Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Great Halloween moments

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gaffe of the day?

I know George W Bush hasn't woken up yet, but could it be that criminologist Professor David Wilson has already made the best gaffe of the day?

Talking on Sky News this morning about a new DVD cartoon, Matters2Me, aimed at children and warning them of the dangers of paedophiles, Prof Wilson said that talking down alone does not work; what we also need is a "bottom-up" approach.


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Friday, October 26, 2007

Hot on the heels of Madeleine’s kidnapper

Regular and longtime readers may remember this post from back in May, containing my views on the disappearance of then-three-year-old Madeleine McCann.

Turns out, as time has gone by, more and more people have trouble with the McCanns' version of events. A poll reveals that 70 per cent of people surveyed disbelieve the pair. That's some pretty bad PR they've got going on.

And now -- what, almost six months after the alleged abduction? -- they have finally released an artist's impression of the man they believe took their daughter. This has come from the mind's eye of a friend who was with them that night. A friend who didn't think anything of it at the time. That's it on the right. Oh, hold on... something's missing... Yes, HIS ENTIRE FUCKING FACE! So what we have is a man wearing normal-looking clothes, with greasy dark hair. It was a fucking foreigner what done it. A greasy fucking Portuguese wop. Yeah, that's it. Stone the wops!

What a crock of fucking shit. These people are bullshit merchants of the highest order. I don't know whether they "did it" or not. There are loads of stories doing the rounds, including the one that they would give their kids medication of some sort to keep them asleep while they were out having fun. Certainly the kid in the picture above looks pretty fucking unconscious, right.

What I do know, though, is that every new story that comes out puts me in mind of when you're a kid and you do something wrong and when your parents ask what happened you keep changing the story.
"Umm, what it was, right, we were keeping a check on them every half hour."
"What it was, okay, um, there was this shutter on the window and it was broken."
"Thing is, see, we were taking it in turns babysitting all the kids, who were all in one room."
"So, anyway, right, there was this swarthy-looking guy carrying a kid off."

Is it any wonder nobody can believe them? The whole thing sounds as dodgy as... well, I don't know, but some very dodgy stuff.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who’s the winner? I’m the winner, baby!

A couple or three weeks back, blogmate and fellow ninja Franki had a game of Guess over at this post. There was a prize on offer, and if there are two things I like, it's (a) showing what a smarty-pants I am and (b) winning stuff for showing what a smarty-pants I am.

Anyways, I looked at the pic and figured, Damn, someone musta already guessed it. But as I scrolled through the handful of comments before me, no one had got it right. I couldn't believe it. But they were common-or-garden conkers, surely to goodness? Maybe these things are not so well known in the U.S. of A., but here in the U. of K. we love that shit. We grow up on them, practically. Never a winter goes by when we don't get fucked-up knuckles from playing conkers as kids, baking them in the oven, soaking them in vinegar and thinking up myriad other ways to create a championship, beats-all-comers, hard motherfucker of a conker.

Anyways, short story long, I won. And yesterday I received my just rewards. Word to the wise, though, Franki: clearly sushi doesn't travel well, since they tasted a bit waxy. Thanks for the thought, though.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

A little taste of what might have been

Those of you who also read my missus's blog may remember this recent post in which she mentions the (then forthcoming) Avenged Sevenfold gig at the 100 Club. Well, we didn't manage to make it. But, as with all things, clips have surfaced on YouTube. Here's a bit of what we missed. Looks fucking great, huh? Oh well, fingers crossed for next time...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The letter I’m probably going to send to Sainsbury’s supermarket

Dear Sainsbury's,

I would like to register my displeasure at your recent decision to change the way customers' receipts look, listing (certain?) discounted items after the subtotal.

For the customer, this is not an improvement, since, in order to check that all the discounts have been correctly tallied, we now have to know how much we have saved with each multibuy, special offer etc. Since we cannot realistically be expected to do this, it is now far easier for mistakes to go unnoticed. Perhaps that is your ultimate aim, to sneak a few extra pennies and pounds out of our unwitting hands.

Furthermore, your "leaflet" explaining these changes appears to be nonsensical. It reads: "So we can introduce some exciting new offers, we have made a few changes to how your receipt looks." Might you be able to explain, please, how changing the look of the receipt enables you to present the customer with more offers? Surely the two are mutually exclusive. You are implying that you could not possibly introduce any new offers unless you changed the look of the receipt, which is clearly not true, since you have been doing just fine so far.

As a further insult, you have chosen to print up what I can only assume to be countless millions of leaflets explaining this unnecessary decision to hapless customers, when many of us are asking our supermarkets to produce less packaging and waste material. What is the point in reducing the amount of packaging on ready meals and the like if you then go and produce millions of these things? Yes, the paper is recyclable, but we all know that a huge number of consumers will just throw it in the bin.

I would be most grateful if you could respond to these queries.

Many thanks.

Blah blah etc

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Stuff and stuff, like decorating, family visits, seasides, and BMXs

I am the world's worst (or should that be best) person at putting stuff off to another day. Well, maybe not the world's worst (or best), but I'm quite bad. Especially when what I am putting off is decorating. Ever since we had the kitchen done -- back in May -- there have been a few bits of painting that needed to be done; truthfully the whole kitchen could do with a new coat. Additionally, the little lobby area between the kitchen and bathroom has been in need of redecoration for a couple of years. And there are a couple of door frames and the like that need some paint to cover the primer I laid a year ago. And there's the bathroom door, which has also been left primed for about a year...

