Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hot Rock Chicks - Emilie Autumn

Hurrah ! The nice man from BT fixed my connection, so let's have some pics of a cute gothette !

Friday, August 29, 2008

Connection Issues Update

After spending hours on the phone to BT (who do not seem to be aware that their own speedtest webpage does not actually display the information they keep asking me for)....

Nothing has changed.

We are now awaiting the arrival of a BT engineer who will doubtless blame the work done by the Comet engineers at which point I will lose my mind and indulge in a welter of violence and bloodshed.

I may blog again from my prison cell, if they can get a connection at Armley.

Olympic Cricket ?

Ricky 'Punter/Hamster' Ponting reckons that Olympic cricket is inevitable and it looks possible that the IOC with an eye on future earnings and profits for the Olympics may well invite a 20/20 version of the game into the medal winning jamboree.

Why ? The population of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is vast, over a quarter of the world's entire population, their money generating power is huge, just look at the enormous amounts of cash washing around in Indian cricket at the moment. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in that part of the world so to the IOC it may well make fiscal sense to have cricket on board.

Like some other sports (which I would argue should be dropped from the Olympics) Cricket is not going to be the top rung of a most player's careers. Cricket already has it's World Cup, football has a World Cup and it's regional cups, tennis has the major tournaments. If the Olympics is not going to be the ultimate prize in any given sport, then why should that sport have its place in the Olympic cannon ?

The World Cup is the crowning moment in most cricketers careers, although if you're English or Australian then the Ashes is just as important, and if you're Indian or Pakistani then the tests between those countries hold major significance. Olympic 20/20 cricket just would not hold the same appeal or gravitas.

At home, England would have to swap their kit and become Great Britain. Apart from the kit change this would mean nothing, players from Wales are already included in the England squad, and half of Scotland's team seem to come from South Africa and the sub-continent so they could not be included in the GB team. Would the England team feel the same playing as GB though, would they approach an Olympic 20/20 game with the same amount of determination and preparation that they would give to the Ashes ? Of course not.

Paul Collingwood was forthright and honest recently when asked about his form this summer ...""We're always asked to be 100% all of the time, but I'd rather be crap against New Zealand and then build form up towards Australia," said Collingwood. "We've got a big Ashes series coming up, so maybe subconsciously you try and peak at the right time."

That seems fair enough in a way, of course we would like all our cricketers to be on devastating form all the time, but as athletes in other disciplines build up to big events, so do our cricketers, so if a winter Ashes series was to fall just after an Olympic competition do we really think that the English/GB and Australian teams were going to play their best games under the five rings ? I don't believe so.

I would say no to Olympic cricket, it won't displace the big test series or the World Cup as the most important point in a player's professional life so there is no point to it. It may well face awkward competition from the IPL, from the Stanford series and from a possible England based 20/20 series, all of which are extremely cash rich and offer huge prizes, and how would it look in the Olympics if the top stars in cricket pulled out to be ready to play a money game elsewhere ?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sports News

Leeds United 4 - Crystal Palace 0, and a happy and joyous evening for half of the P & C household ;-)

South Africa 83 All Out - England on awesome form

Yorkshire v Kent at Scarborough, Kent 1st Innings 227 ao, Yorkshire 83/2, we need a win from this match , we really need a win from this match.

But where have the Olympics gone ? I'm lost now that I can't tune in at any hour of the day and night and sit glued to the 10m Air Rifle, or the Double Trap Shooting, or even the 10k Swim, roll on London 2012.
You Can't Say Pants On Your Password

(with apologies to Stiff Little Fingers)

Lloyds Bank is Rubbish says customer

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Karl The IT Man Opens A Restaurant

Customer - "Table for one please."

Karl - "Certainly, would sir like a plastic table near the toilet, a laminate table in the middle of the room, or a hand polished oak table on the balcony with sweeping views of the valley ?"

Customer - "Oh, the oak table please."

Karl hands the customer a menu.

Customer - "I'd like the lamb chops please."

A few minutes later a waiter drops a package on the customer's table.

Customer - "Excuse me, but what is this."

Karl the IT Man - "Those are your lamb chops sir."

Customer - "But they are vac-packed, raw and frozen, just what am I expected to do with them ?"

Karl - "Well that's hardly my problem now is it ?"

Customer - "Well yes it is actually, I want them cooked, and I want some vegetables with them."

Karl takes the lamb chops away. Ten minutes later he re-appears with the now cooked lamb chops and vegetables on a plate.

Customer - "And what am I supposed to eat them with ?"

Karl - "You'll have to purchase a mark 1 left and right standard hand attachment dining set."

Customer - "What ?"

