Tuesday, December 31, 2013

That Was The Year That Was

I was eleven pounds lighter this morning than I was on the last day of 2012. Not great, but not bad and a move in the right direction. My peers in general seem to be going into the credit rather than debit side of the avoirdupois ledger.

Come January 10th, I will be in my eighth year of recording my exercise every day, and on June the first I will have been going to Virgin Active regularly for nine years.

Where does the time go?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

dibby dibby sound

Today, I am mostly listening to DJ Fresh vs Jay Fay feat. Miss Dynamite. I wonder which one is Pink?

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Andy H, an Arsenal season ticket holder, invited me yesterday to go and see them play Cardiff City at the Emirates on New Year's Day.

Yesterday was also the day that the mercurial Vincent Tan fired Malky Mackay as Cardiff City manager.

I'm still going.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Accessorize after the fact

I'm sitting in the office with in front of my main workstation with an iPAD to my left and the Surface Pro to the right.

I have bought a Touch cover now. It is a necessity I would say to work on the legacy desktop.

I still can't work out what the pen is for.

I foolishly bought a mini HDMI to HDMI cable before I realised the connector on is is a Mini Display port. I think maybe I will need all the adapters to get the most out of it.

I am very intrigued by the Surface Music Kit (though it doesn't seem to be in the UK) and its associated remix contest.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

to do is to be

Neil; Lord of all he surveys...... you think?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit

The immortal Wodehouse's Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit is 2013's entry in my annual collection of Christmas stories, read on .......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parenting skills

I have been playing a lot of Quizup (hat tip Sophie) over the festive break. He knows everything about The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

Good or bad? Discuss.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Aladdin Sane

'Tis the season to be jolly and suddenly our appointment with Wimbledon's panto on January 12th seems to be bearing down on me with unseemly haste.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

all surface

Good morning. I am writing this on my new Surface Pro 2. I haven't bought the highly rated cover that comes with a keyboard and touchpad. The idea being that I would learn to navigate it without.

I'm beginning to regret that, and I've left the stylus that comes with it downstairs. Early days I suppose. Watch this space.

Friday, December 20, 2013


As we were walking to the pub after work yesterday, the Burglar tripped on an uneven pavement and crashed to the ground like a sack of potatoes, cutting his lip, grazing his cheekbone, mashing up his hands, hurting his knee and breaking his glasses. He couldn't even get up unassisted, I took him back to my place so he could clean up and sat with him until he was feeling well enough to go home.

At 6:30am this morning I went to my 250th yoga class. It struck me that while I keep doing that I am extremely unlikely to fall if I trip, that if I do ever fall I'm mobile and supple enough to be at a low risk if injuring myself, and that even if I did stumble and graze some flesh I would certainly be able to get up again straight away.

That is enough motivation to persevere. I'll let you know when I get to 500. Namaste.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winning Ways

The Bomber got all eleven of the tries his house team scored in winning Monday's tournament in school.  I know that I drone on and on about this sort of thing but it is good to have a place to store these memories up for the future.

Also, we grown ups won the quiz at the Antelope by a country mile on the very same day.

orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bard the Bowman

The Bomber and I went to see The Desolation of Smaug last night. Bard the Bowman and all his kin speak with Welsh accents, and this behaviour is - apparently - by design.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a great artist can come from anywhere

Peter O'Toole who brought me so much joy with his performances over the years has gone to his reward.

It is reported that his house rules for a New Year's Eve party at home were "fornication, madness, murder, drunkenness, shouting, shrieking, leaping polite conversation and the breaking of bones, such jollities constitute acceptable behaviour, but no acting allowed."

I'm going to the Hendries' this December 31st. I wonder what they would make of it? I think they're quite partial to a bit of acting.

(By the way, why can't I get The Ruling Class or The Stuntman on iTunes? They will be gaping holes if I celebrate his life with a movie marathon.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

a bad grumf

The Ruts lost for the first time this season, going down 36- 24 (6 tries against 4) to Effingham & Leatherhead U13s away.

