Friday, June 30, 2017

Bitcoin ATMs in London


Fancy that! I had no idea such things existed. That said there aren't any really local to me. Maybe I will check one out next time I am in Leicester Square or if the Burglar's proposed visit to the UK's only Burger Singh outlet in Victoria comes off.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


John McEnroe is in conversation with John Inverdale at Wimbledon Bookfest one-off event tonight. It will be his only UK appearance to promote his new book. It originally sold out in about eight minutes. It really is quite astounding that we have access to technology that can support such a feat.

The festival proper is in October. This year's festival line was released today and is now on sale to BookFest Friends. General sales will open on Thursday 13 July.

You can see it on It all went a lot more smoothly than 2016. That is for sure.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


I am run ragged today hence the briefest of posts.

ERDINGER Weißbräu – a private German brewery since 1886 – is bringing the Oktoberfest event to London this October 5th – 22nd, 2017!

Welcome to the Cardiff Oktoberfest! Cardiff Oktoberfest will be on Roald Dahl Plass just in the middle of the city. 14th - 19th of September.

Only in Wales could Oktoberfest be in September. It is like getting your retaliation in first on the rugby pitch.

If I can't decide between Cardiff and London, I may need to go to both.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Buying the support of 10 MPs for a billion pounds works out at £100,000,000 per MP and vote.

In a related development, and after listening to his performance on Radio 4's Today programme this morning, if Michael Fallon - Secretary of State for Defence - me and a cow pat ever find ourselves in close proximity, things are going to get messy.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How low can you go?

Building a bass guitar is a great way to spend a day. Who knew?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Penalty Charge Notice

I have got a penalty charge notice from the Council.

50R - Performing a prohibited turn (No right turn for vehicular traffic)
Location: MTC- Kingston Road (No right turn into Morden Road) Time: 08:00

I will have to pay up. My own Google Maps Timeline has got me bang to rights. That is the same Google Maps I was tracking my brother with as he made his way up the M4 to London for the weekend yesterday. The location sharing feature was the culprit there.

Is this the death of privacy?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tall stories

Here are Ben and Jonnie graduating from Rutlish yesterday now that their GCSEs are finished. Considering Ben is a pretty solid six feet three inches I wonder how tall that makes Jonnie. Equivalent photos from primary school and first day in secondary school below.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What have you got to hide?

Centrica, the company which operates British Gas in the UK, has launched a new member of the Hive Connected Home family: the Hive Camera. The Hive Camera will let me watch what’s going on in your home over a 24/7 high-definition livestream.

I can view the footage using a dedicated mobile app, which can also be used to record all movement while logging the time and date.

The camera contains a sensor that tracks motion and audio detection, and is capable of night-vision recording. I can zoom in remotely, and even trigger sounds like a police siren, a dog bark, or a ringing alarm. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Better still, there’s two-way audio functionality, which means that I can listen to everything you say, as well as speaking through the camera to correct you when you get things wrong.

We can pick up the new Hive Camera for £129 in the UK, but it doesn’t go on sale until June 29, 2017. Perhaps I can get a bulk discount if I buy one for every room.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Welcome to my world. Won't you come on in?

A guy who lives about five minutes away from my mum and dad in Cardiff has driven a van into a crowd of pedestrians by the Finsbury Park mosque that I have walked past whenever I've been to see the Arsenal at the Emirates stadium.

It shouldn't make it seem more real, but it does.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Boxing Clever

I was very happy to see that Andre Ward stopped Sergey Kovalev with a masterful performance in their light-heavyweight rematch this weekend to take him to 32 wins from 32 in his career; surely now he is the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

I tagged Ward as the coming man (see Icons passim) all those years ago around Fathers' Day 2008, and I resent Kovalev, as he took local boy Nathan Cleverly's WBO light heavyweight championship belt from him in Cardiff back in 2013 (Icons passim).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father’s Song

An unreleased Prince track is available to listen to ahead of its appearance on the forthcoming Purple Rain reissue, and rather appropriate for today.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Gaelic football

Andy "tea merchant" has pointed out that I have neglected Gaelic football in my estimation of the Irish-sports-spectator-load at the Standard of a weekend.

Sky Sports fill in the blanks for today and tomorrow:
Another feast of GAA action is just around the corner with places in the provincial finals up for grabs - we look ahead to some of the talking points going into this weekend's action.
In Leinster, Offaly and Westmeath will do it all again after their draw last weekend with the Dubs lying in wait for the winners.
The opening round of All-Ireland qualifiers gets underway with Wicklow at home to Laois, Louth taking on Longford, Sligo hosting Antrim and Derry making the trip to Dungarvan to face Waterford.
Roscommon go head to head with Leitrim in the Connacht semi-final , Tyrone will do battle with Donegal while our live Sky Sports game will be from Tullamore on Saturday night when Meath and Kildare target the Leinster final.
Frankly I am none the wiser.

Friday, June 16, 2017

In one era, out the other

“On with the dance! let joy be unconfin'd;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the Glowing Hours with Flying feet.”
Which is a roundabout way of saying Ben has finished his GCSEs.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I was arguing with the Burglar about blockchain yesterday. A blockchain – originally block chain – is a distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. It is the foundation upon which cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are established.

When Paul and I start bickering about something obscure it usually means that the zeitgeist is signalling that it is about to become important and prominent.

The other thing the argument demonstrated is that neither of us understands it very well.

That needs to change.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Someone has put together a 'Dan Fish Tribute - 2017' video on YouTube. What a pity he's been injured for the last few months. Surely with Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams away with the Lions and Welsh full backs (Phil Dollman, Rhun Williams) dropping like flies he would have had a great chance of a cap this Friday against Tonga if he had been fit.

