Friday, July 30, 2010

Stuff & Nonsense

Science Museum eFlyer - Who Am I?Technically this is product placement. Or at the very least free advertizing. And I’m selling it cheaply. It’s not as if I’m being offered free tickets, a lifetime’s supply of Dairy Milk or even access to Keeley Hawes’ bra drawer. No. I’m just being offered the faintest possibility of some extra readers finding their way to my blog, the merest whiff of a little extra exposure.

Am I really such a mediawhore that I’ll bend over backwards for such pallid, watery inducements?

Yes. Quite clearly I am.

I received an email from “Bizhan” who works for a company called Nonsense. No wait. It is genuine. Honest. And Nonsense are currently working with the Science Museum in London “on a fun little project around their new 'Who am I?' gallery - which raises interesting questions about what makes you, you.”

And all Bizhan wants before he’ll advertise my blog on every billboard, flyover and internet discussion forum in the universe is for me to pose one small question to you all.

What makes you smile?

Answering couldn’t be simpler. Answers can be by tweet to @sciencemuseum, posted on the Science Museum Facebook Wall, or even written into the comments field below my blog post.

And get this - “They’d especially welcome any video responses”.

Well, given my recent post on Erin Andrews, a video response from Mr Peephole-Pervert (double barrelled – oh so upper class) could be very interesting indeed, though I’m not sure how the Science Museum’s family oriented demographic would respond to such an interesting piece of avant-garde human biology in action.

But hey – that’s not my problem.

So. Onto the meat. What makes you smile?

For me, it’s a great many things (which in itself is surely smile worthy?).

• My wife and kids.
• Holidays – basically any time of year when I am not at work but especially the times when the shit hits the fan and I’m not there to cop any of it.
• Lego – I just love the stuff.
• Old family photographs – though these sometimes make me sad at the same time.
• My youngest son learning to speak – we’re currently at that halfway stage when his verbal outpourings are half English and half Toddlerese.
• My friends.
• A good book.
• A superb piece of televised or cinematic drama.
• Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
• Hillwalking or spending time in Wales or anywhere in fact where contact with other human beings is at a minimum.
• A clean house (yes, really).
• An unexpected joke.
• Happy memories.
• Gratuitous pictures of Keeley Hawes.

Keeley Hawes makes me smileOk. Now it’s over to you. Don’t let me down, folks. Keeley Hawes’ bra drawer could be on the line here (I’m hoping Bizhan will come through for me – I’m sure he knows people who could help or pull a few strings). Here are some links that might be of use to you in your sterling endeavours (though I'm hoping you'll show your loyalty to my blog by leaving your responses here).

Science Museum: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sciencemuseum
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sciencemuseumlondon


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Screw You, Google!

Bum giving the finger of freedomGoogle Earth.

A lot has been written about it.

References made to 1984, Big Brother, The All Seeing Eye, satellite spy networks, burglaries and virtual house-rapes.

Suddenly, with the help of modern photographic technologies, computer aided flight and an online search engine with a god complex, any Tom, Dick or Harriet can take a leisurely stroll across our front lawns, peer up our back passages or peer over our garden fences to see who we’re burying beneath our patios without fear of apprehension, condemnation or even question.

Google Earth has laid bare our castle ramparts and exposed our jakes to the entire universe.

But did they ask our permission to do this? Did they check that it was OK?

No. The hell they did. Don’t make me laugh!

I believe even now you have to jump through several thousand hoops just to win the opportunity to opt out.

Well, enough is enough. It’s time to make a stand. Our privacy has been invaded for the last time. The campaign to end the rule of Google Earth starts here.

See, I’m fed up of living with the feeling that someone is continually watching me over my shoulder, analyzing my every move digitally. Every time an aircraft passes overhead I feel a cold shudder of paranoia rattle through my bones. Is it photographing me? Pixellating the new and slightly illegal loft conversion that I didn’t run past the planning department of my local town council? Is it perving at my wife sunbathing in the back garden? Is some cyber nerd in the Sudan going to be drooling over my herbaceous borders and planning to steal my succulents? Cos thanks to Google Earth anyone can pinpoint my every garden possession and identify the make of my wife’s car. My garden gnomes no longer feel safe.