Karl - "A knife and fork Sir."

Customer - "I have to buy a knife and fork ?"

Karl the IT Man - "Well yes sir, unless you're planning on eating them with your fingers."

....some time later.....

Customer - "What the hell are all these things on the bill ?"

Karl - "Well that is the charge for the meal, the charge for your hand attachment dining set, the charge for the oak table with view and the call out charges for me attending to your table."

Customer - "You didn't bloody tell me that it was going to cost more to eat at this table."

Karl the IT man - "I'm sure that should have been obvious from the quality of this table over the standard ones."

Customer - "And you're charging me for the lamb and then charging me again for bringing it to the table ?"

Karl the IT Man, with big grin - "And I'm charging you for going back to fetch the condiment set !"

There is a scream as the enraged customer pitches Karl off the balcony.


Customer - Yorkshiresoul (For it is he) - "It's the only language these bastards understand."
IT People Must Die

It can't be a good thing that every time I have an encounter with a dismal wretch of the human species known as an IT 'specialist' I come away with murder in my heart.

I spent a good amount of my hard earned money on a new desktop and laptop computors, I explained quite clearly to the salesman at Comet that what I like to do is to write, to listen to a lot of music, to download a lot of music and to play online games. I am now stuck with two machines that will do almost none of the above and so I would dearly like to harm someone.

With IT people the problem is always someone else's fault.

"It's not our machines, it's BT," say Comet.

"It's not our lines, it must be your machines," say BT.

"You are all a set of utter bastards and I wish you nothing but lasting harm," says YS.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Corinthian Contact Lenses

Very disturbing, do you think you could actually see through them ?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bertram John Hall

John's name won't be recognisable to most readers of my blog, but in the village of Burley-In-Wharfedale and particularly in the Scout movement, John was a well known and popular figure.

I went to Cubs, Scouts and Venture Scouts and they were among the best times of my life, not schooldays but Scouting. After my parents, there was a group of adults who had a large influence on me as a child, my Scout Leaders. Peter Bennett, Tom Pickard, Mick Penrice, George Hopper, Rob Pawson and John Hall, they were known to generations of Burley kids.

John died last week and I attended his funeral today. I'm glad I went, although I havn't seen John for years it was bitter sweet to see all my old Scoutmasters and say hello to everyone.

John was our cub leader and group quartermaster, if you are familiar with song "In the Quartermaster's Store" then you would understand how John's inner sanctum was run, nothing ever wasted, nothing ever thrown away, everything meticulously cared for and correctly in its place, he wouldn't tolerate berks like us sifting through looking for things we'd like to take on camp, oh no, you asked politely and equipment was doled out and signed for.

John's piece de resistance was the hoarding and re-issuing of dried, canned and bottled foodstuffs. Nothing was too far past its sell by date for John to offload it onto a group of nervous cubs or scouts.

For our terrible foursome of myself, Stuart, Beaky and Ivan, one item in particular went down in scout folklore. One camp we were given a small box of dried vegetable soup already a year or two past its sell by date, we took the soup away with us and at the end of the camp we returned it to John who placed it carefully back into he stores. This went on for a few years, John would uncover the hiding place of the aged soup and issue it to us, we would take it hiking, never even think of using it, and then return it at the end of camp.

Eventually though, daftness struck. We were attending a competition camp at Bradley Woods and coming in at 21st position from 21 teams (our normal status, apologies to our leaders for us being such rubbish scouts). At the end of the weekend we discovered the still unopened, very old and rather tatty box of dried soup. So we held a ceremony for it, with great solemnity the soup was placed atop the bonfire and short memorial service was held for it, detailing its great age and extensive travels with it. Much to our amusement (and I think I'm right in saying that leader Tom was a conspirator soup burner), the soup caught fire and then gently exploded in a dusty puff of fire.

We handed our gear back to John who noted the missing item and asked if we had enjoyed it, we replied quite honestly, if a little disingenuously, that we had very much enjoyed the soup.

John was a good bloke, he was firm but fair, as were all of our leaders back in the day when you could apply a thick ear or kick up the backside to a scout that needed it, and we often did. John cooked at camp, turning our multi-hued vats of porridge and even once a pan of custard so thick it was carved with a knife. He told us that the edges of his fruit pies were crimped with his false teeth, and no matter what sort of soup John had cooked, he always told you it was your favourite kind even if the evidence of your eyes told you different. How do you like your mug of tea ? It didn't matter, tea was NATO standard, milky and two sugars.

