Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011


to my fearless readers - hope you are all getting ready to party the old year out and the new year in.

enjoy. have fun.


i thought i might do a review of my year.
then it struck me it has been a pretty shit year so why depress myself any more with it.
will be pleased to see the back of it.
looking forward to seeing what 2012 has to offer, fingers crossed it will be better.


i am not much for celebrity. they never seem to deserve the adulaion, fame and fortune that they.
however i am not a heartless person and even i can see that as the year comes to an end there is a crisis in celebland. they are all becoming single. partnerships are breaking down. it is terrible to behold. first sinead, now russell and katy, then catherine and gethin.
tears have been shed.
so i have come up with celebcatch - a new agenecy that will make sure that celebs who have become single can find solace in with willing members of the public.
each pairing would be for a short period of time.
the celebs buying each time slot to fit in with their publicity needs. got a movie coming out? well here is a new romance for people to read about. need to promote the new cd? well why not a kiss and tell story in the papers from your last relationship (this would be agreed by the celeb and would be part of the contract).
it is perfect - they can have fun. they get to meet their fans. they get lots of publicity. there is no heartbreak.

i plan on floating celebcatch as an internet brand early next year.
no doubt max clifford will want to get involved.

don't think it will be as big a hit as oldblokewatch - but i am still waiting on channel 5 to get back to me on that one.

Friday, December 30, 2011


there i was in my local coffee shop (street coffee in brick lane - just to give it a plug) reading 'the sun', i know i shouldn't do it but every now and then doesn't hurt. one of the small 'news' pieces was of shoppers who were moaning that the shelves in shops were empty - that sales items had been sold before they had gotten to them.
oh my heart bleeds.
we all like a bargain.
but a little like bonuses there is no gaurantee that you are going to get what you want (unless you happen to work in the financial services for a company that has had to be bailed out by the government - then you can pretty much be certain you are getting lots of wonga). surely that is part of the fun of the sales going somewhere and hoping that they have something you want at a price that you are prepared to pay for it.
and if they don't: oh well.

the piece reminded me of one of the retailers i used to deal with.
for the sake of modesty we'll call him 'h': he dealt mainly in sports cards. this was a time when we did an ok trade in sports cards, but the vagaries of business meant that we would sometimes be left with too much stock. periodically we would take this extra stock and put it on sale.
a list of sale items would go out.
retailers would get back to us and place their orders.
if we were lucky we got rid of everything, without losing too much money on it all.
we didn't like doing it, but we liked having dead stock stinking up the place even less.

naturally a few retailers would not get what they wanted because someone had beaten them to it.
a day came when h decided that enough was enough - he wasn't getting enough of the cards he wanted at the price he was prepared to pay for them.
brrrriiing brrrriiing went the phone.
i picked it up and there was h on the other end of the phone. we did a few pleasantries (probably fewer from me)and then he got on with the nub of his complaints. sinmply put we were not putting enough sports cards on sale.
but h, i said to him, we are putting on sale what we have left that hasn't sold, that is all we have to put on sale.
he thought about this for a little bit, not long to be fair, and replied: then you should order more.

i couldn't fault his logic.
i could fault his business sense.
in order for him to have what he wanted - we had to lose money.

he was never very successful.


i can't deny i like apple products. i want their computers - desktops and laptops. i want their ipad. if i were to get a smart phone it would be an iphone.
i want apple.
i may have mentioned this several times before on my blog.
it hasn't gotten me an endorsement or a freebie from apple. i guess that is because i am not as famous as some of their high profile users. nor am i as photogenic or cute worthy as their current celebrity users.

yup it seems that even apes need to be involved in social networks. orangutans may soon be having video chats with each between zoos. apparently orangutans like looking at each other - i can already see scope for internet sites such as 'red hot chimp' 'm(onkey)ilf' and 'apestation'.

expect apple to roll out an ipad advertising campaign with pandas holding their ipads and using their 'pandas on heat' apps.


i know i am not the most cultured of people.
i know that my taste bar is quite low (hell i think i am the only person i know who doesn't get enraged at george lucas for not only making 'the phantom menace' but daring to go and 'improve' star wars).
but even i have to wonder why on earth 'fast five' is the most downloaded film of 2012.
it isn't that good. it is not like it was packed with great stars doing new work - vin and paul walk (oh i kill me sometimes) through their roles (pretty much like they did in 'fast and furious'. even the rock, sorry dwayne johnson fails to add much to it.
in fact the only good things about it come at the easter egg ending.

there are a lot of people who say that downloading is killing music and movies.
obviously it hasn't worked here as there is going to be a fast and furious 6 - just what the world wanted, and needed.

oh who am i kidding i'll be seeing it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


i like david beckham.
he's a working class kid who as made the most of his talents, and has worked hard at improving himself. he doesn't seem to moan about adversity he just gets on with it.
he seems to be a nice chap.
i like that he is patriotic and would do anything to play for his country.

now i can add another string to my beckman man-love: he has pissed off the french. the french socialists are pretty upset at what david might get paid a week if he join paris st. germain.
so raise a glass and host a toast to david beckham.
ah we few, we happy few...