At first the paranoia made me hunch my shoulders. Made me want to hide my face. It was then – on the very cusp of turning into a hoodie, faced with a fate worse than death – that something snapped and I made my stand. With the buzz of a light aircraft ricocheting through the stratosphere over my head I could suddenly take no more. I turned to face it. I peered upwards and gave that snarling aircraft the bird long and hard. Finger straight, right up its imaginary jacksy.

“Screw you, Google Earth!” I cried, “Take a photo of this!”

And now I do it every time I hear or see a plane. Even hot air balloons and microlights get it. See, I want Google Earth to photograph me now. I want some criminal mastermind in the Dordognes, searching online for an easy hit on mainland Britain, to search my street, take a virtual walk up my garden path and find me there giving him the finger.

But more than that. I want there to be someone on every street, in every town and city, in every county in this great country – hell, even the world – someone brave enough to face the eye in the sky when it flies over and give it the almighty finger of freedom. To yell “Swivel on this!” at the top of their voices! You like technology, Google? Well, it doesn’t get much more digital than this!

So join me, brothers and sisters. Let the revolution begin. Let us take back what belongs to us. When you hear a plane fly overhead you know what to do. Push away your pens; cast aside your keyboards; welly your Wii’s out of the window. Hit the street with me and offer up your finest bird up to those that would deny us our privacy.

You want to have a finger in all of our pies, Google? Well here’s a finger for you!

Raaaargh!

+++ We interrupt this blog for a special service announcement. The author has been rushed into a psychiatric hospital for immediate assessment. It seems that after reaching his 600th post he is beginning to suffer delusions of grandeur. We hope to restore normal service very soon. +++


Monday, July 26, 2010

Eye-Eye

Eric MorecambeSo after a few collisions with the exuberant head of the 2 and a half year old my faithful spectacles had finally lost their innate ability to grip my face the way they were designed to do. The slightest head movement from yours truly and people were wandering it I was doing a bad Eric Morecambe impression.

It was time to venture back through the myopic portals of my family’s favourite optician, Charnley’s.

Me and Charnley’s go way back, right to when I was first diagnosed with astigmatism and was given my first pair of glasses (NHS style – long before Jarvis Cocker ever made them moderately cool) when I was 5 years old. At one time in my pre-teen years I held the town record for the sheer number of spectacle breakages. I was averaging about 7 times a year at one point and though my mum never believed me none of them were ever my fault. During one memorable incident one of the Dugglin boys went for a high ball during the lunchtime footie match and managed a kick worthy of the Moulin Rouge. Unfortunately his Clarkes managed to hoof my spectacles off my face and dislodge the lens which was later found (thanks to the direction of the headmaster) by the entire school being made to form a police line and march the full length of the playing field until we found it. Ah, those were the days.

But those times are long behind me now. It had been 7 years since I’d last graced Charnley’s with my presence and not only new glasses but an eye test was also long overdue.

I was fearing the worst. My dad developed glaucoma a few years back so there’s now a family history (though on the bright side I’m now eligible for free eye tests); I’ve been getting migraine “drop outs” in my eyes when I’m very tired. And removing my glasses in the opticians made me do something I rarely do at home: actually try and look at stuff with the naked eye alone. I was appalled. If I’d been around before glasses were invented I’d have stuck no chance in life at all. I’d’ve been a crap servant and frankly a liability as a farmhand – I can guarantee nobody would have wanted to stand next to me when it came to harvest time. A scythe is a nasty weapon in the wrong hands. Or with the wrong eyes.

So I underwent all the tests. It’s all very high tech now. Computerized. They test eye pressure and depth of field – not just “what’s the smallest row of letters you can read”? Some of the gizmos they use give you the feeling of being plugged into a virtual reality machine or a game station. I was tempted to ask my optician if I’d made it through to the boss level.

She – the optician – was very professional. Opticians are always very quiet and have soothing voices in my experience. It’s probably the result of the enforced intimacy. There’s nothing like having someone’s face so close to your own you can feel their breath on your eyelashes to make you whisper softly. Mind you, the ruddy great super-trooper she was bouncing of my retina spoiled the atmosphere somewhat. Any stronger and she would have scorched a hole through the back of my cranium.

Still, I can’t fault her thoroughness. My sight was put through an army assault course of tests.

At the end of it I was genuinely blinded with exhaustion. And fear.

