Tuesday, September 29, 2015

the sooner than expected book reviews

hello there

well, this is somewhat awkward. in my last book review post i suggested that it would be October, Perhaps November, that i would next have read enough books (two) to make comments on more. and yet here we are, look you see, still firmly in September and with two books to review.

if i am required to have a defence, then it is in my defence that i "forgot" about the Morrissey novel coming, and it was if nothing else quite a short, quick read. beyond that, as lengthy as the other book i have read was, i flew through it, for it was that good.

a look at the two books i read and shall now have a stab at reviewing? surely. except i see the battle between Apple and Blogger over picture rotation lingers on, so here they are sideways.

quick, spoiler free review? The Gilded Seal was an awesome, excellent adventure and it is baffling that it hasn't been turned into a film yet. unless it has, and i didn't notice. List Of The Lost is, alas, just about as bad as the most vicious reviews of it, and that's me a Morrissey fan and defender saying that.

as ever, links to the worldwide retailer who is now also a grocer, apparently, appear for convenience. they are not from an affiliation and i most certainly do not endorse them, not with them "losing" yet another order i placed, but anyway.

it's likely that they shall feature mostly in the Morrissey review, for i would like to preserve as much of the surprise of the other for you, but anyway, be warned - from here on out a *** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD *** warning is in place for you. you've been warned, then, look you see. 

i purchased The Gilded Seal by James Twining for £1 off of Pound Land. actually, i nearly got it free, as the lady there assumed i had brought it in with me, but honesty forbade me taking advantage. it is, dear reader, amongst the top ten £1 purchase i have ever made.

the only bad or poor thing of this novel is the title - it sort of makes tenuous sense towards the end, but it could have had a much better name.

plot? it's a sequel to a book i have never heard of, and that made no difference to reading. in New York a slightly disgraced FBI agent, who happens to be a black lady of the female kind, is called in to investigate the case of two identical paintings being made available for auction. she is called in as it has to be done on the quiet, and she is considered disposable if the investigation goes wrong. meanwhile, over in London, a renowned art thief turned professional stolen art tracker finds himself in the midst of the brutal murder of a forger, the theft of a Da Vinci painting from somewhere in Scotland and a baffling, stealing yet nothing looks like it is stolen incident in London. lots happen that i do not want to spoil, but these two - who knew each other from events in the first novel - find that their cases overlap somewhat when all evidence and clues lead to Paris. and those clues suggest someone is to try the impossible - to steal the Mona Lisa.

wow. it's written in an enjoyable, easy going way and it's immense fun. the Mona Lisa heist attempt is inspired and ingenious, the story twists and turns in a plausible way, and there is a knock out, killer blow at the end of the novel which is simply sheer genius.

why hasn't this been filmed? Hollywood is apparently "crying out" for decent material for actresses of the female lady kind. the female lead in this is black, is the tacit victim of sexism and rises to be an action hero in a natural, sensible way. dig out the sets they created for The Da Vinci Code and film this.

an interesting question from the book is why exactly is the Mona Lisa in France, rather than Italy, which would be more appropriate? perhaps the French hold on to it so they may say "we are superior", or if you like "nous sommes supérieurs" to the Italians. yeah, quite. you have to remember that every time that nutcase mentalist in North Korea declares war on America or South Korea, Italy immediately fax their surrender through to the relevant ambassador at the UN. go, France, be better.

if my advice or comment is worth much of anything, which i doubt, then i would really strongly suggest giving this novel a try. i loved it, and will be looking for more books by the same author.

stop me if you think you've heard this one before. how i dearly wished that the reviews of List Of The Lost, declaring it awful and suggesting all involved with it should be hung like a DJ, were wrong. well, they're not wrong. it is awful. when it's not striving to be inaccessible it's mostly incoherent.

plot? there is not one, really, just several suggestions and ideas that might have been picked up on and used as a plot at some stage. ostensibly, it's about a team of four relay runners at a college or similar somewhere in America (i think Ohio was mentioned in passing), getting ready for a provincial or state competition. then all sorts of things happen.

i refuse to believe that anyone at Penguin actually read this before pressing the big massive "print" button on the desk. i can only assume that the sales of Morrissey's autobiography were that big and impressive that when he said "well actually i have done a novel i a thinking of publishing" they just said yes and shoved his pockets full of as many coins of money as they could get until he said he was "satisfied" with their understanding and appreciation of him as an artist and a writer.

to this end, the novel contains no formal chapters, no standardised font or outlay and certainly no understanding at all of what does and does not constitute as a suitable single paragraph.

i'm not sure it's the case that he allowed himself to get distracted as it is the case he deliberately distracted himself. the collective protagonists, lest we forget, are American teenagers in the 70s. yet we are expected to believe that they will pause from their running or (yes, very badly written) sex and ponder - for two or three pages - matters such as the British class system, the (it says in the book) unfairness of Churchill being celebrated for his part in winning World War II and speculating - with eerie precision - how Thatcher would go on to be a bad Prime Minister, predicting things like the miner's strike and poll tax. why, Morrissey, did you not just write "collective essays" on your thoughts? what's to be gained from applying out of character thinking to these people?

any remote value to the novel? almost. frequently the sentences feature eloquent, elegant lyrical qualities. more than once i put the book down and said, both to myself and out loud "f***, Morrissey, why is that not in a song instead?". his one comment clearly aimed at the modern world of how there's a crusade on to promote gay rights, yet we live in a world where one man cannot compliment another on his looks without something being inferred or assumed, is genius. and, referring to the above, the conversation about Thatcher looking set to be "the first female Prime Minister" countered with the comment "actually, she will be the last female Prime Minister" is inspired. all wasted in this, sorry, tripe.

