Monday, June 30, 2008

Opposite Of Pro - Noob

Lolza, you have been PWNED / Ganked etc.
He Is The Shizzle, Or Something

Skipton Council Fail At Signs

Right, so let me get this straight, you can't leave waste at the waste disposal site ? What might Skipton Council plan next ? No golf on golf courses ? No narrow boats on the canal ? No award for clear written English anyway.
Hot Rock Chicks - Siouxsie Sioux

Long dark hair, too much eyeliner, FMB's, result !
Just What's The Point ?

As I set off for a day's hiking a couple of weeks ago, there in the distance I spotted a small herd of Nordic Walkers. By lucky chance of birth I'm a Yorkshireman, a Dalesman even, I live in one of the most beautiful places that the good Lord saw fit to create, and I make use of it. I get my hiking boots on when I can and stride across the moors, along the rivers and up and down the hills that make up the wonderful county of Yorkshire. Along the way I marvel at the natural beauty that surrounds me and count myself blessed that I live where I do.

Then there are Nordic Walkers. The point of this bizarre 'activity' seems to be that you spend a decent amount of money on two hiking poles, then you wander rather slowly and pretty aimlessly about the streets of Ilkley. You see those people in the distance ? Four hours later I was in Skipton, they hadn't reached the end of the next street.

The aficionados of Nordic Walking make all sorts of dubious claims for its health benefits (even the Wiki article doesn't seem convinced of its own writing). "Nordic walking using 90% of the body's muscle mass as opposed to 70% in normal walking", well, I assure you that when I'm struggling up the flank of Pen-Y-Ghent in a howling sleetstorm, there really isn't much more muscle mass I can utilise.

I do use poles when I'm hiking, I nearly always take a single pole with me, especially for hills. Sometimes I take two poles, if I plan to be doing somewhere steep and potentially slippery in mid winter those extra points of balance and support are really useful.

Come on folks, get a grip on yourselves, if you're going to wander around with an expensive metal stick in each hand at least do it on the way up Whernside, not down The Grove.
Album Review : Blackout - Britney Spears****

Ha ha, YS reviews a pop album ! Now, when I review a metal or punk album I am able to draw on thirty years of listening to hard rock music, I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure metal bands, I understand the various styles and sub genres within my field so I am able to draw on this information when considering and comparing a new album.

My knowledge of pop on the other hand is mostly limited to repeated viewings of Christina Aquilera's 'Dirty' video.

I don't know if Britney writes her own songs or not, but this is mostly a well put together album, the lyrics for 'Piece Of Me' (one of the high points of the album) are especially sharp, with Britney acknowledging her role as ongoing celebrity car crash but having a dig at the shallow celeb obsessed paparazzi and fans at the same time. Lyrically though, it's gumby pop, you're going to listen because you like Britney's voice and sound, not because Spear's has anything of any real import to say in her songs.

There's nothing wrong with gumby music though, and on Blackout Spear's puts out twelve tracks of mostly decent lightweight pop. I like pretty much everything on this album, 'Freakshow', 'Oooh Oooh Baby', 'Radar' and 'Piece Of Me' are all excellent pop tracks. The last two tracks on the album, 'Perfect Lover' and 'Why Should I Be Sad' feel a bit filler-ish and I can't stand the slowed down male vocals on 'Get Naked(I Got A Plan)'.

Still, it's a sound album, almost as good as Christina's 'Stripped'. Britney could use a little more range in her repetoire though, whereas Aquilera steps easily from beat driven pop to soaring ballads, Britney stays firmly in pop, it would be interesting to hear her vocal talents stretched a little and applied to a different song style.