On behalf of the inaugral group of 1st Burley Venture Scouts I would like to thank John (and all our leaders and helpers) for all the good you did us, we know we were the most cheeky / useless / skiving / irreverant / daft as brush mob of kids, but we all turned out quite well in the end and that is in no small part due to all the tremendous hard work and care put in by a great group of people.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

GCSE Results At All Time High

Treble brandies all round. Schools Minister Ed Balls was pleased to announce today that the A Grade pass rate for this year's GCSE exams was 107 %.

"It's a great success for Gordon and his policy of education, education, complete cock up," said Mr Balls. "Our pass rate is so high year this year that we've been giving A grades to people that didn't even sit the exams."

Elsewhere, newspaper editors the length of the country were taking the opportunity to print pictures of attractive young ladies jumping in the air. Paul Oggler, editor of the Daily Telemail said "If you're a fat ugly bird, no-one gives a fuck if you got 10 A stars."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beware ! Larpers !

This is a bad one, you sir have the physique of a man who gets sand kicked in his face, often, and you're wearing what appears to be a giant hessian nappy, and that wig !
Clone Town Ilkley – An Appeal

Come on Ilkley, together we can do it, rid our fair town once and for all of the singularity of Asquith’s, the independent nuisance of Lishmann’s and the frankly annoyingly eccentric Grove Bokshop.

We can do this in just a couple of easy and careless steps.....

1) Allow hyperglobal Tesco to build a vast new store, and if they include an electrical section we can probably be rid of the dissident Clegg’s as well.

2) Support the new money hungry owners of the Station complex (Hunter Property Fund Management) with their boldly stated plan to ‘move rents forward’ and introduce Austin Reed to stamp out the nonconformist Eric Spencer and the unique Time Menswear.

It will be so easy to do, all we need is a bit of apathy, a drop of ‘who cares’ and we can kiss goodbye to the dismal free spirits who infest Ilkley’s streets. Together we can remove these singularities.

Why would you want to enter the anomaly of an ‘independent’ shop ? You don’t know what these deviant rebels may be up to within their walls. Surely it is safer for you to shop in the chain store, whether in Ilkley or Aberdeen or Milton Keynes you can be assured of an identical, non threatening drone shopping experience.

Come on Ilkley, today Waterstones, tomorrow McDonalds. Let us all be the same, think the same, eat the same, dress alike, don’t stand out.

The corporate thought police now know where you live and they're deciding what you should think.
Nesfield Catering Limited

(Catering at Ilkley Golf Club)

An independent business supporting independent business’s

Our Suppliers...

Butchers – Doric Game of Leeds, David Lishmann’s of Ilkley

Bakery Supplies – Bako, although this is a national business they operate on a more ethical basis with prices fluctuating monthly to accurately reflect both price gains and falls. They provide regular price and world market updates to customers to keep them informed of price movements.

Greengrocer & Dairy – Strawberry Fields/Orange Grove of Saltaire

Fishmonger – Ramus of Ilkley/Harrogate

Dry & Frozen Goods – Haworth Wholesale of Notts

Tesco – unfortunately due to our agreed pricing structure I just can’t get away from buying certain goods, loaves especially which we use an awful lot of, from the evil empire.

This year we have moved away from Brake Brothers and now buy all our general groceries from Haworth Wholesale.
The ‘Ilkley’ Gazette

Pages 2 and 3

Harry Smith of Middleton celebrates his birthday
First glimpse of new Addingham medical centre
No grouse shooting on the Moor due to lack of grouse

Two obituaries of Otley women
Allotment bid for Pool in Wharfedale
Topiary in Horsforth
Yorkshire Air Ambulances grounded
5 ‘News in Brief’ items from Burley (x2), Menston, Guiseley, Horsforth

I thin that the Gusset is spreading its new net too widely, is this the Ilkley paper or the West Leeds paper ?
Back When Peach Crayons Were Called 'Flesh'

The BBC thoughtfully provided 'flesh' coloured face microphones for the Olympic commentary team with the idea that they will be almost invisible on camera. Sue Barker sports one, which makes it look as if the poor woman has some sort of cancerous growth spouting from her cheek.

Colin Jackson though is a black man, and the BBC choice of 'flesh' tone is a rather embarassing caucasian pink. Foot, mouth, insert.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The New Face Of X-Box

Cousin Hollie (on the left in the pic) is going to be the new face of X-Box, she auditioned for a role in the new X-Box Tv/cinema commercial this week and she is going to Prague to film the advert. I'll post some pics of the shoot if Hollie can get me any.
Who Made This ?

I came across this stunning image when browsing the Russian site Fishki. There was no information with it. Does anyone know who created this ?
No Signal, My Force Is Low

(By Ninj over at B3ta)
Squirrel Regis ?