They went into the game without a regular prop, second row and scrum half; all three were away at scout camp. Scout camp!? And then lost Dan the other regular prop to a bad knock on the noggin very early on in the game. After that they were struggling up front all along; under pressure in set pieces and at the break down.

No need to panic yet. They won a bonus point for scoring four tries and are still top of the league. A lot of character was displayed, battling to the very end and with a heavily bandaged Dan agitating to be returned to the fray from the touch line.

As regards the Bomber, the coach's match report says:
Moment(s) of the Match: the three terrific tries scored by the backs – scintillating running from Silas and Ben!
He''s got an internal school tournament today and is playing the in second round of the cup for the school later which seems like odd scheduling. Two important matches and a tournament in two days? I think he could do with a rest until after Christmas after that. (I noticed he was carrying a bit of a shoulder injury towards the end of yesterday's game.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The student has become the master

The Bomber has been teaching me to use FL Studio and explaining that Avicii used it to make Wake Me Up.

He discovered, downloaded and set it up himself. It seems like the investment in his laptop and drumming lessons is bearing fruit in ways I didn't expect.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Millions like us

The British Monarchy Facebook page passed the million likes landmark some time last night. I deserve that Christmas card.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Assorted Festivals of Rugby

2014 will be our Old Ruts team's last appearance at the Brean Sands Festival as it only goes up to U13s.

Team Tours Direct run a variety of Festivals we could go to instead in 2015.

I'm making a note of http://teamtoursdirect.com/sport/rugby-union/ so I can find it again next year.

(Oh, and Wimbledon College beat the school 38-0 on Monday. Not a lot of fun.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The school's year 8 are playing Wimbledon College this afternoon and I am going to try to sneak out and wee the game. I imagine that the match will be something of a challenge as Wimbledon have already beaten Dulwich College this season, so I have dusted off my Al Pacino impression just in case it is needed for half time.

Monday, December 09, 2013

COD Wars

In two separate meta-analyses of locus-of-control beliefs—whether we hold that we influence our own fates or that our lives are subject to uncontrollable external forces—the psychologist Jean Twenge and her colleagues found that, between 1960 and 2002, Americans have increasingly turned to external explanations for the shapes of their lives. The shift is not a function of socioeconomic background; the attitude change occurred across demographics. This, in turn, suggests increased alienation and, as a result, more of a need for a means by which to reassert the control that otherwise seems to be missing from our lives. First-person shooters may be a way of reclaiming our sense of efficacy.
This, apparently, is why the Bomber and all his chums play Call of Duty with such devotion. I am unconvinced myself.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Patrick Dalton’s top five local Tooting hotspots

Tooting: edgier than Balham and mercifully less Clapham than Clapham. The Romans built a road through it and it has a crater on Mars named after it – take that Brixton. Tooting may not be on everybody’s list of places to visit before they die but there are more than enough reasons to jump on the Northern line and revise that opinion. Here are just a few of them
Tooting your own horn? GEDDIT! See how I did that? Tooting is a place and both the gerund and present participle of the verb toot. Hilarity ensues.

Saturday, December 07, 2013


I'm off to the South Bank this afternoon on the tube. Living, as I do, within walking distance of the office, I don't get to use public transport often. Luckily I have found a transcript of Mayor Boris Johnson explaining how much a Zone 1 single costs if you pay with cash.
"Oh blimey… I've got the figures here. If you get a… if you get a… Yeah yeah yeah wait a minute. If you've got your Oyster card I think it's gone up to £2… £2.10 is it? Uhhh… I use the Oyster card because…. Always use your Oyster card! I'll give you… I can give you – d'you want me to recite… Where's the, where's the someone give me my… herewegoherewegoherewego here's the whole list HERE we go HEEEERE we go, okay. Right. Here we go. If you want a one-way ticket… Oh god… um… cash single. A cash single is… it is currently… in zones 1-7 it is £6.70. Can that be right? Well that's what it says here. That seems unbelievably expensive to me – that's outrageous. That cannot possibly be right. Wait wait wait… folks - who's drawn up this useless chart? *DEEP GROWLING* OH ZONE ONE HERE WE GO £4.50!"
Yes, that's Boris - some people are too stupid to get on in life - Johnson.