You've got to salute those musicians who despite their personal lives being a constant disaster zone (Ginger and The Wildhearts, Dave Mustaine and Megadeth etc) still manage to put out good music. Well done Britney, good album, but don't be tempted into shaving your head again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity

I don't know what had got in to the waitresses on Saturday night (apart from maybe their own bodyweight in LSD perhaps ?), but they were all barking mad. Not that they didn't work hard, but Harry and myself stood as bemused islands of sanity amidst the babbling sea of madness that was Megan, Lucy and Georgie.
Last Week's Top Ten

1) Thrice 106 tracks played - US modern metal / prog

2) Britney Spears 63 - you'll have to blame the waitresses

3) Johnny Cash 49 - country's man in black

4) Creedence Clearwater Revival 44 - country rock

5) Clutch 42 - sludge / southern rock

6) The Fratellis 39 - Scots trio become The Beatles on 2nd album

6) Battlelore 39 - Finnish goth metal totally obsessed with Lord Of The Rings

8) Rasputina 37 - two girls, one bloke, three cellos, odd but good

8) The Streets 37 - Mike Skinner's better than Eminem

10) Judas Priest 35 - Never too old to rock

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Homosexual Undead Are, Er, Rising

I Command You To.....


Whilst searching Google for champagne bottle.

Upper Class Yobs

Only in Ilkley.....

A vandal smashed the display window at Peter Dyer's last weekend, with a bottle of champagne, going by the manager's comments about it being a waste of a good drink, I can only assume that it was a full bottle as well.

Story here at the Gusset.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Must. Have. Sleep.

The summer season is at it's zenith, we did an all day buffet for 160 customers yesterday courtesy of Bradford Blaize. Many thanks to the team, Rob and Chef Phil worked like troopers all day, then Amelia and Lucy took over in the evening. As always seems to happen on these big functions one of the girls phoned in to say she was ill, I did some frantic phoning around but everyone was busy at such short notice. We have a hugely busy weekend coming up, so I hope everyone is fit for work or I'll be a crabby old chef.

We're now almost half way through the season, the longest day (with its Solstice golf comp teeing off at 6am) has passed, we've done about half of the major functions as well, but with Captain's Day and a big corporate golf day for Eddisons still to come.

With half the season behind us Mrs YS is putting some serious planning into our holidays for this winter, we have decided to have two large holdiays, going to Canada to stay with some of Meg's relatives in November, then off to Florida and Disney with the Wossers in February, plus we're off to Pontins in December for two nights of serious heavy metal.

I am also trying to plan a week's holiday on my own, well sort of on my own. I fancy doing a distance walk as I havn't done one since doing the West Highland Way way back when I was 18. I would like to do the Dales Way this winter if it can be fitted in around work and staff holidays. I thought that I might start out at the far end of the walk in Bowness where Meg could stay with me in a hotel for the night (Mrs YS does not do hiking), and then perhaps she could join me at a couple of hotels along the way as I get back towards Ilkley. I have no intention of camping, partly because it will be winter and winter camping would probably be horrible / wet / miserable, but mostly because a day's walking followed by a night in a decent hotel with beer / wine / good food sounds great. I'm not sure if I can fit it in yet, so it might have to be put back to winter 2010.

It is strange having a very seasonal business, I spend the first half of winter going on holiday, dining out a lot, seeing friends, then the second half as winter really cuts trade down you start to wish for summer trade again and the influx of customers and some money coming in to replace your spendings. For the first three hectic months of summer you're grateful for all the business and working like mad, the last three summer months you're getting seriously overworked and you're looking forward to winter and getting a rest again.

My advice to one or two staff members who don't seem to be picking up many shifts at the moment is you'd better take the work I'm offering now, because it certainly won't be on offer during after September.

