Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Outside Half

The Six Nations Championship starts again this weekend, but the real news in the rugby world is that the Old Ruts have switched the Bomber from full back to fly half. (He moved from left wing to full back in October see Icons passim.)

His debut will on on a triple header on Sunday. We're at home but Streatham and Croydon RFC (Icons passim) along with the Old Alleynians are coming to Poplar Road, and the teams will all play each other in a sort of mini festival.

The Old Alleynians were founded in 1898 by and for former pupils of Dulwich College so PG Wodehouse will be cheering them on from heaven.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Breaking News:
A £3.7m investment will drive the planned transformation of Colliers Wood.
Earlier this month the Wimbledon Guardian revealed Merton Council’s plan to create a new high street in Christchurch Road.
Now the Mayor of London has announced the amount Merton Council will receive for projects in the area.
A grant of £715,000 for Mitcham town centre has also been announced, which should spark further council investment.
The authority said the Colliers Wood cash would be used to create a new “town square area” near the Brown and Root tower, which is set for redevelopment.
Shops will also receive a facelift and new street furniture will be installed.
A Merton Council spokesman said the cash would also benefit South Wimbledon and create a new “boulevard” with footpaths and cycle lanes in Merantun Way.
The cash has come from a Greater London Authority (GLA) regeneration fund for areas affected by last year’s rioting.
Prodnose:  Boulevardier?

Myself: A man who frequents the boulevards; thus, a man about town or bon vivant such as my good self.

Prodnose: Don't give me that load of old flannel.

Myself: Flâneur

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The skiiny

Ever wondered what Skinny O'Bri was doing in 1989 and 1990?

Hop over to http://bernwanderingyears.blogspot.com/ and wonder no more.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Myself: You are wonderful.
Prodnose Thank you; I've worked hard to become so.
Myself: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Prodnose Then why are you smiling?
Myself: Because I know something you don't know.
Prodnose And what is that?
Myself: I... am not left-handed.
Prodnose You are amazing.
Myself: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Prodnose Oh, there's something I ought to tell you.
Myself: Tell me.
Prodnose I'm not left-handed either.

Friday, January 27, 2012

St Dwynwen's Day

What with one thing and another I forgot to remind you that St Dwynwen's day was celebrated in Wales on 25 January and commemorates the patron saint of friendship and love.
Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and was, by all accounts, one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog's 24 daughters. The story goes that Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else. Maelon was so outraged that he raped Dwynwen and left her.
In her grief Dwynwen fled to the woods, where she begged God to make her forget Maelon. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. First she wished that Maelon be thawed, second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers and third that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.
Motto: If it smells like a Maelon, looks like a Maelon and tastes like a Maelon: it's a Maelon! What a country.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In which I lose my faith in the human race

We are reliably informed that:
The Daily Mail, an omniverous middle-market British tabloid, has quietly unseated the New York Times to become the newspaper with the biggest online reach in the world, according to figures from the online tracking service comScore.
The figures show Mail Online reached 45.3 million people last December, to the Times's 44.8 million. Trailing them are USA Today at , the Tribune newspapers , and the Guardian. The growth, the editor and publisher of the Mail's online properties, Martin Clarke, said, has been driven by U.S. traffic.
You should all be ashamed of yourselves, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ is an avalanche of inanity and cruelty pouring relentlessly into a witless design.

AWBI's previous verdict:
I sometimes read the Daily Mail over a sandwich in Virgin Active at lunchtime, so I know it well as a gastric band for the brain
is upheld.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

OH! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!

THE ‘Nearly Men’ are really there.

For all the mind games in the build-up to this dramatic semi-final, it is Cardiff City who will be at Wembley for the Carling Cup final.

Because for all the suggestions from Palace boss Dougie Freedman that the Bluebirds are perpetual bridesmaids, at least Malky Mackay’s men have been invited to the ceremony after an incredible penalty shoot-out victory.

It is the Cardiff fans who will have the big day out underneath the arch, their fourth in four years – more than either Manchester City or Liverpool who play tonight for the right to face the Bluebirds.

See Icons passim  to understand the thrill when the Bluebirds:
Were called upon to exercise their skill,
Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,
Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,--the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Palms of Goa

It wasn't officially eat you way around the world in London, but I went to my first Goan restaurant in Charlotte Street over the weekend.

After perusing Goan Cuisine and Goan Catholic Cuisine in wikipedia (fascinating stuff by the way) I had a Pork Mas.

(By the way, after India gained independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to negotiate with India on the transfer of sovereignty of their Indian enclaves and in 1961, the Indian Army annexed it in Operation Vijay. This is surprisingly little remembered.)

