Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Bloody ell. I sign up for Typepad, and now they give Blogger Pro away for free!

Monday, July 07, 2003

A brilliant interview with Jake La Motta. If you can get hold of the Observer Sports Monthly, from which it comes, it has some brilliant photos, including one of La Motta knocking Sugar Ray Robinson clean out of the ring.

Bush or Chimp

I find Michael Palin alright in small doses, his website is something to shout about though, jam packed with good stuff it is.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Le Tour

Margaret Hodge reckons that having screwed up so badly in failing to protect the children of Islington she is uniquely qualified for the job of minister for children. Her logic defeats me.
I do not as a rule call for resignations or sackings when people cock up, everyone makes mistakes and the blame culture we live in appalls me.
This is different, she is putting her career first. She is a self seeking cow. If she had any sense she would have seen this coming and declined this job, but no, her eyes and her ego were too big.
It is question I seem to be asking on a daily basis, what happened to the notion of "the buck stops here"?
Children deserve much better

Jeffrey John, the gay vicar who was made a bishop has decided not to take the job. Now, I think he has made the wrong decision, nevertheless here is a chap, who has seen the bigger picture and made what he evidently thinks is the right decision; not for him, but for those he serves.
As bad as the fact that he has had to turn the job downs on grounds of sexuality is that he has to ask the Queens permission to turn it down. Sometimes this country just embarrasses me.

Democratic Underground.

Mr Stabby.

Thanks to Brian, Blues fan, Grand Fromage at Singing The Blues and citizen of Acocks Green, for directing me, in a roundabout sort of way, to the FBI file on Lenny Bruce.

Worldwide Wales TV has little films on all sorts of Welsh towns, including Cwmbran. Leaving aside the fact it is a completely untrue representation of the shithole, it is chuffin hilarious!

Cows With Guns, a brilliant animation and song.

Posts on both my blogs might be thin on the ground for the next week or so. I have managed to get msyelf accepted as a tester for Typepad, a new service which will be up and running, once they have finished testing I suppose. At first glance it looks bloody brilliant, but will be a subscription service, so it depends on the cost as to whether I actually take it up. In the meantime I shall have some fun with it.
So, if things look quiet around here it is probably because I am messing about there. Feel free to look, though it will probably be a bit messy, as I don't really know what I am going to do with it!

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Quiz for the bookish among us. I got ten out of thirteen.

This is all a bit pointless, but fun nevertheless, in an annoying sort of a way. Say the colour, not the word.


I love American noir novels from the thirties and forties, the best of them are much underrated. Bookforum has a brilliant piece on James M Cain.

Church of Me is a blog by a very wordy music fan, too wordy, some might say, but I like it.
Spin is a little more prosaic, but worth a look.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Anyone who has read my other blog will know that I am not very enamoured of my job at the moment. What makes it worse is that at the end of every month, long before the end of every month, I am left without a pot to piss in. I got paid 4 measly days ago and already we have no clue how will get through the month.
So. I have been economising. People keep telling me how good Aldi's wine is, so on the basis that it has to be better than no wine at all, I paid my first visit to an Aldi. I went for one of their more expensive wines, an organic Cabernet from California, at £3.99. It is, in fact........crap. It will do though.
I also got a Chiliean Sauvignon Blanc for 2.99. I am a bit scared of it.

Steve Bell

For such a powerful piece of prose the Declaration of Independence, is a flimsy little thing, well worth reading and it won't detain you long. I wish we had such a thing in Britain. Mind you, I dont think it counts for much in the U.S at the moment.
Magna Carta

I am probably the last eejit in the world to come across this, but here goes. Go to google and type in "weapons of mass destruction" then hit I'm feeling lucky. That's it.
It doesn't work with the toolbar, go to the google homepage to do it.
I downloaded version 2 of the toolbar yesterday, it has a very impressive pop up stopper.

Duct tape ball is bloody annoying.

Misanthrope has updated.

Inspired by Singing The Blues, I shall have a go at the Friday Five.

1. What were your favorite childhood stories?

I used to love Aesops Fables and also when I was a righ nipper in school we all used to sit in the hall and listen to listen with mother. I never knew my mother before she pegged it, and I used to find that programme incredibly reassuring. Probably subconsciously wishing the comforting middle class voice was my mother in heaven, reading to me.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?

Tom Sawyer

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
Not really. With anything by Twain I suppose you are surprised at how good he is. With anything else that I read to my nippers, I am afraid I am even more starkly aware at how middle class and trite it all is.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?

I think I may have been able to recognise some words before I went to school, I certainly learned to read very quickly once I started formal education. It's been a pleasure and a curse ever since.

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?

I don't remember what it was, probably some porn from the new english library. I jest.
I don't know what it is like now, but when I was a nipper, the branch library in Acocks Green was open till 8 p.m, every night, and I loved that place, I would stay in there till they kicked me out.
They had a biggish junior section, then the adults section stated with a row of shelves which were suitable for teens. I used to sneak around and have a look, not thinking I could read those books as I was only ten, even though my brother was feeding me stuff like Kes and Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner at home.
I think the first adult book I read must have been Kes, or Walkabout.
There is a book I read when I was about 11 or 12 that haunts me to this day. It was about a nipper on his way to a family thing who witness some dastardly business on a train in fenland. He hops it and then and has to trek across county in the snow, pursued by the neerdowells. It was brilliant; I have no idea what it was called or who wrote it.

An interesting (or not) addendum to the libraries thing is that the library in this town close at 5 every night, except Wenesdays and Saturdays when it closes at 12. In Brum, libraries were open till 8 even in the early sixties. And they smelled wonderful too. It is an unfairly maligned city. Don't belive the hype if you read of the love of literature and education in the South Wales valleys.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

All you didn't need to know about the number 23.

Now that young Bush has so selflessly liberated the people of Iraq from a murderous regime, do you suppose he will be turning his attention The Congo and Liberia?

What have refugees ever done for us?

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey website is as good as it gets. Where else could you read the details of the court case of several rioters, which took place on this day in 1749, and much else besides.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

I have been looking for a decent recipe for apple muffins for ages, but can't find one. I used to have one, but I lost it. TheWilliams Sonoma websites primary purpose is to sell you things, but it has an ace collection of recipes, including one that looks pretty good for hazlenut muffins and this cool looking drink based on horchata. Mrs Buddha loves horchata, I will be earning myself some kudos with this. All I need to do now is find out what the hell a stick of butter is.

Back on Tack is one of those sites that provides dozens of photos illustrating the eccentricity of roadside America. Well worth a look.

The beauty of the web is that I can sit here at 9pm on a Wednesday listening to Monday nights Late Junction. As beautiful, soothing and , well, sexy as Fiona Talkingtons timbre is, I wish she would not pronounce Gillian Welch with a hard G, it's very irritating, even if it is, in fact, correct.

Hemingway's youngest son, Gregory, died in 2001 as a transsexual named Gloria, of causes that put a lot of strain on the term "natural."
The excellent Today In Literature on the suicide of Hemingway on this day in 1961. It seems to run in the family.
Me and Hemingway share a birthdate, and funny enough, I'm feeling suicidal.
Hemingway resource centre. Copious.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

A lot of the more obscure political stuff I have linked to over the months was found on Floating Wreckage: Jettisoned Cargo which was a fantastic resource. I can barely believe it was run by one guy. I can believe, depressingly, that it has ceased to be, although some archives remain. The little corner of the radical world that is my kitchen is bereft.
If you have never seen it, have a look, just to see what you have missed.

