Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Photo diary of the lead up to and the war in Iraq.

Images from the Spanish Revolution.

Fluttering swallows. New York Times piece on the travails of youngsters trying to escape North Korea.
No time for updates as I have been busy nicking music and looking for another blog tool for simpletons. I found one and have duly started another blog. This will be my main one but the other place will be for more personal, usually work related stuff.

Steve Bell.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Des Walker was an England regular for years then sort of drifted off into relative obscurity. He is still at it at the age of 37 and here gives only his second interview in 20 years. It is of interest to Blues fans in that he is quoted as saying that he nearly signed for us but couldn't work with Ron Saunders. He also says he didn't like the vibe at Villa which is why he didn't sign for them either.

Edith Templeton, is an 86 year old lady, seeing out her twilight years in a resort town in Italy.. Previously she was an author, in particular she was the author of an account of a relationship of hers which was characterised by violence. The book has just been reissued. Here she talks to the Guardian about her life.
Chapter one

There appears to be news embargo on Iraq at the moment, events there have fallen way down the agenda, as if nothing of any significance is going on. The same happened with Afghanistan, but the war there is far from over. Once the cameras have gone, the misery continues.

Modern Living.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Friday, April 25, 2003

Mikey "fatboy" Delgado blogs most impressively.

It's unbelievable: I am sitting in Kyrenia having a drink.”

Sounds like a nice place for a pint

It seems like fraud is dealt with in South Africa as seriously as it is here, with Winnie Mandela being imprisoned for 5 years. This may hurt her more than the fine she recieved for her part in the murder in the murder of a 14 year old boy.

Suzanne Goldbergs reports from Bagdhad have shone like a beacon amongst the official spin that passed for reportage elsewhere. Here is her final report.

Webwar is a very simple but difficult shooting thingy. Kept me happy for a couple of minutes.

The Lost Art of Seduction.

Good article on the looting yet to be done in Iraq.

So where are these chuffin weapons then?
No blogging today despite having been sat at this pc for many hours. The postman brought me a lovely cd all the way from Canada this morning; the first of the mefiswaps to arrive. Apart from having some beautiful music on it, most of which was new to me, the chap had clearly put a lot of effort into presenting it beautifully and informatively. Suitably shamed I have cracked on and actually produced something. I am much happier with this one than the last effort and this is the one I will be sending out. Nevertheless, you wouldn't believe the chuffing trouble I have had.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Bleedinell. I could get used to this not working lark. Spent all day yesterday basically arsing about on the pc all day, posting cobblers on various message boards and nicking music. I thanked young Flavio for introducing me to Soulseek, but it is becoming a bit a of a curse (when I can actually connect anyway). I have lifted so much stuff from there I am embarrassed to share with you what I now have. The best of it has been Bill Frisell's unfortunately named The Willies. I just can't stop playing it. It's so good I feel guilty for not having paid for it. I recommend anyone who reads this should go and buy it, to assuage my guilt. I still haven't done my mefiswap though.
Another thing I nicked was the entire 3 cd Clash on Broadway, which I don't feel so bad about as I already own most of that stuff in various formats twice over. I mention it because me and the daughter had a day at the beach; it should have been the whole tribe but the eldest had a dental emergency, which of course is all my fault. It was a glorious day and we had some chuffin fun. It's the first time I have been to this beach because, well I am bit of a snob and it's next door to Porthcawl, but it's only half hour from home and really is great. It's also a bit inaccessible, which keeps the riff raff away, they stay on the beach in town.
Anyway, the day was beautiful and the motorway empty and the Clash were blasting out. Police On My Back came on. I had forgotten all about that song, it must be 25 years since I last heard it. What a fucking brilliant song.
I also managed to pick up 3 more Willefords on the way home for a fiver, and a very decent tempranillo for 3 quid. I might just have to retire.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

