Tuesday, March 28, 2006

iPoltergeist, and b-b-b-breasts

I'm increasingly convinced that the MP3 player is possessed. This morning we had undue amounts of Small Faces. Now they wouldn't be there if I didn't like 'em, but if I've set it to shuffle then I don't really expect two out of every three tracks to be Small Faces. And yes, we did get plenty of Byrds too - it really loves 'John Riley'.

Late last week saw a little jadedness in my time at work, as there was a dearth of viewing. Most of my favoured were out, and I sorely noticed the absence of one or two in particular - delighted yesterday at the return of the Wild-Haired One, ooh, the way she dresses and moves... On the other hand, there has been the opportunity to spend quite a lot of time in 'meetings' with one of our suppliers, and specifically their account manager, who has terrific sparkly blue eyes, is a bright and chatty woman, and extremely professional and competent individual, and is amply endowed with what can only be described as bosom. Not breasts (much as I like that word), and certainly not knockers or tits or boobs or jugs or all the rest of it, the base language of the stag night. This is a bosom. Thoroughly enchanting. As is her posterior.

Just caught the last five minutes of 'Eastenders', which I haven't seen for a very long time, and five minutes is enough to remind me of why I haven't seen it for a very long time. Folks, I ask you to vote: Phil Mitchell - tosser or wanker?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Paranoid? Me?

There are plenty of people who suggest that I'm nothing but a paranoid conspiracy theorist. Well I'm definitely not the latter - there's no mysterious, unspecified 'they' around here, I am invariably able to specify exactly who I think is responsible for spoiling things, and, with what might have been career-limiting consequences, I'm not usually reticent about saying what it is that's troubling me. So I'm not a conspiracy theorist. And I don't think I'm as paranoid as suggested. Those of you who have taken the trouble to gather the crumbs that get sprinkled here will have noticed that I've made some harsh comments on the Dear Leader. Well, just in case you think I'm an extremist with a beef, I RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ THIS.

And I'll stop foaming at the mouth...

And that other theme of mine, the telly; I've just been watching something on telly which has demonstrated that I can afford to be selective in what sort of motorsport I watch. "On the edge, it's Figure 8 racing, yeah." This is a bunch of fat rednecks packed into stockcars which they race for 3hrs around a figure-of-eight track at the 'Indianapolis Speedrome' - judging by the white paint on the track this is a car park with temporary stands erected - for the 'World Championship'. It's exciting, it must be 'cause they crash into one another occasionally (no shit), (excuse me while I take a moment to enjoy the wallpaper of the naked Japanese which has just rotated on my com-pootah, right, I'm back now, koncentrate Krusty), no, I'm lying, it's pants. No I didn't watch 3hrs, it was edited down to 20 minutes, yeah, that exciting!

Anyway, gotta go, nature calls and she is such a demanding lady...love to y'all.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Pleasure and Pain

I'm watching telly (yeah, I know I do it a lot, but you'll also notice I'm a fair critic of what I see), and I'm watching Top of the Pops would you believe for the first time in years, 'cause I know it's had a bit of a shake up, and I was quite enjoying it, and a band who were o.k. and I was enjoying the idea of how I get on with music, when I realised that there is pain to be suffered for this pleasure.

It was James Blunt, and, well, it is a little embarrassing, isn't it?

As I sat there considering its failings, and its utter lack of rock'n'roll, the two presenters, Trevor Nelson and somebody called Rufus Hound - I had expected Rufus Hound to be an actor in a felt costume, attempting to resemble a character from a Hanna Barbera cartoon, in an effort to appeal to the younger market, although I expect they're probably busy out nicking glue, though it had actually turned out to be a cocky but funny blond bloke - began to have a conversation about the rock'n'roll nature of James Blunt, and, with a few gags about the blue rinse brigade, some utter drivel, and a good bit more of Nelson and Hound - I don't get most of these acts at all, but hey, I'm not 12 - I have since, in the knowledge that I am not alone, warmed to this show.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Getting a bit snotty

This has not been an amazing weekend, due to the arrival on Friday of a cold. Not 'flu, I know the difference, and I'm not going to do that usual male thing of overstating it, but a cold, with attendant coughing and spluttering, constant flow of snot leaving nostrils and septum sore, and dried crud around the fringes, inability to hear properly, and the general apathy and lethargy that such a malaise carries with it. So a large part of the time has been spent sitting or lying on the sofa, paying varying degrees of attention to the telly - Commonwealth Games, Minder (yes, Minder! and to be honest, it hasn't dated too badly), F1 (well done Renault, top show) - and scooting around looking at anything of interest here. Not a great deal come up, I have to say, but I've not been trying too hard.

