Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Step on the gas

A dance so simple even I could do it:

Put your hand on your hip
Now you let your back bone slip.
Put out your tongue
Put your head in the air.
Make a "V" sign
And you just don't care.
Now you feel free
You gotta loose control.
All Gods children gotta
Little bit of soul.
You don't have to think
You don't have to move
A muscle just do the brow beatin'
Heavy leather resurrection shuffle.

Sounds straight forward enough.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Charles XII

How can we use a modern controlled vocabulary or taxonomy to identify individual members of ancient royal houses?

This is a genuine 9-5 issue for me at the moment, exemplified perhaps by:
Charles, by the Grace of God of the Swedes, the Goths and the Vends King, Grand Duke of Finland, Duke of Estonia and Karelia, Lord of Ingria, Duke of Bremen, Verden and Pommerania, Prince of Rügen and Lord of Wismar, and also Count Palatine by the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Count of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg, as well as Duke of Jülich, Cleve and Berg, Count of Waldenz, Spanheim and Ravensberg and Lord of Ravenstein.

Perhaps Charlie for short?

Monday, April 28, 2008


Q. Why does it always rain on me? Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
A. Yes

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I took the bomber and a friend of his along to the MOVEIUM that has replaced the Star Wars exhibition in County Hall yesterday.

Afterwards we watched the traceurs practising free running in the park. They're always there when we get up to Waterloo. I wish I knew more about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Catch the Wind

Trevor Bayliss came over to the mills yesterday to launch the Quiet Revolution wind turbine that now powers the Colour House Theatre.

Mark Marlowe was playing piano, and Bob Brunning bass in the quartet that jammed on "The Windmills of Your Mind" to celebrate the happy event.

It can be fun working here.

They had already set out the free booze when The Profit Burglar and I went over to check out proceedings at 11:30. The sun being over the yardarm, we indulged.

SUN IS OVER THE YARDARM - "(time for happy hour to begin). This expression is thought to have its origins in an officers' custom aboard ships sailing in the north Atlantic. In those latitudes, the sun would rise above the upper yards - the horizontal spars mounted on the masts, from which squaresails were hung - around 11 a.m. Since this coincided with the forenoon 'stand easy,' officers would take advantage of the break to go below for their first tot of spirits for the day.

There was a hush of expectation as the admiral adjusted his spectacles, produced a sheaf of papers from an attaché case, and began to read the following:

'By the might of the Navy our Empire was built up. By the might of the Navy it must be protected. Britannia did not rise from out the azure merely to sink back into it again. The salt is in our blood, and -'

By this time the court was filled with wild cheering, and several ladies waved small Union jacks.

MR JUSTICE COCKLECARROT. Yes, yes, Sir Ewart, but what has this to do with the case?

COCKLECARROT. Really, I shall have to clear the court if this goes on.

MR SNAPDRIVER. I beg leave to enter a residuum, with jaggidge.

COCKLECARROT. Don't talk rubbish.

MR SNAPDRIVER. Now., Sir Ewart, do you know these dwarfs?

SIR EWART. Dwarfs or no dwarfs, Britannia's bulwarks are her great ships. [Cheers.]

See how they churn the farthest seas, their enormous prows cleaving-

MR SNAPDRIVER. Please, please Sir Ewart, try to confine your remarks to the matter in hand. Do you or do you not know these dwarfs?

SIR EWART. I should be sorry to allow my acquaintanceship with dwarfs, giants, or anyone else to distract my attention from Britain's, needs today, a stronger Fleet [Cheers.] Britannia, Mother of Ships, Queen of the Deep, and-

COCKLECARROT. Mr Snapdriver, why was this witness ever called?

MR SNAPDRIVER. It was a subpoena.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Strictly Baby Fight Club

"MPs are calling for a ban on child Thai boxing" it seems after a hatchet-job documentary on Channel Four last night.

My seven year old does Muay Thai (and executes a high roundhouse kick in the photo on the left). I helped out at a kids class that he attended with 11 other children last night.

Don't believe the hype. Muay Thai is a true, deep and sociable sport and I'm glad he does it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ashes to Ashes

David Bowie: I never done good things
Myself: I never done good things

David Bowie:I never done bad things
Myself: I never done bad things

David Bowie:I never did anything out of the blue
Myself: I never did anything out of the blue

David Bowie: Woh-o-oh
Myself: Woh-o-oh

David Bowie: Want an axe to break the ice
Myself: Want an axe to break the ice

David Bowie: Wanna come down right now
Myself: Wanna come down ........

David Bowie: Would you mind just shutting up for five minutes?
Myself (sulkily): I was only trying to help.

