30 January 2008

Patron Saint of the Internet?

I make that a question because it seems such an utterly daft idea ... and that's coming from someone now living in the land of whispering chasubles, patron saints and, of supreme importance, NAME days.

Speaking around which, today's saint (Jan 30) is St Martina's, "Virgin and Martyr with incredible torments", which I find incredibly sad (and kinda kinky - what 'incredible' torments? Spell 'em out) because if a lady's going to be pushed around past the point of credulity, the least Le Bon Dieu could allow her is a decent roll in the sack.

Actually, it's not St Martina's - I just wanted to get that torment bit in - it's name day of Ara, Chrysi, Mavros, and Trion Ierarhon and I'm off the hook of having to rush out Emeral bakery for last-mibute cakes because I know no one of those names.

Alors - back to the subject matter. Envelope please ... and the saintly surfer is ... Saint Isidore.

Say who? Is that man or woman? Is that like, like, Saint Ashley? (Actually damn'd good saint for the 'Net, much more suitable than this Isidore cove)

And whom do we thank for Isidore? The Observation Service for Internet (which doesn't look like this link at all and has a very weird sense of humor over what it thinks it can and cannot find).

Anyway, the OSI is said to have drawn

"it's mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint that best reflects the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users.

The saint chosen by the Observation Service for Internet was Saint Isidore. "The saint who wrote the well-known 'Etymologies' (a type of dictionary), gave his work a structure akin to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as 'flashes;' it is very modern, notwithstanding the fact it was discovered in the sixth century.

Saint Isidore accomplished his work with great coherence: it is complete and its features are complementary in themselves."

So there, and God bless St Isidore for enabling this educational post *and* for the Paul Pair.

29 January 2008

Ain't talkin', just walkin'

One day I'll stand beside my King and I'll ask him why Bob Dylan's music works on so many levels and moods.

I've puffed to John Lee on Wanchai hookahs (prolly even puffed on a hookah on a hooker, dread pun); knocked back G&Ts on floating palaces as 'Trane tampered interminably with Favorite Things; junked on Jansch in Baguio bivouacs ... I have listened to most music in most situations and circumstances and if I was allowed one Desert Island Disc with which to be dumped anywhere - one album to cope with every mood - dash it, it would have to be El Zimmer.

I don't understand, why the maestro's gravel tones? Why not Callas or Pavarotters, Beethoven's 4th piano or any of Gil Evans' for Miles? I give up.

Packing Heat

Yes, indeed. Impact is the good font here, got that Dirty Harry feel to it.

Mind you, if someone came up with a 'Dirty Harry' font, I'd use nowt else.

Clint taking Design School:

"... maybe I used five fonts, maybe I used six. In all the confusion, I lost count.

So the only question is, do you feel lucky?

Do you? Punk?"

Got to get that period in. So many imitators get it wrong and go, "Do you, punk?" No one does Clint like Clint, like no one does Charles Buchinski.

But you know what? I'd give anything to be a fly behind closed doors if those two ever got together over a bottle of Brett-88 and did versions of the other. There's one to rocket up Youtube.

Where was I? Ah yes, never using one word where 12 will do, as a monosyllabic Yorkshire lady mocked me the other night.

Falls to knees in Obsequy-Xtreme mode, arms outstretched, one hand clutching a komboloi, t'other a rosary.

Heavenly Father, I know I'm just a repressed colonial boy from the marshes of Mai Po, talk thru my tonsils and had the wretched bad luck to be educated in Pliny and Parsifal, composing Latin verse at six and debating the diabolic intellect of Iago before my 14th birthday (loometh, chaps - Feb 4, wishlist on Guns&Ammo, and yes, I do feel lucky. Punk.

But before I go to that celestial dojo, please - I beseech thee - let me just once slip 'packing heat' into the conversation without people assuming I'm talking about that gizmo that warms chapped hands or that Mummy's insisted on me wearing my longjohns.

Rules are rules, B'wana, so it must be in perfect, unforced context.

None of this joshing with the lads and 'Buffy' Bidwell commenting on the barmaid's 'bristols' and I go

"Pistol? Someone say pistol? Funny you bring that up because - some of the types one bumps into at night - I'm seriously thinking of - ah - 'packing some heat', doncha know?"
.I want it in my lap and it to slide out just like that. Not too much to ask, is it?
.That's all, just wanted to mention it, let you know where I'm 'coming from'.

Well, 12 words for 1, let me tell you my Clint Eastwood story.

