Friday, April 28

Hype is a wonderful thing

If it wasn't for the World Cup starting soon, there's no way I'd get anywhere near this many bids for this CD single

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What a fantastic day!

Look up there..



Loads of Blue

Yes, it's a Blue Sky..

Ahhh.. Makes me grin.

It's about blummin' time that Spring sprung and the rain clouds finally naffed off for a bit.  I just hope this good weather can hold for the next 72 hours.  Which of course it won't as it's a Bank Holiday Weekend.  And all those people who are packing their caravans, and causing lengthy tailbacks as they drive at a ridiculously slow pace to Prestatyn need to be rained on.  Dammit, they expect to be rained on.  It's what being British is all about, after all: Expecting things to be just a bit naff, supporting the underdog and carrying an umbrella on a Bank Holiday Monday.

This weekend will be tinged with a bit of sadness though, as I'll be making my final trip of the season to the Home of Football, Anfield.  Sniff.  But at least I'll be welcoming a first-timer to the ground. 

My mother, at the grand old age of sixty, is going to her first ever football match this weekend.  Unless I see an elephant riding a bike in the next seventy two hours I cannot think of anything more surreal that will occur in the next few days.  My mum at a footy match!?  How bizarre!  It's actually quite a nice gesture on Mum's part, to be fair.  As my parents leave permanently for Spain next Month, Mum thought it would be nice for my Dad to have a last trip to a Liverpool match before they went, so she bought a pair of tickets.  Thankfully they're in a different stand to me, so I can still swear up a storm for ninety minutes, it's just my Dad who will have to watch his potty mouth!  LOL!

On a final note, and still on the subject of football, big congratulations to both Arsenal and Middlesbrough for reaching the finals of the Champion's League and the UEFA Cup respectively.  It's great to see English clubs so dominant in club football (now let's hope the World Cup campaign is equally successful).  Brilliant work!  Congrats.  I look forward to watching both finals.

But on final, final note, and this if for the Highbury bunch.. If you get it, it's only on loan! ;)

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Thursday, April 27

What do you do when your cock is bigger than your wife's box?

Obviously you sell your wife's box on ebay!!

I have seen this link three times now and it still makes me snigger..
Again, thanks for the anonymous tip off.. you knew I'd share with the world!

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He's making a list, he's checking it twice..

So last night we finally set up our Amazon wedding list.
Originally it was suggested that we only have the one wedding list and this list be held at John Lewis. However, after only one trip to that store, I decided that the shop was pretentious as hell and not only that, it's overpriced as hell too. Honestly, the majority of shoppers at your typical John Lewis are middle-aged, frumpy women who think the heavily floral patterned dress they are wearing is fabulous, aspire to be upper-class, think they're upper-middle class (when in reality they have no class) and think that Hyacinth Bucket is a role model, not a comedy figure.
So I spoke up and argued for a second wedding list, where the shoppers are normal people and are the prices are not only reasonable, they're cheap! So Amazon it is!
Whilst we've not completed the list yet, I already covet one of the items greatly..
This remote control looks heavenly. With it's USB interface, web based wizard set up, and commands which are actually macros for "Watching TV" (which will turn on the telly, and then turn on the Sky+ system (and presumably turn it onto Sky Sports 1 for you too!)). Nice. I like this..

MMMmmmm... programmable remote control...

Sorry, just allow me to wipe the drool off the keyboard, there we go..

Anyway, adding items to the list is muchos fun, it's like shopping without leaving the home, and not actually getting any of the stuff either, but with all the highs normally associated with coveting electronic gadgetry!

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Wednesday, April 26

No News Is Good News

I shouldn't read the news websites, they only annoy me..

I mean, you read this story about people complaining about adverts, and you just wonder what sort of person phones up to complain because an advert depicted someone singing with their mouthfull? There are some people who just seem to get het up about anything and everything and you feel like screaming at them: "Full fuck's sake, just chill out!"

You have to worry about the mentality of these people, I mean we've all seen disagreeable things on television that we don't like (most recently for me, it was the Jose Mourinho interview on Match of the Day -tosser), but most normal people either
a) disregard it,
b) change channel or
c) Think "There's more important things than television" and switch the
damn thing off.

Not the people in the article above,
Oh no..
They stop and proclaim: "I found that offensive!" and then they leap into action, looking up the telephone number for the ASA (for first time complainers, regulars will have it stored in their mobile or smeared in shit on the living room wall), dialling the number, presumably wait in a telephone queueing system (as when was the last time you called any company and didn't get stuck in a queue: "Your complaint is important to us, please continue to hold") and then rant at some poor underpaid telephone operator..
And at no point during this process did they think.. "Hey, maybe I'm over-reacting here, I should let it go and worry about something that's actually important".