List Of The Lost is a waste of the talent Morrissey clearly has - whether you hate him or love him - and it is an insult to the fans that have always stayed true to you. Morrissey fans, such as i, will have rushed to buy this, not caring one jot of a sod for what anybody had to say. if any of them enjoyed it, appreciated it or loved it, i'd be delighted to see what they had to say to see what i missed.

well, there you have it. two bonus book reviews; one a revelation one a major disappointment. i, as ever, hope that these comments and notes were of some use to someone somewhere out in the world.

next i shall probably be reading that one i got at the same time as the Morrissey novel, After The Crash or something, and then perhaps one of the James Herbert novels i have obtained.

in the mean time, methinks i have given the people what do the phone and the internet and that all the wrong dates, so it is unlikely i will be online tomorrow, and after that there's a lot of packing and moving to be done. i will try my dandy best, dear reader, to do an update as soon as i possibly can, but i doubt it will be before the first few days of October have passed. for now, then, thanks for reading.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

unless i am quite mistaken....

hi there

perhaps there was legislation or something to this effect and i missed it. i do not, look you see, keep all that abreast of what laws and amendments to rules they make in government; they are busy people and i just leave them to it. anyway, it seems that someone somewhere has made a decision that being a particularly special kind of d!ckhead is now classified as a real disability.

why else would someone with no apparent disabilities park in a disabled bay?

as you can see right there, this image featured in what is apparently the intelligent tabloid, the Sunday Mirror, so there's a link as way of attribution, credit, etc. i am sure it's been repeated around the world on the internet by now anyhow.

i really don't see how being the only person ever to be stripped of the England captaincy twice, as humiliating as it is, can be classified as a disability. i mean, sure, his interpretation of a Judge saying "unfortunately found not guilty due to a lack of a direct witness" as being "completely cleared in a court of law" suggests he doesn't have as many high ranking O Levels as you or i, but you can't go around calling people disabled because of that; it's not right.

well, i am sure the kebab or whatever it was he got off of the chemist was quite essential to him as he comes to terms with whatever disability it is that he has been diagnosed as having.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the incredible promotion and facebook breaks

hi there

yes, look you see, two posts in one day. although this one is, so to speak, a quickie.

first off, one of them incredible stories from the world of football that explains why exactly the world loves football so dearly. Tauranga City United, they of New Zealand - the only nation to finish the 2010 World Cup undefeated (before you get uppity, go check how eventual winners Spain did in their first group match, under observation off of Sepp) - were close to promotion. they "only" had to win their last game 4-0 to achieve it. did they do it?

but of course. you can read all about it here, and you may note with interest the name of the photographer behind the above and other pictures on the report. actually, very familiar if you are part of the people at verk who for some reason insist on calling me Bob, rather than that actual name of mine which I have used for some 40 odd years. go figure, but i leave them to it.

other than that, yes, at 8pm UK time on Monday 28 September 2015, facebook was indeed broken for everyone, not just you.

the people who run it and that make an awful lot of money from doing so, so i would suggest don't worry, they will get it fixed eventually.

nice one Tauranga City, and those are some very smart pictures, Dad!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nothing happened today

hi there

not a great deal at all happened today, dear reader, or far from that, depending how you look at it, look you see. anyway, as i still have the connectivity of the internet, or if you like internet connectivity, i thought i'd best use it and post some stuffs of information for you about not much in particular.

first off, as a key part of nothing happening today, it transpired that i required some paper to do some fancy printing on. normally this is not a problem, as i buy some bundles of 80 or 100 pages of the stuff from Pound Land for, well, a pound. sterling, no less.sure, the paper is so coarse and crude that it's of a poor quality, but you have to remember that Pound Land believe it is suitable for use, and i have no grounds at all to argue with them on quality.

forces conspired somewhat against me, alas. i have not bought some smart paper off of Pound Land for a while, and as it happens the 75% of my family you all like more than me elected to use what i had left of the last purchase to make some (admittedly quite smart) paper aeroplanes with.

quite fortunate, then, dear reader, that my work in clearing storage, as it were, happened when it did.

yeah, dear reader, or if you like yeah, b!tches (sorry), that;s some grade a, high quality sappi paper, all the way from South Africa. well, two years ago i packed up my entire study as part of the home to move back home, and whatever office supplies i had ended up packed too. just as well, as it happens.

i know you are all excited about reading of paper, in particular paper imported from South Africa for little or no apparent reason, but let's take a break. i am, firstly, really sorry for the quality of this next picture. it was taken in something of a rush when i heard what i heard on the TV.

what i heard on the TV, as is so often the case of a weekend, was Jim Bowen giving a run down on the prizes lucky contestants could win on Bullseye. well, could and did win some 30 years ago. your attention is drawn to the small thing at the bottom centre of this image.

what is it? that, my friends is what no less a person than Jim Bowen described as being a "computer watch". oh yeah, that's right. a computer watch from the 80s. that is some 30 years before Apple claimed to have invented the computer watch, and as a bookend some 30 years after the creators of Dick Tracy comics invented it so that Tracy, or if you like Dick, may keep in contact with whoever the hell it was that he kept in contact with. sorry, all i can think of is Warren Beatty in a bad suit and an awful Madonna song.

during the course of nothing else happening today, what else happened? i was propositioned by Mark, a gent who i am proud to refer to as a friend and colleague and who, despite clearly being intelligent to know better, reads this from time to time. on that note, hello mate. anyway, Mark made a request of me to procure for him three tins of the finest grape juice known to man. only a specific store, the prestige of B & M, stocks this stuff.

as it suited me to go there, i accepted his proposition. and why did it suit me to go there? screws. 

soon, dear reader, soon. i shall soon be reassembling all sorts of things, such as TV stands and desks and, well, TV stands and desk. oh yeah, and a bed. i have a suspicion, if not inkling, that the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) screws may have not fared quite as well as this paper on the disassembly, packing and shipping of such things. as point of fact i seem to have a recollection of uttering something along the lines of "f*** it i will get some new screws in England" as a few rolled away when i took the stand off of a TV.

will these screws be useful, in as far as are any of the assorted sizes going to be correct for what i need them to do? who cares? look at the price, man. that's a pound for them, they are professional quality and it includes a storage box. bonza at that price. if to use them it means i need to take a drill to a TV set then so be it; it shall not be the first time and i highly doubt it shall be the last.

back, in conclusion then, to the paper. i had never had reason before now to look at the back of these reams of paper. i didn't really have reason today either, i just glanced at it and noticed. it is with interest that i noticed that the back seems to have instructions on how to use paper.

that's pretty, yeah, well, that's something, man. instructions on how to use paper? methinks, and i concede if not yield that i may be being judgemental here, that if one requires instructions on how to use paper, perhaps they need to ask of themselves, or an appropriate member of the community, what it is they are doing buying paper?

it could, you know, have turned out to be both prudent and wise, me bringing paper to England from South Africa. they are mad keen, like totes on banning things here in England. if you, wherever you are in the world now, think that you are living in a "nanny state", i would encourage you to spend some time here and see what such a state of being wet nursed and regulated with laws and controls is all about. sometimes it's amusing but mostly it's just a pain. anyway, as i think you have worked out, my point is that i could well have returned to England and discovered that they had banned paper that people may write and print on, so as to further limit the freedom of thought and the expression of ideas. this would not be, going on a few things i have read, not be entirely all bad, but i am glad that it is not in fact the case.