This happened at a Champion's League game, Arsenal vs Villereal in 2006, Arsenal won the game 1-0. Of course if this had happened at Elland Road the squirrel would have been awarded a penalty, Leeds would have been relegated and we would have discovered that the ground was actually owned by the chairman's Great Aunty Pru who died in 1974.
Beware ! Larpers !

This is more like a real comics convention, a sad bloke dressed (badly) as Indiana Jones, hey hang on, isn't that Private Eye editor Ian Hislop ?

In the second picture, I'm sorry, but what the fuck have you come as ?
Arooga ! Larpers !

Actually I don't even believe the evidence of my own eyes, I've been to games and comics conventions, they're just of full of awkward teenage boys who can't get girlfriends and middle aged blokes who never got married.
"One armed waiters - they can take it, but they can't dish it out" - Time Vine

Thursday, August 14, 2008

China's Selective History

Although I was dazzled at China's incredible Olympics opening ceremony, I was less happy with the carping criticism from the respected BBC journalists who were covering and commenting on the event.

The phrase that began to annoy me after a number of journalists had repeated it was "selective history", as in "China are presenting a rather selective version of their history". Well of course they are, with it being the Olympics they were hardly likely to mention the Tianemen Square protests, the killings in Tibet or Mao Tse Tung were they ?

What are the BBC journalists expecting from the British ceremony for London 2012 ? Based on their grumblings I think we can expect a show based on the following.....

The Crusades
Our role in the slave trade
Boer internment camps
Bloody Sunday
Highland Clearances

Would that be an honest enough representation of British history to keep the BBC happy ?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

London 2012 - Everything Is Fine

So while Beijing has the incredible Bird's Nest Stadium and the rather futuristic and wonderful Water Cube, back in Blighty we have the Olympic Stadium......

.....and the Aquatics Centre.....

Don't panic, don't panic Captain Mainwaring !
Take Your Win Like A Man

Italian silver medal winner Francesco D'Aniello makes a complete fool of himself after the double trap shooting final.

Cry like a baby why dont'cha ?

And what is the commentator saying "You've got to remember, this is one of toughest sports of all, it is very much an endurance sport." Well granted you have to concentrate quite hard for twenty minutes or so, but it's hardly the bloody marathon now is it ?
More Medals For Team GB

Silver for David Florence in the canoe, silver for Emma Pooley in the cycling time trial and a brace of bronzes for Tina Cook in the equestrian events.

I was watching the equestrian cross country, which was held in Hong Kong, the horses were jumping around fences built on a golf course. I bet their greenkeepers go mad, our lot complain when the golf balls leave pitch marks, never mind a ton of horseflesh and rider chewing up the fairways.

Is everyone enjoying the Olympics ? Are your nations doing as well as you hoped ?
Super Beckford

The mighty Leeds United romped to a 5 - 2 victory over hapless Chester last night, Chester have now conceded eleven goals intheir opening two matches. Leeds, and especially Jermaine Beckford, looked great going forward, Beckford completed his hat trick in superb style with a beautiful shot across the keeper into the top corner of the net.

If SuperMac can tighten the defence up we look to have a good team this year.

In other sports news, Yorkshire CCC could actually face relegation if they don't pull their collective fingers out and win a game or two. The table is still very tight, and a good win could place any of about six counties at the top of the table.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Toy - It Works

Well sort of, I wrote about a dozen pages of the book yesterday, but, I had read through the 135 pages of the first re-write I had done and then decided to ditch about 30 pages so overall I have less novel than I started with.

I am happier with the new section though, the barbarians have gone, the weird nun powered spaceship thingy has gone, in their place come the Var, plant creatures who lay eggs into underground Birthing Gourds, and the tappers that come to unwittingly steal their amniotic fluid.
Book Review : 31 Songs - Nick Hornby*

I'm sure this book seemed like a good idea, get a famous author to wax lyrical about his favourite music. I'm sure Hornby is a fine author, he has certainly sold a lot of books.

My main problem with this is the our tastes in music seem to be poles apart, and worse than that, if Hornby doesn't appreciate a style of music then he tends to rubbish it. Thus hard rock and punk come in for a hammering all way through these collected mini-essays, hard rock because Hornby has grown up now and grown ups don't need all that noise, and punk because it's all irrelevant, and noisy.

Oh dear, so Hornby 'grew up' and stopped loving the music of his youth. Did he get into classical or jazz instead then ? No, he doesn't really get those forms of music either.

I would rather say that you can grow up musically and appreciate new things without having to leave your first loves behind. I listen to a lot of different styles of music now that I am older, classical, folk, country, pop, but that doesn't mean I have stopped listening to The Beatles, The Clash or Megadeth.

