Monday, September 30, 2013

The thrill of it all

A new working week today. A new month tomorrow. The insane glamour that is my life.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lord Rogers calls for Las Ramblas in ... Wimbledon

Sod all having happened with the Colliers Wood boulevard (see Icons passim) over the last twenty months I take SW19's Ramblas with several pinchos of salt.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Coffee in the Wood

Ben and I will be along later.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why Fart Egg?

BBC Wales
People in Varteg in Torfaen fear they will be open to ridicule if proposals to use the Welsh language name 'Y Farteg' are adopted.
Many road signs in Wales show place names in both Welsh and English, and Torfaen council is consulting on which forms should be used on signs and maps.
The Welsh Language Commissioner supports the use of Y Farteg.
Torfaen councillor Giles Davies said: "You can just imagine people taking photos and putting them on Facebook."
Mr Davies said there was strong opposition from villagers, who have collected a protest petition with 150 names so far.
The commissioner has told Torfaen council that Y Farteg is the name backed by the standard reference work, A Gazetteer of Welsh Place Names, and its recommendation should not be changed "without good reason".
For phonetic reasons the Welsh language 'f' is sometimes anglicised to the English 'v', something which has apparently happened to Varteg over many years.
If Y Farteg was adopted it would not replace Varteg, and both names would be shown on local signs.
But Mr Davies said: "Varteg is actually a Welsh name so we can't understand why people want to change it.BBC Wales
Shades of Johnny Fartypants, "there's always a commotion going on in his underwear."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stranger than

It used to be that I would finished reading a book and lend it to someone so I could bend their ear about it.

No such luck with the kindle, so when I got to the end of Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital on the it yesterday I logged on to Amazon to buy a physical copy for Frankie so I could bore her to death about it. "This title will be released on August 7, 2014" was the notice on the paperback page and I can't seem to find a hardback. That is nearly a year away. It will be 101 Years of Black Music in the Capital by then, Surely an ebook can't be released twelve whole months before the paper edition.

Looking through my wishlist for something to tackle next, I picked up Miss Shirley Bassey. It only covers the first thirty years of her life and, as she is pretty much a contemporary of my parents, I thought it would interesting to read about her upbringing in Cardiff.

Kindle price 98p. Strange days indeed for the book industry.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hide my lunch and call me hungry

Julian has released a track with David McAlmont on vocals. Gosh. Didn't see that one coming. This may well send me back to the second McAlmont and Butler album, a favoute I haven't listened to in a while.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kill-sin Pimple

Under the influence of the Puritans, the practice arose of baptising children with scriptural or pious phrases annexed to their last name. Hence there are church records of such names as Preserved Fish, Thankful Thorpe, Repentance Water, Kill-sin Pimple, and Humiliation Hinde. Conversely, other surnames of the period offer unflinchingly pithy descriptions of the condition of the bearer, including Blackinthemouth, Blubber, Mad, Measle, Peckcheese, and Hatechrist.
Many such examples would have begun as nicknames, a significant category in the origin of surnames. Gyldenbollockes was a popular name on the streets of medieval England, centuries before David Beckham ...
Once I had read the Spectacularlyboring's review of What's in a Surname?: A Journey from Abercrombie to Zwicker, adding it to my Amazon Wishlist with the no-brainer work of but a moment.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The ravelled sleeve of care

I had a nap this afternoon. I never sleep in they day. I guess yesterday's exertions at Delta Force took more out of a body in its sixth decade than I thought.

Prodnose: They must have thought you were some far-out old man humping it over that course. I did it when I was 19 and it damn near wasted me.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Late on parade

Just back from paint balling.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Not a dry Thai in the house

This tear jerking advert is a remarkable piece of work. Take a look at the irritated shrug by the little girl about 28 seconds in; a detail of genius in my humble o.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What rhymes with hug me?

