Monday, May 31, 2010

Monkey Gone to Heaven

The Bomber and I went to Rutsfest yesterday, as the Old Ruts extended their influence on our lives from rugby and cricket to - and this is unlikely - blissed out, psychedelic, sunny days of music.

On the way there (we went by Tube as there would be drinking) Ben offered me a bribe of a tenner if I could refrain from embarrassing him by singing along with anything. He doesn't have to pay up this morning.

Prodnose: Monkey Gone To Heaven?

Myself: "There was a guy, an under water guy who controlled the sea got killed by ten million pounds of sludge." Someone played a Pixies cover that put me in mind of BP.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Peering into the future

Looking at the Dissolution Honours List, I notice that I have had meetings with two of the new Lords: Richard Allan and Ian Blair to be precise.

That's quite a turn up, but then again I suppose I have got a few miles on the clock. "Maybe He's not omnipotent, He's just been around so long He knows everything," as we learned of God in Groundhog Day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

What good am I?

There's a beta version of a new BBC Iplayer out. As with Spotify it integrates Twitter and Facebook. As with Spotify I don't really grok it.

But I can link you directly to Tom Jones nailing Dylan's "What good am I?" 18 minutes into Jules Holland with

Deducing that t is time and m is minutes in t=18m doesn't really require weapons grade reverse engineering skillz.

No matter, I shared my love of the album the original is from back in 2005, which means that I've been writing a WBI long enough to be nostalgic about it.

I deduce reluctantly that blogging is no longer on the cutting edge, that despite my best efforts I am becoming a stranger to modernity, but Tommy Woodward is still the best singer around.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

spirits from the vasty deep

Release date: 25 May 2010
BP today confirmed that following detailed discussion with the National Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, it will continue to provide live video feeds from the seabed throughout the planned ‘top kill’ procedure – the attempt to stop the flow from the damaged MC252 well by pumping heavy drilling fluids into it.
I've embedded it below from this link. It is in a Microsoft format so you may have to give it permission to run.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just my 22 bills

The Queen, as Head of State, carries out the duty of formally opening each new session of Parliament.

But before she travels to Parliament from Buckingham Palace, certain historical ''precautions'' are observed.

The Yeomen of the Guard, the oldest of the royal bodyguards, armed with lanterns, search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster, a practice which dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605.

Another tradition sees a Government whip held ''hostage'' at the Palace to ensure the Queen's safe return.

The custom dates back to centuries when the monarch and Parliament were on less cordial terms.

When people in Britain want to buy a pet, they go to a pet shop. If they want to buy a pet shop, they go to a pet shop shop. If they want to buy a pet shop shop, well, they're just being silly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Spotify has added a "host" of new social features, and I am underwhelmed. Maybe I haven't got enough friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Sting

Pondering the Fergie sting:
THE Duchess of York is shamelessly plotting to sell access to her trade envoy ex-hubby Prince Andrew for £500,000.

I see it is the work of Mazher Mahmood - an extraordinary character. Here's the skinny from Wikipedia.

You'ld think everyone in the public eye would be wise to him by now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The rest is silence

I went along to take a look at Bob Dylan's Drawn Blank pictures in Wimbledon yesterday. They were surprisingly good.

Then in the afternoon:
Thousands of Cardiff City fans watched in agony as their team lost the Championship play-off final to Blackpool at Wembley.

Cardiff could not pull back a 3-2 half time deficit. They had led twice in the game, through goals from Michael Chopra and Joe Ledley before falling behind.
No poem this time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

a ray of sunshine

You wake up in the morning with a bass line,
A Ray of Sunshine,
You know today you're gonna have a good time,
And you're ready to go.

This morning by way of contrast, I have a hangover and I'm running late.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Play up! play up! and play the game!

The Bomber has segued from rugby to cricket as the seasons change at the Old Ruts.

He wasn't interested in it at all until he found out that a lot of his rugby pals would be there, but this week has talked of little else.

All together now:
There's a breathless hush in the Close tonight -
Ten to make and the match to win -
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of the ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote -
'Play up ! play up ! and play the game !'

The sand of the Desert is sodden red -
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; -
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel's dead,
And the regiment's blind with dust and smoke.
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
'Play up ! play up ! and play the game !'

This is the world that year by year,
While in her place the school is set,
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind -
'Play up ! play up ! and play the game !'

Thursday, May 20, 2010

un film de

The saga of "Uncle Simon" continues with a poster from the MTV movie blog. It seems like everyone's making movies but me. Mark was telling me he is going to shoot ‘Cruentus: The Blood Lust’ with Ingrid Pitt in Goa later this year. Probably with a more modest budget than an action movie with Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx, but watcha gonna do?

Even the people downstairs made a rom com.

