Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mom To Boil Mouthguard Just For Herself For A Change

The Onion:
MASON, MI—Admitting that she doesn’t often get the chance to indulge herself, local mother of three Beth Everson announced plans Tuesday to boil a mouthguard just for herself for a change. “It feels like I’m always boiling a mouthguard for one of my kids, so for once, I’m going to set aside some free time to boil one for me,” said the 46-year-old, adding that with her adolescent sons playing both football and lacrosse, she rarely gets the opportunity to submerge a mouthguard into a bowl of boiling water in order to fit the rubber to her own teeth. “Don’t get me wrong, I love boiling mouthguards for my boys. But every now and then, I could really use an afternoon to just boil a nice mouthguard and then bite down on it myself for 30 or 40 seconds.” At press time, a contented Everson was quietly reading in the family’s living room while wearing a new mouthguard.
This rings very true, as we approach the first weekend of the 2016/17 rugby union season. 2015/16 was the first time we got through an entire campaign without one of our boys having his bootlaces tied by a parent or an official.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

RIP Gene Wilder

I am sorry to hear that Gene Wilder had died. I am lucky enough to have seen him on stage on the West End in "Laughter on the 23rd Floor," and that was an impulsive last minute substitute after Peter Hall production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" we were supposed to attend was cancelled due to technical problems.

I think it was 1996 or 97.

For what it is worth Wilder, Kenneth Branagh, and Joss Ackland are the three most charismatic performers I have ever seen live.

I would like to write more, but I have to run. We have e-commerce problems.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Friday on my mind

Currently the plan for Friday evening is Venezuelan street food at Liqui Liqui, then music on the bandstand courtesy of the Merton Apprentice.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

For I am falser than vows made in wine.

Yesterday I kicked off in the pub at half eight in the morning watching the New Zealand Australia game over a couple of pints, then I went to the gym, and later I went to the Shakespeare exhibition in the British Library.

You will search in vain for a theme to the day.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Note to self

Unless I miss my guess a Home of Style 2 metre Heavy Duty Corded Curtain Track (part 486910) is what I need on a like for like basis to replace the one that broke on Wednesday night in my house.

Jane Smith: Any last words?

John Smith: The new curtains are hideous.

Other things I need to do over the Bank Holiday week end include sewing a button on a shirt and mowing the lawn in the back garden.

Prodnose: How lucky we are to share the incredibly fascinating story of your life and every day to day event in all it's minute and tedious attention to detail... And was it a Thursday or a Wednesday? Or, oh, no, it wasn't though. Oh, who cares anyway because I do not. So Norman, if you're normal, I intend to be a freak for the rest of my life, and I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen, incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant, poisoned, electric head.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The internet of stupid things

In 2013, former US Vice President Dick Cheney underwent surgery to remove the wireless connectivity from his pacemaker, for fear that it could be hacked in an assassination attempt.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it

Australia were well beaten by New Zealand in their own backyard on Saturday, which has started me wondering if perhaps Wales deserve more credit for their efforts this summer.

Remember that Warren Gatland’s team led 21-18 with just 18 minutes remaining of the opening rubber in New Zealand and were drawing 10-10 with 28 minutes left in the second.

Granted we lost all three games and the third is best passed over in silence, but it does make me wonder if England's triumph in Australia might not be all it has been built  up to be; the 44-40 win in the last game is not the most overwhelming of margins.

Possibly rashly, I have agreed to join Andy H in the Charles Holden at half past eight on Saturday morning for the next Bledisloe Cup game, further to develop this line of thought over a recklessly early beer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jah Jah Sound

I must say that Dubheart were fantastic at the Mills on Saturday. Mutton curry and rare rum at Garfield's afterwards was the icing on the cake.

Herewith the band on Spotify, Facebook and website for our records.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Guess What? Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.

This week: "Ridding stuff of its stuffy image."

Sunday, August 21, 2016

That's alright then

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Sir Francis Bacon suggests I needn't beat myself up over my reading style after all.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I am genuinely appalled by myself

After taking months to read a posh, clever book about genetics, I a polished off an MMA biography in a matter of days (Icons passim).

Next I intend to crack on with Jo Marchant's Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind over Body. I had forgotten I had added it to the Amazon wish list I was browsing for my next companion volume, and realised that she will be talking about it at the Wimbledon Bookfest in October, so I can go and put her straight if I take issue with anything she has written.

While I think of it, Cure has also been shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, along with Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene, the very book that it took me from June to August to get my head around. He probably wrote it more quickly than that.

