Thursday, October 31, 2002

Bleedin hell it's been a miserable day in work, it's a good job I am of a gentle disposition or I would marmalise someone. It's driven me to drink. I never (well, rarely) drink midweek, but I was drawn by some strange force to the wine department at Sainsburys on the way home. Now I'm home, getting stuck in.

Things seemed to be improving when I noticed Aki has updated. Since starting writing for the Times, he seems to have lost a little vim, it could have something to do with being managed by Trevor Francis though, I suppose.

Interesting piece on the delicate lingusitics displayed by much of the western media in describing the Chechen hostage takers.

Famous Belgians: Plastic Bertrand. He really is plastic, he hasn't aged in about 25 years, unless there is a photo him rotting somewhere. If you are outside of the UK and under about 40, this will mean nothing to you, just pretend you didn't see it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Anna Politkovskaya is the journalist who went into the Moscow theatre to negotiate with the Chechens. This is her account.

N*E*R*D wins the Shortlist Prize. I have never heard of the buggers.

Michael Moore writes to Charlton Heston

If you are anything like me you will find this updated version of the visual thesaurus mesmerising.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

There have been some great links on Metafilter this last couple of days. jnthngng posted several links to the sort of folk philospher of Turkey Hodja . It's very gentle folk wisdom. It' s the sort of thing which will appeal to lovers of Svejk .It also reminded me a bit, in tone, of Graham Greenes "Monsignor Quixote", which I will now have to reread.

Iconomy posted a great set of links on the Brothers Grimm, who were really quite gruesome, this one being my favourite.

George_Spiggott posted a cool link to some very old fashioned posters that have been appearing in London.

A fantastic night for barkingness at the football. Bayern Munich not only failed to qualify for the next stage of the champions league, they didn't even manage to qualify for the Eufa cup. Manchester Utd got humiliated 3-0 against Maccabi Haifa. Grimbsy let in five goals at home against Burnley, but scored six themselves and Andrew Johnson, who couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo when he played for us, scored his second hat trick in four days for Crystal Palace. There was also a record low crowd for Wimbledon, who could attract only 840 paying customers. I see this last one as a triumph for the genuine supporter, who has shown the money men that he won't be taken for granted. Let it be a lesson to all the corporate asset strippers.

Click on a helmet and a hungry American gets a can of soup.

Yet another Wilco link, although is Wilco related really, being an interview with the guy who made the film.

Monday, October 28, 2002

You can make up some very groovy tunes with these singing horses.

Russian Roulette with a twist. If you lose the bet, you strip. A bit stupid but it might pass 5 minutes.

John Lanchester, a middle class intellectual on yobbish footballers. Mind you , he has a point.

The New York Press on The Streets

Its getting dark really early, the Indian summer has long gone, it's going to get colder and darker and windier. November is a miserable month. Why not spend it writing a novel?

Sunday, October 27, 2002

There is a wall in Oakland that has become a bit of a mecca for taggers. Read all about it.

Sex. Loads and loads of it, more than you can shake a stick at.

Autumn Leaves, by James Sallis

These pool games are just about as good as they come.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

It will be an emotional day at St Andrews. Aliou Cisse, our midfielder, has just returned from Senegal following the loss of 11 of his family members in the ferry disaster. Funny how we hear very little about that, even though well over a thousand people died.
Mirror article
IC Birmingham article
Interview with Cisse in Guardian
The story has even made the Toronto Sun
Interview with Robbie Savage.

Thanks to John, from a Blues message board for the pic. Slightly bigger thanks to Ragamuffin for providing the squashed up version that fits on this page. I am going to have to learn how to do a template which doesn't leave half the page blank.

Gram Parsons had stated, apparently, that when he died he wished to be burned in the desert, which led to an interesting and bizarre episode. The above photo is of a Parsons fan burning an effigy of him at some Gramfest. Barking.
A little bio of Parsons.

How have you been sleeping? All you could wish to know about sleep.

Joel Veitch does the Vines

Clowns are a pestilence upon this land. A poem and animation from the guy who made the Spicy Brains thingy. This link is most definitely worth clicking, and the short wait is worthwhile.

I love you more than kittens

Never eat yellow snow. Create a work of art from piddle then pass it on. Pee Mail.

Make your own Bush speech.

Arts and Letters Daily has reappeared.

As a general rule, I am not much given to passing on the thoughts of our religious leaders. This however, is worth a look. It's a thingy on why a variety of religions or faiths would be against going to war with Iraq. It's also a pretty decent general philosophy on how we should conduct ourselves.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Interview with Bjork

When come back bring pie. Weebl is going to be on MTV.

The Friday Five is a bit uninspiring so I can't be arsed. Bluetitch, however is never short of five (million) pointless questions, so I will have a go at hers. She should set herself up as an alternative Friday Five. The old dear seems to be in a bit of a bad mood, there is something of a hate motif going on.

1)What food do you hate?
The simple answer is semolina, but that would only really refer to the stuff we were served up in Holy Souls all those years ago. I made it fairly regularly for all the nippers when they were just starting to come off the tit, and it was ok; I couldn't have eaten a bowl of it though. Also it is good as part of a bread mixture, gives a very nice texture. Also I don't have to eat it if I don't want to, so really it represents a memory of a food I once hated, rather than a food I actually hate.
The real answer is mass produced, factory farmed crap which gets served up in our pubs and cafes as food, when it is anything but. It is very easy to knock out a simple, cheap and edible meal or snack: go to any run down bar in France or Spain if you don't believe me.
In the UK quality is an alien concept and "value" is all. The trouble is, its a queer concept of value which concentrates on knocking out the the cheapest tat at the cheapest price, no matter what the cost to the animal or environment. Not to mention our long term health, or the fact it tastes of nothing. I hate all British food as it is served up outside my house I suppose.
2)What habit do you have that you hate but can't stop?
oo er Mrs, you really don't want to know.
3)What "fashion" item of any decade do you hate?
Well, it used to be shell suits or any other type of leisure wear. It was a completely value laden stance because really I despised what the clothing represented, rather than the clothes themselves, so I was despising my own class. Mind you there is no shame in that, there is much to despise. So I hate any item of clothing which is ill advisedly worn by fat bastards who waddle around the place with no regard either to their own dignity or the delicate sensibilities of more sophisticated souls. I hate the current penchant for brazen displays of belly buttons and arse cracks too.
4)Apart from going to work, name 1 other thing that you hate having to do.
This is really difficult. Everything I hate, truly despise, centres around work. Just the mere act of looking at my bosses miserable face, for instance, fills me with fear and loathing. One or two of my colleagues, well, just one really, sends me into a murderous rage every time I hear her whiny voice. My department generally, I loathe, with a passion. Pillocks in suits, I could happily kill. Consultants? don't get me chuffin started. I could go on, endlessly. So there is not much room for hate elswhere. I nearly said I hate having to rush around like a blue arsed fly in the mornings getting the eldest to school and arriving late at work only to be looked at as if I am John Gregory. But that is work related. I don't start late either, I have negotiated my own idiosyncratic hours, the old cowbag still makes me feel like something the cat has dragged in though.
What I really hate I suppose is something I have had to do only once, and I have only just thought of it, even though it was something I did recently: take a CD back. I feel let down by myself, for not understanding what the artist was trying to communicate and giving up, and I hate the artist for putting me through hoops. I hate the child behind the counter for smirking . I hate that The Polyphonic Spree put out such a steaming pile of poo that after about a thousand music purchases I was, for the first time, driven to returning something. But that's a small thing.
5)What sport do you hate watching (or having to watch) the most?
Begging Bluetitchs pardon, but no one is forced to watch a sport. Grand Prix is about the most irritating. A sport for nobs for one thing. Then you watch a car go around in a circle, followed by about 20 others. Then they all do it again about 50 chuffin times. Pointless. And very noisy. At least you can slumber through dressage of a Sunday afternoon.

