Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Perfect Circle ?

Dodgy MP's claim outrageous amounts of money, squatters take over 'main home' in revenge.

MP says "I am very angry that there are taxpayers in a house paid for by taxpayers".
Book Review : Line War - Neal Asher*****

The fifth novel in Asher's ongoing series of the Polity and Agent Ian Cormac is possibly the best book he has written to date, a grand scale space opera, action packed from beginning to end.

The transformed AI Trafalgar/Erebus, altered beyond human knowledge by the insidious Jain technology, has come back to attack the Polity, a series of seemingly unconnected attacks kills millions across a dozen worlds, and the Polity fleet is at full stretch trying to understand and stop the attacks.

Line War features just about everything you could wish for in an action sci-fi novel, leviathan aliens with strange motives ? Yes, Dragon, or even two of him. Psychotic indestructible android ? Yes, Mr Brass is back. Unstoppable alien force ? Yes, Erebus and his biotech space fleets. Apocalyptic doomsday weapons ? Yes, the...oh, I'd better not give that away.

The shooting starts on page three and the sound of the last particle accelerator cannon doesn't die away until the last page some 550 pages later, it's a non stop breathless thrill ride underpinned by a good plot with a dark secret exposed towards the end of the book. Great stuff, more like this please Mr. Asher !

Monday, June 29, 2009

Broughton Hall Game Fair

Joshua speeding around the mini quad bike track.

Kayleigh was a bit small to ride on her own, so she was provided with a chauffeur.

They don't make them like this anymore, a gloriously stylish Jaguar.

Some goats.

The Birdman Challenge, Dan Brumfitt flying through the air like a, plummeting lead weight actually, and managing to get a free plug for his employers I presume.

Coracle racing, this set off in a rather chaotic manner, but it didn't matter, the chap in the black shirt outclassed the other boatmen and won the event by a country mile.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

King Of Metal Is Dead

The world's of heavy metal and industrial strength narcotics were left reeling today by the sudden and unexpected death of Lemmy from Motorhead.

Lemmy, real name Ian Fraser Kilmister, is said to have died at home, in the arms of three groupies, from a heart attack, although as yet unconfirmed rumours say that paramedics had to beat his liver to death with a large stick several hours later.

Lemmy sold quite a lot of records in his 40+ year rock and roll career, and wrote the classic metal song Ace Of Spades, which frankly pisses all over Billie Jean.

Conspiracy theorists are already claiming that Lemmy died after taking a lethal cocktail of Jack Daniel's, cocaine, Ecstasy, Quaalude and warfarin, however, sources close to the veteran rocker claim that this was the same breakfast Lemmy had consumed each morning since 1973.

There have been spontaneous outpourings of grief all over the world. In London, 5 fans gathered at the site of the former Marquee Club, and in an emotionally charged meeting they drank Carlsberg Special Brew and sang classic Motorhead songs like Go To Hell, Dancing In Your Grave and Die You Bastard.

No fans gathered at the hospital where Lemmy's body was initially taken, a random metal fan we found down the pub said "What's the point ? He's dead."

An autopsy has revealed that medical science does not understand just how Lemmy has lived this long, a second autopsy has been demanded by doctors who couldn't fit into the auditorium for the first one.

A huge legal fight is now expected to break out in order to secure the rights to Lemmy's three drug stashes.
Broughton Hall Game Fair

Which is held annually at the rather lovely old pile that is Broughton Hall.

A game fair is a country show for country folk, if you're a vegan, townie, animal rights freak, this probably isn't the day out for you.

Awesome, I was tempted, but as P pointed out, what the hell was I going to do with it ?

I do know what to do with this though, large roast pork butty with crackling please, and the beer tent was open at 10am, well it would have been rude not to.

Meg and Kayleigh on the wobbly bridge. Various charities run stalls and events at the game fair, but close to my own interests are the brave volunteers of the Cave Rescue Organisation (they rescue lost old beardy blokes from hills and mountains as well, should I ever need them), and they charge a small toll to cross these bridges as part of their fundraising effort.

A horny ram, no sniggering at the back there.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Arooga !

Beware ! LARPERS !!!!

Oh yes, here is our typical Larper, in the street small children will point and throw things and many adults will ask the question - "What the f**k have you come as then ?"

Cute, but again, murdering muppets will only upset the kids.