i suppose it was only a matter of time before someone presented me a serious reason why i wouldn't really want an ipad.
today is the closest i have come to giving up on my desire to own an ipad and be like all the other cool kiddies.
because david cameron is a devotee of the ipad.
yes mr. cameron is a fan of apple.
at this moment in time a programmer in whitehall is working on mr. cameron's very own app so that by using his ipad he can see real time details of government figures while having real time news being aggregated on his screen.
lucky man.
it now means that while he is watching 'desperate housewives' (he is apparently a fan) he can see at a glance just how are waiting to go into hospital because of financial stress related disorders but can't get a bed because the hospital is making ends meet by 'selling' half its beds to fee paying patients.

david cameron is the killer app.


here are some numbers for you.
unemployment is set to rech 2.85 million in 2012.
on average 23 people apply for each job that is advertised. john salt, director of totaljobs, see the signs as being pretty grim.

remember when this deficit malarky kicked in and the key aspect of the public sector cuts was that the private sector would step up and employ people. well it seems that between july and september of this year 67,000 public sector jobs have gone.
in the same time 5,000 new private sector jobs have been created.
well i can see a bit of a problem there.

so we have people being made redundant.
we don't have new jobs being created and we have too many people applying for the same jobs.

while we are at it let's throw in another set of figures. according to recent government research 1 in 3 of those claiming benefits have some sort of criminal conviction. this, as we know, means they are even more employable (just a hint of sarcasm there).
chris graying, employment minister (and what a job he is doing - talk about fiddles and fire)says it 'paints an alarming picture' - yes it does - he goes on to say this is why britain needs a 'rehabilitation revolution' (no i hadn't heard this one before, but it is part of the con/dem strategy, perhaps an offshoot of the compassionate conservatism they keep talking about). mr grayling goes on to mention that an element of this is getting the old lags back into work and a new programme for this will be announced in the new year.

and to quote nick clegg, it will make all the difference.

so that is problem families having to have one member of them in work in order to get an intervention.
that is youth unemployment getting a kick up the arse to get those 18-25 year olds into work.
add in the ex-offenders who need help and encouragement to find work.
that is three programmes that are, in theory, all trying to do the best for the people they are designed for and all with the express purpose of getting people back in to work. all of them very noble projects.
except for one thing.
and here the, to misquote led zep, question remains the same.
so mr. graying.
so mr. osborne.
so mr. clegg.
so mr. cameron.
so mr. duncan-smith.
the question is this: where are the jobs?
you see for me knowing where all the jobs are and where they are coming from makes all the difference.

it makes all the difference to me, to the youth who are unemployed, to the problem family you are saying can only have help if one of them is working, it makes all the difference to ex-offender who wants to work but his record prevents him from finding a job.
the answer will make a difference to all those on disability that you are now saying are fit to work. a difference to all those you say are not entitled to benefits.

that is the question we want to know the answer to: where are all the jobs.

so what is the answer?


i want to give thanks to nick clegg - he has sent out a video message to his liberal democrat troops.
he bangs on about making all the difference (while making it sound like some dodgy catch phrase that will be used throughout the next year).
he tells us how the next year "..will be one that poses many great challenges for everyone in britain, but i know we must continue to do what's right for our country."

i want to thank nick for reminding me that 2012 will pose a great many challenges to many of us - such as finding work or making sure we are able to pay the bills. neither of which are going to be much of a problem for nick clegg and those ministers in the con/dem government.
nick is very wealthy - so he isn't going to be worrying about having to make a choice about heating or food.
nick is very connected - so when he stops being the deputy prime minister he isn't going to be losing sleep wondering where his next job is.

nick's biggest challenge is make sure he keeps his feet under the table of power and it doesn't look like the rest of the liberals in government are rushing to give up their places at the table - i reckon it is beause being there makes all the difference (to them).

these days i am not even sure that people like nick clegg actually understand what the challenges are for the rest of us.
even worse i am not even sure he cares.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


just as the year comes to an end some of the key reforms of the con/dems get a bit of bad press.

the raising of the personal tax allowance was seen as one of the more positive moves of the chancellor's budget. oh dear it seems that any gains from that are going to be wiped out by cuts in thing such as tax credits (those thing that help the poor go to work).
all in all the reforms turn out to be very regrssive - something that the tories like: the poor paying more, the rich getting more.

meanwhile over in the health reforms (remember that call to stop centralised top down change? well it hasn't happened yet) they are now talking about hospitals being able to earn up to 49% of their income from fee paying private patients.
now that is what i call choice for some.
i guess for the poor that just means either facing a much longer waiting list or travelling a distance to a less popular hospital in order to find a bed.

the true meaning of choice for the tories is that the rich get to choose the rest of us get the scraps.

if i were a cynical person i would say they had planned it to be like this.


another celebrity marriage crashes and burns.
sinead stayed married for 16 days.

