Monday, February 28, 2005

1000 Thanks...

Wow - my Bravenet hit counter has just passed the 1000 mark! I guess that counter is the most accurate idea I have, as I added it a couple of weeks after I started blogging and it doesn't include my numerous daily visits.

If you'd have told me last November that in less than 3 months my blog would receive so many visits, from 20 countries, over 6 continents, quite honestly I would have probably been too intimidated to start it.

So to readers old and new I would like to say a big

As long as you all keep coming back, I am happy to keep providing these inane ramblings...

What's the point...

No, this isn't the beginning of a cheery "I hate my life and don't think I can carry on" post, but I do have a confession to make.

Knowing we had a party planned yesterday that was bound to involve a late and over-indulgent night, I booked today off as a holiday and have spent the whole day on one of my favourite pastimes when not working, sleeping, blogging or in the pub (which probably leaves about 6 hours per year). I'm not talking about anything unpleasant here, it's just that I can't stop playing point 'n' click games. Sad isn't it?

Firstly there are the tough puzzle ones such as Crimson Room, Viridian Room or Blue Chamber which are just so obscure in places, it's untrue.

Then there are those which are slightly easier but contain the most incredible graphics such as Samorost, Quest for the Rest, Sangar Sabrina or Sabrina in North Pole.

Finally there are those like Oriel, Les Nuits de M. Snoozleberg or Nesquick Quest where you need to get your character from A to B avoiding a number of obstacles.

If you enjoyed any of those links, I recommend Lazylaces and GamersHood where you'll find plenty more.

And these are supposed to be for kids? If only it was physically possible, I really ought to get out more...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Keeping it real...

If I've not mentioned it before, I'll go on record now to say what a wealth of musical talent we have in the Tap (and I don't include myself amongst them). At least twice month we enjoy a wide variety of live music by means of "Acoustic Culture" and "Open Mic" nights.

As a bonus we occasionally get solo gigs and last night was the turn of Rob Lowdon.

I feel a bit guilty singling him out from the others, but this guy is truly inspirational. I'm not too good at the music review wordy bit so I'll leave that to Woja, who is also responsible for the photo (not taken last night).

In fact, Woja is also responsible for my musical appearance in there but that's another story...

A word from our sponsors...

Two words actually - milk thistle.

Why isn't this widely advertised? Probably to discourage the more-than-occasional imbibers like yours truly.

Whats the big deal? Imagine a capsule, made entirely of natural products which, if taken regularly (i.e. twice daily) eradicates, or at the very least minimises hangovers.

Does it really work? Well, surprisingly, yes. One day they will write country & western music about the level of intoxication I achieved last night and here I am to tell the tale before 7:00 am this morning.

If you want to know more about it look here or here, or search for yourself - there's loads of websites about the stuff (most of which are trying to sell it to you).

In the meantime I'm going back out today to enjoy the Six Nations rugby and provide further inspiration for Nashville...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Back on the road again...

Everyone seems to blog about commuting at some time and here's my offering.

For reasons better known to myself at the time, ten years ago, I succesfully applied for a job for one of my then customers in Scunthorpe which is about 35-40 miles from where I live. (Don't get me started on Scunthorpe - that's another blog entirely). Accordingly I spend about an hour and a half a day in my car trundling up and down the A180/M180. Admittedly, it's not the sort of journey that Michael Palin is about to base his next travel series on, but it's all I've got to work with (quite literally).

Whenever I am asked whether I mind the travel or not, I usually reply that at least it gives me time to wake up in the morning before I reach my office and it equally affords time for me to unwind from a stressful day before I get home in the evening. In theory.

Though not overly congested as a rule, it is still an unpleasant road to say the least. I was surprised to learn of the number of parliamentary discussions that have taken place over said route over the last 18 years (see point 2 here or search on that link for M180 to get full details). Aside from the fact that people have literally been dying of boredom on the route, it provides me with a forum to rant about the less than considerate travellers I share the road with each day.