Oh noes, my androgyny meter is overloaded, you sir/madam are either a sir or madam, but at least you are in your costume, unlike the ample lady in the background, who only appears to be wearing half of hers.

(By almighty benners at b3ta)
There will be a post-mortem today to determine which was the cause of Michael Jackson's death:

A) Sunshine B) Moonlight C) Good Times D) Boogie

Reports of Michael Jackson having a heart attack are incorrect. He was found in the children’s ward having a stroke.

Michael Jackson died of shock after finding out Boyz II Men was a band not a delivery service.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson Is Dead

And yet Fall Out Boy still live, is there no justice ?

Seriously though, the lengths that man will go to to avoid playing a gig.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Festival Time

These days you can hardly set foot outside your front door in the summer without stumbling into a festival, but back in the good old days of my youth there were really only three festivals, Reading, Glastonbury and the mighty Monsters Of Rock at Donnington.

Not being hippy types we avoided Glasto, but Reading and especially Donnington were my places of musical worship, with a bit of drinking thrown in for good measure. Kids today might not recognise the festivals of old, today's music lovers are spoiled rotten by numerous stages, special events and so many bands that you are bound to miss a set by someone you really want to see, but in the 80's festivals went as follows.....

Arrive, start drinking, watch first band, continue drinking until next band comes on stage, watch next band, drink until third band comes on stage, continue until end of festival or unconsciousness strikes.

The 25th Reading festival was a revelation, it featured two main stages with bands alternating so you were entertained almost all day, this didn't prevent outrageous levels of alcohol consumption though.

A few random memories from Reading and Donnington....

Beefburger frisbees - Some nimble fingered soul stole a box of frozen beefburgers from one of the food stalls at Reading, they were quite large, about 8 inches across (although they shrunk to small grizzled gray things by the time you got them hot in a bun) and made quite excellent frisbees when they were frozen. They went whizzing out over the heads of the crowd, causing a couple of painful blows and much laughter. It was a very hot day though, and after a few minutes people found when they they jumped up to catch the meaty toys they actually caught a slushy, fatty pile of disintegrating flesh, nice.

Ditto eggs - the same thief nicked a box of eggs which were thrown around the crowd, I think that Gypsy Queen's drummer came in for some bombardment.

I got hit by half a chicken, I grabbed the greasy thing from the floor and tried to launch it forwards across the crowd only to succeed in hitting the bloke in front of me in that back of his head. When he turned around I was looking up at the sky and saying "where the hell did that come from ?". Apologies, if you were struck by half a slippery, half frozen chicken at Marillion's Garden Party, that was me.

Bottle fights - these were particularly prevalent at Donnington, after emptying your various plastic containers of booze you chucked them away, as hard as you could, sometimes they had been used as a urinal first. James Hetfield couldn't believe his eyes at the size and ferocity of the bottle fight during Metallica's set in 1985, pausing after one song he said to the crowd "Don't you crazy fuckers want to listen to the music ?", a hundred thousand drunken metalheads continued to pelt each other with plastic piss filled bottles.

Drinking Gold Label - this is a sort of thick, heavy alcohol liquid that I presume is only normally consumed by hardened alcoholics and/or Pete Doherty, however, at Reading 25 everything else had sold out and we were forced to drink it, oh dear lord, the Monday morning hangover.

The Ever Expanding Lake of Piss - Reading 25 again, there seemed to be no drains for the men's urinals, it has been a little swampy on Saturday night but halfway through Sunday afternoon you would have to wade a six inch deep lake of piss to reach the toilets, most everyone just stood at the edge at peed in it, raising a loud cheer when some poor soul desperate for a number two made the hideous wet crossing to the stalls.

Potato fight - I think this was Donnington '84. Someone nicked a sack of baking potatoes and proceeded to throw them around, this was nasty, if you got hit by a large raw potato you would really feel it and attention largely turned away from Van Halen's set as people defended themselves from airborne tubers. The guest list folk on the sound gantry were laughing at this, until paying metalheads noticed and began to bombard the gantry with spuds, this drove the liggers into cover and handily used up most of the spuds as well.

And then there was booze, gallons and gallons of warm, flat beer, and hangovers.
Europe According To Americans

Beep Beep Bl***y Beep

If you happen to see an angry beardy bloke in Ilkley thrashing his car in the manner of hapless hotel owner Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, that will be me, because the beeping drives me mad.