I once worked for a Bellevue company ("PR to the tech gentry")which handled the press for a Clint Eastwood DVD which is how I got to fly down to Portland and meet the great man.

This is how you know I'm not lying - I cannot for the life of me remember the precise line Clint came up with and, believe you me, I get these lines right if it squeezes every last creative drop out of me.

He wasn't in the best of moods but he was being civil to the bevy of boys and girls scurrying around him.

I made some comment about l'Homme sans Nom being admirably monosyllabic and he swiveled me The Look.

"Now that's a word you don't hear much in this business ..." and then went on to deliver a very succinct observation on how come a word like that is so long when what it describes is etc, or it could have been how come 'monosyllabic' is exactly as long as its 'antonym'? He used antonym, I said 'good point' and we both adjusted our conversational ponchos.

There, my Clint story.

A very cultured man, not one you'd catch agonising in his blog over how to 'pack' you-know-what.

ron paul advert from sedition.com

A Nice Pair

Ouch, Mr Sedition dot com is soo not going to embrace me for lifting the pic of that delightful young lady to adorn my own drab pages. But a chap has to resort to anything to keep up appearance.

Besides, after this past summer of topless horrors, I think we need reminding of God's good work when he focuses on the job.

No idea what that charmante is selling - Vote early and often for Mr Paul, I guess - and nor do I care. That is a nice pair, and I know from pair.

We'll have reached a pretty pass when a man can't squeeze eye-candy into his own drab blog.

What's that you say? Why can't I just keep the Seditious one on speed click and save you all this vulgarity? Well I *can* but then I'd have to read all his texty stuff and he's gone so *austere* of late, all survivalist-lite and bringing down brimstone on nambie-pambies like me.

Anyway, I believe in "You hone my Buck, I'll tungsten your Spyderco". Think of all my delicate readers who've previously fluttered, "Eeuuww, me read Sedition? I don't think so. I've never understood why he lists it in the first place."

Now they're like "Duude! You mean there's babes, to boot? Maybe I've been misjudging."

(Psst, no you haven't)

4 days' mourning

If it weren't for my new best reading, Domina Grecia, I wouldn't have known and been able to alert my fellow ex-pat Kerkyravers of certain goings on.

First off, if some of my compatriots could be bothered to glance up from their pints of warm British beer, they'd notice that the The Most Blessed Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Christodoulos, passed away early on the morning of January 28, 2008.

For those who rely on the Sun and News of the World for current affairs, I'm not too sure your rags will covered this in much detail: the old boy was suffering from metastatic cancer of the liver, even popped over to the U.S. in case the Big Guy had decreed success with a transplant. But no.

Loipon. Heads-up guys:

"Greece is in the midst of four days of national mourning.

On Thursday, with schools and all government offices closed [my emphases], the funeral liturgy will begin at 10 a.m.

After the liturgy, the coffin will be placed on a caisson escorted by troops from all three services. The funeral procession will follow downtown streets to the First Cemetery only a stone’s throw from the columns of the temple of Olympian Zeus.

See? We foreigners don't have the same bush telegraph and, with Wednesday being half-day shopping, it's highly likely that the entire British contingent will rise Thursday morning with vital chores entirely dependent on government services being operative.

Not readers of 'Corfucius' (or Dom Grec): we are on a higher branch of the grapevine.

27 January 2008

time on their side

Yes indeedy. Some folks've got a leetle too much time to spare - as must Yrs Truly to even think of posting on this nonsense.

While on the subject:

  • Do believe it all?
  • Did *your* slinky evah go downstairs that smoothly?
  • And all the rest of the tricks that went so smoothly?
  • I smell hocus pocus
  • Has she, hasn't she?

    I actually shun those gizmos that alert you to when someone has read your mail - I mean, who cares? And can't I configure my Microsoft (crosses self) mail thingy to do that if I so want (which I so do not)

    Except that *right* now I'm going thru silly bugger games with someone almost as infantile as me, including naturellement the chicken e-chicanerie of making each other sweat over the possibility that our messages are (like ourselves) so uninteresting that we're not even bothering to open them to see what new jejunerie we've come up with.

    Pretty desolate, huh? And when we're out together, and I'm remembering to hold my back straight and webbed jowels taut, we 2 can pull off a world-class look. Waiters nod and wheel; barmen leave tourist trash waving their vulgar Euros to attend to our every need.

    Sumo jumeaux of the Universe; unbeatable.

    This one is SpyPig and is "a simple email tracking system that sends you a notification email as soon as the recipient opens and reads your message."

