Thursday, June 30, 2016

international man of sport


well, here we are again. last day of this month and all that, look you see. i've got a fair bit on my plate at the moment, but i find doing wordy doodles here somewhat therapeutic, if not in some way cathartic. in respect of the latter, yes, i know in a pure definition sense you would say most if not all of what i do here is that, but hey ho on we go.

quite a few pictures of moi from the past have become available to moi, as opposed to all them photographs from the future that i am sat on. as some of you for some reason quite like having a bit of a gander at where i'm from rather than where i'm at, presumably as you have nothing better to do, here we go with a few.

in this post, as the title so admirably hints, let's have a look at my international sporting career. as family, friends and somewhat avid readers of this blog shall know, i spent some time over in the land that is Australia. they were formative years, and as such they gave me a love of cricket that would last, well, to this day and beyond.

that is indeed i at bat, wearing a quite traditional cricket outfit of a smart NY Jets t-shirt and some skimpy red shorts with some smart blue trim.

where and when was i at bat? it says here on the back of the picture Mosman Bay, which is in that Sydney place in Australia. September 1981, if you must know. yes, i was in Australia whilst in England the Australian team were getting a walloping off one Ian Botham.

was i any good at cricket? ok, i suppose. a bit of a power hitter with the bat, but i would not say i had any style or finesse in my stroke play. my bowling was awful, seldom if ever on line. obviously, however, i was better than any Australian, as they clearly learned from me and went on to dominate world cricket for 20 or so years.

any other sports in any other countries? sure. a brief stay in South Africa during the late 80s saw me teach the locals how to play that other gift of the English to another nation - rugby.

that's me, or if you like moi, leaving the field of play after handing a solid 30-0 hiding to someone or other. i mean, yeah, sure, South Africans were sort of OK at the game before i came along and gave it a go for a bit, but it was only after i showed them all that i had learned from my time with Middlesbrough Under 15s that they took it to the next level. it's worth noting that they never won a World Cup before i played for a bit with them, so i may well have a point.

i note with some concern that i am neither thanking / saying well played / teasing the opposition, and nor am i celebrating with my team mates. moody teenager, i suppose, but overall it was not a particularly happy time for me. but still, i taught a nation the English way of doing things in respect of a fine sport.

righty-ho, tomorrow is the first of the month for a new month and so, as ever, i will be trying to do something or other on here.  if not, it will be with good cause, and will be back as soon as i can.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

nothing that happened happened today

hello there

not much really, just a follow up of sorts, look you see, for those regular readers of this blog that for some reason like a conclusion to things what have happened.

a little while ago, as in as recently as last week, there was an incident and accident which saw all sorts of flares and sirens kick off on my computer. if you care to do so you can click here and see how my computer was apparently infected with a form of plague that not even the Google had heard of.

i took, as you may well expect, precisely no actions about it, save mentioning them in passing on here. it was something of a surprise, then to see the test results today.....

yes, quite. apparently it went away all by itself, or whoever put it on my machine "rehacked" it and removed it, or it never existed, then.

so, there you have it. do remember to take free virus checks from people trying to sell you anti-virus software very serious, and act on them - with coins of money - as fast as you can, i guess.

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

the Spiros fix


whilst these two factors may well, look you see, be at odds with each other, some of you more regular readers might be wondering why exactly London is allowing itself to fall into panic if they presently provide a home to Spiros. as we have explored in the past Spiros is, as well as being a staunch advocate of short term yet mutually satisfactory friendships with men and in particular sailors, after all the greatest legal mind of his or any generation. surely he could fix all that is going wrong at the present time?

the answer is yes as much as it is no. yes as in he has a proven means of solution, yet no because no one was prepared to back him with the few million or billion required to get everything all sorted. whilst in retrospect they, along with certain other "secret polls" and so forth bitterly regret this, have no pity for it is their fault in refusing to hedge a bet on a lack of patriotism with a further unpatriotic gamble.

oh yes, he did. as a non-English type of person, Spiros had no qualms at all about seeing the wood, the trees and the twigs of the situation and did not hesitate to bet on them plucky Icelanders in their most recent contest against England.

his bet was somewhat frowned on for it meant betting against England. strangely those who frowned were the ones who had gambled somewhat larger stakes on the fact that England would, in the majority, vote against itself. we are polite and apologetic, i suppose, but not quite that much, thank you.

what will Spiros be doing with his most triumphant winnings? ale, probably. maybe a drink or two for a chap that he meets down the roller disco, but mostly for his own pleasure, i expect.

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

Monday, June 27, 2016

like some Australian's nightmare


well, my last post about all that world coming to an end or maybe, look you see, it isn't stuff has proved to be somewhat popular. thanks for reading or, more likely, thanks for looking at the pictures of some boss squirrels that i sorted out for it.

of those of you who did read it, there's a chance that some of you would agree and some of you would disagree. consequentially, you might wish to see me happy or you may indeed wish to have some sort of harm befall me.

here you go, here's a picture that gives you both at the same time. who says we can't do quantum here, ladies and gentlemen.

yes, that is indeed moi, to use the French i love so dearly, celebrating my 9th birthday. in Australia, no less. Sydney, to be a little specific, but maybe not as specific as that as it might be Brisbane. i associate the arches with Sydney, though, and indeed my broken arm.

how did i break it? can't remember exactly, for this was quite some time ago, but i seem to recall it involved a really smart idea with the upper, or if you like business, end of a bunk bed. i would suspect i fared worse than the bunk bed, or the floor i attempted to smash in.

actually, Sydney, i can remember me Mum taking me on their boss, multi-levelled trains to go and see the doctor and that about the break.

what am i wearing? Australian gold. some people think it's canary yellow, but they are wrong. nope, it's Australian gold.

anyhow, i am a bit busy with a few private concerns at the moment. more updates as and when i can get the time and have the imagination to do them.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2016

looks any different to me

Hello you, the people

Oh no, they say. The whole world is going to come to a crashing end because, look you see, the UK has voted and the majority of voters have said they wish to leave the EU. For those of you who did not vote and did not want to leave – tough, you either should have or you need to start petitioning for a change in the system that prevented you from voting. Don’t make either the problem of someone it has nothing to do with.