Of course, the question that should be troubling all of us is 'How does Blair survive?', and you can choose Tony or Ian. Tony's travails are numerous, and folks, they all sound so familiar, don't they? They're not new things for Prime Ministers to be embroiled in, he just seems to slither through. After all, ask yourselves whether you still trust the man after the business of how we came to go to war in the first place - and we won't even get stuck into lack of proper support for forces, failings of Geoff Hoon (when I'm president, it will be Ministry of Special Duties for him), and the obvious absence of a plan for what to do with a newly conquered and de-Saddamed Iraq - and even if you do still trust him after that, you must find it increasingly difficult when you come across stories like the loans for honours debate such as at this link (although it shouldn't be a surprise in this man's case), the fact that a Labour Prime Minister is dependent on Tory support to get his legislation through, and, er, when he gets one of his dogmatic ideas he just keeps changing the reason to justify it (think ID cards, folks), it's just impossible to trust the man. So, remember to make your voices heard. And if you really can't stomach any more of Tony, there's always Ian, who despite being Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, the most senior policeman in the land, appears to have some difficulties with ideas of truth and justice, although this may be symptomatic of his profession, when senior police officers have elsewhere commented on 'helping people prove their innocence'.

The recent week at work has been fun, not least because I was only there for three days, but there has been a little entertainment on the aesthetic pleasures front, with some particularly well turned out colleagues this week, and a small personal success which drew rare acknowledgment of one of my less-seen talents, so not at all bad.

There'll be more later, so if you're disappointed by the quality of this, don't be angry at me. I'll try harder next time...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chariot Racing

I'm still getting over last weekend, which was relatively busy, and which I extended by having Friday through to Tuesday away from work. My old buddy T was down for the weekend, hence we went to the photography exhibitions (see elsewhere here), and watched some films, including 'Sin City', which I enjoyed, and 'Reefer Madness; The Musical', during which I fell asleep. Ne'ermind. We also went to Cheltenham for a fortieth birthday, which was a great party, and stayed over in a B&B, in a place called Bishop Cleeve, which had a not so great landlady. We should have spotted it early on, as the place was full of books about or by Margaret Thatcher, but we were rushing to get into glad rags and get into the beer. Anyway, in the morning, she essentially spent half an hour ignoring us whilst she told the people at the next table that today's young, and middle classes, don't know how to do a days work, and then she came and insulted us face to face. She's been on a marketing course, so she knows all about it all - the railways, the post office, what I do for a living (I'm not sure I told her what I do for a living), the works. I'm glad we hadn't arranged to stay for another night, or I'd have had to point out that "I'm paying to be here, so shut the fuck up and leave me alone."

We then went to see my family, a trip to the ancestral pile and attached to that a wander around our home town, which T hasn't seen in over 10 years, and we enjoyed seeing some old haunts, which left him a little confused and a bit more amused, so much chuckles, and a terrific Fat Falstaff cake at the back of what used to be Wylie's. (That gives it away.)

Now, personally, one of the highlights of the weekend was the return of Formula One. I know, I hate all the politics and bollocks too, but folks, those boys earn their money. If you don't know what I mean, lie down on the floor with two pillows under your head. That's where you sit in a F1 car, or their American counterparts, and you drive it at 200mph. If you look 3ft to the left or right of your foot, that's where your competitors wheels are. And he's going at 200mph too. And neither of you is going to give way. Think Ben-Hur, and you will begin to understand what I mean. The excitement a modern crowd gets is the same as the Romans got at the Circus Maximus. Awesome. And don't think I'm singling them out, either, the MotoGP guys, and other top riders and drivers in most forms of motorsport get a thumbs-up from me.

Elsewhere on four wheels - don't ever insult me by describing me as British. The very essence of British insularity is the way the average Brit behaves on the road. Morons. Indicators? Mirrors? Give way? I hate driving these days, and you don't know what it means to say that, and it's because I have to share the road with so many peasants. I suggest that you shouldn't be allowed to drive until you're 21 (I've more to say on being 21 later), and there should be random testing - you get 4 weeks notice to present yourself for a re-test at any stage of your life, and if you fail you have 6 weeks to pass again or your licence is suspended. Vote for Me.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

If you get the opportunity...

...have a look at these, and better still in the flesh, as it were. This is a cracking show, and they do good cake at the Gallery. Right next to Leicester Square station, too, so the Porcupine and the Bear And Staff are to hand too. Excellent.

Why, exactly?

Just have a look at this tower and ask why one might do that with it?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Close To The Edge?