Here in Cwmbran we have a Jim Crow Square and I have wondered, from time to time, who the bugger is. Plep comes to the rescue, with this link to a museum of Jim Crow.
A quick google provided links to loads of other sites, including this one and this one.
So the town I live in has a square in it named after a mythical character synonymous with the worst of Americas racist history. Nice.
Cwmbrans most famous son, apart from Helen of Big Brother fame, is John Fielding, who won a V.C at Rorke's Drift. Undoubtedly, he was incredibly brave, but he is famous for killing Zulus, admittedly who were trying to kill him. Still, I gotta get out of this town.

I am not often persuaded to agree wityh the Bloody Tories ( I grew up thinking they were actually called The Bloody Tories), but I am with them on the scandal of Margaret Hodge. I think I expressed some outrage following the inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie, that the poor bloody infantry lost their jobs and careers while their superiors, to a man , up to and including the chief executive found themselves in better paid positions. Sickening.
Now we have Hodge, who completely failed abused children in a major London borough, being made minister for children.
Do these fuckers have no shame?

I had lost The War Prayer, but have found it again. Mark Twain is definitely my number one hero, amongst many. Mrs Buddha forbids me to try and infleunce the nippers in their likes and dislikes, I cannot shove the Blues down their throats, for instance, or instruct them to challenge the Christian ethos prevalent in the school nipper number one attends, and I can see the sense in it. However I did force Tom Sawyer upon nipper number one, disastrously. I shan't be doing that againg in a hurry. I hope I haven't put him off for life.

The origin of Chilli Con Carne.

Norman Mailer asks the question: "why did we go to war?", brilliantly.

If anyone has any bright career changing ideas, the Misanthrope would like to know about them.

This word game should keep Bluetitch occupied, it's bloody hard. I got 5 out of ten on my first attempt, which I thought was good, but was, in fact, crap.

Monday, June 30, 2003

The new Blaenavon, day one.

This NYT article on a chaps last Sunday lunch with his mother is a beautiful piece.

NYT interview with, and appraisal of, Clive James

Ode to Tomatoes,and other things by Pablo Neruda, who also wrote love poetry, including this.
He wrote Il Postino, which was made into a film that is well worth getting your hands on, especially if you want to earn romantic kudos by making your Mrs cry.

Somebody appreciates you.

Evil clown generator.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Paul Kimmage is one of the very few reasons why I persist with the Sunday Times, his in depth interviews are excellent.
He was a professional cyclist in the 80's and here he gives a brilliant account of what it is actually like to ride in the Tour de France.

I moan and moan about the BBC's coverage of Glastonbury, but I should just be grateful that we have it at all, it is definitely one of the highlights of the years viewing, especially mow BBC 3 covers it for hours on end.
This year the presenters have been less irritating than usual, the odious Phil Jupitus apart, but still they persist in showing the same bands playing the same songs over and over again. There miust be loads of good stuff going on but all we see is endless re runs of the likes of Radiohead and for some reason, Suede. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen Freddie and the Dreamers over the last 2 days; sorry, of course I mean The Coral. As I type, David Gray is on, again, for about the hundredth time.

Still, we at least got to see a superb and absolutely barking set by The Flaming Lips. I'm a bit fed up about that actually, having been banging on about them for at least 2 years now every silly chuffer is going to know them, and I can't show off. There is a good interview with chief lip, Wayne Coyne, in the Observer. He does seem genuinely off the wall. I like the guy.
Article on the subtle and not so subtle ways Glastonbury has changed this year.

I have had one of those long months where you just end up skint, so did no shopping this weekend, as I had nothing to shop with. Not to worry, we are resourceful, and the kitchen is full of stuff, so we weren't about to starve. I knocked up a carbonara at dinner time, and the kids dug up some of their own spuds which they scoffed with an omelette for tea.

For me and Mrs Buddha I did a simple baked spud. Caramelised some onions, frizzled some pancetta with them at the end, mixed up with the flesh of the spuds, with some Parmesan and Gruyere, all well lubricated with some good olive oil, before shoving back in the oven. It looked good and it smelled good. Unfortunately, another endless repeat started on the Glastonbury coverage, but it was the Lips, so I just set the time and departed for the living room.
Set it for 20 minutes, but forgot to press the button for conventional oven. So they had 20 minutes at 800 watts microwave power. Ever so slightly burnt. I am starving now but can't be arsed to cook anything else. Beer and crisps, I think will do the trick.

Found on B3TA a photo of a message left on the fridge in a shared house, may or may not be genuine.

10 things we were told about Iraq that appear to lack veracity.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Blaenavon, is a miserable and deprived town stuck in the Welsh Hills, nowhere very near anywhere else. It existed souly for the purpose of coal and iron, and when they went so did hope and civilisation frankly. It is a hell hole, I know, I spend half my working life there, dealing with the casualties of 20 years of neglect and decline.

Due to its history it has been awarded world heritage site status, which astonishes me. It is a shithole, there is nothing there, all the shops are boarded up, it is known as Plywood City.

Yet there is hope. There are plans to turn into a sort of little brother to Hay on Wye, and 9 bookshops have all opened there today, with more to follow, probably, hopefully. The local council, my local council, in fact, in return for ten grand, will give you a shop, shelving and shopfitting, along with a few thousand books to start you off. I have a brilliant idea for a bookshop actually, but I am to gutless to pursue that particular dream.

It would be nice if it worked, and I really hope it does, but I can't see it. There is nothing there, nowhere to get any decent scoff, or even crap scoff. No decent pubs, but plenty of indecent ones. And, unfortunately, the people. The town has been spruced up and painted for todays grand openings, and there is a day of events going on, but everybody I know fully expects everything to be vandalised and graffitied, probably tonight. I can't see where the staff will come from; the locals, to a man are surly and aggressive and will not want to lose their welfare benefits. The town is so isolated it will not be practical for people to come in on the bus, but I hope I'm wrong.
In the local paper the sort of unofficial spokesperson echoes my thoughts and suggest that the best they can hope for from it is a few more coppers on the beat and some cctv cameras, which says it all really.

Worst of all, the best second hand bookseller I know, from Abergavenny market, appears to have relocated there.
I will pop up there next week some time and report if I see any activity.

While we are on a literary bent, a beautiful poem by Mikey Delgado

Friday, June 27, 2003

I have ranted on about the festival of peace love and happiness that is Glastonbury before, so won't start on that again, not yet anyway. However, if these figures related to football match, there would be a national outcry, even if these figures related to arrests in a small town, there would be uproar, at least locally, and the bloody thing hadn't even started when the figures were released:
Latest figures from the police are that 115,000 people are now on site and there have been 60 arrests (2002 had 40 at same time) and 57 crimes (55 last year), but robberies are down by 50%. The good news is that there have been no reported crimes outside the site - last year saw battles with security and police outside the fence of steel. More stats for you - fence jumpers: 0; medical incidents: 524; minor injuries: 449; drug and alcohol-related medical incidents: 17.

I like the look of Books and Bloggers. Nothing to entice to me yet but it might be worth keeping an eye on.

I have a feeling this is not the first time I have posted optical illusions, never mind, they are worth a second look.

Yet again, the increasingly verbose Misanthrope has spoke.

Some days I am pretty chuffed with what I stick on here, some days, frankly, it's cack. Most days it's alright. Today, I spent a long time moaning on the other blog, plus I am knackered so havent put much effort in, not to this anyway, so it's cack. Nothing has jumped out at me and I can't be arsed looking for stuff. I am in a bad mood so have dissed something hundreds of thousands get completely blameless enjoyment from.
Usually, it wouldn't matter, and it still doesn't really. But it's bloody typical isn't it. For some reason my visitors have quadrupled today, and all they have seen is some moany old bastard post a couple of indifferent links.
Oh well, it's probably better to be small but exclusive!