Bugger it, enough half price Sainsburys Frascati has been sunk, I will do the other bugger. Its all about Halloween, which is a bit of an alien concept to old gits like me. No pun intended.
1. What is your favorite scary movie?
As a genre, scary movies are not my cup of tea, so I should say anything with Rob Lowe in it. The last scary movie I saw was Roadkill. This had good reviews everywhere and was directed by John Dahl (thommasson?). Well Dahl made a good reputation for himself with The Last Seduction , Red Rock West, and Kill Me Again, which, while not astonishing, were high class pieces of work. This roadkill was supposed to represent a major return for Dahl and a classic of the genre. It was shit, there is nothing else to say. If that's the best the genre has to offer the genre is dead.
Thrillers can scare me, I saw one on the box recently that had my stomach knotted from beginning to end, I can't remember what it was though. I suppose the only film I have seen that still gives me the heebie Jeebies is the Birds. I still burst out crying every time I hear a Flock of Seagulls.
2. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
No Halloween would be a treat. Seriously. In my neck of the woods it is no more than an excuse for little and not so little hooligans to behave like hooligans. Me and my neighbours are wiping egg off our windows for weeks, and the little sods don't even knock on thee door first. It is legitimised vandalism. I am serious here, having gangs of teenagers wantonly chuck crap at your windows is frightenining for the nippers; my nippers shit themselves and it's hard enough getting them to sleep in their own beds as it is. Not to mention the elderly, the bothered and the bewildered who have no clue what is going on anyway. Fucking poxy new ritual if you ask me.
3. Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, describe your best Halloween costume.
Big Boots, all the better to kick the little bastards up the arse.
4. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses or other spooky events?
The only place I know with a ghostly, other worldly presence is Villa Park, and I aint going anywhere near there
5. Will you dress up for Halloween this year?
Yes. In boots and Burberry.

The best link of the week, on this blog anyway, has been Flavios Beth Gibbons thing. I forgot to mention he is a Blues fan. Not as young as Young Ron, who does the match reports, but young. The rapidly becoming famous Bluetitch is also a Blues Fan, in case I have omitted to mention that pertinent fact in the past. Anyway, courtesy of Flavio once again... Rugs. You just don't get such erudition from Villa fans.

Ode to a Balti Pie, by my brother, another Blues fan. Sometimes you are so filled with pride, words are superfluous.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

This is why I love the web. Just aimlessly surfing around I came across this poem by Christine Hamm. It is quite brilliant, but definitely not for those who might be a little delicate. I had never heard of this poet, but of course was inspired to search out more. There was this, and this. There was loads more as well but google seems to be down, so if you like those 3, just do a google search and you will find more. Like these.
She has a blog, with a link to many poems.

Hitchens on Orwell

Hairy coppers. All that effort to make sure Peter Hain didn't get his grubby fingers on the levers of power. Laughable.

Aki is depressed

Build a face

At the time that Any Trouble were a bit popular they barely registered in my consciousness, there was too much else going on and pub rock, however classy was a bit passe. In retrospect though, they were pretty shit hot and their best songs stand up today. Also they had Clive Gregson. He is one our finest ever songwriters and guitarists, a regular with Richard Thompson, who would not pick monkeys for sidekicks. His partnership with Christine Collister was a thing of great beauty, a duo who would grace any era. So for him to be dissed by a nonentity such as Nicky Campbell must have been utterly galling for the guy. Clive phoned Campbells show today while Dennis thingy from Dr Hook was on. Dennis went a bit crazy over Clive and asked him to phone him on his mobile off air; he clearly knows a thing or two. Campbell doen't. before Clive had even said anything, Campbell said "thanks to Clive from Manchester" and cut him off! One of Britains greatest talents on air, ready to talk to a bit of a legend and he is reduced to CLIVE FROM CHUFFIN MANCHESTER. Ye chuffin Gods.
Have a listen to Girls Are Always Right by Any Trouble here.

I thought I posted a Sunday Times article on Kurt Cobain the other day, actually it was an extract from this book. The author goes on about Cobain being convinced that he had a suicide gene. I mention it because Bluetitch has been banging on about Jeff Buckley and the imminent release of songs previously thought not good enough. The Cobain book is a bit odious in my view. The author assumes omniscience in the last moments of Cobains life. I find it all a bit creepy and ghoulish, not to mention chuffin presumptious. The story is available on the Sunday Times site in the review section. You will need to register if you haven't already.

The Seattle Times has all sorts of stuff and links relating to the sniper dudes

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

An interview with Bob and Harvey Weinstein. No clue as to when we might get to see "Gangs of New York" or "The Quiet American" though.

Send an email written in blood

Lots of interactive tests on the BBC site. Good fun.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

An evening out with an escort in Edinburgh.

Doonesbury on Blogs. Cheeky chuffer.

There are a couple of almost throwaway lines in this George Monbiot piece that leave me slightly bewildered. If local people had been alerting the West to to the presence of militant Islamicists and the arrival of Al Queda sympathisers, why, in this time of heightened sensitivity, was nothing done? Also, if the Indonesian army, which has an inglorious history anyway, has been colluding with terrorists, why has nothing been done? How come Indonesia always seems to get a free pass? Aside from that it is a pretty good article which has pertinent things to say about how we percieve exotic places such as Bali but deny ourselves opportunities for deeper understanding.
Advice from National Geographic on visiting exotic places.
I don't think I'll be going to Burma anytime soon.

Jimmy Carter recently won the Nobel Peace prize, as everyone knows. Less well known is his own record on combatting human rights abuses when he was president. It isn't impressive. Funnily enough, Indonesia gets a mention.

Noam Chomsky on Iraq. Funnily enough, Suharto, former president of Indonesia gets a mention alongside Saddam as an evildoer of the highest order.


Christopher Hitchens continues to whip himself up into a shrill frenzy as he consolidates his position as a warmonger.

10 songs to help you through a war.

Pessimystic Meg

Rubiks cube

Bloody chuffing difficult football game. I am so crap at it I have just allowed Man City to beat Blues.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Guardian on Baggies v Blues
And The Independent
Telegraph. More from the Telegraph
The Times
So far I have read that the ref, West Broms Johnson, and Blues own Darryl Powell were responsible for giving Robbie Savage a fat lip. Perhaps they all had a go.