They're all at it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Everyone says 'hi'

Said you'd took a big trip
They said you moved away
Happened oh so quietly, they say

Should've took a picture
Something I could keep
Buy a little frame, something cheap
For you
Everyone says hi

Said you sailed a big ship
Said you sailed away
Didn't know the right thing to say

I'd love to get a letter
Like to know what's what
Hope the weather's good and it's not too hot
For you

Everyone says hi

Don't stay in a sad place
Where they don't care how you are
Everyone says hi

If the money is lousy
You can always come home
We can do the old things
We can do all the bad things
If the food gets you leery
You can always phone
We could do all the good things
We could do it, we could do it, we could do it

Don't stay in a bad place
Where they don't care how you are
Everyone says hi

Everyone says hi

And the girl next door
Everyone says hi

And the guy upstairs
Everyone says hi

And your mum and dad
Everyone says hi

And your big fat dog
Everyone says hi

I heard this rather simple yet lovely Bowie song on the radio the other day, and assumed it was an early piece, but it turns out to be from 2002's Heathen album. (I was pretty much a Bowie completist back in the day but bailed out around the time of Tin Machine.)

And thus, due to the offices of LoveBolts (hat tip John), I could strum it to myself of an evening after Raybs was reported missing and then turned up in Florida.

I think I should play acoustic guitar more often.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

À la recherche du tweets perdu

About 22 hours ago I tweeted as follows:
"Sir: I am seated in the smallest room in the house. Your review is before me.
Shortly it will be behind me."
This was simply because I had read the quote above, and it was new to me, in an article called "Alain de Botton: You'll regret those words until your dying day" in the Telegraph.

Then about 21 hours ago I got an email saying:
Alain de Botton (alaindebotton) is now following your tweets on Twitter.

This seems extraordinary to me considering that:

  • the article I quote gives him rather a vigorous shoeing
  • I don't mention his name.
  • the link is anonymised in a shortener

Passing strange, the interactions that are evolving online. The opportunities for paranoia seem unlimited.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Henry 8.0

In this episode of the online comedy sketch series, Henry gets his own back on the King of France using the power of social networking. Starring Brian Blessed as Henry VIII. The Tudor king is alive & well, and living in a suburban semi with his long-suffering sixth wife Catherine Parr. He has embraced modern technology and lives his life online - insulting the King of France on Facebook, surfing for honeys, and blocking the Pope on Twitter. Very much the modern man - he likes Top Gear, Kings of Leon & Sunday roasts, he dislikes Michael Buble, I.T. helpdesks & Lily Allen's manager. These clips offer an insight into what happens when a 16th century king meets 21st century suburbia. Eat your heart out David Starkey here's the real thing!

I couldn't possibly comment.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

50 today

The first working laser was built by Theodore Maiman and "fired" at Hughes Research Laboratories, Malibu, California on 16 May 1960.
I can't help wondering if the were as much inspired by sci-fi rayguns as anything else.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On yer bike

Picked up the bomber by bicycle for the first time this year and cycled back to Colliers Wood together; both glad to be back in the saddle.

Come July one of Transport for London's first Cycle Superhighways will take me from the bottom of the road all the way to the City.

Friday, May 14, 2010

batting for the other side

This just in:
An American newspaper has been accused of attempting to "out" Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a lesbian by publishing a front page photograph of her playing softball.

The Wall Street Journal was attacked for using a 1993 image of Miss Kagan, who was nominated for the top court by President Barack Obama this week, holding a bat during her time as a teacher at the University of Chicago.

Critics have claimed the sport is regarded as a "lesbian" pastime in the minds of many Americans and the picture was used to allude to rumours about her sexuality.

John Wright, of gay newspaper Dallas Voice, told Politico: "Personally I think the newspaper, which happens to have the largest circulation of any in the US, might as well have gone with a headline that said, 'Lesbian or switch-hitter?'."

Cathy Renna, a former spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation, said: "It clearly is an allusion to her being gay. It's just too easy a punch line."

The newspaper has ridiculed the suggestion as "absurd" and the row has surprised many who were unaware softball had lesbian connotations.
What a strange country the US is. Include me among the "unaware."

The Washington Post has also announced to a breathless world that:
if Elena Kagan is confirmed to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court would for the first time in its history be without a justice belonging to America's largest religious affiliations -- the Protestant traditions. If Kagan is confirmed, six of the justices will be Roman Catholic and three will be Jewish.

At least Yanks seem interested I suppose. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom was established by Part 3 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and started work on 1 October last year to almost complete indifference.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Username "Harriet" Password "Harman"

Now that Gordon Brown is gone, Harriet Harman - God help us - is the acting leader of the Labour party.

This is a politician who has informed the world that "it cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to social cohesion," yet attempted to change the party's rules in 2007 that one of Labour’s two top posts should always be held by a woman.

The combination of vacuity and vanity necessary simultaneously to believe that it is important for an organisation to have a Mummy and Daddy but not for a child to have a Mummy and Daddy is quite simply breathtaking.

In April 2008, Harman's blog was "hacked" and changed to state that she had joined the Conservative Party. Harman later admitted when questioned by Sky News that the incident was a result of her using "Harriet" and "Harman" as her username and password.
Do you begin to see a pattern emerging with regards to brain power?