I wouldn't normally link on here to something I have stuck elsewhere, Sportsfilter in this case, but bloody ell! , I am getting visitors, I have to give them something to look at! knock the nippers over with a ball; its fun, honest.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I watched, live on the telly, as a fit young man collapsed and died. It was distressing in the extreme but is a lesson to us all. Live your life as if each day is your last.

I cannot believe what the U.S is getting away with in its treatment of prisoners at Guantamano Bay. Even if you accept it's argument that they have no legal status, I cannot see how it justifiable to treat them so inhumanely. How the US can dare to claim moral superiority leaves me bewildered and confused.

The state of my trousers yesterday has become the stuff of legend. People are pointing and laughing at me wherever I go. Mrs Buddha is looking at me the same way the wife in Curb Your Enthusiasm does at Larry David when he has erred.
Never mind banning mobiles while you are driving, they should ban Magnums.

Steve Bell
And again.

Mission: Iraq a superb blog by Greenpeace members in Iraq. Absolutely essential reading.

More death, this time though, I couldn't give a bugger. Dennis Thatcher has bit the dust, as nobody needs me to tell them. It struck me as curious, as I browsed the BBC site for news on Foe, before his death was announced, that tributes have poured in for Sir Dennis. I just wondered what the hell this oaf had actually done to deserve a knighthood and fulsome tributes on the BBC site, apart from shacking up with a grotesque harridan. Hopefully she won't be long behind and we all have cause to rejoice.

Soul City is worth a diversion for all sorts of spiritual stuff, including a recipe for tommycock.

I genuinely hesitate before posting this, as I am inviting scorn to be poured upon my head, but it's a cracking article on slovenly use of the English language. From the chuffin Spectator!

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Can't update, I am bloody knackered, Misanthrope knows why.
My p.c at home appears to be kaput, hence lack of updates, until I get the bleeder sorted out blogging will be difficult, will probably just post bits and bobs while at work, might be dodgy though, the FFC appears at your shoulder like grim death, unannounced.
While I am here I may as well post my thoughts on last nights game.
All the violence and brouhaha was to be expected and was entirely predictable. I can't say it upstes or bothers me at all; anything that pours more scorn on that shower of claret and blue shit is ok by me. And humiliation was piled upon humiliation.
A few things have soured the night for me though. Firstly the one eyed commentary on Sky, both the commentator, Rob Hawthorne, and his side kick, Alan Smith, are clearly Villa fans, and couldn't stop themselves. Every time a Blues player went down it was a despicable over reaction, conversely every Blues challenge was a savage assault (no pun intended). That was bad enough but to then have Andy Gray analysing was a bit much, although Gray at least makes no secret of his allegiance.
I am one of the few who thinks the ref could have done better. I agree he did well to keep his cards in his pocket early on but I think he let it go too far. In particular the little Villa skinhead in midfield should have been booked for a high , late and nasty challenge on Savage. When I say high I mean high, he caught Savage on the shoulder while he was standing at his full height. By the time he booked Cunningham for a fairly innocuous challenge it was too late, Villa had lost the plot.
The mass psychology that insists that Dublin is the aggrieved victim following his contretemps with Savage is bewildering. The mantra is that Dublin is a model pro and a nice guy and his actions were out of of character. All cobblers in my opinion, all through his career if there has been a row on the pitch Dublin has been conspicuous by his presence, inevitably with head thrust aggressively forward. He has always struck me as a bit of a bully. The media in general, including the quality press, continue to demonise Savage in a most unfair manner. First he was assaulted from behind , then when he had the gall to take umbrage, he got nutted. Somehow he has become portrayed as the aggressor. Quite mad.
I can't be bothered going on about the so called invasions, enough cobblers has been spouted on that. However, Blues were well and truly hammered after one guy got on and went about 10 yards at St Andrews. One guy last night went the length of the pitch twice and even then had to hang around making small talk with Enckleman before some fat bloke and his elderly sidekick decided to stroll on and remove him. I hope justice is seen to be done.

Martin Amis on war with Iraq

Steve Bell

Normal blogging will resume one day, I hope.
I believe Thanksgiving is quite a big deal in the U.S of A. It gave us Planes Trains and Automobiles, and for that, I give thanks.
Thanks to mefi, for the Thanksgiving poem by William Burroughs.
The Guardian guide to Thanksgiving.
Answers to more crucial Thanksgiving questions.

Another fantastic random clicky thing, this time of street photos. Apart from the Paris ones, a sample of which is above, you probably won't know where you are, but who cares.

I like the look of this TV reviewing site. There isn't much on it yet, but it has potential. Unbelievably, there is no review for the Sopranos, that will change very soon, I suspect.

The Bluetitch 5
1/ What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
I won' that joke is too disgusting even for me. I once lied to get a job, then having got the job had to confess that I had lied because it was about to become very obvious. Not a big lie just a stupid one. Sacked before I started.
2/ What is the biggest lie you've ever been told? I was grievously and pointlessly lied to by 2 health professionals I am suppossed to be working in partnership with last week. One of the ugly chuffers actually lied either to or about me 3 times (that I know of) just last week. This is actually a very big thing and has pissed me off immensley. The fuck faced cowbag knows of it and has ignored it, leaving me to deal with it myself, which will have inevitably messy consequences. Not the biggest, I suppose but cumulatively, the one that is pissing me off most, right this minute.
3/ What is the biggest secret you've ever kept?
Well, it wouldn't be a secret if I said, would it?
4/ What is the biggest secret you've not kept?
Mrs Buddha's first pregnacy
5/ What is the "best" lie you've ever heard being told?
Er, can't think of one, in general I don't approve, unless it is to save my own skin.

Addendum to the five, one of my favourite lyrics is from what led me to this town by The Jayhawks, which includes the line, "can I tell you a secret...I'm in love with you". Also, truth time, this was meant to be a gratuitous link to Wilco, until I realised I had got the wrong band.

The firemans strike is a bit of a sore point in our house and no longer to be discussed. Mrs Buddha supports them wholeheartedly and unreservedly. She keeps taking them boxes of biscuits and stuff. I have taken up a slightly different position. Anyway, this article about firemen and braziers made me chuckle, and really shouldn't offend either side, it's just a giggle, but true enough.

The BBC held a great Britons poll, and Winston Churchill won it. Well, that is just embarrassing really, Churchill was a git, quite prepared to send troops in against his own people.

Princess Diana irritated me intensely before her death, and even more after it. The continued hagiography of her by the press drives me mad, as prior to her death she was regarded as a vacuous dilettante. So I am more than happy that I can share this, which is a fair summation of her life and achievments.

ROFLMBO: a useful guide to internet abbreviations

My campaign against Saudi Arabia continues.

Yet another Blues fan starts a blog. Hugh Mungus this time; I have high hopes for this one.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Cultural infantilism. A couple of years ago, loads of parents of my nippers mates started to rave about Harry Potter. If the nippers had spent time at our house the parents would pick them up and after the usual niceties; "has he been good?", "did he eat his tea?" , they would say they would get them home, and bathed and read Harry Potter to them. Inevitably they would tell us how brilliant the books were and how they read them for themselves, rather than the nippers.

I was sceptical. I had thought my nipper was too young for Harry Potter but these people convinced me, and I bought a book. Well, it may be good childrens literature but it isn't for adults, it is plainly kids work, and my Mrs agrees, so that's that. My nipper loves it, and I haven't a problem with that, but I hope that when he is an adult he likes adult books. He prefers Snicket, Morpugo and Zephania as it is.

The reason for this little diatribe is my dismay at the cant and cobblers spouted about this latest book. It no wonder publishers and marketing types take us all for chuffing idiots; we do very little to disprove the notion.
2 Potter related links from the Observer, one is a positive review, with something pertinent to say about adults who read it.
Two is a typically witty and slightly cynical piece from Euan Ferguson.