Quite a lot of negatives have been thrown around about this decision. A fair number of possible consequences are being discussed and reported on, often as actual fact when they are not but sometimes as the possibilities they are. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, and am quite interested in learning about, is the fate of this scam of a pyramid scheme of a pension / retirement fund, the “Euro Millions”.

Yes, that is my most recent investment in a “Euro Millions” retirement fund. Yet again, dear reader, I have been told that my pension fund investment has failed, and that my investment has been lost, all due to the bizarre decision to award allocations and payouts on randomly selecting balls what have numbers painted on them.

That’s me not retiring, then. Thanks a lot, European pension fund administrators. Never mind, apparently money shall be worthless soon anyway. The reports all seem to talk as if the UK didn’t exist prior to joining the EU, so pretty soon I imagine we’ll be resorting to a barter system which will see us – dangerously – trading the secret of fire with certain areas of what’s left of the country (I didn’t single out Newcastle or Cornwall) in exchange for whatever small creatures of wildlife they can catch.

Something of a more/less serious, yet all “in my opinion” (for ultimately this is my blog) look at a few of the “we are totes doomed” stories doing the rounds? Doable.

We are already heading for financial ruin.

There was a lot of reporting about how the vote to leave the EU had instantly caused markets to crash, the Pound Sterling to lose value, etc. The most impressive part of this was when Sunderland was directly blamed for a 6% loss in value for the Pound. Except, the leave vote didn’t cause it – people playing with the market assuming that a remain vote would win did.

Various financial market people – stockbrokers, investors, hedge funders, etc – took out “secret” polls and those polls said that the vote would be to remain. So they invested money – most of it belonging to others, some of it being imaginary and very little of it being their own – on what they projected the markets would do in the case of a remain vote that would give them the most actual, real money.

What I don’t get it how people are surprised that these banker financial types have caused the damage themselves. Actually, scrub that – it’s more why aren’t people seeing that they’ve caused it? Have we, at large, forgotten already the damage, the havoc and the chaos their greed caused a little less than ten years ago?

Surprisingly, although perhaps not, what has not been widely reported is the fact that the Pound Sterling quickly made a recovery when it was clear that there was no actual crisis, it was instead silly bankers making foolish bets with the money of others.

Countries do not trade with other countries because they like them, because they are part of a special club or anything like that. It’s pure supply and demand, as well as profits and needs. The UK does not all of a sudden have a lack of what other countries want, and other countries do not all of a sudden not want our business or money.

Yeah, but all the banks and financial institutions will leave now.

Oh, really? There’s more to a presence in the UK, in particular London, than a “seat in the EU”. Banks and financial institutions are not charities, they are in London because that’s the best place for them to be for profits. If they would be better off in Dublin, Paris, Brussels or anywhere else in the EU, they would have long since been there.

Thatcher reconstructed London as the financial centre of the world in the 80s, long before the Maastricht Treaty of the early 90s and all that followed it. It shall continue to be this. They like the stability of the British political system. When they get a load of the generous tax and duty terms a not bound by EU law British government gives them, they’ll be delighted to stay, I would expect.

Scotland will want to leave the UK, again.

Well, the Scottish National Party wants to leave the UK, again. Or at least wants to make a lot of noise about leaving. Yes, the majority vote in Scotland alone was to remain, but a little while ago they voted to remain in the UK and thus must abide by the majority vote. That is how democracy works.

Surely this decision, they say, means there are grounds for a new referendum? Perhaps, but then again the fact that the Scottish National Party won the majority in Scotland but not the UK wasn’t cause for a new referendum. Yes, there is a difference. But let’s address the bits they casually skip over.

Firstly, I am not convinced that the SNP actually want an independent Scotland. If they got it, then by the logic that UKIP are now dead because their sole objective has been achieved, once Scotland is independent then there is no need for the SNP. I am struck by the thought that blaming England for holding them back is of more appeal to them than achieving what they say they want.

Secondly, an independent Scotland would not be granted membership of the EU. This was made clear at the time of the Scottish referendum and no statement has been made which says this is any different now. An independent Scotland would have to have its own currency (it is not getting the Pound without UK control) and apply like any other country. If you believe the doom and gloom that says the UK has “no friends”, Scotland would have less than zero friends if it went independent now. Thirdly, and finally, perhaps Scotland wants to hold on and sees what kind of deals the UK cuts with European nations – and countries around the world – before deciding they don’t want a part of it. Who knows, maybe fairer and better deals will be brokered, and Scotland will find it prosperous and pleasant to be part of the UK.

Sinn Fein says Ireland should be united.

Like Scotland, the majority vote in Northern Ireland was to remain in the EU. Sinn Fein jumped on this as an excuse to push their manifesto for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to become one country.

Overall, perhaps it is time for this referendum to happen. I’m not going to claim any expertise or knowledge about the Irish situation, but I am going to claim, quite passionately, that countries should be allowed to choose their own destiny. If you think that contradicts my comments on Scotland, look again and note that I didn’t say they should not vote again, they should just think long and hard about if they want to rush into another referendum right now.

The comment I would pass on an Irish referendum is that nothing about the general election results, either recently or over the years, has said that the people of Northern Ireland want to vote for a break from the UK and a unification with the Republic. Unless I am wildly misreading election results.

Sure, go ahead with a referendum in Ireland. If there are assurances that Sinn Fein will accept the democratic result, and that there’s a guarantee of no reactivation of the IRA should the vote not go their way, then great. I would expect Sinn Fein to campaign, until the end of time if need be, for a united Ireland. It’s just the return to violent measures to express this ambition that I get concerned about.

London is going to breakaway as an independent state and remain in the EU.

Sure, why not? It’s not as crazy or as implausible as you might at first think. If you doubt me, please go and read up on the special situation which exists for the London Borough of the City of London.

If they want to put an expanded City of London in the EU, and shift the UK’s Parliament to another area, go for it. The are would be run by private concerns, financiers and bankers, etc, and would be welcomed into the EU faster that Switzerland and all its lovely banks would be. That’s the Switzerland that has not died as a result of not being in the EU, just to clarify. Just so the City of London knows, however, that their EU problems are their problems.