Friday, December 06, 2013

One day at a time

The Bomber and I will be back in Wales from the wedding on December 21 until Boxing Day, when we have to charge up the M4 early doors for the traditional Christmas showdown with Wimbledon Warriors.

Virgin Active has closed since last time I was back so it looks like The Gym Cardiff will have to take the strain as I can get £5 a day membership on Monday and Tuesday.

There is one in Swansea as well. I wonder if that would work for John if he could get the two of them 24/7 for a low monthly outlay?

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Stamppot Boerenkool

I have only got potatoes and kale left over from this week's veg box, and next week's arrives tomorrow.

If I combine them with smoked sausage in a Dutch fashion I can make Stamppot Boerenkool. The same ingredients in a Portuguese stylee will give me Caldo Verde.

Now that the country is teeming with Poles I can select from a wide variety of charcuterie at the Sri Lankan shop at the bottom of the road. It is practically a Polski sklep these days.

Spuds, sausage and greens may be peasant food, but seasoned with my cosmopolitan, culinary suavity it combines a stroll through European history and culture with a treat for the taste buds.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How to be Topp: A Guide to Sukcess

U13 League 2
TeamPWDLFADiffB PtsPtsAdjust
Old Rutlishians U1333009719782170
Sutton & Epsom U13 A21014471-27170
Reeds Weybridge U13s110027198160
Camberley U131001515-10010
Haslemere U1320023374-4111-2
Effingham & Leatherhead U13s0000000000
Old Reigatian U130000000000
Guildfordians U1310011927-800-1
Last Updated: Dec 3 2013 2:27PM

The table is updated, for us at least, after last weekend's result.

Tries: Ben Browne, Silas Bobb, Sid Daniels, Pablo Santiago-Davies, Charlie Julian, Dylan Harwood, Joe Bennett
Conversion: Luke Saitch

 Tired but happy, this is before they knew what the traffic was going to be like on the A3 going home.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Not ready for Amazon Prime Air time?

Can this possibly be on the level? Reading The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, I think it might well be, Dr Strabismesque (whom God preservesque) of Utrechtesque as it seems.

Monday, December 02, 2013

That was the week that was

No one from from my family is going to hospital for a procedure today or on Friday this week, it is just my nephew Tuesday, my sister on Wednesday and my father on Thursday.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Half empty

The Ruts U13A team beat Haslemere 37-7 in the league this morning so, though I don't know the other results, we must still be top of the table as we've played one more game than anyone else.

Seven tries but, and this is the only niggle, only one conversion.

From memory the try scorers were the Bomber (in the first minute), Silas, Sid, Pablo Dylan, Joe B and someone else who I have forgotten in the excitement. Luke got the conversion.

Next up Effingham & Leatherhead U13s in a fortnight and I have heard rumours that a few of our regulars won't be available.

It wouldn't do not to have anything to worry about now would it?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Over by year

Our financial year runs from the beginning of December to the end of November. Now it is the weekend we won't be issuing any invoices before Monday.

A quick analysis reveals that 2012-13's turnover represents a 40% increase over last year.

I may have a drink tonight.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wigging Out

Sony has filed a patent for a "SmartWig" that would include ultrasound sensors, a camera and a laser pointer. The device is not necessarily intended to replace absent hair, as with traditional wigs, but to be worn as a sort of mobile computer.
The patent describes a "plurality of natural and/or artificial hair pieces" which will hide within them a range of sensors and communication devices. That artificial hair could be wool or horse hair, or just synthetic fibres, suggests Sony.

They are not stopping at the PS4 then. Dr Strabismus (whom God preserve) of Utrecht has reminded me that I will need to take off my SmartWig whenever I schedule an iGrow laser session.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Culture Blast

How reassuring to see that my Council Tax has gone towards paying an exhibitionist to ponce about in pancake make-up and a silly hat rather than being frittered away.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How many people work at Pornhub?