The intellectual and moral collapse of the Left in the UK over the last thirty years has been an unmitigated social and cultural disaster for the country, but that is a rant for another day.

In the meantime Labour is on its third self-deluding narcissistic leader in succession. This must be some sort of record.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One year to the day from starting judo here is the Bomber's gold medal from Sunday's tournament.

It was a team event. I think there were three in a team, and Darren told me all of Ben's team of red belts beat yellow belts by ippon.

Winston congratulated him after training on Monday, saying that he must have a good heart as he fought back from from behind to win.

That means we've now heard it from a British judo champion as well as a British muay Thai champion. (Would I ever have remembered this without the blog?)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I speak of the pompitous

I got the screen shot above just before Gordon Brown's 5pm announcement yesterday. "Statement form Dowing Street" anybody? Jeesh! Come back Lord Reith.

Now that the starting gun has been fired on the selection of a new Labour leader we can begin to deal with important questions.

The main issue is not "should it be David Miliband or Ed Miliband?"

It is "how on earth did Ma and Pa Miliband resist calling one of them Steve?"

If I discover that either Dave or Ed has a son called Steve Miliband I will join the Labour party and vote for him.

Prodnose: Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Myself: Some call me the gangster of love
Prodnose: Some people call me Maurice
Myself: Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

Monday, May 10, 2010

Red Square

British soldiers have marched in Red Square in Moscow for the first time to mark the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany on Sunday.

Seventy six soldiers from 2 Company 1st Battalion Welsh Guards marched beside more than 10,500 Russian troops and others from the US and France.

Having grown up in the Cold War, I find this an extraordinary turn of events even though a little research has informed me that The Prodigy, Shakira, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have all played Red Square in recent years.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


The Bomber is fighting in his first tournament this morning. It's at the Budokwai in Chelsea which is the oldest Japanese martial arts club in Europe. The WBI time machine tells me he has been doing judo for a year already.

When I think that he was playing at a rugby festival last weekend, and represented the school in a middle distance race against a dozen or so other local schools the Friday before that, I find the constant refrain that primary school children aren't physically literate difficult to credit.

I'm 100% in favour of any one who will put up hard cash for sport in schools though.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

the dove is never free

The birds they sang at the break of day
Start again I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
or what is yet to be.

Ah the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove she will be caught again
bought and sold and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

We asked for signs the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood of every government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned up a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

You can add up the parts but you won't have the sum
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Why did I take so long to get round to Leonard Cohen? Saudade late at night, Live in London and red wine feels very grown up.

Friday, May 07, 2010

I giva ya trivia

Twitter has rolled out a new tool that lets you immortalise a tweet on a website. Using “Blackbird pie,” you can create an embeddable tweet by first entering the URL for the chosen message, and voila!

"My motto is 'Never say never'. Which makes it difficult to tell people my motto." - Steve McKennaless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

History is made.

Verdict: the tumbleweed will soon be blowing by this ugly symptom of creeping featuritis.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

personal prerogative powers

Myself: I stopped off at the polling station and voted on the way to work this morning.

Prodnose: Indeed; one of the three main prerogative powers recognised under the common law which still reside in the jurisdiction of the Crown may well be relevant to tomorrow's result.

Myself: Did you see the football last night? It was on in 3D in the pub. We hired glasses from behind the bar. It was great.

Prodnose: If after the election no one party has an absolute majority in the House (as in 1923, 1929 and February 1974) then the Queen will send for the leader of the party with the largest number of seats (as in 1929 and 1974) or with the next largest number of seats (as in January 1924). Alternatively, the sovereign will have to initiate discussions with and between the parties to discover, for example, whether a government could be formed by a politician who was not a party leader or whether a coalition government could be formed.

Myself: Interesting times. Innit I saw that Jordan once in a club, she woz well fit bruv .........

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Think Globally, Act Locally

The most I would say is that you should do tomorrow exactly what I am going to do myself, which is to look down the list of people who are offering themselves to you for your vote, read what they profess to stand for, and vote for the person whose values and sense of priorities most closely reflect your own.

I'll be voting for Siobhain McDonagh again, as I think she is diligent and honest. (I also think that it is good to spend more money on sending letters to your constituents than any other MP.)

It is hard to vote Labour but I console myself that at least it is a vote against Gordon Brown.

(P.S. "David Cairns had ambitions to enter House of Commons but was barred due to the House of Commons (Clergy Disqualification) Act 1801 and the Catholic Relief Act 1829 which prevented Catholic priests from being elected to Parliament. To rectify this, Siobhain McDonagh introduced the House of Commons Disqualification (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on 16 June 1999, but the Bill fell. The government subsequently introduced the House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill to remove these restrictions, which passed on 11 May 2001." Fancy that! Never heard of it.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Too Close for Comfort

Iggy bounded on to the stage twisting to the sound of Raw Power itself, tearing off his waistcoat even before he launched into the searing Search and Destroy (bizarrely composed in Wimbledon, with lyrics dreamt up in the gardens of Kensington Palace).

My italics.