    Ha ha - gotcha! God how pathetic - have I/we really been reduced to this? Guess so - and with someone with whom I should be hunched over a bottle of Tsiporo giggling at someone *else's* having been reduced to such tomfoolery.

    Know what? I should be sending her mail (booby-trapped with SpyPig, natch) saying:

    "Know what? We shouldn't be doing this. We should be pitying all the poor creeps brought low to Spy-cochoneries and without folks like us in our lives with whom to cuddle and giggle and mock the poor souls who've been reduced to etc."

    So, it like works with most mail progs - Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Eudora (dude! remember that?) ... the usual suspects.

    Amazon dot connerie

    Ahh ... if only Amazon would do this with their site for just a blink of a mouse.

    What a wonderful Poisson d'avril it would be ... a glint of juvenile humour, just for the first 30 minutes of Tuesday April 1st. Please?

    Who's going to be up at that hour? OK, the whole world is up, chatting in demented Delphi rooms under faux niks and pics and making believe everyone else is genuine.

    Tipple tipple, glug - suddenly they feel like shopping!! Yaayy!! Where're they gonna go ... ??

    Oh what a wonderful wheeze to put them off their alcoholic stride for just a nano-second. Better far than seeing pink elephants cavorting around the wallpaper.

    Alas, not gonna happen.

    Idée: get those Anonymes currently bedeviling the scientology types to work the same magic on that thar Hubbard site. That *would* be entertaining and of course would rocket up the likes of YouTube.

    Of course, Lord of the Nitekrüe could knock something like this off before his breakfast kedgeree was ready, but he's busy reading the riot act to his brood (they having reached 'that age') so all those fancy techie tricks from the O'Reilly canon are back on the burner.

    Stop Press: Wouldn't you just know it - even as I craft this post, messages are thudding onto my InBox pleading "Stop with the dumb Dutch site - you are the bazillionth one to send it! Enough already!"

    Grrr, don't you hate it when you find your brilliant witty share is just an Also Ran?

    I'm heading out for lunch where, no doubt, I'll be greeted with dour expressions over the Bloody Marys,

    "Yass', dude. Yep, got yer mail. Yours and everyone else's. Ho ho, tres drôle."

    "So ... did anyone seen TV this morning? Can you beLIEVE this Zahopoulos joker?"

    "I know, and have you seen the size of that mutha? Man, poor Evi."

    tsekou"Sosta! But has anyone seen an honest-to-God decent *shot* of this Tsekou broad? I can't work out if she's hot or what ..."

    "Yo, if she was hot she wouldn't be doing the double-dos avec manatee chops there."

    Nods and grunts and slurps of BMs.

    Oyez oyez ~ new link alert: You know how finnicky I am about my crême-de-la-crême Links.

    Loipon. I have added new reading on 'Greek Affairs' and very educational it will be for widespread family and fans o'er the globe.

    Domina Graecia seems to be a pleasantly sprightly - in its own words - "parody of 'strong' Greece, and so much more always with a pinch of impatience".

    'Pinch of impatience', eh? 'Pon my soul, I like a little alliterative levity from my online pundits.

    Clock Prob - no longer ~ Loipon - I leave this here to make the reply comment make sense. I *had* remarked on the clock being un peu dodgy. Domina's Dominus read my plaint and fixed it in a trice.

    God bless blogs; God bless attentive editors.

    Doxa to theo!

    You know what they say about white men, don't you?

    At last.

    At last something I can send to all those bright guys I was at school with - Afsar and Mumtaz and Nevin et al - as well as  those Mumbai Hero/ine(s) who guide the destiny of La Vie Bezosienne (not to mention the coffer strings).

    By t' heck, if not Goodness Gracious Me, we had it coming.

    26 January 2008

    Posing as 13-yr-old

    Nice provocative headline there.

    Purely as a literary exercise and because I arrogantly believe I can write in most styles, I have been fascinated by these cases where predatory paedos cruising the junior chat gartens are lured, hooked and nabbed by the fuzz posing as aforementioned juniors.

    I mean, how suspicious and careful do you have to be as a stalking villain that you don't fall into a trap? Very, I say.

    I know you'll say this is just a line, but I don't actually know any junior rooms or even actual *juniors*, come to think of it, except for my own Spitfire who yesterday turned 17 so there's another one off the wishlist and past her Lure-by-Date.

    But I have in the past asked to test my skills when she came to visit me of weekends and sat happily tapping to her pals under their horrific names.