so to all those lovely female celebs out there - my schedule looks to be pretty free for the next couple of weeks. i am available, and i won't be upset when you decide that the time is right to ditch me.

open for offers.


now i have to admit that hunting isn't that important to me. it isn't something that you do in the inner city (unless you count hunting the elusive job opportunity). it also seems an odd thing for politicians to get worked up about at the moment, there are other more pressing issues to deal with.

however it is curious that as the boxing day hunts take place - even though there is a legal ban in place - several conservatives are keen to announce that the ban should be over turned because it is unworkable.

is it unworkable because they haven't actually gone out of their way to prosecute the participants?

during august we heard a lot about the primacy of the rule of law. rioters had the book, and its supplement, thrown at them. those who were caught and prosecuted got sentences much stiffer than their offences would normally be given.
an example was being made.

so here is my suggestion. next time there is a hunt. have the police go down there in force (maybe even with water cannons) arrest each and every one of the toffs on horseback, bung them in the clink, throw the book at them and have them do time with the rioters.

let's see those posh law breakers be treated just as harshly. they can be made examples of too.


it has been a mild winter.
i have man-flu.
i don't like it.

Monday, December 26, 2011


now is about the time when all the quality papers start talking about all the good things that are going to be happening in 2012. it is also the time when you start hoping that you can start making the changes that will improve prospects in 2012.

so imagine my despair when i see that 2012 is going to start off with a celebrity big brother.
what have we done to deserve this?
really haven't we suffered enough?


so prince phillip is in for another night.
his stent operation has been reported as being successful, yet he is still there.
i tell you what one man will do to avoid spending christmas iwth the middletons.
can't say as i blame him.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


you may have noticed that the country is in a bit of a pickle at the moment.
well pretty much the whole of europe is in a jam.
oh may as well admit that it is the whole of western capitalism that is up shit creek.

you may have noticed that there are many great minds who think up solutions to this crisis.
most of the ones we get to hear about from, say, the confederation of british industry and other like them, or the conservative party's big brains can be summed up thus:
cut taxes and cut red tape.

the usa has low tax - it isn't do all that hot at the moment.

as for red tape instead of cutting it you can see the con/dems are about to add to it for some industries as they try to combat the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.
because there are times when you just have to have rules (and explanations and examples of those rules) in place.
because there are times when the public have to be protect from the worst excesses of business.

really when it comes down to it perhaps the constant drone of lower taxes and less red tape should be confronted by questions of what bureaucracy they would like to see cut (mostly it would be to do with workers rights and protections) and what should be cut when taxes are reduced (and it won't be the charitable status of private schools).
sadly people like the cbi and taxpayer's alliance are rarely challenged in that way.

maybe next time?


some of you might be aware that i am a fan of babestation (ah the lovely jada - who doesn't seem to be gracing the screens of babestation these days). so i have been thinking of a new channel that would provide a similiar sort of service.

picture it, if you will, a set that features an big old well used armchair - the sort that you just sink into for the night and never move from until that moment when you drag yourself to bed.
next to the armchair is a light and a side table with a plate for some food and a cup or glass, depending on taste.
in the armchair sits a bloke in vest, pants and socks. they can be clean or stained. he sits looking at the camera, a come hither look on his face, a phone to hand. he might pick his nose enticingly or fetchingly scratch his bollocks.
he is waiting for that call.
a call that could be about football, about how much booze you had the night before, fishing, the state of the economy, how badly your car is running or how hard it is to get a plumber or even how hot the local barmaid is.
anything and everything is up for a chinwag.

he is every man and he can talk to you.
nothing will shock him - you say you think nick clegg is doing a good job and he will agree, that michael winner was a good director and he will nod knowingly, that you think richard littlejohn just edges clarkson in the quality of the writer and he will smile appreciatively.

he will not judge. he will not condemn.
he will be your best pal.

any tv producers out there? you know that this makes sense. in today's increasingly niche market that has tv gold all over it.

c'mon it is a winner.


merry christmas to you all.
i hope santa has brought you all that you wanted and all that you deserved.
have a peaceful and relaxing day.
may your god go with you.

Friday, December 23, 2011


would it be churlish of me to say that enough is enough and that we all need a break from steve jobs?
i know he was a guru of design and technology; that he knew what we wanted before we did and blah de fucking blah.
but c'mon let's give it a rest.
let's see if we can go a couple of days without having to see his face or hear about him.

(while on the subject of not having to hear about people just because they are who they are i am tempted to start a campaign fo a stephen fry free day. one day of the year where stephen fry can't be mentioned or featured anywhere in the media or the internet. i know i am fighting a losing cause, but it is a windmill worth tilting at).


there i am sitting in my favourite coffee shop (where else). i was enjoying the coffee and reading the papers. it was a quiet evening, very few people about (all off doing last minute shopping no doubt).
a mix of old classic pop rock songs playing.
then the, rather gorgeous, barista (coffee maker to you and me) declared to one of her customers: "i have honey on my ass".

now i am not fond of honey, but i was tempted to ask for a taste.


santa has dropped by to give me an early christmas present.
i now have a dirty throat burning head thumping nose running wet cough cold.
just what i always wanted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


this was sent to me by a pal.
it is cheesey tacky fun involving two of my favourite pop culture items.
sit back and enjoy.