I felt sure my eyes had deteriorated. I was turning into Mr Magoo. I’d need lenses thicker than Corona bottles. I’m going blind, aren’t I, doc, tell me straight?

*sob*

How wrong could I have been?

My eyes have actually improved! I didn’t know that was even possible. I’m less short sighted than I was. Because – and here’s the clincher – I’m becoming more long sighted. Apparently that’s very common once you hit your 40’s. I’ll have a few years of improvement before the long sightedness fouls up my ability to read a book close-up and then my eyes will be buggered every which way but loose and I’ll need completely different lenses.

Ah well. In the meantime at least I can still try for the work’s darts team.

A new pair of glasses are now on order with – for the time being – weaker lenses to suit my vision. The frames I chose are as close to the ones I have now as I could find – I hate changing my facial furniture. I was tempted by the Dame Edna pink side wings but, frankly, I don’t have the cheek bones to pull it off.

Besides, when did you ever see Eric Morecambe wearing pink glasses?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

An Easy Post To Comment On

wedding pictureFriday was the 5th wedding anniversary of yours truly and my good lady wife.

5 years! It feels something of a milestone, this half decade. So much has happened.

• Both my grandparents and my aunt died
• Karen and I lost two babies before succeeding with Tom who’ll be 3 in October
• I finally got my English degree
• Karen finally got her ACCA qualification
• I began this blog
• I wrote a novel
• We bought a house
• Karen totally renovated the garden to the point where we are now growing our own fruit and veg

And through it all Karen and I feel just as close as we always did. The magic is still there. Sure the magic might get buried occasionally under fatigue, work stresses, money worries, ill health, etc, but it’s still there bubbling away.

It’s funny to think that even just 10 years ago I would never have imagined myself as being where I actually am right now. Sure, I haven’t run a marathon, haven’t been into space or made a million with my home web design business but I’m still proud of what has been achieved and what has been survived over the last 5 years.

The ups have been up and the downs have been down.

I’m sure there’ll be challenges aplenty in the next 5 years but I can say with absolute certainly that I hope Karen and I are still together, working our way through them steadily in the not so far off year that is 2015.

And I hope to see all of you there too. Here’s to the next 5!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bread Crumbs

This week I have quaffed deep of the carafe of crapness. Supped long and hard on the soup-bowl of complete and utter work soddery. It is not an expression I use often on this blog but this week has been a shit sandwich. A shit sandwich of doorstep proportions.

There’s too much to go into here. Too much to discuss that would get me into trouble with my employers were I to share it openly – and you all know how I actively seek to avoid trouble of that nature. So let me satisfy external analysis by providing – for your delectation – one small vignette that not only began this week of work-based woe but also rather neatly sums it up.

Monday morning. We have just opened to the public. The foyer area is sparkling and smelling of pine fresh disinfectant. A contractor turns up to meet me. We exchange pleasantries and head back through the foyer to look at the faulty doors he has come to repair.

There is shit everywhere. Human shit. A trail of man-poo that slithers from the public toilets across the foyer to the library, across their cool blue carpet tiles, back out across the foyer towards the entrance doors and, yes, when I check, leads off across the parkland outside. Without any effort at all I bet I could follow the perpetrator all the way home.

The trail reminds me for some reason of the blood trail left after a seal has been clubbed and dragged back to a fur trading ship. Somebody has obviously clubbed a seal to death with an elephant sized turd.

I am gobsmacked. In fact I smack my gob and keep my hand there to prevent myself from inhaling the ripe aroma of freshly ejected effluvia that floats up from ground level like marsh gas.

In the space of a few brief seconds some scrote has – unfathomably – left the public toilets whilst soiling himself at a constant rate of one plop every third footfall.

Why? How?

How can you do this and not know you are doing it? ‘Cos I’m assuming it was an accident and not deliberate. Or am I wrong? Has the guy in question cut a hole in his trouser pockets like a POW in the Great Escape and carefully and surreptitiously dropped his load in the hope that the Nazi prison guards wouldn't notice what he was doing?

He’s failed. It sticks out a mile. And it smells. And – oh God – other customers are coming into the building and walking through it. As I watch, the wheel of a wheelchair carves a moist furrow in a particularly fetid looking dollop. There are now new shite trails beginning to spread out everywhere.

