Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ya Big Soft Poof

Frank Lampard that is, he can't play footy tonight beacuse he's got a sprained wrist, what is wrong with our dismal modern day footballers ? Apart from having far too much money.

Jimmy Anderson played cricket last week with a broken finger, on his bowling hand, you would think that would hurt some, but did Jimmy drop out, did he buggery, he was out there with the England team playing for his country.

Goalkeeper Bert Troutman broke his neck when playing in the 1956 FA Cup Final, hard man Bert didn't even ask for the magic sponge until the whistle had gone for full time.

In 1874 Hugh Fotherington-Smythe of the East India Company organised an Officers vs. The Natives game in Bombay, Hugh suffered the unfortunate indignity of having both legs chewed off by a marauding tiger on the long off boundary, did it put him off ? Did it buggery, he just came in to field at 1st slip instead so he wouldn't have to do so much running.

Modern footballers, soft as shite.

At time of writing (half time), England have not managed a goal against lowly (they only have two full time players) Andorra.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hello Summertime

...and goodbye social life. The clocks have been put forward, closing time here at IGC has gone back to around 7.30pm, new furniture has arrived for the patio, it's time to start welcoming some visitors back to the club and for us all to earn some money again after a poor start to the year.

This last week of March is traditionally a good one as golfers make the most of the reduced green fees that are charged during the winter months, unlike some clubs though, we never play temporary winter tees or greens here at Ilkley Golf Club, the course is either fully open, or under water depending on the rain.

It will be nice to the place full of customers again, here's hoping for lots of good weather to tempt the golfers out to play, and drink, and eat of course.

Ilkley Golf Club
The Mystery Deepens



In his day job, Roebuck Sarfraz was known as......Bob Woolmer.

(Seen over at After Grog Blog)
Bad Taste Joke

"Have you heard that Pakistan have given up cricket ? They're entering for the bobsleigh."

More bad news from the World Cup cricket. The headline band for the presentation ceremony have been advised to pull out. The Stranglers lead singer is said to be very angry.
Book Review : The Old Man And The Sea - Ernest Hemingway*****



After reading Hemingway's detailed description of turn of the (19th) Century Spanish bullfighting in Death In The Afternoon I was tempted to read some more by this author, so I asked around and Phedredelauney kindly came up with a copy of TOMATS for me, thanks.

This long short story / short novel won Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and fellow author Anthony Burgess said about it..."It is unsurpassed in Hemingway's oeuvre. Every word tells and there is not a word too many." Which sums it up quite nicely.

The old man is Santiago, a aged fisherman living on favours and the kindness of his off and on apprectice Manolin as his run of fishless bad luck runs to almost three months. One day the old man puts to sea and sails a little further than he should to try his luck, and what luck, a marlin the size of which he has never seen before takes the bait and the old man engages in a life and death struggle with the fish.

Hemingway writes about the pursuits he considered manly, hunting, shooting, fishing, sport, war, but there is often a second theme interwoven with the more obvious gritty adventure yarn. Here we meet the old man almost defeated, but he is given a last chance to recall former glory, he endures a marathon test of strength, stamina, will and tempatation, and in losing the latter test it appears that he will return as he left, a useless, worn down old man. Hemingway has his principal character state that a man can be "destroyed but not defeated" and this mental (and spiritual) attitude leads to the old man taking some measure of victory from his fight.

The book is also a vehicle for showing a man struggling with his faith, the old man represents the fisherman/disciple, he offers God his prayers if he can catch the fish, but he is in turn punished for his pride and greed as the sharks begin to circle his catch.

The novel is a really good and gritty adventure yarn as well, Hemingway's writing is taut and focused, the constant pain and discomfort that the old man suffers (and that is reflected in the suffering of the fish) is cruelly brought to life, you can feel Santiago's unflinching (Christ like) suffering as the lines cut into his hands.

A really good read, exciting, gripping and with a message or two. I enjoyed this much more than Death In The Afternoon, and if anyone has any more Hemingway lying around, I'd love to borrow a copy of For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Alco-Hollie-ca ?



Don't drink and drive, you'll spill it.

300

That's my day off sorted then, it looks absolutely stunning.

Britney Spears Hit Me Baby 2007

The good news is, Britney is out of rehab, with hair, and minus a few pounds, the bad news is that all that coke has done something to her voice.....

(s)AINT - Uncensored



Do I really have to point out that this is NSFW ? Dita Von Teese is divorcing Mazza apparently because "He has too many personal demons", no shit Dita ? Anyway, if you do press the button you don't get the cartoon 'nasty' Manson you see in most of his videos, instead you get massive drug taking, bondage, uncensored gay sex, self mutilation, just another quiet Sunday evening with Marilyn.....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Children Say.....

Why We Love Children

1. A nursery school pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead.
"How do you know that the cat was dead?" she asked her pupil.
"Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move," answered the child innocently.
"You did WHAT?" the teacher exclaimed in surprise.
"You know," explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'Pssst' and it didn't move"

2. A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later....."Da-ad...."
"What?"
"I'm thirsty. Can you bring a drink of water?"
"No, You had your chance. Lights out."
Five minutes later: "Da-aaaad....."
"WHAT?"
"I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??"
I told you NO! If you ask again, I'll have to smack you!!"
Five minutes later......"Daaaa-aaaad....."
"WHAT!"
"When you come in to smack me, can you bring a drink of water?"

3. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him "How do you expect to get into Heaven?"
The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!'"

4. One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mummy, will you sleep with me tonight?"
The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug.
"I can't dear," she said. "I have to sleep in Daddy's room."
A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice:
"The big sissy."

5. It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's sermon.
All the children were invited to come forward. One little girl was wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat down, the minister leaned over and said, "That is a very pretty dress. Is it your Easter Dress?"
The little girl replied, directly into the minister's clip-on microphone, "Yes, and my Mum says it's a bitch to iron."

6. When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower.
She said, "Mummy, you are getting fat!"
I replied, "Yes, honey, remember Mummy has a baby growing in her tummy."
"I know," she replied, but what's growing in your bum?"

7. A little boy was doing his math homework. He said to himself,
"Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven.
Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine...."
His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, "What are you doing?"
The little boy answered, "I'm doing my math homework, Mum."
"And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?" the mother asked
"Yes," he answered.
Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day, "What are you teaching my son in math?"
The teacher replied, "Right now, we are learning addition."
The mother asked, "And are you teaching them to say two plus two,
that son of a bitch is four?"
After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered,
"What I taught them was, two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four."

8. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer.
She read, ".... and so chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that farmer said?"
One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said:
'Holy Shit! A talking chicken!'"
The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

9. A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, I'm Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter."
Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, "I'm Jane Sugarbrown."
The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, "Aren't you Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter?"
She replied, "I thought I was, but mother says I'm not."

10. A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with the boys?"
Her mother replied, "No, you can't play with the boys, they're too
rough."
The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked,
If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?"

11. A little girl goes to the barber shop with her father.
She stands next to the barber chair, while her dad gets his hair cut, eating a snack cake The barber says to her, "Sweetheart, you're gonna get hair on your muffin."
She says, "Yes, I know, and I'm gonna get boobs too."

(Blame Chez for this lot)

Darth Vader parody

I don't know what's being said here, but it still made me laugh, thanks to Dr.P

Who Killed Bob Woolmer ?

Jamaican police have posted a list of suspects in the Bob Woolmer murder case......

Shoaib Akhtar 10/1
Inzamam-ul-Haq 50/1
Michael Vaughan 100/1
Geoffrey Boycott 250/1
Alan Donald 5/1
Lord Lucan 5/1
Tony Blair Evens
Gravy the Transexual 5/1
The Easter Bunny 50/1
Hanse Cronje's Restless Ghost Evens
Winston Kodogo (after all, he's a villain, and a jailbird, we've got him in the cells now) 10/1
Freddy Flintoff (claims to have no memory of the night in question) 25/1
Robert Mugabe Evens
Al-Qeeda 2/1
General Musharraf 11/10 on
Ha! Take That Evil Humans

If you should be flying around in Pardus Sector and you happen across a large crab creature flying a ship that looks like this.....



...then do say hello, because that's me, Raul Endymion (name subject to change, I was going to be human but ended up as a Skaari), loyal Serf of the Empire, free trader and space maggot killer.



If you are old enough to remember Elite, then Pardus is a MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) version of Elite, you get a basic spaceship and you can fly around the universe trading, battling space monsters, bounty hunting or pirating as you will. There are distinct factions in the game, Empire vs Federation and the more nuetral Alliance, and there are smaller trade and military groupings (player owned and operated) within the game.



So far I have managed to work my way up to the Imperial rank of Serf, well it's one step up from being a lowly outsider, I've earned some money, killed half a dozen space maggots and bought myself some titanium armour, energy shielding and a bigger laser cannon, so don't mess with me noobs.



Pardus is a free game, there is a paid premium membership for about £22 annually. If anyone fancies having a go, sign up as an Empire Skaari (the game is saying that there are far too many Federation humas already) and tell me where you are, we could start our own battle fleet. I'm planning on joining The Shadow Order when I'm out of my newbie status (you get to play for at least 10 days when other people in the game can't attack you, helps you learn the ropes), I could put in a good word for you.
13k, A Man's Best Friend ?

Two small sticking plasters strategically placed over my nipples. I can almost walk normally this morning, almost.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Book Review : Extreme Cuisine - Jerry Hopkins*****



The question you need to answer for yourself is, are you a neophile, or a neophobe ?
That is, do you seek out the new and different, or do you fear and shun it ? In a culinary sense, I'd hope to place myself amongst the neophiles, I've always thought that there is very little that I wouldn't eat, no matter how strange it was. Jerry Hopkins excellent exploration of the world's stranger cuisines seeks to challenge these presumptions.

Extreme Cuisine could so easily have fallen into the lads mag trap of over simplification and base shock and horror, but Hopkins' book is well researched and all the foods contained within are given a sympathetic tasting (the author has devoured almost every item in the book) and description, there is a brief but informative historical background for each foodstuff, notes on present day production methods and suppliers if appropriate, and a few recipes for those folk hardy enough to want to try their hand at cooking camel, jellyfish, sea slug or roasted crickets.

What wouldn't I eat then ? Most of the stuff contained in this book I'd have a go at, bats, rats, mice and guinea pigs, yes, no problem. Jellyfish, I think I could, slugs, well, maybe, ants, bees, wasps, caterpillars, I think I could force myself, but there are two things in here which I think wouldn't pass my lips even at gunpoint.



Fried spiders, oh the horror. I really don't think I could chew on a crunchy, hairy, fried tarantula. There is a worse horror within these pages though, balut.....



This is a 16-18 day old fertilised duck egg, first you make a small hole in the end and suck out the juices, then you chip away the shell to reveal the chick embryo inside and eat the lot. Apparently it has the texture of cooked egg white and a flavour not unlike duck liver, but I think I'm never going to find out if that's true.

Extreme Cuisine is a great book, packed full of the weird and wonderful foods from around the globe, weird to us Westerners perhaps, quite everyday and banal to the inhabitants of other countries.

Things that might seem normal to us can be viewed by others as strange, unusual or horrific. Once at my parent's house we had some Chinese guests over for dinner, and after dinner, as we Brits do, a cheeseboard was served. The guests looked on in trepidation, they sampled tiny portions of cheddar, and then one brave soul put a small piece of stilton in her mouth, she looked appalled and ran from the table to the bathroom. Our guests found it difficult to believe that anyone could possibly eat something so obviously vile as rotting cheese.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

10k

I managed to run a whole ten kilometres yesterday, without dying. So it's hello fitness, and goodbye to the skin that used to cover the end of my nipples, ouch.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What's Going On ?



Right, I'm stuck in the shuttle from the USS Enterprise, which I wasn't trying to steal, honest guv. Ok, so maybe I was, it is a rather cool vehicle. I also have a glass of red wine in my hand which whispers "Drink me."

I still have no clear idea of what Second LIfe is really all about, you can play for free though.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lost In Second Life

If you should be wandering around in Second Life, and you happen to see a six foot six skinny slap bald goth with big black feathery wings, that would be me, do say hello.



I had hair at this point, then I swapped it for a natty yellow rain hat, then I lost the hat.



Sat on a hill, I have very little idea of what is going on in Secong Life. Clues anyone ?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz 6.3
Answers & League


1) What is the name of the particle that physicists believe gives mass to everything ? (1)

The Higgs-Boson particle, nicknames the God particle

2) What naval first took place on March 8th, 1862 ? (1)

The first engagement between iron clad steam powered warships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Merrimack

3) What can most Northern European adults do that most other adult mammals cannot ? (1)

They can digest milk (produce lactase) 90% of adult North Europeans carry a gene that allows this, most of the rest of the world does not.

4) In 2006 Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma retired, to be replaced by Don, Katia, Rina, Shaun and Whitney, why ? And when will their replacements take over ? (2)

They are the names of violent and damaging tropical storms due to be retired by the World Meteorological Organisation, the new names will come onto the naming list in 2011.