How many people work at Pornhub?

We have over 150 employees across the world, with about half of them being engineers. Keep in mind, we are an IT company.
The ACA website totally fumbled upon launch, leaving just a select few (including yours truly) able to access the site—but millions more unable to even get pages to load. How complicated is it to create a website that millions will use a day?
Hosting a website that over 35 million people a day flock to is no easy task. To create a website that can handle this type of traffic has to be done in steps, first building a scalable model, and continue adding capacity as the traffic volume grows. Everything must be done step by step. You can’t take any shortcuts.
What could you offer the Obamacare / ACA site?
Overall, I’d offer to lend them our engineers. We work very hard to train everyone to be able to handle any challenge. It’s no small task to accommodate the traffic volume they intended to. Since we specialize in high traffic websites, we are one of few companies who would have been able to get the site back on track. That’s why we made the offer -- we have the utmost confidence in our teams to accomplish anything.
For all that I am chuckling, there is a strange sort of logic to this.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Schools Rugby

I saw Ben playing for the school for the first time on Saturday. They got beaten 29-10 by Whitgift but it was a good performance as they only had fourteen men. Saadiq got a try in the first half and Ben struck in the second.

I may be a Corinthian of the old school, but I would have thought considering that Whitgift had a full team and plenty of replacements that they should have lent Rutlish a player. It was only a friendly after all. There were some heavy legs out there towards the end. Poor old Kieran was playing full back but switching to flanker whenever they had an attacking scrum. He was forever having to run practically the length of the pitch to join the pack and then scramble back again when play broke down.

Whitgift's a good rugby school. They've won the Daily Mail Cup a few times and Danny Capriani got a scholarship to play there, so to go down by five tries to two when you are man short and they are not only playing with fifteen but running rolling substitutions is no disgrace.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Knowledge is not for knowing

The bar keep in the 'Nonce has read Sean's book The Death and Return of the Author: Criticism and Subjectivity in Barthes, Foucault and Derrida.

I don't think I have ever been as surprised at anything in my life.

It's a slow Saturday night when you can have a sufficiently discursive conversation with the guy behind the jump for subject of Michel Foucault - French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, philologist and literary critic - to be broached if I'm honest.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Garlic Roasted Salmon & Brussels Sprouts

Roasting salmon on top of Brussels sprouts and garlic, flavored with wine and fresh oregano, is a meal that is simple enough for a weeknight meal yet sophisticated enough to serve to company.
That's lunch sorted then. It really is remarkable where my determination to eat everything in my weekly veg box leads me. I had mashed swede and carrots yesterday. I loathe swede. I will try and hide the rest in some spuds Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

WASHINGTON—In a 45-minute video posted on Tibetan websites Thursday, Tsuglag Rinpoche, leader of the Buddhist extremist group Kammaṭṭhāna, threatened to soon inflict a wave of peace and tranquility on the West.
Speaking in front of a nondescript altar surrounded by candles, burning sticks of incense, and a small golden statue of the Buddha, Rinpoche did not specify when or where an assault of profound inner stillness would occur, but stated in no uncertain terms that the fundamentalist Buddhist cell plans to target all Western suffering.
“In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West,” said Rinpoche, adding that all enemies of a freely flowing, unfettered state of mind will be “besieged with pure, everlasting happiness.” “No city will be spared from spiritual harmony. We will bring about the end to all Western pain and anxiety, to all destructive cravings, to all greed, delusion, and misplaced desire. Indeed, we will bring the entire United States to its knees in deep meditation.”
“Wisdom and virtue to America!” continued Rinpoche. “Wisdom and virtue to all living things on earth!”
According to reports, Rinpoche stressed throughout his address that Kammaṭṭhāna soldiers would continue waging a tireless holy war on Western feelings of emptiness and negativity for as long as necessary, noting that “a jug fills drop by drop” and that “it is better to travel well than to arrive.”
It's been too long since I nicked a post from The Onion.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas comes early