David Bowie: Well its getting on my nerves.
Myself (sarcastically): Sorreee

An uncomfortable silence ensues

Myself (muttering under breath): "The shrieking of nothing is killing, just pictures of Jap girls in synthesis". What's that supposed to mean?
David Bowie (taunts): It means I can live off royalties - "you ain't got no money and you ain't got no hair".

Myself: Oh, very clever. Come here and say that! I'll dilate your other pupil mate.
David Bowie: Bring it fatty.

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom's a junkie
Strung out in heavens high
Hitting an all-time low

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why Wales is suddenly cool

"Suddenly, all things Welsh are hip," anonounces Hugo Rifkind in The Thunder.

Peter Gill's contribution is:

Wales has “always had a gift for a certain kind of country & western vulgarity.” The greatest Welsh film never made, he adds, was one starring the young Shirley Bassey and the young Tom Jones.


In the Welsh Assembly, it is business as usual, but they're recreating in the toilets what the Senedd is doing to the country.

PS More Welsh news just in from Chris:

A man posing as Darth Vader attacked a Star Wars fan, who had founded a Jedi Church, a court has heard.

Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, from Holyhead, Anglesey, admitted assaulting Barney Jones and cousin Michael with a metal crutch. They suffered minor injuries.

Hughes, who was drunk and dressed in a black bin bag ......

PPS What a fine subject Wales is for St George's day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vote for Foulenough - And Duty-Free Lard

The mind-numbingly tedious 2008 London Mayoral Election has been brightened but further complicated by the imaginary news that the libidinous, hard-drinking, and light-fingered gallant, worldly, and financially literate Captain de Courcy Foulenough, D.T., has decided to stand as an Independent Progressive Liberal, that being the only interest not represented up to this moment.


Richard Barnbrook British National Party
Gerard Batten UK Independence
Siân Berry Green
Alan Craig Christian Peoples
Lindsey German Left List
Boris Johnson Conservative
Ken Livingstone Labour
Winston McKenzie Independent
Matt O'Connor English Democrats
Brian Paddick Liberal Democrat
de Courcy Foulenough Independent Progressive Liberal

Captain Foulenough staggered his audience, disgusted what is left of his Committee, and roused his opponents to fury last night by reading out messages of support which he claimed to have received from nine Cabinet Ministers, Mr Clark Gable, Mr Noël Coward, Mr Anthony Eden, Mr Joe Louis, Bishop Mrs Riquette, Tubby Garstang, Mamie Dugold, Harry Armitage, Babs Thornycroft, Trixie, Vi, Polly, Ethel, Madge, Bobo, Curly, Mabel, Dot, Irma, 'Coppernob' Halsey, Flo, Nan, Gert, Myra and Olive.
Agreeing that his supporters were as anachronous as his intervention is ridiculous , the Captain has pointed out that he is by no means the most eccentric of candidates actual and potential:
We await further developments with considerable interest.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Very pleased we are to report that Joe Calzaghe came all the way from Newbridge to Vegas and beat the braggart Bernard Hopkins.

Very pleased we also are to observe how the Welsh fans respected the USA's anthem, unlike Ricky Hatton's Madchester hordes (whose booing of it at the last Nevada US/UK showdown embarrassed me at a distance of 5,000 miles which was a new record).

I only wish that the woman who sang The Stars and Stripes could have shown it as much regard. No one loves Aretha Franklin more than me, but I can't be doing with faux Aretha melismatic pseudo-soul. Mark the singing up to Wales after Tom Jones' Land of My Fathers as well.

In related sports news I completed the Childline Challenge this morning and felt a lot stronger than last year. Getting up for the boxing at 3am and drinking lager until retiring again at 5 obviously agrees with me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Moon and I

The moon and I
Came face to face
In a sequestered
Country place.

I thought the moon
Was heavenly;
I wonder what
It thought of me.

Roland Milk

Friday, April 18, 2008


It turns out that there is an equivalent to the Wesh hiraeth in another language; Portuguese's suadade:
The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.

"An indolent dreaming wistfulness". Precisely.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Riding the rails

As the credit crunch begins to bite, here is some advice from Charles Campion as we all need to tighten our belts:

At last a real incentive to drink good wine. Fortunately the good folk of Primrose Hill seem knowlegeable and appreciative so when they see Margaux at £55 a bottle they pounce on the bargain rather than merely thinking “£55 is rather expensive for six glass of wine”.

A couple of hobo tips from my life are that you can get a free lunch if you are working in Buckingham Palace and free crisps at the monthly Colour House Theatre quiz.

Pull up a chair, while I crayon "this machine kills fascists" onto my guitar.