It would seem that Robin Thicke really didn't get down and dirty with the due diligence on his Blurred Lines lyrics.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Adense on HTTPS

Google: Today, we're happy to announce that AdSense publishers can begin monetizing their HTTPS pages. Many websites, like e-commerce sites and social networking sites, use the HTTPS protocol to protect their users' sensitive data. If you have a HTTPS website you’ll be pleased with how easy it is to monetize using AdSense.

Myself: I don't even know what this is! This sort of thing ain't my bag, baby.

Prodnose: One book, "Adense on HTTPS And Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby", by Nick Browne.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's all very British

We went to the quiz at the Antelope last night as reigning champions with our handsome £50 prize available at the bar and in exactly the same position (winners and fifty quid to the good) at the Gorringe Park from the night before.

It all started well, we were winning at the interval, but then it seemed to fall apart as we ended up third with no prize at all; rank amateurs. I am bemused as we played the music round as on a stringed instrument and that is two points per question (artist and track).

Could it all have gone wrong in the film round? Dark forces may be at work but mustn't grumble, wouldn't want to cause a scene, people worse off than me, only if its no trouble, oh um fine thanks, keep your chin up, worse things happen at sea, make the best of it  ..... 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New week; new motto

We believe in: rough consensus and running code.
Wise words from David D. Clark

Non Standard

Yesterday I watched Non Stanford being crowned 2013 world triathlon champion after winning the Grand Final in Hyde Park. She did this in a season in which she broke her arm and won Saturday's race despite being handed a 15 second time penalty after failing to put her wetsuit in the box. (Does that sound as petty to you as it does to me?)

We have a new Welsh Born Icon. (Best of luck to Yorkshire's Brownlees today.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

3am: bike rack fixed by group on night out

A group of revellers in a Lincolnshire town were caught by CCTV cameras as they fixed a bike rack on a night out.
The five men had been outside a takeaway in Boston when they noticed a damaged metal bike rack.
Footage shows the group spending almost 13 minutes straightening the metal hook at 03:00 BST.
Boston Borough Council said it was surprised by their actions and called it "public spirited".
The metal rack had been damaged when a car reversed into it. It had been left unrepaired for several weeks.
Watch the video here. It does my heart good. What does my heart less good is the Daily Mail's grudging and entirely predictable "Thugs vandalising a town centre? No, these drunken men on their way home from a night out at 3am are FIXING a damaged bike rack". At a glance - thugs, vandals, drunks. What a rag it is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bündchen trend

In which Gisele covers the Kinks and makes a surprisingly decent fist of it. Who knew and what next? Ray Davies on the catwalk perhaps.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When only Pelham Grenville will do

It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.
Alcohol is a misunderstood vitamin.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Your original game face

I used to love rugby, but it's turned into a gimmicky, boring sport played by gym-swollen meatheads
Is Jack Rivlin speaking truth to power in the article at the end of the link above? Discuss.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, the Seattle Seahawks believe their kinder, gentler philosophy is the future of football.
"IT'S DIFFERENT HERE," Pete Carroll says. "Have you noticed?" It's hard not to. At 9 a.m. on the first Sunday of training camp in Renton, Wash., high-performance sports psychologist Mike Gervais, dressed in a navy Seahawks hoodie and white baseball cap and flashing more enthusiasm than is rational at this hour, welcomes players into a meeting room at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. This place used to be the site of a coal tar refinery; now it's the happiest, greenest campsite in the history of the NFL. Gervais is about to lead a meditation session and, as he always does, instructs the players to hit record on their phone voice-recorder apps and to close their eyes. Then he starts guiding them: "Quiet your minds," "Focus your attention inwardly" and "Visualize success."
One of them is both the same.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday Morning Coming Down

If it was up to me we'd be doing the Richmond to Windsor bike ride again today (see Icons passim).

Failing that, if the Bomber was interested in my advice he would be taking part in the South London Athletics Super 8 League meet at Tooting Bec track as it is the last competition of the season and his last chance at under 13s. Athletics goes up to two year band so next season he will be at U15 level,

But no, the rugby season has started again and that takes precedence over cycling and athletics as far as himself is concerned.