We’re going to deliver your order, containing the item(s) listed below, today.
"Xbox One Console: Day One Edition (with FIFA 14 download code)"
If there’s nobody in when we arrive we’ll post through your letter box if possible, leave with an available neighbour or in your preferred safe-place, if you’ve previously provided us with those details.
If there’s anything we can help you with, please contact Customer Service, quoting your tracking ID : http://www.amazon.co.uk/contact-us , or visit our Help pages: http://www.amazon.co.uk/help.
Warmest regards,
Customer Service Department
We're in Wales at my Mum and Dad's on Christmas Day. It is cozy enough but there's no broadband, and - thus - the Bomber's getting his Christmas present early. Today in fact.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blood Orange

I know that this is essentially just noodling around but I think it is great stuff. Wasn't there a time this sort of thing was Prince's job?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Steady as she goes

U13 League 2
TeamPWDLFADiffB PtsPtsAdjust
Old Rutlishians U1322006012481110
Reeds Weybridge U13s110027198160
Camberley U131001515-10010
Sutton & Epsom U13 A1001745-38010
Effingham & Leatherhead U13s0000000000
Haslemere U130000000000
Old Reigatian U130000000000
Guildfordians U1310011927-800-1
Last Updated: Nov 19 2013 11:19AM

The boys are still top of the league after the weekend. It turns out you need to score four tries to get a bonus point. Thank God I didn't know that when Ben put Silas away in the last minute of the game but the ref called him back for a forward pass. I just shrugged my shoulders thinking we were comfortable as we were ten points up with the clock run down.

Ben with Silas in support

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013


I looked at Camberley's website this morning.

The U13A home page is http://www.camberleyrugbyclub.co.uk/j/team-latest-101320.html.

They had won all their games this season before they came up against the Ruts yesterday.

They beat Henley 43-0 on the 22 September, Cobham 21-8 on 29 September, Esher 36-14 a fortnight ago, and Dorking 57-12 last week.

It adds glister to Sunday's win I think.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A good weekend

Wales 40 Argentina 6
Old Ruts U13A 15 Haslemere Camberley 5

Saturday, November 16, 2013

joining the dots

I have finished reading Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature and started Undisputed Truth: My Autobiography by Mike Tyson.

I can't see any pattern either. (The oldest piece of print was found in a cave. It’s a speech by the Buddha, and it asks the reader to imagine all the grains of sand in the River Ganges, and then to imagine a world in which there were as many Ganges as grains of sand.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

I'll be focused on rugby this weekend. Wales play Argentina on Saturday, and then on Sunday Old Rutlishians U13 A clash with Haslemere U13A in the Surrey League.

Here are the two starting line ups:

1 Gethin Jenkins
2 Richard Hibbard
3 Rhodri Jones
4 Bradley Davies
5 Alun Wyn Jones
6 Sam Warburton
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Toby Faletau
9 Mike Phillips
10 Dan Biggar
11 Liam Williams
12  Scott Williams
13 Cory Allen
14 George North
15 Leigh Halfpenny

Old Ruts
1 Tom Dolan
2 Zac Rabanal
3 Daniel Binks
4 Saadiq Theophilus
5 Pablo Santiago-Davies
6 Joseph Muldoon
7 Bill Eustace
8 Joe Bennett
9 Charlie Julian
10 Luke Saitch
11 Daniel Young-McHugh
12 Sid Daniels
13 Jonnie Hendrie
14 Silas Bobb
15 Ben Browne

Thursday, November 14, 2013

One thing and another

I am gradually concluding that I have strained my left elbow and wrist by doing horizontal cable internal and external rotations in an attempt to nurture my rotator cuff.

No good deed goes unpunished. I will try replacing them with shrugs.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Move B

In an unsettling development I find that, while I can live without the video, I rather like the new Little Mix single Move.
Move is also a song that we wrote with our fabulous vocal coach Meg. We all sat in the studio together and vibed and made little noises…
So now we know.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

After ours

We won the quiz last night after a brief fallow period, but I won't be able to guzzle the £50 bar tab prize next week as I have promised to go to Mark's Cocktail Hour bash.