I ought to start by stating that I am not what you'd consider a speed freak, but equally I'm not your flat-capped-middle-lane-60mph driver either. I rely on the fact that travelling just inside the speed limit affords me that extra few minutes in bed each morning (honestly officer).

As the road has only two lanes for the majority of its length, this seems to bring out the worst in people. Why do lorries always pick the two-lane sections to try and overtake each other? Emphasis on the word "try". They drag along side by side for miles on end when a third lane would easily have enabled a milk float or elderly cyclist to get by.

While you are stuck behind a pair of these, the driver behind you decides he is going to park in your boot until everyone can get by. What is the point? Surely you can see that I can't either get past or pull over? Is driving 3mm behind me at that speed going to help matters? No, its only going to piss me off.

When the passing point eventually arrives, I'll pull over at which point my follower will whizz past, cut right in front of me then slow down again. So where is the f*cking panic now then?

Then it starts to rain and because of the well planned drainage on the road, puddles begin to appear and there's another lorry ahead you are going to need to overtake. Aside from the fact he is spraying up more water than is descending from the sky, he appears to be spraying it from all four sides at once. Some lorries have brushes within their wheel arches which reduces this problem considerably. Why don't they have to fit these by law? I'm not a great fan of the equivalent of shutting my eyes and putting my foot down in the hope that I'll get past in one piece.

My other favourite of drivers behind you, especially at this time of year with dark mornings and evenings along with crap weather conditions to contend with... wait a sec, crap weather conditions? Once a year for about 3 weeks we endure a couple of inches of snow and the country comes to a complete standstill? How the hell do they cope in Sweden, or Canada, or other snowy climes? Perhaps they abandon their public transport system, declare a national "crap weather" holiday, or perhaps they just get organised because they know it is going to snow. Anyway, back to my point. Visibility is as low as it is likely to get until in my rear view mirror, I can see two super-trouper search lights emerging from the horizon. Or perhaps it's another one of those dickheads who doesn't know when to dip their headlights? Listen pal, just because you are scared of the dark doesn't mean you have to illuminate your surrounding square mile for the rest of us. Inconsiderate tossers.

And then there's miles of traffic cones for no apparent reason. We only have two lanes to play with. Please don't deprive us of one of them unless someone is actually going to do something within the restricted area, like resurfacing the road at last to save my having to replace my speakers every 6 months trying to drown out the road noise.

Actually, resurfacing work starts on Monday 28th February and is likely to take up to three hundred years to complete. Thankfully, at worst, I will have less than thirty of those to worry about...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

As if by magic...

It finally dawned on me that the only way to enjoy a completely free reign on a blog is to remain anonymous - kinda difficult when a close-up photo of your face glares out from the left hand side of the screen.

My hit counter is steadily approaching the 1000 mark and so before it becomes too widely read, I've decided to slip into anonymity and bring on the Weemee. Quite a few of my mates know about the blog anyway and to be honest, there are still so many clues dotted around the place that it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to work out who I am.

I guess the biggest remaining giveaways are that my name still appears in the title and that the Weemee is actually a better likeness than the photo was...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I'm feeling lucky...

Quite some time ago, a workmate advised me to go to the Google homepage, type in Weapons of Mass Destruction and hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. It's changed now but it used to display this page.

Have a go yourselves and I recommend you try "Anti-War Peace Protesters", "French Military Victories" and my personal favourite, "Fuckwit".

Thanks to Bill Sticker for directing me to these. I'd love to find some others.

That's the best laugh I've had in many a Sunday morning...

[Update 27/03/05]
I guess these things only last so long. The last one has also changed now, but it used to direct you here...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

For fox's sake...

So today marks the end of fox hunting in the UK. How sad. I shall miss it so....