We get the cleaner. Bless her, she dons her marigolds with the stern expression of a vet about to remove a breach calf from the back end of a cow and gets to work. The clean-up operation has begun.

In the meantime a quick look of the CCTV cameras reveals a lost, confused, heavily bearded man wearing a woollen bobble hat despite the summer heat leaving the loos and wandering across to the library at the right time. Even with the dodgy quality of the CCTV footage you can clearly see that he’s not “all there” (indeed, a lot of him is spread across our floors). The phrase “care in the community” comes to mind. I.E. nobody cares and he’s been left to his own devices.

The cleaner reports that the loos are a bombsite (bum site?). Faeces and toilet paper in all the loos and all over the sinks. It’s going to be a big job (no pun intended).

*Sigh*

And that is how Monday began and – you know what? – the work week hasn’t got any better than that.

Like I said.

A shit sandwich.


Monday, July 19, 2010

You Plumb!

Do people not want work? With the country selling its kidneys for rent money, do people not want to earn a bit of cash?

We have a small list of plumbing jobs in my house. Nothing too onerous: a couple of taps that don’t work properly, a leaky sink and a leaky shower, a wonky shower head that refuses to stay in position (so one must shower doing the Hitler salute to keep it over one’s head)... all stuff that a good plumber could sort out in an hour or two. A nice little earner in fact.

But do you think I can commission someone to do the work?!

The first thing I did was to pose the question on my work’s intranet: can anybody recommend a good, reasonably priced plumber?

The response to this was good. Three recommendations plopped into my inbox. Three likely lads championed by satisfied customers.

I rang all of them. All bar one answered and set a time to come round the ol’ gaffe last weekend, take a look and give a quote. I left a phone message with the third and left it at that.

The weekend came but the two plumbers didn’t. No show. Bleeding great. The third one, however, picked up his phone message and rang me back. This looked more promising. He attended within the hour, quoted £80 (I bit his hand off) and said he’d formalize the quote on Monday and get in touch to make arrangements to come and do the job.

Monday came and went. Nothing. Nadda.

OK. Maybe he was busy. Had a rush job on. A little old lady with her rheumatoid arthritic toe jammed up her combi tap. These things happen.

A week later though and the plumber drought continues. Not a sign. Not a dickie-bird. And I’m not sure I can be bothered to chase any of these jokers up.

If they don’t want the work I’m not sure I want to give them my money in the first place.

They can all go and shove their heads down the nearest toilet. After all, some might say that is an occupational hazard (when they actually do their jobs, that is).


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leamington Is Full Of The Strangest People, No. 2: Pooper-Scoop Pete

And so to continue with this sporadic series of Leamington vignettes (you can read the first one here if you are so minded) may I introduce you to Pooper-Scoop Pete?

I don’t know if Pete is his real name; I chose it purely for alliterative purposes and thought it sounded better than Turd Trowelling Trevor.

I encountered Pete last Friday as I made my way on foot to my employer’s HQ. Despite the day being so hot it would have melted Katie Price’s breast implants down to her ankles Pete was fully togged out in a tweed suit complete with matching waistcoat. And he was wearing a yellow shirt which I suspect (though cannot confirm) was buttoned right up to his Adam’s apple. He was sporting a full beard in a kind of way that said, “Yes, ruffian, even my face is properly dressed despite the excessive balminess of the weather”.

But strange though his appearance may have been it was not his sartorial qualities that attracted my eye... my eye that seeketh the strange and the paranormal in this bizarre worlde of Leamington upon the Spa.

No. It was the fact that he was very painstakingly picking up a large dog poo from the pavement.

And yet he most definitely did not have a dog. He was totally dog-less.

Worst of all his method of turd collecting was the old “stick your hand in a plastic bag and pick it up with your fingers and then turn the bag inside out” technique. Thus through the thin veneer of the plastic one can fully experience both the ambient temperature and the texture of the poo one is handling.

He had an old fashioned brown satchel slung over his right shoulder. I didn’t see him do it but I suspect the bagged up log was deposited within its leather innards.

The actions of this dedicated sausage removal expert have left me perturbed and confused. I mean why collect dog poo from the streets when you patently don’t have a dog in your possession?

