Friday, May 29, 2009

Job Advert

(By The Great Architect on B3ta)
Holiday - Organised

Having consulted my travel agent (Mrs YS), we have decided to visit San Francisco for our holiday at the back end of this year. We plan on driving up to the Napa Valley and spending four nights or so up there, staying in the house once owned by Ambrose Bierce, then returning to the city for the remainder of our stay.

We are going to have lunch on the Wine Train in Napa, and will doubtless visit a vineyard or three along the way, we may have to pay a visit to this one in particular. The last time we went to Napa the owner of the lovely B&B we stayed in at Calistoga gave us a half bottle of their Cabernet, very sweet of him.

I like having our holiday organised, it gives us something to aim for at the end of the hard summer season.
The Lurker Unmasked

The Lurker, who, er, lurks on YS, got nearly the whole sports page of the Gusset to himself this week after a stylish knock of 84 n.o. grabbed all six points for Ilkley in their clash with Addingham.

There is a fine photograph of The Lurker on the sport's page, which seems to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his arms are made from rubber. Question for the Gusset sport's team, why when a bloke gets 84 runs do you show a photograph of him bowling ? I mean you might as well show a picture of him slumped asleep after three halves of lager shandy......

Want To See A Really Hot Blonde ?

Then get a copy of this week's Ilkley Gusset and turn to page 15 where you can see Georgie Arundell, waitress and very competant chefling until the bloody council decided that anyone still at school shouldn't actually be working and learning anything that's actually usefull, mumble, grumble, ah, I've wandered off the point again.

Anyway, G is in some sort of modelling competition for the Ilkley fashion shop Mint which is run by 19 year old Becki Caden, story here.

I can't see the modelling photos on the Gusset website, so here's a pic of G I nicked from her Facebook page, and for which she's probably going to murder me ;-)


I think this is a great idea, I would love to see one of these lovely creatures in its natural habitat back in the UK.

Mentioned in the article is the succesful re-introduction of Red Kites to the UK, we live only a few miles from the Harewood Estate where the North of England release scheme took place, the Kites there now seem to be well established and they are really beautiful birds, its wonderful to see them soaring through the Yorkshire skies.

"Why do we have a 'special relationship' with America ?"

"Because we can't be bothered to learn French."

- Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis, The Now Show

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hard Rock Hell III

Excellent, this year's line up is already looking better than HRH II.
Engine Cover

Dig For Victory

This was the view from our front door last week, you could see the bucket and arm of the digger plunging past our living room window.

By the back end of last week, the first huge pit has been filled in, and the lads have dug the pit to sink the second of the manholes.

A gaping hole in the supporting wall outside the men's changing/shower rooms.

This morning, and the drainage diggings are now outside the office and professional's shop, although they don't have any concrete floors at that end of the building as we did outside the kitchen and bar doors, so they won't have two days of jackhammering to contend with.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Champions League Final

I'm sure I speak on behalf of the majority of English football fans when I say I would like to see a club make history tonight, to place itself right up there with the true giants of European football, to take their place amongst the legends...

So come on Barcelona, kick the Mancs arses !

Monday, May 25, 2009

Neighbours - Benjamin Zephaniah

I am the type you are supposed to fear
Black and foreign
Big and dreadlocks
An uneducated grass eater.

I talk in tongues
I chant at night
I appear anywhere,
I sleep with lions
And when the moon gets me
I am a Wailer.

I am moving in
Next door to you
So you can get to know me,
You will see my shadow
In the bathroom window,
My aromas will occupy
Your space,
Our ball will be in your court.
How will you feel?

You should feel good
You have been chosen.