My friends say I'm going into 'summer hibernation' in May, I retreat into the kitchen and don't really come out again until about October.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last Week's Top Ten

1) Thrice 231 tracks played - US post hardocre band with stunning new quadruple album

2) Christina Aguilera 70 - pop

3) Judas Priest 58 - Aging brit metallers release double album themed on Nostrodamus

4) Creedence Clearwater Revival 46 - Fogerty's rock/country band

5) Paradise Lost 43 - Yorkshire's finest purveyors of doom metal

6) The Decemberists 37 - US modern folk

7) Britney Spears 35 - pop

8) Johnny Cash 31 - the only country really worth listening to

8) Devo 31 - new wave / electronic / weirdy punks

10) My Chemical Romance 30 - kings of the Emo scene

Get your charts at Scrobbler.
Planet Earth "Won't Blow Up", Probably

Oh good, if you were worrying that the French/Swiss built super large hadron collider project (or CERN) might misfire and blow up the planet, well apparently it won't, probably. Well, we can all sleep safe-ish now then.
Wimbledon Day 2

Right, is that it then ? I presume all British interest crashed out in embarassing style on day one ? Can we get back to some proper sport now ?

In the real summer sport, Yorkshire sit on top of the Division One table, unlikely as that sounds after achieving only two wins from six games. The table is so tight though, and the season has been so full of drawn matches so far, that bottom placed Surrey with five draws and one loss in six games are only 19 points behind Yorkshire, so any team in the division can go top with a single win.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Troo Warriors Of Metuhl !!!

Tickets are booked (I hope, it's one of those "ticketless" electronic jobs) to Hard Rock Hell II - The Dragon's Ball, accomodation is sorted (it's Pontins !), and I have even persuaded Mrs YS that an all weekend heavy metal piss up is a good idea so she's coming with me..

The line up over two nights is a right old mix of really old school - Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, Doro Pesch, Budgie, Tygers Of Pan Tang - and the slightly more contemporary - The Wildhearts, Black Label Society, Orange Goblin, Battlelore, Benedictum - and loads more.

I was dithereing over buying tickets as it is quite expensive, but there have been heavily publicised rumours that some or all of Iron Maiden will be making an appearance as well to support former drummer Clive Burr's Multiple Schlerosis charity Clive Aid. As I can't make Maiden's only official UK gig this year, on my bloody birthday it's Captain's Day here at IGC, poor planning by the committee I think, we'll make do with an unnoficial gig at Pontins instead.
European Cup Result Just In

Ultra Brutal Tirol Tuba Death Metal

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Great English Summer

Yesterday Mrs. YS and myself managed a very rare summer's day off together so we went up to the school fayre at Hawkesworth, which should have fun a fun day in he glorious summer sun but turned out to be a bit of a laugh in the pouring rain instead.

The children had chosen the Olympics as their theme and did their fancy dress parade (indoors around the school hall) all dressed as little athletes, swimmers and the odd horse, it was lovely. Ellie was dressed as a gymnast with twirling sticks.

So we bought something from most of the stalls, then stood outside in the beer tent as the rain hammered down, it's a real shame that they had to cancel some of the events, but we still had a laugh.

Little sister was wearing a t-shirt that said "I'm not 40, yet", no love you're not, you just look it ! ;-)

The event was attended by Jane Sowerby of the British Disabled Ski Team, Jane hopes to compete in the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. If you click through to Jane's page you can find out more about her and the British Paralympian team, sponsors of any sort would be most welcome.

Jane's also 'teh hawt', and so becomes my first Olympic Babe of the year.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Efron Ballad by Lucy

European Cup

Oxo gravy are bringing out a new stock for the England football team. The laughing stock.

Who thinks it has been a better competition without the laughably so called 'golden generation of footballers' ?

I've much preferred watching the sublime skills of Holland, Germany and Spain rather than cringing when England scrape by San Marino then lose to Poland on penalties.

Our football team are rubbish, and hugely overpaid rubbish as well.
Village Is Stunned By Police Raid

"Villagers have spoken of their shock following the discover of a suspected drugs factory in Burley-In-Wharfedale"

(This weeks headline in the Ilkley Gusset)

Although I suspect that some villagers were quite mellow about the whole thing.
If a woman is uncomfortable watching you have a wank, do you think?

a) You need more time together
b) She's a prude
c) She should sit somewhere else on the bus?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Bacon Bra

Feel free to make fried egg comments......
Barcelona Council Define 'Ironic'

Beware ! LARPERS !!