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Charlie, can you share the wine?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Charlie, can you share the wine?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It turns out that I wasn't the only one brooding yesterday over the the changes since the annus horribilis of 40 years ago. "Girlification is destroying all the hope we felt in 1968," sayeth Polly Toynbee in the Grauniad.
The pink disease is far worse than it was 20 years ago. "Princess on board", read the yukky signs in family cars. It's almost impossible to buy toys now that are not putridly pink branded or aggressively superhero male. Bikes, sleeping bags, lunch boxes, nothing is neutral now, everything Barbie and Bratz. Princess tiaras, fairy and ballerina dressing up, pink, pink everywhere - and it damages girls' brains.

Something has damaged her brain if you ask me. I know little girls who float into kids Thai boxing lessons in pink satin pumps, get changed and pummel their brothers and peers for an hour, then change back into their diaphanous street clothes, don their Barbie backpacks and giggle their way back home. Good for them, and why not?

This is an imaginary problem and Ms Toynbee should leave them alone. There are more important things to worry about. Down with the pseudo-sensitive and frankly wet and girly Polly, and hooray for the robust, womanly and grown up Melissa Kite.

Myself: Prodnose, I very much fear that under such provocation gender stereotypes and sexual archetypes are about to bubble up from the menagerie in my brain.

Prodnose: Contain yourself man. Too much Jung, too much Paglia, that's your problem.

Myself: It's too late! Here comes everybody.

Jerry Hall's Mother: It is simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.

Jerry Hall: I'll hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.

HotForWords: But vhat about the glass ceiling, dahlink?

Sir Alan Sugar: To get through that apprentice, you need to be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the boardroom.

Katie Hopkins: You fire the other two and I'll take care of the boardroom bit ......

Prodnose: It's getting very crowded around these parts lately.

Myself (ruefully tapping forehead): You should try living in here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No Crystle Ball

From some nonsense I was reading yesterday:
Miss Texas, Crystle Stewart, was crowned Miss USA 2008 and will now go on to the finals of the Miss Universe pageant in Vietnam in July.
If we go back forty years, 1968 was the year of the Tet Offensive, Khe San, and My Lai in Vietnam.

From the madness chronicled in Michael Herr's Dispatches, to the madness of Miss Universe in four decades. Who would even dare to imagine such a thing?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

"There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone."

Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++. (Hat tip, Simon.)

Incidentally, The Profit Burglar once told me that the name "C++" is in fact an hilarious play on words because "++" is the C increment operator and can also be taken to signify its advance over that earlier language.

Oh, how we laughed! Classic Geek Jokes .... do you have a funny computer joke or geek joke you'd like to add? Send it to the Top Geek!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hard Boiled

Accordng to the scales in Virgin Active, I met my own challenge yesterday, and that's good enough for me. I don't believe for a second that I actually weigh 175 pounds, but that is what the scales said after a lot of sweat so there you have it. I am a light heavyweight.

Next stop twelve stone (on the friendly gym scales rather than the accurate one at home).

Prodnose: The last time you weighed 168 pounds you were beautiful. You could have been another Billy Conn. And that Skunk we got you for a manager. He brought you along too fast.

Myself: It wasn’t him Prodnose it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and said, ‘kid this ain’t your night, we’re going for the price on Wilson’. You remember that? ‘This ain’t your night’. My night, I could have taken Wilson apart. So what happens he gets the title shot out doors in a ball park. And what do I get, a one way ticket to palookaville. You was my imagination Prodnose you should have looked out for me a little bit. You should have taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have them dives for the short end money.

Prodnose: Well, I had some bets down for ya. You saw some money.

Myself: You don’t understand! I could have had class, I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum, which is what I am, lets face it. It was you Prodders….

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Attention Siblings!

Does your older brother think he's cleverer than you? Well, he's probably right. According to new research due to be published this week in the journal
Intelligence, the oldest children in families are likely to have the highest IQs.

So there. I am the boss of you.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Modern society has turned Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Sloth, and Greed into virtues: building self-esteem, dreaming your dream, exercising gourmet tastes, having satisfying sex for life, speaking truth to power, being relaxed and centered. And Gordon Gekko said it all about greed.
21 years on from Republican Party Reptile, PJ O'Rourke still makes me laugh.

Bukowski's Computer

"what?" they say, "you got a

it's like I have sold out to
the enemy.

I had no idea so many
people were prejudiced

even two editors have
written me letters about
the computer.

one disparaged the
computer in a mild and
superior way.
the other seemed

I am aware that a
computer can't create
a poem.
but neither can a

yet, still, once or
twice a week
I hear:
you have a

yes, I do
and I sit up here
almost every
sometimes with
beer or
and I work the
the damn thing
even corrects
my spelling.

and the poems
come flying
better than

I have no
idea what causes
all this

I want to go
the next step
beyond the
I'm sure it's

and when I get
they'll say,
"hey, you hear,
Chinaski got a


"yes, it's true!"