For some, yesterdays victory has been spoiled by the antics of a coin chucker(s). It doesn't really detract from it for me, but then I didn't go home cut and bleeding from being struck by a four bob bit. I wasn't there anyway, but you get my drift. This has happened before, and it will happen again. Blues don't seem to take it seriously, but when we get the inevitable fine, or worse, for repeat offending we will bleat about the establishment hating us.
This could be stopped, and a few suggestions have been made on one of the Blues message boards. Video evidence and life bans seem to be the favourite. Someone suggested putting the family stand in the area that seems to attract all the ill behaviour. And thereby hangs a tale which illustrates the general malaise.
Until a couple of seasons ago, the family stand was in that area, adjacent to the away fans, and I stopped going in there with my nephews because the experience was so dispiriting. My own nipper is yet to go but when he does he won't go in that area, family stand or not. I can't tell you how depressing it is to be surrounded by very young nippers, all under ten I would guess, all shouting abuse and making wanker gestures at the adjacent away fans. Their inevitably pot bellied and closely shorn dads, far from discouraging this, actually join in and encourage them. It goes on all afternoon, not just in isolated incidents and is very far removed from good humoured banter.
This is a lesson learnt early in life then; at football matches, anything goes. Normal standards of behaviour simply don't apply and we can behave, shout and gesture in a way which would get us arrested, thrown out or beaten up in any other public arena. So it is not surprising that the adults who now frequent that area of the ground feel free to shout abuse unmercifully at our visitors, and for them to respond in similar fashion. It is broken window theorywrit small. Our technical debt is increasing. Tolerate the relatively insignificant things and people run away with the idea they can get away with anything because no one could give a shit anyway.
What is needed is a clampdown on any behaviour that would be found unacceptable elsewhere. It cannot be that difficult. We fans have a responsibility , even if it just to ensure that we don't give tacit approval. I wouldn't advocate actually confronting these chaps. They tend to be with their mates and are not the type to engage in meaningful discourse. If people don't shout "fucking wanker" and suchlike at fellow diners or train pasengers or whatever, just for the hell of it, they shouldn't do it at fellow football fans. They should be chucked out. Immediately. Hopefully the message will penetrate. Of course "ordinary decent" fans will then complain that the passion is being taken out of the game.

Why am I not surprised to learn that the dude who is to rebuild Iraq is a right wing nutter. And why do I practically need to have a degree in research methods in order to find this stuff out? A free press? My chuffin eye.
Dump Jay Garner

Yet another reason to love the web. A Minnesota radio station is running a series of programmes, hosted by Suzanne Vega on American Mavericks, in music. The glory of the web is that is available online, to any of us who care to visit the site, wherever we happen to be. Programmes one and two are up at present. The website itself is fantastic, with streamed programmes, complete concerts, biographies and loads more, including film clips.

Last night I watched the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" programme in which some middle class dude tried to defraud the programme makers of a milion quid. The chap was found guilty in a court of law a week or so back, yet Gwynn Topham believes he should be given the money anyway. Now in one sense I couldn't care less, but in another I am mildly outraged.
I think the guy, if not his buddies, should have gone to jail, rather than get a fine, which he will no doubt repay by selling his story.
Many years ago, I worked for a day or so a week in a local prison. As you would expect it was filled with the barely literate, the barely sane, the recidivists, the violent, and the desperate. The inmates were not much better either. Anyway, one chap used to come and see me regularly. He was not accepting of his sentence , which was 3 years although he fully accepted his guilt. What am I doing in here with these animals he would repeatedly ask, I did hardly anything, I don't belong here.
What he did was fake a burglary at his house for the insurance. I think he made less than a thousand pounds out of it. I would explain to him that the courts took a very dim view of fraud and as there could be no mitigating circumstances, in that it had to be thought out and planned in advance, there could be no excuses. Moreover it was just not cricket, it was cheating of the worst kind. He never accepted this, and he served his sentence with a sense of injustice and anger which grew daily.
What I didn't say, because I didn't realise, was that he was also punished as a result of his class. His action was borne of desperation and was doomed to failure, all he would have achieved was a few hundred poxy quid, yet he got 3 years which he served completely in a very tough disposal prison. Meanwhile, major fraudsters such as Jeffery Archer get to work in theatres and have Italian lunches with female warders, even after flouting prison rules. And the distinctly well educated and obviously middle class likes of the millionaire fraudster walk away with little more than egg on their faces.

