Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What do you mean you don't like jazz?

FAO Frankie and Sophie; the only La La Land bluffer's guide you'll ever need.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cradle to the Stage

Broadcasting legend Danny Baker has announced that he will be going on tour for the first time ever in his illustrious and varied career. ‘Cradle To The Stage’ will begin in Leeds at the City Varieties on 1 February 2017, as part of a 36 date tour across the UK, culminating at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 1 April.
The Shepherd's bush Empire it will be then. April Fools' day or Friday March 31.

Update: Too Late. Sold Out.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


On the afternoon of Saturday February 11th, we will be dining at Sorabol, a Korean restaurant on New Malden, before heading to the Charles Holden for the England Wales game.

Some sort of set dinner will probably be the best bet as we are new to this sort of dining.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense

My professional advice from the British Gas Homecare man today is that my house has been so cold all month because the boiler was turned down too low. Possibly I should have been able to figure that out myself.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Roll on the final

Rutlish beat Glyn school 19-17 in a thunderous county cup semi final yesterday. I don't think I have ever seen Ben as thrilled as he was when he kicked the ball out of play in the last move of the game to secure the win. Jonnie H got 9 of the 19 points with a try and two conversions.

Bring on the final. I am very pleased for the boys as this is the last hurrah for a cohort that will be split into different sixth form colleges next year.

I had to cadge a lift from Ollie as the AA didn't arrive in time for me to drive to the game. I am waiting for them at home again this morning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Should have just stayed in bed

Whatever happens will be for the worse, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible.
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
The car wouldn't start this morning and I have walked to the office. Ben still feels rough but will "push through and play" in the semi final today. If it goes ahead that is, there is a pitch inspection due this morning. If it is on, how will I get there? I will have to go home and hope AA Home Start can get me on the road by this afternoon.

In an ideal world the whole day would have been postponed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pay Attention 007

I am assembling action camera kit for the Bomber's half term skiing holiday. The SD card required the most pencil chewing. 32GB will give 240 mins on 1080p30 or 320 mins on 720p60. I would have thought 720p60 would be the way forward. 30p is far too slow a frame rate for mobile video. Youtube will also handle 720/60p far better as it doesn't have to convert the fields to its native format. A professional videographer who shoots in 720p a lot says "I can assure you that unless you are replaying on something bigger than a 50" screen you will not see any difference in resolution."

Five hours and twenty minutes a day ought to be enough footage I would have thought.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A clicking tock

The Bomber is off school, shivering and coughing, hardly able to speak.

The Schools County Cup semi final is on Wednesday.

Oh dear.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


I got a call asking if I was OK after failing to post yesterday and the day before.

I am alive. I was just too busy on Friday and too lazy on Saturday.

I will back-fill and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Concerning today

“Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits…”

Friday, January 20, 2017

The End of History and the Last Man

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity's sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.
What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
On the day that Donald Trump is sworn in as President of the USA, I can't help but wonder if Fukuyama F ever feels embarrassed about coming up with such a load of old tat; ditto, the Arab Spring, another more recent liberal fantasy.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lost in London

No-one has ever shot a movie and live-broadcast it into cinemas at the same time. No-one’s ever been that stupid... until now.
Woody Harrelson is to film Lost In London, on location with a single camera, tonight at half past one in the morning. It will be broadcast to US cinemas live (plus one British cinema, Picturehouse Central). Harrelson stars as himself, alongside Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson.

What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Dry January may have fallen by the wayside but I did crack my other target for the month (rowing 500m  in less than one minute and  fifty seconds on the Concept) yesterday.

I clocked 1:49.4 which is 1.3 seconds than my previous best. I guess this means that 1:45 is the next target. I used to take two minutes and ten seconds when I started this campaign at the beginning of August so that is pretty good progress.

That was at lunchtime. In the evening I went to see Wimbledon AFC lose to Sutton in the FA Cup replay; less good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Come aboard the Danny train

As I finished the Guy Pratt book, I remember thinking that Danny Baker would have loved it. As it happens, he probably does as GP was on the DB show in June last year. The whole shebang is embedded above for your listening pleasure above. The particular layer of jam in which we are interested starts after 49 minutes if you haven't got time to eat the the whole sponge cake.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Very superstitious, writing's on the wall

It has just struck me that I broke the bathroom mirror on Friday 13th last week.

That would explain my luck over the weekend then.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Alpha Blondy - I Wish You Were Here

A reggae version with bagpipes. Slowly February's masterplan reveals itself.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Glass Menagerie

Tickets booked for the Duke of York theatre in April.

Friday, January 13, 2017


My little seven month old nephew had a four hour operation to remove a cyst from his intestines. He is out of theatre now, sleeping but full of tubes. Fingers crossed for the weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing

Oliver Reed: Wild Thing, a play by Mike Davis and Rob Crouch returns to the Kings Head Theatre from 10 – 28 January 2017.
This one-man homage to renowned actor Oliver Reed returns following runs at the Edinburgh Festival, a UK Tour and a critically acclaimed London run.
Join legendary hell-raiser Oliver Reed as he shares his incredible life story whilst knocking back a drink or four. Reed’s was a life well lived, hear about the success of Oliver!, boozy adventures with Keith Moon, his boyhood excitement of learning he was a descendant of Peter The Great and those disastrous chat show appearances.
I can get there by taking the Northern Line from home to Angel underground without even needing to change tube lines. It is as if the dice were loaded against Dry January from the start.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tout sonne mieux en fran├žais

In the course of winning the Antelope quiz on Monday I identified a short extract from Tilted by Christine and the Queens in the music round, announcing that it was my favourite single of the year; something I hadn't realised up to then. Please find the French original below as an added bonus.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Chris Grayling: Lord of all he surveys.

