Monthly Archives: June 2007

Salmon and Work

Today was the first day this week that I went into the office. All of my colleagues, bar one, decided that this would be the perfect day for them to work at home. Hmm. Oh well – suited me. Not only did I get a shit load done, have a superb lunch but I also got into the Salmon Dance q.v. the new Chemical Brothers album (w/ Fatlip). Michele agrees on the high ODR (Objective Defness Rating) – let me know what you think.

Incidentally, RockBox gets better and better. Not only can you listen to fresh (i.e. definitely not wack) sounds on the way to work, but you can play tetris at the same time and then miss your stop.

Nice one Alex 🙂

Cold blooded murder

10 years ago today Michele and I got married. This is quite a shocking realisation but really quite a pleasant one.
No diamonds, cars, holidays in the Caribbean for us though; we went to London Zoo and then to a really rather good Korean restaurant in Soho.

London Zoo gets better every time I visit it. Not just because I notice more stuff there either, but because it actually gets better. As a couple of born-again bird nuts it was perfect! Parrots galore, birds of prey, owls, vultures, penguins, flamingos, pelicans and…herons. In fact the herons weren’t invited but came anyway. Loads of them. We’re used to seeing starlings and sparrows in abundance but really, the Herons were everywhere. Now, Michele and I love herons, especially their stealthy hunting techniques but today we were reminded about the real nature of nature. Around the pelican area is a little moat, in which was a mother duck with her beautiful new born babies, another bunch of uninvited interlopers. Like a bunch of tragic losers we ran up to the edge in order to coo over the little fluffsters. A member of the occupying force of herons was also in the enclosure and our excitement seemed to induce a similar feeling within him, and he came over to have a look. He came, he saw, he deftly plucked up a perfectly formed baby duck in his considerable bill and sat back to enjoy his meal. All observers were shocked and we exchanged amazed glances while Michele went to sit down and try not to be sick.
Mrs duck was obviously not happy and gave the heron a serious set of pecks and attacks but, being a heron, he wasn’t too bothered. No, all he was worried about was trying to stop his lunch escaping. Despite her best efforts, Mrs duck failed to redeem her baby and reluctantly went back to the moat where her surviving children were all huddled together in a fluffy, frightened, ball.
Me and the other rubberneckers were trying, pathetically, to persuade the Heron to drop his pathetic, beautiful, wiggling catch. But he didn’t, maybe he didn’t speak English. He ate it. Whole.
Michele was on the bench, head in hands, feeling faint.
This wasn’t part of the Zoo experience but to me it was very valuable. Loving birds is all very well, but you need to harden if you’re going to remain sane. Nature is violent and as full of tragedy as it is joy.
Later on we watched an astounding display of birds-of-prey and applauded enthusiastically, despite the fact the birds were being encouraged to perform their amazing feats with the promise of mouse-nuggets (as yet unavailable at KFC…officially). What a couple of hypocrites eh ?

After the Zoo, we went, via a pint in the John Snow and a visit to a record shop in Soho, to Ran.

Ran is the first Korean restaurant I’ve ever been to and it knocked me over. Ever since my first visit I’ve wanted to return and to take Michele. The return visit was just as good. Each table has an in-built gas barbecue on which we cooked beautifully marinated beef and scallops. We also had ribbon beef sashimi, which is raw beef with pears and a raw egg on top…ok we may get tapeworms and food poisoning but by cack it was worth it.

In all it was a wonderful day. But the sad thing is that I know we can only do it now because we have money. How the fuck people are supposed to visit the zoo with a family when it costs 16 quid a go is a mystery to me. It always reminds me of Keep the aspidistra flying where he becomes so annoyed with money’s influence on any experience in life that he gives up everything.
As Max Miller said,

“Whether you’re rich or whether you’re poor,
it’s good to be rich.”


A beautiful example of why I hate lawyers and the law in general can be found in this supposedly humourous exchange between two twats. Now, this has been posted all over the Internet, because it features a lawyer making lame legal threats that turn in to threats of physical violence. All very amusing I’m sure you’ll agree. Especially as we witness the protagonist slicing through the threats with his huge purple-veined sword of superior legal knowledge and massive stature…not to mention his mad martial arts skills…ffs.

