Sunday, October 28, 2007

Heavy Metal Big Brother

It was bound to happen, the production company behind Big Brother (Endemol) is this week advertising in the rock press for the "Next Frank Carter, Brody Dalle or Trent Reznor."

Could they make it a little more interesting by sticking some of the more useless rock acts (Madina Lake, Paramore, Good Charlotte etc) in the house, and then just not let them back out again ? Ever.
Flintoff Feeling High

"Andrew Flintoff is to see a renowned joint specialist in Amsterdam"

(From R5 via Private Eye.) Well at least he will be in good company...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bondage Sheep



As I was strolling along the lane towards Nesfield the other day, I spied this ram all done up in bondage gear, ey up I thought, DSP Andy's been this way. But no, this ram is wearing a marker so the farmer can see when his ewes have been tupped.



Yellow paint on bum indicates a good time was had by all.



Oh dear, there is always one ugly one that just can't get laid.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is It Christmas Yet ?

Is It Christmas ?
RIP Lucky Dube

You may never even have heard of him, but Lucky Dube was a South African reggae star who sang in English, Afrikaans and Mbaqanga. Last week whilst he was taking his children to school, a group of men attemptd to carjack him, Lucky tried to drive out of trouble but was shot in the chest and died almost instantly, in front of his kids.

Lucky Dube sang songs of hope and freedom and peace and love, yet his death was pointless and evil. If you like a bit of reggae, check him out, it is good music. Rest in peace big Rasta man.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good Losers

Well done the rugby team, South Africa were worthy winners of the World Cup, just a touch too good for us.

The Rugby (Union) World Cup has yet again highlighted some essential differences between two of our major sports.

The England rugby team and their management took the disallowed try with a sense of calmness and restraint, there was no shouting and complaining at the referee, no endless stream of vitriol in the after match interviews. Why is it then that rugby is so different from football, where every decision that is perceived by one side to be wrong or unjust is greeted with complaints, often a barrage of foul language aimed at the ref, and a huge amount of pathetic whining and moaning from the manager after the game.

The two games have become so different, football players seem to accept cheating as just another part of the game, I can hardly think of a player who is man enough to stay up after even the most featherlight of tackles, especially if it is in or near the penalty area. Players, fall, roll around and feign injury, pretend to have been tripped, and they think it is alright to do so, and we constantly refer to them in the media as 'role models'.

For 'role models', see the England rugby side, tough blokes, but mostly fair, the game of rugby seems to have largely cleaned up, you hardly ever see the kicking, stamping and punching that used to on in the rucks and mauls, and when hulking six foot seven and seventeen stone players get caught doing something they shouldn't by the ref, a sharp word is enough to silence any complaint they had.

I can't understand why football authorities, and the referees, don't get a better grip on the players. The rules are quite clear, you can't abuse the ref, and yet every week you see players loudly using what is referred to as 'industrial language' to the men in black. I love football, but it exasperates me in equal amount, I hate cheating and when the ref fails to do something about obvious diving and false injuries it makes me upset and angry.

Rugby is a man's sport, football in the modern era rather less so. The great hard men of the past are well in the past, there are no blokes left who are prepared to ride out a rough tackle (and then give it back a little later on), the Norman Hunter's and Billy Bremner's have departed football, the school of hard knocks has been replaced by the class of effete softies, and the game is poorer for it.
I Don't Like To See The Scum Win, But.....

That goal against Aston Villa (another team I despise) when no less than three hapless, hopeless and hilarious Villa players managed to touch the ball on it's way into their own goal, genius lads, sheer comic genius.

Super Leeds continue their magnifcent march up the, *coughs*, ahem, 3rd Division as was, LUFC are now 9th in League One, and would have been 9 points clear at the top if not for the fact that our chairman is a buffoon.

This Saturday, Leeds vs. Millwall, come on lads, five or six nil please.

Friday, October 19, 2007

L33T Geek EVE LOLZA



Warp Drive Active
I Have Found The Source Of Global Warming....

...and it is my grandfathers's flat, I'm convinced that ice packs might not melt and the sea level would remain roughly the same if only we could persuade my Grandad just to turn the heating down by a degree or twenty.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hot



Alexandra Maria Lara.

Sam, you lucky bugger.

Film Review - Control****

Black and white, bleak, depressing and in the end he kills himself, well that sounds like a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

The life of Ian Curtis of 80's new wave band Joy Division, as directed by Anton Corbijn (formerly a photographer and director of numerous music videos) and acted by Sam Riley (I've met him) isn't exactly uplifting. Curtis appears to have been a slightly odd young man, possessed of that thing that makes rock stars what they are, the ability to communicate and bond with fans through their music and lyrics, but who finds communication difficult and awkward off stage.

