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Friday, August 30, 2013


i don/t fucking believe it

i don't believe how lazy some of the staff at the tube station can be.
oh look there is some one having some trouble using the ticket barriers. shall i go help them? and by helping them avoid a bottleneck in a busy station?
or shall i stand here looking all studley dudley while propping up the wall.
the wall won.

i don't believe it but i have a cold.
a bona fide dyed in the wool throat tingling chest coughing nose running i am a miserable bastard cold.
and it is not even winter yet.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


with enemies like these who needs friends

been a bit of a tough time for ed miliband - this has not been a glorious summer.
his labour project seems to have stalled. just when it looks like he is making progress something goes wrong.

he hasn't been able to consistently beat cameron in the verbal jousts that are prime minister's questions. for all of that he is seen as someone who has some very good ideas - just unable to convert them into something tangible that the country can understand and rally behind.

perhaps labour's new found pacifism might just be what the doctor ordered. not that it is pacifism - more a case of once bitten twice shy and if we are going to support a war it had better be because we have all our ducks in a line and all the proof is iron clad, but not iron clad small print way that most insurance policies are - because we all know that once we need to claim on a policy they are worth less than the cheap toilet paper we use.

so labour have called for 'compelling proof'. this has meant that david cameron has had to pull back from doing his blair heir impression.
this is not a bad thing. (secretly you have to think that cameron is going to send ed a bunch of roses and a thank you note).

back when all this sort of discussion was over iraq i was supportive of regime change because it was obvious that saddam hussein was a pretty nice piece of work.
while the same can be said of bashar al-assad in syria yet this time i don't think we should go near it with the shitty end of a very long shitty stick.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


i gotta book ta sell ain't i

the nation's favourite mockney chef has been at it again.
he's only gone and written another bleedin' book. it is guaranteed to be a best seller and to clog up the shelves at a supermarket near you.

it isn't enough that he sells it to the middle class who populate their kitchens with unopened and unread cookbooks (i would like to say this is very bizarre behaviour - but as my collection of unopened and unread art books testify it is an easy trap to fall into), he also wants to get others to buy it. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013


want to ride it where i like

a bunch of caveats before i begin.
no death should be celebrated, especially those that are needless and avoidable.
no instance of bodily harm should be celebrated especially those that are needless and avoidable.
cycling is good for the individual and great for the environment.

i never had a bike when i was a kid (boo hoo me).
i did learn to ride one (yay me) i just never did it very often.
there was a brief time when i was a gym junkie when i had thoughts of taking up cycling as a sport but that quickly died a death. talk about bad timing this was before cycling became the golden sport of britain - not that i would have been any good - just that the gold dust would have rubbed off on me (maybe).

so i don't have a helmet.
i don't have hi-viz jacket/top.
i don't have lights front and back.

nor do i ride ridiculously fast on crowded pavements while on my mobile.
or ride in the dark on the roads in black clothing with no lights.

this morning i was about to cross the road.
the light was in my favour, the beeping was telling me and several others it was safe for us to cross and this was the time to cross. cars had stopped.
people were crossing the road.
cyclist just rode through us all, only just avoiding hitting a few people.
thanks mr/ cyclist.

every day i see examples of bad cycling and of inconsiderate cyclists.

the roads should be safe places for cyclists but i think it is time that advocates of cycling and those who campaign to make it safer start addressing the more fundamental problem of the fact that so many cyclists seem more than happy to chance injury and death because they are too cool for helmets and lights.

if i am honest i am surprised there are not more of them who are in intensive care. 


purged, lost and not coming back

the tendency of computer and internet based companies to want all their services and offerings to be interlinked and interconnected has caused one of my mates to come a cropper.
they had just bought a new laptop.
that meant windows 8.
in order to set up windows 8 they had to create a msn profile, in doing this they were asked about their previous hotmail account. they gave the wrong answer and old hotmail account has gone to that place in the internet heaven (no not the cloud).

funny thing is something similar happened to me recently. an attempt was made to hack my account.
that locked me out of my hotmail account for a few days.
eventually msn looked into my claim and lo and behold i was back using hotmail.
yay me.

so that is what i suggested to my mate.
it didn't work.

how odd i thought.

then i started noticing that i was getting things pop up on facebook that related to searches i had done on bing for stuff, or had been the result of me opening an email  (the email is not linked to facebook). a nice bit of data mining going on there.

this all ties in with the recent, and on going, hoohah about the internet, trolls and such like, and privacy and security, snowden, manning and miranda to name a few.
it might have been because i have grown up reading spy novels and watching spy movies that i wasn't all that surprised at the revelation that the state spies on us. i was more surprised that people thought that this was shocking news.

based on the recent conversations about the police and security services were going to be able to access when it came to people's emails and such like i had confidently told my friend that there would be no problem in getting the hotmail account back. just report it and they will resolve it.

not so.

on further reading once you delete a hotmail account all the data of that account is purged from the system. all gone. just like that.

so my friend has lost all their contacts and emails of many years.
hotmail are saying they can't do anything about it.

i wonder if the security services are aware of this? looks like all you need to do is get a hotmail account write your nasty dangerous email - send it and then delete your account and you are safe.
that seems to be what msn are telling us.

it is either that or they just can't be asked to help a distressed user who has made a mistake because of the overly complicated way that msn tries to link everything together.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


the world has gone mad

several months back i was reading an article about a plan to tow icebergs from the arctic and use them to irrigate various desert lands. it all sounded plausible. it all sounded exciting.
the one stumbling block to the whole thing was the cost. to test whether or not it was feasible the bod in charge thought it might cost £10 million.
that seems like a lot of money.
in the great scheme of things it is just a (ahem) drop in the ocean, especially when you consider that footballers are sold for more than that every transfer window. or when you consider how much qatar are prepared to spend in order to host the world cup.