So in all the 31 Songs (and a clutch of albums) our tastes only coincided on Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker and then The Beatles and Nick Cave, but in writing about Led Zep he gives hard rock such a pasting that it leaves me thinking that Hornby is a right pillock, and in the latter two he picks tracks and albums (Rain and No More Shall We Part) that I'm not keen on.

Should it matter that when reading a book about music that I the reader don't share the musical inclinations of the writer ? It shouldn't, but in praising the things he loves he gives such a hard time to the things that I love that I find myself disliking the man for his taste. I have often read articles, and reviews, of music that have made me want to go out and listen to that kind of music myself. A very well written two page article in the Independant a couple of years ago turned me on to Rachel Unthank And The Winterset, a breathy lightweight style of modern folk unlike anything else I listen to, but the writer made it sound like aural angel cake without pointing out that I usually fill my ears with stew and dumplings.

The reviewer from the Spectator said about 31 Songs "Well written and wholly lacking in pretension", I disagree, yes it is well written and Hornby has a deft and tender touch when describing the life of his autistic son, but, pretentious moi ? Hornby is so far up himself when writing about the music he loves that only the soles of his sensible shoes can be seen poking out of his backside.
Guiseley Main Stand Damaged In Fire

Guiseley AFC have suffered large amounts of vandalism in the last few years, and now on Saturday night a fire has caused serious damage to the main stand. Police and fire investigators are looking into cause of the fire, but scumbags with matches would be a fair guess. I don't think anyone believes that this fire started accidentally.

(Picture by McScouse at nonleaguezone)
Olympic Gold For GB

It is girl power for the Great Britain team at the Olympics as Nicole Cooke (above) and Rebecca Adlington win Gold medals.

I love big sporting events like the Olympics, I'll happily watch sports that I wouldn't give a moment's notice to otherwise. Was anyone else gripped by the archery yesterday ? Or on the edge of your seat for the 10m Air Rifle ?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Film Review - Carandiru****

This is a film by Hector Babencu, who is perhaps best known for Kiss Of The Spider Woman, Carandiru tells the story of the prison riot that ended with the deaths of 111 prisoners inside the State Penitentiary in Sau Paulo, Brazil.

Babencu shows the story through the experiences of the prison doctor, who arrives at Carandiru to try and teach safer sex and AIDS prevention to the inmates. Babencu shows the dismal and squalid living conditions inside the gaol and the acts of brutality and criminality that have brought the prison's inmates within its walls.

Most of the film shows the lives of the prisoners, both inside the prison and often the crimes that led them to be locked up. Babency although he shows the prisoners to be human beyond their crimes does not try to cover up what these men are, he does not shy away from the drug inspired murders, the acts of petty love and hate fuelled jealousy and greed that has brought these men within the walls of Carandiru.

Within the prison, as without, life carries on. There are friendships, love and sex. There are men you would trust, men you depend upon and men you do not like, Carandiru is a concentrated and degrading microcosm of the outside world.

The prison Governor, seems quite progressive within the structures of the system. On one hand he hands out strict solitary punishments for a man who has assaulted a guard, but then he allows the same prisoner to have his family visit him privately as the man does not wish to have his beautiful daughter around the 'scum' who inhabit the prison.

The massacre of prisoners for which Carandiru became infamous takes place at the end of the film. Babencu states that only the prisoners and the Riot Squad knew what really took place within the prison walls, and it must be supposed that neither of those parties are the most reliable of witnesses, but the facts seem to speak for themselves. One hundred and eleven prisoners were shot dead, no Police officers suffered more than minor injuries.

The riot begins over a something and nothing argument and quickly escalates until the whole goal is in uproar. As the film shows, and as seems to have really happened, the Governor appealed for calm, the rioting stopped, but the authorities had decided to teach the prisoners a lesson. The feared Riot Squad entered Carandiru and the massacre began, Police with automatic weapons against terrified and trapped prisoners.

Carandiru is a powerful and absorbing film, Babencu has told us that these men are bad men, but the punishment delivered upon them is acted out of hatred and sadism by other men who are equally as evil, but sanctioned by a police uniform. Carandiru is in Portuguese, most of the actors I have never heard of (with the exception of Rodrigo Santoro playing Lady Di, who appeared in Lost), but it is an absorbing and powerful film, intelligent in its story telling and well balanced both in its portrayal of the characters involved and in the depiction of the brutal slayings and the immediate aftermath.
Book Review : The Long Walk - Slavomir Rawicz****

Rawicz was a proud Pole who served as a cavalry officer and fought against the German invasion of his country in WW2. He was arrested by Russian troops and imprisoned on charges of being a spy, which he was not.