anyway, that's nothing for you. there is every chance that tomorrow is the last time i shall be able to connect with ease for a few days. there might be one or two updates before the transfer of lines and all that stuff, but in the mean time, rest assured i will be back, and in the absence of new rubbish here why not browse through the old rubbish. there's 11 or so years of this on the menu to the side; tuck in, enjoy.

and, as ever, many thanks for reading.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

oustide of the box

hi there

i am really sorry, look you see, for the lame title. i have been trying to think of something witty or clever, and as would be the usual case i have somewhat failed. bear with me, i am rather tired and physically knacked.

plans are afoot, the dice are rolling, dear reader. to that end there will be a lack of posts just now for a week or so, but all worth it in the end.

speaking of which, here's the end of the story for those of you who are in a rush and simply wished to take a cursory look at what it is i have been up to.

indeed that is me (sorry for the lack of warning that i would feature, those of you who wisely prefer the other 75% of my family) and indeed i am stood in front of our storage. our, as you can probably make out, empty storage. i mostly emptied it out over the weekend, with the kind help of someone in a couple of instances.

regular readers or the curious who search through this blog will be aware that we've had the majority of our stuff sat in storage for, what, some 18 months i think. it's a good two or so years since we have seen a lot of it outside of boxes, to be honest.

the idea of being able to get everything out of storage has been, to be, both a daunting and an exciting one. it's shiny stuff, after all, and i really like shiny things. if that's the excitement, let us consider the more daunting element of this.

wow. that's a lot. i believe, as point of fact, there were or are some 180+ boxes an items, with them being - trust me on this one - of varying weight and size.

i knew that this weekend was the one that i needed to get this done. my thoughts on opening up storage and seeing this  - actually more, as my blueberry camera and that doesn't really do a wide angle - was along the lines of f***, i am never going to be able to do this. well, as the first picture showed, i was.

no, i didn't use my car to shift all the boxes. the car of my (considerably) better half is not so much considerably as it is actually bigger, so it made more sense to use that. also, whereas i doubt things like suspension and shock absorbers are actual things or of any validity, i thought it best that if they were real and were likely to break from weight, not in my car, then, thanks.

another look at the size and scope of boxes i was required to move? surely.

when i say "required", i mean "planned". i could have left most where it was, but clearing it out now saves me the (in fairness highly reasonable) cost of storage for another month. plus, if one is making a move to somewhere that one has more space, it kind of makes sense to utilise that space, does it not?

much of my weekend, then, was spent driving between storage and the larger space, picking up boxes, packing them in the car, driving, unloading the boxes, going for more. when i took a break i called in to see Gran & Gramps, who were proudly displaying a new picture of my Dad. here's a snap of it.

that's quite a smart look you have on the go there, Dad. would look pretty smart at a Madchester Rave On festival, that would.

a quick look at the progress of my efforts in removing boxes from packaging? to me it seems pointless, as you know the conclusion, but for the curious, here you go.

other than a big, big thanks to where we had everything stored, massive thanks indeed to Bayley, the people who packed us up and shipped our stuff.  their packing work has been superb - not only did it withstand and survive moving some eight thousand miles, the packaging they used has held up and allowed us to store all of our stuff for however long it has been.

also thanks to Robert, who with his smart van and boss trailer helped me move the too large for the car and too heavy for just me to move stuff. here you go, he normally keeps a low profile but here's a picture of him as we were unloading.

if it were not for Robert i would have been well and truly stuck to get some of the things moved. i dare say i would have ended up paying a small fortune to get some gents to do it. i dare say that there will be the value of several drinks in it for Robert after he's called in and helped us move a few other things.
another gander at the suspension or whatever it is in a car possibly getting a bit battered off of the weight that i added to it in my transportation efforts? surely.

in my efforts i also conclusively proved my pet theory that rearview mirrors on a car are an opulent, bourgeois luxury that are not necessary. i couldn't see a thing behind me and it did not affect my driving at all. as far as i am concerned reversing, when i needed to, went fine without that mirror, and if my (considerably) better half notices any dents at the back i will assure her that she must have done them.

a look at me, halfway through moving everything and fully knacked? sure.

believe it or not i was actually trying to smile in that picture. sorry, i was just plain exhausted and drained.

so, done then. and overall i thoroughly enjoyed it. there's the sense of achievement, of course, but physical activity is indeed invigorating. i have tested the patience of my physique, i have picked up a few items on my own that i perhaps should not have, i am well and truly battered, but oddly i also feel refreshed and all the better for doing it.

for the benefit of your nightmares i thought i'd have a go at a sort of Mr Kurtz type of shadow in the door image for you.

i'd actually dig to do this all day, every day. no, not writing (do that already), picking up stacks of boxes, in Robert's words play jenga with them in a truck, van or car, drive them about and unload them. what are the chances of a career change? well, let's have a look. i'm 42, i have literature degrees coming out of my @rse, i have careers in corporate b(w)anking and writing. i doubt, dear reader, that i would be high up on the list of anyone looking to employ someone to drive around doing stuff with boxes.

next, of course, is the challenge of unpacking the boxes rather than just moving them. this will be a lot of fun, and will see me get rid of a lot of stuff after i have unpacked it. there are things in the boxes of sentiment and value, of course, but there's also a lot of stuff that we have lived without for close to two years, and can probably continue to live without.

right, that's me done. hope you had an awesome weekend, and one that was not as exhausting as mine was. well, unless that's what you wanted..................

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

smart(ish) £1 finds

hello there

well, shifting about 100 boxes is, look you see, about as much fun as it sounds. this is all the more true in particular when a substantial percentage of them have been done alone, although i must stress the greatest thanks and appreciation i have for my cousin that came in to assist - nice one Robert.

whilst i am physically knacked i would appear to be a little mentally alert. the Morrissey novel is, alas, a challenge to read, so instead of having a gander at that i thought i'd rather do a minimalist sort of blog post to pass the time.

i really rather like, as regular readers will know, making frequent trips past the wonders of Pound Land. this is because, for the most part, you can get some absolutely boss things for a mere £1. an area i check daily is their DVD and CD section, for they randomly add titles to it which are, frankly, an absolute bargain and close to a steal for the fee charged. here's the three i found this week.

that, reader, is the original and proper film of The Omen, not the awful remake. yes, indeed it is a factory sealed, in a slipcase brand new blu ray i have got of it for £1.

next to it is something called The Bigfoot Tapes. i am not sure if you can make out the review of it, but it says that it made one reviewer "almost jump out of their chair". almost? not much of a horror, then. 

on the end we have another blu ray, same qualities as The Omen in terms of packaging, called Blood The Last Vampire. nope, not much idea of what it is - some "live action" version of one of them "Japanese manga" things, i think. due to my flourishing relationship with the Japanese, i thought i had better get it. plus, it has, you would think, vampires in it, and my (considerably) better half likes them.