Just imagine these people had access to the internet??
Can you imagine the bile and rants of these people who get wound up and whinge about everything that could be spread throughout cyberspace..??
What a nightmare vision of a technological future..


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Please keep arms inside the car at all times..

Is this really the last week in April?

It would appear that May has snuck up on me somewhat, and I'm left a tad flabbergasted at just how quickly this year seems to be passing me by.  The first four months of this year really have felt like the ascent up that first slope on a roller-coaster as we await, and excuse the phrase, the "big drop" in late May/early June.  You know what it's like when you're on such a ride, the long slow rise up into the clouds, the sharp metallic clanging as the carriage is dragged up the track and the ground falls away all about you.  And, at times, it has been a bit of an uphill struggle as we prepared for the new arrival, we've rebuilt the bathroom, decorated the nursery, got up at 5 a.m to sell all of our possessions at a Car Boot (and that's just making preparations for baby - there's been wedding stuff to organise as well!).  Don't get me wrong, there's been some fun along the way too but it does feel like we've been on the go all the time since the New Year kicked in.

And now?

Now it feels like that moment of free movement before you dip over the first drop.  There's that unnerving silence.  If you listen you can hear the sound of the sea, and the floating seagulls on the seaside breeze.  All of the work is behind us, the majority of the things we'll need in the first six weeks of K's life are bought and now we are just waiting..

Waiting for that phone call, or the elbow in the back in the middle of the night, or (and hopefully not) that announcement over the P.A. system in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium that announces the beginning of the process that will bring K into the world.

And then it's hold on tight as we plummet down the first big drop of the child birth roller-coaster, (Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee) through the wedding loop-the-loop (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!) and before you know it, it will be October and it will be time to disembark the ride, sit down and have a nice cup of cocoa.

With any luck 2007 will be a peaceful and relaxing year.. I'm too old for this much excitement!

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Tuesday, April 25

Dum-Dum Dummmmmm Dum-Dum Dummmmmm!

Spent a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday evening watching Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds Live! They really did do an excellent version of translating the concept album to the live arena. And Justin Hayward can still bang out a fantastic rendition of "Forever Autumn".

Wish I could have clapped the performances, but after the rather painful "flying traffic cone" incident, this wasn't possible - must have looked like a thoroughly miserable bastard (and on the front row too!)

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Friday, April 21

Wibble! Wibble! Wibble!

I'm losing the plot..

..I just cannot take any more Microsoft word!!

"There once was a Vampire named Mabel,
Whose period's were remarkably stable,
And so, with a spoon
by the light of the moon
She'd eat herself under the table",

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Oh my life..

..why am I still writing crap specs?

As a distraction, here's a few crap jokes I like:

Q: What's brown and sticky?

A: A Stick!

Q: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

A: A Carrot!

Q: What do you call a fly without any wings?

A: A Walk!

Q: What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

A: Cliff!

Q: What do you call a man with a spade in his head?

A: Doug!

Q: What do you call a man without a spade in his head?

A: Douglas!

Q: What do you call a man with a car on his head?

A: Reg!

Ooh that's enough.. naff jokes wear thin after a while don't they?


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I am deep in Software Specification authoring hell.
It's a Friday afternoon, the sun is shining outside, and I'm staring at Microsoft Word.  That blinking cursor is mocking me, laughing at my lack of inspiration.  It's the last thing you want to do on a Friday afternoon really, isn't it?  I'd rather be sat in a process meeting for fuck's sake.

Actually strike that.
It was written in haste, and I didn't really think it through..
See? MS-Word is turning my brain (what was left of it anyway - which ain't much at the best of times) to mush.

I need a little lie down I think.

And a little rest..

Yes, that would be lovely.


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World At Your Feet

So Embrace have recorded the England World Cup song and it's just been played on The Chris Moyles show on Radio 1.


As the lead singer says, it's definitely not a football song, but it ain't a bad track.. Although it's growing on me the more I hear it, it's still no "World In Motion" by New Order or "Three Lions" by Baddiel & Skinner. Hell it's not even "Vindaloo". You cannot ever imagine this being sang on the terraces. Still at least it's not as bad as Scotland's "Don't Come Home Too Soon" by Del Amitri (which really just admitted that Scotland sucked, but begged them to please not suck that bad so you can at least get out of the group stages!)

At least football songs are no longer sang by the footballers, as that always made for a shite record..