While we are on the subject of food, I was looking at haggis last night, thinking of introducing the Bomber to it for Burns' Night tomorrow. You have to cook it for an hour and a half though, and that is not really a practical proposition for when we get in after athletics, so he has escaped for this year.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Enter the dragon

As the celebrations of the year of the dragon sweep across Asia, it has struck me that the Bomber, who was born in 2000, is a little dragon (龍 Lóng) as well.

The other options are
 鼠 Shǔ Rat, 牛 Niú Ox, 虎 Hǔ Tiger,  兔 Tù Rabbit, 蛇 Shé Snake, 馬 Mǎ Horse, 羊 Yáng Goat, 猴 Hóu Monkey, 雞 Jī Rooster, 狗 Gǒu Dog and 豬 Zhū Pig.
He has got off comparatively lightly. I wonder what I am?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I went to see Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination in the British Library yesterday. I bought a fridge magnet as a souvenir.

The library says:
Facebook users can comment on the books in the Royal Manuscripts exhibition, by viewing our seven specially created albums.
 That is an intriguing initiative.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lightning Strikes

After the Muppets, I think we should have a Klaus Nomi revival.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Broadband, bold, becalmed, benign

Fri 20/01/2012 at 07:26
Major Business broadband problem
Thus I am late addressing the nation this morning.

This may be a blessing in disguise as I have nothing to say.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)

As Kelly Clarkson's latest magnum opus  "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" came on the radio yesterday I found myself wondering how Friedrich Nietzsche's "what does not kill me, makes me stronger" from Twilight of the Idols, which is close to 125 years old, casts such a spell on the purveyors of popular music.

See Icons passim and the following video.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Artist

I went to see The Artist in the HMV Curzon last night. It is great.

Feel free to think of me sitting in a silent film as a SOPA protest; a bit like the Wikipedia blackout.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

same old same old

Nothing major, but www.royal.gov.uk got a wash and brush up yesterday.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

The Bomber and I came across New Girl while innocently testing the 4OD app on the XBOX this weekend, and both rather fell for Zooey Deschanel's scatterbrained protagonist.

What can I tell you? We had to download Fast Five on Zune just to restore the testosterone level.

Prodnose (sings): Soon you'll grow, so take a chance with a couple of kooks hung up on romancing.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

eternal recurrence

Today I have to get up at the crack of dawn to get the gym out of the way out of the way before I take the Bomber and his mate to play an away fixture at Old Whitgiftians.

Straight after that - with nary a moment for a shower - we are off mob handed with other chums to see Dame Edna in panto at Wimbledon Theatre.

This will immediately be followed by food and drink at Jimmy Spices which will mean I will have to leave the car.

Tomorrow I will have to get up at the crack of dawn to go and get the car so that I can take the Bomber to school.

Straight after that  ....... line #1, GO

Saturday, January 14, 2012

GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)

How did Bill Gates become the richest man in America? His wealth has nothing to do with the production costs of what Microsoft is selling: i.e. it is not the result of his producing good software at lower prices than his competitors, or of ‘exploiting’ his workers more successfully (Microsoft pays its intellectual workers a relatively high salary). If that had been the case, Microsoft would have gone bankrupt long ago: people would have chosen free systems like Linux which are as good as or better than Microsoft products. Millions of people are still buying Microsoft software because Microsoft has imposed itself as an almost universal standard, practically monopolising the field, as one embodiment of what Marx called the ‘general intellect’, meaning collective knowledge in all its forms, from science to practical knowhow. Gates effectively privatised part of the general intellect and became rich by appropriating the rent that followed from that.
The possibility of the privatisation of the general intellect was something Marx never envisaged in his writings about capitalism (largely because he overlooked its social dimension). Yet this is at the core of today’s struggles over intellectual property: as the role of the general intellect – based on collective knowledge and social co-operation – has increased in post-industrial capitalism, so wealth accumulates out of all proportion to the labour expended in its production. The result is not, as Marx seems to have expected, the self-dissolution of capitalism, but the gradual transformation of the profit generated by the exploitation of labour into rent appropriated through the privatisation of knowledge.
I have long suspected that Slavoj Žižek hadn't got the faintest idea what he was talking about. Up until now it has been an itch I couldn't scratch, but in the first two paragraphs (above) in this piece from the London Review of Books he is training the laser beam of his intelligence on a topic I've actually thought about quite a lot. I can't be bothered to go through the category errors that pile up once software is equated with a reified general intellect. The most telling thing however, is he throws us this bone as Microsoft's hegemony is on its last legs, even if his analysis was correct (which it isn't) it's out of date so its conclusions would have nothing to offer anyway.