5) Unravel this, put them in their 2005 best selling order and add the creator of each piece..... (2)

Idiot Mimy Y the amercian monkey massacre of emancipation & business X

Oh bugger, there appear to be conflicting sales charts depending on whether you went for world, US or European sales, which I didn't make clear enough, anyway, the albums were.....

X & Y - Coldplay (Dull, dull, tedious and dull)
The Emancipation Of Mimi - Mariah Carey (Recently voted one of the 10 worst singers of all time)
The Massacre - 50 Cent
Monkey Business - Black Eyed Peas (Chez - but I like Christina Aquilera!)
American Idiot - Green Day

6) In 2006 Marcin Gawron, Megdelena Rybarkova, Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin-Hardenne were almost what ? (1)

They were almost Wimbledon Singles Champions...

Marcin Gawron lost to Thiemo de Bakker in the Boy's Singles
Magdelena Rybarkova lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the Girl's Singles
Rafael Nadal lost to Roger Federer in the Men's Singles
Justine Henin-Hardenne lost to Amelie Mauresmo in the Women's Singles

7) What should appear on all Britsh Government buildings on 6th Feb, 21st April, 9th May, 17th July, 20th Nov and on many other days ? (1) What do each of these days represent ? (1) On which of these dates may a second flag be flown ? (1) for (3) total.

6th Feb - The Queen's Accession
21st April - The Queen's Birthday
9th May - Europe Day
17th July - Birthday of the Duchess Of Cornwall
20th Nov - the Queen's Wedding Day

The Union Flag must be flown on all these dates.

The European flag may be flown on Europe Day, as long as the Union flag takes the more prominent position.

8) When and where was the draw made for Britain's first ever national lottery ? (2)

11th January 1569 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. All proceeds went to fund public works.

9) Behind me is St.Louis Cathedral, to either side of me are the Pontalba buildings, in front of me is Whasington Artillery Park, where exactly am I standing ? (1)

I'm in Jackson Square, New Orleans.

10) I'm at a road junction with Macy's in front of me and the Empire State Building behind me, what is the road called that runs diagonally through this junction ? (1)

Broadway.

Scores & League

MR 14
Didier 13
Squirt 13
Tony G 12
Dominic L 12
Chez 12

1) MR 37
2) Tony G 35
Didier 35
4) Dominic L 33
5) Chez 32
6) Squirt 28
7) Mr Moosehead 20
8) Alistair T 14
9) Penny Farthing 12
10) Dr. P 8
11) Lyle 8
12) Stephanie 6
13) James H 5

Friday, March 16, 2007



Ronnie Irani leads a gym class with Australian fans.



It's a dangerous game cricket, here's a moment when a New Zealand batsman gets shot by a sniper in the stands, well that's what it looks like. Even better is the way his team mates and even the commentators just laugh at him.
Blarney Army

Ireland managed a great draw against Zimbabwe yesterday, mostly due to a wonderful 155no from Jeremy Bray, who is a born and bred Irishman, born and bred in Sydney, Australia that is. But hey ho, Kevin Pieterson is as English as I am.



Bray carried his bat through Ireland's innings and seemed to be having a tremendous time at the wicket, he was smiling and grinning all the way through. The Irish fans were a hoot as well, the onlooking Windies locals were somewhat bemused when the match stopped for rain and a giant leprechaun jumped up and led a Guinness fuelled conga line around the stands.

Of the rest of the Irish team, only (Irish born) Andrew White did anything worth mentioning with the bat with his total of 28. On the bowling side, born and bred Irishman (see a trend here ?) Andre Botha (born and bred in Johannesburg, South Africa) picked up two wickets, as did born and bred Irishman Trent Johnston (born and bred in Wollongong, Australia).

Anyway, well done to the Rest Of The World Team, oh sorry, Ireland I meant to say.

In other groups, Canada got off to a slightly better start than they did in the last World Cup when they scored a dismal, record setting 36 against Sri Lanka. This time they scored a more respectable 199 against Kenya, but still lost by 7 wickets.

The World Cup starts in earnest today for England with an important match against New Zealand, due to the odd nature of the competition, if we win this we are pretty much guaranteed a semi-final place, I would explain but the rules seem to have been designed just to annoy the casual cricket fans. Let's not even mention power plays.

England's fast bowler James Anderson has broken the little finger on his bowling hand, not the best start to our campaign, but about typical for Anderson who has a fine record of returning home injured from major competitions.

Here we go then, England to win, Vaughan to get a ton and Monty a five wicket haul.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Dr. P

It's on Sunday, according to his MySpace, but if I don't put this up now I'll forget it. He's coming over to Yorkshire this weekend to stage a Lancastrian invasion of Ingleborough, I have informed the border police.

Dr. P on MySpace
Album Review : Yoni - Ginger****



First off, what's a Yoni then ? Wiki entry here. Right, well that's rock stars for you, I suppose calling it fanny would only have confused the Americans.

Ginger, when on form, is one of the greatest rock song writers we Brits have been blessed with, he seems to effortlessly create catchy rhythms and riffs, sing-a-long melodies, anthems and choruses, he's really good. You know there's a but coming, but, I think he writes better music when he has someone else to write with, and let's be frank, the someone else's have to be The Wildhearts.

That's not to say that Ginger can't write decent solo material, and I like almost of all his solo output, but on the numerous albums put out by various Ginger side projects (Silver Ginger 5, Clam Abuse, Supershit666 etc) there are hardly any songs that really compare with the best material he has created for The Wildhearts.

Ginger also seems to suffer a bit from lengthy writing, it's as if he doesn't quite know when to stop, there are a couple of tracks on this 12 track album that would be better with a bit of editing, Smile In Denial and the overly long Jake spring to mind. A few of the other 5 minute plus songs would have been punchier with a little trimmed off.

That said, and as I said earlier, Ginger writes a good song. Yoni is a more mature album in the most part than Valor Del Corazon was, it fairly drips with well constructed melodies and smooth, AOR tunes.

Highlights for me would be When She Comes, Wendy You're Killing Me, Why Can't You Just Be Normal All The Time and the spot the tune happy time mix up of Can't Drink You Pretty. It is a good album, lacking the thrust of The Wildhearts, but still good music. It's probably too far along in Ginger's career for this to have any large scale impact, but there are some tunes on here that deserve to reach a wider audience.
What Does This Button Do ?