I know you set out to be be the Eye Of Sauron, Lord Of Blackness, Master Of Evil, Commander of The Goblin Hordes etc., etc., but actually you've come out as some weird daisy/sunflower hybrid, in a frock.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

17. "I work in one of those humble call centres for a bank. Apparently, what we're doing at the moment is sprinkling our magic along the way. It's a call centre, not Hogwarts."
Caroline Garlick, Ayrshire

49 other bits of business speak twaddle over at The Beeb
"Look, Twenty20 is such a fast game that one has to remain focused all the time. We don't even have enough time for sledging."

David Hussey on one of the many consequences of the shortest form of the game.

(from Cricinfo)
Good Stop At Fine Feathered Leg

"The Spin headed for The Oval last week in anticipation of watching Mark Ramprakash score his 100th hundred, but ended up instead watching a vignette which ought to silence once and for all those who deny the county game is a vicious world of dog-eat-dog. Or perhaps

As Surrey's Matt Nicholson carved his way towards a fourth first-class hundred, a ferocious cut shot headed towards a flock of pigeons, minding their own business in the third-man region. But one of the flying rats got unlucky: as her colleagues took flight in the nick of time, she was hit by the ball, sending a flurry of feathers
into the air - a moment that was captured in its gory glory by the photographer Graham Morris. But her ordeal had only just begun.

As the wounded bird lay rooted to the spot, a male colleague wandered over, appraised the situation, and promptly took advantage of her immobility in the most heinous manner imaginable. As the press box erupted to cries of "they're animals!" another pigeon waddled over to assess her mate's plight. Alas, she was to prove anything but the cavalry: far from providing a rescue act, she began pecking at the
unfortunate creature's head, and it needed swift action from Rana Naved, Yorkshire's Pakistan seamer, to wander over from fine leg and shoo away the miscreants.

By this stage, the pigeon was on her back, feet in the air and looking like she'd seen better days. Naved picked her up and carefully laid her to rest beyond the boundary. Back in 1936, a sparrow was killed at Lord's in a mid-air collision with a ball delivered by Jehangir Khan during a game between MCC and Cambridge University. It was subsequently stuffed and mounted on the ball that killed it, and still has pride of place in the Lord's museum. Without wishing to make hackneyed comparisons between life north and south of the river, the Spin suspects the dead pigeon will not exactly get a state funeral along the Harleyford Road."

(Seen over at Aftergrog Blog)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Recycling Glass

Glass recycling has dropped from around 97% in 1997 to around 48% in 2007. Why is this happening in an age when we are more environmentally aware than ever before ? There are at least two things that have happened over the past two decades that have contributed to this woeful recycling figure.

The rise and rise of sweetened, youth orientated, branded alco pop drinks, virtually all of which are packed in disposable glass bottles is certainly a contributory factor. When my generation were teenagers and drank in pubs we drank mostly keg lagers and beers or mixed drinks served from an optic with a returnable mixer (tonic, soda, etc).

One of the early branded bottle drinks (and sent out to pubs in a cardboard and polythene package as opposed to a returnable hard plastic case) was K Cider, a super strength, smart looking designer drink in a bottle at a time when most non-draught drinks came in cans.

20 years ago most of the breweries and bottled drinks companies ran well organised re-use systems. Pub landlords put empty bottles back into the crates they had been delivered in, (my first job was sorting bottles for my Dad) these were then taken back to the plnt where they were washed, re-labelled and refilled ready to be sent out again. Landlords were charged a deposit on both bottles and crates which was refunded when they were sent back to the brewery ensuring that lanlords would return every single item that they could.

This system has been dropped by nearly all the major drinks companies, probably to cut costs and jobs. Of all the drinks companies that we deal with here at IGC (Black Sheep, Hartridges etc) only the German brewers Krombacher still operate a return and re-use system.