Bernard Manning is an old style northern club comic who has got rich by being offensive about, well, everybody. He is on in Cwmbran soon and I am toying with going simply so I can blog about it. The thought of several hundred lagered up valleys boyos pissing themselves at "paki" gags, though, will prevent me from doing so. Odious as Manning is, his audience represents a very scary mob mentality, which I don't think I can stomach. Anyway, there is a brilliant interview with him in todays Guardian, by Simon Hattenstone. Mannings attempt to explain a "coon" joke to Hattenstone had me cracking up.

I have a habit, when I have bought a load of books, of keeping them all by the bed. Even if I have a book on the go, I will have a little dip into my new purchases, reading and rereading the back jacket and the reviews, maybe a paragraph or two. This caused me to get a chuffing bollocking this morning. While Mrs Buddha was running around like a maniac trying to get the 3 nippers sorted out, I took a peek at Down On Ponce, and kept peeking until she gently pointed out that this was no time to be reading a fucking book, about 3 chapters later.
I got home from work, knocked up the quickest tuna, bacon and tomato sauce for pasta in history, for the nippers, banged it down and legged it up to the bath where I got a few more chapters in before anyone noticed. He kills coppers is going to have to wait, not for long though.

So enamoured have I become with the work of Fred Willard I e mailed the bugger to tell him, and he replied. It appears that this very morning he sent the first part of his new novel tohis publisher. I am not sure if this is a good thing, why wouldn't he send the whole thing? Perhaps he is blocked.
Talking of why, why is the sequel to the Ice Harvest taking so long to appear?
The Misanthrope has been moaning his head off again.

Friday, June 20, 2003

I have a dilemma. I have so much personal stuff to blog I don't know which blog to stick it on. As this one is much easier than the other this one will get more than the other, so if you are looking for daft links, well, later dude.

My work this week has been more stressful than I have ever known, and I have been in the game for more than 20 years. I won't go on about it here. I have another blog for that shit, but it's pertinent to what follows.

We are soft sods in my game, we don't get overtime but routinely start early, finish late and work through dinners. In fact we don't have dinner hours, we stop and eat but thats it and we usually work between mouthfuls. I say we all, but those who see my other blog won't take that as the literal truth, obviously.

The advantage is, though, we are always owed time (some of us legitimately) so I took today the fuck off.

Got up the usual time and got the train to Cardiff.. nice espresso, nice langorous haircut, mooch around the book and record shops, Yankees hat for the nipper. It was like I had a week off and it was barely past mid morning. Got a whole 69 p off Willards first book because of the battered cover, spent a fortune on sundry shit, including a half pound of Santos and Java coffee. And I thought retail therapy was for girls.

I arranged to meet the Mrs outside Waterstones at 12.30, the intention being we would have a little mooch and take the 2 that ain't in school down Cardiff Bay for an ice cream.

Cardiff Bay was buzzing. Beautiful hot sunshine and every bar and cafe abuzz. Unbelievably, nipper number 3 fell asleep between the car park and the bay. I cannot tell you what a result that was.

We headed straight for the Bosphorous, which is a Turkish joint ( I wish! ) which juts out on a pier like edifice into the water. Boardwalk up to the restaurant but tables all around, and one was free. We sat there listening to the waves and the hubbub of conversation, taking the smells of grilled food in. I swear it didnt take much imagination to take yourself away, especially as we were surronde by Spaniards.

We had one of those do's where they just keep bringing loads of small but beautifully prepared dishes. It being lunchtime and this being an unexpected pleasure I went for the house wine, which was actually very good. 8 quid for some Turkish thing which was much better value than the 20 quid I spent on a Pinot Grigio in Topo Gigoo last week.

A good day then. The daughter was present through all this and behaved herself beautifully and scoffed sophisticatedly. Number 3 slept all through it. The sun shone.

Travelled home, picked number one up, and his mate from school. Stuck myself in the garden. Put some music on, loud but quiet. You could hear it on our patio, but not on our lawn. It was ok for about 2 hours.

Mrs Buddha took the pal home about 6 and I reflected what a glorious day it had been and what a lucky sod I am, pissed by now, obviously. I further reflected that this little idyll would inevitably end, sooner rather than later, and it did.

I have said before, I have social housing to my immediate left, and posh housing to my right. The truth is I hate the lot of them. As I said last year though, it is only the fat, wobbly bastards from the social housing who drive me inside and stop me enjoying a pleasant summers evening in the garden.
By 6.30 tonight the Clampitts were at it. The worst is their music is crap and the system they play it on is nasty, and it gets louder as the night goes on. The fat fuckers have no class.

So while I had some Dexys on, sinking some lager or other, a generic eurobeat just took over everything. It is like some cheap Aldi soundsystem, turned up high, very nasty, worse than nails down a blackboard in terms of sound quality. And they stick on it the modern equivalent of those MUSIC FOR PLEASURE LP's you used to get from Woolworth. All the hits, but it wasn't till you got home and read the small print that you realised the music was not by original artists, but by the Swingle Sisters less tuneful sisters.

It's been a grand day, but check the neighborhood before you buy a house!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Inexplicable mobs. It seems that loads of people in New York get e mailed a location and then descend upon it, for no reason. It's the kind of pointless and stupid activity that I find very appealing.

Rebel Dread: long interview with Don Letts. He has something interesting to say about Sid Vicious.

Bleedinell. Now I can't eat tiger prawns. Never much cared for the buggers anyway.

I am a bit of a cricket traditionalist but can see the point of 20 20 cricket. The idea of popping down after work and sinking a few while first class players bash it about a bit for a couple of hours makes sense. The three games I have seen on the box so far though, have been crap. Fortunately, the Bears seem to have become quite adept at it, a report on last nights humilation of Worcestershire is a good reflective piece by an old fart.

A couple of tracks from the Paddy Mcaloon album, available for streaming.

U.S soldiers appear to be getting fed up.
This may or may not be a blog written by a US soldier in Iraq.

Bare bum. Click on it and it wiggles, the further away you click the more it wiggles. It's only a bum, but it's bare, so use your common sense.

Bjork has a new haircut.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Steve Bell

I have been banging on about how Late Junction is the best thing on radio for ages, I am listening to last nights show now, courtesy of the web. No one has taken any notice though, so I gave up. Well, what Matt Seaton said.

After roughly 280 days worth of fearful descriptions of the formidable Iraqi arsenal, coming on the heels of seven years of UNSCOM weapons inspections, four years of surveillance, months of UNMOVIC weapons inspections, the investiture of an entire nation by American and British forces, after which said forces searched "everywhere" per the words of the Marine commander over there and "found nothing," after interrogating dozens of the scientists and officers who have nothing to hide anymore because Hussein is gone, after finding out that the dreaded 'mobile labs' were weather balloon platforms sold to Iraq by the British, George W. Bush and his people suddenly have a few things to answer for.

And so does Blair.

The U.S. government could not have chosen a more inappropriate land in which to stage its illegal war and display its grotesque disregard for justice. Arundhati Roy waxes beautifully, brainily, lengthily and crucially.

For those who might be interested, the other blog has been updated.

It's been a bit of a pain these last few days finding a book to read and I have been dipping in and out of several. The trouble is I think, my work is so shitty and stressful I am exhausted all the fucking time, so starting a new book is just a bit, well irritating. I can't be arsed with the preliminaries I just want in there. I had a good go at To Die In California, but it was just too depressing as a bedtime read after a shitty day. I will definitely return to it though, despite the exremely small, eye knackering print.
I took myself into the Leisure Centre caff earlier, while nipper number 1 was at karate. A full hour to myself, with a coffee and a book, you cannot know what luxury that is. I decided I would take He Kills Coppers. Good choice got well into it and it will do for the next week or so. A very short excerpt

Plep continues to come up with the good stuff. These childrens stories have gone straight into my favourites.