    These were 12-13 yr olds that I had also met and played chauffeur to, plus whatever I had overheard on the incessant phone chats.

    I'll give the Spitfire this, she found the whole thing embarrassing and distasteful but indulged her old man.

    I only lasted about three exchanges before someone would rumble me and ask if something was wrong.

    So hats off to Mr Fuzz who lured none other than Hizzonner into his web. God how embarrassing - and imagine the reaction of the electorate when they found they'd voted for a berk who couldn't even tell a cop from a cutie-pie.

    Top 10 Barama Campaign Promises

    I'm just a starchy Brit who prefers never to lose face, which is why I admire Senator Barama for appearing on Letterman and reading out his own Top 10 campaign promises.

    Of course, I also rather like some of them:

  • 2: Krekt pernunciation of 'nucular'
  • 7: Wrassle a 'gator
  • 5: Barack-tober
  • 8: Secretary of Lookin' Good
  • chris langan

    24 January 2008

    Best Search Sites

    The Daily Teleg's belle Claudine Beaumont shows us where to go.

    Also rather good on Facebook Fatigue which I will not yet own up to lest I show my flagging age and uncoolness. But I do find these articles of interest because so many of my Amazon colleagues went off to play in this direction.

    Comment comment: Dis-donc if not tiens!

    The far-from-flâneurial Kyrios Vathelis shows *me* where to go (if not get off) with his generous informative Comment.

    Everyone please read it and give page the multi-over so it shoots up Google's rating and he gets famous and blouse-bulging groupies bash on his door and all the rest of the stuff we blog for.

    Actually he's right and I knew it even as I pasted it, but I fancy yon Claudine and I thought if I gave her a plug, next time in The Antelope she'd saunter over and say hi and thanks and gosh, saayy embarrassing because the chief happened to see it and mentioned it in the meeting in front of like everyone and afterwards Eric came up to me in the canteen - he's our HR honcho and we all keep in with him - and he said ... oh dear, your girlfriend's giving me scowls - anyway, look, we're having some people round for drinks on Thursday and I'd love it if you could come - do bring anyone, oh she isn't? hmmm - very casual, drinks and nibbles and Daddy's taking a few of us out for proper food later and of course you're invited - everyone's *dying* to meet you so do try to make it. Sooper. Byee

    Et voilà, my couvert blown.

    23 January 2008

    Hot Shopping

    bimbo shop sign 

    The first time I was walking down Gardikiotis St with The Spitfire, and we spotted this wonderful sign, I said "Now there's one shop we will not be patronising" but La S is smart.

    "Dad! That is like so clever. Everyone else will be going eeuww, no way am I shopping there.

    It'll have the coolest stuff and the coolest staff and I'll get to look around and ask questions ... so like can we go in?"


    same Bimbo shop sign 
    En effet, the baubles and garmentry weren't as bad as I feared. All created for young ladies allergic to the touch of textile on flesh, of course, but not entirely of the Whore of Babylon boutique.

    Like any sensible papa not wanting to spend the entire ouzo hour humming and huffing over the merits of napkin-sized skirts, I had my disapproving expressions ready:

  • "Oh no, no way are you wearing that anywhere near members of the opposite sex ("Yeah and that one.")
  • As for *that* ... are you serious? If your mother sees that- ("Yeh definitely that one. Did you say you have it in pink? Cool! Yah, both.")
  • 22 January 2008

    Cruise Control

    I was under the impression I had already posted Gawker's piece on Tom Cruise's wild-eyed performance and linked it to the great John Forte's Commodore and the Colonels in which he tells how Hubbard's 'Church of Scientology' was repulsed from sinking its claws into Corfu, despite support from the Colonels.

    This story clearly has legs because the Daily Telegraph's "Brassneck" blog by the splendidly named Mick Fealty now tips us off to a cartoon by Ann Telnaes that I needed to listen to thrice in order to appreciate its full cleverness.

    I thought this bunch sounded rather thick and robotic but I gather there is more to them.

    Feb 6th: someone has just sent me this link which looks researched and relevant.

    21 January 2008

    19 January 2008

    East is East


    Actually, that is a thoroughly scurrilous headline, implying that we do things in oily fashion out east. I should be ashamed and confess myself unworthy of the maternal Cantonese blood that chugs through me.

    Let me draw strength from Great Leader Mao's 'Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China' and take comfort that, with the Marxist-Leninist weapon of criticism and self-criticism, I can get rid of a bad style and keep the good.