A lot of people kick off and complain about big business “not paying taxes” without understanding how tax, employment and the economy all work. As Chancellor of the Exchequer I would call all these big businesses in and do a deal. Not shady and not hidden. I’d say “you pay all your VAT, you employ hundreds of thousands who pay tax and with their salary are able to keep the economy cash rich. Let us not punish you by taxing the profits of the success you get on top of this contribution”. Does that make me a “capitalist dog pig”? Probably. But I see more value in having many people employed and cash flowing through families and the economy than I do in chasing employers out of the country. Who cares if someone down the line makes an awful lot of money out of it so long as lots of people get decent money along the way – making money is why people start businesses instead of charities.

The economy is going to f*****g tank and we are f*****d

That’s what George Osborne said would happen. George Osborne, who for virtually all of his political life was booed and hated, but all of a sudden got loved by remain campaigners when he spoke of the impending doom and destruction which would come if the UK voted to leave.

Imagine you are on an aeroplane. Let’s say it is going from London to Glasgow via Birmingham. Someone taps the pilot on the shoulder and says “actually, we need to go via Manchester not Birmingham”. The pilot says that he doesn’t know how to do that, and so he has no choice but to crash the plane. This is exactly what George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, did when he announced “if we leave the EU we have no economic plan and we will raise taxes”. Let that sink in.

The sad and scary thing is that Osborne and Cameron should be celebrated. As much as you lefties don’t want to hear this, Labour left an absolute mess of an economy, to the extent of leaving actual notes with “sorry there’s no money left” written on them as they were kicked out of office. Osborne and Cameron made tough and unpopular decisions, but took them to rebuild an economy that is thriving. All this will be erased, the pair will be recalled for threatening to make people poor and for refusing to lead the electorate in the way they wished to be led.

Osborne's statements about how he would have no plan and less of a clue as to how to run the economy if there was a change is something that should have seen him sacked or forced to resign before any vote. That he has gotten away with this - so far - and remains in his office is a disgrace.

The leave vote should not stand because old people voted leave.

I’ve more or less addressed this in another blog post, which hopefully I will link on to for you here somewhere

Young people taking to twitter and similar to demand that certain people’s votes be taken away is quite a sad reflection on how the concept of democracy is taught and understood. It’s also a casual rejection of years of fighting – politically and through war – for the right to the freedom of vote.

Two million people, probably more, have signed a petition to demand a law change in regards of referendums and have it imposed retrospectively on the result of the EU referendum. They are, then, basically requesting that a democratic decision be rejected until such a time that a democratic answer which they like is given. I don’t have the patience to point out the flaws or folly in this; just as well as those calling for it would have zero interest in hearing it.

There are mixed figures on this, but reports suggest that 31% - 44% of eligible, registered voters aged 18 – 24 did in fact vote in the referendum. Various reasons have been given for this. They include, but are not limited to, people being at Glastonbury, people being on holiday, it was raining, people of that age don’t know how to vote, they thought remain would win so didn’t bother and there should be “an app” to vote via.

I really hope that the ones in this age bracket who are kicking off and demanding that the vote does not stand are those in the percentage that actually did take the couple of minutes required to vote. Sadly I suspect it is the usual keyboard wielding social justice warriors with fake profiles who are doing most of it.

Those who are truly upset about the result and are adamant that they want to be part of Europe have, at the least or possibly as a max, two years to move to an EU country freely. In all likelihood they will be allowed to remain, or be given an easy path to apply to stay. Like our celebrity friends below, however, I suspect that their "not racist" stance ends around the time they are offered the chance of living in a non-English speaking country....

We are a racist country for voting leave.

Really, I am so sick and f*****g tired of social justice warriors not understanding what racism is and accusing anything that they don’t like – or simply cannot understand- of being racist and trying to shame or guilt people into doing things their way.

There are many who have voted leave because they don’t like foreigners. It would be silly not to acknowledge such people exist, for they always have. The dislike, indeed hatred, they have is not always down to skin colour or ethnic origin. It’s xenophobia to hate other countries, not racism. But the right word to use doesn’t matter to those brave souls on the social networks; they want to use the word with the most punch.

To try and put this racism argument to bed, let’s bewilderingly look at this screenshot from the Daily Mail. Look very closely at the EU leaders we have just voted to no longer have a relationship with.

Notice anything? Why, yes – Angela’s not there, so all you can see are a load of ageing, overweight, fatcat, white male bureaucrats . So, predominantly white British UK has voted to leave an organization of tres predominantly white people. Where’s this racism, then, what am I missing, please?

If you note the headline, you will see that the EU President makes it clear that Europe doesn’t really like us. Go ahead and scream “racism” at all of Europe, then. Also, the fact that Tony Blair will now never ever be President of Europe is an ace reason to celebrate the leave vote.

All too often today people feel bullied into allowing people to do whatever the hell they want, no matter how much it costs of hurts others, because those taken advantage of are scared of being labelled "racist" if they speak up to stop it or reintroduced being fair. This has got to stop.

Like, totes loads of important celebs are upset with the vote.

In some respects we really did f*** over the future back in the 80s, man. Sorry. Back in the 80s, Bob Geldof had a point and did an incredible thing with Band Aid and Live Aid. The Smiths made a valid point about choice, and how you don’t have to settle for the traditions of how things always have been. U2 made people aware of people like Martin Luther King, and that not all of Ireland wanted violence. We didn’t know we were creating a world where anyone of any level of fame would be assumed to have a view and opinion on absolutely anything and that it was a view which was worth listening to and reporting as actual news.

James Corden, who lives and works in America, is sad about the result. The Beckhams, who now live and “work” in America, are very upset by the result. Shame. It all feels quite like the Scottish Referendum. You know, when Spanish living Sean Connery and London born, LA living Rod Stewart were celebrated for supporting independence, yet NY living Bowie had lots of Scots deleting illegally downloaded albums in anger as a result of him expressing a wish for the UK to remain as is.