Riley takes on the role of the troubled rock star very well, Curtis isn't particularly chatty or personable, he becomes alienated from his wife (played by Samantha Morton, Agatha in Minority Report) and child after he begins an affair with the enchanting zine writer Annik (played by Alexandra Maria Lara) and faces further problems as his late onset epilepsy becomes harder to manage. The opposing sides of Curtis' nature are shown particularly well in the scene where his wife confronts him about his affair, and as she screams and begs for any sort of reaction or explanation from Curtis, he backs away, literally and figuratively, into a corner and says nothing at all.

Curtis' story seems to be one that gets repeated over and over in music, the (mostly) young men who set off on the road to stardom only to find that fame doesn't bring them the things they really need, the pressure to succeed combined with the drudgery of touring, ready access to drink and drugs and women, then the comedown, addiction or the band tearing itself apart, and stark choices of suicide or rehab. There is a huge list of bright young things, who like Curtis, thought that the only way left was to take their own life, so sad.

Control is good, it's interesting and portrays a snapshot of the music scene at the time, Corbijn's decision to film in black and white could be said to make an already sad subject even bleaker than perhaps it needs to be, but artistically it works, the monochrome visuals blending perfectly with Joy Divisions style and sound. The three actors involved in the love triangle at the heart of the film all put in superb performances, especially the previously unknown Sam Riley, surely with his looks and style a sure bet for bigger things. Don't expect to come away happy, but you can expect an informative and informed look into the Manchester music scene and rise and sudden demise of one of Britain's brightest bands.


Official Control Website - with film trailer
The Fear Of Unattended Bags

The world changes, twenty years ago if you saw a rucksack or packed carrier bag lying around you would either report it lost property, or pick it up and carry it there yourself. Since 9/11 and the London bombings though these everyday occurences have become sources of worry and fear.

Thus yesterday when I was in a cinema and a young man a few seats along from me got up mid movie and left the cinema, but left his backpack behind. Now the chances are that he's just drunk too much from his industrial sized fizzy drink and needs to go to the bathroom, but, here I am less than a dozen feet from an unattended package.

I didn't notice when the man came in whether he was white or asian, and I don't know if I had whether that would of made me more nervous if he was asian, or slightly more relaxed if he was white.

Is he going to come back then ? How long would a bomber need to get a safe distance away before triggering a bomb ? Are the six people at the early afternoon screening of an arty music film really a potential target ?

Here he comes, he did only need a pee after all, he sits down again and I can relax, damn the bombers though for making me suspicious and fearful of one of my fellow men who only needing to go to the toilet.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It Fair Warms Your Heart

To see tens of thousands of thoroughly miserable Australians (last week) and Frenchmen (yesterday), well done the England team on getting to the RU World Cup Final.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Big Ship, More Guns



My Myrmidon Battlecruiser, the Achilles, it's nice and has a fair amount of gun ports, but to really go up against the big boys I need something a little larger....



My brand new (well, one careful pilot anyway) Dominix Battleship, name as yet undecided, it can hold lots of guns and shield & armour fittings, plus a veritable swarm of remote fighting drones.

Wahey, boom boom bang bang.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gordon Brown

Restaurant Review : Piccolino, Ilkley***/*

I have more or less stopped doing restaurant reviews locally because everybody knows who I am, but chain restaurant Piccolino ( part of the Bank - Zinc - The Restaurant group) has just opened up on the site of Johnson's / Honest Lawyer, and they don't know me yet.

The decor is lovely, really light and airy on both floors, extra windows have been added, the old circular stair has been removed and the area opened up to allow light from upstairs to fall intot he lower seating area, it is a good job all round.

We went on Tuesday lunchtime, without booking, and were promptly seated. The restaurant was fairly busy downstairs and had about another 16 or so diners upstairs, pretty good going.

I had a beer, Mrs YS a lemonade and we perused the menu and specials. Piccolino is not cheap, 2.95 for bread !, 2.75 for olives, starters begin at about 5.50 (or 3.95 if you count garlic bread as a a starter) and get right up into what I would term healthy main course territory.

We opted for a risotto with scallops for myself (at a very healthy 8.95) and calamari fritti for Mrs YS at 6.25, main courses were suckling pig (which our Italian waitress said would be crispy) for me at 14.95 (potatoes were extra, 2.95), and spaghetti carbonara for Mrs YS at 8.95. I ordered a bottle of Montepulciano which at 16.95 was almost the chaeapest bottle of wine on the list.