    So saying, let me leap straight to a report in the Hong Kong Standard about dodgy recruitment goings-on in my old alma mater the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

    Seems that someone was appointed to a key position in the time-honoured fashion of contacts and favouritism instead of following boring regulations ... so?? Like when was the right person for a job *ever* elected through fuddy-duddy pedestrian *rules*? And in fast-paced Hong Kong? Jun hai!

    Just reading CEO Tony Lau's report to Leg Co makes me long to be back there in the fray:

    Seems there was no record of the recruitment of Planning/Marketing honchette Jackie Tong Wai-ling having "followed normal procedures."

    I should think not. They've got a job to do and yesterday to do it by. Who's got time to hang around following 'normal procedures'?

    Besides, Jacqueline had impeccable qualifications, having previously worked with former executive director of Standard Chartered Bank, Clara Chong Ming-wah.

    Mao would have been proud of Ms Chong's admission that she had 'recommended' Tong for the job BUT (my CAPS)had not in any way been involved in the 'recruitment process', which she had handed to the human resources chief.

    Ahem. I think we know the power of 'recommendation' and I also suspect that HR managers know which side their noodles are buttered on.

    It gets better.

    Another focal point of what sounds to have been a difficult meeting was the emergence of 'contradictory versions' of what happened two years ago concerning a HK$24,167 (US$3,095.43) business trip to Europe that had earlier been disapproved" (my itals).

    Former PR manager Claire Lau (who would have been my boss had I hung on) repeatedly insisted she had boarded a plane to Paris on May 16, 2006 without knowing the trip had been rejected by then deputy executive director Grace Lee Chan.

    It gets better still as Lau goes on that when she approached her supervisor she was told there was no problem. "I will talk to Lee," quoth Lau, meaning her former boss, Cynthia Leung Mei-bo.

    (Gosh all these names and hyphens get confusing).

    Lau goes on: there had been a search for her application form (which Lee had rejected and which had 'gone missing') Hmm, how ultra convenient, and how VERY unlike the tourism powerhouse I recall where not even a cockroach in triplicate went misfiled let alone *missing*.

    Back to Ms Leung, who said she could recall neither the statement attributed to her nor the search for the form.

    To cap it all, Leung said she did not know Lee had disapproved the trip until June that year when Lau had returned.

    Committee chairman Phillip Wong Yu-hong wondered why no one had even considered telephoning Lee. The hearing continues.

    Poisoning Pigeons ...

    The brilliant T- nope, I don't even have to say the name. All that's needed is the abbreviated title.

    "Cassius Clay and Mrs Wallace dancing cheek-to-cheek"? This stuff doesn't date ~ what else but Brotherhood Week.

    How my father would have loved to have watched how Lehrer did it, 'live' on the You.

    noose pic for golf mag

    Hoots mon: a noose loose aboot this hoose

    What the deuce - or should that be what the *noose* - is wrong with people these days?

    Noose. Lynch.

    There, I said them, two perfectly ordinary words, no? Almost on the banal side, altho' I'm not sure how often I use the L word since Jessica and I stopped dating and I transferred my fortunes from Merrill to Three Gorges Investment. Oh and there's Evanna Lynch who played that 007-style bit of skirt, Luna Lovegood, in the Potter/Phoenix romp ... and don't forget the 14 tribes of Galway, of which the Lynches loom proud. Indeed, now I think of it, Hong Kong great-grandma (in her quaint old fashioned way) used to refer to the imposing terrace at Fung Villas as a 'lynch'. Yes, so ... it hasn't fallen into quite such disuse after all.

    So why the devil all this argy-bargy over Golfweek magazine illustrating its cover with good old cooiled hemp?

    OK, I can see that it might be over-reacting to suggest that the only way to beat Tiger Woods might be to *lynch* the perky putter, but still no reason to suspend that hapless TV anchor for mere overkill.

    I have a personal interest in the subject: on my Yorkshire dad's side we boast one Albert Pierrepont, Britain's last hangman and, so the family chatter goes, a thoroughly decent bloke, too.

    Quiet fellow, did his job for pay and when it was over he'd as soon go on his way.

    He quit this mortal coil in '92 after 400+ hangings sans problem.

    Speedy cove, it seems: swung Jimmy Inglis in 7 seconds flat down Manchester's Strangeways nick.

    17 January 2008

    keyboard lacking N 

    The 'N' Word

    I'm not such a negative sort of scoundrel, am I?

    I had a pal come over to use my blazing fast broadband and she asked what the "blank key" was for?