Monday, June 12, 2017


THe score in the Leinster semi-final was Wexford 1-20 Kilkenny 3-11. Eagle eyed viewers will have noticed that there are four numbers in the score rather than two. Here is what Wikipedia says:
Scoring is achieved by sending the sliotar (ball) between the opposition's goal posts. The posts, which are at each end of the field, are "H" posts as in rugby football but with a net under the crossbar as in football. The posts are 6.4 m apart and the crossbar is 2.44 m above the ground.
If the ball goes over the crossbar, a point is scored and a white flag is raised by an umpire. If the ball goes below the crossbar, a goal, worth three points, is scored, and a green flag is raised by an umpire. A goal must be scored by either a striking motion or by directly soloing the ball into the net. The goal is guarded by a goalkeeper. Scores are recorded in the format {goal total} – {point total}. For example, the 1997 All-Ireland final finished: Clare 0–20 Tipperary 2–13. Thus Clare won by "twenty points to nineteen" (20 to 19). 2–0 would be referred to as "two goals", never "two zero". 0–0 is said "no score".
This Wexford won 23-19. All clear?

In other news - if you can call it news - the Republic Ireland drew one all with Austria and Serbia drew one all with Wales, leaving the top four places in the World Cup Qualifying Group D completely unchanged.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Irish Sport on the Telly today

Racing from the Curragh 1.45pm - 5:45 - At The Races

Ulster SFC quarter-final
Cavan v Monaghan, Breffni Park, 2pm – RTE

Connacht SFC semi-final
Galway v Mayo, Pearse Stadium, 4pm – RTE

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying - Group D
Republic of Ireland v Austria 5pm - Sky Sports 1 HD

Then for me:
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying - Group D
Serbia v Wales 7:45pm - Sky Sports 1 HD (19:15)

Bacon rolls all round.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


If you drive you can take the 8am Bikram class at Wimbledon Hot Yoga and still get back to the Charles Holden for the last quarter of the Lions game.

It won't do for the tests obviously, which have to be taken in in their entirety, but it worked for me this morning and should fit the bill next Saturday as well.

Friday, June 09, 2017

At the races

A channel called At The Races always seems to be on in the Standard, so I guess I need to start paying attention to the schedule while we are catering.

On Saturday, Raceday Live runs from 1:15pm to 9:15 and consists of afternoon action from Greyville and a twilight meeting from the Curragh, followed by action from Stratford and Chepstow.

On Sunday, racing from the Curragh is the afternoon's feature.

I have heard of Stratford and Chepstow as they are in England and Wales respectively, and it turns out that Greyville Racecourse is a Thoroughbred race track in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, while the Curragh Racecourse, usually referred to as simply The Curragh, is Ireland's most important Thoroughbred racecourse (situated on the Curragh plain in County Kildare, between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare).

All grist to the mill along with my research into the weekend's team sports; forewarned is forearmed.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

No Matter Who You Vote For The Government Always Gets In

Put my usual tick in the box for Siobhain McDonagh (Labour) on the way into work today.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

This weekend

Saturday June 10


World Cup Euro Qual - Group F
Scotland v England, 5pm - Sky Sports


Munster SFC semi-final
Cork v Tipperary, Pairc Ui Rinn, 5pm - RTE

Leinster SHC semi-final
Wexford v Kilkenny, Wexford Park, 7pm – Sky Sports


Summer Tour
Argentina v England, 8:15pm - BBC 2

I ought to be able to knock a burger or two out over the late afternoon and early evening in a sports mad Irish pub full of TV screens in London this Saturday I would have thought.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


In the USA the public is advised to RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT. Fight - as a last resort - if your life is at risk.

In the UK, we are advised to RUN, HIDE and TELL in an incident like the London Bridge attack.

I've embedded the official videos above. I think the American idea is better.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Hilarity ensues

If I'm not as talented as Viv Stanshall does that mean I'm sub-Stanshall?

It is a joke you see. Sub-Stanshall is a homonym of substantial. I made it up myself.

Prodnose: Are you the front end of an ass?

Myself: No.

Prodnose: Are you the back end of an ass?

Myself: I'm not.

Prodnose: Then you are no end of an ass.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Possibly, an armchair like me.

I am back from Cardiff. As ever, Lord Vivian of Stanshall has provided a soundtrack that fits.

Growing up to be like dad,
 death defying times ahead,
 retelling stories old
  of times when dad was older/younger.

Now he sits and has every comfort,
and sits with a washable cover.
Yet it niggles him that his life has gone by.

So he says to his son:
 I don't want to think,
 I'm not paid to think,
 I've retired you see ........

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Local boy made god

Kyle Sinckler (Icons passim) starts for the Lions this morning. Hats off to him, especially as he is a rare modern honorary international rugby representative of the League of Short-Arses (Founder and President - me).

Friday, June 02, 2017

Going in and out of style

Amid all the fuss about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the 1978 movie featuring The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton seems to have been forgotten. Press play above if you want to know why David Ansen of Newsweek dismissed it as "a film with a dangerous resemblance to wallpaper."

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Over Sharing

There is a newish location sharing feature in Google Maps. I am going to Cardiff this weekend, so I have configured it to run until about noon on Sunday. I tried to enable all my siblings for it, but only John and Vince seem to have Google accounts that let me do so without extra jiggery pokery. It might be handy for them to get an idea of what time I'll arrive, or where I am when I pop out on errands for ma and pa.

I set it up for Paul as well so I could look over his shoulder what this sharing actually means in practice. To my astonishment he was able to work out from it (while sitting in his office) that I had stopped at an ATM when I popped home at lunchtime.

This could take emotionally abusive relationships to a whole new level. Imagine what Jake LaMotta could have done with such a tool in Raging Bull.