I think there's a brewery in Shipley / Saltaire / Bingley that sends beer out in previously used bottles, but I have forgotten the name, can anyone reading this add a comment if they know who it is.

Quick tip - When sending your glass bottles back for recycling, if you are using a mixed colour bank / bin, try not to smash the bottles, it makes them much harder to sort. Single colour bottles can be fairly easily sorted for recycling, smashed multi-colour glass is really only useful for grinding up for road making and may even just end up as landfill.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Food Market Report May / June

Do you think that the food in your supermarket trolley cost a bit more last month ? Well just wait until you see what is coming.

The price of milling wheat has jumped over 30% so far this year, the real price of milling wheat fell slightly in May but the actual price rose because of speculators buying up stock.

I got my bakery market report last week, 11 sheets of small type A4 listing hundreds of food and sundry non-food products. Only 6 items were down in price, the others (over 700 items) had all risen in price since May.

These included almost every sugar based item, plus salt, vegetable oil, bread and cake mixes, chocolate, all plastics and packaging. Flour remained stable on the promise of increased production in Europe but in July 2007 wheat was £100mt, in March this year it had doubled to over £200mt before falling back slightly.

Food inflation was running (briefly) at -0.5% in March 2006, by March 2008 it had reached 6.1% .

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Homes For Wildlife

"The RSPB’s Homes for Wildlife is an exciting new activity, inspiring people to make a real difference for the wildlife that shares the open space closest to them - their garden. It aims to help a range of wildlife, including familiar birds that have seriously declined.

By taking part in Homes for Wildlife, you can make a real difference to their fortunes and help to reverse the declines. We hope that thousands of you across the UK will be able to make your homes and gardens richer in wildlife by following the simple wildlife gardening advice that we provide."

RSPB Homes For Wildlife
Album Review : Blooddrunk - Children Of Bodom***

For Fans Of : Arch Enemy, Lamb Of God, In Flames

There was a time when the Finnish 5 piece looked as if they could cross over from being just quite popular to being one of the really big names in heavy metal, that time was with the release of the album "Hate Crew Deathroll" in 2003 with its catchy, shout-a-long tracks like 'Sixpounder', 'Needled 24-7' and the awesome 'Triple Corpse Hammerblow'. The "Are You Dead Yet ?" album seemed to divide CoB's fans with its simpler and industrial tinged elements so long time fans would be hoping for a return to form with Blooddrunk.

This really isn't the powerhouse album that we were hoping for though, CoB seem to have stood still in terms of songwriting, Alexi Laiho, whilst still performing heroically on the guitar, has changed his vocal style to become rougher, it isn't a typical death metal grunt but it has become more like Angela Gossow's half singing half shouting style. I preferred Laiho's vocals when they were cleaner.

The band sound very together and polished on Blooddrunk, but the songwriting lets the album down, it's a damn shame when you put two jokey add on songs on the album ("Ghost Riders In The Sky" & "Lookin' Out My Back Door") and they sound better crafted than the main album tracks. My main problem with this album is that although everything is really well played, the songs themselves just don't stand out. The title track is pretty good, but the other 8 tracks are much of a muchness, they're all good if you like this sort of melodic / power / extreme metal, but not fantastic.

Blooddrunk is a little faster than 'Hate Crew' or 'Are You Dead' , it is stacked high with furious guitar and keyboard solo's almost a la Dragonforce, but as Dragonforce don't seem to be able to craft a killer riff or hook in amidst their technical brilliance so CoB seem to dazzle with their craft here, but on a more visceral level they fail to ignite.

I like this album, I've played it a dozen times or more, but I'm finding that I'd rather put 'Hate Crew' on for a spin than 'Blooddrunk', this is good, but I don't think it is the best that Children Of Bodom are capable of.
Don't Buy Your Brides In Thailand.... them in Lancashire.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Power Of Advertising

Used for something good in this case, these are part of a series of adverts created for the Dutch Catholic charity Cordaid.

