Monthly Archives: January 2010

Back to work

Patriotic BalloonsAfter any sort of time off it’s a worry coming back to work, and so after two weeks it was a considerable worry. But it turned out to be ok – loads of shit piled up but that’s not a bad thing – it shrinks time.
What I didn’t expect was my cube to be filled with patriotism in the form of a large number of red, white, and blue balloons! A great welcome I’m sure you’ll agree, but how could I get rid of them without causing offence? Popping them could easily be construed as an act of anti-American terrorism… or even anti-British terrorism.
Thankfully, a long visit to Git-Mo was avoided when the balloons naturally lined up to imitate the French flag – popping the balloons under those circumstances could not cause complaints from the US or the UK…
But there was another problem: the balloons were highly inflated, and so popping them produced some trouser-filling bangs…
Consequently I had to abandon operation balloon pop, and spend the day surrounded by them.
But I will destroy them silently tomorrow…oh yes…silently…
Muwhahahahahahahahaha etc

Time travel

Time travel can have a very strong impact on the human body and mind. Two weeks ago Michele and I went to the UK, and as soon as we landed I traveled forwards in time two weeks. Now I’m on the sofa surrounded by birds and a bat. For some weird reason I have memories of the missing two weeks, but it seems more like a dream. Now it’s Sunday night and I’m back to work tomorrow. Which life is real, the one in London or the one here? Or is this all a dream?

All that’s left is a few scenic photos and some memories. For the benefit of my LTM, the memories include:

  • Nights at the Hob, the Walpole, the Amersham, the Glasshouse, the Market Porter
  • Lots and lots of lovely, lovely, people who we both really miss…but we still missed out on seeing loads of others – mainly because of the crapper than usual weather which kept us snuggled up indoors for most of the first week
  • Food and drink! Curries, kebabs, a particularly good steak pie, wine, beer, Calvados and all-sorts…not to mention my mum’s peerless roasts and breakfasts
  • Scenery, history and vibes
  • Family, which we both miss

Now we’re back and the birds were very happy to see us. While we were away Pepper reverted to her bad old ways, probably thinking we had abandoned her. As a result Michele and I have both sustained many nasty bites and blood has been drawn. But after the application of some gentle re-education and love she has calmed done and for the last couple of days hasn’t even threatened me with a bite. Poor confused little girl.
Leo has been even more loving than usual – it’s very flattering to be recognised by a small bird, let alone be adored by one.
Work tomorrow.
Despite that, it’s good to be home.


We’d been warned that this was the worst time to visit the Uk, what with a combination of record-breakingly low temperatures, extraordinary levels of snow, and Britain’s staunch refusal to prepare for, or cope with, such conditions, but we’d booked the tickets and just wanted to GO.

It was all going so well too: we’d sorted out the bird sitting, booked time off work, put timers on the lights, and engaged in the late stage panic, and then they cancelled the flight. I already hated Gatwick and US Airways, but now I just felt sad. I’d predicted problems and, unlike with the lottery, my predictions were accurate.

So, I called US Air and settled in for an extended period of annoyance and disappointment. After a lengthy period on hold, I spoke to a Lady who told me that the earliest flight they could put me on was next Tuesday. There was a long, long pause while I assessed each possible outcome and realised it’s fail value. Eventually I explained that this was no good, and was about to cancel everything when the lady uttered a magic incantation that immedgately cheered my mood.
“The only other thing I can do is call the other airlines and see if we can get you on one of their flights”
What? You can do that? There must be a catch I thought.
“But what about our tickets?” I asked.
“Oh they’ll be transferred to the other airline. But I’ll have to put you on hold, is that ok?”
Well I didn’t feel like going on hold so I decided to give up and just write off the tickets and forget about going home.
Only joking.
To cut a long story short, this wonderful woman got us a flight on a different (and hopefully better) airline and we’re now sitting in Newark airport (after a short flight on a Bedford Rascal with wings) and drinking a $9 pint of Guinness in the “Guinness Irish Pub” which sells paninis and reubens.
We’ve also been to a “wine bar” that ripped us off, while it was ripping us off. I hate fucking airports.

So, still time for another cancellation, but at least there’s Guinness.
Apologies for typos/spelligns.

Gobbler Shortis

Now, I’m aware that Wawa gets mentioned way too frequently on this blog, but we have just about come to the end of a glorious era that lasted months where you could take $3 into a Wawa and get a “Turkey Gobbler” in return. For the uninitiated this consists of roast turkey in gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pepper-jack cheese, in a “shorti” hoagie roll [cheese and sauce optional].

An aside: my workmates and I (especially the male workmates) object to the name “Shorti” being applied to this particular hoagie because it is six inches long. The ten inch roll is called “Classic” (no argument there), the four inch a “Junior”, again no complaints. But “Shorti” for a six inch hoagie? We’d be far happier if it was called something like the “Actually Statistically Average Roll” or the “Healthy and Normal Roll” or even the “Nothing to Worry About There Honest Roll”.

But for $3, you’re getting a big and satisfying lunch and the Shorti is available in whole-wheat! Fantastic!

Now they are doing the same sort of deal for Breakfast Rolls! $3 for egg, bacon and all sorts of other goodies in a massive hoagie!

Sometimes I appreciate living in such a bountiful land.

Terminal tossery

If I were a solipsist, it would be easy to believe that Bono’s place on this Earth was solely to consistently amaze ME with the purity of his odiousness. But I’m not, and so he must actually be that odious of his own volition.

Now, in recent times, despite being nothing more than a painful, obnoxious, fissure on the anus of music, he has managed to amass wanker points by clinging to and emphasising the whole stadium rock-band image that he and that pillock with the stupid hat, name, and effects-pedal, have been trying to live since before the concept actually died out.

Really, who actually enjoys, likes, or even listens to that bland, accessible, clichéd music U2 churn out? Even more bizarre is the question of who buys it? Worse still, who are these armies of cretins who pay to see them in concert?

OK, there will be a handful of people who cling on to the memories of U2 as the spokespeople of an oppressed nation, but there can’t be more than 30 of them left by now, so who are these other loons that crowd out the stadium? Are they real people? Perhaps they’re just UMG automatons employed to scream at the sight of a crap-talking dwarf, in sunglasses, in the dark, backed by some 80 year old in a woolly hat who plucks guitar strings into a digital delay?

Now, until today I thought I couldn’t hate everything that Bono did any more than I did already. But now he has extended his evil tentacles of wrongness to the issue of “illegal downloads”. You’d think that after spending 30 years sucking Satan’s cock, Bono would probably fancy a glass of water by now, but no. He keeps on gagging, and now he’s proclaiming that ISPs are responsible for killing the music industry. Would that be the same industry that is keeping you in your outrageously ostentatious lifestyle?

By a bizarre twist of fate, I now work in the music industry, and as a result I’m surrounded by music industry people. Every story I’d ever heard about what a prodigal pit of corruption and evil turns out to be wrong; it’s far worse than those stories claim. So, the fact that it’s now suffocating under the pressure of independent and fringe artists being able to sell their music directly to the fans without having to buy loads of cocaine, prostitutes, and yachts, for the middle-men is a good thing isn’t it ?
OK it’ll probably mean an end to the gazillionaire rock/rap starts in massive palaces…but again, that’s a good thing isn’t it?