I have a small car, it is blue, I think it is a Peugeot although I am frankly hopeless and most un-blokeish when it comes to cars, I would have to go and have a look at it to know either its exact model or the registration number.

It does beep though, and quite why the car's makers thought this was a good selling point I have no idea. It beeps when the engine is turned off and the keys are in the ignition, fair enough I suppose, it might stop you leaving your keys in the car and wandering off.

But then it beeps when the the keys are in, engine off and any of the doors open, I know the doors are opening you stupid object, that's because my passengers are getting in, and because I am somewhat older than a boy racer, I do not need to sit revving the engine whilst they climb aboard.

It beeps if I turn the engine off and leave the car in gear, why ? It's an automatic and won't start in gear so what is the bloody point ? It does not beep though if you park up, out of gear, and forget to use the handbrake, a beep in that situation might have been useful.

Each of these beeps is a slightly different, irritating electronic tone, the one for 'you have left the boot open' is different from the one for 'the lights are still on you muppet' and different again from the one for 'the left rear passenger door is ajar.' They are all equally annoying though.

An extra annoyance, in cold weather, is the automatic switching of the lcd clock display to a temperature display whenever the temperature drops below 3 degrees, accompanied by a flashing display. You see, I know when it is cold, I can feel it, I might even go so far as to say it is mildly dangerous to have a constantly flickering display at the corner of your vision endlessly telling you 'Ice warning - low temperature'.

Constable Barton - "And why would you say the accident happened Mr Soul ?"

YS - "It was the beeping and flashing, it drove me mad, I was trying to drive on possibly icy roads and simultaneously smash my temperature display with a screwdriver when I lost control and demolished Mrs Lette's favourite Begonias."

Constable Barton - "You also ran over our MP. 3 times."

YS - "Treble brandies all round then !"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sports Fans Reeling After F1 Breakaway Shock

Many sports fans were yesterday distressed by the news from F1 that many of the sport's top teams might form their own racing league in order to challenge F1's control of motor racing. The breakaway league would feature many cash strapped manufacturers who are desperate for people to buy their flashy over-priced vehicles and would race on 8 circuits in the initial 2010 season.

"It's awful," said sport fan Ken Wibner. "Twice as many races, twice as many circuits, twice as much as nothing interesting happening bar the odd crash, I'll struggle to stay awake to be honest, and hasn't that Coulthard fella got a funny chin ?"

F1 supremo Max Moseley said yesterday "We are convinced that we can beat this breakaway league, and if we cannot beat them then we'll try whipping and lashing them."
England Win T20

Not the blokes of course, but the world beating England Women's team beat New Zealand in the women's T20 final to add to their heap of trophies including the Ashes and the 50 Over World Cup.

Er, do you think they can loan some players to the men's team ?
How Banking Works

Stephen Hester giving evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee in February...."I do think banking pay in some areas of the industry is way too high and needs to come down and I intend us to lead that process."

In today's news....Royal Bank of Scotland is this week expected to approve a pay package worth up to £9.6m for its chief executive Stephen Hester.

Surely they are not one and the same man ? He's got bigger pockets since the start of the year.
The BBC's 100 Books You Should Read

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman x
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (a couple)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk x
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD SaLinger x
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchel
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame x
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marque
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan x
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon x
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov x
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac x
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville x
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson x
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome x
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byat
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell x
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks x
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Not sure that the list is quite right, C S Lewis and Shakespeare are both double entries, but still, 37 from 100, the Beeb claims that the national average is 6 !
Book Review : Moby Dick - Herman Melville****

Even as I approached this tome, this treatise on the practices and morality of the whaling fisheries, this compendium of the knowledge of men both ancient and modern in the ways of catching the leviathans of the deeps, I felt in myself such an uprushing, an uprising within my very body as if if the foam atop the endless waves was surging through my torso, an effluxtion of elan such as Eve from the rib must have experienced at God's enervation. Still I paused in some trepidation, wiser scholars than I had attempted the task which I had set myself, and on their travels through this literary mammoth, unlike Saul they received no revelation about the deeper secrets and myths contained within, they stumbled on the Damascus road and fell. I girded my very soul, bound it around as if bands of iron could be placed upon it to prevent it straying from this onus, and placed one hand, the right, for it should be remembered that no fair man will place his left hand first upon the cover of a tract of such mighty caliber, only a wild man, a savage, even one as noble as Queequeg himself, but unhallowed for all his learnings might do such a thing and in his guileless fashion not expect the anger of a righteous God to strike him.