Subsequent speculation on this conundrum has resulted in the following theories (do feel free to add your own):

1) he does indeed own a dog and said dog dropped a length earlier in the day but he found himself plastic bag-less and thus, being conscientious and mindful of his public duty, he returned at his next convenience to remove the offending article.

2) the government is funding some bizarre and secret research into the anti-personnel properties of canine faeces and Pete is collecting samples of the stuff to develop an anti aircraft missile that has true dirty bomb attributes.

3) Pete has a dog log fetish that has resulted in an entire backroom of his Edwardian terraced house (there are a lot of these in Leamington Spa) being given over to his personal “walnut whip” collection – all sorted and displayed according to size, bouquet, and canine breed (worked out using a clever algorithm that uses the diameter of the log to calculate the size of the canine rectum and therefore the most likely breed of the dog). This collection has been kept secret from his elderly mother who lives in a rocking chair in his loft and persists in calling Pete Norman.

Needles to say, I left Pete to his scatological endeavours and hastened on my way to Work’s HQ, praying that I would never have cause to see the insides of that buckled brown leather satchel that was visibly weighing down his right shoulder...

Leamington, eh? It’s full of the strangest people.


Monday, July 12, 2010

It’s MY Bloody Bin!

My workstation is a curious thing. When I clock-on on a Monday morning I greet it with a mixture of spleen, bleak acceptance and an odd proprietorial sense of comfort. It’s mine. I might not like the thought of another week at work doing tasks that nature never intended me for but while I’m here by God I’ll make sure my presence is writ large. Me and my desk are as one.

I own it.

Pens. Pencils. PC. Prittstick.

All mine. They may strictly speaking belong to my employer but they’ve been supplied for my use and my use alone and woe betide anyone who borrows my stapler and doesn’t bring it back. Blood has been shed for less.

This sense of ownership extends to my bin.

It’s mine. For my use. For my waste.

And few things irritate me more than arriving at work of a morning, feeling hound-dog miserable that another week will pass without me being employed as a script writer for the BBC, to find that someone – some lazy so-and-so with their own bin – has tossed their detritus into the hallowed plastic bag lined maw of my own personal trash receptacle.

My desk is right near the office door, see. It’s the last workstation people pass on their way to freedom.

So you can see how it happens. Someone scoffs a banana on their way to the door, or takes a last slug on a bottle of tequila, or maybe quaffs down a Müller Crunch Corner that they didn’t quite get round to at lunchtime and, with an arm action worthy of the Harlem Globe Trotters, the offending banana skin / Tequila bottle complete with maggot / yoghurt pot ends up in my bin.

Foodstuffs that I have not had the pleasure of consuming. Foodstuffs that have energized and nourished people other than me.

Their germs and their lipstick – maybe even a few stray nasal hairs – are still around the edges of their cast-off comestibles.

In my bin.

Great. Now the cleaner will think they are mine. Will think that I am the sort of person who discards banana skins in a way that leaves yellow stringy bits decorating the sides of my bin like a cheap Christmas decoration. That I am alcoholic. Worse. That I besmirch the holy temple of my body with a Müller Crunch Corner.

It’s the worst kind of identity theft there is (well, perhaps not as bad as having your credit cards cloned, houses bought in your name, debts run up on your accounts and your family killed by the identity thief and the blame put on you so you have to be investigated by Keeley Hawes – though I can see some positives in that. Note to self: amend that last sentence before the wife reads it).

It’s identity defamation. It’s identity libel.

Or identity... something.

Look. I don’t know what it is OK? It’s just annoying. And I’m fed up with it. And it’s Monday morning. And it’s MY bloody bin!


Friday, July 09, 2010

Pavlov Nods

Why do I do it? Why, when confronted or (as is usually the case) passing someone I know in the street do I automatically nod hello to them? Even when I don’t like them? Some I even actively detest.

Take the other day. The sun was shining. It was lunchtime. My heart was as light and joyous as one of those Kids From Fame who like to leap and pike their well toned legs above the bonnets of stationary cars. I was making my carefree way back to work after a lunch break in the sun. I was mentally miles away. And then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I noticed a car slowing as it past me.