Apart from "Anfield Rap".. ..which was pure class..

"Alright Aldo
Sound as a pound
I'm cushty la but there's nothing down
The rest of the lads ain't got it sussed
We'll have to learn 'em to talk like us"

Genius, that - if we beat the Chavs tomorrow there should be a remix of that released for the FA Cup final

"Alright Carra
Sound as a pound"

You read it here first!

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Thursday, April 20

Invasion of the Giant Jaffa Cakes

I was forwarded a link to a website called PimpMySnack today and I have to say it's fucking genius. Giant Jaffa Cakes, Wagon Wheels as big as your head and -and this is my pesonal favourite and something that long time readers* will remember I campaigned to Cadbury for- a Giant Chocolate Créme Egg!!!

Anyway, some of these projects are inspired - or just heart attacks waiting to happen..

You decide

++ UPDATE ++
* - for the non-long time readers, here is the original blog entry from April 2004

"An Easter related tale
You know how things are when you're working in an office, lots of inane chatter and banter is abound as you work and a couple of weeks ago we got onto the topic of Cadbury's Creme Eggs. After spending a couple of minutes just reflecting on just how damn bloody yummy they are, we wondered why, at this time of year, they never make a big.. easter egg sized.. Cadbury's Creme Egg.. (Rather than a hollow egg with two free creme eggs, just a single, hollow-egg-sized egg, filled with the creme)? We all agreed we'd buy one (you'd be mad not to!).

So, I put my journalistic head on, scooted off to the Cadbury's Creme Egg web site and posed thhe following question:

"We were discussing Easter Eggs in the office, and we wondered if Cadbury would ever consider doing a big Cadbury's Creme Egg. The Egg would be the size of a standard Easter Egg, but rather than being hollow and having creme eggs packaged with it , it would be just one big Cadbury's Creme Egg. Everyone here was of the opinion that this would be fantastic! So any chance of this ever happening, please?"

Now all of these sites have feedback sections, but who actually believes that the mails even get looked at, let alone replied to. So, imagine my surprise when I got home later that day and received a mail from Cadburys themselves! It read:

"Thanks for your e-mail. The standard 'Creme Egg' has been the most popular confectionery product of its type for many years. We make 1,400,000 every 24 hours and is the top selling confectionery product between Christmas and Easter. Manufacturing a 'large' Creme Egg would be very difficult and the retail selling price would probably make it impossible to market successfully. I am sorry to have to disappoint you on this occasion but once again thank you for your interest in writing to us. "

Key phrase there: "on this occasion". This means I reckon the people at the Cadbury's Creme Egg are, at the want of a better phrase, "cracking".. and that if enough of us mail in demanding a large creme egg, we'll get it. Who can resist? So if you want a big Creme Egg, mail Cadburys by clicking here and let's let them know what the consumer wants!"

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Old websites I'd forgotten

Last night whilst browsing old bank statements (more about that later), I came across a few URL's for online stores that I'd not seen a long time..
This was going back to the late nineties, you understand, so I was quite pleased this morning when I found that some of the sites were still there.
Of all of them, by far my favourite was SecondSpin.Com.
This is a great little site that buys and sells second hand CDs (and now, I notice DVDs too) and is great for getting your music cheap. They also check the quality of everything they sell and it is delivered to you in very decent nick indeed, for very little cash. Fabulous.
Another site that used to get a fair whack of my cash, was, which back in the days before playusa used to be one of the few sources of region 1 DVDs that would ship (at a reasonable price) to the UK. Now they don't seem to sell DVDs at all (passing you through to if you want to purchase anything) - how things change, eh?
Another casualty falling into the "things moving on" category is Blackstar. Now there was a time when I used to order practically everything from this store, CD's, books, DVDs.. But now they've either been bought out or rebranded..
Amazing how in this relatively new market of buying goods online, there's already room for nostalgia, innit?

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Wednesday, April 19

Seeing the Future

Now the nursery is finished, and we have under seven weeks until the arrival of an occupant for that room, we've become obsessed with the gender of the unborn child. 


That's not fair.. 

Liz, although mildly curious, remains calm and, despite suffering with the negative side-effects of pregnancy (aches, pains, indigestion, sleeplessness, etc), remarkably happy and content about the whole thing.  

No, it's me that has this sudden fascination as to whether baby K will be a boy or a girl.  I guess it's just because knowing would make it so much easier to envisage them in that room.  Actually I don't know why really, I'm just really, really intrigued.  It's like those Christmases of old where you didn't actually know what you were going to get, and were really, really excited about finding out.