JK Rowling. Sigh. I can’t believe I am writing this. Yes, she lives in a dreamland, where she demolished castles in order to build palaces for herself. Sure, once she was poor but now she is rich and thus immune to the effects of anything. But, all credit as always when it was due – she pushed, pressed and argued for a remain vote from the start. I will listen to her as she’s had the courage of her convictions, rather than just casually dropping in on the whole matter. I don’t like her, and I am pretty sure as an English leave voter she woudn’t care a sod for me, but damn I respect her and anyone that knocks her stance is missing the point of democracy.

Our “special relationship” with America will be dead.

One of the best things ever in the world is the “special relationship” that America and Britain has. No one really knows what it is, or what it involves, but all see it as important and something which must be preserved. In particular the leaders.

Barack Obama before the vote was all “UK must vote remain, the relationship with America will suffer if not”. Barack Obama after the vote – “this is a wake up call for world politics, we will always maintain our special relationship with the UK and shall stand by them”. Possible President Trump has said much the same, only he has said it all along. And any US President – with many even risking to have another go with a Clinton to prove that “any but Trump” would do – will say the same. And any UK leader will say the same, for, in the case of Thatcher, better or, in the case of Blair, worse.

The UK is responsible for the end of the EU

Following the UK vote to leave, demand has grown in countries like France, the Netherlands and Finland for a similar chance, as there is an increasing wish amongst the electorate to get out too. In all likelihood the Netherlands will be first, as an anti-EU party is likely to win a general election in less than a year. France might get there first, or not long after. There are also concerns that a growing right wing movement in Germany will rise once again and also demand the same say.

A basic socio-political lesson for you all, then. The ugly face of right wing politics and left wing politics only rise and gain popularity by the “status quo” disillusioning people and pushing them their way. Obama was right; this result is a wake up call.

Yes, absolutely, all other countries in Europe should give the people a chance to vote on whether or not they wish to remain in the EU. If that means the effective end of the EU, then so be it – how ludicrous is it to impose a system of rule on people that the majority does not want? Or are we forgetting all that fuss about ending apartheid all of a sudden?

The future is uncertain.

Yeah, that’s why it is called the future, rather than the past And even then, it’s not like we can all agree on what actually happened in the past, not what with history being written by the victors and so forth.

Look, I really loved the TV show FlashFoward too, and was angry when it got cancelled. But it is fiction. There is no way to know what the future would bring, ever. You can anticipate, make an educated guess and do things which could possibly make stuff come about as intended, but it cannot be done for certain.

If you’re stressed and worried and upset and fearful because you’re being told that we have no idea what the future will bring, try and take some solace in the fact that no, you would not have known that if the vote was to remain. We’ll find out, hopefully for the better but maybe we will have to face some for the worse on the way.

So, on a more serious note, this failure of my pension funding. It is, as I have said before, a right bloody shame that the grand idea of a grand Europe just didn’t work out. It was a good idea, but this “Euro Millions” business is just all a con. I cannot keep investing time and money into a system that is clearly never, ever going to pay me what it promises.

Other than the images of my failed Euro Millions pension investment, twerker and the joys of the Daily Mail,  the images used to beautify this post have been sourced from places that state they are free to use and require no attribution. That said, thanks to all who made them available.

Again, the above is my opinion, humble or otherwise, one man’s coffee is another’s whisky, etc. If you’ve taken “offence” at any of the above you have mistakenly read it thinking I intended for you to agree with or accept anything I said.

Let me depart, then, and check how my speculative investment in the thoroughly modest and often unsuccessful UK “lottery” pension scheme has got on.

Not at all well, as it turns out. So, my pension fund planning was as successful in the EU as it has so far been looking at options outside of it.

Well, anyway, thanks for reading all of this. I would hope that some if not most would disagree with things I have said, which is how it should be. Nice one, though, if what I've written in parts makes some kind of sense.

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

Saturday, June 25, 2016

lynx black night under review


crikey it is not. not quite as hot as Australia, look you see, despite the use of the word crickey back there. although, in truth, i reckon if i were ask i would say that Australians, in my experience, use variations of meaning behind the word reckon more than they actually use the word crikey.

the heat of summer in which we all bask in right now is an introduction of interesting excuse. frankly, dear reader, it's a little hot for me to get to any of the many smart pictures what i have here for blog posts in any great volume. secondly, it makes it wise for a chap to wear some deodorant or bodyspray if you like, lest they smell of a scent that displeases passers by.

which leads us quite nicely to a review of yet another style or fragrance off of lynx. if you search or otherwise go through this blog you will find a few other style reviews, sorry i cannot be bothered to search for them for you right now.

what exotic fragrance is it under review this time? as i would like to think that you can see quite, if not very, clearly in the above, it's a shade called black night. the title of this blog should have been something of a giveaway in this respect too, but there you go.

lynx black night is an interesting, exciting and acceptable departure for lynx to have made. for the most part, as my reviews have shown, black night exists for the feral teenage market. the overwhelming majority of lynx scents carry all of the charm, sophistication and class of this intended market. this is to say that the stale, wretched, warmed to lukewarm temperature territorial urine smell it gives perfectly complements their array of neck tattoos and gestures of the conventions of clothing. black night, however, is meant for normal people.

the name black night is obviously a reference to Frankie Goes To Hollywood. it was them what probably invented the term "black night" to suit the lyric of one of the songs off of their much loved debut album. the song was of course Black Night White Light, what with it's merry getting off of wagons, and you hardly need me to say that the album was and very much is Welcome To The Pleasuredome.

as such, i was i confess wary of lynx producing a fragrance unworthy of paying respect to such noble origins. rather obviously fearing a punch in the face off of Frankie fans, lynx have wisely made their black night fragrance a really smart, pleasant and alluring one. it features all the sophistication and class of the band, as the smell is as widely loved as the band. which is to say, if you don't love Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the problem is with you and not them, go sort yourself out.

i would wholeheartedly endorse and recommend that anyone who is not a feral teenager on the prowl for some sort of brief mating partner purchase and wear lynx black night. the people you pass will note the smell you waft and admire you for it; those that you love shall love you all the more.

should you be one of those feral teenage types - and i doubt you are, dear reader, because if you are reading this you can read and thus are not one of their number - this is the stuff you are looking for to step up a level or two in class. this, some clothes that actually enclose the anatomy rather than endorse it hanging out, and some corrective laser surgery for all the stars and wolves and maori gibberish you have inked on your necks.

right, my consumer advice section is done for another moment. i trust, as ever, that this has been of some use to someone somewhere. let me go get some more black night on, and indeed why not, let's get the Frankie on the stereo too.