I am the type you are supposed to love
Dark and mysterious
Tall and natural
Thinking, tea total.
I talk in schools
I sing on TV
I am in the papers,
I keep cool cats

And when the sun is shining
I go Carnival.
Drummer Hodge - Thomas Hardy

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined -- just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around:
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the drummer never knew --
Fresh from his Wessex home --
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge for ever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellations reign
His stars eternally.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Space nazis attack! Iron Sky teaser 720P HD

Asteroid Impact (HD)

Wicked Sensitive Crew

Well it's all gone to hell now the wimps have gangs
Pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos
Well if you guys are hard then I'd rather be soft
Man I gotta find me some seriously sensitive dudes

Hey! Ho! Hey!
You gotta shake hands with your feelings
In the Wicked Sensitive Crew

In Pittsburgh they called us closed minded
But we know that's simply not true
Yeah we're touchy feely sensitive guys
I ain't ashamed I cried when Mickey died in Rocky II

In Sydney they misunderstood us
They called us thugs and mean-spirited types
Yeah we might not be Swedish
And we sure ain't vegan
But do thugs have posters on their bedroom wall of the dude
from the Darkness in a creepy meat suit zippered so low you
can practically see his...


I don't know nothing about no meat suit
but I'll tell you there's one town that's ahead of the times
Man, they know what's up for sure
You see it's home to the godfather of love
The bald little man who started it all
One Teddy "Huggybear" Etoll

Hey! Ho! Hey!
You gotta shake hands with your feelings
We've got a big hug waiting for you

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Labour Lies

Aha, what is this I spy ? The Labour Party has been brave enough to pop an election pamphlet in the post to me, addressed directly to me what's more. Well, if the standards of the BNP leaflet are a guide, then the photo of "Neil & Hazel from Leeds" on the Labour front cover will actually be a stock picture of "Alexi and Lucja from Plock", but cheap shots aside, what are (Nu- ?) Labour promising ?

Well, I can't actually find find the bit where they say that any elected MP's will rob us blind and claim for mortgages that don't exist, but MP's always did do things they promised not to.

"Labour MEP's fought for your right to 5 weeks paid holiday." Bastards. I have two full time employees, my chef and myself, my employee is now guaranteed 28 days paid holiday, I am lucky if I manage 15 days holiday in a year, and this is a situation that tens of thousands of small business owner operators now find themselves in. Although Labour thinks it is doing a fantastic job by giving employees more benefits, what they are also doing, especially in a recession, is putting full time jobs at risk as employers may well find it better to employ more part time staff on flexi hours than keep expensive full time staff on the books.

"Tackling climate change", with a nice picture of a windfarm. I think we all know now that wind energy is not going to stop the lights going out, we're all too nimby to have major wind farms on our doorsteps, and they just do not generate enough electricity, it's nukes we need folks.

"Warm Front" - an insulation scheme to help low income households insulate their homes, yes, this look like a good plan.

Quite a lot of the Labour pamphlet is dedicated to engendering paranoia about the Tories though, there seems to be more space dedicated to warning of the supposed cuts in spending and boosts for millionaires that the Cons would allegedly bring in than there is pointing out the benefits of having Labour MEP's. So the main message here seems to be "We're ok, but we couldn't find enough good stuff about ourselves to fill one side of A4, the Conservatives though they're really abd, read all about them."

"This year, basic rate taxpayers will recieve a £145 tax cut...we are giving people a little extra in their pockets" - Can anyone in the Labour Party explain to me what voting for Labour in the European Elections has to do with the Budget ? The European Parliament does not rule on UK Income Tax, so this is a total red herring. What are you planning on doing with your £2.79 a week anyway ? It probably won't even buy you a pint of lager in Ilkley's pubs.

Oh well, it's not packed with hideous anti-Muslim comments like the BNP leaflet was, but there isn't an awful lot in the Labour pamphlet that makes me want to give them my vote come June 4th.

Come on Cons and Libs, get yer leaflets out, let's see what you've got to offer. I presume the Green Party won't waste paper by sending out leaflets, but they do e-mail me, twice a week in the run up to the elections.
BNP Lies

After having a rant about the BNP election leaflet that was put through my letterbox last week I saw in the papers yesterday that the soldier pictured in one of their photo & quote sections, NCO Stuart Walker, did not pose for the photograph used by the BNP and did not give the BNP the quote that they attributed to him.