Monday, December 19, 2011


peter hitchen is a bit on the unhinged side, which probably explains why his coloumn appears in the daily mail.
every now and then though there is a golden nugget.

"the french, who have never forgiven us either for trafalgar or for not surrendering in 1940.."
is from a piece about cameron's recent refusal to say yes at an eu summit.

the summit threw up another good quote from terry smith, chief executive of tullett prebon and fundsmith.
"but if we are isolated, we might be as isolated as somebody who refused to join the titanic just before it sailed."

both made me smile. not sure what that says about me or the eu crisis.


in these days where anything seems to be in the national, or public, interests it seems impossible to keep secrets. what with citizen journalists joining the paps and hacks, while friends kiss and tell at the sight of a chequebook.
even so some things should just be kept secret.
not just to protect the people involved.
not just to protect the innocent.
but to prevent people thinking about the secret.

i was never a fan of the krankies. in fact i am still amazed that they are still going and still getting work (and good on them for that). they are not in my list of people to think about. ever.
however now that they have revealed that back in the 70s & 80s they were swingers and happy to have a 'ding dong' with other people. my mind is now agog.

they are appearing in panto in glasgow. is john barrowman thanking his lucky stars or is he quaking with fear?

well at least we know the answer to this question:

Sunday, December 18, 2011


i am not the most fashionable person in the world.
the only time i have been in fashion was back when i was wearing nappies, they were all the rage for all babies my age.

today i was reminded of two fashions that have persisted when really they should have been allowed to die.
like most blokes i have committed bad taste hair decisions. yes for a short period of time i sported a neo mullet. i am not proud of that fact but there you go.
while waiting in a queue i noticed that a young lad had a rat tail hair cut. why? it looks awful. it looks tacky. why are his parents letting him out like that?

then there is my perennial pet peeve: the low slung jeans. you either get a dollop of arse crack or you have to try not to laugh as the unfortunate fashion victim waddles down the road looking for the life of him that he is doing an impression of charlie chaplin having to walk home after he has shat his pants. not a pretty sight.

how have these two fashions survived.
why have they survived.

could we see the end of them in 2012?
i hope so.


i know times are tough.
i know we all like a bargain.
but why oh why do people have to crowd around the cheap food shelves in sainsbury's in order to discuss the choices on offer.
firstly it is not like there is ever a wide range of choice.
secondly it is not like they have drastically reduced the prices.
thirdly it is not as if dropping price of an item suddenly makes it taste better, or different. if you didn't like cottage pie when you went into sainsbury's it is unlikely that 50p off the price suddenly make it taste like cauliflower cheese.

but no - all you get is disccussion, conversation, debate about if i get this i can add it to that and it will be a nice meal. or maybe if i get that cheap stuff that i don't like i might just discover i like it.

it doesn't work like that.
go to the shelf. look. see what they have that you like. buy it and move away. if there is nothing there that you like then just move on.


thatcher famously said that there was no such thing as society. seems today's politicans can't get enough of it.
david cameron has his 'big society'. unfortunately not many people are sure what exactly the 'big society' is.
if david has one, then it seems that nick clegg has to have one. nick is about to give a chat about his 'open society'. it will, no doubt, be as spurious as the 'big society' yet it will be described in a way as to make it seem more radical than the 'big society' just to show there is a difference between the liberals and the conservatives.

well i have another society concept for them.
like all good concepts it is simple to explain.
'theirs' refers to the world that nick and david live in - one of comfortable privilege while 'ours' is the grim reality of life that they have consigned the rest of us to.

see simple. easy to understand. more importantly accurate.

Friday, December 16, 2011


bit of a hoo-hah going on over a panto.
the panto is 'snow white' and the panto's producers, qdos (a name i hate just because it may as well be one of those nonsense names so loved by car manufacturers), have decided to cast children in the roles of the dwarves.
they say it is because they didn't want to be thought of as exploiting dwarves.
this has kicked off a kerfuffle. warwick davis has said he can't see how 'short actors' could be exploited if they have choosen to play the roles. it would be just like any other job he says. (mmm short actors? not dwarves, maybe qdos are onto something here).
one of warwick davis' colleagues describes it as 'political correctness gone mad'.

there is a serious issue here of under-represented people being allowed to pay themselves in various forms of the media. even to the extent of just having them as extras in the background. in many cases seeing these 'hidden' people on the tv, stage and movies might go some way to removing them from being objects of fun.

however now that i have made my half-arsed serious point i can't avoid mentioning the comments of two members of the restricted growth association (rga - its short name, one says "i have dwarfism and i don't necessarily agree with dwarves going into show business thinking that is all they can do."
isn't it more likely that short people go into show business for the same reasons that the rest of us do? they either have a talent they want to share or show off; or they want the fame and fortune that they think show business is a short cut to? i could be wrong. i probably am.

the second comment is:
"providing they are not being ridiculed as people, i do not mind members of the short community playing comedy roles."
they don't mind them doing comedy.
they don't mind.
well that is mighty big of them.

and on that frankie boyle note i am going to get my coat.


i have not been a big fan of youtube. recently i have been sent some links that have made me change my mind.
this young lady is one of the reasons i have decided that perhaps there is a purpose to youtube.

on a more serious note - i think this is the way to engage with the english reticence of learning a new language. who cares about how many corners your hat has (as i was once taught in german) we need more about sister fisting....