Yesterday evening, I was in a hotel room near Warwick, getting ready to go out with some colleagues. I put the radio on, because I thought it would be nice to have some music, and went to the bathroom to ablute. Anyway, I'm on the pot, and by now committed, when I heard the dj mutter these most scary of words; "And now, as promised, three from Yes". I'm not a man who likes to be hurried, as I tend to the point of view that straining away is a short cut to a serious injury, but I tell you, those seven words proved perhaps the most effective laxative I have ever experienced.

Yes? Not on my radio, we don't.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Forgot This In All The Excitement...

As that looney Blair was proclaiming his increasingly Messianic self-assurance at the weekend, I neglected to mention to you all why his host, the ever-grinning and genial but 'Ahm a Yorkshireman so don't think ahm a pushover' Michael Parkinson holds a strange and special place in my affections. "Parky?" I hear you all exclaim, "but he's a twat, isn't he?" Well, you might think that, I couldn't possibly comment.

Parkinson is special, because he has the distinction of being the first person to whom I ever heard my mother attribute the sin of self-indulgent onanism. She was cooking our meal one evening when I was a teenager, and Parky was on the wireless, giving it his usual "As I come from Barnsley I'm an expert on everything"-slightly-irregular-intonation-and-talk-utter-drivel spiel, when the matron suddenly swung around from the hob and, with all the viper-like venom she could muster, pointed at the radio set and snarled "He really is one of life's wankers, isn't he?" I was stunned, then fell about with laughter. Stunned, because it's not like her to use strong language, but as ever she chose the right words to illustrate her erudition, and laughing because, well, it is funny when someone is that spot on.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Something Strange on a Saturday

I forgot to mention this. I got in the car on Saturday morning, with a view to making my way back to the ancestral pile, and as the whole thing started up was surprised to find myself listening to 'Silver Machine'. What's so odd about that, I hear you say, as you do have something of a newly re-acquired need for a regular dose of H - Solstice was a terrific night and really gave me a new appetite for that special sound - so why any sense of surprise at said tune? Well, I knew that it was not on any of the discs in the car, and when I looked at the display it said BBC Radio 4. Now, all of us loyalists and devotees know that the good Captain does occasionally pop up on the Home Service, and Saturday morning is a likely slot. It turned out to be a programme called 'Music To Die For', which was in essence an excuse for Ian Rankin to talk to his crime-writin' chums about how music features in their work, and he was having a good natter with someone called Jules Denby about the merits of our favourite space cadets. Anyway, I've put the link in for those of you who are interested, and if anyone knows about this woman's books, let us know. I'm not a great one for crime fiction, I have to say, so if you can sell me on this, well done, but offers are welcome, and someone who passes here might give it a go.

PS those of you who may have noticed that I've been doing this at irregular hours and were concerned, please sleep easy, I'd just been a numpty and lost control of the time and date options, such is my eagerness to share my ramblings with you.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New variations on old themes...

Right, quite a lot to say this time, so I'll get down to business.

To return to an old theme, due to my generously donating time and effort to a loft clearance this weekend, I've acquired a number of what can only be described as vintage twat mags. They're over thirty years old, some classic titles such as Playboy, Mayfair, Penthouse and Men Only. The first thing to comment on is the price; in 1972 it cost you 40 new pence to shop the top shelf. The publisher was, as is, Paul Raymond, but the most important thing of all is that tastes have changed. The pictures, and there is probably less per mag, heavily diluted by riveting articles such as an interview with Keith Moon or a feature on the Isle of Man TT races, are, shall we say, more erotic. They are a bit more artistic, it's not a case of close-up on a shaving rash. They are pictures of elegant and attractive young women, fairly tasteful, and with many a coiffured quim. (Don't get upset, what should I call it? At least that alliterates.) Now, I realise that the law will have changed since 1972, and I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but what I would say is that the more 'naturel' look just has a bit more about it, you know. Like I've said before, the women look like women. I'm delighted by my acquisition.

Another subject that has come up over the weekend is the use and re-use of a tune called 'Choc Ice Goes Mental'. For those of you unfamiliar with it, this is an instrumental, played on the piano, and is attributed to Lord Choc Ice. Choc Ice is, in fact, Elton John, and 'Choc Ice Goes Mental', was about the last thing of any quality he recorded. (Is this another old theme recurring?) The evidence for this is that he appears to have used it as a b-side more than once...