I post the above for the benefit of Bluetitch, the soppy bugger. It is atypical of the many beautiful images you can set as wallpaper at Digiteysed.

Monday, April 21, 2003

The cool looking French dude whose picture I keep posting, in case you don't know, is Christophe Dugarry, who is fast becoming a legend down at the Blues.
When he arrived in January much of the media was very sniffy, saying he couldn't score, was past it, was looking for a last lucrative pay day, his reputation was built upon being mates with Zidane and, to quote a Scottish fool, he "was a waste of space". Well, if only all our players were as crap.
Despite his non scoring status he has put 3 away in the last 3 games, but more than that, he has turned our season around. Still the media detest him, saying he is a cheat, he falls over when he is fouled and is always looking for a chance to display a peculiarly French talent for moral chicanery. I don't think we care very much anymore what the media say about us, our team or our handsome French dude. We have been proving the fuckers wrong all season and it is a beautiful feeling.
Notwithstanding the above the Telegraph today had an article which was sympathetic towards him and also showed a rare appreciation of his particular and subtle skills.

Having been something of a kid who practically dragged himself up without benefit of parental intervention, and regarding the gutter as my natural environment from the age of two, I firmly believe that there is good in all of us if only some chuffer would come along and help us find it. People like Jimmy Boyle I find an absolute inspiritation; to turn his life around the way he did is remarkable, and there have been others in similar situations. Without wishing to sound trite, I know how difficult it is to make something of yourself, anything of yourself, when you percieve the odds are mightily stacked against you, and rather than getting support for any minimal talent you show, you constantly get knocked back. So I commend this article by Erwin James with all of my heart. Good on the dude.

Bozack nation issue 2 has a great piece on Danish vagabond Jacob Holt, who spent many tears travelling America and documenting what he finds, often selling his blood to pay for the film with which he does it. It is most definitely worth a click. As is his website.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

A week or so back I had cause to visit one of those big out of town discount shopping places. Fun it wasn't. However, I picked up a few books that were going cheap, one of which is Miami Blues, by Charles Willeford. It was written in 1984 and Willeford died in 1988.
What I want to know is, why didn't anyone have the decency to tell me about this guy before? Why do the big bookshops not stock him? Miami Blues is excellent and stands comparison with Pelecanos, although I would bet the likes of (the also criminally neglected) Lawrence Shames and Carl Hiaason have read him. I don't klnow what his other books are like, but I will be buying them as and when I see them. I love it when a find an author previously unknown to me who has a large back catalogue to get through. You can find plenty about him here, he seems to have been an intersesting dude. There is a sort of bibliography with a brief synopsis for each book here.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

The above is about 1 hour from my home, many other places just as stunning are much nearer, so why don't I go there more often?
Too busy playing Gasteroids, I expect.


Comical Ali soundmixer
1000 footballers contributed a picture to be raffled in aid of an anti racism charity. This is the effort provided by Robbie Savage:

Friday, April 18, 2003

Thursday, April 17, 2003

A recipe: cheap, easy, quick, deliciosi:
Chilli, rocket and parmesan pasta

serves 4

400g spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large red chillies, seeded and sliced
2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
quarter cup of lemon juice
150g rocket, roughly chopped

half cup finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the spaghetti in a pan of salted and boiling water until al dente. Drain. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the garlic, chillies, lemon rind. Cook for 1-2 minutes until light golden. Toss with lemon juice, rocket, pasta, half of the parmesan, salt and pepper. Top with remaining parmesan.

There are some good articles in the Observer Monthly this month:
Euan Fergusan
The price of a pork chop
Recipes by Claudia Roden

Not in The Observer, but courtsey of The Guardian, easy recipes from the River Cafe.