Prodnose: Adrian Johnston's book Zizek's Ontology: A Transcendental Materialist Theory of Subjectivity argues against the position that Žižek's thought has no consistency or underlying project.
Myself: Really?
Prodnose: Beneath "what could be called 'the cultural studies Žižek'" is a singular "philosophical trajectory that runs like a continuous, bisecting diagonal line through the entire span of his writing (i.e. the retroactive Lacanian reconstruction of the chain Kant-Schelling-Hegel).
Myself: Ah
Prodnose: Žižek's work is better described as rigorous in the sense of systematic rather than as comprising a single, all-encompassing "system."
Myself: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What does it smell like?

Myself: I love the smell of napalm in the morning, it smells .......

Prodnose: like teen spirit.

Myself: Ho ho, very satirical.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The Gauntanomo Bay detention camp is ten years old.

.. steps on to soapbox ....
It was set up after the US Department of Justice advised that it could be considered outside U.S. legal jurisdiction, with the further assertion that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
The parallel with the misuse of offshore bank accounts for tax evasion and money laundering is quite striking. I can't help but note that persons subject to US income tax are required to declare any offshore bank accounts on penalty of perjury.
Is tax evasion by a US citizen worse than law evasion by the US government? Is money laundering worse than laundering people by extraordinary rendition?
I think the whole thing is a disgrace and corrodes any notion of US moral authority.
... descends soapbox ...

Previously at Gitmo:

Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessep: You can't handle the truth!
Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

.... and so it goes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

dragged up?

"There is nothing like a Dame who drags herself from the docklands of Cardiff, to don diamond-studded wellington boots at Glastonbury seven decades later," says the BBC.

Dame Shirley Bassey talking candidly about growing up in a mixed-race family in impoverished wartime Tiger Bay has got to be worth a listen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


If Milt Romney wins in New Hampshire, how much of it will be down to his Mrs' recipe for Welsh cakes?

Shome mishtake, shurely bakeshtones?, Ed. (Shee Iconsh Passhim.)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Wi-fi why, Delilah?

Mobile operator O2 is to provide free internet to "millions" of residents and visitors in central London by launching Europe's largest free wi-fi zone.
The service will be rolled out across the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea in 2012.
And so it came to pass that free internet access arrived in the two London Boroughs where everyone could already afford it. Over to you Martha.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Every day I have the Blues

Although I don't really follow football with great enthusiasm, I have always had a place in my heart for Manchester United. I've no clear idea why this should be so.

So now I've recovered from United's pulsating 3-2 win against Manchester City today, I have to come to terms with the discovery that Ben, while officially disengaged from football as a rugby man, was supporting the Blues.

I have nurtured a viper in my bosom,

Saturday, January 07, 2012


I don't know how I missed this but:
Tooting judo star Winston Gordon hopes the spirit of 2002 can help him conquer the world in 2012.
The 35-year-old middleweight judoka was last week named in the Team GB squad for next year’s London Games, despite missing the recent test event at London’s ExCel Centre at the weekend through injury.
The two-time Olympian, who will now make his third successive Olympic appearance next summer, won Commonwealth Games gold when the event was hosted in Manchester nearly 10 years ago.
See Icons Passim. The Bomber's given up judo for rugby and athletics now. I wonder if he realizes what a privilege it was to train with Winston, and simply to watch him come from hospital and crutches in 2009 to Olympic rehabilitation in 2012?

Friday, January 06, 2012

a beastly game played by gentlemen


Here are the Bomber (second from right back row) and his team at their Twickenham appearance (see Icons passim).

We're off to the Stoop next week for the Quins' Curtain Raiser Cup.
"Rugby football is a game I can't claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end and that, in order to squalch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days without the option, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench." - P. G. Wodehouse Very Good, Jeeves (1930)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sky Go

There is no broadband back at Mum and Dad's in Cardiff, though there is a fully loaded Sky subscription. The Burglar has pointed out that this account could fuel Sky Go on two devices at no extra charge.
Enjoy up to 32 live channels including thousands of hours of on demand entertainment online for free in line with your Sky TV subscription.
Maybe I could put it on the Bomber's XBOX?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Hello, Hello. It's good to be back

Myself: Did you miss me?

Prodnose: Yeah

Myself: While I was away? Did you hang my picture on your wall? Did you kiss me?

Prodnose: Yeah

Myself: Every single day? Although you couldn't kiss me at all? And did you love me?

Prodnose: Yeah

Myself: Odd that. I hardly thought of you.