Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Damned United

Trailer for the film version of David Peace's book.



This signpost stands on the North side of the iron bridge (or is that hanging dead sheep bridge ?) at Ben Rhydding.
House In Stanbury



The day had become overcast by this part of the walk, but this door and the pennants took my eye.
Tree Above Top Withins

A thatched church, a wooden steeple,
A drunken parson, and wicked people,

Traditional couplet said to describe Beswick.
Tattooed Scrote Makes It Easy For The Cops

On the BBC

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

6 Things for 6 People

"The first six people to respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about or tailored to those six who respond first.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. (Although let me know if you have any allergies)
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done this year.
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a mix tape. It may be a short work of fiction, or a poem. I may draw or paint something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal/blog as well, if you expect me to do something for you!"

And the people who signed up were....

Olly Aitch
Eleanor
Terry G
Squirt
Alexandra
ShanMonster

For Squirt and Terry, this seems to work as a 'pay it forward' thing, so why not put the meme up on your Facebook and get six friends to copy it ?

Olly and Shantell, you may have to entrust me with your address, I promise this won't lead to episodes of stalking.*

According to the rules I have until the end of the year to create whatever I am going to create for you (or to forget all about the project due to absent mindedness / summer workload / eve online addiction etc), so don't hold your breath. I am a chef, but I see problems posting cooked things abroad, I do write and so the possiblity of a starring role in your every own violent sci-fi / fantasy / horror short story is quite good, but I'll think a bit first.



*Not to Olly anyway, but Shan is a cute, hardbody dancer type with a penchant for dressing up as Dark Elves and Larping, so if you see a portly, bearded chap loitering outside your apartment........
TBR Challenge



The idea of this as I understand it is to read, this year, 12 books that have been sat on your shelves for 6 months or longer, I suppose the sort of book that looked great in the bookshop, or interesting when you grabbed it at Bookcrossers, but has since declined in appeal and sits balefully on your shelves, unopened and unread.

Well, here are 12 of those from my shelves......

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

TBR sign up page.
Coroner's Report On The Death Of Julian Martinez

From the Ilkley Gazette.

This is tremendously sad, I liked Julian a lot, he had a tremendous passion and love for wine and was always happy to chat with you about wine whether you were you buying a single bottle or a cellar full. A bottle of port, some cocaine and heroin and that's all it takes to end your life, I never knew he took drugs and it seems that his close friends didn't know about the heroin.

Martinez Wines are still running, you can find their excellent online shop here.
Bricks And Mortar

I'm sure all the restaurant owners in Ilkley, including myself, are feeling very sorry for the owners and staff of The Good Food Shop in Addingham which suffered some sort of structural fault during or following renovations and has had to be partially demolished.

It's a sort of there but for for the Grace of God feeling, I work in an old building which constantly requires small scale repairs and the odd larger scale bit of rebuilding, but it is a hard enough trading climate at the moment without this sort of calamity befalling you.

Here's hoping that the rebuilding goes well and the restaurant gets open again soon.
Come To Lovely Ilkley, See The Sights





Nice ! A rotting sheep carcass hanging from a tree, it's been next to the iron bridge at Ben Rhydding for weeks now. The Ilkley Gusset did carry a story last week "it is not thought that anyone has reported the rotting carcass to Bradford Council."

Why not, do reporters at the Gusset not have the same social responsibilities as the rest of us ? I'll e-mail them and ask. I have reported the corpse to Bradford MDC.
The Lyke Wake Dirge

THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
—Refrain: Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
—Refrain: And Christe receive thy saule.

When thou from hence away art past
To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last
If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
Sit thee down and put them on;

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane.
From Whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;

From Brig o' Dread when thou may'st pass,
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last;
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
The fire sall never make thee shrink;

If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
—Every nighte and alle,
Fire and sleet and candle-lighte,
—And Christe receive thy saule.

This lyric poem is supposedly traditionally chanted whilst you're trudging along on the Lyke Wake Wake, a 40 mile one day hack across the North York Moors.

Lyke Wake Walk

New Lyke Wake Walk Club

I really ought to get some more serious training done and have a go at the Lyke Wake this summer.
The Times - Top 5 Signs That The UK Is In Recession

1) Some parents can no longer afford the £37,000 a term fees at Boffington School For Boys.

2) Sales of Maseratis are down 37%

3) Some parents can no longer afford the £26,000 a term fees at St. Briscilla's Young Ladies Finishing School.

4) Holiday bookings to Mustique are down 26%.

5) Some middle class parents may have to send little Jeremiah and Felicity to a normal school alongside the offspring of the proleteriat, The Times may begin an appeal.
Pensioner Asked For ID To Purchase Wine

BBC report

Whilst this may seem funny at first, I think there is an age at which it is fine to ask for proof of age, and then when you reach a certain age it becomes idiotic and plain offensive. I was challenged in the USA a couple of years ago, I was 39 at the time, the restaurant we were in (a TGI Fridays) we were only in because Meg had a migraine so we picked the closest place to the hotel to dine in. At first I thought the waitress was joking when she refused to bring me a pint of beer without seeing ID, then when it became obvious she was serious, I was offended.

You wouldn't mind this sort of police state behaviour if it was actually applied sensibly, but I am sure that the pubs and bars near you are just like the ones near me, and that any time you pop in for a pint you can't get near the bar because the entire 5th form of the local school are in in there getting wasted on bilberry vodka jelly shots.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prime Minister Buys New Car



In a one man attempt to kick start the ailing / critically ill UK economy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that he is buying a new car.

The car, a second hand British Leyland-Rover-Jaguar-Bentley green low carbon scalextrix will cost a surprisingly £2.4billion.

Brown said "Although I am sure that some members of the public will think that this is throwing good money after bad, I am equally sure that this investment will see the British car industry back on its feet in no time, and if it doesn't, well they can always buy a Nissan."

Car salesman Mr. A Daley said "Ta Guv, it's a good runner, no we don't accept cheques and no notes larger than a twenty mate."

Ready, Aim, FIRE......bugger

"It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing."

This may be the best letter of complaint ever written.

(Seen over at OllyAitch)
Chav-Free Holidays ?

Sounds good to me

Nicky Campbell says it's offensive, but who cares about offending chavs ? Unless they then slash your tires for doing so.
Commons Seek Parity With Lords

"I am given to understand that members of the upper house cannot be dismissed or required to leave the House upon public disclosure of their dubious private dealings (see passports for privileges, vast wads of cash for home loans etc.), this to me seems most unfair and I demand parity with the Upper House" - Peter Mandelson.
Lords Seek Parity With Commons

"For years the lower house has been a cesspool of wickedness and depravity, cash for questions, personal shopping lists at major London stores at the taxpayer's expense, nepotism, passports being given to dubious foreigners, huge subsidies for second homes, it's been a disgrace, and bloody unfair, we want some of the taxpayer's cash as well" - Labour Lord Trustypockets of Hundredgrand.
Pride And Prejudice, And Zombies



"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone crunching zombie action.