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

Friday, June 24, 2016

gay electro


nothing really. i was just having a gander at the stats, right, and was quite impressed to see one of the search terms which brought someone to this blog.....

i believe it is quite smart that i, look you see, am someone who has created a site what the Google believes is worthy of the time of people are totes down on gay electro. i suspect that i am not, alas, the best place on the web for it, but thank you to whoever came visiting in the hope that i might.

nope, i really cannot believe somewhere over 200 of you a day come by and read what i do. no idea why, but thanks for doing so, and i'll carry on so long.

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

this used to be my playground

hello there

it has, all things considered, being something of a busy week, look you see. all sorts happening, as it were, at a personal, local, provincial, national and i guess international level. there's absolute stacks of stuff to speak on, muse about, contemplate and discuss. but let's ignore all of that and once again wallow in the sentimental hygiene of nostalgia that is crying for an obsolete technology and thing from 30 years ago.

of the many interesting things what i did this week few resonated with me quite as much as being allowed to wander the grounds of Marton Shops. yes, true, this is a place that i could freely go to any time i so wished, but there was something somewhat poignant about me being delivered, by chance and slight design, during a central point of the week.

yes, this did indeed mean that i could lament the falling of the petrol station, and the absolutely awesome video rental store that was an intrinsic part of the shop on the petrol station.

yes, behind me is where that video store on a petrol station once stood. i don't know for certain, but i would be sure that the petrol station got torn down when someone clocked that having a whole load of partially flammable petrol and diesel right next to a school was not such a good idea. that or the small mall shopping thing which stands there proved more profitable for the landed gentry who own the grounds.

i see the sense of generation entitlement has, dear reader, taken hold. it is, according to that twitter or twerker thing, "not fair" that the vote was counted one way, as "old people" voted the most for out, and so their will has been imposed on the young. yeah, sure, it totes makes sense to reverse that, and have the losing vote - to remain - stand instead, because young people wanted that. that makes sense, and i say that in a flippant way, but scarily to these f*****g millennials with their sense of entitlement that skewered fairness does make sense.

the quite scary aspect is that, in order to prove that "old" people somehow slanted the vote in an "unfair" way, i find myself for some reason counted as "young", for they fiddled the figures so that anyone under 50 was "young". yes, me, going on about an old petrol station site, is for the purposes of millennials getting the instant gratification of what they want always,  now considered to be in the youth of today. cheers.

what were the greatest moments of the video shop at the petrol station? loads, and ones that i have probably mentioned before, time and time again. and here they are again. the shop took the brave and bold decision to stock The Empire Strikes Back, one of the more popular Space Trek movies, on Beta only. they also wouldn't let us rent a film called Pleasuredome even though we were Frankie fans. it turned out, alas, that it wasn't that Pleasuredome off of Frankie, but rather the sort of tape a lonely gent would rent in pre-internet days. and, well, it was via that video store i disovered gems like Mean Machine (proper Burt one), They Call Me Bruce, ETN The Extra Terrestrial Nasty, Stripes, He Who Finds A Friend Finds A Treasure, Blade Runner, Firefox and other such things.

yes, that's right - instead of petrol (all leaded, all the time), diesel and smart videos, now all you can get at that place are Greggs pies, bookies pencils stolen off the bookie and some dental work. the shop you can see at the fore, to the right, is now some sort of beautician. it was a paper shop, and i bought the paperbacks of First Blood and Lethal Weapon from there. yes i still have both.

all news outlets should be banned and prohibited from showing those twitter or tweker posted tweet comments as if they were actually valid news items. they are not, they are mouthy, off the cuff and instantly forgotten things. using them as a gauge of public opinion is dangerous and wildly incorrect.

what was the last ever video i rented off of the petrol station? good question. after i stopped living within walking distance of it, and didn't go round to either Mike or Jason's to watch Beta only releases (we had VHS, they didn't), i used other video shops. i have a suspicion my last rental was Aliens, Body Double, Nightmare On Elm Street 2 or even maybe a Chuck Norris film, like Invasion USA.

anyway, you all carry on with your river stream loaded down film things, briefly pushing a view that everything should be equal, fair and all can be free to say and do what they want, so long as the result is exactly what you want it to be because you're entitled and as a consequence right. i'll just sit here, making a music tape, remembering how smart video tapes were and carry on being statistically young so long as that suits some sort of argument.

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

about my nuts


This is very much one of them “filler” posts done mostly so that I can feel like I am contributing to the world, look you see. I would imagine that this is of limited interest even by the limited interest standards of this blog, but there you go – you’re reading it now so stick with it.

My week, thus far, has been all about wheels. As the English way of doing things means that you have to legally have your car certified as being fit and safe to drive on the road each year. This is slightly different to the “just give it a bribe” way I am used to in Jozi, and if I am honest it’s preferable, to be sure, the way they do it here. Just more expensive.

Yeah, all certified and tested and passed and that, so lil’ bstard can drive freely for another year or so. More on that if I ever think of something of interest to write, but mostly this post is all about other wheels.

As you may recall, and many of you have read, the boys were recently sorted out with some new wheels in the forms of bikes, or if you like bicycles. Whereas James is off cruising the streets, William is not quite so competent a rider. To that end, I needed to put some ill-fitting but nonetheless fit for purpose stabilizers on his bike. And to that extent I needed some nuts to put on the bike to keep the stabilizers in place.

Oh yes, indeed – Poundland came to the rescue here with a bag of mixed nuts and washers, all for their nominal fee of ₤1. Granted, the bag contained totes more washers than nuts, but all the same I was able to secure a mixed bag that clearly had the kind of nuts I wanted in it.

What impressed me most about this bag of nuts (and washers) is that Poundland had secured, as you can see, the services of Paul Hollywood to endorse them. As far as I am aware, Paul Hollywood is one of them celebrity baker things, so it was interesting to see him endorse some handyman stuff. Oh, sure, it says it is someone else on the packet – Tony something I think – but I am totes sure that’s a picture of him on the bag, only without the trademark beard and haircut.