Thanks to the elusive Flavio on one of the Blues message boards for alerting us to the fact that Portishead singer Beth Gibbons has a solo album out at the end of the month. There are some very measly 30 second sound clips on Gibbons site, it all sounds very impressive.

Some new Morrisey songs

It was a bit much last week when the FA placed themselves firmly on the moral high ground following some racist chants against black England players in Bratislava. That they should suggest the violence was caused by it was laughable. I really cannot see that the same peole who will strut around Istanbul causing great offence with their culturally insensitive antics and chanting such witty ditties as "I'd rather be a Paki than a Turk" and moronically and endlessly chanting " No surrender to the IRA " have suddenly become benevolent defenders of our multi cultural society. Several articles follow.
Dennis Campbell in theObserver
Vivek Chaudhary in the Guardian
Paul Kelso in the Guardian
Motty cocks a deaf 'un.
Graham Kelly in the Independent
John Williams in the Leicester Mercury.

Thanks to this Babeliser, I can now say "my boss is an old cowbag" in several languages. It is a very cool site which I recommend highly. Type a phrase in and it translates it into French, German, Italian, and Portugese, then back to English from those languages. The final phrase rarely bares any resemblance to the initial one.

Smart bombs, civilian deaths.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

New York Times piece on the cultural shift taking place on New Yorks Lower East Side.

A fantastic article in the New York Times magazine on income distribution and inequality in the U.S.

More than 30 years late, some kind of justice is seen to be done. Charlie Robertson, mayor of a small town in America has been found guilty of murder following the death of a young woman during riots in 1969. Here is some background.. And some more.

Article on Kurt Cobain
Click this and scroll down a bit and you can see his journals, as written by himself.

The Sopranos returns on Thursday. I know I should be happy, but once it's come and gone what will there be to look forward to?

Really good La Times article and interview with Johnny Cash. Reg might be required, I'm not sure.

Favourite lyrics today
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Well I woke up Sunday morning
with no way to hold my head
that didn't hurt
and the beer I had for breakfast wasn't
bad so I had one more for dessert

Then I fumbled through my closet
for my clothes
and found my cleanest dirty shirt
and I shaved my face
and combed my hair
and stumbled down the stairs
to meet the day

I'd smoked my brain the night before
with cigarettes and songs
that I've been pickin'
but I lit my first and watched a small kid
cussin' at a can that he was kickin

Then I crossed the empty street and
caught the sunday smell
of someone fryin chicken
and it took me back to something
that I'd lost somehow
somewhere along the way

On the sunday morning sidewalk
wishing lord that I was stoned
cause there's something in a Sunday
that makes a body feel alone
and there's nothing short of dying
half as lonesome as the sound
on the sleeping city sidewalk
Sunday morning coming down

In the park I saw a daddy
with a laughing little girl
he was swingin
and I stopped beside the Sunday school
and listened to the song
that they were singing

Then I headed back for home
and somewhere far away
a lonely bell was ringing
and it echoed thru the canyon like
the disappearing dreams of yesterday

On the Sunday morning sidewalk
wishing lord that I was stoned
cause there's something in a Sunday
that makes a body feel alone
and there's nothing short of dying
half as lonesome as the sound
on the sleeping city sidewalk
Sunday morning coming down

Saturday, October 19, 2002

West Brom 1 Blues 1 or put another way, a point gained for us and 2 points dropped for them. That will do.
Match report on Singing the Blues, written by a young man who I don't think has had any journalistic training. To produce that quality after watching the game in the crowd with the rest of the hoi polloi and to get it written and posted so quickly is very impressive.
Our manager, Steve Bruce, is upset that football is becoming a game for girls
Observer report

Ghost Village

A big long list of oxymorons

Very long, very good article by Joseph Lelyveld in the New York Review of Books on conditions and the legal complexities surrounding the detainees at Guantánomo Bay.

Facinate your friends and colleagues with your knowledge of tattoo stuff.

Triscuit racing !

Slide show of John Gotti's wake.

I can barely believe Sparks are 30 years old. It only seems like yesterday that This Town Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us woke me up with a resounding slap across the chops. Good article here.

Another Wilco review

Favourite lyrics today
The Jayhawks
Room to roam but no place called home
Dazed at first but shaking off the Sunday gloom
What led me to this town

Such a lazy afternoon
Eight shades of gray and I can taste the rain
Oh, how high the lovely have flown
What led me to this town

Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over me

Sometimes I can't get free
When you're standing right there in front of me
I woke up one day and my dreams were gone
What led me to this town

Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over my life
Blue lights shining over me

What led me to this town
Are you keeping a secret
Well, I'm keeping one too
Can you keep it a secret
I'm in love with you

What happened to this boy
Such a lovely mother's son

Blue lights shining over my life ...


Friday, October 18, 2002

As much as I like Sven and his seemingly gentle and philosophical nature, I would never have chosen him as England manager as I don't think his previous record is all that great. My choice would have been Cruyff, but that is by the by. Sven grew on me after his appointment, mainly because of the way he carries himself and his ability to remain unflustered. It has to be said though, that apart from the Germany game, his record is poor.We had a bad world cup which was not redeemed by beating Argentina. Following the Germany game we were made to look distinctly average by Greece. The last 2 games demonstrate that we lack quality.
Sven cannot really be blamed for any of that though. Our players tend to be workmanlike and that it is a result of a lifetime of coaching, which Sven will never be able to rectify. I watch my nipper train and play twice per week and I despair. The people who run his club are good people (probably) and put in many unpaid hours. But they have 5, 6 and 7 year olds training like men, with an emphasis on not losing and eliminating mistakes. Every week I watch 3 or 4 adults try to supervise about 20 kids run about like headless chickens. Research has shown that the best way to learn, for anyone, is through 4 a side games. I cannot fathom why these blokes don't just split them all up and have 3 or 4 small sided games.
The Brazilians play non competitive games when they are nippers and play with weighted balls games so the nippers learn how to pass and move and control the ball on the ground. No hoofing! Holland would not dream of playing nippers in competitive games; they concentrate on technique and skill and interchanging positions. If a nipper turns up and is a shit hot goalscorer he will still have to put his time in as right back or left winger, thereby developing an all round appreciation of the game and its finer points. Both countries seem to have better records than us.
I bring it up because there is a good series of pieces in the Guardian on what went wrong on Wednesday and where the fault might lie. John Cartright is very interesting. Ironically I thought we did alright on Wednesday, especially in the first half. It was a bit like watching the Blues under TF. Loads of possession but unable to score. No wit or imagination in midfield and giving away daft goals. If that first goal hadn't gone in we would have probably won about 6-0, which would have hidden our shortcomings, so maybe it's no bad thing.
The Times on England
The Independent pines for Ramsey
Paul Haywood in the Telegraph is always worth reading and he reminds us that we also struggled against Albania after beating Germany.
Henry Winter chips in with his twopennorth

Arm Wrestle Freud

It's a very important game at the Hawthorns tomorrow. West Brom v Blues, even at this stage is a six pointer. As well as the Baggies have performed so far, we have to take points off them if we have any pretensions to quality. It's a pity Cisse will be missing but Powell I think will be OK if he gets picked over Carter. With either Tebily or Vickers as replacements I don't think Purse will be missed. His days as first choice may be over. Tebily could even replace Cisse in midfield come to think of it, I wouldn't be against that in the circumstances. Blues will not lose, of that I am confident.
A sugar boilers worst nightmare.
Courtesy of Hugh Mungus, once again, a horibble, snarky and downrighting fucking insulting article on our owner, who happens to deal in soft porn. Hard core porn is available at the click of anyones mouse, but this silly cow views stupid titilation as the devil incarnate. Do you come across snobbery she asked. How he resisted saying , apart from getting it from silly midle class tarts like you, is beyond me. Reg required.

