If In Doubt: Whinge

If I haven't got the trappings of adulthood, I'm not going to act like one.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Oh dear.

Local Council Bureaucrats in Kebabs Bad For You Shocka.


Do you know what? I really don't care.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mad Blog Disease

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I take a keen interest in the media - for my sins i need to keep an eye on what is being said about the various people who indirectly pay for my daily bread.

Until comparatively recently, this meant trawling through hectares of newsprint - everything from the Times to the Sport to the Bloggshire Herald and Informer. Latterly, though, the magic on the internet has automated things with alerts, keywords, Factiva et al. This cuts a lot of the drudge out of the equation (and consequently the optrex bill) but can lead to some fairly wierd things coming through on email.

The highlight today was set to be the death of the King of Quilting (reported on Gramma's Quilting Blog) until this arrived:


Normally I'd not click through on that in case it was something rather nsfw - but the meta text mentioned cattle, so I thought it was safe. Interest piqued, on I went. Whilst I'm chortling at the concept of American Cow Man as the successor show to American Chopper, I've become terrified of contracting the Scours and being rubbed-out like that poor unsuspecting calf... so in his honour, ridiculous Vegetarian Moby:

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Out to Lunch

Today, foolish chap that I am, I had breakfast. Therefore I am bloody starving and am signally failing to think about anything but food.

Let's get one thing straight: anyone who says that you need a good breakfast to fill you up at the start of the day is talking out of their arse. All that food does in the morning is start your stomach working two or three hours before there's any reason to. So when when the half-toast-half-tea-half-air mouthfuls you gulped down as you dashed out of the door have been sludged away in a frenzy of caustic, gaseous, indigestion, your gut notices that it is empty and complains.


So there's the rub: Breakfast makes you hungry. Hunger makes you snack. Snacks make you fat. Tony Tiger, your honour, is culpable for the obesity epidemic.

So, today, instead of a sensible abstinence until lunchtime, I've eaten my apple, my sandwich, more biscuits than I care to think about and, in an unconsidered moment, a sizable chunk of pencil eraser. And I Am Still HUNGRY.

Anyway. There's really only one way to end that little rant:

Monday, 19 January 2009


Resolutions failed thus far: 2
Resolutions teetering on brink of failure: 1
Resolutions Holding, but causing unforeseen consequences: 1
Resolutions behind schedule: 1
Resolutions in danger of being abandoned as Not Worth Effort: 1

Every single bastard year, the same thing. I (along with a million other sheeple) arbitrarily fix on New Year’s Day to make major changes to the way I live my life. Two or three days later, one slight stumble and down comes the house of cards. So: A quick run through of this year’s inaugural failures:

EINS: I shall have January off the booze.
FAIL: Being an adherent of the ‘if the hangover’s bad, drink through it’ recovery regimen, January 1 is never going to be booze-free. I think it was about 5.30 before I crumbled this year. Once that was down, what’s the point? And anyway, there’s 5 gallons of home-brew fermenting away in a bucket in the kitchen, and it needs bottling soon. What’s the best way to get bottles? That’s right: buy them filled with beer.

ZWEI: I shall clear out un-needed tat and flog it on ebay.
FAIL: Ebay is designed to be easy to easy to buy things on. So easy, that in the process of putting a rather nice (but sadly miniscule) pair of trousers up for auction, I accidentally bought a half dozen LPs. And a signed photo of Jim Bowen. And then the light went and I couldn’t take photos of the trousers. And in any case, there’s an outside chance I might fit them at some point. Maybe.

DREI: I shall bring Lunch not Buy Lunch.
Partial FAIL: I keep running out of bread. Honest. Mainly as the consequence of using all bread for sandwiches and causing early morning toast shortage has been explained at length. But nonetheless, four days out of five ain’t bad. And buying boxes of biscuits and cakes and things from Somerfield around the corner counts as bring from home as it is not prĂȘt or costa or other exhorbitant sandwich emporia. Kinda. Oh, as an aside: Ready-chopped stir-fry kits, no matter how well-reduced, are not a sensible substitute for bags of salad. Hidden Onion, Costly Breathmints.

VIER: I shall only touch every piece of paper once.
SUCCESS (PAINFUL) A glimmer of felicitatious hope. I am at the moment up to date with all the paperwork on my desk, all my filing is done, and have mental mastery of three odd projects. Woo. However, emerging from previous blissful ignorance into the blessed light of clarity has given me the shitting Fear. What’s more, I’ve made a schoolboy error in forgetting to manage expectations. Ergo, more shite is arriving at rate of knots. Flying-off-the-reel rate of knots. Arsebiscuits.