chances of me finding the time to watch these are remote, but you never know. at the fee of £1 each, however, i wasn't going to leave them on the shelf. although, it has to be said, considering the majority of the 100 boxes (or thereabouts) i shifted today, i am beginning to appreciate that having a massive film collection does indeed have a down side.

actually, i see that the Bigfoot one is quite short. as i have a habit, if not tradition, of watching only the really, really bad films that i find on the cheap, i may well shove this one on after the rugby has finished. if i can stay awake, and mindful of yet more boxes being my future tomorrow.

anyway, if i do watch it, no doubt the obligatory review shall follow. but man my eyelids are getting as heavy as my muscles are feeling tested.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

the gift of a tramp

hello there

well this is somewhat unusual, look you see. Spiros suggested that i watch out for a parcel today, so i instructed my family to do that. this they did, and the suggestion of Spiros proved to be quite apt, for a parcel arrived for me.

you might assume that this parcel was off of Spiros, and that there is nothing magical or unusual in him knowing that i should watch out for one. this assumption would, as point of fact, on the whole appear to be incorrect, as the return address gives every indication that the parcel was not off of Spiros.

yes indeed folks, i would appear to have been treated to a gift parcel off of Spiros's dear mate, the tramp that mostly lives in the disused and distressed Blockbuster store down in London. well, i say dear mate, but it's more of a client-patron relationship, with the tramp doing pretty much anything Spiros can think of for the commission of £1. the time where he gave him some scissors and got him to cut hair was a particular highlight, but i think legally it's wise not to mention too much about that.

indeed i would agree, those in the know, with your observation that the tramp would appear to have the same flamboyant, sexually ambiguous style of handwriting that Spiros does, but never mind that. you want to see what was in the box, and so let's go on to aspects of highlights of just that.

the Winston Red were a particularly pleasing and welcome gift. it is with some interest that i note, too, that tramps seem to have little or no use for Cookie Crisp cereal off of Nestle, them that do the coffee and that. i happen to not mind them, and so they will be of value here. the plastic cutlery which which i may smoke the Winston and eat the cereal was a progressive and very forward thinking nice touch.

something which struck me, if not you, as interesting was that the tramp, rather like Spiros, seems to be quite a regular at Kew Gardens, and like Spiros he also rather likes taking as many of the teabags they have there as he can get into his pockets.

my Grandparents, who were the main beneficiaries when Spiros sent me some similar teabags a little while ago, will be delighted with the above. i shall be passing these ones on to them. they say that the sweet rhubarb one is exceptional, as point of fact superb, so if you happen to go past Kew Gardens yourself, please grab some and send them on to me.

there were a couple of abstract items included in the parcel, or if you like box. few were as abstract, however, as the branding or printing letters which were included. 

yes, four in all, and as you can see, i got a T, a U, a C and an N. these will undoubtedly come in very handy indeed if for some reason i need to print or otherwise brand "c nut" or perhaps "cut n" on an item or something like that.

finally (i did say i was only giving you select highlights) it would seem that at some point recently the tramp was a guest at an event hosted by someone called Jack fm, which i take to be some sort of radio station. weirdly, Spiros was also recently at an event hosted by them. perhaps they went together.

anyway, i am most impressed with this very spiffing bag from Jack fm.

i do, as i hope you do, rather like the contradiction or perhaps amusing conflict of this being labelled as "my very own Jack fm bag", only for it to have underneath it a polite request to return it to them. i will take the request to return it as a light hearted joke from them, even a bit of this "banter" perhaps, and shall of course keep it as i am sure that's what they meant.

well, that's that - something of a lovely and mostly pleasant end to the week. i anticipate being extraordinarily busy this weekend. updates over the weekend, and indeed for the week ahead, may well be scarce. i shall tell you all about it as and when it is done, or when the chance of a break allows.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

another day of release

hello there

well, this is peculiar. best i start, look you see, with the "big reveal" up front for a couple of reasons. firstly, mindful of the date, some of you might have come to the peculiar conclusion that the day of release today i am all excited about is an out of character, possibly out of kilter celebration of Fifa 16. no, it isn't.

it is in fact mostly of my excitement that there was a novel released today that i was interested and intrigued about getting and reading. that would be the debut novel by Morrissey, List Of The Lost. yes, that Morrissey. i mention this now as a good many people, for either legitimate rational reasons or out of a wish to seem cool and have a false sense of purpose, dislike him a lot. if you're one of them, bye, go find a Morrissey free corner of the internet in which to dwell.

i had kind of forgotten that he mentioned / mused something about turning out a novel, but was reminded a week or so ago in passing. yes, as a fan of his music and an advocate of his will, whim and right to speak his mind - whether i agree with what he says or not - i am keen to see what this is like.

i did indeed take advantage of Waterstone's kind offer of buying one novel and getting another at half price to obtain something called After The Crash, which sounds interesting.

more of Morrissey, and this day of release, as we go, but let me mix it up a bit for you with things of other stuffs in the earnest hope, if not wish, that i provide some interest and amusement to the Morrissey haters who are, for some reason, still reading this. 

this morning i remembered to have a quick check on my most recent pension fund investment,  and it is just as well i did. in a rare set of circumstance, it transpired that i was entitled to a dividend from one of my portfolios.

not, admittedly, the greatest or most impressive dividend ever paid out on a pension fund portfolio, but the real term return of £5.60 on a £2 policy isn't a complete disaster. it allowed me, for instance, to reinvest on a further two pension fund policies, one of which is due to mature on Friday night and the other on Saturday night, and with the change from that i was able to get a discount of some 38% on a sticky toffee pudding, one of the more essential items one needs to consider obtaining as and when they have a pension fund payout to play with.

should i get the higher end pay out of one of my pension fund pay outs, will i also share an image of it here, along with the news of my investment gaining a return? ha ha, f*** off, don't be silly. i will be too busy stuffing as many banknotes as i can into a briefcase, finding the nearest pimp, giving it to him and saying i want that much in prostitutes and i want the change in cocaine.

that's not really the sort of thing Morrissey would do, i suppose, which is my cue to return to him. is it at all normal to release a new book on a Thursday? i don't know, really. it would certainly seem to be "normal" to release footballing computer games on this day.

i am going to assume that Thursdays are not a standard day for book releases as the window display off of Waterstones had not changed from earlier in the week. which meant that the fact that Morrissey was available was not advertised to passing members of the gentry, or the ladies for that matter.