Friday, August 19, 2016

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

Andy M says he has booked a ticket for the late set by Michel Camilo at Ronnie Scott's; 10:30 pm on Saturday. This is on top of coaching kids football in the morning, and then coming to the Mills for Caribbean music and food in the afternoon.

I am beyond impressed. The chances of me having the stamina to bowl up to Frith Street late at night after an afternoon socializing around music at licensed premises are exactly zero.

That said, the weekend night tube launches today. Once that extends to the Northern Line this autumn, late sets at Ronnie's will become a much more practical proposition.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

everybody's got a hungry heart

Street Food Circus 2016 launches today in Sophia Gardens, Bute Park (next to Cardiff Castle).

Free entry and open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks.

One for the diary next time I am down.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Andy M is coming along to see Dubheart on Saturday at the Mills. To my astonishment he has got a pass as his daughter is all grown up, and his son is away. Man, we must be getting old.

Caribbean food from Garfield at Ting 'n Ting should be part of the themed day as well I think.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Iron Nun

Just like being back in Cardiff for the weekend.

Monday, August 15, 2016

It's life, not books, that taught me all I've learned

I started to read John Kavanagh's Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor and Me: A Trainer's Journey on the recline bike lunchtime today. (Three titles for one book! Never mind the quality, feel the width.)

That means it took me from June 6 (Icons passim) until last week to finish The Gene: An Intimate History. I know it weighs in at 608 pages but I used to get through a book every week or so; two months seems a touch offhand.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


I am back from Cardiff. Roath Park Lake seems to be a Growlithe nest. I also picked up a Goldeen, a Jynx and a couple of Gastlies.

Will Ben will beg to come along next time?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

we are not worthy

According to Wales Online, "Ty-Gwyn Avenue in Cardiff is thought to be Wales’ most valuable street with an average house price of £1.15 million."

I'm back at Mum and Dad's this weekend in Bronwydd Avenue, just opposite the junction so I can gaze upon it from an upstairs window, channelling Barbara Stanwyck from Stella Dallas. Each to his own eh?

Friday, August 12, 2016

we are worthy

Congratulations to the GB Olympic sevens side on their silver medal win last night. They were given exhibition match style pummelling in the final, but can more than hold their heads high; being effectively a scratch side against a Fijian outfit who have specialised in this format around the world.

In other rugby news, I got an email last night saying Ben has been selected for this year’s Hard Rock CafĂ© London Rugby League Origin Series. Here's the announcement on the London Rugby League Foundation web site, which also explains what the Origin Series is and its history.

While I was on the site, I checked and saw that the Invicta Panthers beat the Elmbridge Eagles in the U15 finals last month, so the Ruts have the - admittedly small - consolation of going out in the semis to the ultimate winners.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The biggest electric train set any boy ever had

Jonnie's Uncle Simon is still conquering the world one written-off car at a time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

a public service

Much to my astonishment I couldn't find the Olympic sevens on any of the BBC channels or the red button on my TV yesterday.

I finaly managed to track live coverage down on the BBC Sport app on my Amazon Fire Stick, so I'm passing the message on in case it works as a Get Out of Jail free card for you as well.

It may be on the BBC iPlayer as well, but the app had saved my bacon before I needed to try it.

Roll on Great Britain v New Zealand at half past four this afternoon, and commiserations to the injured Sonny Bill Williams.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

all shall have prizes

room for a little one?
If your team wins the Monday night quiz at the Antelope in Tooting you get a £50 bar tab; if you come second you get £25 to spend. We have come first and second enough over the years for this to add up to a reasonable subsidy towards the booze consumed.

There's another prize available. If you come second to last you get a free bottle of house wine. After last night we have added that prize to the trophy room as well.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Monday, August 08, 2016

apropos apologetics; apoplectic

The Everlasting Man is a book of Christian apologetics written by G. K. Chesterton, and published in 1925. It is, to some extent, a deliberate rebuttal of H. G. Wells' The Outline of History, disputing Wells' portrayals of human life and civilisation as a seamless development from animal life and of Jesus Christ as merely another charismatic figure.

I just looked it up on Amazon and found that phrase "the everlasting man" is also relevant to other genres, such as BBW Pregnancy Werebear Romance. I say, steady on.