Monday, November 11, 2013


TIME has crunched the numbers to see how much any account is worth to Twitter now it has been floated.
In its IPO paperwork filed to regulators last month, Twitter stated its 230 million active users are producing 500 million tweets per day, noting, “We deliver more than 200 billion Tweets per day to our users.”
Twitter appears to define a “delivered tweet” as any tweet seen by a follower of another user. If the 200 billion figure is to be believed, then each of the 500 million daily tweets is delivered to an average of 400 people.
A $24.9 billion value divided by 200 billion tweet deliveries a day comes out to 12.45 cents per daily eyeball on the site.
We know how many times per day a person tweets on average. We also know how large each user’s audience is. That audience may not be the world’s most engaged. At least one study suggests that around three-quarters of tweets are ignored. To estimate a user’s current number of daily readers, we reduce the potential audience by 75%.
The size of this daily audience times 12.45 cents gives you your share of the Twitter largesse.
This suggests that Twitter owes $190,792 to @BritishMonarchy.

(16,594 tweets over 1,658 days on Twitter averages 10 tweets per day, so 612,987 followers generate 6,129,870 potential eyeballs per day. Even if only 25% of those are paying attention, that is stil 1,532,468 estimated eyeballs per day at 12.45¢ each.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The teaser trailer for Gareth Evans latest movie is online. The Welsh/Indonesian action genre (see Icons passim) appears to remain in good hands,

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Here we go again

A look back at the last time we played South Africa, (amd Argentina, and Tonga and Australia) ahead of today's game.

Friday, November 08, 2013

meta name="format-detection" content="telephone=no"/

Enables or disables automatic detection of possible phone numbers in a webpage in Safari on iOS.
By default, Safari on iOS detects any string formatted like a phone number and makes it a link that calls the number. Specifying telephone=no disables this feature.
Available in iOS 1.0 and later.
Support Level
Apple extension.
So now you know. Fascinating isn't it. IOS 7 on iPAD and OSX Mavericks tries to detect telephone numbers in web pages. Utterly pointless and ruins a lot of our code.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Decameron

In one story, the merchant Giannotto di Civignì tries to get his Jewish friend Abraham to convert to Christianity. Abraham says that he must first go to Rome, to observe the clergy and see if they lead holy lives. This worries Giannotto. He fears that Abraham will discover how debauched the priests are. And that is exactly what happens. Abraham, returning home, reports that the Roman clergy are all sots, satyrs, and sodomites. Then he invites Giannotto to go with him to church, where he intends to be baptized. If the Roman church survives, he says, despite the debauchery of its representatives, then it must be endorsed by the Holy Spirit, and he wants to join the winning team.
What can  tell you? It made me laugh.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Ticktockman

The Bomber played at number eight for the school on Monday and bagged a try. The referee scouted him for the Harlequins after the game, he tells me. I don't know exactly what that means, an email will be sent to the relevant master at the school. It will be something to do with the Academy I imagine. All very exciting.

Training at the club is cancelled tonight as the pitch is sodden and needs to be rested so that it is fit for the weekend games. This is no bad thing as he is playing in a schools tournament on Thursday. This all seems a touch intense compared to when I was a kid, though it may just have passed me by as I was no good.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


When Lou Reed left the Velvet Underground in 1970, it seemed rock and roll's loss was accountancy's gain - he found employment with his dad's accountancy firm. What's more the minute sales of his debut solo album were hardly likely to trouble balance sheets at his record company.
It no doubt came as a relief to Lou when David Bowie, then at the peak of his Ziggy success, offered to produce a new album. Transformer was aptly named - it would change Lou Reed from shadowy cult figure to (albeit unusual) pop star, and also become possibly the best album ever inspired by New York, even though it wasn't recorded there.