Buy it soon on Amazon,, or not.
A Meme

The first six people to respond to this post will get something made by me. It will be about or tailored to those six who respond first.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. (Although let me know if you have any allergies)
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done this year.
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a mix tape. It may be a short work of fiction, or a poem. I may draw or paint something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal/blog as well, if you expect me to do something for you!

Idea seen at ShanMonster.
"The Lord be thanked for what we've getten,
if there'd been more to eat there'd been more etten."

Yorkshire thanks.
Trees at Top Withins

Top 10 Listens Last Week

1 Roger Waters 76
2 Lee "Scratch" Perry 49
3 Richard Wagner 28
4 Marilyn Manson 24
4 Ozzy Osbourne 24
6 Rachel Unthank & The Winterset 23
6 AC/DC 23
8 Rancid 20
9 Dio 18
10 Megadeth 14
10 Bellowhead 14

Yorkshiresoul Scrobble's

Monday, January 26, 2009

Book Review : Loveless 1-3, A Kin Of Homecoming****, Thicker Than Blackwater*****, Blackwater Falls***** - Brian Azzarello



Brian Azzarello, creator of '100 Bullets' and writer of some of the best of Hellblazer has in Loveless created a fantastically violent and gritty adult western. It's a vicious tale of cruelty and revenge set in the American South after their loss tot he Confederacy in the Civil War.

It is quite hard to review this without giving away too many spoilers. Wes Cutter returns from the war, having fought for the losing side, to his home town of Blackwater. Blackwater has a unit of Confederate soldiers assigned to it who are feared and hated by the locals, Cutter on his surprising re-appearance (he was widely thought to have died in the war) is no more loved and the reasons for this form the base of Azzarello's powerful story.



In many places the story is multi layered, the shades of people in their youth appear alongside the characters living in the present and provide layers of dialogue that seem to interact with the living, and add meaning and history to the story being played out. This reaches a peak towards the end of 'Blackwater Falls' when the ghost of a character who may or may not be dead, appears to some of the living who can see and talk to him, and provides a series of threats and revelations.

Loveless is a great creation, the main characters of Wes and Ruth Cutter, the black slave turned soldier turned bounty hunter Atticus Mann and town boss Jeremiah Trotter are well crafted. The friction between the two Union commanders in the mostly honorable Silas Red and the cruel and evil Captain Lord is nicely played out.

Loveless looks at a major turning point in US history in its examination of the aftermath of the Civil War, it shines an uncomfortable light on the treatment of the black population in both the North and South, and demonstrates clearly how people are changed by the things that happen to them. This is shown most graphically in the story of Ruth Cutter, who we first meet as a loving and lustful young woman, strongly in love with her husband, and who becomes by the end of 'Blackwater Falls' vengeance personified with no chance of experiencing a normal, happy life again.

Sadly, the run of Loveless has been cancelled by Vertigo, so these three trade paperbacks are all we are going to get. Two thirds into book three the story could have been ended, a welter of blood brings the main story to a conclusion, but Azzarello was thinking beyond that and the final few stories tell the tales of those that escaped the final conflagration, his intention was to finish the story in the 1940's but now it looks like this is it. Still, the first three books are very good reading and do tell a complete story.

Excellent stuff, dark, gritty and unnerving and with a plotline that drags you forcibly through the story. It's a Western crossed with the bleakest film noir, where no action or mistake made is left unanswered, and whether a character lives or dies, they are never left unscathed.
Book Review : Into Thin Air - John Krakauer*****



Into Thin Air is Jon Krakauer's personal account of the disaster that befell a number of teams trying to reach the summit of Mount Everest in May 2006. Krakauer accompanied Rob Hall's Adventure Consultant's expedition as a journalist working for Outside magazine, he had considerable high level mountaineering experience, and counted himself well qualified to accompany the group and try to reach the summit.

8 climbers died that day in the worst single day disaster on the mountain.

I found Krakauer's account to be detailed and compelling at the same time, I had read Krakauer's investigation of the disappearance of Chris 'Alexander Supertramp' McCandless in 'Into The Wild' and enjoyed his writing style in that book. Into The Wild takes you from the very start of the expedition, to base camp and acclimatisation at the higher camps, and then through to the assault on the summit itself and the catastrophe that unfolded around it. This was literally a book I could not put down, and absolutely absorbing true life story.

Krakauer sets out what he believes to be causes of the Everest disaster, too many climbers on the mountain and the use of oxygen allowing weaker climbers to push themselves beyond their limits being two of his critiques. His original brief from Outside magazine was to also look into the increasing commercialisation of Everest, and to examine the phenomena of professional guides taking paying guests up into the death zone, this he does and comes to the not unexpected conclusion that some, but certainly not all, of the paying climbers should not have been attempting the mountain.

Some people just will not understand the lure of summiting Everest, I love hill walking, and I would love to do some of the world's longer hikes if I had the time, so I can appreciate the inner drive that kicks in after you have managed a smaller climb, you want to achieve more and more, get higher and higher, and eventually only Everest will do. Krakauer points out that it is partly this same drive that kills some climbers, some men and women will push themselves to the point of exhaustion to the reach the summit and will then be unable to manage the more difficult descent.

Krakauer is also not slow to recognise his own shortcomings on the mountain and his personal mistakes that may have led to the death of one of his own own team mates. There have been a number of rebuttals to Krakauer's novel published, climber Anatoli Boukreev felt that he came in for undue criticism in the book and others wrote to Outside magazine to put forward their own acounts of the tragedy, some of those can be found at Outside Online.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

China Flex Meets His Doom(sday)

I wake up to that lethargic, heavy limbed, 3 bottles of Quafe Ultra feeling that clone jumping always has on me. I'm in Tim Horton's station in Y-2ANO, front line of BoB's attempted territory grab.

To my surprise the nurse is injecting me with something, a moment later I'm clear headed and alert, super humanly alert, she's woken me up with a combat booster. Now that I'm functioning I can hear the klaxons sounding, as I run from the med-bay to the fast tubes leading to the ship docks there are flashing red lights on every corner. As I turn a corner I nearly run right into Monzoomic, a corpmate of mine flying with Aegis Evolution, we run on together and throw ourselves into the droptubes.

Spat out at the other end of the tube I ask Monz what's going on, realising that I'm late for the call up. There's something else going on as well, a dull rhythmic hammering that's as much fleet as heard.

"The fleets have all been pushed back to here China, the POS's are all taking a beating."

We arrive at the bulkhead door leading into the Aegis hangers, the door slides smoothly up and chaos greets us. Our ships are still floating above their launch tubes, but up in the hanger's ceiling fires rage and dozens of fire fighting hoverbots are trying to quell the flames.

