Sunday, 31 May 2009

I SO should have done this

Been a busy few days, and will fill you all in.. when I think of it :-) Probably the most important though, trusting to the Gods and taking my life into my hands I reformatted my C drive (named my 'H' drive I've never been able to work out why, or indeed change it, and reinstalled XP.

OK maybe not quite as scary as it could have been as I keep all my files on a second drive, but when you're reformatting are you REALLY sure you're doing the right one?!

Anyway I was, and when I wasn't swapping doors on the new fridge/freezer (more again no doubt) I was doing the tedious job of rebuilding the system.

I tell you though I wish I had done this ages ago, I have no idea how much garbage must have accumulated on my system but now it simply flies. Perhaps trying out new stuff really isn't the way to go, and while I *thought* I was keeping it clean, it obviously really wasn't..

It's a years old Frankenstein of a system, made up of all sorts of old bits and frankly so tatty it really should be in a skip, but Moores law seems to have broken down of late and it's 2.8ghz Pentium 2gb of ram should still be plenty and I have an aversion to handing out cash to the likes of Dell...

Now it feels like a new computer, and I must remember this feeling next time I want to kick it..

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Just heard

Just heard, on NME online MUSE will be releasing their new album 'The Resistance' in September.

Apparently they have been working on it for the past year near lake Como in Italy, it has a full orchestra and Matt Bellamy describes it as 'symphonic'.

Probably (no definitely) the most exciting band in the world, I am nearly dead with anticipation. Now all I want is tour dates :-)

Some bits

I found this video on youtube, the product is from a company amusingly called brick sheet house. Shame we don't seem to have anything like this here, the effect was certainly nice and I love the brick/coffee coloured walls. The one question is though are all 'designer makeover' programs the world over the same?

I've finally had it with Vodafone. The contract finally finished Saturday, BUT relenting slightly as I still want a phone for occasional use, I thought would take their offer and swap it to pay as you go. I REALLY wish I hadn't bothered.

Basically they have just cut it off and no amount of e mails seems to be able to make them understand what the problem is. What is it with these call centre cyborgs in they they answer the question they first think of rather then reading the damn mail to find out what the problem is?

I'm going to try Orange. At least with them I'm a new customer so it's quite possible I might get some straightforward service without stressing myself out and fantasizing about Uzi's. Apparently I could port my number across from Vodafone, I really think I'll give that one a miss.

Having run out of cool stuff to watch on DVD have started again on Buffy, series 1 episode 1. I would try Battlestar Galactica, but those terrible '80's cut and re cut movies/mini series starring Lorne Green have really put me off it.

I've just finished Daemon by Daniel Suarez for the SECOND time. This is a cyber technothriller par excellence and with the added twist that at the end you still don't really know where it is going. I am mightily relieved to find that there is another on the way called Freedom(tm) I had thought that maybe Mr S was doing an Italian Job on us and was going to leave the reader hanging..

I guess it says something in that this is only the third book I have ever re-read straight away. The other two were The Lord Of The Rings when I was about 13 and Neuromancer by William Gibson so you get some idea. In fact on the Sunday before the trannies arrived at St Audries when I really should have been doing stuff, or at least walking on the beach I was lying on my bed unable to put it down.

While there were a couple of sequences that were a touch of a stretch I wondered if they were included merely to make the believable, indeed inevitable seem slightly less imminent.

Vodafone and your ilk... be very afraid :-)

Friday, 22 May 2009


Right I'm bored with crooked politicians and nothing on TV, here is Muse, probably the best live ban in the world, at Glastonbury in 2004. My dear friend Rachel McKinley was there leaning against an ice cream van's engine for warmth while she watched them.. (unfortunately she's on the editing room floor, but I know, and now so do you :-)

There's a million things..

I should be doing, you know when you just don't know where to start?

Anyway I've been plodding through painting. On the walls I had put up a finish blown vinyl, a hessian pattern, basically to disguise whoever did the plastering wasn't *quite* the best (I figure two guys did it as some rooms are great, some a little 'wavy') and of course it looks suitably retro.

I hadn't quite planned though on the fact it's a pain in the neck to paint (a brush full does about 4 sq inches) and it uses a LOT of paint. In the end I have given in and used a roller, something I never do (actually it's a little 4" foam one for doing behind radiators). Hate to say it, but it's doing a perfect job...

Think I am going to have to get out in the garden next, assuming it stops raining as it's turned into a jungle out the back. Machete time..

I've also been looking at fake bricks... How exciting I hear you say from here :-) I want white stick on bricks, they'll look good when I've finished I promise, for an exciting project in the living room (OK a big fake fireplace) after days of searching I found flexibrick, exactly what I want. I got on to the American dealer, I had a reply within the hour giving me the contact details of the Dutch manufacturer. So I enquire of them and --- nothing. So much for Euro efficiency.

Sorry I've not got much to say, I would comment on our political situation but after all these years of cynical comments I find that actually I've not been cynical *enough* 'shoot 'em all let God sort it out' is about all that's left.