So if the picture and quote from the soldier was faked, what about the similar stories about the doctor, the British workers and the family, are they all faked ? The Sun is reporting that other shots in the pamphlet are widely available stock photographs of American actors and Italian OAP's.
Europe, As Seen By America

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"There was a fire at the main Inland Revenue office in London this morning, but it was put out before any serious good was done" - Ronnie Corbett
"Economics sprouted from the same intellectual roots as weather forecasting - rarely accurate but devoid of memory, thus cheerful about being wrong" - John Ralston Saul
The Pit

With the big box thingy in place, the lads managed to get the new manhole sections into place yesterday afternoon, then it rained again, just for a change.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Do Goths Do In The Sunshine

Not that we have any at the moment, but hop over to Goths In Hot Weather blog for in in depth look, and gothy/sweaty rating of Goths out and about in daylight and sunshine.
Sign in shop window - "Veterinarian/Taxidermist : Either way you get your dog back."
Quatermass ?

This was the extent of the pit on Saturday morning, after torrential rain on Friday had caused the sides of the pit to subside repeatedly, the lads shored the sides up and left it until Monday to let it dry out a bit.

But as you can see the thing just keeps getting bigger.

They are now building a big box thingy (sorry, I'm a bit wooly on technical building terminology) inside the pit to support the walls so that the new drain and manhole can be put in place.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Modern Wimbledon Brings End To Summer Tennis Misery

Wimbledon Tennis Club yesterday unveiled the technological marvel that is the new retracting roof over centre court, which promises to end the misery endured by thousands of tennis fans in wet British summers.

"It is wonderful," said Polly Booker from Esher. "For years we have had to suffer through rain days, getting wet and seeing no tennis, that wouldn't be so bad actually, it's Cliff bloody Richard that I can't stand."

"Here here," agreed a florid faced pinstripe stumbling from the RBS corporate tent (motto - Still Taking The Same Care Of Your Money As We Always Did). "Cliff Richard really spoils a good day here at Wimbledon, puts you right off your strawberries and Moet."

A Wimbledon spokesman said that the club were very glad that there was now no chance that Cliff Richard would be inflicted on tennis fans, although he did say that research into solving the other major annoyance in tennis, that of female players grunting like rutting stags, was still in its early stages.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Queen's Speech

Vote Yorkshiresoul

I have decided that the only person really fit to govern the rest of you is me, and as such I will be putting myself forward at the next election with this single, simple pledge.....

"I promise to steal slightly less than the current MP's"

What do you think ? I reckon I'm on to a winning policy.
Vote BNP

The BNP are the only party (so far) to pop a pamphlet through my letterbox for the European Parliamentary Elections on June 4th.

I really do worry that some people might and, and believe, the rubbish that the BNP print.......

"Our Key Pledges....Oppose the dangerous drive - backed by the other main parties - to give 80 million low-wage, Muslim Turks the right to swamp Britain."

Really ?! 80 million ? Low-wage ? By the laws of simple chance, at least some of the 80 million will have to settle close to Ilkley, and some of them will be over the age of 16 and will be seeking jobs, at low wages. At the moment, I can't really see a downside to this.

The BNP pamphlet has a picture of a doctor (he is though suspiciously well tanned, some might even say he has a hint of a Southern European look about him, I'm sure the tan is just from a well earned holiday and there isn't a hint of Greek / Spanish / EVIL FOREIGN JOB STEALING DOLE SCROUNGING SOLDIER HATING TERRORIST in his racial background), who is quoted as saying...

"I'm voting BNP because I see what immigration is doing to our NHS."

Presumably filling our hospitals with cleaners, nurses and doctors, because as soon as a doctor or dentist finishes his NHS tax payer sponsored training in the UK, he vanishes off into private practise as soon as he legally can. When times were good, everyone was quite happy to that nice Polish girl sweeping the aisles in Tesco, or mopping up blood and vomit from the hospital floor.

A soldier is pictured, and says "We're fed up with being sent ill-equipped into foreign wars. The BNP will bring our troops home and ensure that British soldiers are not abused on the streets of our cities by Muslims."

What can we make of that statement ? That roving packs of Muslims (with T-Shirts that say "I Am I Muslim" so that you can tell them apart from Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Train Spotters) patrol our cities looking for soldiers to abuse ?Tthat no other person of any religious persuasion than a Muslim would ever abuse a soldier ? That Muslims are strictly urban, and do not venture into villages and the countryside ?