Of course, this is a complete reversal from three months ago, when I proclaimed that I didn't want to know and was looking forward to the surprise of when the midwife whips it out, dangles it by it's ankles, slaps it's arse and announces: "It's a.....". 

Which is a pity really, as three months ago we were going for the second scan where they could have told exactly what we were having.  To quote the wisdom of Homer (Homer J. Simpson, that is): "D'oh!".

So.. with everyone providing us with their own counsel as to what gender the imminent arrival might be, none based on any scientific or even convincing evidence, we decided to turn to the provider of all known wisdom throughout the ages...  Old Wives' Tales.

There's a million or so of these on the internet, all claiming to provide some indication of what is the gender of the child that is currently kicking the bejesus out of the inside of Liz's ribcage.  Here's just a few so you can see how random they are..

- Whether the expectant mother has more of a craving for sweet or sour food..
- Whether the expectant mother's tummy looks more like a watermelon or a beach ball..
- Whether the baby is being carried high or low in the womb..
- Whether the expectant Mum's feet have got colder or have stayed the same temperature..
- Whether the expectant Mum has lost her looks (ask that at your own risk!!)..
- Whether the expectant Mum's nose has spread..
- Whether the grandmother has grey hair or not (and not includes dyed hair! FFS!).

All of the above (and about a hundred more, too many to mention, in fact) all claim to point to whether I shall get a son or a daughter in late May, or early June.  Madness isn't it?  And although we had answers seemed to be pointing in one direction more than the other, we still weren't entirely satisfied with the method at which we were getting such an indication.

It is, therefore, probably a combination of this curiosity and disappointment of the information already retrieved, that we ended up with a ring being dangled on a piece of cotton above Liz's belly last night.  This is not some bizarre sexual practice (although with a double-entendre filter on the previous sentence I can see how you might think it is), but is yet another way of seemingly determining the gender of an unborn baby.  You see, the mum-to-be lies on her back, and you take a ring (supposed to be a wedding ring, but we're entirely too white trash to actually have a child in wedlock, so an engagement ring had to do) and attach a piece of cotton to it.  The ring is then suspended on the cotton, above the womb, and how it moves (either in a circular arc or swinging back or forth) will tell you whether it's a girl or a boy having a snooze in the belly below. 

So we tried it.. and we got a result..
And the result seemed to match the majority of answers we'd already been told.
I wasn't convinced.. so I switched the hand that was holding the cotton, steadied the ring and we tried again.. and we got a result..

Hmmm.. is twice a co-incidence?
One last time..
Ooh.. look.. the same result.

So a lot of these Old Wives' Tales, and the "Ring on the piece of cotton" test appear to be, on the whole, indicating one result....

..And I'll be back in a maximum of seven weeks time to either praise or debunk these theories!

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Tuesday, April 18

Bank Holiday Hangover


That's what I say.

I mean, honestly, you spend so long looking forward to a Bank Holiday weekend as it's a four-day weekend, it's a chance to be away from work for quite a significant length of time, to relax, to recharge your batteries and then..


It's gone and you're sat back at your desk wondering where the fuck it went and, more importantly, when the next day off is.  Thankfully, the next bank holiday is just under two weeks away, kids, so let's not get too downhearted eh?   But whilst the knowledge of that is some comfort, I can guarantee you, despite all the anticipation and build up, that the long weekend will be gone before you know it again, speeding off round the corner like some hit-and-run driver whilst you're left sat on a Tuesday wondering what the hell just happened. 

You're also left completely confused as to what day it is, as although you're faintly aware that it is a Tuesday, it doesn't seem like a Tuesday.. it has that definite "Monday" feel about it.  You'll be confused all week, wondering why a certain TV show is on tonight when "it's only Monday" and then the realisation: D'oh!

However for the ultimate confused individual over any given Bank Holiday weekend, we must look no further than my ickle cat, Tyla.. 

You see, every Sunday, Tyla and his sister, Phoebe, get a treat: a nice tin of tuna.  Now for Tyla this is the highlight of the week.  Each week Tyla spends six days and 20 hours looking forward to the tuna, ten minutes eating the tuna, and three hours fifty minutes lying on the floor, bloated, burping, content and full of tuna before the cycle begins again.  This cat is governed by his stomach.  Now Tyla is just about smart enough to have worked out after all these years that if I'm not at work, then it's a pretty good chance it's the weekend, and if it's the weekend then there's a fifty-fifty chance that it's a Sunday and if it's a Sunday there's about a 100% certainty of canned fish and that "full up feeling" they sing about in Oliver! 