    I had to agree: hmm, yes, how come the 'N' fades so fast?

    I can't have *so* many Y/N choices in my online life since coming to Greece. Any Puter Shrinks out there care (or know) to make a guess at why that particular letter dissolves so fast?

    Meanwhile, my friend expressed panic at the 'empty' button - what happens if she needs to type 'N'? (This from a touch-typist who never looks at the keyboard anyway.)

    Reminds me of a church organist pal who must have played the National Anthem a few hundred times: he's playing one Christmas at an aunt's local church in ruralest Crofton where they ne'ertheless have hymn sheets covering every possible religion:

    Anglicanism, Baha'i, Baptists, Charismatic Renewal, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Methodism,Orthodoxy, Paganism, Pentecostalism, Quakers, Rastafarian, Roman Catholicism, Salvation Army, Scientology (yes, Tom), Scottish Episcopal Church, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Sikhism, United Reformed Church, Unitarianism, and Zoroastrians.

    He scoffs at the bulging cabinet - what do they take him for, an amateur filling in on a holiday job?

    He looks for "God save the Queen" with which the service will end - not included - he begins to freak.

    "But you must have played it a gazillion times? Surely you know it by heart? Wot U need the music for?"

    "Course I can, duhh. I just need the music there ... in case."

    "In case of what?"

    "In case the music's not *there*, DUHHH!!"

    "Oh OK."

    "Holmesie, I swear you're losing yer marbles."

    Posted by Picasa

    Audrey Hepburn's Legs

    My petite and slender mother has a theory (endlessly postulated) that women with tiny boobs invariably have elephantine legs, and she cites the example of Ms Audrey Hepburn.

    hepburn dancing from Paris movieAs with many such conveniently invented theories - a family skill and trait that goes with our selective 'social deafness' - I've not prolonged the agony by questioning it, until now, and God bless Google because I've looked up La Hepburn and, surprise surprise, this old saw (like so much else) is total crap codswallop.

    In fact, she's got rather elegant and inviting pins.

    But it makes you think: the internet must be tolling the knell of so many guessers and conjectionistas, not to mention bores and drones who've stuck with the same old unchallenged chestnuts over the years and are now biting the dust to anyone with a browser and a few minutes to squander.

    Squat front legs, indeed - faugh!

    Oh and don't you just *adore* that chappie cavorting there in the background? Straight out of the Black & White Minstrel Show. My dear - his expression!

    Probably frightfully non-PC these days and any TV station running a repeat would be lynched from the nearest CCTV camera pod, but back in my day it was THE show for all the family: we'd settle down with our Mr Kipling biccies and hot cocoa and have ourselves a jolly old singalong.

    Those were the days!

    16 January 2008

    Air Guitar

    For 'real' guitarists everywhere.

    • By the sacred scarf of Lord Hermes, this 'air guitar' nonsense had it coming, and Tripod have delivered the death blow.
    • Vapor strumming really is THE most consummate nonsense - you couldn't invent it, even on a double dose of what *I'm* smoking.
    • Have you seen one of these specimen up close? They surpass pathetic, even down to fiddling with their Air Amps.
    • One surefire identification is that every single Ether Strummer has SOME PHYSICAL DEFECT:
      • Trademark leaning to obesity
      • Tell-tale ticks around unfocused eyes
      • Foolish hanging of the nether lip w/ tendency to drool
      • Spastic gait, general difficulty holding even an erratic upward posture
      • General physical gaucherie.

    What IS it about Air Gits that mark them as irreparable commode-huggin' losahs?

    You just *know* there's a world of pain down in the boudoir department.

    Why do we instinctively shrink from having one in the home, pull away in the park from letting the dog sniff their hand?

    Back to Tripod, the spoofer that bounds out from behind the curtain is rather good, and the bloke that produces the fake guitar sound is bloody brilliant.

    Wellsian comment just in: Do click on it, he's always good value.

    I can't remember on which gordion social knot-working site he blew our relationship of once having 'dated, stopped talking, now it's complicated', but any time someone asks me, "Aincha never gone quit that Ricky Wells?", I tell them, "Not while that sumbitch sends links like this."

    Cloverfield

  • "Whatever it is, it's winning". Not a bad line.
  • The film itself looks rather good.
  • Jan 18 release. I'm just sorry I'm not over in Washington State to take my Anna for her 17th-birthday treat.
  • This link intrigued me.

    Post-script: seemeth it lives up to someone's hype.

    Post POST script: J'adoube, it's a mere monster movie. Everyone back to sleep.