Thursday, December 15, 2011


been a week for saying good-bye.

the bendy bus went on its last london journey, its route taking it to the great garage in the sky.
so boris can mark that as an election promise he carried out.
just means that londoners now have less capacity on the routes that used to be served by the bendy buses.
which is a little ironic when you consider that even with the forthcoming (annual) price increase for many the bus is the only form of transport thay they can afford to use in order to get to work.
still not to worry boris has made sure that the well off who come into west end in order to spend money in shops and to go to the theatre and restruants will not have to pay a evening parking charge.
it's all swings and roundabouts.

also have to say bye to jonny wilkinson, he has decided that it is time to hang up his international boots so he can enjoy a few years of fun rugby.
i have always liked wilkinson as a player. he is one of those sportsmen that epitomises all that is good about sport.
it also helps that he scored the winning points against australia in australia to win the rugby world cup.
his career has been blighted by injuries yet he still soldiered on and gave his all.
jonny i salute you.

he will be missed by more people than miss the bendy bus, but the loss of the bendy bus will have a bigger impact on the way they live thier lives.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


unemployment is up to 2.64 million.
it is a number that is an underestimate of the total number who are out of work.

a recent report from manpower has said prospects for work in the coming year are dire as most employers are waiting to see what happens with the euro and the ongoing financial crisis.

add in the regular attack on the unemployed by the tories. and it is not a good time to be unemployed.

perhaps iain duncan smith et al will look to those figures and that report as they condemn the unemployed for being feckless wasters and use this as an excuse to punish them.

to be honest i am not expecting them to change their tune, only increase the number of times that they sing the same old song.


those lucky few who have worked with me can testify to the fact that i am not a tidy person. i am the chaos master.
stuff, piles, heaps, mounds, spread, scattered.
i am a hoarder (that is when a collector goes wild, no longer constrained by the wanting of certain things, but when he can no longer get rid of anything - because it might be useful sometime; honest).

i decided i was going to alter the placing of various things in the flat: a change is as good as a rest, as they say.
move the tv over there, swing the desk around, change the bookcases.
something between a minor and major undertaking.
i measure stuff up: will it fit?
i plan.
i cogitate.
i go for it.
ah such schemes - wren and hawksmoor would have been proud.
shame that it hasn't worked out quite the way it should.

not helped by the fact that any such move seems to expand the amount of stuff i have. it all used to fit (just) now it doesn't.
i don't know.

so i still have a little bit more to do.
who knows i may even be recycling; donating to the charity shop and just plain throwing out.

who knows maybe like the forth bridge the clearing of my flat approaches completion. it will happen - just not for a while yet.


tis the season to be merry, good will to all men and all that.
it is also the season of avarice. no doubt we will shortly be having all the banker bonus stories, after all there are a lot of journalists out there who want to remind us that they are not the worst people in the world.

before get to that we have to play out what is now becoming part of the annual london panto season: the boxing day tube strike.
it is hard to criticise workers or unions working to protect and benefit their workers. it is even harder to feel any sympathy for any worker on london transport who says they need to come out on strike.

aslef (associated society of locomotive engineers and firemen)are calling their members out on a boxing day strike (with three more walkouts in the new year).
why are they striking? because they want work to be voluntary on boxing day and they want anyone who chooses to work on that day to be 'incentivised' - basically trple pay and a day off in lieu.
the temptation is to say good on them for sticking up for the rights of the worker and for getting better conditions of work for them. the union is on about 'adequate compensation' for working on such an 'unsocialble day'.
except, it appears, they have already made an arrangement for bank holidays (and let's be honest here boxing day, for most, is just another bank holiday)which sees tube drivers earning over £44k, well above the national average, (it is due to rise to £50k over the coming years), work a 35-hour week and get 43 days holiday a year. all in all a pretty sweet deal.
the timing of the strike announcement is little more than cynical blackmail. (though i am sure there has been a lot of negotiations going on in the background, this is still rank oppurtunism).

bob crowe's rmt (rail, maritime and transport workers)will more than likely support the action by not crossing the picket line. (as an aside there is a poll on the rmt's website asking if george osborne's austerity measures will help the uk economy - currently is showing 63% of respondents say yes they will).

so it is looking like there will be no tubes in london on boxing day. unless of course transport for london (tfL) capitulates.

it also throws into doubt the rather nice deal that tfl has done with the transport workers for the olympics. if i were a betting man i would lay good money down that around april or may we will see mark whelan or bob crowe ask for a better deal for their members.

the funny thing about it is that there will be little to no sympathy for them if they strike and it plays straight into the hands of boris johnson who can claim he will be tough on the transport unions in order to keep london running. expect to see more stories about driverless tube trains in the coming months.

naturally if i get back into the workforce i want a union like aslef or rmt looking after me.

on the plus side there are a range of bankers out there who are thanking santa claus for the gift of a group of londoners who will be even more hated than they are.
take a bow you tube drivers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


must be great to be a liberal democrat right about now.
principles checked at the door, cozy inside and feet under the table.
what is there to complain about?

just saying.