Monday, 18 May 2009

There IS an upside

Well maybe not much of one, and some wouldn't see it as such, but there is an upside to lying cheating thieving scumbag bankers and their Enron modeled financial systems and supported by (ditto) politicians who are only interested in fiddling their expenses... etc... etc..

Now that we're almost at the point where *we* have to pay the *banks* interest for allowing them to make free with our money all of those nicely retired rockstars who have released their final 'best of' compilations and retired to Mustique, Aspen or even the Cotswolds are suddenly finding things more then a bit tight and are having to get back in the recording studio or at least out on the road. (Ferrari's don't buy themselves dahlink) Even those who can't are releasing new super whizzy versions of those said best of albums (just look!)

All of this nonsense of course leads me to Marilyn Manson's new album out later this month* (Oh no not him again I hear you say, well I promise this is absolutely positively that last time I shall talk about him**).

In spite of the New York Dolls type history between him and Twiggy Ramirez the whole band is back together and from what I have heard of it fully on form. This is no cheap quick in-it-for-the-cash any old rubbish release and he is no happier about the way things are then any of the rest of us (watch the new video for Arma********************geddon on, normal warnings very much apply) for confirmation.

Its been several years after HIS best of compilation 'lest we forget' and I honestly thought I'd heard the last of him (and a lot of the world heaved a sigh of relief) Needless to say my copy is on order right now from

It's also rumoured that David Bowie is in Berlin making a new album (see? bright side!) and assuming it's true and assuming it's produced by Tony Visconti (all of Mr B's best work is with T.V) Then I might even Begin to forgive some of those bankers***

*Blame Gary, it was him that had the tainted love video that made me start digging.
**This is very unlikely to be true
***This is VERY DEFINITELY not true

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Last night was the cultural highlight of the year, the night when Europe comes together in a night of ... well tat and high camp actually...

The Eurovision song contest.. you can tell how much I love it in that the last time I saw it I was in hospital having my appendix out, I think I was about 13 and Bucks Fizz won with the 'notorious' ripping off of the girls skirts sequence (I defy you to watch it without laughing, or going ahhhh... they were so clean :-)

So last night on Moscow (since when is Moscow in Europe? I think things must have changed since I saw it last) was a night of sheer ultracamp and *this* was actually the best thing on. (I had to watch TV, I was cooking spaghetti bolagnese and drinking wine, you cant do that without TV)

Now it shows what I know, I actually liked Sweden and Germany best as upholding the long tradition of sheer over the topness and they came joint 4th from last. The German entry was just Camp with a capital 'C' (who would ever have thought it?) and The Swedish entry was this fantastic terrifying white blonde Norse Beauty with heavy duty opera overtones and a backup of 5 dancing Rosa Klebb's, truly fine :-)

Britain came 5th and frankly we woz done, or someone was... we should have come joint last with Moscow themselves (ensuring they wouldn't have to fork out for hosting it next year as well).

All the other entry's were, up, fun, glitzy, had dancers (some quite startlingly athletic) movement and excitement. Us? we had some dirge with a girl called Jade who apparently won one of those talentless 'reality' TV shows.

Piano was played and it was written by *sir* andrew lloyd webber. If you don't know him he's a man who has heard that politics is showbiz for ugly people and decided to buck the trend.

He usually churns out commercial pap, which could even have worked (given some performer who didn't think that wailing at full volume was singing)but changing the habit of a lifetime went for full on dreary. I dont care what the annoying Graham Norton says, it was embarrassing. It comes to something when you're beaten hollow by Turkey, Iceland and Azerbaijan!

I think last or some other year the media was all in a frenzy when we came last, we *might* not have deserved it then (I don't know) but we sure did last night.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

baddies and villians

Oh No! Stargate Atlantis has nearly finished! Actually it doesn't really bother me, I wasn't keen on it when it was shown on TV and I'm still not now. Indeed I stopped watching after the first few episodes in both cases.

To tell the truth, I'm not wild about mud hut based stories, I like glittering cities and echoing computer halls, give me a giant reactor and an unstable naquadriah drive and I'm happy. Mud straw and small children running among the goat like animals and I just loose interest.

The Marilyn Manson look alike baddies turned out to be a real flop too (I think I may have been initially biased in their favour, because they had obviously been swapping makeup hair and clothes tips with the said Mr M)

And who can honestly be scared of an arch baddie called Michael? (admittedly our baddies are called Gordon Tony and George but I guess that rather makes my point) SG1's arch nancy goa'uld Apophis was OK-ish to his demise and the much more butch (ish) and excitingly bad Ba'al was great.

BUT it looks like the third Stargate movie is *finally* going to be made (according to ( and also the Atlantis one.. and SG-U will be here soon!