  • The Downfall of HD-DVD

    Gosh these Hitler spoofs are good:

    • Blades of Glory?!! Are you f*** kidding me?
    • Why didn't the XBOX360 come with our player installed?
    • What about our Christmas sales?
    • The Digital Bits will spin this and make us look like a bunch of fools!
      • (And who is Bill Hunt, who would never do it?)
    • Cancel the CES press conference ...
    • And so many other great quotes, not to mention the Führer's henchmen, fingering their collars as they eye each other nervously.

    Excellent parody.

    Ok, I get it - duhh - it's the same clip each time but adapted to different scenarios ... like Hitler the Cowboy fan. Nice bit about the jersey he'd hoped to wear.

    Word to the wise: I'm sure y'all know this but thicko moi did NOT.

    Achtung. Don't show this to your German pals. They will not 'get it'. Big time, they will not get it. I consort with an allemande with whom I trade slights and insults and teases and mockery, all to no damage. Unthinkingly, I showed her this and the blood drained from her teutonic features and her perfect cut-glass profile turned diamond-edged in an instant.

    Independent schools forced to be 'more open'

    For which read 'private schools' forced to open their hallowed portals to a load of working class oiks with common-as-muck accents who won't have the faintest idea what's going on or how to behave and will slouch around talking about their ghastly boring working-class lives.

    What's *wrong* with schools as "exclusive clubs"? That's what 'exclusive' means - keeping the riff-raff at bay - and if the ancients can afford it, let them.

    God knows we're going to run into enough of them when we get out - I'm told that not even Oxbridge is safe any more.

    Honestly, it's alarmist headlines like this that give one the fright of ones life and harden the resolve to stay well away from Britain until this whole nonsense has blown over.

    14 January 2008

    The Trial of Ralph McTell

    No text needed to make guitarist readers guffaw ...

  • Good old Ralph for going along with this.
  • How the f*** did they gather all those big names under one studio light to go along with this lunatic hilarious sketch?
  • The diagram, Exhibit A, *is* an A chord
  • Dunno who Prosecuting Counsel is but isn't he sporting THE juiciest shiner in the opening shot?
  • Porky Santa

    English readers will need no reminding of what a bully-state disgrace Britain has been reduced to, but my belovèd American pals (and family) may be unamused at the latest.

    I collect such examples to remind myself of my close calls and what a paradise I live in.

    Once again, substance is given to my shaky theory that Americans may have invented political correctness but my compatriots know how to take it to illogical nazi extremes:

    Consider Pc Rob Murrie who did exactly what I would have done (if I hadnt already taken a Hong Kong bullet in the back of the neck) and given a Muslim colleague a raft of bacon and butt of Malmsley as my bad taste jokey Secret Santa prezzie.

    Come to think of it, I'd never heard of secret santas 'til I earned the Amazon $ and my supe Amie Fisher was my SecSant and gave me a piggy bank as *her* prezzie (next year it was Heaney's "Beowulf" so God bless you Amie for being not just a great supervisor and sexy lady but a great prezzie picker). But I digress.

    Well, Rob was forced into resigning after this harmless prank and the Prophet help us if this is the level of nonsensical lack of humour that my employees, the police force, currently exhibit.

    Get this, the Muslim officer buddy did not complain and thought the present funny, but "senior officers in the Bedfordshire force were not amused. They declared that 'behaviour of this nature is not tolerated' and 'welcomed' Pc Murrie's resignation."

    I bet they did, the pompous wankers, and what contempt must have been felt by 26-year-old Rob with six years' blameless service behind him.

    A plague and a thousand curses descend on those stupid stiff-necked disgraces to the uniform: with one blinkered act those robotic buffoons have given succour to our enemies and despair to all citizens who should be sleeping more soundly in confidence of our so-called protectors".

    Fruits of "Hate Speech" laws

    Riveting piece in Glen Greenwald's Slate article showing "a citizen being forced to appear before the Government in order to be interrogated about what opinions he expressed and why he expressed them, upon pain of being punished under the law."

    Watch the lumpen bureaucrat have rings run round her.

    As Greenwald observes, "nothing short of stomach-turning."

    13 January 2008

    Cartoons from The Oldie

    Excellent mag whose permission I do not have to reproduce these ace cartoons, so everyone take out a sub and talk up these witty cartoonists

    apologies 

    invisible cloak 

    call center 

    macbeth witches spoof 

    This cartoon appearing in The Oldie, editor Ingrams needs not patronise us with mention of Macbeth.