Have the nuts been a success? To a degree, yes. I keep knacking the thread on one of the bolts for the stabilizer, which I might have to sort out with some washers as I am assuming that this is the reason they exist. The other side of the bike, though, is pure rock and roll, dear reader.

Will I be doing the second wheel any time soon? Probably, I suspect. Eventually, maybe It’s quite stylish, as it happens, having one on (sort of) perfectly and one just sort of flapping about, interfering with peddling motions and likely to cause a major accident. Or, you know, he could just step up and learn to ride the bike.

Anyway, more stuff of (possible, no promises) actual interest sooner or later.

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

i wonder what happens if i press this one

hello there

something unusual and peculiar happened this evening. all that virus scan stuff did its thing on my computer and, look you see, for the first time it actually found something. or, at the least, claimed that it did.

gosh, quite scary stuff. and yet also baffling, as the file it reckons it found - as far as my eyes can work out it's called rqaahlosruq.exe - does not exist. as in, i could not find it on my computer myself, a search could not find it and the Google, it which knows everything, found not a single search result related to it. the latter probably means that people searching for it will, when i am indexed, end up here looking for info. alas, i do not have any.

if you've got the slightest clue as to what this is, and a rough or ready idea about how concerned i should be, feel free to leave a message and let me know all about it.

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

no matter where you go, there you are


so, here we are. this evening - a fine, splendid sunny evening of summer at last, look you see - we are on the eve of the day that we will vote on a matter that, apparently, will have a bad result no matter who wins.

yes, referendum time. and yes, sadly, my mind was made up a long time ago. as discussed here, if it was the freedom of movement across the EU which made them change the laws to make it so difficult and so expensive (in more ways than money) for me to come home then i have no choice but to vote leave. find me someone who would, in my position, willingly vote for or in favour of something that stopped them from going home and you have found someone who is unsure of what home means.

in my heart i wish we had no vote. i wish we had strong leadership that had successfully argued our case and got what we deserved from Europe. i wish that Europe was not run by bureaucrats that panicked over perceived Russian expansion and changed rules to allow countries that did not qualify in. i wish we could be part of a mutually beneficial Europe rather than a mutually limiting one.

if presented with the choice of carry on with things as they are forever no matter how bad they get or get out now and deal with the consequences whatever they might be, the latter is the only sensible choice. for me. for everyone else, not so much. the polls say, roughly, 40% want to leave, 40% remain, 20% not sure.

that 20%, man. they are surely being targeted with all sorts of arguments - all of a negative nature - from both sides in a hope of scaring them into their vote.

that there are some of the half a dozen or so leaflets we have had this week. i quite like the one saying Don't Let Farage Speak For You. he doesn't, no matter what my vote is. he probably does speak for the some 13 million (i think) people who voted for him last year. also, if i don't let Farage speak for me, does it not mean that i am letting Cameron, Osborne and Corbyn speak for me? none of the above, thanks.

the bombardment of negative campaigns has made me dizzy. and that's me coming from a perspective of having no doubt at all about which way my vote must go. i am so very sorry for those who, all things being equal, have never had reason to think of the subject and yet now feel like they must vote either for the death of a nation by voting to stay in or the death of a nation by voting to get out.

one thing - whatever happens in the vote, George Osborne must be kicked out of his job. it is a disgrace that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been allowed to run around and say "oh, erm, ah, sorry, i don't have a clue what i will do with the economy if this happens, we have not planned for it". that's your job, dick - if you can't do it, get out, stay out and let someone who can do it have a go.

as for Corbyn, well, his "don't blame me if the vote is to leave" statement reveals his true colours some. he quite likes being seen as a man of the people, but he's never quite been prepared to let go of the sense of entitlement that comes with being born into wealth - when you're rich, nothing is ever your fault.

i cannot lie - if you have read the story of how they tried to stop me and my family coming home and that's made your mind up for you to vote out, then good. if, however, you read it and would think it's "class" to stop people coming home and so shall vote remain, well, fair enough.

if you're reading this before you go, and i can say is vote with your heart and your head. which makes it a tough decision. there's no such thing as facts that you can base a decision on any more; they've all been torn up and replaced by "spin".

my guess at a result? i cannot speak for all corners of the UK, but in terms of the English way of doing things, i expect a narrow win for "remain". we don't like change. many who are thinking of voting leave will, i suspect, say "let's not ruffle feathers" when push comes to shove.

who knows, maybe the answer is to remain, but also just to get some decent leadership of this country back in place. with the latter being the ultimate priority.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


howdy folks

Poundland has had, look you see, a rather rich run on shiny new Blu Ray discs for ₤1 a pop. This has been something of an ongoing concern, as recently highlighted here by moi with a couple of not at all bad “found footage” films what I bought and watched. Also, before Christmas, I was able to get the Blu Ray discs of the first two Die Hard Films for the princely sum of ₤1 each.

The last week or so has, however, seen Poundland vastly expand their range of Blu Ray discs. This has led to my Blu Ray collection being somewhat expanded, or at the least added to. Titles? Well, of consequence, I’ve picked up Rambo III, which is a bossvTaliban loving “Muslims are better than Commies” reminder of the 80s. Also Scary Movie V, where I didn’t know that III or IV existed and is the most successful film ever if movies are measured by a member of the Sheen family and a former world heavyweight champion who has also been incarcerated star in the fifth instalment alone. Also also I, Frankenstein, which seems to have him off of Dark Knight that wasn’t the copper or the bat or the joker. Also also also This Is It, the posthumously released look at what might have been for Michael Jackson.

And then a few more too, including Super, which we will have a look at in a bit more detail here since I, with my (considerably) better half, elected to watch recently.

What’s the plot of Super? A chap called Frank is a chef in one of them greasy spoon diners that seem to populate America. He has something of an empty, limited life – a bit of a loser, if you like. He “loses” his wife, a former or if you like ex junkie, to the local villain who, it turns out, is on the verge of a massive drug smuggling deal. In his moping and feeling sorry for himself, he has a vision (of sorts) and becomes the Crimson Bolt, a super hero without super powers that pledges to tell crime to shut up.