The inventiveness of humans when trying to be cruel and evil to each other is incredible, the 'chimney' cell in which Rawicz spent weeks or months is a true horror, and the endless, pointless and paranoid questioning under torture which the young man endures is almost beyond belief. Rawicz realised early on in his imprisonment that making a false admission to spyhood would would probably earn him a death sentence, although it is apparent that men without his phenomenal willpower would have taken death as the easier option.

He was sentenced to 25 years hard labour, enduring a hellish train journey across Russia and then weeks of marching with men chained in long lines to the back of trucks to their gulag somewhere near Yakutsk.

In the gulag the men cut trees and make skis for the Russian army, and the formulate a plan to escape. The actual escape is fairly easy, but due to the extreme remoteness and the unforgiving Siberian weather, it is the camp's location that prevents more detainees from trying.

Slavomir Rawicz and his companions cut the wire and begin to walk to freedom, from Northern Siberia to Lake Baikal, across Mongolia and the Gobi desert, through China and Tibet and then across the Hamilaya's into India, the men walk thousands of miles. They have virtually no supplies, almost no way of carrying water, the most valuable items they posses are a couple of old knives and an axehead. They make their own clothing and shoes from animal skins, survive for weeks on almost no food at all.

Rawicz does not complain though, in the midst of what must have been physical agony and mental misery he finds beauty in the natural world about him and solace and companionship in his stout and brave fellow escapees. The distance that these men walked, thousands of miles, and the extreme conditions they endured is simply astonishing. To have the strength of will and single minded determination to carry on, to never stop, to not fall behind or become weak and let your friends down is an admirable thing. There must have been a hundred times when carrying on seemed hopeless, without food and water, with no map or compass and never knowing even which country they were in, the bravery and endurance of these men is almost without comparison.
Mighty Leeds !

Hurrah, we begin a season without a huge points deficit hanging over us (tough luck Rotherham, we know exactly how that feels), two players we sold in the off season scored for their new clubs on opening day, we had an indifferent run up to the new season including being beaten by Guiseley, but, on opening day we put two goals Scunthorpe and won 2-1.

We've got to hope that Beckford remains injury free for the whole season, Showumni scored on his debut but if you looked back at his career so far you've got to hope that McAllister can get something out of him that his previous mnagers could not.

Still, a win is a win, here we go again, Third Division Champions !
New Toy

I had decided that if we had enough money left from our year end I would like to treat us to a laptop, last week we got our results back from the accountant and so went and bought ourselves a nice shiny, new (to us anyway) laptop.

The idea behind that laptop is that especially during the winter when I get long peroids at work without much actual work to do I can...

1) Get back to writing my book

2) Write more stuff for the blog

However, I already suspect that after Mrs YS and myself spent all yesterday afternoon and evening playing a Tetris like game that number 3 will actually occur.....

3) I will spend much more time flying spaceships in Eve

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Peace and War

As the feelings of love and peace and fellowship were generated by China's absolutely stunning Olympics opening ceremony, closer to home in Europe we have a new war. In China athletes are striving to do their best, to win medals and honour and glory, in the little known (to many of us) would be breakaway republic of South Ossetia in Georgia people are dying and thousands of refugees are running for their lives.

War in Europe again ? We do seem to love fighting and killing each other. The problem here seem to be that.....

1) South Ossetia would like to be their own sovereign nation.

2) Georgia would not like South Ossetia to be their own sovereign nation, and they are willing to 'invade' the Capitol Tskhinvali to bring South Ossetia to heel.

3) Russia wants South Ossetia as an independant and friendly (i.e. not NATO) country so that Russia is not encircled by NATO countries on its Western and Southern borders.

So Georgia invades South Ossetia, Russia invades Georgia, we all do a lot of hand wringing because our governments know full well that there is nothing at all we can do or say that will persuade Russia (or Georgia for that matter) to do anything it does not want to.

In other news, Chen Xiexia won China's first gold medal of the games, Greek sprinter Anastasios Gousis failed a drugs test and was sent home, but nobody died. If you don't count Tibet that is.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Plague! The Musical

Do I not keep on telling you just how wonderful and talented and very special my staff are ? Of course I do. Clare Fitton, who worked for me as a waitress and kitchen assistant, went off to performing arts college down in London, and now she has a starring role in a real live musical, one that people will actually pay good money to see (I hope !).

The precis for Plague ! The Musical reads "It is 1665 and wannabe actor Clive Hucklefish is mugged and left for dead within moments of arriving in London. His obvious gullibility lands him a job with destitute undertaker Phil Anbury and his devil-may-care assistant, Jerry Muldoon. But when Clive falls for the Alchemist’s beautiful daughter, Isabella, he becomes embroiled in an ancient feud between those who would profit from death, and those who would end death forever.