Over at Sportsfilter, worldcup2002 has somehow compiled a list of prem teams who provide free web commentary. This will save a lot arsing about when we are away if we don't want our beloved Blues to rip us off any more than is strictly necessary. Cheers worldcup2002.

The Friday Five:
1. How many TVs do you have in your home?
2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?
about 6 hours probably, maybe less. Unless there is a world cup on.
3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?
It all depends. That pink dinosaur thingy is definitely bad for children. Tellytubbies is great for children. Tweenies are just plain evil. Sesame Street needs a by pass building through it. If I am in sole charge of the nippers, anything that keeps em quiet is a work of genius.
4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?
As a fully formed rational adult, heartbreak is not a word I associate with missing a telly programme. I would be very pissed off if I missed a Sopranos episode. Homicide had me hooked. I love Malcolm in the Middle. I made a real effort to see every episode of Phoenix Nights, likewise The Office. That's it really. I tried Six Feet Under, then forgot completely about the second series. The Shield is OK but I wouldn't be bothered if I never saw it again.
5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?
I am assuming here that ratings or advertising revenue don't matter. I would take the best of BBC4, with its coverage of events like Womad, its films, and its arts discussions; Film 4 on a good night; Sky Sports and Red Hot and Dutch.

The Bluetitch Five:
1)When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An adult. Really, I was completely lacking in ambition. Still am really.
Alternative answer...happy.
2)What would you have for your last meal?
2 ham rolls
3)You are told you have to be a film star - dead or alive - for one day, who would you be?
I don't like this question as I don't really go in for hero worship of brain dead morons. Spookily, this came up at work earlier, sort of. There is a nurse we have to deal with who all our female colleagues, and most men, I suppose, regard as beautiful. A new female member of staff has developed a bit of an obsession with her and keeps alluding to her. Offer her a nut and she will say no I want to look like thingy. I said for chuffs sake you are obsessed, there then ensued a discussion on beauty, with the girls somewhat astonished that me and the other male present explained she did absolutely nothing for us.
So who do you fancy they all demanded? Who is your ideal woman? My Mrs I replied without irony, because she is. Cobblers they said, which famous woman do you fancy. I explained I did not understand the concept. If I find a famous woman atrractive it is to do with her talent or artistry. Looks have nothing to do with it. I don't think they understood. We live in a shallow world.
Anyway, the same goes for this question, why would I wish to be to be someone who has a talent for standing around looking good. But to answer: Montgomery Clift. Lived fast,died young. Iconic .
Next time Ms Titch, ask what writer or artist or Blues player I would be.
4)What is the worst film of a book you've ever seen?
Schindlers List
5)What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Popped out of the chuffin womb!
Whoops a bleeding daisy, misread question 2.
I would have Soupe Printaniére aux Herbes du Potagers which takes a bit of making, for something so simple but is worth the effort, followed by beef fillet, stuffed with mushroom and herbs and wrapped in pancetta, accompanied by Pommes Dauphinoise and a selection of steamed vegetables. Panna Cotta to finish. Fruit salad if it was on offer, as a palate cleanser. Some cheese. Muff.
Bugger! I have changed my mind on the film of the book as well. Unquestionably, Hotel New Hampshire. How the hell did Rob Lowe ever get a part in any film?

My favourite lyrics today
A Beautiful Thing
Don't you remember that snowy December when we went to see "Singing in the Rain"? I shouldn't have smuggled in that bottle of gin because after the film, I could barely walk. But, darling don't you know it's only human to want to kill a beautiful thing. When I was seven summer lasted forever. I used to chase fire flies through the woods. Tiny green lights circling warm August nights. I'd catch them inside a washed-out old jar. I dreamed of the stars with the jar by my bed, but each morning my pretty bugs were dead. We should have been dancing like lovers in a movie, but I fell and cut my head in the snow. I wanted to tell you all the ways that I loved you but, instead I got sick on the train.

A useful resource to use the next time you get cold called.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

I have spent many hours explaining to Mrs Buddha that the web is an invaluable learning tool, and is the biggest philanthropist the world has ever seen. She won't have any of it. She reckons it's primary purpose is as a tool to speak cobblers to fellow Blues fans and to download stupid games. Well, now we have a genuine example of benevolent philanthropy. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is making all its courses available online for free. You cannot actually get a degree, but that is very far from being the point. Knowledge is being made available for anyone that wants it, that is definitely worth shouting about.

I have been waiting, agog, for the release of Scorceses Gangs of New York. The more I hear about it the more I am convinced it will be disastrous. This novel, set at the time of the draft riots which form the background of GONY, looks like a better bet.
More on Paradise Alley
A posh persons account of the draft riots.
Homepage of Kevin Baker

The Melbourne Age raises questions about the role the Indonesian military may have played in the Bali bombing. It certainly has an ignoble history.

Fellow Blues fan Hugh Mungus has an unnatural obsession with comely lady country singers. He has pointed us all in the direction of Laura Cantrell who I had never previously heard of. Her website has a couple of downloads which are pretty good but also has archives of a radio show she does from New Jersey. It appears to consist of music she finds in second hand shops and the like and it is chuffing brilliant. Big up to Mr Mungus.
Fairly old interview with Cantrell.


I have nothing against Wales and was delighted when they won last night. Living in the place though I suffer unbelievable grief when they do well (at anything) and England don't. So I have David Seaman and his haircut to thank for having had to endure a day of unimaginably witty repartee.

Good article on The Office.

Woody Harrelson on all sorts really, but mostly Iraq.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Even though I say so myself, I can knock out a decent pizza. I use only the best and freshest ingredients that I can afford and I don't mind putting in the hard work at the kneading stages. I also give anything I cook a generous pinch of the most crucial ingredient: love. Somehow, though, I don't think my Pizza's would pass muster with Jeffrey Steingarten

There is a thread on metatalk relating to posting content not safe for work without a warning. I think I did that once, when I assumed I was my only visitor here, and someone sent me an e mail suggesting I was a bit of a git. I don't think I even apologised as I was so astonished to find I had any visitors. The thing I posted, which was hilarious, is used as an example of bad stuff. So is white seal says I love you, which, while also being hilarious, is not safe to click on anywhere, at anytime.

I suppose this shooting game might be considered in bad taste, but it is very, very cool. I am crap at it.