Work is marvelous, absolutely marvelous. Senior prac: gone; FFC: busted foot gone for who knows how long; group manager:sick; 3 different assistant directors (of 4): hopped it for easter; director: whhhhoooo?
We are rudderless, almost, there are selfless souls about who are only too willing to jump into the breach and start assuming airs for themselves, whether they are part of our team or not. As I said, work is a marvel and a pleasure and I am only sorry that I now have 9 days off.

I haven't blogged much this week mainly because I have been too bloody knackered, plus as the nights are now light the kids are staying up and running around like lunatics rather than falling asleep in front of the box. Of course, pleasurable as it is to see them all pink faced and out of breath, glowing with health, it does disrupt ones concentration somewhat, especially as they get overtired and start bickering or hurting themselves and generally squealing about the place.
I also got a new printer so have been buggering about with that. My first purchase from e bay and I was mightily impressed, about 40 quid cheaper than pc world and delivered in 2 days, I just hope I can trust the bugger with my card details. While I was at it I got a scanner and have also been buggering about with that.
Mostly though, I have been nosing about on soulseek, which everyone apart from me already knew about probably. This is by far the best file sharing thingy I have come across and browsing the files of others is mesmerising. Needless to say I have been downloading like a bastard. The beauty of it is it seems to have loads of stuff that is very hard to find elsewhere, unless one is prepared to pay for it of course.
My young cyberpal Flavio alerted me to it and I thank him. He also alerted me to a free downloadable cd by Matthew Herbert,: The Mechanics of Destruction . It's worth a listen, what has anyone to lose, he also seems like a cool dude.

The deadline to send out the mefiswap cd was yesterday and mine has gone.....into the bin. The one I did was crap and I couldn't bring myself to send it out. All the songs were good songs in themselves, but the mix was crap. It's a lot harder than it looks. Will try again and take my time, my fellow swappers will have to be patient.

I don't know if it is just my pc but I have noticed on this and other blogs that the haloscan comment box appears to be knackered much of the time, unless you right click and choose open.

Earlier on someone arrived at this blog by typing "curb your enthusiasm cunt" into google. One could take it personally, you know.

The new, as yet unreleased album by Radiohead is widely available on the net. Now I have to confess the charms of this band have largely passed me by. It's not that I like or dislike them, it's more that I have remained blissfully ignorant of their ouvre whilst being aware they are a band of some importance.
Well, this new thing, to be honest it sounds ok, and I am a bit pissed listening to it, but......well, it seems a bit self loving. Good though, I am pleasantly surprised and it knocks Loose Fur which I went on about at the turn of the year into a cocked hat. There is aimless doodling and there is aimless doodling. Let's get doodled!

Monday, April 14, 2003

"For to be a football fan is to be doomed to a life of frustration. It is Waiting for Godot . A waiting, hopeful waiting, for a beautiful piece of play, for an individual to do something thrillingly out of the ordinary, for a team to string together three or four one-touch passes culminating in something close to a goal. It happens so rarely. You have to be so long-suffering, so madly optimistic. Usually we are obliged to feed on crumbs. All the fuss about Wayne Rooney's performance against Turkey 10 days ago offers a typical case in point. He made a couple of exciting runs, neither of which culminated in a goal, and a whole nation drooled. Which is not to disparage either Rooney or the nation. That is the way things are with football."

I lifted the above from a superb John Carlin article in the Observer on Real Madrid's performance the other night. It is nice to see the reality of being a football fan so eloquently expounded upon. It beats the shit out of anything Hornby has ever written. Imagine, this guy recognises the fact and his job is to watch the worlds best teams on a weekly basis. Imagine being a Birmingham fan, believe me, moments of sublime beauty come along once in a generation, which is why small victories mean so much more to us than large victories do to the likes of Man Utd (their ersatz supporters anyway). It is also why we should revere artists such as Dugarry and Lazaridis. Without their like the spectacle, and the point, is lost.