The starters were good, the squid came in lovely crisp and light batter, my risotto was slightly dry but well flavoured and the 3 seared scallops were tender and juicy.

Main courses, the spaghetti was very good, the suckling pig rather less so. From being on the other side of the pass, I think there is a huge technical difficulty with serving suckling pig on an a la carte menu, if you're doing a whole pig for a party or banquet it is relatively easy to get the skin ruddy brown and crisp and have the flesh soft and tender, but with individual portions it is very hard. My pig then was qite a nice piece of meat, two decently thick slices on roasted squash (which had been rubbed with chilli oil I think, a nice touch), but the skin had all the crisp and crackly qualities of a boiled inner tube, yuck.

I had a very similar dish, for a very similar price, at Gordon Ramsey's Boxwood Cafe, and it was awesome, crunchy crackling, succulent pork, fabulous potatoes and a rich, deeply flavoured jus, here it was nice without being anything special.

The wine was very good, the desserts, which the menu is at some pains to point out are made here by the chefs were good, £5 for a small square of Tiramisu though, we went the whole hog and had dessert wines, Moscato for Mrs YS, Vin Santo and cantucci for me, and then coffees.

The total bill came to £84. The important thing for Piccolino is how is it going to compare to Ilkley's other good restaurants, well, for decor and location it is on a winner, as far as food and pricing goes it isn't dissimilar to Farsyde or Tubby Wadlows (nor I presume to Martha & Vincent, which I havn't got round to visiting yet), I think the food at both Farsyde and TW to be better than this though.

Three / four stars, getting my main course right would have been worth four stars, but we did have a nice time and I thought that the service was good, maybe there are just a couple of minor teething problems to be sorted out in the kitchen but on the whole it was a good meal.


*Why wasn't I at bookclub last night ? Er, pre lunch beer, then a bottle of wine, then dessert wine, then asleep on the settee.......

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Radiohead Album for 10p

Well, Thom Yorke's probably got plenty of dosh, there was a 40p service charge though.

Radiohead 'In Rainbows' Site - Pay what you want, really.
Time To Vote For Another Set Of Self Serving Wasters ?

Is there an election in the offing ?

How strange that rumours of a general election are rife, and that this week my sitting Labour MP, Ann Cryer, has chosen to write to me to tell me what a fabulous job she has been doing.

A cynic might say that the two items are somehow related, after all, my MP has never bothered to write to me before, so why now ?

I had been a Tory voter for all of political life until the last set of elections, general, local and European, and then I switched to voting Liberal at home and Green in Europe. As we (possibly) approach a snap Autumn election I really don't know who I'm going to vote for, I would like a party to.....

Stop slavishly following US foreign policy.

Stop blaming immigration for all our woes.

Build more nuclear power stations, the UK is facing a power crisis in the coming decades and successive governments have done nothing at all to plan for it.

Generally become greener, which in some eyes will clash with the point above.

Do much more to alleviate poverty, hunger and suffering across the world.

Keep the BBC and the Licence Fee.

I doubt that I'm going to vote Labour, the Liberals seem rather directionless at the moment and the Tories have also been without a definate direction ever since Labour stole all their policies three elections ago.

Perhaps I'll just go in and scrawl 'none of the above' on my ballot.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hurrah, A Day Off, To The Hills Then

Or hill, I had Monday off work and walked up Ingleborough in the sunshine, nice.



It was a day for big skies, this is the first view of Ingleborough that you see as you approach from the Horton-In-Ribbledale side.



Looking back from the same point, this was the view across to Pen-Y-Ghent, the lion looking dark and brooding under it's cloud cap. It was a gorious day for walking, bright and sunny, enough to raise a sweat as I marched up Ingleborough's flank.



To complete the set, a view of Whernside from the rather cold and very windy summit of Ingleborough. There were quite a lot of walkers up here today, all sat at the 'shelter' trying to stop the filling from blowing out of their butties. I walked back down the hill for a mile or so, back into the sunshine and sat eating my sandwiches in the warmth of the lee of a dry stone wall.

At this point, the obligatory mad running Septugenarian went bounding off past me and up the hill, I was unswayed by this show of aged resilience and continued to eat my roast chicken and mayo on home made oat and sunflower loaf, then I had a chocolate biscuit. Then I just sat in the sun for a bit.