Aside from the fact he had a generally poor game and just didn't look international quality, Alan Smith is a chuffin liability. How Sven can ignore Le Saux, when we continue to look poor on the left, because of a suspect temperament, yet play Smith, baffles me.

I have said Seaman should be dropped ever since he grew his hair, I knew no good would come of it.

Hah! I did another IQ test

Ages ago I posted a story about life in a Kurdish safe haven in Northern Iraq. Here's another one, well worth reading.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Steve Bell

Roy Keane has recieved a fine of £150000 follwing his vicious premeditated assault on Alf Inge Haalland. He also got a five match ban. The fine is hefty by any standards, but he will probably have made that in increased book sales and serialisation rights. The ban is a joke. A very feeble joke. He admitted going after Haaland and anyone who has seen the tackle will know just how vicious and ugly it was. Five matches is nothing in the context, particularly as he is unfit anyway, so the actual effect of the ban is zero. Keane and his manager will be giggling tonight.

Drag your cursor around and make a ballet. Bleeding marvelous.

Interesting New York Times piece on the irritating little tiff between Hitchens and
Amis. Call me a cynic but their mutually self aggrandising exchange of pleasantries has ensured much more free publicity for both their books than would have been the case if it had just been left to the reviewers.

An interesting Wall Street Journal piece on the Bali bomb. (reg required)

This is enough to warm your cockles. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has published the first volume of his memoirs. One million copies were pre ordered in the Spanish speaking world. So eager were people to get their hands on it a truck full of the things was hijacked. I doubt the memoirs of self important upstarts like Martin Amis would generate such excitement. It's a bit worrying that the volume only goes up to 1957, given his age and state of health.
A 1999 profile of Gabo, found at The ModernWord, which also carries a New York Times article on the writing of the memoirs, which have already sold out in Mexico.

Monday, October 14, 2002

This blog has been reviewed by Bloggy Opinions. It is a fair enough review, not very good, but the reviewer seems to have had a proper look so I can't complain. Sports obsessed though? Cheeky chuffer.

Following my little education rant yesterday there has been a decent thread on mefi. I particularly like this link posted by languagehat. Well not liked exactly, but found it interesting in the context.

As shocking and horrific as the bombing in Bali is, it should concentrate the minds of those who still believe tha Iraq is our major enemy. A leading article in the Independent argues that without justice, there will always be people willing to blow innocent tourists up.
The Washington Post suggests that to be distracted from the war on terrorism is a mistake. Well I would argue that waging war on Iraq is such a distraction. Richard Norton Taylor is convinced that valuable resources which could be used to fight terrorism are being wasted on a pointless quest to link Iraq with Al Quaeda

A very strange, quite beautiful and slightly disturbing game.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Observer article on the Senegal ferry disaster, focussing on our captain, Aliou Cisse.
The Sunday Times has an article on our superstar striker Clinton Morrison. Superstar in his own mind, that is, for everyone else the jury is very much still out. Reg required.

A.S Byatt, searches for a European identity. (NY Times link)

The Observer has a report on a youngster who was excluded from his inner city London school after a history of being a right little sod, by the look of it. It appears that he was largely left to his own devices thereafter, and was on a very slippery slope. That is until a television company decided to put him in a prestigious public school to see how he got on. Well, it looks like he did very well. Which begs the question, if a bunch of over priveliged chinless wonders can spot his potential, why can't the state system? Given his history, he will have come into contact with dozens of education and welfare professionals, yet no one spotted that he was a bright kid. No one encouraged him to achieve his potential.
I very much doubt that he is unique. The education system has failed and is failing millions of children, simply because they come from poor backgrounds and have the misfortune to attend schools where the prevailing culture is one of boredom and disinterest. It makes your chuffin heart sink. Thousand upon thousand of young lives blighted. Intelligent kids left to live their life on the streets with no hope by the time they are 15. Then we complain about anti social behaviour.
It all reminds me of the Rousseau quote about man being born innately good, but being corrupted by society.
Excerpt from Emile
Stephen Pinker has some interesting and provocative thoughts on human nature.
Why did the chicken cross the road?

I think this stickman fighting game is new, I haven't come across it before anyway. My poor old stickman keeps getting the bejasus belted out of him.

A new Joel Veitch kitten animation.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I am very partial to a conspiracy theory, There are more than you can shake a stick at, here.

All sorts of anti war stuff.

Let the world know how you feel.

I love this what kind of soul are you thingy.

I am very seriously thinking about starting another blog devoted exclusively to chick pea recipes. I nicked this from the Guardian, bugger soaking and cooking for hours, use tinned.
Spinach and chickpea soup

This is far and away the most popular soup at the Sutton Arms: we have to make it in huge batches, otherwise we wouldn't have enough to meet demand from our customers. It's the creation of my mate and co-head chef Tim Dillon, a fantastic cook who has worked for years in some of London's most lauded kitchens, but who rarely gets anywhere near the credit he deserves (he's also a West Ham fan, so needs some cheering up).

4 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp each crushed cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric and paprika

20g fresh coriander, picked, stalks reserved and leaves roughly chopped

750g tinned chickpeas (or soaked dried ones cooked with loads of garlic, a fresh chilli and various fresh herbs)

300g spinach, roughly chopped

500ml vegetable stock (or the cooking liquor from the chickpeas)

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot, add the onions and garlic and fry gently for a few minutes. Add the spices and coriander stalks, and cook for 30 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and spinach, stir for a few minutes, then add the stock and cook for 15 minutes. Season according to taste, then liquidise a quarter of the soup, along with the coriander leaves. Return to the pot, and season again. Serve with flat bread, soft flour tortillas or pitta.
While I am on the subject of food, I will just mention I knocked out a beef and almond rogan josh earlier that was just about the dogs gonads.

England got 3 very beautiful points against Slovakia earlier, when at one point it appeared we we were in for a bit of a humiliation. News will be dominated by the violence though I think. Apart from the general scrapping, two of the silly sods managed to get themselves shot. All in all it seems a pretty unwelcoming and racist sort of place.

It's all very odd. At the start of the year I created a blog which I intended to use as a diary really, to document goings on at work. 2 teams had merged,sort of, against our wishes, 2 good managers had been creatively dismissed , a good senior prac went and we were going to have to put up with new managers who, frankly, knew nothing of the particular strains and stresses of our particular job in our particular area. I knew it would end in tears and decided to document it. Trouble is I created the blog when I was pissed and have never been able to find the bugger. I only mention it because I went on about bullying the other day and now I keep finding bullying sites. It occurs to me that I might try harder to find that blog, or set up another.

An interview with one of the individuals who make all this cobblers possible.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Continuing my Wilco obsession, there is a thread on mefi. When I say obsession my tongue is in my cheek, not the mefi dudes though, I don't think. They must be young.

I Iike the look of the Friday Five today, but it will merit much thought, so it will have to wait till the nippers have gone to bed, by which time I will be far from sober. I shall try not to ramble.

I know that the sucking bra that enlarges breasts has been posted everywhere. I know that after linking to the licking knockers story it might appear I am becoming bap obsessed, but it's impossible not to mention it if you have never quite managed to grow up like me. As is the obvious, when are they going to invent sucking underpants line. Sorry.