I have a new discovery. Broken Social Scene. Believe the hype.

A short story by David Sedaris.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

At the risk of sounding like a spluttering old bufoon, I have to say I am outraged at the news that the burglar who was shot by his victim, has won the right to sue for damages.
I have no sympathy with the victim, Tony Martin, as he comes across as quite unpleasant and dangerous himself. This twerp of a burglar though, needs to stop crying and accept some responsibility.
The little shit should grow up and be a man. Actions have consequences. If you are big enough and ugly enough to commit crime you should be big enough and ugly to accept the consequences, that includes having harm done to you if caught by the victim.
What a little wanker.

Cardiff is famous for its Clarks pies, God knows why because they are crap, this guide to buying and eating one, however, is priceless.
The first time I tried to buy one, just after moving to Cardiff in a chip shop on Albany Rd in Roath, was a disaster and I ended up with a piece of cod. It must have been my accent. Clarks pie and chips I said, and waited. I saw her put a piece of cod on the paper and asked if it was for me. Yes she said. I don't want fish, I said, I want a CLARKS PIE!. Thats what you have got she said........A LARGE COD. We repeated this mantra to each other about 5 times before I settled for the cod.

Just got back from Cardiff. Scoffed well at Topo Gigio, and drank very well there and in several other places. Saw Cerys Matthews. Wasn't all that good, wasn't bad, but not blow your socks off good. Still, as evenings go, with your Mrs, it was bleeding marvelous.
Topo Gigio is one of those trattoria type places that has pictures of the stars that have eat there all over the place, it has also got agreat big open front window effort with tables outside, so one can watch the world go buy and enjoy the hot, sultry, summer ambience. So, obviously the Mrs had the view. I had the photo. Michael Knighton and Ian Rush. It's a classy joint.

The guy who supported Cerys was a strange fish. I had hoped we had missed him going for the Italian and insisting on her having a puddding as I felt time spent in the bar would be more rewarding. As we entered she said she needed a piddle so more time wasted, I thought, then, when she emerged the guy said 2 minutes to showtime. Given the choice between watching me get even more pissed or watching the guy she chose the latter.
Frankly he was crap, Adam Green or somesuch. Self regarding yankee twerp. Avoid at all costs.

Cerys started as if she had never met her musicians before, it shows up what happens when you have a bunch of musicians rather than a band. They sorted it out though and by the 5th or 6th number sounded pretty tight. She looked beautiful in all her pregnant glory and despite her rock chick habits has a glorious voice and a winning personality.

Before we went I commented to Mrs Buddha it was going to be fucking homecoming, not a gig, full of Welsh mawkishness. She agreed and said she mentioned to her colleagues that she was worried I would hate it. Well, I wouldn't have, but it didnt apply. She ignored her past and didn't indulge in any Welsh girl banter even though large parts of the crowd were begging for it. Big Kudos to her for that, and for giving me and the Mrs the excuse for a brilliant, reaffirming night.

Cardiff has changed massively since I started breeding and stopped going out. Much better than Brum, and thats a phrase I thought I would never utter. Life is lived on the street, fantastic, they should pipe streetlife through the lamposts. Late on we went in a pub, the name of which I forget, on the end of Mill Lane. It's just a pub, nothing special, but will sell you,by the bottle, Faustino 5 and Berbera.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Crab Ball

A history of CBGB'S

It being bloody hot, my in car entertainment has mostly been classic 70's dub. I have also discovered Ted Leo, who is very far from being dub, but it is very, very good. The bugger is on in Cardiff in a couple of weeks for about a fiver, the night after The Sadies. Wonder if I can get to both. Jon Langford is guesting with Sadies, it will be a night to remember I suspect

There is a very good literary website, which publishes short fiction. Unlike others of the type it doesn't overload itself, so is very user friendly.

I read this last week and thought I must blog it then forgot all about it, till it popped up on Mefi. It's the story of a Japanese girl who turned up in Fargo, apparently looking for the money that was buried in the film. She wound up dead.

A snobby, but accurate, article on British grub.
Bloke in the Kitchen.
Healthy grub.

Just finished the Fred Willard, so good I am going to have to get another. First though I will finish the Thornburg I started last night and which pulled me in immediately.

Although at times he talks like a cock, much of this article looking at the Beckham transfer is spot on. I really don't know why I bother with football anymore. The whole thing including the personalities, is starting to make me feel nauseus.

I rarely give advice, so listen to yourself a favour, one way or another, legal or illegal, get yourself a copy of I Trawl The Megahertz, by Paddy Mcaloon.
Interview with Mcaloon. Not recent.
Any excuse to share a recipe. Being skint I am always chuffed when I find something easy, cheap, quick and which all of us will eat. I don't know when, recently though, I invented the dogs bollocks of chicken thingys. Even if I say so myself.
Olive oil
smoked paprika
couple of lemons
salt pepper, obviously
Small bag of nice spuds
3 lemons, probably
One clove garlic, chopped not minced,
Some shallots, or onion, quartered
About 8 chicken thighs

Put big, big glug of olive oil in roasting tin and chuck in the oregano, paprika and seasoning, with juice from 2 of the lemons.
Having sliced the spuds, not thick, not thin, toss them in all the lovely, fragranced oil.
Sprinkle over the garlic
Skin the chicken and score the bugger, give it a good coating of oil and lay over the spuds
Tuck a quartered lemon and some shallots all around ( or onion)
Bang it in hot oven for about an hour.
The chicken might be slightly overcooked, some spuds definitely will be, but it won''t matter because the flavour will knock everyones socks off. There will be no leftovers.

I did this with some left over spuds a few weeks ago and have done it pretty much every night since.
Cooked spuds, floury will do if you can devote time, love and patience.
1 big onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped not minced
I green chilli, chopped, wash your hands before going to the toilet.
Basically stick em all in a big frying or saute pan with oil and butter. Cook very slow, very gentle for about 45 minutes. The secret is the very slow gentle frying...the slower the better, be patient very low heat,,, gentle nudging till they go brown all over. Fuckin ace man.

I wonder if I am too old for an existential crisis?

Anyone remember Ducks Deluxe?

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

One of my favourite places on earth, possibly my favourite place on earth, is Barcelona market.

Make some biscuits.

They died for their government: an excellent article on war and patriotism.

Twin Oaks is a commune that was set up in the sixties. It is still going.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Bloody Spion Kop has had me disappearing up my own arris trying to post a poxy pic of him taken in about 1903. He's going to have to start his own blog.

There is a new blogger in town. He's pretty good too.

Robert Mugabe continues to lock up and murder his opponents, yet far from invading Zimbabwe and setting its people free, we play cricket with it. Even peaceful protests are banned from inside the ground by our cricket authorities. If I wasn't so old and cynical I would be spluttering with rage about this.
Saddams major mistake was in not having a cricket team; if he did, he would still be in power.

A brilliant account of life in Baghdad

I am still listening to M Ward, which just gets better and better, both of them. Thanks to the internet though, I have also got the Pernice Brothers new one, which is every bit as good as the last one, so it is very chuffing good indeed, obviously. I am finding Out Hud extremely groovy too.

It appears that there is chance that Bush might be impeached for lying through his teeth. Much as I would piss myself if it happened I cannot see it.
Bush and Blair both make me sick with their religious pieties. They seem to think that lying and cheating does not count if it is done by them, and they carry on regardless, like a pair of smug chimps. One way or another they will get their comeuppance.
Mind you, most Christians I know share similar traits and are a very unattractive and hypocritical bunch.