In reality, this story is nothing more than a public cock-flexing competition between two morons. We are supposed to read this, sneering and laughing at this pathetic lawyer’s impotence and applauding the righteousness exuded by our hero. But hold on, making impotent legal threats and being an obnoxious bastard is what being a lawyer is all about! That’s what they do. That’s why we should kill them all.
But I contest that worse than lawyers are those that encourage them and egg them on, like our hero TJIC.
Stop it you gormless cretin! And while we’re on about it, what sort of fuckwit calls himself an anarcho-capitalist ? That’s a contradiction in terms! If that wasn’t damning enough, he also claims to be a catholic. And armed. On the same page. How very righteous.

Winner and Loser

What more fitting tribute to the great (in the sense of grossly fat) man Bernard Manning could there be than an obituary in the Daily Mail penned by that equally odious glutton Michael Winner.

It seems we (me and the rest of the loony left) are wrong about what’s funny and what isn’t! No wonder we all hate him, Manning and Jim Davidson; it’s simply because we don’t understand humour and common sense!

Winner explains by using a simple example:

“When Lenny Henry, one of our wonderful black comics, started out, he had a terrific line in his act.”

he slobbered.

“He’d say: ‘If you don’t laugh, I’ll come and live next door to you.’ Funny, funny, funny. Later, I seem to remember Lenny apologising for that. Silly, silly, silly.”

You see, that’s funny! Jokes about black people moving next door to you! That’s what makes people with common sense, for example readers of the Mail, laugh isn’t it? And all the time they’re laughing, Lenny is being appreciated.

Meanwhile, all we joyless, ignorant, unrealistic, lunatics on the left have to keep us happy is humourless PC sourness.

One of the funniest things I’ve read recently, which means it must be an example of this PC rubbish, was in my favourite magazine: Viz. They had a competition to give away a pound coin to the first thousand readers who wrote in and admitted to wanking into Michael Winner’s food, whilst working as restaurant staff. The highlight was someone who didn’t have time to wank into his soup and was astounded when it was returned to the kitchen because it “tasted funny”.

See, not funny at all.


Shitting Machines

Before my sister bludgeoned my parents into buying her a dog, we were a family of dog haters; my dad only ever referred to the animals as “shitting machines.”
Now, I know it’s not the dogs’ fault, and that responsible dog owners pick up the canine faeces and dispose of it properly, but if I’d been in possession of an air-rifle this afternoon, while I was retching and scraping away at the sole of my shoe, anything with four legs would have been fair game.
As bird owners we are so used to being covered in parrot crap that we don’t even think about it. Michele will even pick it up in her hards! But dog shit is different. The dog that laid today’s daffy clearly has similar bowel trouble to me, and I do everything I can to ensure that my own waste products are rapidly dispatched to a safe distance as soon as possible. So finding my knackered old shoe, and the base of my trousers, covered in foul smelling slop really did nothing to improve my mood.
Did you know dog crap can send you blind ? I suppose it’s a blessing that my shoe copped it rather than some young kid, with which the park was packed, gaily roly-polying through it. But even so, I still had to get it off and so effectively smeared it through much of my path out of the park. Disgusting.
In all honesty my shoes needed a bloody good replacing anyway, but it was still embarrassing to have to take them off and dump them in a bin, by a busy bus-stop and then walk home in my socks…like a total nob.

Film night

In case you haven’t seen The Prestige allow me to save you the effort. After dealing with some aggro provided by the childish region coding of this legitimately purchased DVD (you don’t get all of that crap if you get a pirate copy) we settled down with a curry and watched the “epic”. It took me half an hour before I could distinguish between the two leading male actors and three leading female actors as they all looked identical. Well the blokes looked like each other and the womean look…you know what I meant. It’s like Hollywood has a production line that turns them out by the truckload.
In a nutshell, you can think of this as a remake of The Strike but with magicians instead of miners. Instead of Al Pacino playing Arthur “Scarface” Scargill they have David Bowie playing Nikola Tesla (seriously) and so forth. Despite the film being set in impoverished areas of Victorian London, the actors either speak with American or posh accents; it’s clear that Hollywood voice coaches still don’t understand about regional British accents. Still, as the fictional Hollywood producer in Strike observed:

“Nobody in Wyoming gives a god-damn shit about that.”

There were two exceptions to the accent rule:

  1. Michael Caine. He sounded like a pastiche of all his earlier roles. They even got him to say “you bloody fool!” Pity.
  2. The protagonist employed a mockney accent that made him sound like a poor ring-tone voice double for Ross Kemp. He also had a distinctly 21st century haircut.