So, at the weekend, you'll find that a certain cat becomes very attentive all of a sudden, as he tries to grovel up a fishy treat.  By Sunday (now having worked out that it mostly likely is the weekend and, as he didn't get tuna yesterday that must have been a Saturday, so therefore today must be.. -you get the picture of how his mind works) Tyla's an utter pain in the ass as grovelling has become stalking, and he follows you from room-to-room (often walking in between your legs as you go) and giving you plenty of "hard stares".

So as you can imagine a long Bank Holiday weekend is torture for Tyla, Sunday takes an extra day to come and also there's another Sunday immediately after it.. Confused is not the word.  Consequently he's been like a little dark cloud most of the weekend, utterly grumpy but still inclined to pester you at every opportunity. 

Thankfully his world will have a little normality today as we've all disappeared off to work again, and hopefully some of that normality might crash into my world soon too..


Sunday, April 16

I.. Am.. Ruined..

Do you remember Mr Claypole, the camp jester from TV's Rentaghost always used to say that? Well it is the only word that seems to fit just now.

I thought bank holiday weekends were supposed to be relaxing?

If so, why is this the longest time I've had to sit down since breakfast on Good Friday??

Okay since then the back room has been gutted and turned into a very attractive nursery (a very heavily Winnie The Pooh themed room I might add) and yes I stood all afternoon at a football match too (no wonder me pins are knackered), but at what cost? I feel like a total wreck now!

So now that I have listed a couple Beatles rarities that I am selling on eBay, I intend to collapse into a large glass of brandy and watch the latest episode of 24 (is a good season so far this year).

Tomorrow I shall have a day off, dammit!

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Thursday, April 13

Get in!

Have my FA Cup Semi Final ticket..
Bring on the Chavski!!!!

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Literally hours to go

Morning Campers!

Well the bank holiday weekend is almost here, it's literally so close you can almost smell it, can't you?

And, with any luck, the bank holiday weekend should be the last chaotic weekend until, well until junior arrives to be honest.  You see, this weekend the spare room will be converted into a nursery.  Tonight bookshelves, which used to contain loads of books until we sold them at a car boot sale, will be dismantled, the broadband cable will be re-routed and the computer will be moved.  And over the weekend, thanks to a couple of coats of yellow gloss and several rolls of Winnie-the-Pooh wallpaper, a nursery will be born.

After that we're just about prepared you know.  All of the major renovations and room transformations will have been done, we've bought loads of things ready for the moment that K enters the world kicking and screaming.  Now we play the waiting game..  Everyone is convinced that K's arrival will be early, but I am still clinging to the hope that the little 'un will arrive bang on time, allowing my paternity leave to coincide with the opening couple of weeks of the World Cup.

And talking of football, this weekend ain't all work, work, work (as the bloke on the cheesy Natwest advert used to say, after he explained (hilariously) that filling the ATM machine was a lot like filling a photocopier except "the paper is more expensive" - guffaw!!) as we're all off to Blackburn on Sunday to enjoy their wonderful hospitality, and -hopefully- a splendid game of Premiership Football.

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Wednesday, April 12

Who's nicked Easter?

Are you looking forward to Easter then?
Are you?
What part are you looking forward to the most...?

Is it a hollow chocolate egg, more packaging than confectionary, that despite weighing less than a multipack of Mars Bars has probably cost the best part of a tenner..?


Alright then, is it the inevitable religious guff on the television, all hymns and services and "mockumentaries" propagating the myth about this geezer who was nailed to a tree only to wake up again three days later..?

Surely not...

Okay, is it the long weekend which means four days away from the toil and tedium of the workplace, only to find every road, and public place filled to busting because everyone has to "do something" on the bank holiday..

Well, the time off's nice, but when you put it like that..

No, there's only one thing to really look forward to this Easter..
Can you guess what it is..??

That's right!
Saturday night sees the return of the best programme to hit the Cathode-Ray Tube (and your fancy-shmancy LCD, Plasma and Rear-Projection screens too) since television got a couple of extra lines and went all colour:  Doctor Who! 


And those of you with posh mobile telephones can get a preview sent to your phone courtesy of those nice people at the British Broadcasting Corporation.  All you have to do is text "TARDIS" to 81010, and they will send you a "Tardisode", which is essentially a 30 second trailer for the next episode of the show, allegedly featuring exclusive clips (and, in keeping with the tradition of the TARDIS, these things are relatively small in content but will appear to be absolutely fucking massive on your mobile telephone bill).  You can get the Tardisodes on your PC too, but if you have the sort of mobile phone that can play the video, you'll no doubt want to do it that way just to be a flash, smug git..