Monday, December 12, 2011


the hunt for alien life goes on.
recent discovery of kepler-22b, an earth like planet has given rise to hopes of discovering life out there.

london has recently been 'attacked' by space invaders courtsey of the french graffiti artist, invader. he is famous for doing mosaics based on the old computer game 'space invaders'.
graffiti (or street art, urban art) has become big business over the last few years with works going for silly money considering that the pieces are not unique and can (and will) be reproduced in a slightly different form somewhere else.
hey if you have the money to buy something that someone else will be something very similiar too then go ahead. (oh ok i would if i had the dosh as well).

it seems that lots of people are aware of this as several of the new pieces that invader has put up on the walls of london have er disappeared. or more accurately have been stolen.

perhaps it is the sign of the times - art crimes go street.

maybe the chaps at seti can help find the missing space invaders?


it has been put on the market and i want it.
yes admiralty arch is up for sale. just need a cool £75 million pounds and it is mine.
not saying i want to be there so that i can moon the royal family as they drive home for the evening. not saying that i want to be there so that i can flash whenever the bbc are covering a state event. nope none of those things.
it is just an impressive building and it would be fantastic to live there.
(actually what would be more impressive would be having the money spare in order to be able to buy it. ah such small dreams i have).

photo is copyright me and can be seen on my flickr stream to the right of the screen or here

Friday, December 09, 2011


i am sure there was supposed to be something interesting here - but i managed to forget what it was i was going to write. ooops.


there i was having a coffee. nothing unusual there - i like having a coffee.
not many people in the coffee shop.
a loud voiced woman was telling her equally arty friend about a movie she was going to be working on next year.
two girls who just wanted to use the toilet - one of them with very sexy glasses and a cat in the hat t-shirt.
two blokes talking about sport.
a middle-aged bloke doing the crossword.
and me.

the arty people were joined by a couple of other women.
thus ensued much hugging and kissing of each cheek.

i hate that.
i am just not wired that way.
i don't want to hug. i don't want to air kiss.
i might shake hands. in some cases i might even go for a manly bear hug (a quantum leap from the fey hug of metrosexual crowd).
i may even, though not often, engage in a chest bump (sad to say it always looks lame, but at least raises a smile).

it might be that i am not friendly - can't argue there.
it might be that i am not tactile - very true.
it is quite possible that i am an english stereotype of stand offishness - and long will it remain so.

it could be that i am reserved, cold and shallow.
so sue me.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


up front i am admitting that this is a very petty moan.
but petty is my middle name.

i saw this report on the bbc website about the british library putting online its newspaper archive. wow! i thought (no really just like that: wow).
i go over to the site. i am all excited. almost aquiver.

the first thing i notice is the bold headline telling me "search the archive for free" (the free being in a different typeface and capitals).
ooops i should have realised.
this is free in the sense that amazon is free to search.
this is free in the sense that some photography magazines will boast about the free catalogue you are getting with that issue.

yes it is free to search. so you can see that there was an illustrated police news during february 1867 - but you can't see what was in it.
you can even search by key words to see what the manchester evening news had to say about karl marx back in 1873 or you might note that the bath chronicle had an interview with mr. marx in august 1871.

what you can't do is view the search that you have found.
to do that you have to subscribe.
so it is not free in the actual sense of the word that most people use.
the site's welcoming headline is true and accurate but still just a tad misleading.

it is all further compounded when on investigation to the subscriptions (£80 12-month unlimited subscription) you discover the other mangled word of the internet vocabulary: unlimited.
unlimited is such a simple word. it means without limit. see simple.
not in the world of the internet. in the world of the internet unlimited always comes with its twin 'fair use policy' - which bascially means it isn't really unlimited. so why call it unlimited, oh for the same reason they call it free.
because they can.

as i say it is a very petty moan on my part.
one day i will have a subscription to the site as i am sure that interview with karl marx rocks.


big dave c (david cameron to the rest of you) is quick to tell us all that we need to balance the books, that deficit reduction should start at home.
his sidekick, george osborne, is always ready to tell us that we are in it together.

nice then to see that david and samantha have reportedly spent £64,000 doing up their downing street pad. £30,000 from the taxpayer, the rest from the camerons.
what they spend of their own money isn't an issue - they have it they may as well use it. it does seem a bit rich though that someone who is preaching that everyone else should tighten their belts has managed to dip into the public coffer in order to do a bit of diy around the house.