Just above that picture is a BNP tag line that reads "Trafalgar - The Somme - Dunkirk - D-Day - The Falklands", well you know, nobody wants see our troops under equipped, but I would be cautious of putting Dunkirk and The Somme forward as examples of what our military has achieved in terms of being well equipped for the job.

Anyway, although I might scribble "None of the above are fit to govern me" across my ballot paper, I certainly won't be voting for the far right BNP. In fact, it really annoys me that they flag up D-Day in their leaflet in a misguided attempt to pump up a sense of national pride. The D-Day landings were a major part of a war to rid the world of far right political extremism.

In fact, although the BNP seem to promise a lot of nice sounding things, jobs for British workers, an end to banker's greed, protecting British industry from foreign competition etc. There isn't a hint anywhere in the literature of how they would achieve this, you really have to be rather naive to believe that even if they were elected, they could achieve any of their manifesto promises.

Lastly, as this is a European election, and the BNP pledge is to get the UK out of Europe, why are they campaigning to send MEP's to a parliament that they wish to withdraw from ?

Who to actually vote for then ? The Labour and Conservative parties seem to be almost entirely composed of liars and swindlers, the Lib-Dems don't seem much better and the Greens probably won't be running on the thing I would like to see most which is....

Build more nuclear power stations.

Why ? Because I quite like electric lighting in my house, I like the telly, and I enjoy my PC, so in a few years time when our demand exceeds our total national energy output, I don't want to be be sat around a candle in my darkened home unable to cook my dinner in my electric oven because the bloody Labour party has dithered around the energy problem ever since they took power.

waiting for the lights to go out,
R.I.P. - Satire

It is with great sorrow that the comedians and script writers of the United Kingdom have to announce the death of satire.

With the current crop of apparently factual news headlines such as....

"MP Claimed Tax Payers Money To Clean Moat" has been universally agreed that there is nothing a mere penner of puns can create that is more incredulous than the actual stories pouring out of the House Of Commons this week, and as such it has been agreed that this week was not only the death of political trust, it was also the death of political satire.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw.
Visual Illusions

World's Best Visual Illusions

(See over at GromBlog)
Hard Rock Hell 3 : The Viking's Ball

Already announced are W.A.S.P., Queensryche, The Quireboys, New York Dolls, Sonata Arctica and Marya Roxx.

Yesterday they announced four female fronted bands who would be appearing on the Rock Angels stage, the bands are Girlschool, Rock Goddess, Lauren Harris and Hydrogyn.

I was rather hoping that the organisers might have booked the newly reformed Skunk Anansie, but Girlschool should be good. Rumour has it that Lauren Harris' rather more famous father will be on hand to roadie, don't know who her dad is ? He plays with this lot......

Rumours abounded for last year's HRH 2 that Maiden might make an appearance for the Clive Aid stage, but they didn't.
Down In A Hole

I know that this isn't a great quality photograph, but this is the view from our work's kitchen window at the moment, when it isn't being obscured by a man with a jackhammer and clouds of dust. The golf club are having the drains replaced, which involves sinking a manhole right outside the kitchen door.

It has taken the jackhammer bloke the best part of two days to break through the concrete so that they can dig the trench and lay the new drain pipes. These lads have really worked hard, I can't imagine that and 8 hour day just pushing down on a deafeningly noisy, vibrating piece of equipment is all that much fun.

This is our house, the area behind the barriers is where the trench is being dug to bring the drains around from the far end of the clubhouse.

The chasm, the lads worked like troopers to get this sorted yesterday, but in rain that varied from steady to torrential it certainly wasn't an easy task.

Friday, May 15, 2009


UK dates have been announced for September/October to promote the forthcoming album Chutzpah!