The Friday Five:
1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be?
As is obvious from this and the other questions, it's a pretty stupid Friday Five as the answers could well change any minute. At this precise minute, I have endured a very, very shitty week, culminating in a couple hours of absolute mayhem in the house and outside. Every pre bedtime with my nippers is barking to be honest, but tonight seemed barkinger. Plus the pumpkin loving classes have been eggin our chuffin windows. Not conducive to a peaceful and relaxing Friday evening. So despite the fact that I have a compilation of New Orleans soul and funk from the seventies on as I type, my choice would be Bach's Goldberg Variations as performed by Glenn Gould . This is quite simply a work of genius. Genuine chuffing genius. Completely relaxing and soothing but you will find something new everytime you hear it. Soul didn't start with Berry Gordy, it started with Bach. Exhilirating.

2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be?
This is really chuffing hard and an unfair question. Impossible to answer. Well nearly. First would be Diner. I love this film, it might seem like a simple coming of age movie but is so much more. It is a brilliant ensemble piece and most of the actors have done nothing since that approaches it in terms of quality. The script is amazing, absolutely brilliant. The sense of place and time is spot on (spoken by a man who has not been within 3000 miles of Baltimore and was born in the year the film is set, but what the hell). It is funny, sad and ridiculous. The Rourke and sexy girl whose name I forget thing is completely unbelievable, but who cares. Every time the film appears to be heading to towards smaltchzhville it gets pulled back. Despite some obvious plot devices it is wonderfully honest. Not brutally or depressingly so; wonderfully. I love this film, I want a sequel, although some might argue that was provided by Tin Men. In short, it is a blast. A smile even, did I mention it is also very quoteable. Plus in parts it is as excruciatingly funny as The Office. And provides an example of the sort of quiz any man should set a prospective wife.
Second choice is a difficult choice between two masterpieces, Cinema Paradiso and the Godfather, I shall cheat and assume I am allowed 1 and 2 on one video. Instinctively, I would go for Paradiso. It's long, langorous, beautiful, soporific. Something you can wallow in, luxuriantly. But so is The Goldberg Variations. Over a lifetime a change of pace now and again might be welcome. The Godfather is just the job, long, langorous, operatic, beautiful, brutal, philosophical, funny , sad, quoteable. No matter how many times you watch you will find yourself pondering the same questions over and over, l which is the point. It engages you, like no other, on many different levels. Genius.

3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be?
Gawd do us a chuffin favour, this is supposed to be relaxing. At the risk of losing all my dignity, and bearing in mind I read the thing many months before it became popular, I would have to go for Captain Corellis Mandolin. I would point out that my reading habits are avaricious, so I do not say this lightly. When I first read it I went just about crazy, telling anyone who would listen they had to read it and thrusting it upon them. I would say it is the best book I have read in years, and it was. The fact that it has been overhyped since then and has become little more than a travellogue in many eyes does nothing to diminish that.
It is like the best films, funny, sad, absurd, painful, uplifting and life affirming. The ending is very poxy and the account of Greek resistance just plain wrong, but is an awesome and moving novel. Mrs Buddha couldn't read anything else for months after, it was like see Naples and die. I love it. Sorry no link to the book, I can't be arsed I keep getting reviews of the very poxy film, when I search for it.
Number two. James Kelman, A Chancer. This book is simply astonishing. I picked it up around the end of the first year of my degree. That had been quite a difficult year. I was quite elderly for a student and had spent the previous 25 years quite content in the knowledge I was happy but thick. Then I spent 9 months at Fircroft college in Selly Oak where I was persuaded I was very far from being thick. Without quite knowing how, I found myself at university in Cardiff, where ironically I found myself for the first time among genuinely thick people. But they all had no accents and confidence, so it didn't matter. I enjoyed that year, but all the while felt out of place and guiltily awaited my comeuppance.. Finding the Kelman book was like finding an old friend, but that does it a disservice. It is a brilliant dissection of working class mores and sensibilities. When the hero goes off on one, justifying another bet or why he fucked up in a job or with a girl, it gets right to the heart of it, like no other novel I have read. It depicts working class life with an unpitying gaze and is all the more sympathetic for it. No noble savages here, just life for the young working class in a particular era in all its raw hopelessness: funny , true and despairing. And a work of towering literary and artistic merit.
Third, bloody hell, I dont know. A compilation of the best of some crime fiction. Pelecanos, or Leonard or Lee Burke. I know it wouldn't suffice for a lifetime, but I have thunk too much already. And Mrs Buddha turned up with the nipper disagreeing with my selections, and ruining my flow. Or One Hundred Years of Solititude.

4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be?
Pasta, Parmesan, Chilli, Bacon. Mix that all up and there is a meal I could eat every day, assuming salt and pepper come free. And Olive oil. And Garlic.

5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be?
As a member of a family of five this is the first easy question. First of course would be me, as I spend half my life talking to myself, then the Mrs and the nippers. Piddle of piss.
Really, well the nippers go without saying, any parent would be the same I suppose, but every day every one of my nippers amazes me in some way. They are bobby dazzlers and even if they mean I can't see The A 3 or Southside Johnny in some dive it matters not, I love them with a love so profound it is beyond description. Not next as this is a list that defies order, my Mrs. I have mentioned before the profundity of my feelings for her, and guess what, she hardly ever looks at this blog, so what I have said before is the truth, comrade. I know she intends to look at this, but the previous things I have said demonstrate the truth; which is : I am a lucky man. She puts up with me, for one thing, which not many would. She is beautiful, truly, how I managed to get to grips with her God only knows. She is artistic. She is profound. She gets to the heart of it. She has patience you wouldn't believe. After all these years of marriage and many kids we have had our little to do's, but not many. Still, I never tire of her company. If I had never met her, and I was lying, single, broken, and pissed in some Bukowskiesque hovel I would dream of my ideal woman, and it would be her.
Hah, number five and I have run out out of immediate family. Still it's easy. My bro, bobharford as some on the Blues message boards know him. The snot nosed six year old kid who had to bring his even more snot nosed little bro of two up in some pretty mean streets, virtually without adult intervention. These days the pair of us would have been whipped (no pun intended) into some Catholic boys home pretty quick. He has spent most of his life dragging me out of the gutter, literally and metaphorically. Notwithstanding the fact he is a major pain in the arse, I love the dude.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Bloody Nora! I think I may have just invented a neologism! : BLOGBLOCKED. I have been unable to find anything at all that I would wish to share for the last 2 days. Nothing of great interest has happened that has required a rant, so my blog has remained empty. I could hardly be blocked like a writer, as all I do is nick stuff off other people and put it here, so I think blogblocked will do. I looked on google, it doesn't exist. Remember where you saw it first. Of course, I could have remained uninspired merely as a result of tiredness and ennui, so the word would make no sense at all in that context. I am claiming it as my own anyway.