Two hapless and clueless thieves from Lindenhirst, New York, stole what they thought was a case of mobile phones from a break in they committed at a highway equipment store. When they got home, they charged up one of the 'phones' and switched it on.

Sadly for the burglars, what they had actually stolen was a case of Vehicle Global Positioning Units, minutes after they switched the unit on the police were knocking on their door.

The arresting officer said that the two criminals were astonished that the police had found them so quickly.
Land's End To John O'Groats 6
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


Onwards and onwards, and off the Somerset / Devon / Cornwall peninsula and into more mainland England. I have passed through the cities of Bristol and Gloucester to arrive in a place synonymous with horseracing, Cheltenham.



Cheltenham is a spa town and is also famed for its Regency architecture, of which the Royal Crescent is the most outstanding example. The town sits on the edge of the Cotswolds, the town motto is 'Health And Education'.

Cheltenham was home to Edward Wilson, who adventured with and died alongside Captain Scott in the antarctic in 1912.





I have arrived in Cheltenham at a fortunate time, the Cheltenham Festival is on at the moment, it is Ladies Day at the Festival today so I could go and look at the fashionable women and their wonderful / garish hats, enjoy a pint of Guinness or three with the thousands of Irish punters who flock over for the festival, and then have a bet on today's feature race, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.



For dinner tonight I think I ought to try the 2 Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage, after all that exercise that chance to try out Egon Ronay's Dessert Cehf Of The Year seems to good a chance to pass up. I might need deep pockets though, it's £48 for 3 courses and that's before spoiling myself on the lavish wine list or a cheeseboard, quality doesn't come cheap though.






Total Distance Travelled = 352 kilometers

Cycling 76k
Rowing 114k
Running 45k
Walking 74k
X-training 30k

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Album Review : Music For Lapdancers - The Fighting Cocks****



Mrs YS walked in whilst I was listening to this. "It's like a bunch of kids messing around in their bedroom," she said. Is that a bad thing ? Sure, the Cocks music is, eclectic ? An acquired taste ? Off the wall ? Look, John Peel would have liked it and if Chris Moyles ever heard them he'd hate them, and surely that's reason enough to buy a copy.

The Fighting Cocks actual style of music is a hybrid of dance and punk with a leaning towards Gogol Bordello's manic modern folk style, they describe themselves as sounding like a punch up at a Balkan wedding. There are lots of samples, chanting, weird lyrics, drum machine bits, folky bits, guitar bits, it's all a bit chaotic in a rather fun way.

Music for Lapdancers contains 20 tracks, every one of which deserves to be a monster smash hit single, oh no, what am I talking about, they're far too strange to appeal to most. There are some belting tracks on here though, No Candy is great, poppy and infectious, Come Get Some and Smoke 'Em If Ya got 'Em are similarly upbeat and fun, and the 'cover' of Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three's The Roof Is On Fire (also covered by The Bloodhound Gang) is great, and yes, there's lots of swearing.

This is a good album if your tastes run out to the decidedly non-mainstream, dance / punk / fun / whatever, I like it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bought It, Didn't Read It

A survey showed the following literary gems were the books most likely to be purchsed, and then ignored, by the British public....

Fiction

Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling

Ulysses - James Joyce

Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

Non-Fiction

The Blunkett Tapes - David Blunkett

My Life - Bill Clinton

My Side - David Beckham

Eats, Shoots & Leaves - Lynne Truss

Wild Swans - Jung Chang


Ha ha, a quick survey of the huge 'unread' pile at Yorkshiresoul mansions reveals Cloud Atlas, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, and Vernon God Little.
Farewell Brad Delp



Brad Delp, the high pitched voice of Boston died last weekend. Delp was only 55, and was discovered dead at his home.

Boston produced 5 albums, they were a huge world wide success starting with the release of their self titled debut album. Boston released a come back album, Corporate America, in 2002 and had been working on an album due to be released later this year.

Delp said about his music "I enjoy it, it's not because I need the money for the groceries, it's the only thing I can do that makes me feel 15 again."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Book Review : The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien****



I don't know if the author experienced the war in Vietnam, if he didn't then this is an even more remarkable work, the 20 plus linked short stories in this book paint as realistic a picture of the day to day life of a soldier in Vietnam than many other authentic war memoirs.

From the opening story, from which the book takes its title, to the last page this book makes you eat, sleep and breath the American experience in Vietnam in tiny, unflinching, excruciating detail. Whether O'Brien is listing the contents of the infantrymen's backpacks or expressing his feelings after killing a young VC soldier, the language is clever, expressive and enthralling.

I went through a phase of reading Vietnam books, Chickenhawk, Once A Warrior King, The 13th Valley, this book is the equal of any of them, a gripping insight into life when death is always close.
Book Review : Prador Moon - Neal Asher*****



This is more like it, I thought Mr Asher had got a bit slack with Cowl and The Voyage Of The Sable Keech, but Prador Moon puts him right back on form.

As the blurb says, it's first contact....Polity style. Or should that be Prador style because in this novel Asher takes us back along the Polity time line to the first meeting between the human/AI Polity and the crablike Prador. What would a super intelligent, starfaring civilisation like the Prador want from humanity ? Dinner of course! And after eating the diplomatic contact party they set about invading human space and eating anyone else unlucky enough to get in their way.

So you've got giant people eating crab creatures, heavily armed robots and cyborgs, huge energy shielded self repairing space battle cruisers, big guns, big explosions, I love space opera. Yes there's a plot, and a good twist at the end, and there is plenty of gore soaked, blood drenched, dirty, violent fun, human sushi anyone ?
Restaurant Review - Farsyde, Ilkley*****

We were lucky to be treated to dinner at the Farsyde Restaurant by my parents-in-law, thanks again folks.

We had drinks in the bar area before being seated, there was a selection of home made bread offered of which I chose a black olive bread roll.

I'm not going to be able to remember what the other three ate, so I'll just review my food and wine.

Starter - Warm salad of woodpigeon, roast new potatoes, pancetta, paw-paw and tarragon dressing. (£5.75) Very nice, with the pigeon breats just retaining a hint of pinkness, a reasonably substantial starter but it is a restaurant catering to Yorkshiremen so that's fair enough. To be honest I didn't notice the paw-paw in the dressing but the dish was fine without it.

Main - Calves liver on garlic mash, tartlet of mature cheddar & chorizo. Lovely, the liver was pinker than the pigeon, just how I like it, very tender, the mash was smooth and creamy and very garlicky. Main courses are priced in the £12-15 range, I din't notice on the menu whether veg & salad cost extra, but they did on previous visits. Price wise then this places Farsyde on a level with Gordon Ramsey's Boxwood at the Berkeley in London.