• 17th Sept BRIGHTON Concorde 2
• 18th Sept BRISTOL O2 Academy
• 19th Sept NOTTINGHAM Rock City
• 20th Sept NORWICH Waterfront
• 21st Sept PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
• 22nd Sept EXETER Phoenix
• 24th Sept BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 2
• 25th Sept STOKE-ON-TRENT The Sugarmill
• 26th Sept LEEDS Cockpit
• 27th Sept GLASGOW Garage
• 28th Sept NEWCASTLE O2 Academy
• 30th Sept MANCHESTER Club Academy
• 01st Oct LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

There is also this bit of Wildhearts related news......"It is with deep and sincerest regret that Sorry And The Sinatras' forthcoming UK tour has had to be cancelled at the 11th hour.

The decision has arisen due to operational tour problems which are entirely beyond the band's control.

Says frontman Scott Sorry: "I have never cancelled a show in my life and words cannot express the disappointment of this news. We are gutted and truly sorry to all we have let down."

He's been involved with The Wildhearts and he's never cancelled a show ? Doesn't sound likely does it ?
TBR Challenge, Almost There

1) Shipwrecked On Top Of The World - David Roberts***
2) Shakespeare - Bill Bryson*****
3) The Geographer's Library - Jon Fasman*
4) Atonement - Ian McEwan****
5) Omega - Jack McDevitt****
6) Kim - Rudyard Kipling***
7) A Piece Of Cake - Cupcake Brown*****

8) The Bible : The Biography - Karen Armstrong
9) Life During Wartime - Lucius Shepherd**
10) Rubicon Beach - Steve Erikson***
11) Taking On The World - Ellen MacArthur***
12) John Peel - Mick Wall****

Just one book to go in this year's shelf clearing To Be Read Challenge, I finished Kipling's Kim this evening, but eighty pages or so into the biography of the Bible and I really am finding it a hard read.

Piggy Ears

Holiday Ideas

Have you considered a cruise along the coast of Somalia ?

"I bagged three pirates and my 12yr old son sank two rowboats with the minigun" - Donald, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Why Flatbed Trucks Do Not Make Good Ambulances

It's Crap Being Right

Much as I predicted a few weeks ago, LUFC narrowly failed to get promoted.

The crowd at Elland Road last night, 37,000 which made it larger than many Premiership attendances, tried to roar their team on the Championship, but it just wasn't to be, oh well, chins up, here's to next season.

My other team fared slightly better, Stenhousemuir will take a 2 - 1 lead into the the second leg of their second division play off against Queen's Park.

In proper sport, England hammered a weak Windies bowling attack on the first day of the 2nd Test. Alastair Cook scored the 750th English Century in test cricket, and then Ravi Bopara followed it with his third ton a row.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Wouldn't Be So Sad

If England's batsman didn't keep flogging my bowlers to every part of the pitch. Yes, it's miserable Windies captain Chris Gayle, who reckons that test cricket is dying and that he doesn't honestly care much for the longer version of the game. Which has incidentally made him into a very well paid professional sportsman.

Gayle is shown here in happier times, celebrating the arrival of his IPL 20-20 contract.

Gayle - "(I) wouldn't be so sad if Test cricket died out"

Strauss - "I believe very strongly that Test cricket should continue to be the No 1 format of the game. It is the only game that really tests out your temperament, your technique, your hunger, your bravery. All those aspects make it a subtle game and a far better one than the other formats."

Which team do you think are most motivated by their captain ?

As I write, England have just reached 200-1 on the first day of the 2nd Test, after spanking the Windies inside 3 days of the 1st Test.
"People think that here there is a rigid class system here, but Dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans." - Prince Philip
HearYa Blog

This is another great place get free downloads of songs and live sessions, plus reviews and interviews.

HearYa Blog
This Month's E-Music Downloads

The Last Command - W.A.S.P. : Blackie Lawless and the band are appearing at this year's Hard Rock Hell, good old dodgy metal, they made some good music.

Ruin Nation - Attica Rage : Another band appearing at HRH, heavy technical metal.

The Quest - Lee "Scratch" Perry : LSP has probably made more music than I can collect or he can remember, it's all good dub reggae.