Eye eye, I thought. And indeed I made eye contact with the passenger in the front. The window was wound down and within an instant I could see that it was one of the dodgy, defrauding gobshites who’d got me to build web sites for them a couple of years ago (before I knew they were dodgy I hasten to add). To cut a long story short I eventually found proof of their wrong doing – which they denied – but I was strangely kicked into touch by them soon afterwards. As it was the law caught up with them soon after that and their poxy business was forcibly liquidated. I consider that to be both poetic justice and a lucky escape for me.

Anyway, my opinion of these dudes is lower than a snake’s arse.

So why oh why did I nod to the guy as he drove past? Why? Why did I only think to sneer after he was half way up the bloody road?

It’s like an automatic response. I see someone I recognize and whether I like them or not doesn’t come into it. I am compelled to acknowledge the connection, compelled to semaphore my recognition of them. I nod. Like they’re a mate. Like I’m pleased to see them.

Most of the time I’m not. Most of the time I’d rather ignore them – pointedly and blatantly. Ignore them so hard it’s totally in their face. Some, like dodgy web geezer dude I’d quite like to give the finger to.

Why do I nod like a dog in the back window of a 1980’s family saloon? I hate myself for doing it.

Especially when, as I the case of dodgy web geezer git, he turns away and ignores me in return.

Effing shithead!


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

We Can Do This The Easy Way Or I Can Waterboard The Lot Of You

Cheryl LaddIt’s been a while since someone has hit me with a meme. And a lot longer since I’ve opened the sash window on my ivory tower, looked out and deigned to reply. Today then is a special day.

For this meme, I have Tim to thank over at Bringing Up Charlie. I’ve been set 10 questions which I have to answer or a stern school mistress will spank my bottom to within an inch of snapping the elasticated waistband of my Y-fronts. I must then set my own questions and pass them on to some other poor unsuspecting blogger who will have to take a break from composing their current blogging manifesto to answer them.

Here then are Tim’s questions and my answers:

1. If Hitler had won, Goebbels had none and Franz Joseph was blessed with three, what was the score after extra time after the match had gone to penalties?

A. 4-1 to Germany and the English football team sent home in disgrace to be pilloried on the streets of every major UK city before having their legs broken, sawn off and used as golf clubs by fat, retired London Palladium comedians.

2. How is it that a calendar - which had no moving parts - can, unlike a stopped clock, still record the passage of time?

A. It doesn’t. It merely represents graphically a set number of days which require a human agency to interpret as the passing of time. Also, may I remind you, that a stopped clock is correct twice a day? More pertinently why won’t my knackered old VCR record the dodgy German channels on Cable?

3. Is the King of France bald?

A. Possibly not as research seems to suggest that human hair is one of the last things to decompose. It is unknown whether he sported a Brazilian.

4. Seaside or countryside?

A. Countryside – green lushness, shimmering grasses, rolling mountains, cool valleys, birdsong, foxes and deer; no penny arcades, amusement parks or misogynist comedians. Enough said.

5. Why is the sky blue?

A. Oxygen. Pure and simple. Oxygen filters or reflects blue light or something. Google it.

6. Does God exist?

A. In the minds of the faithful, yes. The question should be: does God exist as an independent, omniscient entity? To answer that question I may have to die. How badly do you want me to complete this meme?

7. What is the meaning of life?

A. To evolve both physically, mentally and spiritually both as a race and as individuals.

8. Why do flies always find a way through the smallest of gaps even though they've got the entire WORLD to fly around, yet find it impossible to find their way out once they're in your house?

A. They are lonely and just want a quick kiss and a cuddle before they leave. No tongues please.

9. Do bees have ears?

Not as we know them but they can sense vibrations. Stick a dildo into a bee’s nest and they’ll think it’s a rave.

10. Are blogs the future?

A. No, blogs are now. Only tomorrow is the future.

Well, I consider that exam well and truly passed. Now for my ten questions – and I am going to tag the following: Gappy @ Single Parenthood, Fran @ Being Me, Heather @ Notes From Lapland and Kelloggsville.

1. God gives you a free ticket to spend the night with absolutely anybody in the world and the entirety of history – whom do you choose?

2. Frankie Howard or Frankie Boyle? (This is a separate question and is not related to no. 1 above.)

3. What life skill or ability do you wish you possessed?

4. If it takes Johnny three hours to fill a bath with water using a colander and a train travelling at 90mph takes 2 hours to reach its destination why does Britain no longer have the right to call itself Great?