"I can't believe

and I'll also have
some beer or
some wine
or maybe nothing
at all
and I'll be
85 years old
driving it home
you and me
and to the little girl
who lost her
or her

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Another Gill

Sue Johnson went to see the Cardiff Barnsley game on the weekend.

Watching Cardiff City in an FA Cup semi-final may not seem the most obvious way to prepare for a revival of Peter Gill's Small Change in the 250-seat Donmar Warehouse. But Johnston - over and above her long friendship with Cardiff City's Robbie Fowler - had her reasons.

"I can listen to their accents," she says. Small Change is set in the Cardiff of Gill's youth. "Cardiff is not an easy accent and Peter is very precise about what he wants. Somehow there's a lilt in the writing that makes you want to go more Welsh than he is and he clips you back. 'Too Welsh,' he says."
I saw "Small Change" at the National Theatre in 1983. That's a quarter of a century ago, and that's a sobering thought. Come to think of it Peter Gill directed the production of "Speed the Plough" that I mentioned in a post the other day.

Cardiff City to David Mamet: Everything's connected.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Who's grooming the badgers?

The New Ninja Bomber is on holiday with his mum in Tunisia, so I can go to GJ's for the comedy on Thursday for the first time since last October.

Harry Hill is on the bill.

BAFTA Award for Best Comedy Performance 2006 plus many, many other BAFTA, British Comedy and Perrier awards and nominations
Harry Hill's TV Burp (ITV1) (5 series)
The All New Harry Hill Show (ITV1)
Harry Hill (Ch4)
The Late Show With David Letterman (7 appearances)
VAST amounts of other primetime TV
Massive DVD sales
Huge national tours.

In the pub! How on earth do they do it?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Still got the BLUES

Henry Winter is a better writer than me:
It is one thing seeing bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, but now they are swarming all over another English landmark - Wembley. After 81 years of hurt, the Bluebirds of Cardiff City yesterday reached the FA Cup final, setting up a May 17 date with Portsmouth when they may well be outplayed, but they will not be outsung.

Ten minutes after the final whistle, after Barnsley's heartbroken players had picked themselves off the canvas and retreated to the dressing room, Cardiff's fans staged the sort of sing-song that would not have sounded out of place in St Mary's Street on a lively Saturday night. Wembley's groundstaff wore the worried look of hosts wondering when on earth the guests were going home. The men, women and children of Harlech eventually left, carrying a party nine decades in the planning all the way back to the Principality.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


After last year's debacle, it is nearly time for the Swansea Childline Challenge for 2008. This should be interesting because it starts at 8:30am on Sunday April 20th and I am also duty bound to stay up to watch the Calzaghe Hopkins fight in the early hours of the very same morning.

The Childline sponsorship form explained how to set up an online collection facility so you can help me raise money for the free helpline for children and young people in the UK at or by using the widget below.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

It is unusual

Myself: One, two, three, four!
Prodnose: It's not unusual to be loved by anyone.
Myself: (Although you've just begun.)
Prodnose: It's not unusual to have fun with anyone.
Myself: (You're having fun.)
Prodnose: But when I see you hanging about with anyone, it's not unusual to see me cry, oh I wanna' die.

Guitar: Whah, whah, whah, whah.

Prodnose: It's not unusual to go out at any time.
Myself: (The rhythm and the rhyme)
Prodnose: But when I see you out and about it's such a crime.
Myself: (Are still sublime)
Prodnose: If you should ever want to be loved by anyone, it's not unusual it happens every day.
Myself: (Constantly)
Prodnose: No matter what you say!
Myself: (And to me)
Prodnose: You find it happens all the ti-i-i-i-ime!

Myself: Well?
Prodnose: It's ..... it's ...... it's a singalongablog!
Myself: I know man, you dig it the most. It's not unusual - the very best there is. When you absolutely, positively have less than 100 seconds to kill every MF in the karaoke bar...
Prodnose: Accept no substitutes.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Nick Clegg Quiz

How many women have you slept with in the last twelve months?
100 to 200
200 to 300
more than 300

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Maasai warriors' guide to England

Many people drink alcohol in England. They do so at bars, at homes or at clubs - the English equivalent to a Maasai party.

When people drink they [seem] sillier or different.
Right on. Read on.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Server too busy

We have a police force client reorganising four divisions into three today, so I am too busy to give you my opinion about anything.