I had not heard of this film before seeing it for ₤1 at Poundland. It got my ₤1 because I figured how bad could a film with Kevin Bacon (he be the baddie) be, and for some reason the name of the writer/director, James Gunn, sounded familiar. Some research later suggests he was involved in the quite good Scooby Doo live action film, and was behind the uber tres good Guardians Of The Galaxy film. I gather there is a better known film called Kick Ass which covers similar ground to this, but I’ve not seen that one. \

Dealing with what I have seen, then, Super had me genuinely laugh out loud at parts. Overall it’s rather good, but probably suffered in release, reception and recuperating costs due to its footloose (sorry) and fancy free use of sexual assault as a comedy vehicle, whether it is male on male, female on male or the more conventional male on female it depicts. And depicts in somewhat attempted “humorous” ways. Also, certain scenes of violence whilst played to the ludicrous for comedy effect are shocking graphic. A wrench, after all, is not a gentle weapon. Best to get those out the way, as there are many who would not watch a film with either or both those elements in.

Although some of the stuff above is appalling, I cannot help but think that Super was a rather good film. Someone called Rainn Wilson plays Frank/Crimson and he’s excellent. Liv Tyler as the wife has about as much to do as Natalie Portman did in Star Wars Episode III but does the job. Ellen Page as Libby, the comic book shop assistant that helps Frank (kind of) is brilliant. Kevin Bacon as the baddie is superb. In fact the film is worth watching for Kevin Bacon alone, a reminder of how smart he is, or maybe was before he started doing adverts for BT or Virgin TV or Sky or someone like that.

A plus for me was the supporting cast. I got very excited when Greg Henry turned up, as I get very excited when anyone off of Body Double is in a film (I kind of wish Craig Wasson made more films, but hey). Michael Rooker, who would appear to be a James Gunn regular, was in it too – actually a good acting role from him, as he tried to develop the character of “assistant heavy to Kevin Bacon” somewhat with some decent emotional gestures in certain scenes. Also, in a smart cameo, the Greatest American Hero himself, William Katt, turned up for a few seconds.

The film is totally meant for an adult / mature audience and, mindful of the caution I voiced above, is one that I would not hesitate to suggest for those looking for a somewhat darker, more off the beaten track kind of straightforward comedy. It was absolutely worth the ₤1 I paid for it. Whilst I don’t know much about all this “streaming” stuff, I would suspect that this film is something of a staple on that sort of service, whether it be that Netfilx thing, that Amazon one or anything like that.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2016



yes, indeed. i know, look you see, that you saw what i did with the title, at least if it's the case of you being a regular reader with a penchant for the chronological.

as was the case yesterday, so it was to be the case today that i was called upon, in a sort of father like guardian type of way, to construct a bike. no, fortunately, not from scratch.

whereas yesterday it was James' smart new bike that i built, today was the turn to do William's. any particular reason for that way around? yes. James, perhaps from being elder, is the more confident cyclist of the two, and so it made sense to get his done at a time when he could accompany me on my strolls around the grounds. William was most understanding, on the condition that his was prepared today.

i am right tired, me. quite possibly to the point of knacked.although building these bikes is quite straightforward, it's the taking the packaging off the frames that tires one, and indeed the exertion of inflating the tyres. in respect of the latter, as i suspect inflating bike tyres shall play a massive part of my future, best i look for some sort of exercise which involves me gripping something cylindrical in my right hand and quickly pumping it up and down, in some sort of thrusting motion.

today was indeed father's day, so no, i did not get to laze around all day building bikes and what have you. i was treated most generously to some handsome gifts. a picture of one? sure.

you can't beat a bit of bully, in the words of his eminence Jim Bowen, and you cannot beat a smart t-shirt like this one.

what other gifts was i lucky to get? some smart CD compilations named "Dad Rock" and similar (Love Is The Drug off of Roxy Music on now), and various items related to Star Wars and Teletubbies.

but hey, enough of me, more of the second bicycle i built today. or put together, if you like.

William selected this bike for himself, but of course did not pay for it. his mother, my (considerably) better half, handled the financial side of things. this was, as always, exceptionally kind of her.

for what reason did he select this particular one? the red streaks of lightning on the black of the frame. very wise, too. time and again history has show that painting flames down the side of a vehicle makes it go, like totes faster, so lightning, it stands to reason, makes it go even more totes faster.

yes indeed i am considering getting fire and lightning put on the sides of my car, even though i am not all that a massive fan of speed. but, you know, that's a story for another time.

no, that is an, albeit slightly, different picture to the above, i just checked the file names. he just happens to look like he is in a quite similar pose.

why is he all dressed up as a knight? well, William prides himself on being quite the dapper dresser, and likes to display sartorial elegance in everything he does. as he had a new steed to command and go on jolly crusades, if anything i would have been surprised if he had not, as point of fact, dressed as a knight.

no grand tour of the lands for William yet, however. we did a bit of a ride around the home today, just so he can get a bit more confidence in things like balance, and staying on the bike.

more as and when it happens, dear reader. and i suspect this will involve me teaching the boys how to wheelie, and indeed how to build class ramps to jump off of and over.

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

accidental travels in time

hello there

it is quite peculiar, look you see, what the occasional off the cuff request can see you being exposed to. no, hang on, this isn't anywhere near as dramatic or as overbearing as that rather pompous opening sentence might suggest.

there is a school project underway in New Zealand. one of the participants in this project is, unless i have not been told something, my first niece, Katie. it's a project that relates to World War 2, and as such her Grandad has been helping her with some tales of her (let me get this right) great-great grandad, who served in this conflict.

i was asked if i could see if i could find some pictures of Sgt Robert Chapman, for that is who Katie's great-great grandfather is, to go with the project. off i went, then, to Katie's great-grandmother to see if she had some pictures of her father in uniform. the answer was, well, as you can see, yes.

quite a smart, handsome gentleman, i trust you agree. i can but assume that any redeeming looks or features of me stem from here somewhere. i doubt, however, i was ever fit enough to serve my country in the armed forces. is that to my shame? perhaps, but i would like to think that if you were able to quiz my great-grandfather on the subject, he would suggest that it would be best if the child of no one ever had to fight in the way he did ever again.

