I know that it’s very snobby, but I hate it when a song like this (which should feel wonderfully… subversive) becomes mainstream. Not only does it not seem so wrong to be playing it, it also makes me feel a bit like that balding guy in a suit who sings along to Anarchy in the UK on the bus…

By the way, NSFW. Really. Not even with the sound off.

I did warn you…

A bit of chat log between myself and my dear pseudo anonymous friend ‘Red’.

This chat is off the record
You: [ introductory line that was written in a humourous way but which falls flat when written down ]
Red: [ a reply that strokes your ego and lets you think that it was infact very funny ]
You: [ acknowledgement of advanced literary skills with an implied request for reassurance that you aren't, in turn, humouring me ]
You: [ rapid non-sequitor ]
You: [ in attempt to distract from neediness ]
You: [ spelling correction ]
Red: [ apology for slow reply ]
Red: [ reply to non-sequitor ]
Red: [ attempt at starting simultaneous conversation ]
You: [ counter apology for not getting back ]
You: [ attempt to blame 3rd party ]
You: [ question regarding the only thing remembered from yesterday's conversation ]
You: [ reply to non-sequitor reply ]
You: [ explaination that non-sequitor reply was not, in fact connected to conversation about yesterday ]
You: [ embarassed silence ]
Red: [ polite chuckle ]
Red: [ question regarding delicate subject that I find amusing but am trying not to show that I find it amusing ]
You: [ comment about co-workers in attempt to pretend question didn't happen ]
You: [ follow up comment that is ambiguous in nature and could be connected to above or could be answering your question ]
You: [ random swear words and technology type ]
Red: [ sympathy over tech, coworkers etc ]
Red: [ disbelief at tech, coworkers etc ]
You: [ attempt to imply these coworkers are worse than any other coworkers ]
You: [ unintended implication that suggests it could be me who is the one at fault ]
You: [ backtrack ]
You: [ self depricating comment with smiley face to imply that this is a joke when secretly I fear it's true ]
Red: [ comment to help cement the belief that yes, your coworkers are the worst ]
Red: [ hugs or similar to try to boost your mood ]
You: [ acknowledgement and reciprocation ]
You: [ innudendo ]
You: [ jokey dismissal of innuendo ]
You: [ question regarding husband / boyfriend / girlfriend intended to reassure that I appreciate that you are not available and innuendo was not a proposal ]
Red: I am so sorry – I have to stop because I have a non-sequitor that is too perfect not to say at this point…
Red: I saw some Japanese bondage on tv the othe night and thought of you

[ attempt to explain away bondage reference while knowing and acknowledging the fact that no-one who reads this will believe it ]

Oct 2010
12
A fantastic dinner

I think it’s fair to say that I love The Bridge in Waterbeach. It’s one of those places that never fails to entertain, although not always in a good way.

In the last half dozen times I’ve been there we’ve had a 45 minute wait for food despite the place only being half full; I’ve had my main course turn up before the starter; we’ve had sides missed out entirely, and; we’ve had only half the deserts turn up. Despite this, we go back because the food is good, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. And the pub itself is a nice place.

Tonight we did a dangerously grown up thing and booked in advance. This doesn’t happen in my world.

The reason was that they’re doing a limited run of ‘season’ food. Tonight was Game Season, with 4 small plates of food that was truly fantastic.

Wild Boar burger – when this arrived I think we both wondered what we’d walked into. The plate was mostly empty, with four chips forming a trestle, a burger the diameter of a HobNob, a fried egg and a slice of toasted bread. It looked like a comedy pretentious meal. Oh god, it was good though. The chips were right, the egg was runny yolked, and the burger was fantastically rich wild boar and caramelised onion cooked surprisingly light and moist.

Guinea Fowl and Chorizo – you know how all posh food has to be served in a ‘tower’? This was a tower. Sweet potato mash (possibly cold and then refried, like bubble & squeak), a slice of cooked chorizo sausage, guinea fowl breast, soul cream and a spot of chilli jam. Another fantastic combination of flavours.

Pheasant Chasseur – I have a love/hate relationship with pheasant. Even in the rose tinted days of my childhood, when pheasant was shot in the back garden and left to hang behind our kitchen door, pheasant was hit and miss. If you’ll pardon the phrase. This was the beautifully rich flavour I remember from good pheasant in a nice light sauce with little silverskin onions.

Venison – another meat that can be fantastic and can be rubbish. This venison was dark and gamey enough that I half convinced myself that there was a little liver in the mix. Marinaded and fried, then served with a sweet and tart cherry sauce and potato gratin.

Finish the meal off with a small rhubarb crumble and a macchiato with amaretto and I think it’s one of the best meals I’ve had this year. Not bad for twenty quid a head.

I had a really good weekend.