With the undertaking business going under due to a lack of fresh stock, Clive finds himself penniless and out on the street. But his fortunes change when he is approached by a mysterious stranger with an interest in unmarked graves, and an offer Clive cannot refuse…

Plague! is an all-new comedy musical featuring 12 original songs performed by a cast of undertakers, druids, beggars and rats. Plague! is previewing at Questor's theatre in London before it sweeps up to C venues for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2008. Catch it while you can!"

This is Clare in her role as Pinky the Rat.

Plague! runs until Monday, August 25, 2008 at 11:00pm
Location: C Venues, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Plague tickets / box office

Reviewed at View From The Stalls

Reviewed at Haunted Attractions

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Boris Johnson 'Related To Royalty'

An episode of the BBC genealogoy series 'Who Do You Think You Are ?' will reveal that bonkers Boris, Mayor of the capitol, has distant links to a royal family. Who could it be ?

The hot money would be for King George III, which would explain quite a lot of Boris' public exclamations, or perhaps it is Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria, sponsor of Wagner and builder of faerytale castles.

Or maybe it's just this bloke....

...Mad King Frank, who is just a nutter from the internet.

Either way, Prince Philip is said to be preparing for a visit from this long lost member of the royalty, he's loading a Purdey 20-bore with buckshot at this very moment.
Hospitals 'Infested With Vermin'

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the cleanliness of most NHS hospitals in England is threatened by frequent invasions of vermin. Figures released by the Conservatives show that 70% of NHS Trusts brought in the pest controllers at least 50 times over a two-year period.

Vermin were found in wards, clinics and even operating theatres. A patients' group said the situation was revolting.

"If these hospitals were restaurants they would be closed down and out of business" - The Patients Association.

These creatures infiltrate hospitals, bothering patients and preventing proper working practice and despite the best efforts of voters to eradicate them they seem to keep on coming back.

Nurse Jessy Wellock said "Yeah, we had that David Milliband in here last week, shaking hands and tripping over the catheter tubes, he even helped himself to a free coffee from the nurses pot, it's a disgrace, here I am struggling to pay my gas bill and mortgage and he'll be spending my tax money on a new suite from John Lewis's later on."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

America's Debt Crisis Explained

Me: “Thank you for calling cardholder service, how may I help you?”

Customer: “You sent me a bill. Why?”

Me: “May I please have your card number?”

Customer: “I threw it away when the balance was gone.”

Me: “Um… can I have your social security number?”

Customer: *gives number*

Me: “I show your current balance is $10,027.31, due on 07/25/2008. Would you like to make a payment today so you do not get a late fee?”

Customer: “What do you mean? Why did you send me a bill?”

Me: “Sir, because you purchased those items you are required to repay the account.”

Customer: “No. You gave me the money, so I spent it.”

Me: “A credit card is a short term loan. You are required to pay it back.”

Customer: “No, I’m not!” *click*

(This is the third call like this in the past month.)

(Seen at Not Always Right)
Art & Photography Of Ilan Hamra

Ilan Hamra Galleries
Art & Photography of Dimitri Daniloff

Dimitri Daniloff Online Portfolio
Rising Star

You won't have heard of Sophie Myles, unless you are an avid fan of girls U-15's golf that is, but young Sophie may well be a future star of British ladies golf.

14 year old Sophie started playing golf just two years ago and has obviously found that she has a natural aptitude for the sport, in that short time she has brought her handicap down to 7 and regularly wins nearly all of her matches in medal and team play.

Two weeks ago Sophie won the Harrogate & District Girls Championship with a gross score of 79 which left her a massive six shots clear of the field, she was placed 3rd overall in the Scottish Girls U14's at North Berwick and also made the cut and finished in the top 15 of the Northern Girls Close Championship where she also carded the best net score in her opening round.

When she's not on the golf course, young Sophie also does a bit of work for me, so when she's a brilliant and famous golfer I'll be able to say "I knew that Sophie when she was nowt....." etc.

Well done Sophie, see you soon.
Vaughan Departs

(Freddy Trueman, Yorkshire Soul, Michael Vaughan)

Michael Vaughan was tremendously courageous in his resignation as England captain, to admit your personal failings in this most public of arenas must be the hardest thing to do. It was obvious from Vaughan's display of emotion that he has, as he said, given his heart and soul to the job, and as his own form has wobbled and dipped he has found the whole job just too much to bear.