FUNF: I shall actually resume posting to this blog.
LATE ARRIVAL: Well, this would count as resuming posting – three months since the last. And nearly three weeks later than decided to. But hell, it’s done. In an effort to cajole self into more notes, I have even told two more people about these noodlings. Which will probably prove to be a mistake.

SECHS: I shall experiment with Clothes which are not Black.
Having had it pointed out to me that I’m too fat to be a goth. (And Too Old. And Too Ginger) I have resolved to attempt colours. And Patterns. And Shoes Other Than Docs. Mildly to my surprise, I actually enjoyed shopping. I even tried some bits on in the shop (this required some serious persuasion, and am willing to concede may have been a contributory factor in moving away from being a sack of shit tied in middle) So, on the face of it, one of my better-laid plans.

But, unfortunately my boss still things I’m a scruffy eejit, so I have resorted to Docs and facial hair in manner of lop-sided-two-fingered salute.

Ah well. In honour of my tardy resumption (good name for a band), the tune for today is:

Tuesday, 30 September 2008


Struck by a little piece of iThingyphonic genius this morning; the little terror shuffled from the Prodigy's 'Out of Space' (a touchy too brash and chirpy for 0730) to Max Romeo's 'Chase teh Devil' (Dub is far more acceptable in the mornings - especially after last night's bottle of Morrisions 'Good French Red'. More on the Trades' Description Act later.)

This is genius because, of course, the main sample for Out of Space is lifted straight from Mr Romeo's 1972 classic. Two very very different songs with one hook.

This begs a question: Are we running out of original compositions? There have been acres of print decrying the huge number of cover versions which bestride the charts these days - (Girls Aloud, Atomic Kitten, I'm looking at you. Westlife: I'm not looking at you, you lumpen-headed fuckwits.)

Despite the above travesties, I don't think so. i think remixes, mash-ups and the whole reimagininginging theme can make some really fresh, new, minty products out of tired musical cliches. (Cf everything Soulwax have ever done) but quite apart from anything else people have been making very different songs out of the same half dozen chords since.. well, for ever.

Try Freebird ( Lynard Skynard) and Cum on Feel the Noize (Slade): Very similar chord structures. Every Rose has its Thorn (Poison) and Good Riddance (Green Day) - largely identical, just shorter hair.

The Ramones - well, you know that line.

My point? I'm not sure I have one... except, maybe, I was surprisingly cheered by rediscovering something before the grind of the day began.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

So, Farewell then...

…Ruth Kelly. The diminutive, Opus Dei’d transport secretary has announced that she is to stand down at the next election. I cannot claim to be disappointed.

Although she’s given ‘time with family’ – that tired old clichĂ© – as her reason for standing down, I can’t be alone in thinking good riddance.

For starters, Ms Kelly has not had an illustrious career as a minister – not least as a rather terrible Communities Secretary, where she presided over nascent bungled housing reforms and fucked up moves to unitary and regional government. A quick aside: when she was in this role I very nearly vomited over her, one coffee-fuelled, conference-hungover morning. More of this at a later date, no doubt.

Secondly, the whole fundamentalist Catholicism really grates. There’s widespread muttering that one of the reasons she’s going is that she opposes the embraeology bill on religious grounds. One of the few pieces of government legislation in the last two parliaments that I’ve honestly approved of, and she’s been assiduously working backchannels to stunt it. If ever there was a better example of why church and state – let alone politicians and judiciary - should always be separate, it’s Ms Kelly.

But thirdly, finally and most vividly, it’s all about her voice. She’s possessed of a hollow, hectoring, patronising tone that wouldn’t seem out of place in a public-school, Sunday-service pulpit. She intones sentitious, holier-than-thou monologues with all the humanity and passion of a dead haddock. Every, EVERY, time her voice pops up on the radio, I’m stricken with Tourettes and an insatiable urge to fling the stereo from the nearest, highest window.

The only other person to whom I have this response is Sarah Palin – a woman whose voice embodies that tired American trope which makes merit of mediocrity, normality, being blinkered, and celebrates small-town bigotry… without looking at her you just know she’s got her chin stuck out and her eyes sighted straight down the line of her nose* and that she thinks that anyone with an opinion different to her is a moose to be field-dressed. And then crucified.

I am not entirely sure why I have this reaction – maybe I was scarred whilst young by a teacher of similar tonality. But, ultimately, I’m very glad la Kelly is fucking off. And I rather hope that Palin goes the way of the dodo soon, too. Otherwise I'm quite scared for the future.

*the Alaskan version of snapping your fingers and wiggling your head from side-to-side. I’ve also seen this is Luton.