And so on and so on for five hundred densely written pages. Oddly, despite Melville's compulsion to always use twenty five words where six would do, I rather enjoyed Moby Dick. As well as the story of anger, vengeance and compulsion which surfaces here and there in the book, you get probably the best historical record of life on a whale ship and the detailing of every part of the business of whales and whaling then known, Melville certainly does not skimp on the detail.

That was heavy going though, I'll think I'll have something a bit lighter for my next read.
Nearly There

My other staff can come back this weekend, well, those of them who I can take back to fill our rather recession hit staff rota. Many thanks to April, Rob and Amelia who have given all the time they can over the past weeks, the girls have been doing their A-levels as well so hats off to them.

In celebration, I'm going to have (most of) a day off this Sunday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Album Review : The Liberty Of Norton Folgate - Madness*****

Run for the hills ! It's a ska concept album ! What is it with concept albums at the moment, I have a slew of them on my i-pod at the moment from the grunge metal of Mastodon's slightly disappointing Crack The Skye, Kasabian's Victoriana inspired West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum and an almost return to great from from Queensryche on American Soldier, concept albums seem to be the in thing.

Madness pay homage to the places they grew up and lived in on thier concept effort, the Liberty of Norton Folgate was unitl 1921 a distinct administrative area bordering the City Of London, and its echoes live on in street and building names in the area.

This album, as befits an older Madness, isn't ruled by the up tempo funky ska that provided the band with so many of their big hit singles back in the 80's. Madness have matured, both as songwriters and musicians as they have grown older, in amongst the daftness they always had quite astute, anthropological lyrics, songs like House Of Fun contained threads of darkness and pain in amongst the catchy ska, this theme returns on Forever Young, a minor key paean to lost innocence and the pain of getting older.

The songs on Norton Folgate don't follow each other to create a continuous story, but instead they all paint little aural pictures of street scenes, occurrences and self contained stories set in the area. There are hints of other story telling songwriters on here, Ian Dury constructed similar lyrics in his own idiosyncratic style and The Kinks wouldn't have been upset to write Dust Devil, Mk II or Sugar And Spice.

Suggs does seem to talk his way through the album in parts, but his distinctive vocal style has always been an important part of the band's overall style, and the ska combination of guitars, keyboard and brass combines well, played with subtlety and clever style throughout.

A real treasure awaits right at the end of the fifteen track album, with the penultimate track being the delightfully eccentric Clerkenwell Polka providing a real change of style on the album before making way for Madness's 10 minute masterpiece from which the album takes its name, The Liberty Of Norton Folgate takes us on a walk around, we visit the markets and meet the rich ethnic mix of the people that currently inhabit this tiny area of the capitol as the band move through a variety of musical styles as they proclaim their love for the area, its people, and their wish for peace and tolerance to hold sway.

It is a great album, possibly the best album the Nutty Boys have put out in their 30 year career, really, its that good, it has great songs that perhaps requite a little more listening to get them into your your head than Driving In My Car did, but this is the middle aged Madness, and they're a more complex and interesting beast than they were back at the beginning, and more fulfilling for that.
MP's Pay Back £500,000

It isn't enough.

The argument here is plain and simple, if any of us in normal jobs, had found a way to fiddle large amounts of money from our employers, upon being caught we would expect to be sacked and prosecuted. Just because MP's created the rules that made it legally ok to steal this money does not make it morally correct.

In any other job, or in fraudulently claiming benefits, such cheats would have been been facing a criminal conviction.

Many MP's have behaved in a manner that would have been criminal had it happened if they worked in call centre, IT office or hotel, just paying back the money is not acceptable, and the sight of Labour Ministers waving cheques at the television cameras has been frankly sickening.

It is even more galling to discover that whether these cheats resign from Parliament or are defeated at the election, they will also receive a large settlement package, wahey lads, double brandies all round, and don't forget to put them down as expenses.
What Does My MP Think Her Wage Is For ?