How To Get Lost

Say, you're in Peterborough and you need to get to Leeds, you wouldn't expect to end up in Durham now would you ? Nevertheless, that's just what two of my staff (and their brother) managed when coming back from holiday last week.

Dear Lucy and Georgie, just in case you don't know where Ilkley and Durham are, I have provided this handy map to help you get around in the future. Hang on though, as you were travelling from London, what were you doing in Peterborough anyway ?
The Joys Of Being Your Own Boss

Some people think that being self employed gives you the freedom to work when you want, in reality, being self employed means you have to cover all the shifts that your staff drop out of at short notice, through copying down someone else's shifts for example.

Our muppet of the week here at work is young Rob, whose misdemeanour at the weekend was so grim that I find it hard even to write about. Suffice to say that Rob wil be getting a serious ragging at work for some time to come.

Thanks to the staff that did turn up over the weekend, we had a triangular match between Ilkley, Lytham and Birkdale to look after and one incident aside, they had a really good weekend. Later in the year we have another triangular match between Ilkley, The Island Club Dublin and Portstewart, let's repeat all the good work for them as well.
Times Square Marquee For Real

The cyberpunk author William Gibson envisioned a world where humans could be fitted with various augmentations, learning tools and body modifications. One of these was a text information player which fitted over your eye and relayed news and advertising to you, this now seems to be about to become a reality.

News article on LiveScience

This is why you ought to read sci-fi, it's like a history of the future.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Giraffe Girl And Nutty J

Giraffe Girl moved with grace, Nutty J bounced and gambolled in her wake. Giraffe Girl exuded coolness and composure, Nutty J smiled and grinned and shouted and laughed.

Spikey the old vampire saw them coming, for a moment he considered eating them, but that would be unfair, they were his friends after all.

"Where are you two going ?" asked Spikey as the girls approached him.

"We're off to do super hero things," said Nutty J, and then..."Guess what I just thought of ?"

Spikey frowned, he glanced around and tried to garner inspiration from his surroundings. "Er, you were thinking that.......that.......tree is very tall." He pointed at a very tall tree.

"Nope." Nutty J grinned, then she curled herself into a ball and shouted "I'm a pill bug."

"What's wrong with you ?" said Giraffe Girl as Nutty J giggled and wriggled at her feet. "You're so weird."

"Neek neek neek," neeked Nutty J. "That's pill bug for 'I am fine thanks for asking.' "

Spikey looked around, he had been quite happy before his friends had arrived. He had been thinking of going on a hunt for his dinner, perhaps a bite from the neck of a Fat Cat or one of the Equal Pigs would have done for dinner, but they would have run far away from all the noise that Nutty J was making. There was a small flock of Eleventh's still circling by the stand of tanse trees, but again, Giraffe girl was friends with many of them and would only get upset if he ate them.

"Well," he said. "You've made all my dinner run away, so shall we go and rescue someone ?"

Nutty J bounced to her feet and gave him a lopsided salute and a lopsided smile, Giraffe Girl pushed an errant strand of her otherwise perfectly coiffered hair back into place and yawned.

Spikey drew the doorway, he put his index finger on the ground and then stood up drawing an imaginary line, when his finger was higher than his hair he moved his hand to the right and then brought his hand down to the ground again three feet to the right of where he had begun. His knees made little popping noises and he grunted as he stood back up.

Nutty J pushed past him and with both hands flat and fingers spread she seemed to push at the space in between the imaginary lines Spikey had drawn, and a door appeared. there was darkness beyond it, as Nutty J pushed the door was driven back, it didn't hinge at one side and swing open like normal doors do, but just pushed out into the space beyond as if it were on heavy rollers.

The small girl peered out into the dark alleyway, the vampire looked over her shoulder and the tall girl stood aloof behind them, pretending disinterest but looking intently from the corner of her eye.

"It's dark," said Nutty J.