Our leader, Amadeus Baal, stands calm amidst the destruction, his blue commander's uniform crisp and clean, I glance down at my own crumpled flight suit and note the wine and food stains from the revelries after a successful sortie last week. LtcSheppard is here as well, methodically checking off our ammunition supplies.

"Right lads, this is all we've got," says Ama. "Warlord is already out with the fleet, as you can see that station has taken considerable damage, the fitting stations are all crippled so you'll have to fly with whatever you have fitted right now. The fleet are going to try and clear the reds from outside the station and create a launch window for us, let's go."

I'm nervous now, even as the warm, slick cocoon of my pod wraps around me and my mind meshes with that of my ship's AI, Smoke And Mirrors greets me in his idiosyncratic travelling showman's style.

-Step right up China, today we have over two hundred friendly ships waiting in fleet for you.-

"Great," I disconnect the docking clamps and the ship seems to fall into the launch tube, rings of accelerators grab the ship and pull it forwards, the end of the tube nears, we fly past and into open space. More chaos.

A dozen or so enemy ships are waiting outside trying to shoot down ships as they launch from the station, but our main fleet has arrived as well and a huge firefight has erupted, beam lasers and cruise missiles flash past, there are explosions everywhere. Thousands of civilians live and work on board Tim Hortons, they must be terrified, the outside of the station has taken a dreadful pounding, huge explosion craters scar its thick armour and reveal docks and interior spaces. There are clouds of debris floating around, and although I try not to notice, I can see a number of corpses with the tell tale red facial foam that denoted death by explosive decompression.

"Rally point RR, rally point RR," that was the Fleet Commander, everyone that has survived the launch turns to align their ships towards the pre-selected point and warps away.

In fleet I feel a tiny bit safer, my stealth bomber looks insignificant when compared to the carriers, battleships and dreadnaughts that swarm around me. I fly off to one side of the fleet and cloak up, aligning the ship towards a second safe spot and wait.

The waiting doesn't last long, the enemy fleet jump into contact range, their fleet is even larger than ours and contains every type of ship, electronic attack ships swarm at the fringes supported by assault craft, support vessels, battleships, interceptors and interdictors. Their own fleet, like ours, will contain a number of cloaked covert ops vessels and stealth bombers.

Orders come through, I warp to another point some distance from the fleet with a group of ships and we cloak up ready to ambush. In the main fleet engagement the lines of lasers and the silent fast moving globes of pulse weapon fire reach our from fleet to fleet, thousands of missiles are burning their way across the void and in response thousands of defender missiles are launched to knock down the incoming weapons.

Then, the enemy fleet seems to ripple, and two vast shapes emerge in their midst. Titans, the largest war vessels ever created by mankind, the ultimate in killing technology. My bomber would look like a fly on an elephant when compared to one of these leviathans.



A point of light spreads out from and engulfs the titans and the enemy fleet, for a second I don't know what I am seeing, but then the panicked shouting comes over the comms.

"Doomsday."

Oh Lord, we're in real trouble now. The globe of light expands and the enemy fleet vanishes within it,their shields are all pre-tuned to its frequencies and it washes over them harmlessly.

When the light wave touches the front of our fleet it is like the angry breath of God. The smaller ships touched just explode, our outlying frigates, cruisers and cov ops are swept away as if they had never existed. The larger ships take fearful damage, one or two explode, but most are left burning and spinning. Huge capitol ships are pushed aside like leaves and smashed into each other, tumbling and burning.
All the time the enemy continue to pour fire onto us, some of our ships have stopped firing back having switched all their power to repair systems in a desperate attempt to say alive.

Then, almost unbelievably, the second Titan drops its own doomsday device, and a second wall of light rushes at our fleet. This time the damage is almost total, on my scanner the number of fleet ships drops from over two hundred to less than fifty, in the blink of an eye our fleet, and our power base in this system, has been swept away. Only a handful of ships remain in the main fleet, a few super capitols and battleships that now have the concentrated fire of a massive enemy fleet directed against them, and one by one, they too are killed.

The survivors are now in trouble, there are two groups hundreds of kilometres apart, we warp away as fast enemy ships try to reach us and a chilling game of cat and mouse begins. The main station is swarming with enemy ships, as are the gates leading out of the system, we have some POS's in Y-2 but they have also taken a huge battering and are unlikely to last more than a few hours.

The surviving commanders take stock and look at their options, hold tight comes the order, make it to a POS if you can, and then wait. So we wait, the hours stretch out, I try to read for a while, and watch some recorded tv shows, but I can't really concentrate on anything, I'm coming down from the combat boosters and it's making me twitchy and aggravated. There are hundreds of reds in system, and less than fifty blues, we cannot fight, so we wait.



Hours later the reds start to leave en masse, first a trickle, then by dozens. It seems that a large friendly fleet is attacking enemy bases in another system and the reds are flying off to support their own.

"Break out now, clear the warp bubbles from the station and let's get our guys out."

We attack, the enemy ships run from the station and we free another twenty or so ships, but with the fitting stations demolished, some of these guys have no weapons or microwarpdrives fitted. We make dash for the gate and everyone pours fire against the warp bubble that is preventing the gate from functioning.

Somewhere along the line Smoke & Mirrors has taken a hit, and we drop out of warp 20k from the gate just in time to see the last of our ships warping through it, I engage the cloak as a pack of reds arrives, if they put up another bubble now I'm dead. If a ship or drone gets within 2k of me and knocks down my cloak with interference from its drives then I'm dead. Slowly, slowly we approach the gate, drop the cloak and engage the warp, I'm through, run away.

Most of Aegis survived the battle, our leader Ama got caught outside the POS force field and had his ship shot from around him, but he got away. Behind us though, the fleet has been destroyed, and rather than expanding our power base here, it looks like we may lose the toehold we had fought so hard to maintain.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How The Government Is Spending Our Money
(And what the unions are doing with your money)

Is there anyone who does not think that the decision to award Northern Rock staff a bonus is wrong headed and ill thought out ?

The reasoning behind the bonus is that the "staff met targets on repaying the bank's £26bn loan from the government." I'm sorry, but ever since I first took out a mortgage I have never once been behind in my repayments, and in the past few years I have even managed to make a modest extra payment each year, and for this consistent level of prudence and good money management how much do you think the bank gave me as a cash reward ? Nothing, not a penny, zilch.

Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: "Unite members and staff at the bank have worked exceptionally hard in extremely difficult circumstances." But so are we all mate, the fact is though that your members are only in a job because of a huge financial bail out with public money, and to give a further bonus to your members, or more public money, will rather stick in the craw of the tens of thousands of folk whose jobs have not been saved by Government intervention.

Unite Union chief Derek Simpson has been made to feel mildly uncomfortable himself after it was revealed last week that his renumeration package includes a house for life paid for from the subs of union members as part of his £194,000 annual deal.