Is it art, or is it crap?

I paid a rare visit to one the Blues message boards today and found it depressingly full of ill shit. One or two of its contributors could do with learning a bit about tolerance.

Intriguing interview with an ex CIA chap who reckons he knows a thing or three about Saudi Arabia.

Friday, June 06, 2003

OO er. The template has changed. It's still much better than the one on my other blog, which is the essence of crap. I might just have to start posting all my work ramblings here.

This isn't a work rambling, although it might appear to be so. I will ramble workwise, later, but on the other blog; this is a general ramble which just happens to be work related.
This morning , while going for water, I saw someone struggling to get through a heavy door while carrying a big box. Instinctively, I went to help. Then I noticed it was some grease laden and orange faced cow from personal who not only was responsible for my pal Sian leaving but was very rude to me and my colleagues in Londinium the other week. So I just thought fuck it and let her struggle. That's all.

Cooking with Google.

WMD: where is the chuffing outrage!!

Read about M Ward.

"It took two or three days to walk correctly, but . . ."

Write better e mails.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Steve Bell

Long, fascinating article on the history of the Tour de France

Once again, it seems the people are more than willing to believe a big lie.

Short story by Murakami.

I have recently discovered M Ward (not the ex Blues player). Do yourself a favour, discover him too.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Reviews of Shoedog, by Pelecanos.

I had always thought that Stagger Lee was just a great character in a Clash song. Now I learn that Stagger Lee is not a Clash song, it is an American classic, with a wonderful history and that it is based on a true story, whereby Stagger Lee killed someone in a St Louis bar for touching his hat. Now it is the subject of a book, which I going to have to get just as soon as I can lay my hands on it.

Build a bridge

Play 20 questions

Nims winter story is a bit special.

The week, generally, has been a bit wonderful. I have had such a great time time with Mrs Buddha and the kids I am waiting for some disaster to befall me so the pleasure gets balanced out by some pain, and I can stop feeling guilty at being so lucky.
We had so much fun I haven't even had time to get decently pissed before crawling to my pit; which means I at least had the wits about me to finish the Crumley.
Man that was a depressing read. I was in need of light relief, and my hand fell upon Princess Naughty and The Voodoo Cadillac, by Fred Willard. So far so good, I think I am going to like it, thankfully. I have taken some chances on pulp type novels recently and been sorely disappointed.

I have to say I have been a bit underwhelmed by my first mefiswap experience. Of the two cd's I received one was excelklent, full of really good stuff that I was unfamiliar with, the other was good as well, but not as surprising, or startling. But where the chuff are the other 3 ? Also, I keep having guilty pangs about putting unintended tracks on the one I sent out, and not being arsed to change them. I also realise that of all the Ed Harcourt tracks I could have put on, I chose the worst.
Oddly when I tested the link, the website was playing the tune I was actually listening to anyway. Spooky.

The suicide wave: an extremely harrowing account of young men approaching slaughter on Omaha beach June 16 1944.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Well, the logic went, if we are going to drive for an hour we may as well drive for 90 minutes, then, if we are going to drive for 90 minutes we may as well drive for two hours. Which is how we ended up spending the day on South Beach at Tenby, with hundreds of brummies for company.
I have turned a screaming, vivid red. It's very embarrassing, I look like a fucking freak. I wonder if I can get a note for it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

It struck me as I parked up in Cardiff this morning that it is some shithole I happen to live in when I have to drive 20 miles one way for a decent piece of meat and 20 miles another for a decent haircut. Still, having been suitably shorn, me and the nipper managed to completely overspend on books again, and stock up on various bits of clothing that neither of us actually needed. Of course having done that, we had to get something for the other two nippers, and, naturally, Mrs Buddha. One way or another it was an expensive chuffing haircut.

The nipper is delighted with his new Lemony Snicket, but not half as delighted as I am with my new Newton Thornburg, To Die In California. I have been trying to get this for about 2 years, since reading his masterpiece, Cutter and Bone.

I also picked up, to my shame, A Season With Verona, by Tim Parks. I always said I wouldn't buy this book, for two reasons; one, large chunks were serialised in the Guardian, and two, having read the articles I had come to consider the dude a bit of a dilettante. However, I picked it up, browsed, remembered it came highly recommended by young Blues fans Flavio and Colin Bumstead and , well, I just couldn't not buy the fucking thing.
I also got If Nobody Speaks Of RemarkableThings, by Jon Mcgregor. If the rest of the book compares with the beautiful first paragraph, this is a book I will be returning to. Read the first chapter.
While I was at it I decided to get Little Infamies, which has been well reviewed, more in the hope of keeping Mrs Buddha quiet for a couple of nights than anything else really. All I have to do now is finish the bloody Crumley.

There are compensations to living here. It was shaping up to be a beautiful evening and on whim we decided we would head for the beach. We left at 5 and, despite having to go through or past 3 major towns, in the rush hour, we were scoffing ice creams on a beach by 6. As we drove down I thought we could see hundreds of seals at play, but it was just dozens of black clad surfers; a fact I appreciated when we got nearer and found the tosspots had all parked along the road despite there being an enormous car park within about 20 yards from where they surf. This parking , although on yellow lines, doesn't cause a major hazard, but it does make life slightly, but, nevertheless, unneccessarily, difficult for others. I suppose chasing that radical high makes one a bit selfish. They wouldn't want to miss Big Sur!

Mind you the car park was worth a post in itself as it seems to be where the local and not so local herberts hang out. So we were treated to the sight of 4 fat slags, wobbling about and drinking Carlsberg from cans trying to get the attention of a group of slightly cooler males by outblasting them on their car stereos, which prompted others to compete. Tranquil it aint.

The main beach is impressive but poxy. Good for sandcastles and watching the surfers with hundreds of rock pools, but my fucking God....the people! Bloody Nora I cannot even bring myself to think about them, the wobbly, thick, gits. Not to mention the parents!

Walk around for 5 minutes though, and you have the place more or less to your self. Tonight there was a beautiful sunset which we shared with just another large family who were enjoying a most impressive barbie with the waves rolling gently in and the smell of the briney clearing the sinuses. This other family were getting the wine down their collective necks like motherfuckers and were clearly enjoying themselves immensely. Yet they kept to themselves, were relatively quiet and discreet and did not seek their pleasure by getting in everyone elses faces, which shows it can be done.

You wouldn't to walk too far around the bay though,or your reward would be a beautiful view of Port Talbot steelworks , which would destroy all romantic notions.

We drove back just as it was getting dark and had the motorway to ourselves. It was beautiful, I love empty roads at night, especially motorways, I fill my head with all sorts of childish, romantic notions, about just driving on the open road for ever, till I find my spiritual home.

Tomorrow we are getting up early and heading for a quieter beach about 30 minutes further up the coast. This place is stunning but the hoi polloi generally can't be arsed making the effort to get there. Unless we go just a bit further and end up here:

Iraq: a memorial It was flesh and blood that died, people with families, thousands and thousands of people, all grieving.
Body counts

Jesus H Christ! Is it really only 2 and a half years? I suspect when the history books come to be written, by objective scholars, given distance from events, young George will be much mocked.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Having heard the Cerys Matthews cd more than once I am forced to revise my opinion. It is much better than OK, it's bloody good. Good songs, well performed, nothing earth shattering but it leaves you feeling happy, who could ask for more?

Why I love the internet, part 101, Disinfopedia

Bugger me you have to try Gnod, just for a laugh. It is supposed to recommend books and music and suchlike based on information you give it. I told it I like Crumley, Pelecanos and Evanovich, and it suggested I check out some guy called Mantec. Looking further I discovered this chap writes fantasy novels, which is a genre that leaves me completely unmoved.
The music recommendation made more sense. I put in Flaming Lips, Wilco and Cerys Matthews and it suggested Super Furry Animals. At least it was somewhere in the neighbourhood.