Because out of my wages, which are rapidly falling in this banking led recession that the Prime Minister and the Labour Government have achieved exactly nothing in terms of lessening the effects of or shortening the duration of, I expect to pay for basic stuff like my mortgage, repairs to the house, travel costs, and food.

Food, we all get paid, well except for the 2.26 million people that are unemployed at the moment, time to dust off some old "Labour Isn't Working" posters perhaps ? We receive our wage, and then we go to the supermarket or corner shop and we buy food for ourselves and our families.

MP's don't though, they receive their quite huge wage, then they make large claims for their second homes which are bought at the taxpayer's expense for MP's to personally profit from, and then they claim for all sorts of things as well, food included.

My MP, Anne Cryer, makes the taxpayer fork out another £350 a month for food, exactly £350, not a penny more this month or a penny less last month, no receipts are required for food and so MP's stick on their claims form the maximum amount that they think thet can get away with. Why on earth though do I have to pay for the contents of my MP's fridge and larder ? If you're a factory worker you don't get an extra cheque in your weekly wage with a note from your boss saying "Treat yourself at Tesco".

The trouble with our MP's at the moment is that a culture has grown up in which they believe that they should have pay for absolutely nothing, your MP gets a minimum of £60,000 a year before they start the hard day to day slog of filling in expenses claims forms, which I happen to think is a pretty good wage, but MP's think that this money should pass untouched into their savings accounts without encountering the normal nuisances of shopping and bills along the way.

I agree that MP's need somewhere to live in London, but I do not see why they should be able to use taxpayer's money in order to turn a personal profit on it, but I cannot see any reason at all why I should filling Anne Cryer's kitchen cupboard.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Pic altered with colourisation.
Ilkley Meadow

May or may not be private property, oh well, take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.
Rumours Of My Death....

....have been greatly exaggerated, I did manage to fall down a hole and hurt my back and knee, but nothing worse than that. What with staffing problems and trouble with my back earlier in the year, I have hardly been walking at all recently, my hiking boots are looking dusty and unloved in a dark corner of the cupboard under the stairs. Today though my knee felt good enough to try a short walk, roads rather than potentially troublesome moors, and so I took a stroll up the road to Calvary.

I don't know if Calvary is private, certainly the main retreat just down the road is, but there are no warning signs on the gate so I had a quiet stroll around.

It really is very peaceful up here, no cars to be heard, just the breeze in the trees, birds singing and the occasional rustling in the undergrowth of a rabbit or stealthy deer.

The outside of the shrine is covered with dozens of hand made wooden crosses, crafted from twigs and twine.

Inside are people's prayers, photographs of loved ones and candles. This is a lovely part of Ilkley, hidden away and secret, well off the well used track, but calming and beautiful.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Street Dares

Well meaning, but will it stop pissheads turning our city centres into drunken warzones ? I doubt it.

Art Attack With Nick Griffin...

(by Sepeng on b3ta)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What Do Retired People Do All Day?

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a policeman writing out a parking ticket.

We went up to him and said, 'Come on man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?'

He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tyres.

So my wife called him a shit-head. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, we didn't care. We came into town by bus. We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.

(Thanks to Squirt)

Monday, June 08, 2009

20-20, Australia Out !

Oh yes, we were crap in the opening game when we lost to the mighty Dutch, but the supposed world beaters of Australia have departed the tournament early after losing both of their pool games, to Chris Gayle and then Sri Lanka.

What is it with Gayle by the way, he was dreadful against England, moaning, uninspired and lacklustre, and then against Australia he suddenly becomes imperious and commanding ?

Now all England have to worry about is some overly complicated run rate system in the Holland - Pakistan game, come on lads, let's have, er, a low scoring narrow win for Pakistan ? Oh, I don't know.
Fear And Loathing In Yorkshire

"I am the one in ten
A number on a list
I am the one in ten
Even though I don`t exist
Nobody knows me
Even though i`m always there
A statistic, a reminder
Of a world that doesn`t care"

UB40's song was about life on the dole queue, but it rather apt to apply it to the voting in the Euro Elections here in Yorkshire that returned BNP candidate Andrew Brons as one of the MEP's for the Yorkshire & Humber region.

The BNP polled 9.8 % of the vote in a very poor turnout, voter apathy seemed the order of the day here where only 32% of the electorate bothered to turn out to vote, people, your apathy disgusts me, and it has helped to elect a BNP MEP.