i was reminded of this when i saw the story of the parking space in hyde park gardens. i do hope that the story is a hoax and that like everyone else (well the beeb) i have fallen for it.
(by the way and as an aside have you seen the hyde park one development - the luxury super flats? crikey but they are as ugly as sin. the only people who could love them are those who have so much money they don't care what anyone thinks)

so a parking space is up for sale.
a 91-year lease, that's ok then.
it is worth that much because parking is at a premium in that area.

given the location is close to several tube stations and bus routes you could argue that there is no need for parking.
the rich are not like the rest of us and so would never travel on public transport.
at £300,000 it is probably cheaper to just get a taxi every time you wanted to go somewhere.

it is nice to know that there is someone who has that much spare cash to park their car. i am sure some of that money will trickle down into the local economy and help fuel the recovery. though i am not sure just how well that trickle down theory of the rich spending money and the rest of us benefiting from their crumbs is actually holding up.

£300k is a lot of cash to most of us. instead of doing something useful and interesting with it someone is going to spend it in order to park their flash car.
if ever there was a sign that the world is going mad that has to be it. 

can't help hoping it gets clamped.

Thursday, August 01, 2013


tear down the wall

another banksy is about to be removed and auctioned.
i can't get too excited about it - the whole point about graffiti art is that it is free and transient. here today and gone tomorrow. painted over by the man to keep the walls clean or painted/tagged over by another graffiti artist because they wanted to use the space.

i like banksy.
there is something about an artist who doesn't milk his fame and has helped his mates get more exposure.
even though he is coining it banksy is still throwing up new pieces of graffiti around the place.
lots of people are making money off of the back of his work.
the people who run the street art tours and claim to know banksy.
the street merchants who have turned pretty much each piece of banksy's work into something they can sell (and i can think of at least two more items of tourist style tat that can come out with banksy work on and make a killing).
the galleries who have loved the whole street/ urban art movement where any old graffiti artist can be put forward as something special and prints a-go-go can be sold. (it has to be said some of these artists are very good but quite a lot of them are shit).

there is enough good graffiti being put up on walls that losing a banksy isn't that much if a shame - except people know who banksy is and so his work isn't graffiti anymore - it has become art.
people's art.
not so long ago people wouldn't have looked twice at it.
now it is worth money - it is art.

that is why the wall is being removed and sold.

it isn't banksy's artistic skills that set him apart. i reckon anyone who was half decent at art could copy a banksy. what makes banksy so good is his ideas.
my solution to the whole debate about should his work be removed or not is simple.
let them take it.
then just before it goes to auction - have it painted back on the wall it was taken from (remember boys and girls it is graffiti), and keep replacing it each and every time it is removed.
the bonus of this is that it should reduce the price of the original that has been sold and eventually people will stop trying to buy walls with banksy's work on them.

it is a win win situation.

(now if only i get a cut of the action then i would be quids in...)


that clinking clanking sound

there are always going to be those who are obscenely rich - that seems to be a universal given.
there will always be loads of us who want to become obscenely rich - just check out the rush to buy a lottery ticket any time there is a rollover.

i don't deny i harbour a desire to have more money than sense.
i would be quite happy to one day see my lottery numbers come up and suddenly be hip deep in pound coins. (of course this isn't likely to happen because the already very long odds of me picking a winning combination is made longer by the fact i rarely buy a lottery ticket).

of course the question of what would i do with the vast wealth that a big lotto win would bestow on me always reminds me of two conversations.
one was with my mum who loved to play the lottery. we'd be chatting about it and she would say it would be nice to win £500, then she would up it to £1000 a short while later it would be £5000, which quickly became £10000 and morphed into £25000 and before you knew it was then £50000, no sooner was that said than it was £250000. and so on.
she never won more than £10. she never stopped dreaming about that big win.

then there was the conversation at work - which wasn't as crass as the would you suck cock for a million pound debate that all the lads engaged in. the question was would you give any of your lottery win to your mates. it was a simple question that turned into quite a heated argument which made me smile. (though one does hope that mr. young hasn't had the good fortune to win big).

like everyone who plays the lottery i have my plans as to what to do with a big win.
some for friends.
some for charity.
some for some madcap ideas which may (or may not) include a photographic studio business; a coffee shop; a gallery and of course a old fashioned lingerie shop featuring not just skimpies but a selection of foundation wear (what can i say those home shopping catalogues had a long lasting effect).
or perhaps some odd amalgam of all of them - drink your coffee while looking at art just before having your portrait done in your new corset. (it is just a thought - though i may propose it to alan sugar).

in reality i suspect my winnings would mean that i became even more of a hermit and just communicated with the local pizza delivery guy.

however i'd like to think that i would do something interesting and worthwhile if i suddenly had a lot of money.
maybe that is why i felt a mixture of despair and anger when i read of a rather rich person commenting on how they had just come back from a photo session of their dog, and how their dog was a star.
i can understand taking your relatives to get their portraits done.
but your dog? isn't that what digital cameras are for? look there is our pet let's take a photo of it doing something funny. not let's take the dog to a professional photographer so we can get a high quality good enough to be framed and hung on the wall picture of the mutt licking its nether regions.

but then quite a lot of the very rich seem to have no concept of taste - that is the only excuse i can see for anyone who lives in hyde park one, a very ugly development of super expensive flats - i am guessing each and everyone of them has a photo of a dog sniffing its own bollocks - because dogs can do that sort of thing and the rich can have that sort of thing hanging on their walls simply because they can.