Sunderland were relegated after being defeated by us. We didn't get them relegated though, they managed it all by themselves by being crap all season, and their supporters deserve it for being fickle. What all the tears were about on Saturday God only knows. Crying at football is unnacceptable anyway, when you knew relegation was certain months ago it becomes embarrassing as well. It didn't happen before they did away with terraces and encouraged the spoilt brat middle classes in.

I used to quite like the abrasive qualities of Neil Warnock. His comment that if he was manager of Sheffield Wednesday he would fuck them up beyond repair and then retire to Cornwall where he would spend the rest of his life "laughing my fucking head off" is an all time classic. His lack of grace over yesterdays defeat was a bit grating though. There is no way on this earth that the game should have been stopped; he is exhibiting the sourest of grapes. Moreover, Peschisolido should have buried that chance, Seaman should have been given no opportunity to save it.
More grating than Warnocks comments is the news just announced that the FA are to investigate them. Why? Christ the bloke was only expressing an honest opinion, daft as it was.
The Senegal FA have just announced that Cisse will be staying with Blues next season, which begs the question, what the chuff has it to with them?

10 questions from the weekends football.

Little Eva will do the locomotion no more, she has kicked the bucket.

Reconstructing Iraq, the U.S way.

Don Bartletti has won the feature photography Pullitzer prize for his images of people trekking north from Central America.
The Rocky Mountain News won the breaking news prize.

The image of Saddams statue being pulled down achieved iconic staus as it happened, but all may not have been as it seemed. There may have been a bit of media manipulation going on.

The puzzle of Leni Reifenstahl
The website of Leni Reifenstahl.

I really don't know what to make of this assassination job on Bukowski, apart from I don't like the smell of it.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

I suppose I have to mention the BBC's Big Read. It's a very noble idea, I like it because it doesn't offer any choice, you have to think for yourself before you vote.

Another extremely noble gesture is displayed by Mathew Branton. He is so filled with loathing for a publishing industry that keeps pumping out garbage designed for absolutely the lowest common denominator, that he is is giving away his latest novel for free, over the internet. Just go to his site and look for it, then download it.
He explains in todays Observer why he is doing it.

Joey Pants, or Joe Pantoliano, who was Ralphie in the Sopranos and has been much else besides, has his own website, it ain't that brilliant to be honest but it does have a lenghty excerpt from his biography, which is worth a look.

My word, this is turning into quite the literary blog today: Barcelona Plates by Alexei Sayle.

Suzanne Goldenberg visits a Baghdad hospital, while Robert Fisk has a look at a museum.

How to use chopsticks.

April 13 is the day that Sikhs celebrate the festival of Vaisaki

Wordspy is pretty cool. It explains words and phrases that are coming into common usage.

This very simple helicopter flying game is liable to drive you nuts.

Encyclopedia Titanica is an amazing thing which contains masses of information about The Titanic and its passengers.

Chill out.

Comical Ali tribute site.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Anyone know where I can get some Ronnie Lane downloads??

Children of Iraq

Another 3 beautiful points. Some of the nervous nellies amongst us might start believing we can stay up now.

Three Kings, most important film of the last 10 years?

Britpop: the soap opera

Donald Rumsfeld gives sex advice

Online chordbook

Friday, April 11, 2003

A peaceniks view of the war, now that is over, (sort of over).
Fascinating profile of Saddam.
The New York Times on press coverage in the Arab world.
Robert Fisk in Bagdhad the day after the liberation.

Interview with Robert Del Naja, which focuses on his tastes in porn, rather than anything else. It's odd I knew nothing of his porn consumption before reading this. Now I know more than I ever needed to.