It's a bit of a shameful thing for a bloke of my age and robust constitution to have to admit to but I am victim of chuffing bullying! Bloody hell, who would have thought it would come to this, talk about a mid life crisis. The simple facts are my gaffer treats me at best with utter indifference and at worst, and more usually, with absolute contempt. It's been going on for months, and now even my colleagues are beginnning to notice. But what can one do? go to the boss, hardly? Confront her? do me a chuffin favour. Its all about power and that cowbag holds it. I'll just have to keep my head down and hope the fucker gets run over by a bus.
This site doesn't offer any answers (there aren't any) but has been a bit of a comfort. I am not exactly suicidal about it more deeply humiliated and irritated. But what the fuck, it's only work, I hate it anyway.

Even in his heyday, when he was the self proclaimed "peoples champion" I always found snooker player Alex Higgins to be an irritating tit. It's his very tittedness (have I invented another one?) however, that makes for such a rivetting story.
Higgins: The comeback! I'm losing interest already.

The Booker Prize is nearly upon us. Having selected 6 boring books they are trying to retain our interest by allowing us a peoples vote. What I want to know is, why is it the man Booker prize all of a sudden?
Zadie Smith didn't make the short list, but will probably win many prizes over the coming months and feature heavily on book of the year lists. Her new one gets a massive, long review in the London Review of Books. It isn't very good.

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me. I can hardly believe that Odelay is seven years old. Sea Change seems to mark a radical departure for young Beck. Here is a New Yorker review of it
Some more Beck reviews:
Rolling Stone
E online
Austin Chronicle
Village Voice
£8.99 from CDWOW with free delivery. Can't say fairer than that squire.

Some thoughts from The New York Observer on impending war ponders provocatively on the same.

Monday, October 07, 2002

I was dismayed on my daily visit to Arts and Letters Daily to find it is no longer there. The news is not all bad though, the archives are available and Philosophy and Literature appears to be the very same site.

I know little about baseball and even less about Barry Bonds, but this article is fascinating.

Afghanistan, one year on.

Oh dear. I am afraid it is another Guardian link. Mathew Engels tribute to the brilliant writer, Frank Keating, who has retired, complete with links to some of his best efforts. Definitely worth wasting some time on. I will give the Guardian a rest I think, even though there is loads more I could post, it has been so good recently. Believe it or not, I have shown great restraint.

The people of Italy make their point re war. Well, a great many of them anyway.

Richard Dawkins comes over all anti catholic.

It is a great deal harder to chuck a virtual paper aeroplane than you might imagine.

I wish I had been aware of this poem by Rumi when I committed matrimony.
This Marriage
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Stern John has now scored 5 goals in his last 2 games. All the news is about how crap West Ham are. Well that may well be true but it would be nice to see us get a bit of credit for a very good away win.
Observer match report.
Telegraph report

BBC report

Once you start looking at these celebrity mugshots, it's a bit difficult to tear yourself away.

Roger Mcguinn, of the Byrds, has been uploading old folk songs for a couple of years. It's really, really good. (via yhbc at mefi)

Don't go round licking strange knockers

Good onion article on Bush and his plans for the world. Nice to see the Onion actually being funny.

Online Healing by the Barefoot Doctor, and much else besides if you care to look around.

Underground Iran. This article is very uplifting. Despite massive repression, the young people of Iran are quietly rebelling, thanks in no small measure to the internet. You just can't quash the human spirit.

Archer gets it wrong again. I wonder how the Daily Mail would react if say, the Guardian serialised say,Winston Silcotts diaries.I think they might get on their high horse about criminals profitting from their crimes. Still there is no such thing as bad publicity. The odious git will be smirking all the way to the bank.

A couple of years ago I found myself, as you do, talking to a Canadian dude about Cuba. The best thing about Cuba, he said, was the absence of Americans. Not for much longer.

My nipper plays his first organised game of football tomorrow. I don't know about him but I am nervous as a kitten. He showed no interest in the game at all till about 2 weeks ago and now he's obsessed, but not very good, but he tries. What with shirt shorts socks pads boots club membership and other sundries the little sod has just about cleaned me out. It's worth it though, because it clashes with Beavers and their God bothering ways, which means he has had to give it up.
There was a little family dispute regarding the shirt. All his mates are Man U fans , obviously, being 150 miles away. So he wanted a Man U shirt. No chuffin way, not while I still draw breath. Mrs Buddha couldn't understand and said I should relent as all his mates have one, she even offered to part with cash herself. I explained as gently as I could, that Man U is a brand not a team, and is supported by unthinking morons (residents of Greater Manchester excepted), he may as well support Mcdonalds or Starbucks F.C . The clincher was when I reminded her all his mates watch WWF and go to Benidorm on their holidays, so by her rationale we should do the same.
In the end he turned out to be a cool dude and chose an Italian strip, but they didn't quite have his size, so he opted for Argentina. I have explained to him that he has seen Argentina play in Cardiff, which is once more than any of his Man U supporting mates will ever see their team. He is chuffed with the shirt, but is hoping for a Man U shirt for Christmas. I despair.
Talking of Argentina, the worlds funniest apocryphal football story concerns them. When Keith Burkinshaw signed Ardiles and Villa following the 1978 World Cup, their command of English was poor. Out on the training pitch he continually pointed to the ball, shouting "BALL ! BALL!. Then he would point at the goal and shout "GOAL! GOAL!" and on it went. Finally Ardiles piped up, "Boss me and Ricky understand" Burkinshaw replied, "I'm not talking to you two, I'm talking to the other buggers"

Our Senegalese midfielder, Aliou Cisse, has lost 9 family members in a ferry disaster, but still turned out today. An ex player of ours has had at least 3 sisters murdered but always manages to turn out for whichever team he has played for without taking grieving time. We often hear of professional sportspersons being particularly single minded, but I cannot comprehend how people can play in those circumstances. I am not knocking it, I just can't understand it.
I suppose we will be subjected on various message boards to people offering pointless commiserations and people who do not know the family thanking the commiserators in a most presumptious fashion. They will say it puts "this great game of ours in perspective" and refer to the "world wide family that is football". Then they will mercilessly slag anyone who puts a pass astray, and sing witty ditties about innocent men, like David Jones, whose family have been put through the wringer. All good clean fun and banter though.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Violence against nippers is wrong, just plain chuffin wrong, whoever the perpetrator might be. Me and Mrs Buddha have 3 nippers aged 7, 3 and 18 months. We both work full time in very stressful, poorly paid jobs. Most of our money goes on childcare or other nipper related stuff. It is bloody hard keeping it all together, we are permanently knackered and rushing around. We have no quality time to ourselves and we have no pot to piss in. We have never raised a finger against any of our nippers, nor have we been tempted to. It is simply unneccessary. Despite never haven been beaten by people 3 times their size, all three nippers are little bobby dazzlers about whom everyone comments that they are polite , well behaved and a pleasure to be around.
There is no excuse to whack the nippers, ever . The UN recognises that. The British government doesn't. Chickenshit government. I wonder if the US will come and sort us out if we don't accede to the wishes of "the international community".