In July 1972, Reed moved to London and rented a house in Wimbledon, an area not renowned for its abundance of low life cross dressers and drug users. Recording commenced at Trident Studios, overseen by Bowie and his trusty guitar sidekick Mick Ronson, who also lent his trademark crunch to several of the tracks. Also involved where Beatles associate Klaus Voorman and ace session man Herbie Flowers, whose double tracked bass line on Walk on the Wild Side practically made the song, even if credit was never fully given for his contribution beyond the standard session fee.
RIP Lou Reed, late of this parish. I wonder where exactly where he stayed in SW19.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Back to school

The Bomber is back in school today. They are playing Ernest Bevin College at rugby this afternoon.

He stayed with me over half term. I was pleased with that.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Valley Girl

Since leaving Facebook, the older Zuckerberg has launched a media company, written two books—Dot. and Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives, both out November 5—and created a TV show. George Wayne checks in with the digital darling to talk start-ups, online etiquette, and Sheryl Sandberg.
Randi Zuckerberg is interviewed - sort of - in Vanity Fair. She was the inspiration for our "anyone will come to your meeting if it is in Buckingham Palace's Yellow Drawing Room" rule, doncha know.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Tension rises ahead of tomorrow's Cardiff/Swansea derby.

Friday, November 01, 2013

This gets my goat.

Here's a simple fact: Beard stubble can and will scrape the soft face of that nice girl you've been hanging out with. And even if she doesn't mind the scratchiness, we doubt she'll appreciate that a make-out session comes with a side of blotchy skin. Which is what that short, coarse hair growth that covers the lower portion of your face just a few hours after shaving can do to a woman after some time spent getting up close and personal.
Traditional beard oils and conditioning agents are made to soften the longer hairs of your beard, but don't necessarily work on stubble. That's a job no cream or lotion can handle. You need a real kick-ass weapon, so turn your attention to sandpaper.
Yup. Sandpaper. By rubbing abrasive paper over the stubble, the prickly edges get rounded down — not unlike what happens when two pieces of sandpaper are rubbed together. It's a concept pioneered by a company called The Soft Goat, which has just launched the first ever stubble-softening pad that works in just this manner. In an nutshell, it's high-end sandpaper. But in more detail, it's an hypoallergenic foam pad that the makers have layered with abrasive paper that they've spent a few years honing to find just the right texture that will soften stubble but won't rip your face open.
I know its Movember 'n all, but I seem to detect the hand of Dr Strabismus (whom God preserve) of Utrecht in Esquire here.

The Soft Goat; ho ho very satyrical. Geddit? See how I put a y in there instead of an i. Hilarious eh?

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I went along to Katavento after work yesterday for some feijoada. They've been at the Mills since 2009, and I think this is the first time I have ever been there to sit down and eat. I must be losing my mojo.

When we stopped at the Provenance on the way back, Jonnie and the Bomber (who'd I'd brought along because it is half term) were presented with pumpkins to carve while the adults had a drink.

This is a good place to live.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster turned activist, has engaged his toughest – and oddest – opponent yet in the form of a millionaire Buddhist former goat-herder and politician who believes aliens will destroy the planet if people do not play enough chess, a game he says they invented.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has also been president of the World Chess Federation for almost 20 years, surviving attempted coups, accusations of corruption, and ridicule that peaked when he described how he was transported to a distant star in a spaceship that had landed on his balcony.
The word "gambit" was originally applied to chess openings in 1561 by Spanish priest Rúy López de Segura, from an Italian expression dare il gambetto (to put a leg forward in order to trip someone). Lopez studied this maneuver, and so the Italian word gained the Spanish form gámbito that led to French gambit, which has influenced the English spelling of the word. The broader sense of "opening move meant to gain advantage" was first recorded in English in 1855.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

No woman, no drive

Saudi Arabian satire. Who knew?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting

The photo above was posted yesterday in Babylon Wales with the following description
American Ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, at St David's Cathedral, Charles Street, Cardiff, in 1938 (he's to the right of the Cardinal). He was, of course, the father of doomed golden boys of American politics, JFK and Bobby Kennedy. Joseph was in the city to attend the National Congress of the St Vincent de Paul Society, an international Roman Catholic voluntary organisation.
Interesting to me as I have very early memories of waiting around said Cathedral while my father was at St Vincent de Paul Society meetings after Mass on Sundays. After that we would be waiting for him in the car outside the boozer in Mackintosh Place if memory serves.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Flann the Man