Below is the text of an e.mail I sent to Sainsburys earlier on. I don't post it because I think it is witty, erudite or clever but because I fully expect an automated response which takes no account of the content of my mail. I will post it when it arrives.
I have to write to express my extreme dismay and disgust at the treatment I have receieved at the Sainsburys store in Cwmbran over the last 2 days.
Put simply, I was given the wrong change, I don't think I was, I know I was because I had been to the cashpoint and knew exactly how much I had.
I purchased items worth £6.94 and handed over a £20 note. I was then given change for ten. I pointed this out, very politely and was immediately treated as if I was at best a swindler and at worst a thief. I found it very embarrassing to have to point the error out at all, I was then further embarrassed by the assistant loudly declaiming in a disbelieving tone that I thought I had given over £20. Another assistant appeared and the same was said again in a tone which clearly indicated to everyone in the vicinity that I was clearly a liar and just trying it on.
I was informed by yet another assistant that no cashing up would be done till 9.30 am today(Friday) and that I would be contacted at that time. I departed , short of ten quid, through no fault of my own, feeling humiliated and slandered.
By 2 p.m this afternoon I had not been contacted so phoned the store. I was told that they only cash up once each week but they would give me ten pounds as a gesture of goodwill.
In other words they would return my money which they had no right to and expect me to be grateful. I duly took the time and trouble to return to the store where I began to explain my situation to someone in customer services, another lady loudly stated that I had spoken to her on the phone and that they were giving me £10 as a gesture of goodwill. She stated this again when she rang it up to she is a goodwill gesture, ring it up to goodwill.
Now, again, it was plain that the staff at that shop thought I was carrying out an elaborate scam to enrich myself by 10 whole pound. Again, I was made to feel embarrassed and slighted.
Now to me goodwill would be a gesture over and above the return of my money which they had no right to, even if it were only an apology, for the embarrassment I had sufferred and the inconvenience I had been subject to, but nothing was forthcoming.
On average I spend in excess of £600 per month in that store.
I cannot begin to put into the words how enraged I feel at the appalling way I was treated. It may be some time before I return.

I don't know where those chuffin question marks come from, I typed a pound sign.

I may have mentioned before, once or thrice, that we live up a mountain, so our garden is not exactly level. The 2 year old has commandeered the 3 year olds trike, but his little legs can't work the pedals. No matter. He drags it to the top of the incline, sticks his head down and lets himself go, stopping only when he crashes into the fence. I swear, between them they will have me in an early grave.

TheTelegraph, of all organs, has an interview with former Clash men, Jones and Simonon, by another old dinosaur, Charles Shaar Murray.
The Observer interviewed Simonon about his growing reputation as an artist a while back. Handsome young dude spends his youth and early adulthood not just as a rock and roll star but as a rock and roll star in one of the best and most influential bands ever. Once that game is up he gains more respect and earns a handsome living as an artist. All the while hanging on to his dignity. Where's the chuffin justice in that?

The game room.

Courtesy of Plep, some images of Cuba, suchuffinperb
Some more fantastic photos, big thanks to Squealy who found them on Mefi, and alerted me to them via STB; all of which can be accessed if you look left a bit.

I got home about 4.45 pm and got straight on the pc fully intending to get cracking on my mefiswap cd. So far, after 4 hours 30 minutes I am on my second bottle and have not yet worked out the first track even, any track in fact. It's as though I know no tracks worth sharing at all. I wonder why manana is my favourite word?

I still have no idea what I will put on my mefiswap and its now near midnight. Perhaos i should concentrate on the Friday Five:
1. What was the first band you saw in concert?
I have absolutely no idea, someone at the Town Hall, might have been Family, but I doubt it.
2. Who is your favorite artist/band now?
Sum 41. Just joking, they may be good for all I know, but I don't know. It's very hard to answer these questions. My favourite band isn't even a band it's a person..Manu Chao, till I change my mind in about 3 minutes.
3. What's your favorite song?
Crosby Stills Nash Young.... Our House.
4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why?
Joe Strummer, coz I just about love the dude, I think.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

My p.c is just about sorted out now I think and having spent another entire evening fruitlessly trying to sort the printer out I have given up on that bugger. Too knackered to blog now, but I hope from tomorrow normal irreverent blogging will resume.
Apparently, spotted around the staue of Saddam which was pulled down was a banner reading "Human sheild wankers go home!". It almost restores your faith in human nature.
More Robert Fisk
Steve Bell speaks.
Suzanne Goldenberg, again.

