage continues. the world is a lesser place without the cheese and pickle sarnie.

(ooh got the tickets to go and see ronnie james dio at the astoria in october - he is a small many with a mighty voice and i am dribbling with excitement....)

Sunday, August 21, 2005


been a bland day - had to escort one of my american bosses around town. was more interesting than i thought it would be. he was good company (or else i have mellowed and no one sent me the memo).
it has meant i have done little with the day.
but i am knackered.
i am at coffee@ enjoying a brief coffee before i go home to crash.

this forthcoming week i should finally be buying the digital camera i have been banging on about. though it may not be the d100 but the d70s. i am sure it will go all wrong on me.
this week i shall also be going to wired women (first gig of the month - unless i go to something else before then) very excited.

other than that it will be a week as normal. lots of coffee, lots of spreadsheets and lots of things planned and not actually achieved.

ah the working week. bring it on.


what is the difference between basil brush and a terrorist?
one goes boom.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


thanks to adam i now have a gmail account.
i already have several web based email accounts and use my work email for a lot of personal stuff as well.
so not sure why i have the gmail one - other than the fact i can.
technology you just have to love it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


i love to eat (its one of the reasons i am portly) but i am not a great lover of food, i am not an experimenter with grub, i am not out searching for my next taste sensation. i know what i like and i tend to stick to it, then i will eat it in quantity – sometimes vast quantity.

this is not the full rant i have planned on this (oh dear reader you have that coming another time….) this is just a taster.

there i am in canary wharf this morning. i have had a letch at the office women (i am sorry emma i know i should be enlightened enough not to so this but it is a good way to start the day and it perks me up) i have armed myself with a coffee republic tall latte with extra shot and i wander into tescos metro.

i know what i want: some sarnies, some fruit, some pop and because i had a very loooooong day at work yesterday i want some doughnuts (custard) to give me that sugar filled rush that takes the perk of the letching and the coffee to a new level of perkiness.

it’s a simple plan. pop? check got it. fruit? check got it. doughnuts? mmm no there has been a problem with the bakery – no fresh cakes. what none? nope not a one…. from the gates of heaven i have been cast into purgatory. ok ok – probably best if i don’t have cream cakes i mean look at my arse it would look big in a zeppelin hanger. get the sandwiches and get on the dlr and go to work.

now tescos metro at canary wharf have an impressive sandwich display. and i look and look for the one i want. although it is a humble sounding sarnie – it is in fact the king of sandwiches i am talking about the great (drum roll *ahem cough geddit ahem* please) cheese and branston pickle sarnie. it is easy to make bread, butter, cheese and branston pickle. nothing could be simpler and nothing could be finer (well except maybe a day in carolina).

so tell me why can’t i find the darned thing on the shelves? not seen a cheese and branston pickle sarnie there in an age. i can get cheese and onion, i can get red leicester and tomato, i can get ploughman’s, cheese and ham, cheese and picalilly (what why – it looks disgusting tastes worse) but not cheese and bloody branston pickle.

then it struck me that there was a pickle shortage. george dubya bush had been banging on about using technology to cut down on climate change by using technology. so it was obvious the cia and mit skunkworks had either 1] found a way to make pickle a carbon dioxide absorber 2] found a way to replace fossil fuel with pickle or 3] had used pickle to cover the shuttle to prevent it burning on re-entry.
they are good reasons for me not to have pickle – so i can sacrifice based on that.

then a darker thought hit me – perhaps the lack of pickle was an ickian type conspiracy. the babyloninan brotherhood had taken over pickle production and were using to brainwash slaves to turn them into pliable drones for the new society. icke, the famous fighter for truth, had countered this by making picalilly more available. by eating the picalilly we would be able to resist the babylonians mind control and be able to take control of our lives, cast of the blinkers and see the world for what it is. not so much the red pill but the yellow pickle.

one was a bright future one was a gloomy future – both with out branston pickle and cheese sandwiches.

and then my eye caught it – there was no pickle shortage, they were putting it on corned beef sandwiches. what the fuck, was the thought that went through my mind. why why why. branston goes on cheese, not on corned beef.

the day was off to a terrible start. a simple sandwich is unavailable because some satanist working at tescos is putting the branston pickle on corned beef and not on cheese.
something foul and hideous is being planned.
be warned.