When things are few, what also are they?
Far between.
What are stocks of fuel doing when they are low?
How low are they running?
What does one do with a suggestion?
One throws it out.
For what does one throw a suggestion out?
For what it may be worth.
The great Flann O'Brien.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Giraffes on Horseback Salads

The "Surrealist woman" is lying in the middle of a great bed, sixty feet long, with the rest of the guests seated around each side. Along the bed, as decorations, are a group of dwarfs caught by Harpo. Each is supported on a crystal base, decorated with climbing flowers. The dwarfs stay as still as statues, holding lighted candelabras, and change their positions every few minutes.
While love tears at Jimmy's heart, Groucho tries to crack a nut on the bald head of the dwarf in front of him. The dwarf, far from looking surprised, smiles at Groucho in the most amiable way possible. Suddenly in the middle of dinner, thunder and lightning begin inside the room. A squall of wind blows the things over on the table and brings in a whirl of dry leaves, which stick to everything. As Groucho opens his umbrella, it begins to rain slowly.
Although the guests show surprise, they try for a time to continue their meal, which is, however, brought to an end by showers of rain. In a panic, the guests rush in all directions, while from the hall a torrent of waters washes in, bringing with it all sorts of debris, including a drowned ox. A shepherd makes a desperate effort to collect his flock of sheep, which climb up on the sofas and the bed in an effort to avoid being carried away by the water. A cradle is carried in on the flood containing a baby crying piteously, followed by the mother, hair streaming behind her.
The "Surrealist woman" crosses several rooms - rain falling more and more heavily - but stops in front of a door and hesitates. She goes in, followed by Jimmy, who has never left her side. On the other side of the door, there is no more rain and everything changes. It is the childhood room of the "Surrealist woman," where by her orders nothing has been touched since she was ten. Overcome by emotion, she sits down in front of a mirror at a child's table.
Meanwhile, the Marx Brothers announce that a great fête is going to take place. For this, large preparations have to be made. Four acres of desert are cleared of cacti and of all vegatation and flattened out like a tennis court. The undergrowth that is cleared away is piled around the field to make a barrier, behind which stands are erected for spectators.
There is a competition for the person who can ride a bicycle the slowest with a stone balanced on his head. All the participants have to grow beards. In the middle is a tower in the form of a boat's prow to be used as a judge's box.
Before the spectacle begins, the vegetation around the fields is set alight. This prevents the spectators in the stands from seeing anything at all. From the top of the tower the sight is wonderful, with columns of smoke going up vertically, surrounding hundrds of cyclists - each balancing a rock on his head - threading their way with the sun setting behind.
In the tower, Harpo is playing his harp ecstatically, like a modern Nero. By his side, his back to the spectacle, Groucho is lying, smoking lazily. Nearby, the "Surrealist woman" and Jimmy watch the spectacle, lying side by side. Behind them, Chico, dressed in a diving suit, accompanies Harpo on the piano. Scattered across the gangway leading to the tower, an orchestra plays the theme song with Wagnerian intensity as the sun sinks under the horizon.
How I wish that the Salvador Dali Marx Brothers' movie had been made.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

League table

U13 League 2
TeamPWDLFADiffB PtsPtsAdjust
Old Rutlishians U13110045738160
Camberley U130000000000
Effingham & Leatherhead U13s0000000000
Guildfordians U130000000000
Haslemere U130000000000
Old Reigatian U130000000000
Reeds Weybridge U13s0000000000
Sutton & Epsom U13 A1001745-3800-1
Last Updated: Oct 23 2013 12:39PM

Might as well enjoy it while it lasts eh? The Ruts were originally scheduled to play Sutton and Epsom as the last game of the season, but the match was rescheduled to last Sunday instead. As the league doesn't really kick off until Nov 13, the boys will be top of the league at least until then.

Moving seamlessly from club to school, Year 8 beat St Cecilia's 65-7 yesterday. The Bomber got two tries in another appearance at outside half.