When most people say that they had a great weekend you assume that there was boozing and whoring or maybe fun and adventure. At a pinch, relaxation and serenity.

I think we all know I’m not ‘most people’. Saturday I drove 222 miles. Sunday I drove 210 miles.

You’re now assuming that I drove From Barcelona to Monte Carlo in a 1960s open top sports car, with Matt Monroe in the passenger seat and a beautiful woman on the radio.

Yeah… that’s not what happened.

Saturday I drove the A14 and the M6 to Birmingham and then on Sunday I drove all the way to sunny Gatwick. With a trailer!

I need to explain a little… Some time ago I used to drive a Toyota Carina. It was a horrible thing. Slow and underpowered, but willing to go when poked with a pointy stick. Until it died. An engine comes in two parts – a bit that stays still and another bit that goes back and forth. The Carina died when some of the ‘staying still’ bit started moving and quite a bit of the moving back and forth bit stopped. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, at this point I fell unconditionally and helplessly in love with my brother’s car (that’s wasn’t the word you were expecting, was it?). So, I drove four hours from Cambridge to Blackburn to buy an identical one. A wonderful little car that isn’t desperately fast but which doesn’t need to slow down much for the corners.

My little silver car looks just like this but, well, silver...

Then, both my grandparents got ill so I bought a Skoda Octavia. Faster, but the kind of car where you have to slow down for corners. And that made it dull to me. Most upsettingly, my wife stole the little silver car.

So… on Saturday I went to Birmingham and bought a second Little Car – 80k miles, a beautifully tight engine and gearbox, and finished in the metalic green paint that I rather like. Yeah, I know… I’ve heard it before. Two people, three cars. Ah fuckit. I can only drive one at a time and the ‘sensible’ car I drive does 50mpg…

Anyway… Sunday I drove down to Gatwick and stuck GB, her mum, her sister and her sister’s bloke on a plane to Egypt. Which wasn’t actually the reason it was a good day, but it’s a good point to leave this post…

I know that none of you listen to Radio One (you’re all too grown up and/or cynical for that) but I’ve been sat in the car a lot this weekend, and there’s only so many times you can listen to Sweet Home Alabama before you go insane…

So, I’d like to present you with three tracks and see if you come to the same conclusion I did…

First up, Scooter’s “Nessaja” from 2002. Oh yes, 8 whole years ago (and it was 10 years too late then)…

Don’t feel you have to listen to all of it. You may well go insane.

Next we have the Scooter tribute band “Moped” from 2006…

Finally we have this Enter the Ninja from South African group Die Antwoord. It’s only just appeared on theradio now, and I assume it’s less than a year old (their first album was last year).

I can’t help feeling someone is parodying a parody…

(When she dances, I can’t help thinking she’s getting the form wrong too…)

Sep 2010
2
How to draw an owl

How to draw an owl

Sep 2010
1
The Rock 1000 2010

So, my current favourite radio station of all time, EVAR (part 1) has just finished its yearly 100 greatest Rock songs of all time…

  1. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
  2. Metallica – One
  3. Foo Fighters – Everlong
  4. Tool – Sober
  5. Metallica – Enter Sandman
  6. Shihad – Home Again
  7. AC/DC – Back ‘n’ Black
  8. Guns ‘N’ Roses – November Rain
  9. Pearl Jam – Black
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird (Fixed spelling… you can’t trust anyone in this copy/paste world…)

So, how many surprises do we have in there…?

Well, Rage is currently loved more than usual (even in NZ) following the shafting of Cowell last Christmas. With the exception of Shihad and Tool (neither of whom I’m heard of before) it’s all pretty much as expected. In fact, Freebird is the only one of those tracks that wasn’t in the top 20 for last year’s chart.

How many new entries were there in the top 100? It’s a depressingly short list…

  1. I Am Giant – City Limits
  2. Slash – By The Sword (incredibly forgettable, IMHO)
  3. I am Giant – Neon Sunrise(which I think is a better song than City Limits)
  4. Rise Against – Saviour (another great song)
  5. Disturbed – Inside the Fire (urgh…)
  6. Slipknot – Snuff (It’s slipknot…. that’s all you need to know)
  7. War Machine – AC/DC

Wait… what? War Machine was released 2 years ago. How did the fans of AC/DC take two whole years to get that into the top 1000?

Strangely, one of my favourite tracks on The Rock (American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem) didn’t make it onto the list at all.

Most depressing of all is that U2 managed to get 21 tracks in the top 1000. Still, at least they didn’t manage to get higher than 93…

Do any of you remember this wonderful video from the icy bit last year…?

I saw it back then and made disparaging comments about the driver.

Then I realised who the driver is.

Hi Stuart… *waves*

Yes, I understand that the turn is half a mile past the big field, but my GPS knows that, too.  This would be easier if you weren't about to ask me to repeat it all back to you.