Using some cutting-edge techniques in pretentious filmography they tell a ludicrous story with some skull-crackingly predictable plot-twists. Worse still, at one point there’s a dead bird involved, which was enough to immediately put Michele off. The suspense conjured by the plot wasn’t enough to make us abandon it in favour of the TISWAS nostalgiafest on ITV. Although, in fairness, not much would have kept me away from that.
The curry was good though.

Michele has started a blog!

What a croc

 Did you know that for as little as 30 quid you could own a pair of unbelievably fashionable pieces of cheap moulded plastic that you could, if you so desired and didn’t have functional sweat glands, put on your feet ?

A company called “Crocs” (not at all a contraction of “crock of shit”) has managed to do what I’ve always wanted to do and sell massively overpriced crap to gullible people whilst taking the piss out of them.

See those holes in the front of the shoe ? Aha! Fooled you! They’re not holes at all! According to the Crocs website, these are an “advanced toe-box ventilation system!” I’m not making that up BTW – check it out.

New Freedom

During an after-work drink on Friday my boss, and benefactor, was talking a lot about the ever-increasing state power in the UK. He remarked that after the fall of the iron curtain, the familiar surveillance cameras, that were widespread throughout eastern Europe, were systematically turned off and removed; a “free” country obviously doesn’t need them. But meanwhile in western Europe, especially in the UK, they were being thrown-up with gusto. In fact the UK now has one of the highest levels of state controlled cameras in the world, with up to one CCTV camera for every 14 people. Yet we still think we’re “free”. In fact, the government would have us believe that they’re being put there to “protect our freedom”. And this is just a small example of “New Freedom”.
The same government is successfully implementing laws that would surely cause a revolution in countries where the population aren’t such fat, ignorant, arseholes, who are too worried about their personal finances to care about politics. Yes, I am including myself in that description.

Meanwhile, over the Atlantic, things are just as bad. People often ask me, in baffled tones, why I would even consider going to live in America when it’s clearly a proto-fascist country. They clearly haven’t looked in the papers recently…well to be honest they probably have, but got bored by all of the stuff about celebrity cokeheads and Prince William’s nob. Britain is almost as bad, if not worse!

On saturday we started watching a film about WalMart, and how it’s ruining the world. After 20 minutes of rifle-waving rednecks whinging about their towns getting destroyed by out of town Wal Marts we gave up and watched Harold and Kumar go to White Castle (which made more laugh more in 90 minutes than I have laughed in several years BTW).

One thing the republican rednecks were consistently banging on about can be paraphrased thus:

“Now, I hate communism and socialism. I love America and the American way and most of all FREEDOM. But I wish the government would step in and try to control Wal Mart.”

That’s socialism you stupid arseholes!* And what do you mean by “Freedom” ?

Meanwhile they continue supporting Bush, neo-conservatism and may as well turn their heavy weaponry on themselves.

*I know that technically it isn’t Socialism, but it’s exactly the sort of “Socialism” that the capitalist countries bang on about.

Musical Youth

OK Nubiana. Normally this sort of this sort of viral thing scares me but I’ll call it. Here are the rules:

  1. Go to
  2. Pick the year you turned 18.
  3. Get yourself nostalgic over 5 of the songs of the year.
  4. Write something about how the songs affected you.
  5. Pass it on to 5 friends.

Here we go:

  • Funky Cold Medina – Tone Loc – This track, and the whole album in fact, was exactly what I was looking for in the musical misery of the “Madchester” era. While everyone else was talking in a mock-manc accent and waving their arms about to a bunch of lame, derivative, half-arsed, psychedlia-lite claptrap, I was funking my 18-year-old (skinny at the time) arse off to this in Planet-X in Liverpool: the only club I’ve ever really liked. There’s not a dud on this album.
  • Wild Thing – Tone Loc – See above. Same album.
  • Buffalo Stance – Nenah Cherry – This is too easy. The catchiest Tim Simenon tune ever, fronted by someone with a superb voice and a body that did bad things with my excitable teenage hormones. My girlfriend at the time reluctantly bought me the album after a lot of pestering.
  • Back to Life – Soul II Soul – This track and “Jazzie B’s theme” really helped provide a window of sanity in the jingle-jangle claptrap that I was trying, so hard, to avoid at the time. I was in Liverpool, and it was so London and so, so good.
  • Me, Myself and I – De la Soul – I really don’t have to explain this one do I ? Come on. It’s a daisy age…

Oh shit – that’s my five! Runners up were Tom Petty and the Beastie Boys. Why weren’t Sonic Youth on the list ?

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