Dessert - Trio of chocolate, brulee, brownie and chocolate & honeycomb ice cream. For me, you can't have too much choclate at the end of a meal and this was great, a nice change in textures and temperatures with the warm brownie and the ice cream. (£4.95)

Wine - We had a good bottle of South African red at about £16, I didn't take notes and have forgotten what it was, very good though.

I don't know the total bill, and I'm not asking, but you can see from the prices that Farsyde isn't cheap, it is really, really good though, we have been here a few times and have always had really good meals. The servie is good, staff pleasent and polite, a good evening was had by all.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's Fightin' Time In Espresso Land

Cafedirect versus Starbucks.

Ethical beverage suppliers Cafedirect have announced plans to roll out a chain of coffee shops to take on global market leaders Starbucks. Penny Newman, chief exec of Cafedirect said "It's about championing a different way of trading coffee. It is also about being a business, not being a charity."

I'm afraid that I'm only going to offer lukewarm applause for this scheme, British city centres are already fairly dire. They are dull, uniform, homogenised, Americanised. It doesn't matter whether this new chain will be British owned and fairly traded, it will be just another faceless, same old, same old in a few years time.

We don't need yet more chains of stores, what is wrong with you people ? It's the public that are to blame for all this plastic food and drink, you want the same burger in Leeds, Liverpool, Los Angeles and Lagos, so that's what you end up with. The same crappy coffee in Bradford, Berlin, Bermuda and Buenos Aires.

I'm quite lucky, I live in Ilkley, and to some degree the town has managed to resist the march of the multinationals. We have a broad selection of independant, different, interesting, unique places to eat and drink. There are some chains of course, the Cow & Calf has become one of the Inkeeper's Lodge chain of same menu gastro pubs, Costa Coffee has moved in on our last small scale newsagent, and we're stuck with the empire building Tesco or the nicer/pricier Booths, but on the whole, it's a nicer, more varied place to live and shop than many towns. We're not quite as independant / quirky as Hebden Bridge, but it's not bad.

It would be far nicer if your town could have an independant coffee shop, selling Fairtrade goods. Wouldn't you like your town to have more independant, more interesting shops and businesses ? Choose where you spend then, before you walk through the door of easy, comfort zone, Superhyperglobal Coffee Inc., tomorrow, stop and think, is there somewhere else you could shop ? Or maybe there isn't, after all, big companies always say they are only providing what the customer wants, and looking at our cities, what we want is interchangeable anytown UK-USA.
No Coke For Manchester Students

Manchester University Students Union has voted to boycott Coca-Cola, and presumably all other products made by Coke, from the Manchester campus.

Coke is cited for various human and civil rights offences in its production plants aroun the world, do a quick google search and you'll find plenty of info.

I didn't go to university, but I always hope that our universities are hotbeds of political insurrection, and not just 4/5 years of gettng hammered and missing lectures.

So, 420 students voted on the measure, out of a student population of 36,000 , so that's 0.125% bothered to vote.

It might be that all students are not eligible to attend meetings and take part in votes, I have written to MUSU to ask whether this is the case.

Either way, well done students. Leeds University banned Coke before Manchester did, but you'd expect the Tykes to be more on the ball.
Close Your Eyes And It All Goes Away

That seems to be the position of the Bush government on global warming. Scientists employed by the American Government have had to sign an agreement when travelling, speaking or researching abroad, the agreement contains this statement....

"This traveller understands the administration's position on climate change, polar bears and sea ice and will not be speaking on or responding to these issues."

So if you don't talk about it, then it can't be happening.

Saturday, March 10, 2007



My team play like this every week.
Is That The Police, Guess What ? I'm Really Stupid

From a New Zealand newspaper......

"A middle-aged New Zealand woman rang police to report a theft of cannabis plants she had been growing at her North Island home, local media reported.

The crying woman told a constable at the police station in the city of Napier the plant theft was the fourth from her property in as many years. The 45-year-old woman, who was not named, lamented someone had again sneaked on to her property at night to steal her three carefully nurtured marijuana plants.

"I am a good person. I am sick of these low-lifes stealing my things," the woman told a police communications officer.

Senior Sergeant Mal Lochrie told local media Friday that the officer found it hard to stop smiling as the women gave details of the theft over the phone."
It's A Step Up From Vinegar And Baking Powder

What could you do with 523 Mentos Mints and 101 bottles of Diet coke ?

Just watch what these two blokes can do

And then there's this muppet
Orcs On Teh Interweb

Oh yes, there's a Lord Of The Rings wiki as well.

I love the interweb, it has fabulous depths of geekiness.
Star Wars Wiki

Yes, Star Wars has its own wiki, naturally it is called Wookiepedia.



I know I've featured this before, but you've got to laugh at the great man making a right plonker of himself.
Eat, Sleep, Gym

That's the slogan on Pakistan Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq's t-shirt, well, as Meatloaf might say, two out of three ain't bad.
Batting Collapse ?

What happened there then, it was all going so well, Vaughan and Bell were scoring at a steady rate and then, skittles. KP and Freddy are going to have to get themselves in gear pretty quickley, Vaughan was a delight to watch, when he is on form he is one of the best batsman in the world to watch, perfect timing, beautifully executed economic strokes.

Monty did well again and kept his bowling very tight, none of our bowlers were shockingly expensive, but after getting a good start, our middle order didn't do enough to carry us on to a decent total.

If I was a Windies fan though I'd have much more to moan about, India blew them away for a mere 85 runs yesterday and finished the run chase in 18 overs, oh dear, it's not looking too good for the hosts.

Our World Cup group opens on Wednesday with a clash between the country fielding the oldest team in the tournament, Canada, playing Kenya, who sometimes find it in themselves to upset decent sides.

We start our World Cup on Friday against a good New Zealand side, so we get our hardest group match out of the way first.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Oooh, My Back

No gym for me for a few days then, my back's giving me some gyp. I wouldn't mind so much if it went when I was doing something strenuous, but yesterday it twinged whilst I was completing the heavy task of putting a letter in the filing cabinet. Previous back spamsms have been caused by getting out of my car, and making pastry.
My Favourite Places


  1. My dinner table on Christmas Day

  2. Pen-Y-Ghent summit

  3. Kettlewell and the view down Wharfedale from Cam High green lane

  4. In the 2nd row / mosh pit at The Wildhearts

  5. My kitchen, early in the morning, before the customers arrive

  6. Swinsty - Fewston - Thrusscross reservoirs

  7. Forests, I like trees I do

  8. Napa Valley

  9. Lanzarote

  10. Ilkly



Obviously I'd say Yorkshire, but I wanted to be more specific.