XKCD original alt text : "Yes, I understand that the turn is half a mile past the big field, but my GPS knows that, too. This would be easier if you weren't about to ask me to repeat it all back to you."

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had this conversation. I don’t care where the entrance to your street is, or if there’s this tricky little junction by the pub – if I don’t know how to get somewhere, I use a satnav which knows where you are.

The only two exceptions are if you live at number 23, which is hidden between number 3 and number 81, round the back of number 42, or if you happen to live in a house that was built in the last 12 months.

Besides, the satnav is less likely to miss out a junction and inadvertently put me onto the one way system from hell. Or tell me to turn left at the Rose and Crown, forgetting that the bloody thing burnt down in 1981 and it’s now a scrap yard.

A while back, someone on FormSpring asked me who would be on my list of the 10 sexiest women in the world.

Recently I got bored enough to actually think about it. There are some who will complain that it treats women as objects (it doesn’t) or that it’s disrespectful (it isn’t). But the list did surprise me a little… Read the rest of this entry »

Amongst my father’s stuff I found the beginnings of an autobiography. It’s disjointed as hell, and probably of no interest to anyone who isn’t in the family. For them, I may end up copying it out.

But the thing that caught my eye was the list of topics yet to cover… Read the rest of this entry »

The next batch of photos, this time from Taupo towards Tauranga…

Taupo, Craters of the Moon

Read the rest of this entry »

You know what…? I got bored with writing about NZ. Don’t get me wrong, I love the country and love going through the photos. The problem is that I loved it too much and there’s not enough people interested in what happened to spend time moping about how I want to go back out there. So I’m going to image dump…

Napier Aquarium

Lobster man, lobster man, does whatever a scuba diver can...

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 2010
27
Balistic Knickers

This is what happens when I don’t drink coffee in the mornings…

I was listening to Tom Jones chatting with Chris Moyles this morning. As is slightly predictable, the subject turned to the appearance of underwear appearing on stage.

The thing is, I know from my personal experience of throwing things at (and missing) the laundry bin, that clothing doesn’t fly very well. So, for every pair of knickers (panties to you for’n types) that land on stage, another dozen or so land on the heads of the people in the first few rows.

That’s not a result for anyone.

So, here is my shot at making millions and millions out of that still fresh phenomenon of throwing underwear at ageing singers…

Ultra whispy lightweight g-string or thong knickers, with mesh replacing the remaining fabric, and with industrial strength elastic in the waistband. With a little bit of practice, I think that you should be able to ping them – rubber band style – ten times as far as you could throw normal underwear.

And as a humourous bonus, the larger the underwear, the further the range. Although you might want to think again if it takes to people to aim them…

Jul 2010
26
A Study in Sherlock

So, with the mighty power of iPlayer, I watched part one of BBC’s new Sherlock mini-series last night. And, all in all, I was pretty impressed…

Spoilers ahoy! Read the rest of this entry »

So… I realised that the ancient travel guides have some fantastically odd adverts…

I know that South Africa has Biltong and America has Jerky, but nothing says “tasty food products” like “MEAT LOZENGES”.

Oh god… Read the rest of this entry »

One of the things my grandfather gave me before he died, was a fantastic book called “Through the Chilterns to the Fens”.

The premise of the book is a simple one – to give a guide to the towns in the corridor from the Chilterns to the Wash near Lincoln, inexplicably including a chunk of modern London and Hertfordshire.

The problem is that the book really isn’t a big book – A6 size, and barely 160 pages – and there isn’t a lot of space to give detailed descriptions of all the locations the author wanted to cover.

In a stroke of genius, instead of leaving towns out, he just gave fantastically brief descriptions. Others get incredibly involved, but are humourously out of date.

These are a few of my favourites… Read the rest of this entry »

You may well know that there is something of a disagreement between my wife and I about the difference between a geek and a nerd.

The case for the defence recently presented a Venn diagram that showed ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’ with an intersection ‘people who argue about the difference between geeks and nerds’.

The prosecution would now like to offer this Venn diagram which has been floating around the internet for about a year…

The first person to comment on the geekery or nerdishness of arguing with Venn diagrams will be sacrificed to the school bully.

This here amuses me no end…

QWxsIHlvdXIgYmFzZSBhcmUgYmVsb25nIHRvIHVz

What amuses me significantly more is that none of the 6 Google results currently showing this string are in the same deeply retro-nerd context that I’m using it in…

Answers (if you give a shit) on a postcard to the usual comment box…

EDIT : 7/7/10
I suppose the string should really be one of these two

QUxMIFlPVVIgQkFTRSBBUkUgQkVMT05HIFRPIFVTLg==
QUxMIFlPVVIgQkFTRSBBUkUgQkVMT05HIFRPIFVT

but I don’t like all-caps (even if they are technically correct) and there are no results at all for those two…