Leviathan - Alestorm : 4 track EP from the world's only 'True Scottish Pirate Metal Band'

Buckle In The Bible Belt - Ha Ha Tonka : I have two sessions from the Missouri indie rockers (one from Daytrotter and one from HearYa blog, both can be downloaded for free) and I really like their style.

Glass Shadows - Mostly Autumn : Prog rock from GOC capitol

Dub Side Of the Moon - Easy Star All-Stars : Pink Floyd's classic album re-worked in a dub reggae style, it's actually pretty good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Children and young people under school leaving age (England and Wales only)

There are strict limits to the hours children and young people under school leaving age (see under heading General rules on employment) are allowed to work. School leaving age is defined as the last Friday in June of the year in which a child may legally leave school.

You must not work:-

*during school hours on any school day

*for more than two hours on any school day or for more than 12 hours in any week in which you are required to go to school

*for more than two hours on a Sunday

*for more than eight hours (five hours if you are under 15) on any day which is not a school day or a Sunday

*before 7am or after 7pm

*for more than 35 hours (25 if you are under the age of 15) in any week in which you are not required to go to school

*for more than four hours in any day without a break of one hour

*at any time, if during the 12 months beginning 1 January, working means that you have not had two uninterrupted weeks of holiday from school.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gig Review - Ginger, Laika Dog - Leeds Rio's 10/05/09****

(Apologies to Eureka Machines whom we arrived too late for )

Tony Wright has never never played to three men and a dog in the empty function room of a dingy pub in Dewsbury on a wet Tuesday night, at least in terms of attitude he hasn't, for Tony, every gig is a packed Wembley Stadium and he's headlining. He's been this way since bursting on to the Yorkshire rock scene with Spoilt Bratz (later Terrorvision) some two and a bit decades ago. It's not that Wright is up himself in a rock star fashion, it's that tonight, like every gig I have ever seen him play, he gives one hundred percent. You can see that music flows through the man, from the first power chord of the evening he's jerking and twitching and dancing and smiling, smiling, smiling.

Laika Dog are a likable solid rock outfit, and if I remember correctly, they include a plumber, an electrician and a dry stone waller in their ranks, so if you don't like their music, you can always get them to put you an extension up. They play a selection of tracks from their two albums and also give a new track an airing, but as Wright points out "this is a new song, but as most of you havn't heard of us, it's the newest song." Good stuff and some good songs, only marred by the fact that the guitarist has recently been awarded the "Most Miserable Man in Rock" award ahead of Type O Negative, you're in a rock band man ! People have actually paid to see you, at least pretend to be having a good time.

Ginger and his merry crew saunter onto the stage and the Wildhearts front man picks up on the chilled out Sunday night atmosphere in Leeds, "I'm not interrupting any conversations if I play some songs am I ?". Ginger goes on to point out that he feels a lot of love in the room, and he's right. The older rock audience are Wildhearts veterans, we've been following Ginger through his various incarnations for (again) about two decades, I'm sure that a lot of people feel the same about this man as I do, he's given me hundreds of hours of happy listening and a few dozen bouncy, sweaty, frenzied gigs, Ginger says that he's very grateful to us for giving him his dream career, and the people here tonight are equally grateful for the vast amount of excellent songs he has written, and despite his numerous 'difficulties' in sometimes getting albums released/recorded, Ginger has still managed a prodigious output.

Tonight, in between his easy happy banter, Ginger showcases songs from most of his solo career, Ten Flaws Down, Mother City, Drinking In The Daytime, Why Can't You Just Be Normal, his band are happy, smiling, talented, ex Wolfsbane Jase Edwards is a really good guitarist and drummer Denzel really gives his kit some stick. There is some end of song tomfoolery going on between Ginger and Denzel and the band do seem to have an easy going attitude, that's not to say they're not tight though, Ginger says at the end of the show that this is the best group of musicians he has ever played with, and they are a good sounding professional outfit, bit harsh on CJ though.

It's a warm and happy night, Ginger chats away in between songs, when asked if he'll play Mother City for a second time he replies "If you'll give me a hundred quid we'll play it all fucking night" and the poor lad who dares to complain that his band were not offered a support slot is admonished when Ginger points out "Have you considered, it might be because you're crap ?!" but it's all done tongue in cheek, a rambling intro here, a good song there, an encore, a lot of smiles, a satisfied crowd, what more can you ask for.