All three of the major parties, the Conservatives included, lost voter share in the Euro elections with the smaller parties all making gains, BNP +1.8%, Greens +2.8%, UKIP 2.9% and pushing the Lib Dems into 4th place.

So this morning the party of hate and spite are able to rejoice, in the North West constituency BNP managed a similar gain with Labour losing a seat to the BNP leader Nick Griffin who was immediately able to go on live television and condemn (amongst other things) the recent decision to allow Gurkhas to live in the UK.

One in ten of my fellow Tykes who bothered to vote have opted to vote BNP, despite almost all of their election information being uncovered as lies and disinformation, it's enough to make you hang your head in shame. Are we really so narrow minded and insular ? Or is this just an absolute rejection of a failing Labour government ?

I would hope that if a General Election is called that you all think a bit more clearly about what it is you are voting for, what is it you don't want in your lives ? The local curry and kebab house that's so wonderful after a few pints, a brown face at your bus stop or place of work, hip hop on your radio ?

The thing is, we can be wonderfully inclusive and multicultural when our idiot ruling politicians let us, and it wounds me to say this, but the BNP have one or two valid points amongst their vast arsenal of lies. There have been local councils who have disallowed St. Georges celebrations, and who have prompted schools not to be too overt in their celebrations of Easter and Christmas, sometimes we seem to be more afraid of 'causing offence' than we are proud of who we are.

I'm still proud to be a Tyke, I'm proud to be open minded and inclusive, I don't dislike anyone based on their race or religion, I don't hate, and I believe that most of my fellow Tykes are much the same, but the political apathy that has consumed the majority of people at this time has allowed the haters to be heard, they got their vote mobilised and got people elected.

It is your fault, you the man who couldn't be bothered stopping at the polling station before going to the pub, you the women who couldn't find a few minutes on the way home from work. If you didn't vote, then don't talk politics to me, you made yourself voiceless, and allowed the voice of hate to be heard long and loudly.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cassetteboy vs The Bloody Apprentice

"I'm shitting frying pans and cocktail sticks", oh deary me, it's tears of laughter time. Cassetteboy, you are a very clever bloke.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Jaques Rudolph - Pigeon Slayer

Labour Demolished in Council Elections

Nu-Labour, which older readers may just remember was once, a very long time ago when even Tony Blair told the truth, the political party of the working class, has recently transformed itself into into the party of lying, thieving, snouts in the trough scumbags, and has been rightly rewarded in the 34 council elections held on Thursday when the party lost 273 councillors and also lost control of 4 councils.

The Tories were the big winners, gaining 7 councils and 233 councillors, the Lib Dems fared badly, losing a small amount of councillors when they really should have been taking seats from Labour. Other parties gaining council seats on the day were the Greens, the various independent councillors and resident's associations, and sadly the flat earthers/we hate Europe party known as UKIP, and worryingly the BNP managed 3 seats, some on people, no matter how cleverly Nick Griffin speaks, it is still a vote for hate.

Nu-Labour will doubtless take another battering in the European Election which will hopefully hasten the General Election.

Strangely though, I feel a bit sorry for Gordon Brown (and also for many Labour traditionalists). When the revelations about Teflon Tony started to come thick and fast and it became apparent that we had tamely and stupidly followed the USA into a war based on lies and misinformation, I then thought that Blair was a wicked and deceitful man. I don't think the same of Gordon Brown, had an election been held earlier and David Cameron had been in charge over the past two years would he have fared any better in coping with the collapses in the banking and mortgage industries and the subsequent knock on effects for the manufacturing and service industries ? I'm not sure he would.

Of course Brown told us one thing, prudence prudence, whilst doing exactly the opposite, that is, spending like there was no tomorrow, and now that there is no tomorrow for vast swathes of our industry it is time to call that general election and elect someone else, slimy Dave Cameron probably.

Who remembers when this Labour government first swept into power, with their cries of "Tory sleaze" ? The expenses revelations do seem to dwarf the 'cash for questions' crisis that rocked the Conservatives at the time, there are so many more MP's caught up in it, and Brown has shillied and shallied, caught always in two minds, first condemning, then supporting, then wavering. We really can't have a ditherer running the country, come on Gordon, it's time for the turkey to vote for Christmas.
Rally round PM, Labour MPs urged

Senior Labour MPs have urged colleagues to "rally round" Gordon Brown and unite after a tumultuous week for the party.