Draw your own conclusions from the search results below.
The Everlasting Man
29 Sep 2010
by G. K. Chesterton

Billionaire Romance: Menage Romance: Pursue Her Two Winners (BWWM Contemporary New Adult Billionaire Romance)...
3 Aug 2016
by Shania Glover

ROMANCE: Box Set: Hungry for more (21 Romantic Fantasies for women) – 21 First Time Contemporary Menage Short...
2 Aug 2016
by Cassie Favor

ROMANCE: Claimed By The Bear (BBW Pregnancy Werebear Romance) (Paranormal Shifter Billionaire Fantasy Book 1)
20 Jul 2016
by Sarah Hinde

Double Dare: A Menage Romance
12 Jul 2016
by Marie Carnay

MFM Menage Romance: Threesome: SEVEN STRONG MEN TO TAKE YOU DOWN (Alpha Male Romance) (New Adult Threesome Short...
1 Aug 2016
by Inner Inferno Books

THREESOME: MENAGE: Dirty Expeditions (MMF Romance Collection) (New Adult Contemporary Short Stories)
1 Aug 2016
by Ruby City Books

Double Trouble: A Menage Romance
25 May 2016
by Marie Carnay

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Attn: The New Ninja Bomber

Too daft to be able to find training on Wednesday afternoon?

All you had to do was type,+Try+Tag+Rugby+Balham,+London+SW16+1AJ/@51.4393253,-0.1427117,17z/data=!4m16!1m7!3m6!1s0x48760f679c475fbd:0xf446cf1a245ad17a!2sTry+Tag+Rugby+Balham!3b1!8m2!3d51.439322!4d-0.140523!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x48760f679c475fbd:0xf446cf1a245ad17a!2m2!1d-0.140523!2d51.439322 into your browser and follow the directions.

People seem to want everything on a plate these days. We'll do a scouting trip tomorrow to see if we can't get it into your muscle memory for next time.

Also the Invicta Panthers beat the Elmbridge Eagles in the rugby league final (36-16), so we went out in the semi to the ultimate winners if it is any consolation.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Saturday Night at the London Palladium

I'm going to see the the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band live at the London Palladium on Saturday 19 November. To my astonishment there are four other people coming with me as well. Here are seventy two songs they need to learn by heart.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

John Crampton

That'll do for Friday evening methinks.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Manners for the Modern Age

I’ve noticed that you’ve been a little upset about my recent social media output, particularly the tweet, “Oh my god, will the loneliness never end? #ImMiserable” which, as you deftly noticed, was tweeted during our second anniversary dinner date. As my significant other, you have every right to be upset. But, as I’ve said many times: I love you, but happiness doesn’t fit my personal brand narrative strategy.
My market research shows that nihilism is hot right now. Malcontent millennials tend to share posts significantly more if it contains phrases like “I’m dead inside,” or “I’m am consumed by despair.” So, while I do love you and love the life we share together, expressing that joy on social media would undo all the work I’ve put into carefully crafting my personal brand’s “voice.” It’s called strategy for a reason, babe.
I have 665 followers on Twitter — that’s almost 700. Can you imagine what would happen if all of the sudden my personal brand narrative went from self-deprecating existential musings to “Hey guys, I’m in love!” What would my followers think? Sure, most of them are our mutual friends and colleagues, but still, who would they turn to? I can’t bare the thought of ever finding out.
If I want to have a strong brand narrative, my “voice” has to be consistent across all distribution channels. So, yes, that does mean captioning Instagram photos of us with “If I had a time machine I would change everything. EVERYTHING.” And yes, that does mean that when I check in to our favorite restaurant on Facebook the caption is just that straight-line-mouth emoticon. And, yes again, that even means pinning cross-stitch patterns that say STARING INTO THE ENDLESS BLACK VOID on my Pinterest page. That’s just strong brand equity common sense.
And, really, just because I am not constantly professing my love for you online doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I do love you. I tell you that all the time in private. So, when I say “I love you, you are my life,” I mean it. The fact that I tweet, “I hate my life, I want to die” immediately afterward doesn’t change a thing.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Jason Bourne topples Star Trek from US box office summit

The latest film in the Bourne series has topped the US box office after taking $60m (£45.3m) on its opening weekend.
Jason's Bourne's second unit director, Jonnie's Uncle Simon. Current gig, action unit director on "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" reshoots.

It is nearly ten years since I heard about him (Icons passim). It always cheers me up to hear what he is doing, for some reason.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Cut and Cured

I finally made it to Cut & Cured yesterday. "Located in heart of London's historic Merton Abbey Mills, Cut & Cured is a purveyor of some of the finest cheeses and cured meats from across the UK and Europe" so I asked them to recommend a cheese to go with the apple butter I was inspired to make by a Hang Fire recipe and the the sour fruit of the tree I planted in the garden five years ago.

I also tried a couple of bottles of the Kernel Brewery stouts and porters they stock, only to discover that they are up to 9% proof when I had estimated about 4%. That meant I had to walk home and leave the car behind. A development that led to a lot of head scratching this morning until I remembered.