I nipped off from work to travel 20 miles to buy some meat. I wanted some beef fillet, and the last time I tried to buy some in Cwmbran I genuinely lost the will to live. Anyway a nice old lady served me.
"Do you have any beef fillet," I asked. She looked at me as if I was an idiot and pointed to a tray full of the stuff. " Oh," I said, " I mean in a piece". "Yes," she said, "how much do you want" "er, dunno," I replied, and sort of gestured. " How many are you feeding with it," she asked, and I said "4".
"It's very expensive, it's that much for a pound," she said, pointing to the ticket, "and you need at least 2 pound".
"That's OK," I said, "so long as it is a nice uniform thickness, as I am going to wrap it and roast it and I can't have one end cooking quicker than another"
She gestured me to follow, then called a bloke over and told him what I wanted. He went away and came back with a beautiful big thick piece of fillet. He sort of marked out a piece in the middle and suggested that would just about do the job, I agreed and he cut it, from the middle. I tell you it is a beautiful piece of meat and I am well chuffed.
As I was paying the lady asked if I was wrapping it in pastry; "no," I said, "I will soak some porcini in wine, roll the meat in thyme and rosemary, smother with the mushrooms then wrap with pancetta." Bloody Nora, she told another old lady what I was planning then a general discussion on things to do with a nice piece of fillet ensued; involving the whole bloody shop!
It was a nice interlude in an existence that lately is being characterised by chuffing misery, which made a change from the idiot in Sainsburys who insisted that I didn't want fillet I wanted sirloin. The same Sainsburys who still haven't dealt with my complaint from some weeks ago.

Test your sexuality.

I had good day yesterday, which I may or may not detail on me other blog, next week. Twice though, early on, then much later on the people I were with said how education can be a curse and that if they hadn't educated themselves they would be much happier, as they would be happy to settle for less. We went around and about this sort of logic all day long really, most animatedly in a pretty shit hot Cuban restaurant in Islington where we enjoyed a very leisurely lunch. I thought about it again today when someone commented that I had become so cynical that I don't even pretend to be interested or motivated at work anymore. I said it would be an insult to my own and everyone elses intelligence to pretend otherwise; I would be marking myself out as a happy idiot, unable to see what is staring him in the face. I only mention it because it seems that we should all try a bit harder to be happy.

Cale says he is "still fascinated by the emotional curve of my journey from Wales to New York and back again. When I return to the Amman valley, it is as if to the bosom of a friend. That friend floats in the language and seduces me with each translation."
The above quote resonates with me, not because it relates to a place barely 40 minutes drive from where I sit, but because I recognise that it doesn't matter how long you live in a place, how much you identify with a place or how much you connect with a place emotionally or intellectually, there is only one place you can call home, one place you truly belong, even as you cease to belong there and even as you come to find it unrecognisable, and that is where you grew up.
Which is a long winded way of saying the bloody Guardian has a good interview with John Cale. I don't know if he does Tai Chi for 3 hours a day but he seems a bit more centred than Lou Reed.

Mikey Delgado tells George, straight: "That Bush and Blair mate. What planet are they on? I watched the breakfast time news and I know old Bush is a laugh like, with his bullshit about fighting the war on terror, and how he looks like an old-time druggie and he’s got to think about how to move his tongue to say whatever crap it is he’s saying. But when you see him on telly you just want to give him a shake don’t you? And tell him "Look George, for fuck’s sake, I know I was fucking crap in school mate and I know I ain’t the sharpest knife in the box, but come on, shape up, we’re not fucking stupid. You’re starting to take the piss, mate."

Man, I need this t shirt, as does this dude. Ta very much Desultory Deturgescence.

Hmm, Rapacious Dissertation sounds like a crap name for a blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Finally, got the mefiswap cd's in the post. I have some excuse but not much, they should have gone before now. After a very long wait at the post office I explained to the nice lady at the counter I wanted to send 2 packages to the US, 2 to Canada and 2 within the UK.
O.K she said you will have to make a customs declaration...fill in these little forms. I looked and explained I couldn't do that as they were all in Welsh. I will help she said, but couldn't speak Welsh herself, so Christ knows what the hell we have done. Are they all the same weight, she said, yes I replied so she wote the same weight in for each of them, then weighed them anyway. They all weighed different. We had to remove all the stickers and start again. Man I was popular. Finally I asked what the difference in price would have been. None she said, absolutely straight faced.
For more examples of how I manage to make a berk of myself on a daily basis, visit my other blog

Cardiff play QPR in a play off final at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday. You would not believe the racket the locals have been making. They want the Wesh national anthem played before kick off and the league has said nooooooo fuckin way Jose, quite rightly. Remember this is Cardiff, who play in the English league, in English competitions, all of a sudden getting all patriotic. I would say if you are that patriotic fuck off to the Welsh league.

Talking of patriotism, I have just seen Celtic defeated in the EUFA cup final. The support they took over was remarkable, and it included Rod Stewart, which wasn't so remarkable. We had to listen to him on the radio this morning telling us what a great Celtic fan he is and how he was worried he wouldn't get a ticket. I wonder how many other Celtic games he has been to in the past ten years.

A while back I went on about how pleased I was with myself to have discovered Haruki Marukami, and stuck some links up. There is a really good profile of him in, I am embarrassed to state, the Guardian. It was last Saturday; I tried not to post it!

Images of New York from the 40s and 50s.

I just happened upon Bookforum, there is nothing in particular I would recommend but it looks like I will be wasting many minutes there in future.

Monday, May 19, 2003

You can barely pick up a paper or a magazine at the moment without finding some article on Cerys Matthews and her new album, Cockahoop.
There is a good interview with her in the Guardian.
I have the album and it's ok, better than most of the reviews I have read suggest. Mrs Buddha loves it, she likes her bruised and raw vocal style, and she identifies with strong women who won't be cowed. Unfortunately.

Also in the Guardian is a really good, well; it's more of an expose than interview, with Lou Reed. I really don't know why the guy has to be such a berk. I have seen loads of similar interviews with him recently and he came across like a twat on Radio 2 the other week. There is nothing wrong with exercising a little humility, especially if you havent made a decent record for about 30 years .

Rather than visit this blog, you might just as well go straight to the Guardian site, because I am about to link there again.
An extract from a book by Sidney Blumenthal, self aggrandising about his role in advising Clinton during the Lewinksy affair (pun intended)

The Bilderberg dudes have been meeting in France, busily mapping out all our futures.

Flash thingy looking at the military record of young George. I think it's supposed to be funny, actually it is quite depressing.

Apparently, being apathetic, I am one of Christianitys worst enemies, I am delighted to divulge. Which enemy of Christ are you?
Via Desultory Turgescence, which is a motherfucker to spell but worth a visit for the Nigerian type communication from Saddam.

Interview with Chomsky.

404 page.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

One of the pleasing things about Blues unexpected promotion last year was the fact that decent players were prepared to play for us. Some Blues fans on some message boards still haven't worked this out and are forever suggesting we try our luck with some nonentity from the second division who has managed to score half a dozen goals. We don't need to do that, established internationals are more than happy to come to us, and in the case of Savage postively canvass for the move. Now Dugarry has signed, it is even more likely that players of high class will accept that a move to us is in their best interests.

The best example of playing for us being a positive career move is seen in the case of Matthew Upson. He had been kicking around on the fringe of the Arsenal squad for 5 and a half years, not really getting anywhere. Weeks after signing for us, in January, he was named in the England squad, and has stayed there for the upcoming matches.
There is a very good interview with him in todays Times, which is also something of a meditation on the frustrations of being a bit part player at a large club like Arsenal. He seems to have his head screwed on. I reckon Sven has identified him , potentially, as one of his famed "cultural architects", which can only be good news for Blues.