"Internal papers show that Mr Simpson demanded that the union cover his tax bill for his home "to make it affordable". The perk was worth almost £40,000 in 2007, boosting to £194,252 the total value of the general secretary's remuneration." - from the Daily Telegraph. I wonder how many of Mr Simpson's members earn as much in a year as his housing perk is worth, not many I'll bet.

Mr Simpson's package was improved by 17% last year, and I can only assume that the thousands of members of his union that have been thrown out of work in the past few weeks (and those still employed) are delighted that the subs deducted from their pay packets each week have gone to fund his lavish lifestyle which apparently includes "taking helicopters to the Glastonbury festival" (The Times). Helicopters ? Well, when you're earning as much as the fat cats you used to complain about, you don't want to be rubbing shoulders with the working class on public transport any more do you ?
"Wharfe is clear and in the Aire lithe,
Where Aire drowns one, Wharfe drowns five."

Traditional Yorkshire cautionary couplet.
"If you feel down and you put on a tiara or a cute sparkly headband it like totally brightens up your day" - Paris Hilton

However, I rather suspect it will make me look a right pillock, later, Paris talks about third world debt...."There are three worlds ? Gosh, I must have skipped that geography class...."
Album Review : 11 Dots - Various Artists***



11 Dots showcases the talents, or lack of, of 11 eMusic employees.

Eastern European Girls - Letters Lost***
A fairly standard light rocker, it's ok.
Letters Lost MySpace

Let Me Show You - Johnny Marnell***
Nice voice, but the song is just a little bland, poppy AOR/MOR semi-ballad with light guitar work.
Johnny Marnell MySpace

Dangle Tangle - Kotorino****
Weird tango rythm with some spaghetti western inspired horns, very odd, I like it a lot.
Kotorino MySpace

Completely Incomplete - Verystereo****
Another indie tinged semi-ballad, he's got a good voice and the song is nicely put together, I think this is a 'radio friendly unit shifter' sort of song.
There is a MySpace page tagged Verystereo, but I'm not convinced it's the same artist.

Remedy - Diablo Royale***
Good crunchy hard rock, but perhaps rather too similar to Audioslave, but technically good if a little lacking in soul.
Diablo Royale

Corpus Christie - Assembly Of Dust****
It sounds a little like a throwback to light 70's folk rock (Crosby Stills etc), actually it sounds a lot like that, but it's nicely sung. AOD have thre full albums available from eMusic.
Assembly Of Dust MySpace

Repeat Transmission - nonplusx*
A collection of almost random electronic beeps over a faint keyboard line does not make a song.
nonplusx MySpace

Who Am I Supposed To Be - Denise Yantin**
Yantin seems to be slightly lacking in range, and it's the sort of, yet again, rockish balladish thing you've heard a million times before, Alanis Morisette sems to have been an influence.
Denise Yantin MySpace

Mother Heart - Vulgaras***
Very slow goth/stoner rock, they look like Mr. Manson's backing band. They have two albums, only one of which you can get fromeMusic, how odd.
Vulgaras

Helsinki - Keith Patchel*
More electronic crap, it's not a song, or a good piece of music.

Messages - Goodbye Picasso**
Light indie/folk/rock, but just too sparse for my taste.
Goodbye Picasso

This is a free sampler album (free to subscribers only though I would think) from eMusic.com
Bok Review : For Crying Out Loud - Jeremy Clarkson***



I quite enjoyed Clarkson's earlier compilations, he is funny and clever, quite able to be devil's advocate to raise a smile, but.....

In this volume however I find his constant outpourings of hatred and distaste for the poor, the disadvantaged, immigrants and environmentalists to be tired and to a degree, repugnant. Clarkson's flirtations with racism in his 'blame it all on the immigrants' diatribes are not pleasant reading, and although his earlier columns when he declared his Canute like resistance to the rising tide of environmental awareness were amusing, his constant determination that there is no global warming and his active opposition to the same just seems petty and pointless.

Still, in other rants against political correctness, health and safety, the anti fun lobby in general, he is still very funny and acerbic.
A rugby league fan is drinking in a Yorkshire bar, when he gets a call on his mobile phone. He hangs up, grinning from ear to ear, and orders a round of drinks for everybody in the bar, announcing his wife has just given birth to a typical Yorkshire baby boy weighing 25 pounds.

Nobody can believe that any new baby can weigh in at 25 pounds, but the rugby fan just shrugs and replies, 'That's about average in Yorkshire...like I said, my boy's a typical Yorkshire baby boy. Gonna be a rugby league player.

Congratulations showered him from all around, amid many exclamations of 'WOW!' One woman actually fainted due to sympathy pains.

Two weeks later, he returns to the bar. The bartender says, 'Say, aren't you the father of that typical Yorkshire baby that weighed 25 pounds at birth? Everybody's been making bets about how big he'd be in two weeks. So, how much does he weigh now?'

The proud father answers, 'Twenty pounds.'

The bartender is puzzled, concerned and a little suspicious. 'What happened? He already weighed 25 pounds the day he was born!'

The Yorkshire-man takes a slow swig of his Samuel Smith's, wipes his lips on his shirt sleeve, leans into the bartender and proudly says, 'Had him circumcised...'

(Thanks to MR)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nan-don'ts

We popped into Nando's today for a bite to eat, what a strange set up this chain restaurant is.

Firstly, you have to join a queue at the till and place your own order for which you have to pre-pay (obviously the normal Nando's customer is prone to doing a runner without paying), I can barely remember what me and the missus wanted, for a table of four I'd have no chance, if we came out as a larger table I'd have to order one of everything on the menu and hope that people could find something they liked when it arrived.

You have to fetch your own soft drinks, your own condiments, serviettes and cutlery, and to be honest about the state of the eating irons, you have your clean your own knife and fork before you want to get them anywhere near your mouth.

Drinks are an exorbitant cost, I had a bottle of some very average lager, Super Bock I believe, which cost £2.95 for a poxy just over half pint bottle. Three quid for half a pint of factory made lager ! That's really shocking.

On the way there is a box marked "staff tips", I'm sorry, but I usually tip well when I receive good service, but at Nando's I appear to have done most of the jobs that I normally give a top for.

I'm sure they are working on ways to make the "Nando's Grill Your Own Food" and "The Nando's Dishwashing Experience" all part of the fun.

The food isn't bad, but all that service cost cutting doesn't seem to reduce the cost of the food, a cheap to produce platter of olives-humous-pitta starter, a grilled chicken breast in pitta, a half grilled chicken and chips, a soft drink, two lagers, no change from £35.


It's a Watchmen viral, and the latest Watchmen news.....they are not going to do the book's main plot as the ending of the film, I knew they'd just dumb it down, for fuck's sake Hollywood, there are some people out here who are quite capable of understanding morally complex plots and sub-plots, please stop making every film as dumb as, well, Dumb And Dumber.
Walking Wuthering Heights

Top Withins farm is reputed to be the setting for Wuthering Heights, if not the model for the actual building itself.