A hazy spring morning in Ilkley.

"I've discounted suicide in favour of killing everyone else in the world instead" - Spider Jerusalem in Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

"Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's peasants when, after putting in heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city reservoir, he turns to the cupboard, only to find the vodka bottle empty" - P G Wodehouse (The Little Warrior)
The Yorkshire Moors & Dales Appeal

This is a project being undertaken in upper Wharfedale to stabilise the upland streams by tree planting and allow for more water take up by reintroducing loops and bends in the upper Wharfe.

This work is going to be undertaken by the National Trust

National Trust Yorkshire Moors & Dales Appeal

I for one would be happy if the regular flooding here on the lower Wharfe could be calmed a bit, this is the golf course at Ilkley closed by flooding.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The King Is Dead.....

All hail the mighty Pieterson Bopara, 118 not out on his test debut whilst the England big guns failed to fire, and in spectacular fashion in the ex Captain's case.

289-7, it's finely balanced at the end of the first day, and come the end of our innings we really do need our bowlers to perform well.

Over at Yorkshire, I feel so sorry for Vaughan, out for 16 on a wicket that even Joe Sayers found he could score some runs on, a very impressive 114 not out, perhaps a bit slow again but he is rather of the Boycott school of run accumulation.
The 30 Greatest Singers In Rock

According to Classic Rock magazine anyway.

1) Freddy Mercury
2) Paul Rodgers (nice 1,2 for Queen there)
3) Robert Plant
4) Steve Marriot
5) Rod Stewart
6) Ian Gillan
7) Ronnie James Dio
8) Sammy Hagar
9) Steve Perry
10) Janis Jopling
11) Noddy Holder
12) Steven Tyler
13) Roger Daltrey
14) Meatloaf
15) David Coverdale
16) Paul Stanley
17) John Lennon
18) Ann Wilson
19) Layne Staley
20) Steve Winwood
21) Chris Robinson
22) Jim Morrison
23) Robin Zander
24) Glenn Hughes
25) Danny Bowes
26) Steven Wilson
27) Brian Connolly
28) Phil Mogg
29) Lou Gramm
30) James Hetfield

Now, of course what Classic Rock like to do is to throw in a couple of "who is he" types into any of these lists they publish, thus Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson makes it on the list, and they like to include some obvious bits of idiocy / controversy, such as placing Noddy Holder higher on the list than John Lennon.

Then there's James Hetfield, now I love Metallica, and James' voice is ideally suited to their brand of thrash metal, but if I compose a list of the 100 best rock singers of all time Hetfield is still going to be hovering somewhere in the also rans off the bottom.

Freddie Mercury at #1 ? If it was a list of the all time greatest frontmen I'd have no problem with that, but for me Mercury's slightly strained falsetto vocals are overwhelmed by a number of singers lower on the list, Robert Plant and Ronnie James Dio especially.

No Nick Cave on the list either, I love Cave's edgy distinctive vocals, and where's Ginger, perhaps those last two could both make the 30 greatest songwriter's list.
Free Classic Rock Tracks

I was looking around on the Classic Rock website looking to see if I could find the list of the 30 Greatest Rock Singers that they published last month, anyway it appears the article I wanted isn't on the website, but they do a free download track of the day, result !

First track, Clairvoyance by, and I quote, "mellifluous stoner rockers" Heavy Water Experiments. It's not bad, slow paced, easy flowing rock, a sort of stoner prog if you will, not dissimilar to Midland's progsters Oceansize. If you checkout HWE on Scrobbler you can listen to their entire debut album for free.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The UK 'Least Wanted' List Published

Gordon Brown

Alistair Darling

David Miliband

Jaqui Smith

Fred Goodwin

Simon Cowell

Christian Ronaldo

Swine Flu

(Thanks to Wosser)

Monday, May 04, 2009

All For One

We're in the bar, in fact, today we are the bar, a crowd of Aegis Evolution capsuleers have taken over Suzie Kwong's and are conducting a loud and inebriated celebration.