In some ways I am pleased. I am by no means an animal rights activist but in the overall balance of things, fox hunting in my opinion is just unfair - a load of well-to-do people chasing a "poor little fox" through the countryside shouting "tally-ho" to their hearts' content. I understand the argument that foxes can be considered as vermin, but argue in the way in which they are disposed of. Possibly natural? I am not so sure.

However on the discussion of vermin, what about the hundreds of people held in prisons at enormous expense under charges of abuse to children? Lets leave the foxes alone and lets have some genuine vermin to chase. "Oh dear, the hounds killed them all, damned shame, never mind, bring out the next bus load please"

Now I'm on a serious rant, lets also consider the experimentation on animals for drugs. Why? We have prisons bursting to the seams with the above-mentioned sick perverted b*stards who would yield more useful results than those from a chimpanzee or lab rat. Here we have some actual people to experiment with. If they are really being held in the name of repaying their debt to society, then let's get some value back for our hard earned taxes. Inject them with all of the experimental sh*t from kingdom come as an investment to those of us left behind who make it a better world to live in.

While I'm on a roll, why no apply the same rules to young hooligans who rob the elderly? Once they get an idea of suffering from Alzheimers at the age of 16, they may think twice about the brave mugging of poor little Granny at the bus stop. Suddenly the idea of a few weeks in a holiday centre for the "morally inept" becomes less of a soft option and more of a force to be reckoned with.

Wishful thinking? Or are we approcahing "Vote for Seany" time...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

OK, just one more...

I can't believe it - they got one right!

Which Country Are You From?
Brought to you by Quizilla

Perhaps there is a science behind it after all...

It's good to share...

This is so much easier than having to think of something original. Here we go again with another illustrious trip into my psyche...

Which Alcoholic Drink Are You?

Which Of The Greek Gods Are You?

You are a Playboy. You perv.
What kind of Sixties Person are you?

Those gems were brought to you by Quizilla

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out! I am 52% loser. What about you? Click here to find out! I am nerdier than 27% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Those three were courtesy of Wx Plotter

Are these people technically qualified to draw these conclusions? How absolutely fascinating. Except for the fact that none of them are even close - honest. There is one factor they've all missed about me that I am now fully aware of. I'm all quizzed out now and will be avoiding these stupid bloody things in future in favour of conventional blogging.

Although that's not necessarily a good thing...

Monday, February 14, 2005

"If music be the food of love, play on...

...Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Strange how most people only remember the first bit, but I guess I've always been the hapless romantic. I couldn't let Valentine's Day pass without comment, especially as I'm single again this year and I escaped without wasting a single penny on the tacky commercial crap. If I happen to be in love, I like to think that I am perfectly capable of demonstrating the fact without emotional blackmail from greeting card companies. An unexpected dinner invitation or impromptu bunch of flowers is nearly always received more favourably than cards and choccies when everyone is sending them.

However, I may well consider sending one of these in future years. (Thanks to Petite Anglaise for the link)

Ironically, I left work late tonight and the only phone calls I've had were from my mate and his wife who are splitting up. Again. And really mean it this time. Again. And have tried to get me involved. Again. It ain't gonna happen.

Makes me grateful for the lifestyle I have and reminds me exactly of what I don't miss. Sometimes it's good to be single...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

This week I be mostly...

Why is it that whenever bloggers seem short of ideas, they always seem to resort to quizzes to fill space? Perhaps it's time for some in-depth self analysis...

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz
The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz

discover what candy you are @ quiz me

find your inner PIE @

discover your jack-o-lantern face @ quiz me

Thanks to Quiz Me for these examples - pretty consistent results I'd say. I think we can all agree that was time well spent on a really insightful exercise...

Saturday, February 12, 2005

London calling...

If I say so myself, I have been lacking inspiration for blog-fodder over the last week or so and was looking forward to my trip to our glorious capital this week which was bound to provide lots of ideas.