The Times also had a sort of light hearted end of season review; these items caused me to snigger:
Commentary: Half-time in the Champions League, and Big Ron Atkinson was hungry and unaware that he was still live on German TV. “Are there any sandwiches? I’m starving,” he grunted. Atkinson also let slip his admiration for Roma’s front-man: “He’s a little twat, that Totti”

Interview: Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, mid-sentence during a TV interview at their training ground, is hit smack on the back by a stray ball. “Why the fuck have you kicked that over here? Got some fucking brains, ain’t you?” Redknapp turns to camera. “No wonder he’s in the fucking reserves”

Goal celebration: Pascal Nouma, the Frenchman sacked by Turkish club Besiktas after taking off his shirt and putting his hand down his shorts. “It w>as not against anybody,” he said. “It was a private sign of joy”

Not forgetting our Clinton and his dear old mum. Actually, I wish the ugly chuffer was just a bad memory:
Mum: Angela Morrison, mother of Birmingham’s Clinton, was so enraged by the treatment her son had received at the feet of Rufus Brevett, then of Fulham, that she continued the spat in the players’ lounge after the game. “Your son’s got a big mouth,” Brevett said. Ma Morrison replied: “I know, he gets it from me.” Stewards were called.

Just for Bluetitch: Kittenfilter.

Baghdad in peacetime.

There is a good article in Open Democracy on the philosophy of food. Very good, in fact; very provoking of thought. The Guardian is also getting its middle class nickers in a twist over the global economy of food.
Now, food is a passion for me, and I buy the best and most humanely produced produce I can, but I am starting to get irritated by the food fascists, telling us we can only buy free range this and organically produced that; have these berks seen the price of this stuff?
Perhaps if the owners of big media who run these stories banned the conglomerates from advertising in their papers it would be a start. Think globally, act locally; unless it is inconvenient to me.
Try buying a free range pig in Cwmbran, it can't be done, old cock, unless you are talking about the FFC of course.
These are readily available though.

Hunter S Thompson on Richard Nixon, it puts me in mind of Wee Jimmy Krankie, can't think why.

From The Observer end of season review:

Man of the year: JESUS GIL

Steaming after a fraud conviction in February, 70-year-old Jesus offered to kill his Atlético players ('I mean it, some of the players don't deserve to live'), withdraw their salaries ('and anyone who doesn't like it can die'), and gave the year's best radio interview, days after having a pacemaker fitted. 'There's too many bloody passengers in this team! They're not going to laugh at this shirt any longer! They are not going to make fun of me.... Carreras, Santi and Otero are no good. They can die!' (Interviewer tries to cool things, reminding Gil about his new pacemaker.) Gil: 'I'm sick of people telling me to relax! They can stick my heart up their arses!'

Couldn't let it go award: TAEKO:

A young Japanese woman, telling the Shukan Post about her favourite man: 'I stayed at hotels where Beckham stayed during the World Cup. I checked toilets he might have used, took photographs of them and licked them. I'm definitely going to England. I want to live in Beckham's neighbourhood and go swimming or shopping with him. If I meet his wife Victoria, I will ask her to leave him.'

Coolest mind: MARK BOSNICH :

'I really don't give a toss about football anymore. Fuck football. I really can't be bothered. I want to try and make it as a sports star in America. I don't know what type of sports I would do. But that is what I want.' Runner-up: football's most positive man, Gérard Houllier: 'You call our season a step back. I call it a phase of plateau.'

Friday, May 16, 2003

It seems a long time since I did the Friday 5 :

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc..?
Any water is fine so long as it is well diluted with vodka. Not really. Tap will do, unless you are in some dusty shithole in some malaria ridden hovel.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips?
Potato? I assume chips are, in fact crisps and Walkers cheese and bunion cannot be bettered.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?
Some days, I would take this as an excuse to show off about my extensive repertoire of culinary skills. Today though, at this precise moment, the honest answer is chips. The fat must be clean, only Maris Piper will do and the double fry method should be utilised.

4. How do you have your eggs?
As a constituent part of ice cream, preferably.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?
Mrs Buddha cooks one meal a week, Sunday dinner, although that tradition has gone tits up since the weather turned fine. It's usually O.K .

You know those electric things where you have to get a hoop around the wire without touching the side?
This is a variation of it, I can't get around the first bend.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

An interesting piece here from 1995, examining the possible motives behind a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia.

I don't know why, I just don't seem able to drag this blog out of the gutter. Drag your mouse over the bare arses and they fart.
Clearly, not safe for work.

Mick Jones and Tony James have stuck a song on Poptones, for anyone to listen to. I wouldn't bother, to be honest.

Radio 3 has developed a website all about world music for nippers, it's chuffin ace!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

You can't beat a nice fish supper.

An interesting account of a day in the life of young George .

I have to get this t shirt.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I had found my way to the work of Charles Willeford. I wondered why he was not better known but having now read 2 novels I think I might know why. Excellent as he is he has a tendency to throw in irritating little racist jibes at every point. He is hardly the house author of the Klan, but it's off putting people are untrustworthy, pc is bad, indiginous Americans are lazy, everyone hates the white man but is happy to take his money, that sort of thing. I tell you I have gone right off him.

My new major dude is James Crumley. I am reading The Final Country, it's the gonads, if you don't believe me, have a look yourself.

As much as I loathe Arsenal, Terry Henry seems like a cool dude.

A dingle wing, is not the ear of a Wolves fan, it is the trailing wing of a spinning boomerang. The term was coined by an American. You too could learn fascinating jargon like this at The Glossarist, which has much more than boomerang stuff.

As much as you are likely to want to know about potted meat.

I don't quite know how you would describe this, it's a sort of compendium of things someone overhears on the tube. Anyway it's brilliant and I found it via Happy Hippy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The inaugral Sportsfilter EPL fantasy league has concluded. The winner was a most deserving and handsome dude, I reckon.

The real football season has concluded too. Most Blues fans are delighted with the way we finished, as am I. It's been an interesting season and the pleasing thing is that we negotiated a sharp learning curve and now look set to improve further.

I wasn't as enamoured as some of my Blue mates with our early season style of play, although I accept it served us well. I think the club was taken by surprise by our promotion and hadn't really planned for it. The transfer window knackered everything and we had to cope with what we had, more or less. So until Christmas our play was characterised by heart, passion and commitment. We got points by outfighting teams and wearing them down with our sheer obduracy.

I am old enough to remember when we didn't have to play as if we were apologising for being there and accepted the higher status as our right, so was a bit irritated by this, and the constant and oft repeated mantra that finishing 18th would be a triumph. With our ground, fans and backers we should expect better, in my view.

Then came the turn of the year and the transfer window opened. Bruce did remarkably well here, and in Dugarry brought in exactly the spark that had been missing. Out of the Blue, we looked like we belonged. Er, not out of the blue, actually, it took a while to adjust, but other, more prosaic signings fitted in well and made us look a better team anyway. The end of the season saw a complete transformation in attitude and skill and we were unrecognisable from the lumpen newcomers we appeared to be in August.

I have supported Blues for too long to allow myself to get carried away, but the future looks bright. Bruce appears to know what he is doing and has made some very astute signings. We no longer seem to be more concerned with stopping the opposition than we are with expressing ourselves and are clearly capable of taking the game to anyone. Now we have established ourselves and signed quality players more quality will be willing to come to us. I expect more changes through the summer and I have to say I am already excited about the prospect of next season.

I genuinely believe we could be challenging for a European place.