Here is the Department for Transport's Single departmental plan 2015 to 2020.

The DfT says it has a vision:
This government is investing to make journeys better: simpler, faster and more reliable. Our plan will support jobs, enable business growth, and bring our country closer together.
Perhaps the word vision doesn't mean what I think it does.

It also has objectives:
  1. Boosting economic growth and opportunity
  2. Building a One Nation Britain
  3. Improving journeys
  4. Safe, secure and sustainable transport
You may wish to consider how it is performing against them if you commute via the tube or Southern Rail. I am lucky enough to be able to walk along the river Wandle to work of I don't fancy driving.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Highballs for Breakfast

I fell off the wagon this weekend as regards Dry January. Can I get back on? Dr Strabismus (Whom God Preserve) of Utrecht is pointing me in both directions.
How Wasted Are You? This Wearable Will Tell You: Get Back On
We've all heard plenty about Fitbit and other wristbands that promise to Change Your Life For The Better!, but one new wearable gadget may actually revolutionize the way you drink.
Marketed as "a premium wearable for happy hours, wine tastings, and more," Proof by Milo Sensors is a slim wristband that functions much like all those fitness trackers you keep hearing about, but it doesn't track your motions—it reads alcohol molecules through your skin to tell you how drunk you are.
If You Love Having a Beer in the Shower, This Brew Is for You: Stay Off
We've all had a shower beer. Why? Because it's one of the few pure, unadulterated pleasures in life. And now, a Swedish brewery has created the ultimate shower beer, because it's designed specifically for that very purpose.
PangPang Brewery partnered with creative agency Snask to create the appropriately dubbed Shower Beer, which is "sweet, but strong" and "meant to gulp in three sips while standing the shower."

Sunday, January 08, 2017

FA Cup Third Round

Andy told me that Bradley (Callum's brother) came on for Sutton in the FA Cup draw with AFC Wimbledon yesterday. I didn't even know he played for them.

I will try and get along to the replay.
In the days of Premier League sides fielding weakened teams and treating the competition as an inconvenience, this is where the spirit of the FA Cup resides.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Bass: How low can you go?

I started reading My Bass and Other Animals out of vague interest because Guy Pratt is Ollie's cousin. It is actually hilarious and, because he is the same age as me, very resonant.

I'm going to see his show on Feb 10.

GUY PRATT IS THE SIDEMAN: a one-man show celebrating 30 years as the bass player of choice for the heavyweights of rock and pop. Guy Pratt is a Grammy award winning bassist who has played live and on record with such megastars as Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Roxy Music, Bryan ferry, Robert Palmer, Gary Moore, Womack & Womack, Jimmy page and David Coverdale… and worked as a studio sideman for artists including Madonna, Michael Jackson, the pretenders, Kirsty MacColl and Elton John.

In his one man, Guy regales audiences with stories from behind behind the scenes. His self-deprecating wit is irrestible and so are his rip-roaring anecdotes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. If you’re a musician, you’ll probably sue…

Friday, January 06, 2017


Martin Scorsese's latest is out today. Two hours and forty minutes of faith, doubt and apostasy as Jesuits confront suffering and God’s silence in 17th century Japan.

I may have to come to terms with going to see it on my own. I can't immediately think of anyone else who would jump at the opportunity to crunch popcorn and slurp cola through 160 minutes of Marty wrestling with the great unanswerable spiritual and existential questions.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

The Onion: 5 Things to know about Amazon Echo

My brother called last night to rave about his Amazon Echo and tell me that one of my nephews got a Dot for Christmas. Hyperbole not withstanding, this thing could be unstoppable.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

If This Then That

Pippa (Icons passim) found a flat and moved out just before Christmas. I find it astonishing that she was with me for nearly two months. It seems like no time at all.

It has, however, freed me to start messing about with If This Then That, and particularly its integration with my Hive heating system. I could hardly have it switching on and off based on my whereabouts when there might be someone else in the house.

The idea behind IFTTT is simple. It is a web-based service that allows me to create chains of simple conditional statements, called "applets", which are triggered based on changes to other web services.

The day before yesterday I created an applet used Android Location automatically to set the thermostat to schedule whenever I arrived at or near home. It didn't seem to fire at first, but it worked a charm yesterday.

Last night, I created an applet to set the temperature to 7 centigrade (enough to stop the place freezing up) whenever I left. That didn't kick in until lunch time even though I was at work before nine. With any luck it will bed in like Monday's effort.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017


As is becoming traditional, I bowled up with burritos and the makings of picklebacks at the Hendries' Boxing Day party. A pickleback, for the uninitiated, being a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle juice.

The first time I unleashed the PB on an unsuspecting audience I used the brine from my brother's home made kimchi.  This time I made my own.

Now it seems (hat tip Frankie) that you can buy cans of bespoke mixing brine at sixteen bucks for four.

Considering that all that is involved is boiling up sugar, salt, vinegar and spice perhaps I should start knocking out my own artisanal range.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Bucking Broncos

We just got an email saying that Ben hasn't made it to the Broncos squad for this year's games. He seems OK with it.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

January, sick and tired, you've been hanging on me.

As my second Dry January kicks off, I would like to weigh less than thirteen stone at the end of it as well as having got my 500m Concept row personal best below one minute fifty seconds.

This means losing two pounds and shaving 0.7 seconds off my time so it is hardly shooting for the moon.