If anyone happened along earlier and saw there were no comments in the comment boxes I cannot explain it, it's a mystery, all of them said 0 comments.

Apropos of nothing this is my favourite place to eat before a Blues game.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

No time to blog as I have been pissing about with my printer all night, however I have to remark upon events today. First, 30 quid on ink cartridges up the chuffin swannee, I hate p.c's and all their poxy peripherals or whatever you call these extra bits and poxy pieces that come with them. Second if you haven't seen the "beloved cunt" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, you must. I thought I was literally going to piss myself.

So Bagdgad has fallen and many of that cities residents are rejoicing in the streets. Well we shall see what will transpire but I feel far from joyful. Far too much death, injury and despair has been visited upon that country to have made any of it worthwhile. I wonder if the new found taste for liberating the oppressed will drive the tanks towards Saudi Arabia and the other anti democratic regimes in the area? Don't hold your breath.
Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad, again no pictures on the website, the print edition was enough to make you weep.
Robert Fisk

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Into Baghdad with the U.S marines.

The Boston Massacre was the killing of five men by British soldiers on March 5, 1770.
The soldiers were in Boston to keep order, but towns people viewed them as spies and trouble. The Boston Massacre began when a young apprentice shouted an insult at a British officer.
A soldier on sentry duty front of the customs house supposedly hit the boy with his rifle. The boy yelled for help, and a crowd of colonist looking for trouble gathered

I have started putting loads of seeds in my daily bread, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and poppy usually. I was dimly aware that as well as making ace bread they were of value nutritionally but wondererd as to the extent.. Now I have found the list of the worlds healthiest foods, I need wonder no more.

The surgeon who repaired the back of Jessica Lynch has some interesting thoughts on the sanitised view of war that desensitises us to its true horror.


Monday, April 07, 2003

I love a mafia yarn, and this is a good one, if true, which I doubt.
More on the dad, good stuff.
Still more on old Roy, who does not seem a very remorseful kind of a guy, it has to be said.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The new(ish) Ben Harper, has had some mixed reviews but I have to say I am pretty impressed with it, I admit it is the sort of thing fat old dudes would listen to but there you go. I don't know why, but throughout I am reminded of Finlay Quaye.

The onion seems to be going through something of a golden period.

This is one of the reasons that I am opposed to this war. How many more Omar's are there wandering the dusty and bloodstained streets and highways of Iraq. How many more children are left in a bemused state of grief and terror? thousands I suspect. The report on the website doesn't show the pictures that are contained in the print version, which is a pity because they are truly heartbreaking and show us Omars despair in stark relief.
I read of the deaths of the children aged 3, 6, and 10 and was close to despair myself. That is not far from the ages of my 3 and I bet those dead Iraqui nipppers were just as innocent and beautiful as mine. Can you imagine the terror these innocents must have felt as they hurtled towards their death?
This is not war it is slaughter and I cannot think of one thing I have seen or read so far that justifies it. I said a while back that despite my opposition to the war I was proud of our brave boys. No longer. Now I just feel sick.

Robert Fisk on the early hours of the battle for Baghdad

Take a trip around the world of Hemingway with Michael Palin

Friday, April 04, 2003

Bloody Nora, finally got the p.c back, having parted with a not inconsiderable sum of English coin and guess what: " THE FUCKING FUCKER DOESN'T FUCKING WORK"
It will have to go back again. Fair play to the computer dude though, he has found all sorts of new and interesting ways to make it not work.

Steve Bell.

Liberating the children of Iraq.

A brief history of Iraqi resistance.

If you need something fixing you may as well go ahead and fix the chuffer yourself. I don't know how but I have fixed this bugger meself. Normal blogging to resume very shortly. Farewell early nights and waking up refreshed.
4 hours last night and about 3 and a half tonight to get the ras klart thing working, and I am pleased as hell.