yeah, i am pretty tired of Sir Alex Ferguson issuing autobiographies now, too. this is, what, his third? as for other books on display here, the only thing i can really tell you about is that new volume of the adventure of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and what i can tell you of that is here.

i suspect there's some sort of law that prevents  books from changing their displays more than once a week. it is, after all, in the very best interests of the government - any government - to ensure that the masses taste as little education or intellectual endeavours as possible. banning book shops from changing their displays more than once a week is quite like hiding cigarettes behind massive steel shutters - if the people cannot see them, then they shall remain ignorant to them.

meanwhile, once again away from Morrissey (since we seem to be anyway), i saw, if not observed, this on my travels during the day today.

one must be mindful not to pour scorn on the ambition of others, for doing so acts as a barrier that prevents others from trying to achieve new, great things. i do, however, fail to see how putting a sticker on a wall, writing "POWER SOCKET HERE" and drawing a Derek Bowie Aladdin Sane era lightning bolt on it is going to either work to magically make power turn up, or convince anyone that it has.

wouldn't it be great if the world worked like that, though? i mean, being able to write something down and then it happens or comes into being would be awesome, man. 

around the corner off of the window display at Waterstones is a view of what is going on inside the store itself. i decided to have a bit of a gander to see if there was any sign of the Morrissey novel on display inside. if i didn't, it could have been the case that i wasted some of my lunch break off of verk walking up to see.

here, then, is what i saw.

yep, as you know anyway since i got it, it was there on proud display. that column of orange you can see, central in the picture, is the proud posed launch of the debut novel by him off of The Smiths. i then made a solemn pledge or vow, to myself of course because not many others speak to me, to return there when an official break provided sufficient time for me to get there, purchase and get back to verk without getting knacked (rightly) for being late.

the branch of Greggs you see pictured there is, as point of fact, one of two that i use on an ad hoc basis to obtain lunch from. i quite like going to Greggs for lunch. the food is somewhat so-so, but the ladies who work there address me with terms of affection, such as "sweetheart", "love", "darling" and so forth. kind terms that, every now and then, make one feel not so isolated as they are.

the chap who served me in Waterstones was also jolly decent and civil, but did not address me in tones or ways that one would interpret as homoerotic.

he was, however, rather excited about me purchasing the Morrissey novel. to this end, he engaged me in a conversation of how it had in fact only arrived for sale today, and clearly a few copies had already been sold, looking at the uneven, unbalanced number of copies of the novel on the shelves.

the gent was also enthusiastic about my decision to purchase this After The Crash business. he had read the hardback earlier in the year and said, for him, it was thus far the best novel he had read this year. i countered this with my opinion that, thus far, the magnificent novel The Girl On The Train was the best i had read. this reminded him that he had it sat at home and had not gotten around to it. i urge him, like i do you, to read it and enjoy how magnificent it is. as eager as i am not to pre-judge such things, i would give strong suggestion to you to read it before the film version turns up. why? it's a distinctly English story and features the English way of doing things, but this has not, it would seem, stopped them moving the whole thing over to an American setting for the motion picture. oh dear.

so, Morrissey's novel. no, i have not started reading it yet. i am planning on starting that tonight, and could finish it quite soon, looking at it not being the longest novel i've ever bought. my anticipation and excitement has, to be truthful, being tainted somewhat by the massive outpouring of scorn, hatred and contempt thrown at it - nobody that claims to have read it seems to like it. it's tough, of course, to tell the legitimate poor reviews apart from those who just like to bash Morrissey because they think it will impress people on that Twerker or Snap Face Chat Book thing. to that, well, i can only imagine that it gives Morrissey a thrill that, after all these years, people still walk around believing it makes them cool and interesting to refer to him as a twat.

anyway, off to do all the things i would normally do on an evening, which isn't very exciting, and then on to bed to start reading this novel.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the impossible button

hello there

the margin for fun whilst driving in England is, look you see, somewhat limited. this is due to a fundamental lack of progressive laws that would open up things - you know, mix it up a bit - to allow a driver to wile away the boredom. you are encouraged, for instance, under threat of sanction by law, to not only stick to your allocated side of the road, but also to keep on the road. driving on pavements is, i believe, frowned upon.

driver entertainment, then, is limited to merely driving in a responsible, legal, safe way. that is pretty much as dull as it sounds, but it's not all bad. there are, as it turns out, plenty of buttons in a modern car that one may fiddle with to pass the time. there is, after all, only so much entertainment to be had watching other motorists get out of your way.

like, for instance, these buttons which i noticed today. they are, it would appear, conveniently located just above the CD player. the one on the left, that's the left where the one looks a bit like a game controller direction pad, allows you to adjust them superfluous mirrors which are on the side of the car for no apparent reason. i've never understood the obsession some have with looking behind them as they drive; the only thing you need to look at from time to time is what's in front of you, just to make sure people are getting out of the way in which you clearly intend to go. the one on the right is cut off a bit, but it seems to be one that activates a massive hook that picks your car up. i cannot think of a practical use for this but i do look forward to engaging it at some point.

it's the middle one that i found to be particularly entertaining today. looking at it i assumed it was some sort of seance device, as the graphic depicts what would seem to be simplified spirits rising so that they may communicate with us. as it turns out, this is a button which activates magic that demists the windows in the car.

this was particularly handy today, as it was a trifle cold and the windows were rather difficult to gaze through. difficult as in the first half of my journey today was quite tricky and involved even more guesswork than usual. the second half, after i pressed the button, was conducted with relative viewing ease.

now that i've had a bit of a gander i see there are a few more buttons i can press. i'm quite excited to see what they all do, really, but i am not going to spoil the fun by pressing them all at once.  in the mean time, though, here you go, Candy Crush Saga enthusiasts.

yes, that's right, i finished the so-called hard man level off of the game. it was not, in truth, all that difficult; for it was just a matter of getting the correct colour combinations aligned. like, totes simples, really.

as and when i find anything else exciting that buttons in my car do, i will surely take some images of it and post them here. until then, then.......