Lower Laithe reservoir, it does seem to me that all the things our recent ancestors built were beautiful as well as performing their intended job, so much public works structures now seem to be just bland and functional.



Enclosures on the North side of Stanbury.



Sheep feeding.



On the Bronte Way, the signs are bi-lingual, English and Japanese ? I didn't see any Japanese literature fans hiking up the moor today.

There are clear paths all the way up to Top Withins, but today they are all frozen solid, its one sheer sheet of ice from Stanbury almost all the way to the top and impossible to get a grip on. I walked off the path all the way up which made a simple morning's walk into a much harder slog, the snow near Top Withins was up to mid thigh height in places.

There is a little stone bridge called, surprise surpise, Bronte Bridge, but that was covered in a slab of ice as well and I didn't fancy it so had to ford the stream a bit further up.



Two weeks ago I was slogging across fog bound Rombald's Moor when the horizon was five yards away, today the weather was cold and crisp and clear and the views were stunning. This is the view up to Top Withins.



And this is looking back down South Dean Beck towards Lower Laithe.



The ruins of Top Withins farmhouse, you would have to have been a hardy soul to be a hill farmer up here.





There were quite a few people up at the farmhouse and they all seemed to be walking on the Pennine Way, I like to walk solo a lot of the time so I pressed on up Delf Hill in knee high snow, no-one else had been up the path here. I soon lost the path when snow drifts became thigh to hip deep, but ploughed on anyway until I found the trig point. this was a challenging bit of hiking and I'm paying for it with a sore knee this morning.



Then it's a slippery walk back down the icy paths to Ponden Reservoir.



Ponden Mill used to be a large soft furnishings shop with a restaurant, but has been closed and empty for some time now.



Lunch, a pint of Black Sheep bitter, pork steak on sweet apple mash with bacon, leeks and creamy pepper sauce, very nice indeed.
A Primary Teacher explains to her class that she is a Liverpool fan.

She asks her students to raise their hands if they too are Liverpool fans.

Everyone in the class raises their hand except one little girl.

The teacher looks at the girl with surprise and says, 'Mary, why didn't you raise your hand?'

'Because I'm not a Liverpool fan,' she replied.

The teacher, still shocked, asked, 'Well, if you are not a Liverpool fan, then who are you a fan of?'

'I am a Man Utd fan, and proud of it,' Mary replied..

The teacher could not believe her ears. 'Mary, why, pray tell, are you a Man Utd fan?'

'Because my mum is a Man Utd fan, and my dad is a Man Utd fan, so I'm a Man Utd fan too!'

'Well,' said the teacher in an obviously annoyed tone, 'that is no reason for you to be a Man Utd fan.

You don't have to be just like your parents all of the time…

What if your mum was a prostitute and your dad was a drug addict, what would you be then?'

'Then,' Mary smiled, 'I'd be a Liverpool fan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vanilla Radio

"Turn the radio down
Turn the radio down, down
Vanilla Radio

Down with the music go round
Down with the music go round, now
Where's my Elvis?

All that the kids will allow
All that the kids will allow now
Vanilla Radio" - Vanilla Radio, The Wildhearts


A selection of music that my staff complain about when I 'inflict' it upon them....

Extreme metal/hardcore punk - alright, I can understand this, I hardly listen to any black or death metal, but the fast and furious sounds of The Dead Kennedys, Arch Enemy, Slayer and The Exploited are not for everyone.

Long songs - it would appear that teenage ears have become so brainwashed by three minute radio friendly edits that anything over that length gets them bored and twitchy, so that's goodbye to the vast majority of rock music and obviously every prog song ever written, no Grendel, no Freebird, no Stargazer, no Brighton Rock.

Classical music - the most common comment whenever I play classical music in the kitchen is "this sounds like we're in church", this blanket complaint is used to cover every composer from Handle to Wagner and I am baffled by it, when have any of my staff ever been to church ?

Solo's - kids just are not interested in great musicians, whether that's Mike Portney or Neil Peart doing something astonishing on the drum kit, or Brian May/Jimmy Page doing things to guitars that no mere human should be able to do, the kids don't care, and of course a solo is bound to take the song over the three minute limit.

Blues - blues gives them the blues, everyone from John Lee Hooker to Seasick Steve are roundly reviled.

Songs by an artist they might like, but which were not a hit - I tend to listen to albums, so sometimes one of the kids will bring some music in, I'll be interested and then I track down an album by that artist and play it,then it turns out that they only really like the hit single (3 minute radio friendly edit of course).

Songs in another language - well, that's all opera gone, plus all my French reggae like Tiken Jah Fakoly and Alpha Blondy, Johnny Depp's girlfriend Vanessa Paradis gets the boot, and we can remove Rammstein from the listening list.

Songs that they get politically correct about for all the wrong reasons - Woman Is The Nigger Of The World by John Lennon raises ill educated hackles, and Spasticus Autisticus by Ian Dury & The Blockheads gets the musically unaware all upset.

So what does that leave us with......identibeat pop songs and anyone who has been on the last two series of X-Factor ? Bugger that, I'm the boss, we're listening to Motorhead today :-)
Barack Obama



Just for once, could a politician please live up to his own rhetoric, please.
Birstall for ringers,
Heckmondwike for singers,
Dewsbury for peddlars,
Cleckheaton for sheddlars.

(19th century couplet)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's only 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Weezer - Pork and Beens (and Memes and memes)

Weezer shoehorn every interwebnet meme they can think of into their new video, badger badger, all your base belong to us, techno viking, mentos coke, I like turtles etc.

Up-Helly-Aa



Now doesn't that look like a whole lot of fun ?!
Heavy Metal Band Name Graph Thingy

Clicky

Well that reads pretty much like my music library, but wasn't Motley Cru spelled with an 'e' on the end, sorry, can't add umlauts as I have no idea where they are on my keyboard.

Ha ha ha, there's a band called Satan's Blind Date ? Or did the artist just make that one up ?
"Beautiful Swaledale, the land of rest,
beautiful Swaledale, I love thee the best,
the land is set in a cultivate style,
the extension of Swaledale is twenty long mile"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Farewell Tony Hart



(pic by Ms Morbo at B3ta)

Those of us aged around 40 are feeling that a generation of people who helped shape our childhood and teenage years are leaving us. Oliver Postgate, Tony Hart, John Peel, Tommy Vance, Alan Freeman, Gary Gygax, Arthur C Clarke, Gene Roddenberry.....

I feel a tremendous warmth for the television programmes I watched as a child, Ivor The Engine, Bagpuss, Vision On, Take Hart, Roobarb And Custard, Noggin The Nog, Take Hart, Camberwick Green, Crackerjack, Magpie, Blue Peter, Michael Bentine's Potty Time (oh I loved that show), How, Why Don't You, Trumpton, Chigley.