"New Earth" certainly looks interesting, and you just know that the acting, scripting and (oddly, for a British science-fiction show) production values are all going to be top-notch. 

So.. hurrah for Saturdays on BBC One!
And hurrah for the return of Doctor Who!

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Time for the annual cholesterol fix

Can you believe it's been over a year since last Easter, and it's been over a year since the last Bank Holiday Gut-Buster special, too. Once again the spreadsheet of butty-ordering-goodness has been opened, and the day hath been moved back one (It's called the FBR - which we tell management stands for Friday Butty Run, but which everyone knows stands for Fat Bastard Run!!) due to the long weekend. Bacon will be fried, eggs will be scrambled, toast will be buttered for breakfast must be consumed.
So roll up, roll up, your heart attack in a styrofoam box is only 24 hours away..

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Tuesday, April 11


Last night we had a power cut that affected the entire street. 
It's been ages since I've sat through a proper power cut.  When I were a lad (uh-oh, cue the Hovis music) power cuts seemed to happen so much more often than they do now.  Mind you it was the late seventies, I guess, a few years earlier it was petrol shortages and three-day weeks!.  Indeed, one of my early random memories is from a power cut, with my mum cooking dinner by candlelight in the kitchen (at least we had a gas stove, eh?), whilst we listened to the Top 40 on a battery-powered radio and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" by the Carpenters was in the top five, if that helps to date it for anyone.  Actually that made that song take on a whole other spooky quality with the whole house shrouded in darkness, lit only in isolated spots by flickering candle light.  But anyway, enough of the sepia-toned memories, back to the now baby.

We didn't even realise that the electricity had gone until a neighbour knocked on our door to enquire whether our power had gone off "as well".  After all it was quite early in the evening so no lights were on, and it was a bit of a family gathering for the lad's fifth birthday which meant the telly was off, so we had no way of knowing the power had gone.  But when we looked around, all the clues were there.. no lights on the front of the Sky+ box, no time being displayed on the cooker or the microwave.  Yup this was a power cut.

Whilst the sun was up it never really bothered us, but as evening went on, we began to realise that a) it could be a while before we got the electricity back and b) we were totally and utterly unprepared for not having any lights.  We had no candles in the house at all.  And, seeing as I have quit smoking, even if we did have candles we had no means of lighting them (we'd used our last two matches lighting candles on a birthday cake earlier).  Hell, we didn't even have a torch.

Before total darkness set in, I was despatched to the local supermarket to purchase candles and matches, and a torch.  Before long we were all sat around with the whole house shrouded in darkness, with isolated areas of the front room lit by flickering candle light.  Unfortunately the battery-powered radio had gone, and even if we did have one I doubt very much we would have found any station playing the Carpenters to fully recreate the late seventies power cut experience, but it was still quite a close approximation

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Monday, April 10

Bad Pub Design

Nothing annoys me more in a pub than having to wait an absolute age to get served.. 

After all, it's adding insult to injury, seeing as you're already amazed that it's "your round" again and you're about to receive a swift financial kick in the knackers due to the fact that a bottle of beer that will cost you less than a fiver for four in any good supermarket is going to sting you for the best part of three notes.

Honestly, you want to know where all the highwaymen went to?  They're running the "Dog and Duck" down the high street.  They don't even need to wear a silly mask, carry flintlocks or shout "Stand and Deliver" to rob innocent people anymore.. just sell bottled beer.  The bastards.  So being made to wait for ages to be ripped off on top of all that, is just plain rude.  After all going out for a beer is supposed to be a sociable experience, but when you're stood at the bar waiting to be mugged, you're away from the people you're supposed to be socialising with.  All in all it's just a faff.  I mean, why can't we have table service like you do in mainland Europe (and quite a few bars in London too), that's so much more convenient (and also goes some way to justify the astronomical price of 33cl of fizzy lager).

So anything that actually adds to your waiting time at the bar is not to be welcomed.  Indeed anything that makes it more difficult to get served is definitely to be scoffed at.  So may I present as exhibit A, a first class example of something that makes the whole "going to the bar" experience more painful than it needs to be: Televisions behind the bar. 

Now I'm sure the intention behind them was good, as in "We don't want the punters to miss any action in the televised football whilst they're at the bar".  Fair enough.  But, as religious nutters say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  What actually happens is that suddenly being sat at the bar becomes the best seat in the house as you have a clear view of the television, you have somewhere to rest your pint, and when you finish your drink you don't have to move to get served again.  So the entire bar in now lined by selfish, stubborn, inanimate bastards who you have to shout round/over to be heard by the barmaid and contort yourself past in order to pay and get your beer.  And if you accidentally knock them when you're trying to steer the four pints you've ordered past them, they have the cheek to "tut" and glare at you.  The gits.

