Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cardiff After Dark by Maciej Dakowicz

"Photography is nothing," the great photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson once said. "It's life that interests me." This quote came back to me on first seeing Maciej Dakowicz's images from the series Cardiff After Dark, published as a monograph tomorrow. All human life is here, the gamut of exaggerated human emotion as it is played out each weekend on a few central streets and bars of the Welsh capital.
As Polish-born photographer's epic study of Cardiff nightlife is published, the ink is as purple in the Observer as the air around Caroline Street is blue.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Billy Nomates

16. Billy (unreleased, 1984) The kind of song Prince could never officially release, Billy sounds how stoner-doom merchants Sleep or Earth might if they went funk, consisting of more than 50 minutes of guitar riffing accompanied by Prince repeating the gnomic statement: "Hey Billy, where d'you get those sunglasses?"
16 in 'The 20 best Prince songs you've never heard'

Friday, September 28, 2012

a whole year on one grain of rice

There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news. And in San Diego, one anchorman was more man then the rest. His name was Ron Burgundy. He was like a god walking amongst mere mortals. He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo. In other words, Ron Burgundy was the balls.
We are on a three week winning streak at the Antelope's quiz night, but I was still woodshedding last night watching Anchorman which seems to come up in the film round more often than infinite dimensional analysis or quantum probability might suggest.

I need all the help I can get. Even though we emerged victorious at the last clash, a point was squandered with the MC's laughable ruling that the African animal that kills the most people each year is the crocodile rather than the mosquito. When I called for a Stewards' enquiry, he suggested I bring a crocodile and a mosquito along next Monday, lock the door and see which kills the most patrons.

Fair enough I suppose.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bringing sexy back?

A relaunch is planned for Myspace, which not so long ago, bestrode the narrow world like a Colossus. We petty men walked under its huge legs and peeped about as I recall.

A timely warning against any hubris at Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook if nothing else.

As for me, I'll never forget what's'isname.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10,000 photos

DIFF from BLOCK on Vimeo.

Look down by there. You tells me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever like?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keyboard shortcuts for real life

CTRL-S rescue child

SHIFT-CTRL-S rescue child while wearing a certain superhero costume

CTRL-A I want everything

CTRL-C, CTRL-V become a renowned writer, like Johann Hari or Jonah Lehrer

CTRL-Q leave job as renowned writer after previous shortcuts discovered

CTRL-Z row back, clarify, apologize

CTRL-ALT-DEL abandon work

CTRL-F I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

END terminate this ineffably boring conversation

F5 (or CTRL-R) make a cold beverage appear

ESC evade the authorities

CTRL-H find a place of concealment

CTRL-M curl up into the foetus position

HOME I am too drunk: transport me immediately to my place of residence

F8 Que sera, sera.

Monday, September 24, 2012

click here

Blogger has added the facility to use a title link back into its interface.

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen,
The clouded sky is now serene,
The god of day — the orb of love,
Has hung his ensign high above,
The sky is all ablaze.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

you had me at hello

Apparently I saved an entire penny by shopping with Saint Sainsbury's rather than grasping Tesco or the bread heads at Asda.

That's my loyalty secured for all time then.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a new Korea in a new town

From 2 years of break, PSY is finally coming back with his 6th album 'PSY6甲'!

The album's weighty title song 'Gangnam Style' is composed solely by PSY himself from lyrics to choreography. The song is characterized by its strongly addictive beats and lyrics, and is thus certain to penetrate the foundations of modern philosophy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Come up, you fearful jesuit

Jonnie and the Bomber are both in the school team that will play Wimbledon College this afternoon. It's Jonnie's first competitive game and, in a pleasing turn of events, comes exactly seven years to the weekend since the two of them tried out Super Saturday Minnows Tag Rugby; see Icons passim.

Wimbledon College being a Roman Catholic high school founded by the Society of Jesus in 1892, let's just hope that they don't get at the referee with any of that notorious Jesuit casuistry.

I think we can all agree that the application of general principles of morality to definite and concrete cases of human activity, for the purpose, primarily, of determining what one ought to do, or ought not to do, or what one may do or leave undone as one pleases; and for the purpose, secondarily, of deciding whether and to what extent guilt or immunity from guilt follows on an action already posited has no place on the field of play since the special function of casuistry is to determine practically and in the concrete the presence or absence of a definite moral obligation, it does not fall within its scope to pass judgment on what would be more advisable, or on what may be recommended as a counsel of perfection.