Places i'm not keen on......, Costa Del Sol / Golf, Central Park, traffic jams, Bradford at night, the towers and bridge of the Sagrada de Familia.
My Favourite Cities


  1. Paris

  2. London

  3. Perth, Australia

  4. York

  5. Barcelona

  6. Leeds

  7. Seville

  8. Trier, Germany

  9. Las Vegas


and....cities I'm rather neutral about....New York, New Orleans, Manchester, Cadiz, Rome, Bradford

and....cities I really don't like......Huddersfield, Los Angeles, Gibraltar
Yorkshire Cricket, It's (not) All Smiles Now

So, pudgy dancer / reality tv star Darren Gough has returned, and now former captain Martin Moxon is on board as well.

Moxon wasn't exactly all smiles at yesterday's press conference was he ? He seemed a little grim in the tv interview as well. I don't like to be downbeat about Yorkshire CCC, but again I wonder if something is going on that we don't know about and wouldn't like ?
Police Brutality ?

There is some quite ugly video footage, taken during an arrest outside a South Yorkshire nightclub, being shown on tv and on internet sites at the moment.

In the footage, a young woman is involved in a scuffle with a police officer, other officers join in the fray and the woman is pinned to the floor by t least 3 officers. One policeman is then seen to strike the woman repeatedly, 5 times, somehwere on the upper body or head. When the woman is taken to the police car she is dragged upright, her trousers having come loose in the fight falling around her ankles.

These scenes look fairly disgraceful. Some of the reportage, especially on last night's BBC Look North has been equally poor, and almost seemed to be deliberately designed to provoke trouble in a mixed race community.

Some points.


  • Whatever the provocation, the police officer should not have struck the woman, she was at the time prone, pinned down and seemingly defenceless.


  • The woman's clothing should have been attended to, there was no need for her to have been pulled away with her trousers falling off, people under arrest should not have to suffer this sort of indignity.


  • Although the woman arrested is coloured, and the arresting officer is white, it is perfectly possible for people of different races to argue or come to blows without race being the reason.


  • If this is not a racist incident (and by the arrested woman's own admission this appears to be correct) why does the BBC need to try and incite trouble by asking a number of black people their views on the incident ? During the Look North segment, no white or asian people were questioned. This is in itself racist and provocative. I'm white, I think the officer was out of order, but Look North seem to have decided that this was a racist incident so my white views don't count.


  • One black skinned mugger or buglar does not mean that all black people are violent or light fingered, so why does the press always try to use the actions of one or two officers to try and paint a picture of the whole police force ?


  • Even though the copper in question was wrong in what he did, should he be sacked ? If this is a one off incident, then most definately no, if he has a history of violent conduct then yes.


  • If you are calling for the officer to be sacked, then should we also hand out life sentences in the courts for crimes like affray, disorderly conduct or breach of the peace ?


  • South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes talks a lot of sense, it will be interesting to see if the police will release further video footage to back up CC Hughes claim that we have only seen one side of the story, he's probably right, there is seldom one side to anything.


Answers To The Quiz That Never Was

If you missed the chaos and did the quiz fair and square, apparently you could read the song titles by opening the music clips under different programs, or by revealing the source code of my blog, pah.

1) Journey Down To Nibelheim, Tannhauser - Richard Wagner

2) When the night feels my song - Bedouin Soundclash

3) Alfie - Lily Allen

4) New Rose - The Damned

5) Henrietta - The Fratellis

6) A little bit of shhh! - Lady Sovereign

7) The Prince - Madness

8) Enter Sandman - Metallica

9) 54-46 Was My Number - Toots and the Maytals

10) Blitzkreig Bop - The Ramones

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.3, again

Rules, please don't post answers in the comments, send them to yorkshiresoul@gmail.com, headed "Quiz 6.3", on/by Wed 14th March.

Don't send lists of possible answers.

Good luck.

1) What is the name of the particle that physicists believe gives mass to everything ? (1)

2) What naval first took place on March 8th, 1862 ? (1)

3) What can most Northern European adults do that most other adult mammals cannot ? (1)

4) In 2006 Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma retired, to be replaced by Don, Katia, Rina, shaun and Whitney, why ? And when will their replacements take over ? (2)

5) Unravel this, put them in their 2005 best selling order and add the creator of each piece..... (2)

Idiot Mimy Y the amercian monkey massacre of emancipation & business X

6) In 2006 Marcin Gawron, Megdelena Rybarkova, Rafael Nadal and Justine Henin-Hardenne were almost what ? (1)

7) What should appear on all Britsh Government buildings on 6th Feb, 21st April, 9th May, 17th July, 20th Nov and on many other days ? (1) What do each of these days represent ? (1) On which of these dates may a second flag be flown ? (1) for (3) total.

8) When and where was the draw made for Britain's first ever national lottery ? (2)

9) Behind me is St.Louis Cathedral, to either side of me are the Pontalba buildings, in front of me is Whasington Artillery Park, where exactly am I standing ? (1)

10) I'm at a road junction with Macy's in front of me and the Empire State Building behind me, what is the road called that runs diagonally through this junction ? (1)

Happy quizzing.

Please don't post answers in the comments.
A New Tattoo, Or Two

Mrs YS has granted permission for me to get some new ink, just so long as she can watch, sadist.

I'm going to get Neil Gaiman's Death on the back of one shoulder, then get Dream / Morpheus on the other one.



Death drinking tea, she's cute, for a god.



Death by Chris Bacchalo.



Death by Mike Dringenberg, this is the one I'd like, with the picture filled out to complete her hair, elbows and body, replacing the speech bubble with an ankh.



Here's Morpheus, I'm not sure this is quite the pic I'd like, there is a good close up of his face with his eyes blazing with energy that i'd like, I'm just trying to track it down.
The Wacky World Of The Wildhearts



I hear that the US leg of the forthcoming Wildhearts tour has been cancelled, because 'someone' in the Wildhearts set-up forgot to get the band their American visas, doh.

So so far we have cancellations in the US and no tickets printed for the UK shows, it all sounds fairly normal for a Wildhearts tour.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scarborough

We thought we'd spend our day off at the seaside today, partly so I could get some new ink and Mrs YS could have a laugh watching me squirm in pain as the tattoo bloke worked on me. As it turned out, the tattoo parlour was shut, so we had fish and chips and walked around the front instead.