5. Have you ever genuinely wished to be a member of the opposite sex (or are you that already)?

6. Do you have any embarrassingly weird interests or hobbies – and if so please explain in detail?

7. Dance, Punk, Goth, Metal, Grunge, Pop, Country, Folk or Classical? The choice is yours.

8. If you could change anything about your current lifestyle / life situation, what would it be? And what would you keep?

9. If you were a packet of crisps what flavour would you be?

10. Describe the sandwich of the gods.

And just to prove that I never ask people to do something I wouldn’t do myself here are my own answers to the above:

1. Cheryl Ladd circa 1980 (see picture above).

2. Tough one this. I like both (ooh! Nay, nay and thrice nay!). Mr Howard definitely in my coy youth but Boyle takes the biscuit now that I am cynical and politicised.

3. I wish I could sword fight. I’m talking claymore’s here, not girly fencing foils.

4. (A) We were ruined by Thatcher. (B) The dismantling of the NHS. (C) The growing cult of celebrity for celebrity’s sake and (D) No proper discipline in our schools.

5. Only when I was 15 and desperate to know what a pair of breasts felt like.

6. Y’all probably know this already. I am a dedicated fan / collector of Lego and have a collection worth over £10k.

7. A bit of Pop, a bit of Metal, quite a lot of Goth, never ever Dance.

8. More income, less outcome. I’d keep the wife and kids. And the Lego.

9. Barbecued Beef.

10. Chips (proper chip shop chips), curry sauce, roast chicken, mushy peas, red onion and garlic. On white.

Right, over to you! If anyone else fancies having a go... go ahead and fill yer boots!


Friday, July 02, 2010

Erin Bloody Andrews!

Erin Andrews in a bikini.Erin bloody Andrews? Erin bloody Andrews?

Who the hell is she?

OK. I’ve Googled her.

Oh.

Is that all? An American sportscaster on ESPN. Ah. And there’s the “peephole” story. Right. Now it all begins to makes sense...

See, all this began about 2 weeks ago. Due to employing comment moderation I – like many of you, I suspect – get emailed whenever anyone leaves a comment on my blog. A fortnight ago I began to receive anonymous comments – quite lengthy ones – about Erin Andrews. Virtually gobbledygook. Cut and paste jobs with a couple of links to “her peephole” video clumsily thrown in.

The first two I deleted without a second thought. They weren’t even on a new post; they were on one I wrote last year about Torchwood of all things (you can read it here if you are so minded). Not sure why that post should attract the attentions of Mr Peephole Video Salesman but plainly it did.

And then I got the same comment again.

And again.

And again.

So many agains in fact that again must now be capitalized. Again, Again and yet Again.

I’ve lost count of how many I’ve received now. Always the same. Always on the same post. The same text entirely.

Dealing with it is easy enough. Reject. Reject. Reject.

But after the first 12 times it begins to get tiresome. It begins to get annoying. So I leave a comment on the post in question addressed to Mr Anonymous.

Please stop leaving comments on my blog about Erin Andrews. I’m not going to publish any of them so it’s a complete waste of your time and my time trying. Please desist and eff off.

I’ve had 4 more attempts since then. The same comment. On the same post. I can guarantee there’ll be another one tomorrow.

My goat has now well and truly been got. It’s irritating. I check my emails and look – I’ve got mail! A new comment on my blog! Hoorah! My spirits soar. Only it’s not a new comment. It’s the same old one. The same old one that I’m never ever going to publish. Doh!

Who is this guy? He most definitely can’t be working for Erin Andrews, the poor cow. Is he working for Mr Peephole? Is he indeed Mr Peephole in person? I doubt it very much but what the hell then is he getting out of his repeated attempts to sell the whole tawdry little affair on my rather superlative blog?

Up until his comments I’d never even heard of Erin Andrews! If it had been Erin Gray from Buck Rogers' fame he might have piqued my interest a little but a sportscaster from a channel I can’t even get here in the UK and wouldn’t watch anyway because I absolutely hate effing sports programmes?!

It’s hardly a useful public service announcement, is it?

So what do I do about it? Any ideas? Anyone?

P.S. If any of you have any peephole videos that you want to advertize on my blog please ask my permission first.

P.P.S. And please make them of better quality than Mr Peephole’s; his really hurt my eyes.

Toodle-pip.