So, please, no more televisions behind the bar.. By all means make one television visible from the bar area so you can keep an eye on the match whilst you're queuing up to get served, but let's not do anything to encourage these ignorant squatters any further.. In short, let me get robbed quicker please!  Thanks.

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Friday, April 7

The weekend starts here...

Friday began too early today in my humble opinion, if it could have arrived a few hours later (you know, stopped off on the way over to have some breakfast, read the paper, etc) I would have been much happier as I really could have used a few more sweet, precious hours of slumber. 

As it happened, Friday began bang on time, and my sleep-starved brain, all befuddled and addled has struggled through the day ever since.  It didn't help that Mr. Headache must have arrived about twenty minutes before the alarm clock went off.  And did you know that Mr. Headache has purchased a brand new set of extra-bastard-loud-hobnail boots?  Well he has, and the bastard has been stomping around my head ever since I first opened my eyes, and nothing pharmaceutical has helped to evict him from my throbbing skull. 

And you know what it's like when you have a headache for the whole day, it's like you are having to fight your way through those rollers you get in car washes, because you never seem to quite breakthrough to complete clarity, you just get buffered continually by the headache which beats down relentlessly on your brow all day..


..mustn't grumble

As it's nearly the weekend...


Which means a heady mixture of (in no particular order) Chinese Food, Waterproof sealant, Brandy, Football, "My Name Is Earl", Lie-ins, Pain au Chocolat, Beer, Bike Construction, Wine, and Camelot.

So should be a fun-packed 48 hours!

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Daytona Deadline (Cross-posted from the Stag Night Blog)

We will be booking places for the Karting on:

Tuesday 18th April 2006

This is to ensure it isn't booked up, and we can guarantee that everyone who wants to go, can go..

So, if you want to go Karting, but have not let Sean know, please make sure that you drop him a line before then.

Also, we still need numbers for either the meal or the piss-up afterwards (or both), just so that we can think about what sort of venues we can go to etc, etc..

So even if you're thinking of coming along for the curry and/or the piss up in the evening, please email Sean to give him an idea of how many are going to be attending..


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Thursday, April 6

And now, the end is near

So, as you can see from the previous post, things are finally drawing to a close on the old bathroom front.  It's been a long, bumpy, and -at times- tedious ride, and I'd like to thank you, gentle reader, for sharing the high's, the low's, and every altitude in-between as we travelled from the ridiculous to the sublime (in terms of interior decoration)..

One big plus of all the work being done is that I can finally enjoy a good pooh at home as opposed to having to go at work.  Now I know the contractors I work with (and, hell, even some of the permies agree) will advocate going for a pooh during work hours - you are, after all, getting paid to have a shit.  Constipation is almost akin to promotion to them.  As well as the financial incentive of the office-hours-pooh, there is also the fact that a lot of the people I work with consider the company-subsidised-dump to be the highlight of any given work day. 

However, the company loo's contain three cubicles and I personally would rather pooh in isolation.  This is not because I am bashful, or anything like that, it's just that I don't like having to sit there and listen to other people pooh-ing in the adjacent cubicles. 

You see, it seems that some people have no shame when using shared toilet resources, and have no problem whatsoever accompanying each bowel movement with a eardrum-shattering anal-fanfare (or should that be "anal-fartfare"?).  This crescendo of bum-trumpeting is most often accompanied by repeated sploshing, like someone emptying a slops bucket into a swimming pool.  It's a symphony of shitting that I just don't want to hear. 

And the phantom farters (for their identity is, thankfully, always concealed by the partition wall of the cubicle.  Just as well, really, as I don't think I could look the offenders in the eye after some of the concerts I've heard) are not the worst, oh no.. that title goes to the pleaders. 

The pleaders obviously don't get enough roughage in their diet, and seemingly have to coax each little pebble of pooh forth by begging it to emerge from it's sphincter retreat..  If you didn't know better you'd swear they had a small hamster up their arse and they were trying to tease it out using cheese and persuasion..

"Ngggggnn.. Oh, come on, come on.. nggggggnnnnnn.. yes, that's it.. ngggnnn.. <plop!>"

This is normally followed by a giant sigh of relief, and a moment of rest, before the whole embarrassing performance begins again..