"Yes oh mistress of the bloody obvious, it is indeed dark, and raining before you feel the need to mention that as well." The vampire pulled his cloak over his head, his eyes could be seen glowing blood red from under the cowl.

"Do you have to do that ? It frightens people," Nutty J rummaged in her pocket for a rain hat, but found a bag of candy mice instead, she tried to balance them on her head, the others exchanged a knowing and faintly exasperated glance.

"I like frightening people, people should be frightened of vampires."

Nutty J pinched his cheek and grinned. "But you're such an old softie."

"If you do that again I will be forced to consume you." He raised a hand towards the doorway. "Shall we ?."

Giraffe girl pushed past the pair of them, Spikey put his hands on his hips and pursed his lips. Nutty J laughed, then they both stepped through.

The rain poured down, although it was a sultry night and they would be soaked to the skin long before they felt cold. Water poured from blocked gutters and leaky downfalls, it poured in a most determined manner from above shaping spatter halos around streetlights. The rain came from all directions, as it hit window ledges and fire escapes it splashed sideways into their faces. Nutty J began to dance in and out of the puddles, and after a moment's though Spikey joined in. Giraffe girl sighed loudly and shook her head, but as she followed the laughing, splashing pair up the alley and into the street beyond she dipped her toes in the deeper puddles when she thought the others wern't looking.

Nutty J stopped at the end of the alley, there was a broad street beyond which would hold at least four lanes of traffic when the weather was worth driving in, she cupped her left hand to her right ear and her right hand to her left ear and leaned to one side listening intently.

"Can you hear anything ?" said Spikey.

"Pardon ?"

"I SAID CAN YOU HEAR ANYTHING ?" Nutty J took her hands from ears, "No, nothing at all."

"Oh you two," Giraffe Girl strode out into the street and with each step she got taller, as she stepped off the pavement she was six feet tall, in the middle of the road she could have looked into the upper windows of a double decker bus if one had happened to be passing, but all the busses were tucked up nice and warm in the bus depot. When she reached the other side of the road her legs had become long and spindly, her beautiful big blue eyes had become beautiful and very big brown eyes, two little horns had emerged from beneath her hairline and a light dusting of golden fur had emerged along her forearms and up her neck.
Visual Pattern Fluid Intelligence Test Results

Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, first popularized the notion of measurable intelligence in the late 1800s. Charles Spearman later discovered that all mental abilities tend to correlate together when statistically analyzed. He called this G. Modern researchers tend to agree that there are two kinds of intelligence, crystallized intelligence (learned knowledge) and fluid intelligence (abstract processing ability). Most non-verbal intelligence tests measure the latter. Some research suggests that fluid intelligence may correlate best to G.

Your overall percentile is 79% which means you scored higher than 79% of the people who have taken this test. The internet population tends to be more intelligent so your percentile might be higher if the test taking sample was perfectly random. Keep in mind, taking this test more than once will render your percentile score inaccurate because the percentile score assumes these questions were fresh to the test taker.

The point of this test is to challenge you and show you how you compare to other test takers on a set of novel questions. Consequently, I need to keep the answers secret to protect the integrity of the test.

Try the fluid pattern test here
Your Vocabulary Score: A-
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Only an A-, I'm rather dissapointed.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I have no idea where this is (USA somewhere ?), but isn't it neat, despite the fact you might have an accident when gawking and driving.
Cyclists, I Am Not Your Friend, pt. 285

It was bound to happen sooner or later, this morning I managed to hit a cyclist.

Let me explain, I was waiting at red light at the top of Brook Street, second in the queue, when a bicycle pulled up on my right hand side. There are two lanes of traffic here, a forward / left lane, and a right only lane, and as the cycle was to my right, he must have been about to turn right ? Right ? Wrong.

When the lights turned green the car in front of me set off, a moment later I followed, and the stupid bloody cyclist then tried to swerve in front of me to get back into the forward / left lane. I braked, but I had already clipped his wheel, he bounced off my bonnet, put out a hand and bounced off the car in front and then slid into a heap on the tarmac.