Firstly, there must be loads to say about travelling to London using public transport. Unbelievably, all of my trains left and arrived on time - credit where it's due to Trans-Pennine and GNER. I had the luxury of a double seat to myself for both journeys. On arrival at Kings Cross, I found a great taxi driver who whisked me across London through the rush hour traffic in no time at all. I had an equally successful trip the following evening on the underground with the tube trains arriving just as I had got to the appropriate platforms allowing me to navigate my way back across London with incredible ease.

So what about the hotel? Well I've made the mistake before of trying to book cheap London hotels over the internet and finding "surprises" when you actually arrive. This time I played it safe and booked a room in a Travel Inn - they're pretty consistent wherever you are. This proved to be no exception and was excellent - very comfortable room and the on-site bar/restaurant served an excellent quality meal at a very reasonable price. Situated right behind the London Eye, I was initially disappointed that the attraction had closed that day for maintenance, but in hindsight, did I really want to spend £13.00 to see an aerial view of London at night?

That leaves the course itself - my excuse for the "jolly" in the first place. Very interesting, very well presented and the attendees were a real friendly crowd. Another excellent lunch thrown in aswell.

So, there we have it. Nothing to complain about, no amusing anecdotes and nothing to write up in my blog. Or perhaps there was...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Just for good measure...

I've been a bit pre-occupied over the weekend and will be in London for the next couple of days but I thought I ought to leave something on here.

I've been finding these weights and measures conversions all over the place lately and I thoughf I would share a few of my favourites:

2.4 statute miles of intravenous tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 I.V. League
2,000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won Ton
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier = mach turtle
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = knot furlong
365.25 days of drinking low calorie beer = 1 lite year
16.5 feet in the twilight zone = 1 Rod Serling
1/2 large intestine = semicolon
1,000,000 aches = 1 megahertz
Shortest distance between two jokes = straight line
Time between slipping on peel and hitting the pavement = 1 bananosecond
1,000,000 microphones = 1 megaphone
2,000 mocking birds = 2 kilomockingbirds
10 cards = 1 decacards
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
1 million billion piccolos = 1 gigolo
10 rations = 1 decoration
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

Get my coat? Another one?
I'll never get through the door at this rate...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The stuff dreams are made of...

I stumbled across this article recently which brought a huge smile to my face. Just imagine, my home town becoming "The future brewing capital of the UK"!

Once the initial elation subsided, I began to question my enthusiasm:

Would this mean free beer for the townsfolk?
Not a chance

Perhaps just subsidised then?
Not likely

At least a better selection of local real ales?
Even less likely - they'd probably only brew lager

On reflection, I believe that at best it would resolve a dilemma of mine with regard to the North East Lincolnshire Council:

"I wonder whether they actually could organise a piss-up..."

Just as an aside...

Not much added so far this week as it's been a bit hectic to say the least. Nothing I could detail, just a continuous run of wake up, go to work, do stuff, eat stuff, do more stuff, go home, sleep.

For some reason this morning, I woke up with thoughts of death going through my mind; not for any particular morbid reason or even of my own untimely demise, but all surrounding the suffix "-cide" (related to killing or death).

We are all [hopefully not too] familiar with those acts realting to people, e.g. suicide, homicide, etc. and I had started wondering how many other variations there were. For a start I'd not previously made the connection to substances, e.g. insecticide, pesticide, etc. and I never would have dreamt the need for such a conclusive list as this one. I should add at this point that I will not be held reponsible for any actions inspired from referring to the previous link.

Then I started thinking whether our friends at Wikipedia had missed some:

Coincide: The mysterious disappearance of Ali G*
Fivercide: Breaking into my last five pound note
Inncide: Murder of local pub atmosphere due to expanding Pubcos
: No more goal scrounging
Seacide: The demise of a once popular holiday resort
Togettotheothercide: Why did the dead chicken cross the road?

It also explains why I feel so much worse after a night drinking cider.

OK, I can feel another serious coat-getting moment coming on...

* Very funny character protrayed by Sacha Baran Cohen, who actually had death threats issued against him a few years ago. Is this some kind of strange coincidence?