On the summit though, there is a mystery.....



Who is Ingleborough Sue ?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fakes, But Clever Fakes



Alison Jackson Photography
Wannabe Black Metal ?

Hi YS!

Hello little Timmy, what can I do for you today ?

I Want to be a black metal star.

Oh, right, well for starters then, can you TALK LIKE THIS ?

LIKE THIS ?

No Timmy, this is Emo, THIS IS BLACK METAL

LIKE THIS ?

NOT BAD TIMMY, NOT BAD AT ALL, NEXT THEN, YOU NEED A NAME

What's wrong with Timmy.

IT SUCKS, TRY CALLING YOURSELF VOGROZOL

But it sounds like a brand of suppositories.

HEY, IT WAS YOU THAT WANTED TO BE BLACK METAL

Ok, Volgrozol it is then, don't think Mum's going to be happy though.

NOW YOU NEED A BAND NAME

Done that, it's The Happy Rainbows.

HUH ?

NO NO NO THAT WON'T DO AT ALL, YOU NEED SOMETHING EVIL SOUNDING, SOMETHING BRUTAL AND SATANIC


Er, how about Death ?

TAKEN

Decapitated ?

ALSO TAKEN

Goreguts, Cannibal Corpse, Vomitory ?

IMPROBABLE AS IT MAY SOUND, THOSE ARE ALL REAL BANDS

Do you have to keep talking like that, the dog just wet itself ?

YES

Oh, how about Enslaved Souls In Bondage To The Dark Lord ?

SOUNDS LIKE A CRADLE OF FILTH SONG, BUT IT WILL SUFFICE. NOW YOU NEED A LOGO THAT NOBODY CAN READ

Why ?

BECAUSE THE WORSHIPPERS OF SATAN DON'T LIKE NON-CONFORMITY, ODD THAT




NOW FOR SOME SONG TITLES

We've written a song, it's called Dancing In The Sunshine

CHANGE THE NAME TO 'ROTTING IN THE MOONLIGHT'

but

JUST DO IT TIMMY, OH, I MEAN VOLGROZOL

What musicians should I hire ?

NONE, BUY A DRUM MACHINE AND SET IT TO 'BLASTBEAT', AND GET A GUITARIST WHO CANNOT PLAY, BUT WHO CANNOT PLAY REALLY QUICKLY

Ok, and lyrics ?

LYRICS ? YOU COULD SING THE CONTENTS OF YOUR MOTHER'S SHOPPING LIST AND NO-ONE WILL NOTICE

Anything else ?

YES, PAINT YOURSELF WHITE AND PRETEND TO BE FROM NORWAY, AND GET A PET

I've got my poodle.

POODLES VOLGROZOL, ARE NOT REPLETE WITH SATANIC IMAGERY, BUY A GOAT

But what if it eats Mum's petunias ?

BY THE POWER OF ALL THAT IS EVIL, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE BLACK METAL, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE WHAT YOUR MOTHER THINKS ?

I'm not really sure about all of this, I might try Emo instead.

ALRIGHT THEN, I'll fetch the razors
The Featherlight Touch Of Fear

Now, just once in a while Mrs YS gives me permission to go out on my own and consume alcohol, this is usally book club nights and I often return in a state of advenced happiness.

Being a considerate soul, on finding that Mrs YS had already gone to bed and was fast asleep, I thought I would undress in the office, not bother switching on the bedroom lights or the bathroom light as this would shine through and might awaken my dear wife.

As silently as I could I piled my clothes up and crept into the darkened bathroom. I'm sure you've all been to the loo in the dark, you know how it is when you wake up in the middle of the night and you need to go, but you don't want the bright bathroom lights to make you really wake up, so you navigate the room in the dark, like you have done hundreds of times before.

Yes, hundreds of times before. Except, this time while I was out, Mrs YS had decided to install a four foot high umbrella plant in the bathroom. Nice plant, big shiny leaves, likes the shade and moisture of the bathroom, not quite what I was expecting when creeping drunkenly around in the dark however.

As I lurched across the bathroom, I felt a featherlight, somewhat frond like touch at my groin, and being quite unprepared for this, I screamed, like a little girl, I also leapt sideways and only narrowly avoided falling into the bath but I did manage to knock all the objects on the rim of the bath (shaving foam, razor, one of those lumps of lava that I'm never quite sure of the purpose of) clattering down into the tub.

Next time I'm putting the lights on, who knows what might be lurking in the gloom, spider plants ? Sundews ? A giant YS eating Venus Fly Trap ?