There has been some criticism of the timing of Vaughan's resignation, 2-0 down in a series with a test still to play, but to be honest there is never a good time to have to resign, and if Vaughan felt he had to leave then better to do it right away than hang on in misery for another test or another tour.

I had the pleasure to meet Michael Vaughan just after he had led the England team to victory over Australia in the Ashes. He seems a nice bloke, more comfortable on the pitch than in giving speeches and answering questions. I hope that he can come back into the Yorkshire side and enjoy a few seasons of county cricket now that all the pressure is off him.

Michael Vaughan has been our most successful test captain ever, although from reading some of the stupid comments in the press over the past couple of days you wouldn't think so. There are a lot of journalists, especially those who do not specialise in cricket, who seem to have forgotten what Vaughan and the England team have achieved over the last five years.

"Probably for the last time in his life, the stage belonged to Vaughan. He was emotional, humble, funny and honest as he reflected upon what he will realise in time to have been the greatest days of his professional life. He thanked his team, the back-room staff, the Professional Cricketers' Association, the fans and, most movingly of all, his family. No, Michael, thank you."
Michael Atherton in the Times

"I take no pleasure in seeing Michael go. And I don't think anyone else should. He's a nice lad. He has done a fine job for England. But I think the captaincy, a lack of runs and loss of confidence have all got to him in the end. It's better to go now, with dignity, than just hang on."
Geoffrey Boycott

Monday, August 04, 2008

Shake Your Booty Sevy

Gas Prices To Rise 35%

£144m in dividends to be handed out to British Gas shareholders, so, 2 + 2 = 144 million, nice.

British Gas will probably make one of those famous BP statements.....

"We don't acutally make much money from selling petrol, our profits are made in upstream operations"

What the hell does that mean ? Upstream operations ? Is that like salmon returning to spawn ?

Coming soon......

McDonalds - "We don't actally make a profit from selling burgers"

Tesco - "We don't really force our suppliers into a state of near bankruptcy and then try to hide our obscene profits in offshore funds"

Max Mosley - "I'm so rich that hiring groups of whores dressed in leather can be put down as a legitimate tax deduction"

Gordon Brown - "Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit"

(file under "Big Business are Bastards")

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Last Week's Listening

1) Ian Dury and the Blockheads 48 - There Were 400 Rozzers With Riot Shields

2) Adam and the Ants 41 - There's A Whip In My Valise

3) Thrice 38 - Come All You Weary

4) Bob Marley & The Wailers 37 - He Was A Buffalo Soldier, Dreadlock Rasta

5) Placebo 36 - 'Cos Your Lover Wants To Put Me In The Ground

6) Arctic Monkeys 31 - I Bet He's From Rotherham

6) The Offspring 31 - Don't Drop The Soap, When You're In Prison

8) The Fratellis 28 - Banging On The Offbeat

8) Creedence Clearwater Revival 28 - Don't Go Out Tonight, You're Sure To Lose Your Life

10) The Beatles 27 - Hey Bungalow Bill, What Did You Kill ?

Scrobble Addict

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cricket Results

South Africa were good, England were not.

Mark Ramprakash was good, Yorkshire were not.

I picked the right match to spend the day at then, Ilkley vs. Horsforth which Ilkley won by a dozen runs or so, Brother in Law Mk.2 (aka The Lurker) put in a sterling performance which saw him make 20 runs (but sadly ran out of batting partners), then take 5 wickets plus a catch plus a good return to assist a run out.

Good fun, there was enough sun to burn my legs to a hideous shade of shocking pink / boiled lobster, Wosser and family came along for some fun and games, I got to spend the day with my wife, watch cricket, drink beer and run around with the kids and not work, how wonderful.
Happy Belated Yorkshire Day

Some Yorkshire make them work, you have to read them in a Yorkshire accent, if you don't know what a Yorkshire accent sounds like, then there's no hope for you.....

A bloke goes into a garage.
“Can of BP,” he says.
“No,” says the assistant. “But a goldfish can fart.”

A bloke goes to the vets.
“Vet,” he says. “It’s about my cat.”
“Is it a tom?” asks the vet.
“No, I’ve brought it with me.”

Two women were outside a jewellers looking at diamond rings.
One says, “There’s the one I’d get.”
And a Cyclops kicks her head in.

So they go into the shop and the assistant says, “(chew…chew…chew) Can I help you?”
“Yes,” says the woman. “I’d like to know about that ring.”
“(chew…chew…chew) What would you like to know?”
“Eighteen carat?”
“(chew…chew…chew) No I’m chewing gum.”

In a Barnsley keep fit class the instructor says “Hand on thighs.”
And they all went (cover your eyes with your hands).

(Thanks to The Lurker)