Well, next weekend my dad is coming to visit. Him and his woman. Him and his woman and her two kids. They're not going to be staying here at the house. We don't really have the room for that many people comfortably; furthermore, we don't like kids. So they will actually be staying in a little B&B cottage about a mile away, if that.

Even so, they will be spending a bit of time with us at the house, no doubt. So, being as my dad is a painter and decorator, I should make a bit of an effort to make the house look like it's been painted and decorated. That's "I" meaning me and the missus. She's the driving force. Otherwise I'd just spend most of the time sat on my arse and then moaning about how the decor never got finished. Funny that.

So, it's been a tiring week, even though we didn't really have any work proper on the go. And we're nearly there. Certainly by the end of this week, we will have done as much as we could realistically have expected to. But this week we have to fit it around work commitments.

Yesterday we went for a a lovely couple or three hours' walk in Whitstable. I can't believe it's still T-shirt weather at the moment. And I think we both got a bit burned. We have taken to carrying leftover bread bits with us to give to the seagulls down there. Yesterday they were catching it in midair as we threw it to them. It was very cool! (Easily amused, yes.)

And then we did our usual routine of sitting by the skate park and watching da kidz doing they thang. There was a guy there that we hadn't seen before. One of the BMXers. And he was doing this crazy somersault shit, doing a 360 turn in the air and landing back on his wheels. In fact, technically, since he takes off while goin vertcally up the ramp, I suppose it's a 270, but that would be splitting hairs, I guess. Then another guy did the same. So there were two of them doing this death-defying shit. The bar has been raised down there.

There was also this cute little girl. Not seen her there before. All sweetness and light. She must have been ten years old. She borrowed one of the older boys' bikes, and after a while his mate said, "Hey, little girl, he wants his bike back." Quick as a flash, she replies: "Tell him to go fuck his mother!" Ah, kids today, huh?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

“Someday a real rain will come...”

"... and wash all this scum off the streets."

Five-year ASBO (anti-social behaviour order)? Why not just do a Marv on him, and cut off his arms and legs and let his dogs come and feast on his bloody body while he's still alive? Cunt.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Got bread?

8am one morning, I'm at my local Asda (part of the Wal-Mart group, in case any American readers don't know Asda). The fresh-bread shelves are empty.

"Will there be any bread soon?" I ask. The "baker" points me to some full-size pre-bagged loaves. Not what I wanted.
"Nothing else?" I ask.
"No," she tells me, "that's all."

Then I spy some bread behind the counter on big racks waiting to be put on display. "What about that?" I ask. "Oh, those are rolls," she says. "Yes, that's what I want."
"But you said bread."
"Well, they are bread."
"Well, no, they're rolls."
"Yes, bread rolls," I say.
"So you want rolls?"
"Yes, bread rolls, please."
She harumphs and gives me my bread. (Or rolls.)

Maybe it's me. I've been exposed to Italy too long, and I think of rolls as bread. But they are bread, aren't they? Does bread have to be a loaf from which to make sandwiches? Is it just me...?

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

King of the road

I guess I first met him in 1998, or thereabouts. He and his brother both. Wary at first, skittish, unsure. And fair enough. When you live on the streets, you never know who you can trust. But through a mutual acquaintance our friendship grew. Sure, he had some issues with our cat, but he was fond of me and Red. We would give him a meal from time to time, and he would often come running to greet us on our return from work.

When we moved away from London, we made a promise to him. Not directly to him, granted, but it was a promise to ourselves to give him and his brother a home. The new situation in which we found ourselves meant it was less practical than we had hoped to live up to our promise, and it took a further couple of years before the pair were finally given an indoor home (though they'd had pretty decent outdoor shelter before that, it must be said).

The last time I saw him was just a few months ago, but we were both out of context. Although I recognized him, my sudden appearance after so long away proved difficult for him to compute. For a moment I thought I saw a glimmer of something just before he went out of my sight, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking.

Yesterday afternoon, he took his last breath. Undiagnosed illness had taken its toll, and there was nothing that could be done. Maybe as a result of all those tough years, who knows? He had it about as good as any stray could, but it still can't have been easy. I shed a couple of tears last night, remembering the white tip at the end of his tail, the black of his nose, and the way he would bop heads with me. He'll be missed.

Bye, Smirnoff.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

What kind of crazy, mixed-up world are we living in...?

So there I am, sitting with the missus, watching TV last night, and she -- as is her wont -- is doing a bit of channel-hopping. She finally alights on the Jay Leno show.

The guest who is on at the time she stops zapping is Sherri Shepherd, a "big-boned" black actress that you may be familiar with if you've ever seen Everybody Loves Raymond. You know Ray's brother is a cop? Well, this woman plays his cop partner.

And she is there telling the story of when she was on some TV show and she was forced to defend the fact that she doesn't believe in evolution and...

Wait a minute. Let's just back up there a sec...

She doesn't believe in evolution?! And yet, not a murmur from the crowd. Not a guffaw, a titter, not even a snigger. And no witty comeback from lazy Jay either. (You can watch the whole segment here. She mentions not believing at almost three minutes in.)

Since when, may I ask, was it acceptable for a person to go on TV and essentially say "I don't believe in evolution" without being challenged? Are we all fucking idiots now? My opinion: people like this should be banned from our screens, with their retarded worldview. Fuck's sake. [/rant]

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