oh how i will dream of cheese and branston pickle sarnies….


for various reasons i do not have a "home" email (ok the main reasons being i have crashed so many computers it seems pointless to have one, and when i am not crashing computers i seem to be messing up settings.....) i have found it easier to use hotmail and freeserve.
both have served me well (not that i get many emails it has to be said).
the other day i was hotmail and i had received a rare piece of junk mail. when i deleted it hotmail gave me the option to report this as being junk. what a good idea i thought that will help the boys at microsoft close down the loop that is letting that lot of spam emails in.
wrong wrong wrong wrong.
stupid stupid stupid stupid.
what it seems to do is let every tom dick and spammer know i am there.....
oh sure they all go into the junk box, but where there were the occasional one or two a week, now there is 5 or 6 a day.

i thank you hotmail, i thank you msn i thank you both for going out of your way to provide me with a shit service.


i have never warmed to charles clark – but now i have to say i doff my cap to him. mr clark as he is the epitome of the british stiff upper lip.
on a day when many of us were biting our nails in the hope of a second english victory in the cricket (it didn’t happen), mr. clark admitted to being “worried” that there might be another terrorist attack. most of us are shitting ourselves because we think there is a great chance that there will be another terrorist outrage and that we have to use public transport to get to and from the places we need to be.
once he raised the possibility of further attacks he did mention that there was no intelligence to suggest that there was going to be an attack, just that he and the police commissioner thought it highly likely that there would be (i agree with them both – there will be another attack).

now the cynic in me kicks in and says this is just clark’s way of making sure that the id cards go through parliament without a hitch as we are all going to be so happy that the cards will protect from this terrorist threat (assuming we are not all dead before hey have the technology working properly….)
and then i think perhaps this is all because they know an attack is coming and they are preparing us for the worst and letting us know – well sometimes people get through, bombs go off and people will die. but look they can say we told this might happen, so don’t blame us.
either way they are covered and clark and co get the id cards they want passed through parliament.

me i am going back to worrying about the important stuff: am i getting piles?

Friday, August 12, 2005


tony blair and his government is planning on deporting several trouble makers back to their countries of origin. they can do this now because they have struck a deal with the governments of these countries that nothing untoward will happen to these trouble makers once they arrive.

now i have to admit up front that some of these deportees strike me as being nasty pieces of work and the world might be a better place without them. they are the sort of people who are happy to see others suffer for their beliefs. So, although it is wrong, i have no qualms with them suffering a little while they still cling to this mortal coil.

but lets be fair here the government is agreeing to send these trouble makers back to these countries and once they are there breathe a big sigh of relief, sort of an out of sight out of mind policy.

at the end of the day how can you trust a state that is happy to torture people as part and parcel of the way it governs? yeah like they care if they break an agreement, after all they care so much about human life so it’s not like breaking a promise is going to bother them. besides what are new labour going to do? stop sending them trouble makers? stop selling them arms? doubt it very much.

sometimes new labour is orwellian in it’s ability to say, do and believe contradictory things at the same time.


dead duck

a woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgery. as she
lay her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and
listened to the bird's chest. after a moment or two, the vet shook
his head sadly and said, "i'm so sorry, cuddles has passed away." the
distressed owner wailed, "are you sure? "yes, i am sure. the duck is
dead," he replied. "how can you be so sure," she protested. "i mean,
you haven't done any testing on him or anything. he might just be in
a coma or something." the vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left
the room, and returned a few moments later with a black labrador
retriever. as the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood
on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and
sniffed the duck from top to bottom. he then looked at the vet with
sad eyes and shook his head. the vet patted the dog and took it out,
and returned a few moments later with a beautiful cat. the cat
jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the bird. the
cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and
strolled out of the room.
the vet looked at the woman and said, "i'm sorry, but as i said, this
is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." then the vet
turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill
which he handed to the woman. the duck's owner, still in shock, took
the bill. "$150!", she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is
dead?!!" the vet shrugged. "i'm sorry. if you'd taken my word for it,
the bill would have been $20, but what with the lab report and the
cat scan ....."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