Many MP's and Ministers responded to the rallying call and rallied round Prime Minister Gordon Brown, each one offering a carefully placed knife in the back.

"Infamy, infamy" the PM was heard to cry. "They've all got it in for me."
Hard Rockk Hell III

4 more bands were added to the bill last week, and it's a treat for thrash fans with Onslaught, Evile, Toxic Holocaust and Susperia joining the bill, hmm, I wonder if they could squeeze Municipal Waste on the bill as well ? It's a really good all round mix of classic rock and metal so far, but come on HRH, The Wildhearts were the second most requested band for the festival, can't you get them as well ?
Still Alive

I'm still here, I've had a rather busy week at work, especially with young Phil being on holiday, but he's back now. I also had a bit of an accident earlier in the week when I fell down a hole, but I'm getting slowly better, thanks as always to my wonderful physio Candice.

The final upshot of the employment debacle was that we had to fire Sophie, and poor Rachel who had only been with us for a couple of weeks, three of the staff have had their hours slashed so that we comply fully with the law, but hats off to April, Amelia and Rob who have stepped up and are filling in as much as they can, cheers gang. I am just counting down now to the last weekend of this month when Harry, Georgie and Paula will have officially left school and can pick up some more shifts.

We have taken on a new waitress as well, welcome to the crew Saskia, and she didn't just get the job 'cos her Dad's a rock star, honest. (Dad has played for Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, The Cult, The Alarm, Spear Of Destiny).

Alive in Joburg

This is a short film that District 9 is being based upon, to be honest, I think this short has a better feel to it than the main movie, based on the trailer.

District 9 Trailer

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hollie Swain - Photographer/Model/Artist

‘I am the subject matter, the figure, the model, the body in the landscape and the shape your eyes fall on, perceive, look into, judge, pull apart and admire. I construct, direct, produce, I am all that these images are.’ - Hollie Swain

Cousin Hollie, in addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, is also very bright (she gained a 1st in her degree) and is talented behind the camera as well as in front of it.

You can see some of Hollie's work over here on Aukesson, and if you like it, you can buy copies as well.
More Problems For Stevie Wonder's Chilled Food Delivery Service


YS - Not A Nazi

I would like to reassure readers who may have followed those last two links that despite spending the past half hour trawling the Daily Mail website, I have have no intentions of voting BNP at the next election.
Wardrobe Malfunction ?

I can't post these sort of pics any more because some dork reports me and gets the blog taken down, saddo, but over here you can see Lily Allen's boob, very shapely and pert young lady.
Ronaldo Outed ?

Well, I don't know which way he swings, but have some respect man, because you just couldn't look any gayer than this.
"As Tommy smith went out on the pitch he handed me a piece of paper. It was the evening menu for the Liverpool Royal Infirmary" - Jimmy Greaves recalls the days when football was a man's game.
I Love Being English

We are an old race, and so we have had a lot of time to perfect the art of being deeply eccentric, as these three clips from the BBC show......

Cheese Chasing

Mud Racing

Shin Kicking
By 'Eck It's Been Reet 'Ot

Warm out isn't it ? But if you are stuck inside you can waste some time by watching the European Weather Radar.
UK Photographer's Rights

Last week the Ilkley Gusset caried a short story claiming that a man had been taking photographs of Ilkers residents without their permission, I don't know what he was up to, but there is rumour on the Ilkley-More Forum that a man has been arrested and questioned.

In these days of paranoia and Government idiocy in the planning of so called anti-terror laws, it's nice to know where you stand as an amateur photographer with regard to the law.

This site contains a downloadable PDF written by written by afreelance legal consultant specialising in Media Law and Intellectual Property Law.

MP Austin Mitchell tabled an Early Day Motion to try and protect the rights of photographers, thus..."That this House is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people's art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious ground such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public's right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion."

I can't remember exactly how EDM's work, I think that they are not automatically debated, but I can't find any more info on this one.
TBR Challenge 2009 - Done

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****

The Bible - The Biography was the last of my dozen shelf lingerers that I got through, although I do try and read outside my sci-fi comfort zone, this one was a real struggle, akin to being plunged into a Master's Degree in RE without having taken the O Level. Still, at least now I know my Ekstasis from my Exegesis.