Rugby having laws rather than rules, as any fule kno.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

stop making sense

Cuts-hit police forces sell off lacy Ann Summers knickers and meerkat statues on auction websites in bid to boost coffers
Our auction site has been in the Daily Mail again. The Burglar has pointed out that the headline above is fairly mild when you consider that the red tops have previously outed us as drug pushers and arms dealers as well as fences.

We should be able to cope with any traffic that comes our way easily though, as the system is now running on the cloud via Amazon Web Services; pages are served from EC2, the database runs on RDS and images are stored in S3 to be specific.

When we were moving it, we put a robots.txt in the root to stop Google trawling the test version. This worked well but when we forgot to delete it when we went live our Adsense income fell off a cliff. The money seems to be coming back now we have allowed indexing again which suggests that the Google's provision of context sensitive advertising is remarkably effective.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Ballad of Priscilla Presley

New Wimbledon Theatre is delighted to announce the actress Priscilla Presley will be making her pantomime and London stage debut as The Wicked Queen in this year's pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Myself: The diacritic dot that commonly appears above the lowercase i and j in the Latin alphabet is called a tittle.

Prodnose: You won the quiz again last night then?

Myself: Well it wasn't just me. Sophie came up with tittle. There is no lowercase letter over which a diacritic dot commonly appears in the Latin alphabet in team you know.

Prodnose: God give me strength.

Monday, September 17, 2012

monstre sacré

Yesterday was another terrible day. I behaved in a way to make a banshee look kind good and sweet. Insulting Elizabeth, drunk, periodically excusing myself rather shabbily and then starting the rough treatment all over again. Sometimes I am so much my father’s son that I give myself occasional creeps. He had the same gift for damaging with the tongue, he had the same temporary violence, he had the same fidelity to mam that I have to Elizabeth, he had the same smattering of scholarship, he had the same didactitism (bet I spelled that wrong), we wave the same admonitory finger at innocence when we know bloody well when we are guilt-ridden.
I know South Walians are supposed to affirm that he forged the uncreated conscience of their race in the smithy of his soul but, just between ourselves, I have always found Richard Burton the most colossal boor.

I'll grant that as an actor he was sufficiently schooled always to chew the scenery thoroughly before he swallowed, but is that really enough to sustain the legend?

In his favour, however, as a self-loathing misanthropist (though sufficiently self-aggrandizing to find crowned heads hidebound and rivals rustic) he does appear to have been an entertainingly waspish diarist.
I love Larry [Olivier] but he really is a shallow little man with a mediocre intelligence but a splendid salesman. 13 September 1971

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hitchens contra mundum.

I bought The Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish on kindle yesterday. It whiled away an agreeable hour or so.
With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee upon us, during a time of recession, high unemployment and national debt, Hitchens’ 10,000-word critique is even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1990. Part of the Brain Shots series, the pre-eminent source for high quality, short-form digital non-fiction.
Vintage Brainshots ( fills a hole I didn't know existed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Andy Murray Effect

The Bomber goes to of a Saturday morning.

There was a sea of new faces there today and the car park was full.

This is probably not unrelated to a certain Scot winning the US Open. Now I come to think about it, Judy Murray (Andy's Mum) is a patron who has even been spotted at the Joseph Hood Memorial playing fields in the past so it is all part of a virtuous circle.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Oi'll give it foive"

What if I have it as a combined Christmas and birthday present?

It costs money because it saves money.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Period of Quiet Reflection

Prodnose: You're uncharacteristically quiet.

Myself: Wales manager Chris Coleman said he was "embarrassed" by his side's "criminal" display in the 6-1 defeat by Serbia. I am abashed, blushing, chagrined, compunctious, contrite, crestfallen, debased, demeaned, discomfited, disconcerted, distraught, distressed, flustered, guilty, hesitant, humbled, humiliated, mortified, penitent, regretful, repentant, shamed, shamefaced, sheepish, and sorry.

Prodnose: Sorry?

Myself: Sorry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Telegraph yesterday:
Detectives were called to Tooting Bec Common just after 8am amid reports that parts of a human body, believed to be that of a baby, had been discovered by park keepers.Scotland Yard confirmed officers were investigating how the “infant body parts” came to be in a council maintenance depot near Dr Johnson Ave, which splits the common.
I use the car park in Dr Johnson Avenue when the Bomber goes to Tooting Athletic track. The grisly episode comes exactly a month after Stuart Hazell was arrested on suspicion of Tia Sharp's murder on the same ground where Ben did his summer rugby training. Sometimes the world really does look to me the way it must to the Daily Mail's editor.