I started to get out of the car to see if the plonker was alright, sadly he was, and as he stood up he treated me to a verbal tirade which was mostly swearing. A frank and fearless exchange of views followed in which I pointed out that if he cycled like that regularly he was bound to get run over sooner or later. After he'd called me a "stupid fucking wanker" for the fifth or sixth time I offered to hit him, at which point he got back on his bike and cycled off, giving me the finger as he went.

I'm just going to check my Highway Code, I'm sure it says you're allowed to kill one or two cyclists as a warning to the rest.
A Puzzle

"An American man hired maid to clean his house in Tampa at $100 per hour - in the nude.

The woman, who was recruited over the internet, turned up, stripped off and began cleaning. The man told police he left he woman alone in the bedrooms to clean. When the man's wife returned from holiday she found that $40,000 of jewelry had been stolen. Police are investigating."

(From the Yorkshire Post)

But, where did she hide it ?
Oh Yes Precious, Yes, YES, YES !

We worked really hard over the weekend, but not so hard that we didn't have time to discover that waitress Lucy does a good impression of Smeagol getting it on.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Right Brain - Left Brain

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (66%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (30%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
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A Really Stunning Photo Gallery

Lowlights and Fog
Well Done My Sons

Pieterson and Anderson that is, who have managed to steer England into a commanding position over New Zealand in the Third Test.

Yorkshire had a good day as well, but there's still plenty of time left for them to make an absolute bloody mess of it.

Spring Watch Action Teams.

If you are at a bit of a loose end this weekend and fancy doing a bit of hard graft to improve a small part of your local area, then check out the BBC website where you can volunteer for your local S.W.A.T.

BBC Leeds S.W.A.T. at Morley

Find your nearest S.W.A.T.

And if you're really lucky you might even get Bill Oddie lurking in the bushes making mucky joke about tits.

My favourite Springwatch was the one a couple of years ago which featured the large family of Barn Owls, as the weather got worse and the parents found it incresingly more difficult to hunt, the larger siblings started to dine on their more snack sized brothers and sisters. That's great tv, the miracle of life and cannibalism all rolled into one, perhaps C4 could try it on Big Brother to win some ratings back.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Yorkshire - The Ben Rhydding Hydro

This enormous gothic looking pile is the Ben Rhydding Hydropathic Establishment which opened for business in the hamlet of Wheatley (the hamlet came to be known as Ben Rhydding after the hotel, not the other way around) in 1845 (the image is taken from a postcard). At the Hydro you could undertake a course of hydropathy in order (allegedly) to cure all manner of muscular, skeletal and other ailments.

Nancy Wharton of the Wheatsheaf Inn suggested the name, Ben Rhydding means 'clearing for wheat' and had been an ancient name used for part of the moorland above the village.

For a while the Hydro was very popular, and along with White Wells (see New Year's Day posts on this blog for pictures of YS and friends 'enjoying' modern hydropathy) Ilkley became renowned as a spa town, patients in their thousands came to stay in the town and employ its healing waters.

The use of the Hydro gradually changed as the popularity of hydropathy waned, the Hydro became more of a hotel, even accepting golfers who came to play at Ilkley Golf Club.

The building survived until the 1050's, but when the then current owners failed to find a buyer for the Hydro, it was demolished to provide land for housing, Hydro Close in Ben Rhydding is where the Hydropathic Hotel once stood.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Zombies Are Real

They exist among us and are ready to come forth and dine on your living flesh.

That's my missus, runs the bar, she can paint or tile a wall, drive a forklift, and here she's doing the staff haircuts, that's sous chef Phil in the chair.

The Professional's Shop here at the club got burgled on Monday night, and who had been golfing and dining all day at the club ? The West Yorkshire Police Golf Society.

That is, I think, the very definition of irony.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mum And Dad Went On Holiday To U-HYZN....

....and all they got was GANKED BY AEGIS EVOLUTION !!!