When I catch a glimpse of some of the glitzy animation that seems prevalent in children's television now, I can't imagine that today's kids will feel the same sense of warm and fuzzy nostalgia for some of the corporate toy selling half hour adverts that masquerade as appropriate children's programming.

Programmes like Take Hart were wonderful, innocent fun, making art from nothing, the overwhelming excitement, and often crushing disappointment if it was not featured, when you had sent in a picture for the gallery.

Thanks Tony, farewell.
Folk Songs Of Yorkshire

Yorkshire Garland Folk Songs

The sound quality is rather variable, there are around 90 Yorkshire songs to listen to/download from the site.
The Yorkshire Commandment

See all, hear all, say nowt,
Eat all, sup all, pay nowt,
And if tha ivver does owt for nowt,
Do it for thissen.
Where Is David Cameron ?

Yes, it's the political conundrum that almost nobody wants answered, what has happened to diddy David Cameron ? Only six months ago Cameron, age 23, was the young and thrusting leader of the newly rejuvenated Conservative party and looked a dead cert to become the next PM. But then the arse fell out of the world's financial system and little David, age 16, vanished with it.



David, age 11, is shown here with boozy uncle Boris at a Tory family party.

If you know where David Cameron is, please write to.......

Conservative Central Office,
OhGodOhGodOhGodit'ssounfair,
ThismessisactuallymakingGordonlookcapable,
Anotherelectionlost,
London

Friday, January 16, 2009

"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."
George Bush, Washington DC, 12 May, 2008
This Month's Emusic Downloads

Anthrax - The Greater Of Two Evils
Hammerfall - Threshold
Helloween - Mrs. God (ep)
Kamelot - The Black Halo
Lee Scratch Perry - TechnoMajikal
Manning - A Matter Of Life And Death
Saxon - The Inner Sanctum
Voivod - Negatron

Plus, I had a look a look through the free section available to subscribers and picked up sampler albums from Dionysus Records, Mint Records, Simulacra Records, Upper Class Recordings and White Whale Records and two live sessions (also free to subscribers) from Gore Gore Girls and Ha Ha Tonka.

The subscription package I bought at emusic cost £143.90 for a year, for which I get 75 downloads a month, each track therefore costs just 16 pence. Emusic deals mostly with independant record labels so it's perfect if your taste in music is weird/eclectic, but less good if your taste if fairly mainstream.

Emusic.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Is Me....

...in another four decades....
Those Leeds United January Transfers In Full

Injury List as of 15/01/09

Julian Beckford, 2-4 weeks, hamstring
Frazer Richardson, 1-2 months, broken rib
Enoch Showumni, 4 months ? Blood clot on lung
Mansouir Assouimiaaniai, left off team sheet - too hard to pronounce

Transfers Out
None, although we will sell Delph to Scumchester on the last day of the transfer window

Transfers In
Lee Trundle, free, 35 year old Trundle has had a mildly successful season with Bristol City, he appeared in Saturday's game after a two match not losing streak and instantly showed his class as Leeds lost 2-0 to Cardiff, well done Lee.

Karl Dickerson, free, 57 year old Dickerson published his autobiography "Always a player, never a winner" last year in which he fondly remembered his days with non league Hamwich Town, non league Affteron and non league Oven Ready Tesco Chicken £2.99 This Weekend Only (controversial name change from Upper Popplington FC in 1997 to avoid bankruptcy proceedings). He said that he was surprised to have been signed by LUFC, but would help out wherever he could, considering his current wheelchair bound status this may be making tea in the directors board room.

Peter Andre, free, 36 year old Andre said yesterday "Yeah I love doing these reality shows, so what's this one ? Big Brother LUFC House ? Well I'll give it a go, it'll be a laugh."

Some Leeds United fans over the age of 40 can still remember when we had a team that could actually kick a ball into a net, or in Gary Sprake's case, our own net.
Sea Kittens ? Land Fish !



Mmmm, tasty, a nice lightly grilled kitten burger washed down with a nice mug of hot kitten.



Hang on, the phone's ringing....

"Hello Yorkshiresoul mansions, who ? PETA ? You're gong to pour WHAT through my letterbox ?"
George Bush Eats Kittens



Ha ha, he may not be such a fool after all.
What Am I Really Frightened Of ?

(Firstly, don't panic, it's alright.)

Cancer as it turns out. As advised, I check my testicles every so often, in the shower, when I'm nice and relaxed, and to be honest gently fondling your own soapy testicles isn't a bad way to spend a few minutes. Everything seemed to be going fine, number one - all present and correct, number two - everything fine, number three, bugger.

Now two is the generally accepted number of testicles, the appearance of a third spheroid in the scrotum is a cause of some worry, it's smaller and not as tender as as the other two, but I have no idea what this means. It turns out that there is no surer way to really ruin a nice relaxing shower than finding out that you have an unexplained lump in your scrotum.

Ten minutes later I am on the telephone to my doctor, and I can tell you I have never been quite so glad to be the age I am. "You're probably too old to be getting testicular cancer," said the doctor. That was quire reassuring, but the use of the word probably left open enough doubt to have me in a state of some worry before going to see a doctor this morning.

This morning I had managed to work myself into a state of some considerable worry about the whole thing despite what the doctor had told me over the phone and so presented myself at the surgery in a rather distracted and agitated manner. So distracted that I actually misheard the intercom and walked into the wrong consulting room, oops.

God bless the NHS though, in moments a man I had never met before had me naked from the waist down and was gently manipulating my bollocks, Boy George pays good money to have this sort of thing done to him you know. The doctor was able to calm me down and said that what I have is an epididymal cyst....."They may contain serous fluid or sperms. Most epididymal cysts do not cause pain but men can be alarmed on finding them and reassurance may be required"...no kidding!

Anyway, that's what I've got, and as long as it doesn't increase in size suddenly, become painful or do anything unexpected like becoming the new member of Take That I have nothing really to worry about. Which is a good thing really, because you never really want a man with a sharp blade anywhere near your nuts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
George Bush - Saginaw, Michigan, 29 September, 2000

The previous post just reminded me of this classic Bushism.
Kitten And Chips ?

Save a Sea Kitten: Eat Veggie Sushi

With a portion of curry sauce please, yes it's everyones favourite vegan nutjobs PETA with a barking mad new advertising campaign. Really, is that at all likely to make you stop eating fish ? It is obviously aimed at children, and it is a pretty sad way of trying to get their point across.

KIttens of the sea, I'd eat them, and if they were lightly grilled and served with some vegetables, I'd eat real kittens as well. Right, time for breakfast.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Barack Obama Speaks Out Over Israeli Attacks



Sorry mate, could you speak a little louder, we didn't catch that at the back.
Big Phil Calls For Unity At Chelsea

Some said the club couldn't make it with a foreign manager, and yesterday Britain FC were sinking fast in the league after a weekend hammering by Job Losses United, but the club's plucky manager, 'Big' Gordy Brown came out swinging in his own particular style.