Both the phantom farters and the pleaders are assisted in their awful aural accompaniments by the fact that the company loo, being tiled from floor to ceiling, adds it's own acoustic nuance in the form of a little bit of echo, for that professional touch.  

And there's nothing worse than having to sit there, trollies round your ankles, having to listen to this.. this.. well, this shit.  Can people not pooh quietly?  Must they announce each clenching of the buttocks with a rip-roaring fart?  Can they not eat more All Bran?

I for one will not be missing the office-hours-dump, and look forward to pooh-ing at home admiring my fine floor tiling work...

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Wednesday, April 5

Floor tile Tetris

Apologies, I have been really busy recently trying to get the finishing touches applied to this bathroom (no photo today -couldn't be arsed, sorry again), which has meant little spare time to observe things in life never mind comment on them here.

Last night saw the floor boards in the bathroom finally being covered up with ply-wood so that we could lay the vinyl tiles down.  I have done the straight stretch of the tiles now (which are this black slate effect and look rather stunning against the white bathroom fixtures and skirting I must say) so that would get the chance to dry before I begun fixing the awkward cuts to the floor (which is tonight's job).  And it is going to be an elaborate jigsaw puzzle of a job tonight to get all of them floor covered neatly this evening (Of course, one could argue that it's easier than a jigsaw as I get to cut my own shapes out, it's more like Floor tile Tetris).  Laying the tiles has meant that my knees are absolutely ruined today, so I'm walking round like and old man ("Hardest game in the world that floor tiling.  Did it thirty years, man and boy").

Normal service will resume imminently.


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Tuesday, April 4

A Foo, pour vous?

I have two spare tickets for the Foo Fighters gig at Lancashire Cricket Ground on Sunday 18th June 2006 (I believe The Killers are supporting as well as other, as yet unconfirmed, acts). 

Now, I could put these on eBay but I'd rather sell to someone who's a friend and a fan so I'm giving the peeps who pop in here every now and then first dibs on the tix (at face value, of course). 

If you buy them we could meet up for a beer whilst Dave Grohl does his thing on stage, but this is not a condition of sale.. ;)

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Monday, April 3

Sign of a dumbass driving..

The Monday morning commute..
Ahh yes, the rat-race to work on the first day of the week, where one must endure the morons who have seemingly forgotten how to drive in rush-hour traffic over the weekend.  Maybe they partied just a little too hard this weekend, maybe they still feel a little bit rough, maybe they're not looking forward to another dull week in their dingy little office.. maybe..  Whatever.  Maybe they should consider moving out of the fast lane  and getting the fuck out of my way.

Aye, traffic was a bitch this morning with every lane of every road seemingly populated with idiotic, infuriating, incompetent idiots.  They'll cut you up, they'll slow you down, they don't know where they're going! 

Ultimately because of all of the dumbass Monday driving, you end up stuck in a queue of traffic and this give you a time to take notice of things, to look about you -something you don't often get the chance to do at 90 miles-per-hour on the M60.  So there I was sitting in traffic this morning, half-listening to the radio, when something caught my eye.. A little yellow diamond in the rear windscreen of the car in front of me, and another one in the car in front of that and yet another one in front of that.. And all of these signs said things like "Baby on Board" or "Twins on Board" or, and this is the worst, "Small Person On Board". 

(Not only is the "Small Person on Board" sign nauseating in itself, but it demonstrates a sickening level of political correctness gone mad.  You can just imagine the sandal-wearing, organic-tofu-eating twats explaining to you that "we don't want to pigeonhole Tarquin by labelling him as a baby, to label him is to negate him, we want him to flourish as a little individual".  Arseholes.)

Anyway, back to the signs..
What message are they exactly sending out..?
I should take extra care not to hit your car just because the fruit of your loins is strapped into the baby seat on the passenger?  How arrogant is that?  I never had any intention of hitting your car anyway.. Or any other car for that matter.  I'm going to take exactly the same amount of care not to hit your car, mainly because I don't want to crash, damage my car, go through all the insurance nonsense, etc, etc but mostly because I don't want to be any later for work than I already am thanks very much..  I certainly won't be taking any additional care just cos your brat is strapped into your motor..

Or maybe that isn't what the sign is saying that at all.. maybe it's boasting about the fertility of the driver?  Maybe the sign is a way of shouting to other drivers: "Look! My seed has spewed forth and forged a child.  All hail my mighty bollocks!".

Mighty bollocks, indeed.

Needless to say, I won't be sticking one of these god awful signs in my motor (and my suggestion to stick a "Gestating foetus on board" in my better half's car as a means of an ironic protest against these signs has been turned down too)..

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