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

an early morning screw

hi there

when i retired for the evening last night, to indulge, look you see, in reading a rather splendid and enjoyable book, it became clear to me that i was desirous, or rather in urgent need, of a little screw. this is something i obtained, but it was not quite as satisfactory as i had hoped, expected or required. so it was, then, that when i woke this morning i still felt a compelling need to, by any means available, get a little screw to balance things out in my life.

with no other practical alternates available in my quest for a little screw, i proceeded to drive into town towards verk. before i went in to verk, however, i approached a gentleman - wearing a smart suit, no less - and requested a little screw off of him. he was delighted to assist, and did not even charge me for it.

as i cleansed my glasses, or if you like spectacles, last night, i observed that i somehow had one arm less than usual on the glasses. thankfully the arm was laid quite safely on the floor near me but, alas, the little screw which held it in place had gone with no trace.

with some hoarding sensed fortune i had a couple of spare pairs around the house. i do not, as it happens, like the idea of no safety net with my vision, and thus hold on to older pairs in case i need them so i do not need to drive blind.

my (considerably) better half, blessed as she was with somewhat better vision than i momentarily had, happily took a screwdriver to one set of these glasses and removed a screw that seemed to be the nearest closest to a fit. she placed it in and it held the arm to the frame, although it protruded some. it worked, but was clearly only going to ever be a temporary fix, hence me going in to Specsavers this morning to see what they could do.

the incredibly well dressed gent whom i had the pleasure of speaking to at Specsavers apologised profusely for the fact that they did not have Ray Bans in stock and thus had no spare screws for them, but offered to put in one that would fit perfectly. i advised him that there was no need to apologise at all, and that anything he could put in would be greatly appreciated. this he did, and refused to accept any payment at all for it, which is why i am happy to give as many plugs and promotions to Specsavers in this post as i can.

had plan a, which was Specsavers, not worked, my plan b was to purchase some of them "reading glasses" they sell at Pound Shop and just cannibalise them until i found a screw that was a perfect match. why not just order some authentic Ray Bans screws off of the internet? because they would seem to want to charge somewhere noticeably north of £10 for 4 (four) of them. 

although i did not require any of the smart "reader" glasses that Pound Land has i all the same felt morally obliged to purchase something optician related for them. it seemed like a jolly good idea, then, to make some selections from their array of products designed to clean glasses, or rather the lenses of them, with.

the idea of fire and toxic danger being an element of cleaning glasses is, to me, exciting. as you can see, these wipe things have little or no English on them, and thus the manufacturers do not seem to feel obliged to obey any sort of English Way Of Doing Things approach to health and safety matters.

how do they perform? mindful of the fact that, despite requiring to wear them for some 27 or so years, i am useless at cleaning glasses, they perform in a way that's a good deal more streaky than i would have liked or expected. whilst the scent of the wipes certainly implied hazard and there was always the excitement of flames bursting out as i used them, the only exciting thing which really happened was streaks were left across the lenses.

as regular readers are no doubt aware a pressing concern for me of late has been establishing a suitable pension fund. whilst i was at Pound Land, then, i thought i might as well have a quick, speculative dabble on the pension fund service they offer. alas, as has mostly been the case with all of the other pension schemes i have had a dabble, or if you like flutter, with, no success at all.

nope, as you can see very clearly in the magic of Commodore 64 mode above (i have decided to leave Predator alone for a while as i can never get the orientation right), i did not get the correct, or accurate, three values aligned and thus they have denied me my pension.

on the one side you might say that the maximum payout Pound Land offers on pensions, presently capped at £1,000 (a thousand), is not that great. as a policy with them only costs £1, however, that is the actual, as in real terms, potential for a 1,000% (one thousand percent) return on investment. that's not bad, that is. well, it isn't if it works, which it didn't.

the other glasses cleaning set what i got off of Pound Land, perhaps rather hastily so since they slightly betrayed me with the pension fund but never mind, is this fancy, la-de-dah looking set. that it comes with a cloth and a spray screams a higher social class than the one in which i currently dwell, but there you go, i guess i aspired to better myself by purchasing.

now that i think, on occasions when i have required a little screw or some other such service on my glasses, or if you like spectacles, no optician has ever hesitated to help, whether i bought them from them in the first instance or not. Specsavers were all the more impressive, i believe, as i didn't even buy these ones in the same hemisphere as they are operating. nice one, then, to all opticians for their commitment to making sure no one struggles with their glasses.

how does this fancy, la-de-dah, upper class glasses cleaning set perform? mindful of the above qualification in regards of my skills in cleaning spectacles, smudgy is my abiding memory. the spray is bonza, or if you like smart, to operate, and the cloth certainly feels like the sort of fancy material they dress and bury select members of the aristocracy in. the overall effect, however, is a sense of smudge on the lenses, making seeing through them a complex, tricky and ultimately disappointing experience.

what have we learned here, assuming that learning is for some reason something that people do with the material on this blog? well, firstly that Specsavers are thoroughly decent people, and i shall certainly be using them the next time i decide to change the perception or accentuation of my sexuality with glasses frames. we've also learned that Pound Land does not offer the best returns on pension investments out there, but they are probably not the worst. also, Pound Land glasses cleaning products for glasses are precisely as good as the person using them.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

the hard man of candy crush saga

hello there

well, as it happens, i half expected to be rather stiff and sore this evening, grasping randomly at my sides and saying "ow, ow, my liver, my liver", or whatever organ it is when you shift heavy boxes around. alas no, look you see, i didn't do that, so here's something of a "bonus post".

as we seem to have  somewhat better internet than we had yesterday (a nice young lad in India, of all places, spent some fifty minutes explaining to my (considerably) better half how she may change the frequency of it, or something), i took to the joys of Candy Crush Saga to wile away a few moments. whilst doing so, i observed a not really subtle change to the layout.

yeah, that's right, they have added the words "hard level" to levels which are, you would think, quite difficult.

i'm not sure why they have done this. my best guess is that as you can hand over coins of money to them to play the game, that is if you are a simpleton and cannot be content with the fact that it is free, they are in some way liable to warn you if you have just paid over some coins of money to play a difficult level.

it is as it happens, a rather challenging level. i've had two goes at it and have not beaten it. at that stage i elected to rather leave it alone, instead opting to write all about the strange, unusual, new and peculiar warning they have added to the game. i think it's this kind of change that is supposed to see one "break the internet", but for me it's exciting if just two or three people read it and go "oh" or something.

i'd love to get together with Spiros and discuss this, but he doesn't play games. he is too busy going out drinking cider and starting fights with TfL employees and taxi drivers. Spiros points out that he didn't really play many games as he was growing up, as he wasn't socially inept and was quite good with girls. this has translated, of course, to him being really quite good with the gents of late.

i bet Lindsey Buckingham off of Fleetwood Mac plays Candy Crush Saga a lot these days, as well as doing yoga and all that sort of thing. meditation, maybe.