You pays your money and takes your choice.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Cheese and Chips

Now all I want you to remember is that we are ambassadors of Wales. We’ve got a certain prestige to live up to, decorum at all times...  Now, of course, if we get waylaid by any of the banditry, well it’s one, all in. But generally speaking boys, keep it cool, right. … Now some of us are going to fall by the wayside ......

Newport - the gateway to Wales. Celebrated in the cult YouTube hit Newport State of Mind, the birthplace of Goldie Lookin Chain and home to LRS Security who look after many of the city centre's bars and clubs.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Promoting Jah by Unicycle

When I was a kid, I was bemused by a rash of fly posters around Cardiff bearing the legend "Promoting Jah by Unicyle" which featured a spliff wielding rasta on a one wheeled bike.

Thirty five years later I have worked out that it was Peter Tosh's 1978 Bush Doctor Tour gig at  Sophia Gardens that was being promoted.

I have no idea why these things stay with me. The riddle of the  "Down with the Fascist Shah of Iran" stencil that infected bus stops overnight at around the same time remains unsolved.

Answers on a postcard.
One wheel on my wagon,
And I’m still rolling along
Them Cherokees after me
I’m all in flames, at the reins
But I’m singing a happy song
I’m singing a higgity, haggity hoggety, high
Pioneers, they never say die
Right around that turn there’s a hidden cave
And we can watch those Cherokees
Go galloping by

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A rose in the desert

Vogue February 2010
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic--the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She's a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her "the element of light in a country full of shadow zones." She is the first lady of Syria.

Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department's Web site says, "the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors." It's a secular country where women earn as much as men and the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings ........
Author Joan Juliet Buck has now acknowledged this puff piece to be something of a faux pas. You can read her mea cupla here. It is, if anything, even more ridiculous than the original article. "Syria. The name itself sounded sinister, like syringe, or hiss" she recalls of her doubts.

It's the Zoolander sequel we've been waiting for, and it's a documentary.

Myself: Medic! Jeez, you gotta help me get this wound bound up somehow .....

Prodnose: Gauze may sound more like a hospital bandage than high fashion, but the essence of sheer is that it should be sculpted, not droopy

Monday, September 02, 2013

Once they get their hooks into you, you're a dead pigeon

I had to go to the quiz at the Gorringe Park last night as we had won a voucher for a bottle of wine at the same event last week. This time we won, so we have to go back next week as we've got a £50 bar tab. I have to go to the Antelope tonight because we got a £50 bar tab for winning that last week as well.

While we are on the subject of pubs, and after yesterday's musing, it was interesting to see that the Royal Standard was packed on Sunday afternoon while punters were scarcer at the more aspirational Provenance and Chs. Holden. for (all together now):
........ there is still a place for the traditional crap boozer, those dusty cocoons of cushioned velvet stained with the detritus of a thousand ‘cheers’, those sacred retreats where wobbly pints are passed over split packets of salty pig parts, those refuges from the sanitized outside world that unite people, not in how smart and clean but how utterly shit they are.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

In Defence Of The Crap British Pub

In an old school pub, one lit by the grubby glow of gambling machines, where the air turns blue and the beer spills unselfconsciously, there is a sense of unpredictability, a freedom to act that touch more wildly, a coiled sense that things could go good or bad.
A man needs more than just organic food and comfortable cushions on a night out. He needs adventure. These old dives, closing down at a rate of 26 a week, still provide them, as they have done for centuries.
It’s something we’ll miss if we wish it away too hastily in our relentless pursuit of locally sourced organic roasts and continental beers.
So rather than sneer at the shit British pub, find yours, pull up a stool and enjoy a pork pie. Just don’t order the wine.
Due to my mistaken apprehension that the Bomber's rugby season stated today rather than next week I find myself at an unexpected loose end. A boozer with the footie on calls methinks.