A view along the beach, renovation work being carried out at the Grand Hotel.



One of the numerous amusement arcades on the seafront, you can't go to the seaside without wasting a few quid on the slot machines or shoot-em-ups.



Roof detail on another amusement arcade.



The fish dock in Scarborough harbour.



Landing boxes of crabs fresh from the sea.
Evil Empire 'Misled' Shoppers

Morally dubious Tesco's price policy

And again

Oddly, I wrote to Tesco back in January 2005 to question their pricing policy on strawberries, my letter went unanswered. I have written to Tesco a few times to question various points of their food policy, in my experience they give bland answers to about half of all enquiries, and totally ignore the other half.

Tesco' supposed support for British fruit growers is a little odd, all last Autumn they had large banners in store proclaiming their support for these farmers, I eventually managed to get the banners at the Ilkley store removed when I put in a written complaint stating that for weeks at a time you could purchase fruit from Italy, Spain, South Africa and Argentina, but not from the UK.
Walking Yorkshire : Pen-Y-Ghent

Pen-Y-Ghent is the smallest of the Three Peaks at 694m, or 2,273 feet, and on Monday I had company for one of my walks in the shapes of good friends Stuart and Wosser.

We got suited and booted in the car park at Horton, it was a cool morning, slightly windy (which would become bone chilling gale at the top).



I love the shape of Pen-Y-Ghent, the crouching lion, it is the best defined of the Three Peaks. We managed a dry morning's walking, although the wind picked up steadily the higher we got, there were only a few drops of rain carried on the wind.



Wosser and Stuart at the summit shelter and trig point. When we were half way up we looked back down the path and we could see a mad fool running up the path. We plodded on, puffing and groaning, and then despairing as the sprightly sixty year old fairly bounded past us on his way to the summit, running up the hill at a rate of knots.



Looking from the summit over to the flat top of Ingleborough, with Whernside looming darkly in the background.



The view from the summit across Fountain's Fell, and a hint that if we don't set off back down it might not be a dry day's walking after all.



On the West flank of Pen-Y-Ghent is Hull Pot, a rather large hole in the ground.



Here's Wosser standing close to a rather large hole in the ground. There is no safe way down to the floor of Hull Pot without ropes and carabiners and all that climbers gear, it's a fair long way down, so don't get too close to the edge.

There are some photo's in both the Crown Hotel and the Pen-Y-Ghent Cafe showing Hull Pot completely flooded to the rim of the hole, it is worth popping in to either of these places for a look, and for the Crown's great baguettes or for a huge slab of home made fruit cake at the cafe.



"We know where the walkers were last seen, we can only assume they fell in the hole."

This walk was a steady 10k / 7miles, the hill is quite steep but the walk is on green lanes and paths all the way. We all went in proper boots and with wet weather gear (this is very important in Yorkshire, especially when the weather forecast says good). Pen-Y-Ghent is on OS Explorer OL2, do take a map with you.

The walk was about 3 hours, a more sedate pace than usual but we had to set the world to rights on the way, there were important issues to discuss. How were everyone's legs yesterday ? Pop over to Wosser's blog (linked above) for further pictures.
Starter for 6 ?



Following on from the mutant four legged duck that I showed you a couple of weeks ago, here is a GM Frog that French farmers have been working on.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mighty Bermuda Are Humbled By England

Although we did try really hard to muck it up early on in our innings, thanks to Dalrymple for dragging the score into respectability.

Bermuda have an unusual training tactic, whoever scores least in any given innings is fed to their spin bowler Dwane Leverock.



He should get in a team with Mike Gatting, they'd make a couple of good all rounders.....(boom, tish).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Say Hello, Be Nice

New staff...



Lucy.



Ellie.



Emily.
What We Do On MySpace

Is fill in lots of pointless surveys, but I'm trying not to fall asleep and this about all I can cope with....

Name: Yorkshiresoul

Birthday: 05/07/67

Birthplace: St. Jimmy's, Leeds

Current Location: Ilkley

Eye Color: Hazel

Hair Color: Used to be dark brown, now it's turning grey

Height: 5 11

Right Handed or Left Handed: Right

Your Heritage: English and Scottish, two grandparents were Scots, one Tyke, one Geordie

The Shoes You Wore Today: Brown with lots of food splatters

Your Weakness: I'm not good at confrontation with people, it always leaves me angry / worried for hours afterwards, thus I suppose I try to avoid confrontations.

Your Fears: Heights, I can't climb stuff, six feet up is enough for me. I always get that irrational fear when I'm looking down from something tall that I'm going to fall off. I'm not keen on spiers, or moths, bloody nasty flappy fluttery things.

Your Perfect Pizza: A meat feast with plenty of pepperoni and chillis

Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: As always, lose a bit of weight, otherwise, I don't know, I'd like to do the Lyke Wake Walk (40 miles in 24 hours), otherwise I'm pretty content, I'm not hugely driven to achieve things.

Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger: I don't IM

Thoughts First Waking Up: Is it raining ? Or can I scamper out to remove the security post in just my socks ?

Your Best Physical Feature: Aha, oh dear, my family read this you know, er, my hair then.

Your Bedtime: Depends on work, I'd quite happily go to bed at 10 ish, work often keeps me up until after midnight though.

Your Most Missed Memory: Mum, family dinners with us all laughing at the same old family in jokes.

Pepsi or Coke: Pepsi Max, but I hardly ever drink either, evil empire you know.

MacDonalds or Burger King: Burger King, but on the whole I'd prefer to have real food, I'd rather save up for 6 months to eat at Gordon Ramsey's once than have six months of free McDonalds.

Single or Group Dates: Ruddy quizzes for teenyboppers, I love going out as a gang, husbands and wives together.

Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: I've never tried either.

Chocolate or Vanilla: Hot chocolate, dark, cream on top, with a whisky to follow.

Cappuccino or Coffee: Black coffe, as strong as possible

Do you Swear: Far too bloody much

Do you Sing: Often and badly

Do you Shower Daily: No, sometimes I have a bath

Have you Been in Love: Yes, a few times

Do you want to go to College: Been there, go the diploma, City & Guilds 706/1/2/3 and the Patisserie qualification, I've forgotten the number of that though.

Do you want to get Married: I am.

Do you believe in yourself: I think, therefore I am.

Do you get Motion Sickness: Not much.

Do you think you are Attractive: Not hugely, and I'm rather anti-fashion as well, there's nothing so bad I'd resort to surgery though, you just makethe best of what you get.

Are you a Health Freak: Ha ha, well, I like to exercise a lot, but I eat and drink to compensate.