it is all about priorities - if david has a nice place to come and relax in then it is better for the rest of us. it is money well spent.
unlike the money that used to be spent by the government in order to help its people. that was just wasted.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


there i was sitting at the computer listening to the radio (the really rather good tony livesey on 5live)there a short piece based on a survey that seems to be showing that people are less willing to support state backed benefits.
in that usual bbc way they had a balanced debate by having someone who was from the left and someone from the right. so the same old arguments were run out.

the leftie said that there should be more state backed house building - that would mean cheaper rent and more houses available. building new houses means employing new people in oder to build them.
the rightie was less keen on this idea as he couldn't see the point of the state creating 'mcjobs'.

so a right wing commentator who gets invited to give his opinion on national radio sees house building as being a 'mcjob'.
have to hope he gets filed under 'nutter' and he isn't called on again.


it is going to be very windy tomorrow (thursday), it is going to be what they call a 'red day' (which is the highest weather threat warning).

i just want to remind people that any wind felt in the south will be natural and nothing to do with what i have eaten tonight.
however the brand of coffee i am currently drinking in the morning has led to me producing some small gusts to gales of my own.

so i will be contributing to the winds - but the majority of them will be natural.


'tis the season to be greedy.
icann (internet corporation for assigned names and mumbers)has released the .xxx domain name.
i want one.

there has been a lot of debate (oh you know you want me to do it and in this context it would be criminal of me not to)about whether or not a designated porn domain was necessary or desirable.

as part of this mass debate (see i didn't let you down)there has been some complaints and questions about the pricing policy for the .xxx domain name.
manwin, who run the playboy sites, say that the prices for the .xxx are ten times the price of .com and .org sites. a spokesman for the domain registry names said the prices are fine and that it is all about economies of scale as there are millions of .com and .org sites.
i would love him to explain how economies of scale work in this digital world.
he could have been countered by the fact that the .com .org market is a mature one, while the .xxx one is a growth industry that is about to have a large spurt of activity.

(in the trade that is called the money shot.
i thank you).

Monday, December 05, 2011


the previous conservative government sold off the nationalised industries - that we are now all paying through the noses to use. the promise of better services, more competition and cheaper costs seeming to be like dust on the wind.

the current conservative government has moved into the digital social media era and is going to be flogging off our data to the highest bidder (or perhaps just giving it away to any old big pharma company).
the arguments used for it are laudable - more information means better research means better drugs.
but it is my information - i want more than cameron's word that my information is safe, i want more than cameron's word that if i opt out my information isn't going to be used.
i also want to know that if the state and the national health service is providing this kind of information to the pharma companies then they see something back in return for it - not just in the speed that drugs and treatments are created but in terms of the costs of those drugs and treatments.
we are told that the cost of these things are high because of the research that goes in to them - so with the data being provided research costs come down therefore drug and treatment costs should come down.

however as we have seen with energy and transport costs - the market only works when the companies want it to.


poorly. but getting better.
thanks for asking.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


for various reasons i feel shit.
sickly rumbly tummy.
a low nagging headache.

pity me.


the big change over is coming.
soon all tv will be digital. if you are not ready you will miss out on your favourite programmes.

do i care?
not really.
well for a start i don't really watch that much tv.
also i have a set top box which means i am ready for digital. oh yes baby.

so it is a sunday and one of the few programmes i want to watch is on. impact wrestling from tna. it is on challenge. i turn the tv on, i head over to challenge and i get nothing. the signal is weak.
why? have they used the substitute transmitter? have challenge not put enough money in the meter?
so i do the sensible thing. i retune.
hold on i have gone from 88 stations down to 57 (ah mr. springsteen how right you were), no bbc but there is challenge that is all i care about right now.
still nothing. just a text box at the bottom of the screen telling me that the signal is weak. yet itv and their lame x-factor show was coming in loud and proud.
how does that happen.
it's digital - surely it is all coming from the same place and at the same strength.
i retune.
still nothing.
i fiddle with the signal booster. i move it here, i move it there. high. low. at an angle. more to the left. over to the right.

fucking digital - waste of time.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


in norwich the people are stirring. there is anger in the streets.
because there is talk of a topless barbers. yes partial nudity with your short back and sides. the horror. one of the local bars has hit upon the idea of when it is closed during the day to have some barber chairs and topless barbers. product and brand diversification and in these hard austere times businesses have to look for ever opportunity they can.

as yet they have not said if it is going to be just female hairdressers, male barbers or a mix (personally i would go for the mix - as you want to cater to all possible client bases - over a certain age).

naturally a whole bunch of people have gotten up in arms about it. there is even a facebook page against the barbers (there is also one for it), and we all know that a facebook page means it is serious.

on face of it i can only say it is a wonderful idea. however then i started to think of all the health and safety risks - firstly the damage to your neck as you crane it to get the best view possible. the very real chance that an erect nipple might have your eye out (oo'er missus)not to mention a quick turn of the head to catch a glimpse might end up with not only a wonky hair cut but also a piercing or two from sharp scissors. additionally all those men who go in for a trim and come out bald because they have extended their stay in the chair.
people are worried that their might be some hanky panky going on, seriously is anyone going to try it on with someone holding a pair of scissors?