"Oh yes," he said in his heavily accented English. "We plan to spend £20billion in the January transfer window to bring in some big names to the club like Bank Lending and Small Business Cash Flow. I've watched Cash Flow performing for Germany FC and he's just the sort of player we need."

Cash Flow's agents were not available for comment today and a source close to Germany FC said they had no plans to sell him.

Some football critics have blamed US soccer manager George W Bush for the current world football crisis saying that if it wasn't for his lack of control over US players Fannie Mack and Freddie Mercury, then we wouldn't all be up to our necks in shit in the first place.
"For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."
George Bush - Tokyo, 18 February, 2002
Man Buys Hot Dog

In a widely reported non news story in the UK and American media this week, a man with a new job bought a hot dog from a hot dog seller.

Really ?

Is it a slow news week at the BBC ? Should Israel kill a few more Palestinians and make your job more interesting ?

From BBC site......"US President-elect Barack Obama surprised fellow diners in Washington when he dropped in for lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl, a famous fast food restaurant.

Mr Obama ordered the house specialty, a chili half-smoke sausage, but in all the excitement somebody forgot to put cheese on his hotdog."

Oh no, they forgot the cheese, well that's ok, as President he can send the marines in to level the place and secure the cheese. Unless the cheese eating surrender monkeys stole it all.
Man Calls Other Man Raghead

In a non news story reported widely across the UK media this a trained fighting man called one of his fellow soldiers a raghead and/or a paki. The man, who had volunteered to fight for his country and face the risk of wounding, mutilation, permanent injury or even death, is now being hounded by sections of the UK's lunchtime o'booze news writers.

Overseas readers may be confused as to why it is alright to refer to the French as 'cheese eating surrender monkeys', the Scots as 'tight arsed ginger mingers' and the Yanks as 'twenty stone lycra clad warmongering fascist's' but we get all upset when a man makes a mildly racist comment about another man, both of whom were good friends and willing to fight for Queen, George Bush and country.

Well, so are we.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Otley Town 6 Wheatley AFC 1

11 January 2009

With no match practice the previous week due to a frozen pitch, Wheatley AFC travelled to rivals Otley Town for what promised to be an entertaining derby match.

The blustery conditions were always going to prove tricky, but the game was played in admirable spirits and referee Tony Brown must be commended for arbitrating some free-flowing football. All too often officials bear the brunt of criticism. Neither side could have any grievances; Mr Brown was mostly spot on throughout the match.

Wheatley goalkeeper Andy Rhodes started brightly, parrying a low shot to his right after a clinical Otley build-up down the right flank. This installed some confidence in the Wheatley defence and was all the more remarkable since Rhodes made the save without gloves.

Wearing bright orange in the same vein as Holland, Otley turned on the style in a bid to play “total football”. Short, crisp passes were the order of the day. The home team was awarded two free kicks on the edge of the penalty area in successive minutes. The first was charged down by the gutsy Wheatley defenders; the second headed inches over the bar. It was all Otley now but Wheatley managed to endure the onslaught.

Wheatley skipper Andy Hibbert then played in midfielder Danny Bott with a sweeping long range pass. Bott’s shot clattered into the side-netting, but at least it was an attack with intent.

Otley were increasingly looking like to take the lead, so when Wheatley striker Rory Kroon opened the scoring after 25 minutes, it left the home bench bewildered. Kroon was put in on goal by a superb pass down the left wing by Al Hey. Keeping a calm head, the striker nicknamed K-Dog dinked across goal and slotted his shot in at the bottom left corner.

Although jubilant, Wheatley manager Mark Powell must have been wary. Wheatley have been guilty of late of conceding straight after scoring. The trend did not lie.

Otley opened their account two minutes later with a terrific shot by Richard Sharpe. He gave himself time to pick his spot and Rhodes could do nothing but watch the ball sail into the top left corner.

Otley deserved their goal, and were now starting to dictate proceedings. However, contrary to their dominance, it was Wheatley who should have gone 2-1 up. Young striker Danny Knight put Kroon in one-on-one with the Otley keeper. Both teams held their breath as the keeper went to ground, the ball falling to Kroon six yards in front of an open goal. Kroon tried to hit the back of the net with a powerful thump but only succeeded in hitting a Vauxhall Corsa in the busy car park.

A Wheatley lead would have been hard for Otley to take. Kroon’s open goal howler sparked a call to arms in the Otley ranks. Rhodes pulled off a fine save on 40 minutes and left back Dave Healy worked overtime to thwart waves of Otley attacks. 1-1 at half-time told only half the story.

Otley stepped up a gear in the second half. Danny Royston’s 55th minute shot was hit with venom, comfortably beating Rhodes at his near post. The home team was now eager to make it three, which they did courtesy of a Scott Firth free kick on 60 minutes. No one could dispute the Wheatley efforts but it was looking more and more likely that Otley would increase their two goal lead.

A golden opportunity to do exactly that was handed to them on a plate. Robust Wheatley defender Johnny Turnbull lunged earnestly in the box but the ball was nowhere to be seen. Penalty to Otley. The ball was again nowhere to be seen as it flew high over the bar from the penalty spot. A chance wasted by the home side from an effort more commonly seen half a mile up the road at Otley Rugby Club.

Nevertheless, Otley were fired up for the last twenty minutes. Danny Royston bagged his second of the day with a coolly placed shot, and followed this up five minutes later with his hat-trick from a feeble goal clearance by Rhodes. 5-1 to Otley with ten minutes left to play.

It would have been understandable had Wheatley thrown in the towel, but this is not in their nature. Midfield duo Andy Wheeler and Chris Quaife never gave up, and Richard Arundel made a triumphant return to the side at right-back.

Sam Dexter piled on the Wheatley misery with a rasping shot in the dying minutes. 6-1 may have flattered Otley Town, but there was no denying who were the better team. To add to Rhodes’s woes, referee Mr Brown labelled the young keeper “uncouth”. This will surely rally the troops for next week’s fixture.

Compliments go to all players for a keenly contested match, and to loyal supporter John Wood for providing goalkeeping gloves to Rhodes in the 20th minute.

Wheatley AFC travel to Angel FC next week hungry for victory. Manager Powell has hinted a return to the side in a bid to restore the side’s winning ways. There is indeed plenty to play for in 2009.

(Match report by guest contributor Lager)
Thieving Bloody Canadians !

Apparently my credit card had another month's holiday after we came home, had some dinners out, got its nails done, filled the car with gas, bought some nice clothes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lars Is Sueing Them For Royalties As We Listen

Yes, sorry, I'm just stealing the whole content of this week's b3ta newsletter.