in marketing terms branding is seen as being one of the most important elements of your strategy to sell to people. it gives you identity, it gives you visibility, it conveys all the elements of the message(s) you want to send to your customers (or stakeholders - a wanking means nothing word if ever there was....) so getting the brand right is seen by some as crucial. some are classic (the nike swoosh for instance) some are ubiquitous (such as the microsoft flag) some are plain dumb and pointless (most of them).
but they are seen as being all important – especially by the consultants who insist on “finding” the look that sells the message you as business want to sell. they will tell you about the colours you should use to express dynamism, trust, expertise, caring and sharing. they will want to rebrand, reinvigorate by getting a new logo, a new mission statement and probably a new (almost guaranteed to be nonsensical name – they have computer programmes that make up words that sound good that they can pick from).
we can all point to the post consignia office or the british airways tail fins and giggle.

so it comes as no surprise that new (re-branded) labour should use it in their recent discussions on multi-culturalism.
not only are they using consultant wank speak, but they have decided also to steal the idea from america (yet more proof, if any were needed, that just because it comes from america it isn’t necessarily good).
from now on asians are not supposed to think of themselves as asian, but asian british , or indian british or i guess if you want to english british. this echoes american’s referencing themselves as irish american or italian american or slightly brainy americans (not many of those about …)

i am not going to get into an argument about the rights and wrongs of multiculturalism as a theory or as a practice. we all know we live in an ethnically diverse society, as mentioned in a previous entry i live in an area that has many ethnicities walking it’s streets.
the question we are all faced with is not one of definition and rebranding – just by changing the name of something doesn’t mean it is going to go away, the problems are still there and they have to be dealt with.

further more on the question of rebranding as

Sunday, August 07, 2005


i may have mentioned in the past that i have a top tory totty (the ttt) list. this isn't about that.

it struck me the other day as i wandered along the whitechapel high street that i might live in one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country, hell maybe the world (i can do hyperbole).
it might be because this part of the east end is a traditional placed for immigrants to come, it might because there are several colleges and universities in the area, it might be because there are a couple of hospitals in the area, it might be because it is an area that allows people to travel to the central london or to canary wharf for their exciting jobs.
whatever the reason there are a lot of different nationalities living in the whitechapel area. and i love it.
there are so many pretty women from so many nations it is a letchers paradise... (sorry emma!) to be able to wait for the 25 bus in the morning and to see lovely ladies from east europe, africa, asia and the far east is just about all i need to perk me up and make me think that the day ahead is going to be a good one.

then i had an interesting thought (ok interesting is perhaps too strong a word for it). if no countries with a macdonalds in them have attacked each other (i think this is no longer true but you know what i mean...) perhaps many of the worlds problems could be solved if we just stood back a little and looked at all the very pretty people that other nations have.
(ok ok ok i know i am trying to justify the fact i am a very letcherous person here - but it's no more far fetched a concept than some of the stuff spouted by the respect party and people of that ilk...)

so perhaps we need to have a international big brother - but fill it with pretty people from all nations. i am not sure how you would go about voting people on and off, and what the consequences should be when they are voted off but...

i suppose part of this is in reaction to the feelings in the local area where the youth are in someways buying into the radical islamic ideals but at the same time spend a lot of time preening themselves to look attractive (and thats just the blokes).
perhaps i am stretching the imagination too far by saying that by showing that violence against one group of people might mean that they are going to leave, hide or disappear and their slice of beauty goes with them.....

fuck i have read too much david icke.
i need another coffee.
normal service will resume tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


i may have mentioned i do not like mobile phones.
well currently i do not like my landline - there is something wrong with it. this means i can't get onto the internet at home at the moment. bugger it.
so having to do these things from coffee shops (which is not a bad thing).
posts will be patchy for a bit.....
i know i know you will survive.... just.


a bloke is in the supermarket queue when he notices a rather dishy blonde across from him raise her hand and smile hello. he is rather taken aback that such a looker would be waving to him, and although familiar he can't place where he might know her from, so he says 'sorry, do you know me?' she replies 'i maybe mistaken, but i thought you might be the father of one of my children!' his mind shoots back to the one and only time he has been unfaithful... 'christ!' he says 'are you that stripper on my stag night that i shagged on the pool table in front of all my mates whilst your mate tied my hands together, whipped me with some rope and stuck a cucumber up my arse?' 'no' she replies, 'i'm your son's english teacher'