Life goes on I suppose. We won the quiz in Tooting (the same Tooting) last night for the first time in a while after going off the boil for a few weeks. It's an evening's investment in community social capital I suppose, bathetic as it seems in the circumstances so close to that horrible find at the Common.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is that gross or net?

At the first training session of the new season yesterday the coaches redid last year's awards for the squad member's who couldn't make the event last May, so the Bomber got his Player of the Year Award for a second time.

I recorded it on video on the iPhone and uploaded it (after much head scratching) to YouTube for posterity.

(I am hoping to be let out of the net cage at some point this year if my behaviour improves.)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Round and round

I'm taking the Bomber to rugby this morning for the first weekend in the new season. Training is at the school rather than the club. I think is because cricket is still dragging on at the Poplar Road.

I've just realised though, that this means I am giving him a lift to the same place he goes under his own steam from Monday to Friday which seems a bit odd.

Maybe I'll have a rethink after I've sorted out all the 2012/13 membership and tour paperwork.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

On the button

Flicking through channels before I went our last night I found that you can get the Scrum V Welsh rugby coverage if you press the red button on BBC2 so I managed to watch the first half of the Cardiff Blues against Edinburgh prior to laying waste to SW19; "the nightlife is awakening".

What passed for the commentary seemed simply to be a bloke called Rich O'Shea having a chat with his mates and responding to tweets.

It was hilarious though - a sample exchange with the audience was:
Dear Rick, I have got home late as I cut the tip of my finger off in work so I had to go to hospital. Now that you are a doctor can you explain to my girlfriend that it is still OK for me to go out for a few drinks with the lads.
Rick duly obliged. I will obviously have to study this more closely so the wolf will not be down on the fold until after the PRO12 game finishes. Around nine on Fridays I imagine.

Friday, September 07, 2012


The V&A has just announced an exhibition, that will open in March, charting the career David Bowie, and last night I was having a drink in Heddon Street where the iconic cover photo for the album Ziggy Stardust was shot.

How often are the planets in alignment like that eh?

Mr. Spock: Captain, our tractor beam caught and crushed an air force plane. It'll be impossible to explain this as anything other than a genuine U.F.O. Possibly alien, definitely destructive.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Apple Insider

I'm hearing rumours that the immiment iPhone 5 may use a what seems to be a variation of the iPod click wheel for input.

Apparently, the iDial, formerly codenamed the finger wheel, is circular with ten finger holes in a partial ring near the perimeter. Unnamed sources indicate it is mounted via a shaft extending from inside the telephone and sits approximately 1⁄4 in (6 mm) above a faceplate which is is printed with letters and numbers corresponding to - and visible through - each finger hole.

To dial a number, the user puts a finger* in the corresponding finger hole and rotates the iDial clockwise until it reaches the finger stop. The user then pulls out the finger, and a spring in the dial returns it to the resting position

* the finger need not be sandpapered

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

First year

Ben and Jonnie; first year in primary school to first day in secondary.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Read all about it

It couldn't be less like Hal David, but I think this is a great record.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Simple, Not Easy

I was sorry to hear that Hal David has died. He was indeed a great lyricist.

On the page, the words often seem almost hokey:

What's it all about, Alfie? 
Is it just for the moment we live? 
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie? 
Are we meant to take more than we give 
Or are we meant to be kind? 
And if only fools are kind, Alfie, 
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel. 
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie, 
What will you lend on an old golden rule? 
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie, 
I know there's something much more, 
Something even non-believers can believe in. 
I believe in love, Alfie. 
Without true love we just exist, Alfie. 
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie. 
When you walk let your heart lead the way 
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

But a song is not a poem or (Golden Rule reference notwithstanding) an essay; add a harmonically rich, modulating Bacharach tune and you have magic.

Sunday, September 02, 2012


We're back from the Richmond to Windsor bike ride. I am as sober as a judge because I could never manage to catch up with the Bomber to ask him to stop at the pub whenever a pit stop was scheduled.

We took his new bike. The front brake fell off just after I adjusted it with my treasured all purpose cycling tool and when we did stop I couldn't work out how to detach the new D-lock from its fitting on the frame so we couldn't use it to bolt the bike to a fence while we took five.

He fell asleep on the train on the way back as you can see.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

too much big

We enacted the secular right of passage that is the sock merge this week, now that the Bomber's size eight feet and close enough to my nines to make separating foot wear in the laundry more trouble that it's worth.

That is all well and good, but setting up the bikes for tomorrow's Richmond to Windsor ride I have noticed that his saddle is now higher than mine. I am less happy about that.

I have no intention whatsoever comparing the other measurement you may be wondering about.