Lindsey Buckingham off of the 70s, specifically 1977 as pictured here, had the most awesome life ever. he had people running around with bags full of cocaine for his use, he had stacks of groupies and band members to engage in sexual activities with, and he wrote some damned amazing tunes, man. also, he could have massive mentalist afro hair and wear an Hawaiian shirt and get applauded for it. i can't do any of that.

nowadays he dresses like a businessman and probably does all that "my body is a temple" stuff; looking after his health and not getting himself involved with any of that sort of thing. it's a bit of a shame, really, but the true tragedy is not so much that he doesn't do it, it's rather than none of the so-called musicians of today do it. i mean, that dickhead, him off of Glastonbury that claimed to be the world's greatest rock star, gets as wild as releasing a range of really bland clothes and getting that really, really thick but all the same tres rich woman pregnant, has probably never crashed a car into a pool or thrown a tele out of a hotel room. i would say he's probably never had sex with a member of his band, but as far as i can ascertain he is a solo act and all the comments and reviews i have seen of him actually suggest he is, then, rather prolific about sex with members of his band.

i seem to have got a bit distracted from the changes they have made to Candy Crush Saga. oh well.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

bad internet

hello there

weekends would normally be, look you see, when i can really give it some billy-ho on the updates here. not, alas, this weekend. beyond the usual lack of interesting things to say and, indeed, some serious, heavy duty box shifting, we have these last 48 hours or so battled with really terrible internet. this would seem to be getting to be the norm, and i think it's the great strain placed on the internet in the UK by the many hundreds of thousands of people who do them less-than-legal "streaming" things of sporting events. i simply accept that sporting results shall be what they are whether i watch or not, but hey ho, some people like to view in the hope that they may sway the action.

increasingly,  have observed, our people of internet are getting crap. yeah, they may be the cheapest, and yeah they might be "totally unlimited", but that's not of much use if you can access it. still, let me battle on, and see if i can write something, although internet or not the problem of little of interest to say remains.

believe it or not, it's taken three restarts of this internet thing to get to here from the above paragraph, dear reader, and i see that the b@stard thing is now saying "unable to connect" yet again. i shall try to press on.

the above? some sort of flowers. a recurring, somewhat significant debit on his account has led Spiros to discover that he was buying them on a frequent basis. this has caused him some distress, but it has also given him what he considers to be a good idea.

when we, that is us non-Millennials, were growing up, we were given assurances that automation would be smart; that it would mean less working hours and more time to enjoy and appreciate life. the truth, alas, is that we all seem to be working harder, longer and for less. perhaps they just got everything mixed up and the wrong way around in the textbooks, hey ho.

there are, of course, still ways to make an awful lot of money and enjoy life. invent facebook, for instance, or invent a google. to this end, Spiros is going to "invent", as in borrow, an idea about getting people to pay north of £20 a week to have some rudimentary flowers delivered to them in rudimentary packaging with a slightly rudimentary verse thrown in.

leaving that idea aside for one moment, i could not but help notice this new "collectors series" magazine going on sale. yes, that's right, they have launched a series of magazines which allows you to collect "iconic" Zippo lighters.

as excited as i am about cigarettes apparently becoming socially acceptable once again (and, honestly, i think i would get less judgemental looks if i walked around dressed as Jimmy Savile humming Gary Glitter songs than i do when having a cigarette), i cannot but help think that maybe giving away fire ignition devices, ostensibly intended for but not limited to lighting cigarettes, might be somewhat irresponsible. and that's not really from the perspective that it would encourage people to smoke, but maybe it might just encourage people to test them out and burn stuff with. stuff that was probably not intended to be burned.

anyway, the smart idea of Spiros. it is the case, as it happens, that Spiros reckons he has access to an effectively limitless supply of flowers. other than him being quite wily in being able to grab loads of them off of all the fancy gardens they have open to the public in London, he says that on his travels he regularly sees dozens of bunches and bouquets irresponsibly abandoned by apparently recently damaged lampposts and barricades, as well as in the vicinity of kebab shop doorways which the constabulary has taped off. he reckons it would only be the work of a moment to gather then up and box them in cheap cardboard. in terms of the cardboard, he reckons that he can get as much as he likes off his mate that sleeps in a disused Blockbusters.

ha ha, the twats that do our internet have just had an ad on the tele, claiming that with them you can "internet your socks off". looking at the increasing frequency with which i am getting "unable to connect" messages, i think it's more the case that they are suggesting that, to pass time, you can sit and take your socks off and then put them back on again as you wait for the internet to come along. at this stage i am starting to think that doing this would be a far more effective and reliable way of connecting to the world outside.

it would be somewhat amiss, considering my fledging if not growing relationship with them through their hard to find cigarettes, if i did not congratulate the Japanese on their magnificent and entirely unexpected victory in all of that rugby stuff yesterday.

whereas surprise results in football are quite frequent, it's not really the case in rugby. more often than not there's a clear favourite, and rarely does the game turn against the form book. as distressed as my friends and family over in SA shall be about the result, i have to say what a formidable result and well done. best of luck for the rest of the tournament, and may you finish high up in the list of teams who didn't win as England march onwards to glory.

a bit of a flaw in the plan of Spiros is the composition of verse to include with the flowers. in his entirely original idea, which he borrowed off what he has been paying for in an oblivious way for some time now, he will include some inspirational words thrown together as a gesture of a poem.

Spiros, as a general rule, tends to be a good deal more forthright than he is an embracer of the ambiguities involved with getting away with a lot of existential, vague nonsense and claiming that it is "deep and meaningful poetry". i have offered to help him out in this regard, as i of course want my mate to do well with his entirely original idea that he has lifted off of someone else. the trick, alas, is that as a point of departure for prose, he has suggested i use words like "bum", "cider", "stabbing incident" and "f*****g rip off for flowers" as the spine of the statement he wishes to imbue within those fortunate enough to pay for his flowers. including all of these in a poem strikes me as quite a challenge, and that's even before i get close to working out how to rhyme them.

anyway, i am tired of battling this connection. let me see if it allows me to post this, and then i do believe i shall retire for the evening.

if Flowers By Spiros ever gets going, i have no doubt i shall get a box of them in the post. as and when that happens, i will almost certainly think of giving you an update.

hope you've all had a more reliable internet weekend than i!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

sleeves; or towards a new racism

hi there

first off, for those of you jumping up and down all infuriated with my incorrect and quite possibly entirely inappropriate use of a term, oh do believe me i agree with you, look you see. it's just that i no longer have the will to fight against it in this brave, new and dumbed down world of ours.

racism is, of course, a very specific thing, with thing being an action, an outlook, a perspective and of course an accusation. it is the latter one of those that has been the most common usage of the word these days, and used it has been for everything that has upset someone. there are other terms out there - xenophobia, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Christian to name but a few - and you are able to disagree with or simply not like them on the basis that they are a complete twat (or similar); as in dislike for what they do, not on the basis of who or what they happen to be. but for some reason the world we live in decries anything that they don't particularly like as being "racist", knowing full well that that's the bunny of a term that grabs attention and, if done properly, gets headlines.