one anonymous complainant claimed that such an establishment would cater to society's 'lowest common denominator' - this is said in a bad way, when really all it means is the lowest level at which we all share commonality and i am pretty sure that while jay and i would say this is a rocking idea my pal emma has already struck me off her christmas card list for even thinking about it.
i suspect they really meant it would appeal to some people's baser instincts. they are probably right.

the thing is: if the hair cut is shite is it going to be worth the cheap thril. we can all remember at least one bad hair cut experience and how friends and colleagues wouldn't let us live it down.
in norwich not only would you get the ribbing for looking stupid you would also get it for going there to have an oogle.

however the comment that took the biscuit was from another local barber.
"i think it's a gimmick - i can't see the connection between barbering and nudity."
it being a gimmick - can't argue there, in marketing terms that would be called a usp - unique selling property.
but how can you be a barber and not see the connection bewteen barbering and nudity. my parent led trips to the barber were my first introduction to 'durex' (other brands are available). my local barber effectively sold a sex aid to all the virile (and not so) men who came to have a bit of the top, and he did it with the immortal words 'and would sir like something for the weekend'.

i confess that might be a generational thing - as over the years my experience of barbers and hairdressers has been minimal.

still in norwich you might be able to have a bit on the side with your bit off the top.


when it comes to creative genius those that truly deserve the label are few and far between.
how odd then that there are two gormley's who could be said to be at the top of the creative game.
antony gormley is a british born sculptor, famous for using his own body as a template for many of his pieces, who has given us wonders such as the 'angel in the north'and 'the field'. there can be little doubt that antony is one of the greats of modern sculpture.

here is the angel of the north

and here are two versions of the field (this work changes depending on the location that it is erected in)

across the atlantic there is mark gormley who is making waves in a different creative field: music.
mark gormley is a singer songwriter who, sadly, hasn't had the recognition that he should have had. a friend of mine who knows how much i love good art and good music (hello yabs) alerted me to this superstar in the making.
check mark out.
give him a listen.
then tell me you don't love it.

mark rocks and so should you!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


being irked seems to be an permanent ongoing state for me.
the actual irks come and go, the state of irk stays.

as i was out this evening and there was a fine drizzle coming down i was wondering to myself where is winter hiding. it seems very shy this year. not sure why i am complaining as i have no heating, so a mild winter is the best for me.
but as i am a contrarian i can't help but like the winter - full on cold, ice, snow and rain.
call me odd if you must.

well tongiht it was just a fine drizzle.
that didn't stop the people with super large umbrellas from coming out in force and opening up their marquees on sticks and then deciding that they are just going to walk happily down the pavement and ignoring everyone else.
they are not going to move that fucking brolly - you have to get out of their way.

i tell you where i would like to stick that bumbershoot.

the second thing to irk me today (there were others but it is late and i want to keep this short) was to do with choice.
i love books. i have more books than most people. i have more books than i could read in a lifetime, i probably have enough unread books that i never need to buy a new one and still not finish them before my dotage kicks in.
i had finished a rather disappointing crime novel last night.
so i needed something new to read tonight.
i had a hankering for some horror.
do i have some horror novels. yes. could i find one. no.
so now what?
as i looked at piles, shelves and boxes of books nothing shouted out at me 'read me you fat fuck. read me'. no all i got was 'you might like me' or 'i'm an ok read' or 'you've been meaning to read me for a long time.'
aaaargh too much choice.

in the end i found a horror, of a sorts. so now i am going to curl and see if nancy a. collins is as much fun as she was back when i first read her in the 90s and before sexy and hip vampires became the default mode for pretty much every horror writer (oh ok i am exaggerating that point, just a little bit).
now i am just irked by the ugly typeface that futura, the publishers, have chosen.

shit: sometimes there is no pleasing me.


rushing to catch sainsbury's before it closed (ooh that makes it sound like i have a busy and hectic life and schedule as opposed to being a lazy so and so who leaves everythign to the very last minute)i find myself on a relatively empty street. nice and easy no who has the right of way as everyone chooses the same line, no being stuck behind dawdling pedestrians who shamble zombie like or are more interested in the screens of their smart phones (would it be possible to have iq tests for users of such phones - if you are not clever enough then all you can have is a stupid phone) than where they are going.

anyway there i am pootling along at a fair old pace.
bloke with his golden haired dog (no idea what the breed is - i just know it goes woof woof)out for a late night constitutional and a fag.
bloke seems a little surprised that the dog is stopping at pretty much every tree and lamp-post it goes by.
leg cock.
how's your father.
leg down.
move on.
repeat process.

now i am not much of a dog person or an animal person (and many would say i am not that much for people either) but even i know a dog likes to cock its leg on things like trees, bollards, ticket machines etc.
why the owner was shocked will remain a mystery.

on about the fifth stop and leg cock the owner said to the dog 'they are just trees, they are all alike you know.'

the dog's reply will also remain a mystery.