And I was delighted to get a note here from sweeteffay - whose efforts I recommend you read, dear reader - on the subject of dodgy GD songs. I disagree with him on the subject of 'Attics...', as I'm compelled to seek some romanticism somewhere in my otherwise cold and cynical view of human nature. Even the Greek Genius is now resigned to telling me that I'll just have to accept the mediocrity of those around me, which is a desperate thing to be asked to do, and surely is the acknowledgement that there is no point in attempting to progress. But I would invite those of you with knowledge of this subject to consider the following: I don't believe that the Grateful Dead ever toured in the West Midlands, but they appear to refer to the town of Cradley Heath, repeatedly, in virtually every recording of 'Weather Report Suite' that I possess. Have a listen, and let me know what you think. Oh, and if anyone wants to check on this by looking at this site, please do, and I accept no liability for any injury you incur when you fall off your chair in uncontrollable fits of laughter. A contender for most pretentious site on the WWW. Unless you know better...

Friday, March 03, 2006

MP3 players, and Possession

A question I have asked myself today is whether or not an MP3 player can become possessed; or at least, express some kind of will? The reason I ask is that today, mine has exhibited some strange behaviours...or has it?

Now, I realise that when you ask a computer to do anything in a random manner, such as to play songs in a random order, it is not really random, but just jumbled up sufficiently to confuse the likes of me and you, but today I have been subject to a remarkably high density of Bad Brains songs, which, with the hangover from yestereven, has not been quite as welcome as it might have been. Indeed, it began to wear a bit thin, to be honest. Along with this is a tendency to ignore the other ZZ Top songs available to it and only concentrate on 'Eliminator' as a source. So, in my relatively paranoid, washed-out state of mind, I get to thinking that the player is expressing its preference for specific records.

Alternatively, if you want to be totally rational about it, I could just note that in the short run it is perfectly probable that there will be such series of outcomes from a random generator, and that just because they don't appear random doesn't mean that they are not random. But that would be boring, and the idea of a possessed or expressive machine is vaguely amusing, at least while it expresses a preference for Bad Brains. If it started playing Phil Collins tracks I'd be shitting myself - not least because I don't own any Phil Collins records, and have no desire to.

Hangover and more daffodils...

The hangover, you'll be delighted to read, was nasty. Because I didn't get in 'til gone two, and I prevaricated a little over going to bed because I was feeling so grotty, I didn't set the alarm clock. I awoke at eight, and new immediately that there was no way on earth that I was going to be driving for a while yet, so I went back to bed. My bladder and my brain then reminded me in no uncertain terms that they were still suffering the effects of some bottles of beer, two especially sour margheritas, and a couple of flutes of the Widow's brew. I've been completely useless today, so despite arriving late, very late, to work, via a pharmacist, I did a runner just a tad early, as sitting waiting for a database to send me some numbers does not engender an enthusiasm for the working day when one's mouth feels like a second hand sanding disc. Not good. But I can't complain, definitely a 'self-inflicted injury', and it is now going away, which is good.

These daffodils are just at their peak now; so gorgeous, and the scent is through the whole house, just soooo wow!

Bucket of Lust

Lordy, I've just been out on the town, a night out on 'work', all exes paid, and boys and girls, I sure as hell don't wanna go to bed just yet, 'cause I'm a-hammered, a-battered like a large cod fillet, and I just don't dare go to bed just yet.

The occasion was the departure of my former boss, and this is where it gets complex. As you've probably gathered, I'm an individual who appreciates the aesthetic pleasures in life, and, well, I've been enjoying them this evening. Does that mean that one shouldn't mention them? That one should pretend that they don't exist? After all, should my good friend and I pretend that the obvious spark that exists between us doesn't after all?

Actually, it doesn't really matter, 'cause I feel so shit after all, I'm going to 'seize the initiative'. See you later folks....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Daffodils are just soooo gorgeous

Oh, the vagueness of it all. The cloak and dagger meetings, the intimated suggestions as to what the future might or might not hold...it's all a load of cobblers, really, isn't it? I mean, I didn't fall off the Christmas Tree, folks, so don't treat me as though I did.

Right, enough venting of spleen my chums, you deserve a little better, so what shall we turn the spotlight on ce soir? Could it be the debate (almost) triggered by my last posting - the weakest song on 'American Beauty'? I tell you what, let's stretch that out a bit, and make it the worst GD song of all? The only rule is it has to be an original composition, ok, not a cover. Now there's a fair bit to choose from. So here's one to put the cat in to them thar pigeons, how about 'Playing In The Band'? Yawn, yawn, yawn. Offers are welcome.

And, because I like to share nice things with you, my dear readers, I'm sitting here surrounded by the sweet scent of fresh daffodils, because it's that day of the year when you just have to have daffodils about the place.

Anyway, it's late and I'm knackered, so I'll love and leave you for now...