The way I go on about Wilco anyone would think I am their greatest fan, but this would be very far from the truth. Prior to Summerteeth I had heard nothing by them, and even that took some time to grow on me. Even now it's a very solid piece of high class American guitar rock in the manner of Dwight Twilley or the Jayhawks, rather than a life changing record. Very good but that's all really. My sort of obsession started with the shenanigans around Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and what I perceived (and still do) as the very honourable artistic stance they took, or Jeff Tweedy did. Not to mention they streamed it for free on their website for about a year. YHF is not dissimilar to Summerteeth, of it's type as good as anything around, but hardly earth shattering. I am a big fan of Americana and folky troubadors but couldn't be arsed with their Guthrie tribute because of the presence of Billy Bragg, the most irritating tit in music. So it has come as something of a surprise to be sitting here, with my socks knocked off. MVC are knocking out Being There for £4.99, well you can't not buy it at that price. I had no great expectations of it, but it is chuffing ace, if a bit Twilleyish. If you are near an MVC buy the bugger, even if you hate it its only 5 quid down the drain, but you may come to regard it as the bargain of the year.

The Friday Five :
1. What size shoe do you wear?

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
One pair of sandals, which got mentioned the other week. Remarkably they are still intact, and very necessary in this warmest of autumns. One pair of pristine white trainers for the gym .Thats it. I shall have to invest in a pair of shoes before the weather turns.

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?
Sandals, without a doubt.

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?
At this precise moment, and at the risk of being boring, my sandals. They are battered to bloody buggery and definitely on their last legs, but I love them, if I had a scanner I would take a photo so the world could see them in all their battered glory. They have been true friends.
Way back when, when I was training to be a psychiatric nurse at All Saints in Birmingham (not a career path I pursued) I had a pair of red suede winklepinkers. Believe me the tiniest winkle could have been picked and they were babe magnets (honest!). I look back on those with fondness. One of the first things I did on the day I moved to Cardiff was buy a pair of red Doc Martin winklepickers with a sort of Oxford pattern on. Ten quid!! You can see why I stuck around.

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?
The suede winklepickers didn't come cheap but I haven't a clue what they cost at this stage of the chuffin game. The sandals were about £60, and thats quite enough, thank you.

Guardian links alert :
The state of British pop
A reminder that things have been very much worse, depressingly so, and that the present government has achieved much. Not enough in my view, and at the expense of the equilibrium of people like me but who cares about that. It's better than it was.
One million young dudes show good sense
It's a good article, but I still think the Polyphonic Spree are a plile of cack
A rant:
I am beginning to despair of football and it's fans. The Leicester manager, Micky Adams was subject to dogs abuse the other day because of a previous association with Sheffield United (Association?????). After making a pig gesture to his abusers the Sheffield Wednesday fans went craaaaazzzzee. Adams may be charged. Wednesday fans followed him up to the seats after , advising him that they knew where his mother lived. The police got involved after some Wednesday fans complained.
Well, what a bunch of chuffing great big fairies. What has the game come to. A bunch of fans give a guy absolute shit throughout the game; I would imagine their language was ungentlemany. The guy, after much provocation responds, pretty gently, said crowd go wild. Then some of them complain !!! Fuckin outrageous. How come they didn't complain when Adams was taking shit? Where did this complaining tendency come from? Don't answer, I know, why couldn't the bastards have stuck to rugby and tennis? Come next years Henley Regatta I will descend upon it loudly demanding a brown and mild . If I hear anyone braying I shall have them arrested.
Not dissimarly, Eyal Berkovic was subjected to a tirade of anti semitism the other night. Finally he had words with his tormentor and drew his finger across his throat. Unpleasant, admittedly, but pretty harmless, nonetheless. It reduced a lady fan to tears and Berkovic may be charged. Fuckin well fuck me! If bad language or raucous behaviour, or ill mannered working class types, or balti pies upset you, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM FOOTBALL.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

The worlds funniest joke. This is the second time this week I have been given cause to doubt the wisdom of science.
Metafilter has a good thread going on it.
Talking of funny, Bob Hope.

A while back I mentioned John Otways efforts to have a hit for his 50th birthday. It looks like the mad bugger has pulled it off , although typically he won't be getting all the royalties.

If you haven't got the google toolbar, what the chuffin 'ell have you been playing at?
More google

Turner had a gallery in his home. The Tate has recreated it online, you can move virtually around the room randomly clicking on pictures. It is very very cool.
While you are at it you could do some drawing yourself. There is plenty of help and advice available.

There is no way on Gods earth I shall be reading this in the very near future. If you do, let me know if it contains any spoilers for us underpriviliged Brits still suffering from Sopranos withdrawal.
Pretty please.

The Office. I think I will give the Gareth wallpaper a miss. I can think of a lady colleague who it would suit down to the ground though, for she truly is Gareth.

Bugger me! It must be weeks since I posted a Wilco related link.

The World Won't End was far and away the best album of last year, by chuffin miles. There does not seem to be anything new imminent, but there is an interview with Joe Pernice here. The news page of the bands website is irregularly updated but always worth a look.

The proper use of English. Very funny. Not at all safe for work.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

It seems Blues are going to be punished one way or another following the celebrations on the pitch at the Villa game. This is fair enough in my book, Blues fans have a long history of this and the club does nothing, so we have been asking for it. Some might argue that you can't blame the club if people run on the pitch and it is a fair point, but if we had been seen or even perceived to be taking the problem seriously we might get more sympathy.
It is the guy who was in Enklemans face that seems to have prompted the FA to act and his actions provide a perfect illustration of how we have largely disregarded the issue. He got on the pitch, frolicked about for a bit, danced around in front of Enkleman giving him the wanker sign and returned to his seat, all the while unmolested by either police or stewards, even after he had returned to his seat. It hardly sends a message of robust stewarding does it.
If he had been grabbed while on the pitch and chucked out with no regard for his dignity at least a message would have been sent to others. If we had properly stewarded the Tilton and Kop the issue may never have arisen. The fact is he was allowed to act like a tit, with impunity. Arguing that emotions were running high so the invasions were understandable is cobblers. Some of our fans habitually behave like great big babies, unable to control their emotions. They run on the pitch anytime we score a goal in an important game (Millwall away excepted), so it was all entirely predictable, yet no precautions were put in place.
Well now their will be a price to pay. Our owners can afford it, whatever it turns out to be, but of course they won't be the ones to pay it.
I know some Blues fans will bleat that others do it; what about Cardiff and West Ham and Manchester United? All irrelevant. No one has a history of it like us and none of the others allowed a fan to get in the face of an oppostion player like that. What others have done or might do has nothing to do with it and does not diminish the effects of tardiness in planning on our part.

Big up to Paul Devlin on his Scotland call up, they are in worse trouble than I thought.
We are away at Orient in the League Cup tonight and other than being intrigued by the potential line up I couldn't care less. Will still watch on the box though.
An interview with our chairman.

Bugger, I don't know why I don't take my own advice. Decided to read a Sopranos piece and got hit by a spoiler in the second paragraph, didn't read the rest. Now I will hate myself for the rest of the week. I should have learnt when I read about the rape of Melfi about 3 months before the series even aired in the UK. Looks like it might be a good article if you don't mind visiting calamity upon yourself.

Willie Nelson, seems like a wise old, kindly old dude.

Think of the Children