Today we're not celebrating because we scored a famous military victory, or because we had one of our many narrow escapes from violent death, no-one is stumbling around with that glassy eyed slack jawed expression common to capsuleers who have just awakened into a new clone after the previous one was reduced to red mist. Actually, I tell a lie, Moa Dihb has exactly that expression on his face, but that's because he's got himself into a drinking contest with Bull Doze and they're hammering back doubles of Oipan vodka.

No, today we are celebrating for the best of reasons, we just made ourselves a huge pile of money. As Suzie's has filled up with Aegis flyers, the other patrons of the bar have gradually departed until only a couple of diehard drinkers are willing to put up with our happy din.

Cyber Airelednac and Rotsjk are cackling together over a bottle of real grape wine from the surface of Torrino V. Cyber is our industrial director, he's been leading the asteroid mining operations that are currently fattening our wallets.

Earlier we stood together in the unloading bays, still streaked with gel from immersion in our pods, dwarfed in the shadow of Imwot's Orca mining vessel, giggling and slapping each other in excitement as a seemingly endless flow of raw ore pours from its gargantuan holds. Cyber already has factories lined up to refine and manufacture the ore, by next week these mountains of dusty rock will become a fleet of gleaming new battlecruisers.

I have a third bottle of Chateaux Torvard Premier Cru in front of me, it is a fabulous wine, with a price tag to match and even with our new found wealth I know I'm going to regret this extravagance in the morning, damn my French heritage.

Now the boys are calling for food, steak and lobster, but not the vat grown and tank cultured pap that most station workers exist on, tonight we are dining on real food, water born shellfish and farm raised beef. Again, it is staggeringly expensive, almost no-one but high ranking naval officers, high level corp agents and capsuleers can afford real food, even planetbound people depend on the stuff produced in the vast tank farms to support the burgeoning populations.

Surf and turf for me, and for a moment my choice makes me melancholy, a twenty two year old man who has never walked over real grass or felt the could wet touch of an actual wave. My name is China Flex, I was born on a station and have lived in space for all of my twenty two years, I have never been down to the surface of a planet. My parents died when I was a toddler, killed by the Gallente Navy, my own Navy, in the treacherous assault on the Monasteris asteroid colony. I was raised by the Mordu's Legion Children's Charity, and became a pod pilot two years ago.

I look down at the blue and green planet below me and wonder what it would be like to be down there. Would it be marvellous to walk on those lush hills, or would I feel frustrated at only being able to move at one speed with no up and down. I touch the row of implants behind my ear, augs and learning boosters are banned on most planets, would I feel stupid at having to learn things by reading or watching holo vids ?

A hefty slap on my back stirs me from my reverie, it's Kuro Sekai.

"Come on China, you can't sit there by yourself moping."

Behind him, Shephard and Amadeus have Moa slung between them, he has an arm over each of their shoulders and a mostly empty vodka bottle in either hand, he's bellowing now, end everyone joins in, the new guys shouting along with the old, AllHail and Jaquis, 10 Ton, Lilcron, Er'im, TM, Avalik, Imwot, and all the others are standing on chairs and tables, and we're shouting drunkenly, joyously, defiantly, the corp motto, over and over again.

"All for one, and one for all, all for one, and one for all."


Next day, I'm in my capsule inside the Luxurious Lucy, I feel like someone is squeezing my brain through my skull, the Lucy departs the docking bay with a bump that has me groaning.

"Bloody hell Lucy that was rough, dial me some painkillers and nausea calmers will you ?"

-I'm sorry China but you didn't restock the meds after we docked yesterday-

I groan again. "Well let's just turn around and dock again and pick some up."

-I'm sorry China but we agreed to make this delivery to Arnon in the fastest time possible-

The ship hits the first jump gate and we drop into nullspace, when you're sober this can feel orgasmic, in my condition it feels like my head is wrapped in bands of hot metal.

-I'm sorry about that China, but only another 25 gates to go-

Bloody ship AI's, I could swear she's laughing at me.

Two Blokes, Two Ukes, Status Quo