I had a really odd experience earlier in Asda. Shopping in Asda is odd enough, you can tell how skint I am, it's not cheap because it's inexpensive it's cheap because there is nothing any right thinking individual would want to buy in the shit hole. Tomorrow I will spend twice as much buying decent stuff. Plus the place is full of leisure suited indidividuals with tatooed arses. The germane point is that you can see the tatooed arse, which may or may not be a fashion statement.
Anyway, earlier I was stood minding my own business, contemplating leaving the trolley and my quid deposit cos I was fed up with the shit on offer and hadn't got to the end of the fruit aisle, no red peppers, no garlic, no courgettes. no aubergine, when I got banged, hard, in the back. I paid no attention, then bang again. I looked round and it was some cunt in a leisure suit and he gave me the right fucking eyeball.
Well, thunk I, be adult, can't cause a scene in chuffing Asda, especially not sober, half my punters shop here, and their carers work here, and then where would dignity be. As he passed he again ...stared. I looked away. Once he had passed he looked around and stared again (I forgot to mention he was with his Mrs, he wasn't shopping himself). Well, not surprisingly, despite the Taoist breathing I have been practising whilst pc less, this was getting on my fuckin nerves, so I eyeballed him back ( I am 43 and he wasn't that much younger, welcome to life in the valleys)and he sort of offered me out! In the spud aisle!
Now I was in a predicament. Do I let this joker humiliate me, or do I go it for, right there in Asda, at 5 pm on a Friday? I gave him a little wink and a smile, I swear I saw steam come from his ears, then he looked round away from me and I sort of nudged him with the trolley. He gave me another look and disappeared amongst the chickens.
Interestingly, I didn't see him again, all around the shop, which is unusual, normally everyone follows each other around. I expect once his Mrs had got him his couple of of pound of raw and intensively reared beef, she couldn't contain him.
My colleagues call me a snob because I profess to hate Asda, I didn't see any of those chuffers there, nor would I as they all bring their dinner in through the week in Tesco bags.

I was reading somewhere this week that Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields is a bit of an arch git. Well he is, a bit, he is also brilliant. Here is to archness.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

The Specials first album had a track, the name of which I forget, which had a chorus which went something like: "WHERE" DID YOU GET THAT, BLANK EXPRESSION, ON YOUR FACE?".
I am reminded of it every time I see the gormless mush of Ari Fleischer staring haplessly out of the screen.

Arundhati Roy, writes a beautifullly eloquent article in yesterdays Guardian, although I can't say I agree with all of it.

Steve Bell

Mrs Buddha picked the pc up from the repair shop this morning, lord knows when I will have everything back on it, though. The thought of reinstalling broadband fills me with fear and trepidation, but I know I will get to it as soon as I get home tonight.
I have benefitted enormously from increased sleep since the thing went to shit. I may change the way I post to the blog, maybe bi weekly rather than every day, we shall see.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Still computerless, but hopefully will have it back tomorrow. Unfortunately though, it will take weeks to get it back as it was, as I very stupidly wiped everything off the bugger before deciding I needed to get someone who actually knows anything about computers to look at it. It took me about 4-5 hours to install broadband, all the while talking to a nice young man down the phone, I am not looking forward to repeating the experience. Normal blogging could well still be a few days away.

Been reading Hell To Pay by Pelecanos. I prefer his Stefanos novels and the issues led nature of the narrative of these Strange/Quinn books grates a bit, but it is still unputdownable.

When British troops went to pick up the dead body of a comrade slain by friendly American fire they had to wear chemical suits to protect themselves from the depleted uranium released by American missiles. Can someone remind me how raining hell upon towns and cities and poisoning the land is supposed to be helping the people of Iraq? Hearts and minds, hearts and minds.

Steve Bell

The U.S and international law

Thoughtful Time article on the role of Al Jazeera.