And dear friends you'll realise this is all very tongue in cheek and played for laughs, as in my book ANY science fiction is better then no science fiction, even the stuff they dig up on movies for men.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Tainted Love

Hearing Gary's posting of Tainted Love I have to come fully out of the closet, and say I think the Marilyn Manson version is better (gasp) This is in spite of the fact I met Marc Almond in the post office in Great Portland St.

Written by Gloria Jones (Mrs Marc Bolan) I know this is one of the biggest selling songs of all time.. it's got resonance aplenty, just look at all the videos on youtube using it, it's even appeared on Dr Who... now that's fame :-)

Oh and Mr Manson, I know you guys all hate him, I love him, in all honesty he's probably what Ziggy Stardust wanted to be if Bowie could have got away with it (and in the dope show video he looks just like a guy I used to go to school with)

B****y cheek!

This morning I packed my large suitcase up with my ill gotten gains from trannie week last week and went to pay it into the bank.

Oh says the young lady behind the counter, 'I see your account is up for review'

'Review' says me, 'what does that mean?' (gulp, have the found out about my grey imports of illegal jam or possibly my back street chicken flavoured ice cream business?)

'Oh purely for your convenience' (phew!) 'its just to see if we can give you any help or financial advice, shall I make you an appointment?'

'Oh that's... hang on, you want to give ME financial advice?, excuse me but I'm not the one that's just lost 500 billion trillion pounds. I don't think banks are in any position to advise anyone on anything quite frankly. I may not have that much but at least I haven't brought the entire world economy to it's knees...'

'Well maybe we can help, like house insurance' (they don't fluster easily these bank girls - they are given special anti sarcasm training)

'I don't pay it'

'Oh, well car insurance then'

'I can't drive' 'You just want to sell me stuff. Thanks but no thanks'

Actually there is one hope from all this, I've been with the same bank for an age, you always wonder what they know about you, what they can infer from what you spend and where, what they can pick up... well nothing at all it seems to me. If they had they wouldn't have bothered asking..

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Version 2.0

So this time the breadmaker gods smiled upon me and - this is what it's *supposed* to look like. Shame to eat it really, I'm going to but it's still a shame :-)

Frog in a breadmaker

Thought I'd dig out the old Panasonic breadmaker again, least now with a reasonable amount of work surface in the kitchen it sits there in the corner and doesn't look too shoddy.

The French bread was our favourite, so with a heart full of hope I put it on last night and woke this morning to nice smells from the kitchen.

Don't you just hate that moment when lifting the lid on something, anything all your expectation and anticipation is dashed? I'm British so I crave disappointment.

Having long since lost the original book, I was using a printed PDF of the original, which, I had completely forgotten has a 'mistranslation' on the weights between metric and imperial (guess which I use?) meaning there is nowhere near enough flour giving you this sad flat pancake glowering sullenly in the bottom of the pan. If you have ever made toad in the hole which has gone horribly wrong and turned into frog in a bog you'll exactly get the picture. (I know there's a gag there but I'm NOT going to do it!)

Now I'm having another go with the revised amounts :-)

So to be random..

There was a ton of stuff I was going to talk about today, but you think I can think of what it was... I should have a list.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lipstick on the pint glasses

Right! I'm back! now all can be revealed about how I saved the western world from certain disaster (again) Now it was like this, Gordon (I'm only in it for the laughs) Brown called me and....

Nope that's never going to be believed.. (that Gordon Brown should laugh that is, well except when looking at MP's expenses bills)

I was spending the week at St Audries, for those of you that don't know it click here Where until last year I was working as the bar manager and have actually been going on holiday there since God was a lad (well 1966)

This was the first of the two per year locally (in)famous trannie weeks where men come (often with their wives) to don a frock and behave, well actually like 200 blokes on a weeks piss up :-)

A year or two ago, young Jason in the kitchen fell into the trap 'This lot, they don't half put it away like men...' 'Jason, that ARE men!' 'oh... yeah...' But strangely enough it's all too easy to forget that fact even when the 'lady' in question in a smart navy blue suit with pleated skirt and silk blouse that Margaret Thatcher would have taken a fancy to is standing there, legs apart with a cigar in one hand and a pint of Real Ale in the other..

The week is hard work and then some, they are full on, demanding, exasperating and some of them so annoying you'd happily tip them over the cliff. They eat and drink like it's going out of fashion and above all are fun.

As a manager you have to be efficient, calming, diplomatic, run a tight ship, be concerned, be warm and welcoming and that all goes out the window with the trannies. You can let rip say (well shout over the music)things that you'd never dare utter to anyone else and they'll shout with laughter and love it (and probably buy you a drink). Get away with murder? not half..

This last week went particularly well, for once there was no major problems, no more then amusing bitchiness, no fights or even complaints. We could have done with another ice machine, and I WISH someone would teach men how to apply lipstick properly so it doesn't come off on everything, but you can't have it all..

Three of my four lovely girls also came back to help (the dream team they insist) Heather is pictured above. We worked hard, had a load of fun, one or two glasses of wine and oh I do miss the place, Bar management is the one thing I am good at..