Crack Their Tiny Skulls With A Hammer

What do you mean I spend too much time trawling the interwebnet ?

Fair Listen 5

Oh dear, I am failing badly at this. When I started my listening project I already had 1734 artists in my Scrobbler library, and I was going to convert all the single listens into at least an album's worth of songs heard, but only a few weeks into the year and I now have 1779 artists listed, so that's at least 45 albums worth of new music to hear in addition to all the singles I had in the library to begin with.

I have also downloaded some free sampler albums from Emusic, so that's likely to add another 30 or so new artists to my library in the next couple of weeks, and from a closer examination of my library, two thirds of the artists have less than ten listens to their name, lots of music to get through then.

Have I discovered any hidden gems so far in the deepest recesses of my Scrobbler list ?

Mediaevil Baebes - With their mix of traditional and "new" baroque classical and beautiful vocal arrangements, I could listen to a lot of their music.

Fleet Foxes - I got their debut album on sale for a fiver at HMV, it's a sort of lightweight pop folk with classical hints, very lovely music.

Angtoria - a UK/Swedish symphonic metal band whom I think I've mentioned before.

And a few acts who, surprisingly, I have hardly listened to since joining Scrobbler, Slade, Kiss, UFO, Molly Hatchett, Ash, Sabbat, Jimmy Cliff.

Yorkshiresoul Scrobbles
Album Releases 2009

The Widlhearts
The Wildhearts posted a message on Facebook before Christmas to say that they would be back in the studion early in the new year to record a new studio album, well let's hope it is a proper album and not just another set of cover versions. There was also rumour of a full UK tour in March/April, but no further details have appeared yet.

My Chemical Romance
The kings of emo are now writing material for a follow up to 2006's The Black Parade, but, recording time hasn't been booked and there isn't even a whiff of a release date.

Muse
Muse have said "it would be nice to have the album out in the second half of 2009", but that's hardly a definate statement of intent. Rumour says that the 5th Muse studio album might well leap off in a different musical direction, with a 3 part symphony being touted as a possible idea.

Rancid
The 7th studio album from the Clash inspired US punks should have been released last year, by all accounts it has been written, recorded and remixed, but not released, why ? The band will not say.

Green Day
The album American Idiot propelled Green Day to rock superstardom in 2004, a new album is schduled to be released in April this year, why so long ? Cue some guff from Billiie Jo "I'm trying to allow more time for things to incubate...for the process to happen naturally without trying to force it..." What are you doing man, recording an album or pottering about in your greenhouse ?

Mastodon
Hurrah, an organised metal outfit, new album Crack The Skye has a release date of March 9th, get ready for some woaaaargh ! Mastodon are out on the road for a mainland European tour with Metallica in June/July.

Rammstein
"The first part of the recordings was finished on December 21st, 2008 after 7 weeks of intensive work. Drums, guitars, and bass, as well as most of the vocal tracks, have now been recorded. Musicians and producers have bid their adieux for the holidays. And so, until the next chapter, we wish everyone involved – and all the Rammstein fans out there! – a very Merry Christmas and a long and lively New Year."
The as yet untitled 6th album from the German industrialists in due for an Autumn 2009 release.


Other bands of interest planning releases in 2009.....Anthrax, Biffy Clyro, Within Temptation, Arch Enemy, Gallows, Slayer, Lostprophets, Enter Shikari, The Prodigy, Fightstar.
Credit Crunch Ilkley

So how is posh, wealthy Ilkley coping with the recession so far ? Not that well at all if you judge it by the amount of empty shops and restaurants around town.



A view common in another 814 high streets across the country, Woolworths has gone for good.



Further down Brook Street, Jag stands empty, I don't think I had ever been into this shop, looks like it was a mobile phone place.



Rockey Valley Deli had come to the end of their current lease in mid November, a real shame, I loved their pates. Sarah is still doing outside catering (according to the notice on the door) and can be contacted on 01943 431822, 0794 0853196. The next shop along is standing empty as well.



Half of the inside part of the Moors Centre is currently unoccupied.



Closing down sale at the rear of the Grove.



The Grove restaurant didn't last all that long, and has now stood empty for ages. There was a plan to re-open it as a bar/cafe, but that got kicked into touch by local residents.



Opposite The Grove almost, I don't recall what this empty shop was.



Cafe Bar 52 has joined the list of short lived businesses at this below ground level location.

I think there are a couple more shops (the computer place is one) empty on the Leeds Road parade as well. What does concern me is Ilkley might get more charity shops taking the place of money generating, wage paying businesses, we need proper, succesful shops in the centre of town, not more posh second hand shops staffed largely by volunteers.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Walking - Home Beat



You Sir/Madam, are a twunt, I don't know anything else about you except that you are a littering twunt, there is a dissapointing amount of litter on the moor at the moment, especially up at Whetstone Gate where chavscum can drive up and distribute their McDonalds wrappers and coke cans around the landscape.

Bloody idiot, who on earth takes an umbrella to go hiking ? You're an idiot of staggering proportions, and then when the bloody thing blows inside out you've just dumped it ?! Scum.

This is my moor, stay the hell away. I know this might go against all the stuff I write about the Dales, but really, if you're a littering scutter, or an off road motorbiker or 4 wheel driver, then just bugger off, it's my moor and I don't want you on it. If, on the other hand, you're a decent person who takes nothing but pictures and leaves nothing but footprints, then feel free to wander around.



The Dalesway Link heading up the moor from White Wells, it's a cold and dank day, but there were quite a few folk up on the moor, hikers, dog walkers, the odd runner.



The Lanshaw Lad stone, with my crappy hiking pole that collapsed when I first put any serious weight on it, hmmm, well it's either lose some weight or buy a new pole.



I don't want to upset anyone about this, but.....there are at least three small memorials around the moor at the moment. I have no objection in principle to this, after all, when I'm dead and gone I would quite like my ashes scattered somehwere inthe Dales uplands. It would be nicer though if the memorials were not made of plastic, perhaps a simple wooden cross or memorial holder with some flowers would be better. Further across the moor a family have placed a number of bunches of flowers atop a boulder in rememberance of their grandparents, this would be nice but now that the flowers have rotted all that remains are the guady looking plastic wrappers.



This is what you come hiking for, apart from the exercise and fresh air it's the stunning views across the Yorkshire lanscape that you have come to see, the broad sweep of natural beauty carved by God's hand, the awe inspiring fells and waterfalls, the mountains and screes, the woods and rivers. Except, some days it is just like this, the clouds descend to the hill tops and you're left trudging along in a landscape wrapped in dirty looking cotton wool.



Some stones, I think these are the Thimble Stones ? They have lovely erosion markings across them.



Look at the view !! It's the middle of the day and it looks like night. Fogbound night at that. Still, if you won't walk in the rain or fog, then you won't walk in Yorkshire (applicable even in July).