and disagreement, dislike, judge and accuse is what we are doing in increasing numbers. we all like the idea of freedom of speech, especially on the internet, but usually it is only right up until the point where someone says something that we disagree with, and the one who says that which we disagree with is "clearly" racist or similar and thus should be silenced.

time and again it feels like i've had to explain to people that freedom of speech does in fact have a price, and the fee is that either everyone has it or it doesn't exist. in exerting that freedom of speech, you also have to be aware of that old science nugget (physics, i think) that says every action has a reaction.

if you would rather elect to hand over to someone - even yourself - the power to determine just what is and what is not allowed under the banner of "freedom of speech" - mindful of the consequences of using it - be very careful. you're allowing someone else, or putting yourself, in a position where you get to deem and judge what the majority thinks, believes, accepts and rejects. me? i'm kind of prepared to put up with, or simply elect to ignore (an art which Generation Millennial Entitlement seems blissfully unaware of), anything i don't really like or agree with in order that i may hear what i wish to.

oh yeah, sleeves. a bizarre new prejudice, or if you like form of racism, became clear to me over the course of the last week or so. there was an incident involving someone, and they seem happy for me to relay the tale here, so long as i don't reveal their identity. that's fair enough. as for the other party involved, well look i normally doubt yelling a name does any good, but if you somehow come to a conclusion from that well then that's up to you.

anyway, someone went on one of them "assessment" things for a potential job; one that as not much of a career change but all the same waved substantial more coins of money in the direction of the successful applicant. they were on this thing with a number of other people. in an unusual moment, they felt quite confident after they left it, believing that they were at least top three of the, for want of a better word, candidates there. alas no, they turned out not to be in the top three.

once upon a time you either got a job somewhere or you didn't and that was the end of it, everyone moved on. in these enlightened times, however, in which one has to be "engaged with content", feedback is essential. and the feedback this candidate got was essentially enlightening.

the review of the candidate was that the candidate was in fact exceptional. they apparently had an interesting, if you like engaging, personality, they clearly had natural, strong leadership skills that they used in a subtle and effective way, the candidate could perform the work required to a standard higher than anyone else and they would have loved the candidate to be on board with them in a senior capacity.

this somewhat begs the question, then, as to why they fell outside of the top three. a simple case of racism, it seems, in the very modern sense of using the word racism to describe absolutely anyone that happens to be against or dislikes absolutely anything.

the reason for failure was that, although nothing at all to the contrary was either advised or instructed, they were "disappointed" in the fact that the candidate arrived in a short sleeved shirt. yes, even though it was a "proper" shirt, with buttons and a collar and stuff. had the candidate elected to wear a long sleeved shirt, they implied, then they would have been very interested in taking them on.

wow, i will leave that to sink in for a bit for you. here, here's a sideways Predator mode picture of a short sleeved shirt to shake your head in disgust at.

obviously what's going on here is not racism. it is, however, a very clear cut case of "Empire Building", something that affects virtually every corporate and company in the world.

in practically every company there's someone so ensconced in a position or division that they have misinterpreted, or twisted in their mind, the fact that years of experience or establishment has given them far, far more power or influence than they actually have. usually this is indulged, as more often than not they make a lot of noise and faff but don't do any actual harm and the job gets done. inevitably, of course, all things reach a make or break point, and turning away from a company someone who they believe would be a major asset on the basis of their shirt sleeves is a pretty interesting make or break point.

the candidate tells me that the company in question has an "unusually high" turnover of staff rate. far be it from me to put two and two together, but looking from my perspective at the person responsible for making decisions about hiring. if they have an Empire Builder in place that would rather hire rubbish on the basis that they wear shirts with the length of sleeve they happen to like, well, good luck.

weirdly, the candidate was mere moments away from wearing a long sleeved shirt that day. however, it was apparently particularly warm and so, figuring that it would be important to be as comfortable as possible, went with a short sleeve one at the last minute. in doing so, you might argue, they dodged something of a bullet in that moment of change.

racism is a serious word. it should be used and treated in a considered, mostly intelligent, and well thought out way. it should not be banded about frivolously or trivially to describe the apparently idiotic policies of employment at a company, or in many of the million ways the term is bandied about these days. it's difficult these days, however, to achieve that. we, after all, live in a world where a well known black footballer can use a well known racist term on that "twerker" thing and then claim it "not to be racist" as he "didn't mean it that way". equally, we live in a world where a tres very well known special kind of dickhead white footballer can take the judgement from a charge of racism - "with regret found not guilty due to the lack of a direct witness" - and state that he was "completely cleared by a court of law". it's one hell of a tide to swim against.

for me, i think the best i can do is simply elect to wear short sleeve shirts as a stand of solidarity against this incident. i shall continue to do so until racism against short sleeved shirts is eradicated, or otherwise until it is too cold to wear them any more. well, isn't it true that for most people the conviction they have for or against something stands as long as they can do it from a comfort zone?

be excellent to each other, no matter what shirt they wear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and in at number 5..........

hello there

i felt, mostly as i remembered it, look you see, compelled to do a follow up bit to a blog post from as far away ago as a few days. it was the one about Duran Duran getting back into the charts with Rio via, i suspect, selling it for a week for 99p. you can, if interested, read all of that one by clicking here if you haven't done so and are for some reason interested.

as friday, or if you like the day of fri, is for some reason now the day that charts are released, i decided to have a bit of a gander. indeed it is the case that Rio has fallen out of the Top 40, which would suggest my theory about pricing it the way they did for a week was the sole reason for enough sales to chart it again.

applause, though, to the Duran of Duran for getting in at number 5 with the new, awful record.

i quite like a bit of Stereophonics, as it happens. let me see if i can find somewhere on this "streaming" business stuff to give it a listen to before pursuing a purchase. and no, much like the Noel Gallagher one from earlier in the year, my mind has not changed - i don't care how much i like the band, if they release a really bad album i'm no longer buying it out of a sense of obligation.

so, what's the lesson here? it would seem that any band or musician with an absolutely massive ego - yet one which is easily bruised - could quite easily get themselves some love and some press via "unexpected" chart position. take a classic album, one that you've already milked millions off of, shove it out on Google or whatever for a week at 99p (or £1.99 even), sit back and watch what happens.

i trust this of use to some rock star that's reading this whilst say on an absolutely enormous mountain of cocaine and groupies. note i didn't explicitly name David Lee Roth, but it would make my life have some meaning if it was him reading this.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!