Do you get along with your Parents: Yes, we've nearly always had a great relationship, apart from when I was being a teenage idiot, but then you grow up.

Do you like Thunderstorms: Yes, they're great.

Do you play an Instrument: no

In the past month have you Drank Alcohol: I drink wine almost every day.

In the past month have you Smoked: no

In the past month have you been on Drugs: Drugs have never really held any appeal for me, I've tried dope two or three times and thought it was crap, I'd never take pills or snort coke, yuck, and you'd have to be mad to try smack or crack. I don't want to be huggy/happy so ecstacy's out, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life talking to the back of my hands so I'll not bother with LSD / mushrooms / toad licking.

In the past month have you gone on a Date: I've taken my wife out for dinner.

In the past month have you gone to a Mall: A mall ? Oh, you mean a shopping centre, yes.

In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos: No, I've eaten too much home made shortbread though.

In the past month have you eaten Sushi: I like to eat virtually everything, except sushi, I like smoked salmon and some other smoked fish, but that's it as far as raw fish goes for me.

In the past month have you been on Stage: no

In the past month have you been Dumped: no

In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping: No, but I have some very loud shorts which I have been swimming in.

In the past month have you stolen anything: Oh dear, now I should tell how I accidently shoplifted a magazine from Tesco.

Ever been Drunk: Times far too numerous to count, less so as I get older, but I still manage to get hammered now and then.

Ever been called a Tease: no.

Ever been beaten up: I'm crap at fighting, I've lost a few fights but I wouldn't say any of them resulted in me getting beaten up, a black eye at worst, I've had worse in the mosh pit at gigs.

Ever Shoplifted: See above.

How do you want to die: Quietly and without too much pain.

What do you want to be when you Grow Up: I'm a nearly forty year old bloke that still goes to heavy metal gigs and reads comics, do you see me growing up anytime soon ?

What country would you most like to Visit: Canada, Thailand, some parts of the USA that I havn't been to - New England, Maine

In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color: Pretty much any, but green combined with.....

Favourite Hair Color: Red, but I'm really not choosey

Short or Long Hair: Any, long, punky spiky, any at all

Height: any

Weight: Any.

Best Clothing Style: Rubber, leather, goth, punk

Number of Drugs I have taken: Caffiene in abundance, alcohol, marijuana

Number of CDs I own: Hundreds, and hundreds of records

Number of Piercings: 2, both ears

Number of Tattoos: 2, small skulls on both shoulders, and I'm getting a new one for my 40th birthday.

Number of things in my past I regret: I don't know, I've spoken harshly sometimes, without thinking, nothing too bad though, I'm not going to spend my later days thinking "Oh, if only I'd done that", no, life's good, I have a good life, good family, good friends, a good job and I live in the greatest place on Earth, I don't have much to regret.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Less Than Two Weeks Now!

Cricket World Cup

So, an easy stroll for England then ?
Damn, Missed

That's fifty quid wasted then, now we'll have to beat them on the pitch, again.
Friends Of The Common People

A Private member's Bill was put before the Commons yesterday which, if passed, would have led to firms being unable to unfairly discriminate against temporary / agency workers. (TEMPORARY AND AGENCY WORKERS (PREVENTION OF LESS FAVOURABLE TREATMENT) BILL: Second Reading. Member in charge: Paul Farrelly).

Examples cited by MP Paul Farrely (who is a Labour Party MP for Newcastle-Under-Lyme) were the case of a man who had worked for Salford Council for three years, was paid a third less than his colleagues employed directly by the council, and got no holiday provision or sick pay. Another case cited was a man who worked for 9 years in a call centre as an agency employee and could not get a mortgage because of his temporary status.

This bill would have prevented this sort of discrimination, just the sort of thing the Labour party stands for, or so you might imagine.

The bill was not passed, it was talked out of time in the Commons......by a Labour Minister, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Jim Fitzpatrick

Nice, just another stab in the back for the traditional Labour voter then.

Labour MP's in the commons were so disgusted that one MP (Andrew Dismore, Labour, Hendon) said "Is there any way of recording in Hansard that dozens of Labour Members came today to support the Bill, that we decided not to stand to make a speech to make sure that it had a reasonable chance of getting a Second Reading, and that we are extremely dismayed and ashamed of the fact that our Front Bench has not acceded to the request of so many..."

At which point he was cut off by the Deputy Speaker.

What exactly is it that Nu-Labour stands for at the moment ? Apart from telling lies to start wars that is.
Work, At Last

It's been an awfully quiet start to the year, this will be our 7th year at IGC, and this January and February have been rather devoid of bookings (and thus my 'books read' list for this year is quite long already).

Last night though was the Annual Dinner, a four course dinner for 80, and as always happens at these things one of the girls phoned into say she wasn't coming in, thankfully chef Robyn stepped into the breach and worked a double shift.

I would have had three new girls to introduce to you, but it rather looks like one of them won't be joining me after all, so alongside the regular crew of Robyn, Christine, Calum, Jessica, April, Sarah and Carol, we now have Ellie and Lucy joining the team.

This leaves one waitress position open and Robyn leaves in eight weeks to pursue a career in mental nursing so I need to recruit a chef (or trainee chef) as well, anybody want a job ?

The dining room stinks this morning, a nasty fug of stale cigar smoke, it will be nice when the smoking ban comes into force on July 1st. I've been up early this morning setting off three batches of dough to prove, and that's after finishing work very late and getting to bed at around 2am. Dinner at P&C's tonight, please excuse me if I fall asleep in the dessert.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Book Review : Pride Of Baghdad - Brian K Vaughan & Niko Henrichson****



A bombing raid prior to the American invasion of Baghdad throws down the walls of the city zoo, a small pride of lions, and numerous other animals, are freed to eke out an existence on the war torn streets of the Iraqi capitol.



Brian K Vaughan's (Y:The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways) latest graphic novel is illustrated by Niko Henrichson, and very nice it is too.



As the lions explore Baghdad they encounter other animals escaped from the zoo, and more dangerous pets from Saddam's personal menagerie. Ultimately, they encounter soldiers with guns.

On the surface Vaughan's story is about frightened animals, but it examines the realities of life and freedom, were the lions better off in their safe captivity ? Or was it better to have this short burst of freedom before horror closes in ? Pride Of Baghdad neatly encapsulates the human history of Baghdad over the past few years.

It is a better work than Y: The Last Man, which has wandered and seems to be strugging to find its reason for being, Pride though is short, sharp, sad and beautiful.

Brian K Vaughan's News Blog