as the ability to travel time via photographs has proven to be quite popular here on this blog (and probably on others that have nothing to do with me), i have borrowed a couple of other pictures off Gran and Gramps. here we go, then, family, friends and random strangers kindly reading, enjoy.....

that is indeed i towards the back, with my siblings Richard and Gillian at the forefront. i have every confidence that you can work out which is which.

this might be going out on a limb, somewhat, but i will suggest that the above was taken prior to or on a celebration of Halloween, probably in the late 70s or maybe as recently as 1980. no after, though, for we would all look a good deal more Australian. what's interesting about this is that every Halloween for the last 2 or so years i've heard that England "has never" celebrated Halloween, and it's an American thing which we have only imported in the last decade or so. not so, as you can see, for as far as my memory stretches back it very much always was a "thing" here. so shut up, boring fuddy duddies.

not much i can say about the above, other than smart. as in that's a most smart shirt i had on, that's a smart tv set and someone obviously thought the wallpaper was tres smart as there seems to be more of that than us in the actual photograph.

oooooooh! i have a "Dad Rock" CD on that i got for father's day today, right, and, Glory Of Love off of Peter Cetera off of Karate Kid II is on. boss, that film was, where he went off and knacked all them people in Okinawa with some smart kung fu.

Richard enthusiasts who were excited about the picture above will, i suspect, be all the more impressed with this very next one of him, ostensibly in action.

yes, that is Gramps holding him, and indeed yes that is Gramps assisting Richard down a pint of beer. in a proper style pint pot, not that straight glass rubbish they serve you down in London. although, in fairness, i believe this picture is in Torquay.

no, it was not too long after this picture that Richard worked out all by himself how to down pints. as far as i am aware he is very much still able to do this, as and when the situation calls for it.

Warren Zevon's Lawyers, Guns & Money is on the CD now. this record is boss, to be sure.

that is indeed Gramps, dressed for and celebrating something quite formal. could be a christening (mine, even), could be a wedding, or just a general happy event at which people, rightly, paid their respects to Gramps. as you can see, Gramps is also doing that smoking that he never did in the picture.

this picture is included here as my (considerably) better half reckons Gramps is in an "incredibly lee" pose in it. ha! i wish i looked that smart and stylish, but what a wonderful compliment.

what's that, you want another picture of me that you might not mind having to put up with looking at me in? that's pretty much doable, for no one looks bad in baby form

indeed that is me with Mum & Dad, presumably at one of my first ever homes. i have kind of moved around a lot, so there are a few to try and remember. i can't imagine the above picture was taken at any stage other than my first days or weeks of life, perhaps it's even from when i was christened. so, yeah. i would be now somewhere just slightly north of 20 years older now that my Dad was when this was taken.

one more picture of Sgt Robert Chapman in uniform to finish of? surely. there are probably more pictures of him in uniform, but none that we could find right now....

right, that's that for now. hopefully Katie's school project goes well, and that the two pictures from here that were asked for helps out with it all!

indeed i have built a second bike this weekend, and pictures shall follow. for now, though, rest i must.

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016


hi there

i can just about recall a really ragged memory, look you see, of what weekends once were. they were predominantly a time to sleep off a hangover from a friday night. well, sometimes they were - sometimes they were all about getting somewhat sh!tfaced on the friday, recovering the saturday morning, then getting all sh!tfaced on the saturday night and kissing sunday a fond goodbye. these days not so much, as not at all.

take, for instance, this weekend. despite it being the first of two days off of verk i am presently more shattered than i should be. this has something to do with me getting up at around seven in the morning and constructing one of the new bikes we have in the house.

yes, that's it in front of the boys, or if you like at the back of the picture. we, or rather i, somewhat miscalculated how fast the boys would grow, and the bikes we brought from the Africa of the South are woefully too small for them. so, new ones were bought, and for the sake of about £20 i elected to assemble them directly rather than commission the retailer to do it for me.

putting a bike together is actually really straightforward. that's me saying that, with me being something of a simpleton when it comes to anything technical or mechanical. i believe, overall, i spent more time taking packaging and bubble wrap off the parts of the bike than i did actually assembling it.

how does it ride? rather well. James took it for a ride around the borders of the village, whilst William and i walked along in companionship.

yes, my goodness yes, that is actually a bit of bright blue sky, lit by the visible sun, in the above picture. we are rapidly approaching the summer solstice and yet have had scant signs of summer so far. very welcome it was to see a bit today.

some video of the smart new bike in action? sure, why not.

it would quite possibly be the case that i would not feel as ever so exhausted as i do now if putting the bike together and going for a stroll was the end of my day. alas, no. there was also the small matter of the school fete today, and the larger matter of needing to go off and shop.

whilst i would suspect that shopping is a matter you would not need to see too much of, there are some pictures off of the school fete. William, to start with, elected to have his face painted.

James, meanwhile, discovered the addictive magic of gambling in the form of that most hardcore of casino games, the tombola. in fairness he was pretty good at picking out winning tickets, and here he is with just some of his impressive, and quite reasonably expensive, amassed haul of wins.

the first item he won was some sort of shiny necklace off of Next, that most prestigious of luxury item retailers. i suspect it was the shiny nature of it which compelled him to try again and again, which in turn allowed him to win several items of varying interest.

a bit more bike action? sure. on our travels we stopped off at the Post Office, at the ice cream store of some repute, at Trevor and indeed at Gran & Gramps.

Gran and Gramps were, i believe, quite impressed with the bike,.but perhaps all the more delighted to see two of their many great grandchildren pop in for a visit.

why was William not cycling? mostly because i've not gotten around to putting his by together as such as of yet, but partially as he's not quite so good at cycling yet. i am sure he soon will be; James has certainly taken to it some.

anyhow, rest i must. i am knackered. i've got a stack of shiny discs here, for Poundland has once again had a really good run on selling me some smart DVDs and Blu Ray thingies for £1 a go. let me consider them and decided on which one will be absolutely amazing to fall asleep in front of.

hopefully your weekend is going all smart and that, and you, dear family and friends, have enjoyed this quick update on the members of my family who you all, wisely, like a good deal more than you like me.

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