    However, I've had enquiries from the ignoramus yoof end of my readership along the lines of "I don't get it" and "Wosso funny?".

    (Not, I hasten to add, from the fruit of my own loins whose mother makes them copy from the classics each night before retiring.)

    12 January 2008

    gunbroker

    the e-bay of firearms

    i'm only shoving this up because i was talking about this very sort of site over christmas and i want someone to see this without having to actually talk to me

    Google Grand Central

    1 phone line for life

    by invite only.

    anyone know this?

    11 January 2008

    HOAX HOAX HOAX

    OK, at ease, chaps. So it was a hoax, but a damn'd fine one with its heart (and lung, cough splutter) in the right place ...

    West cig foto

    Payback time

    Non-smoker? You're fired.

    Les Français cave in but Johnny Kraut stands firm.

    Good on yer, mate.

  • German computer boss fires non-smoker staff for being pain in das butt, bleating for 'smoke-free environment'.
  • Like France, Germany introduced Jan 1 non-smoking in pubs and restaurants but small offices are still allowed to smoke.
  • Quoth hero Herr: "I can't be bothered with trouble-makers. It's just easier to work while smoking. Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time for revenge. I'm only going to hire smokers from now on."

    Wonderful. Made my day. Power to the puffers.

    It's a little early but I'm wheeling out the schnapps and alluming a large Westie

  • China: Blogger beaten to death

    Exactement what we need to be reading in the run-up to the Olympics and fuel for the 5th-column media who'll be heading over to cover the truth behind the assurances.

    The Beijing seniors must be quaking in their flip-flops over how they'll control the ferreting and inevitable demos by such as falun gong.

    That murdered blogger would have been me if I'd stayed on to taste post-1997 China: I have never trusted the powers-that-be one inch and would have filed unwisely one evening after gazing on the rice wine while it was red and ... et voila.

    Sir Edmund Hillary, RIP

    Salutes to a great Kiwi who had, indeed, in his own words "knocked the bastard off" when reporting his ascent of Mt Everest (also called Chomolungma or Qomolangma or Sagarmatha, and no doubt a host more Nepali names).

    Its English name comes from Colonel Sir George Everest and here's my chance as Club Bore in X-treme Pedantry:

    Everest insisted his name was "Eve Rest" - like what Adam might have implored Eve after overdoing it on the fruit basket - and would fly into a rage whenever anyone pronounced it otherwise.

    Come to think of it, I have some pals who pronounce the range "Hi-MAH-lyas" so the whole subject is fraught with pitfalls.

    Trivia: in the early 1970s I joined Cassell publishers as their publicity honcho and my first task was to 'promote' an autobiography hidden at the top of the bestseller charts by a mountaineer called Dougal Haston.

    Most PRs have difficulty controlling nonentity authors' pestering for more publicity; my problem was lack of an author to maintain momentum of sales.

    Haston was (for the umpteenth time) trogging up Mt Eve Rest and unaware of the royalties trickling his way. Cruelly, the expedition was thwarted by a few hundred feet from a full ascent.

    Once back, Dougal came round to the office to collect his 6 free author's copies and do a few interviews I'd lined up.

    One uninformed twit commented on the delay in meeting the press and asked how come we'd not planned the publicity for around publication time.

    With infinite patience and that almost inaudibly soft highland burr, Dougal apologised for any inconvenience and explained that he'd been slightly hampered in meeting with gentlemen of the press by a 300mph crosswind.

    Bonus Offer: It *seems* that many folks believe that it was Hillary who came up with the quip about the mountain being there. It was Mallory. Get your Eve Rest "quotes" here

    cartoon from Private Eye
    cartoon lifted from The Oldie site, and deleted in a trice if I'm trespassing

    10 January 2008

    Are you an 'oldie'?

    My favourite magazine, The Oldie, has a quiz for you.

    Because of the questions' quintessential Brit fogeyness, American readers will fail miserably to decide *what* they are, but they can admire from the sidelines.

    Now there's a challenge for all Anglophile aspirants (which is why I toss that particular provocative gauntlet down).

    Trusty Ibanez and 'Buskers Blues' cutting from London Paper

    Busking the Cost

    I feel like those Python geezers in the Four Yorkshiremen sketch (and listen and wince at John Cleese's truly awful northern accent):

    "Nay, lad, when I were busker there were none o' this roobish about *auditioning* ... and don't even talk to me about licenses, bloody nonsense."

    A pal sent me the article from thelondonpaper about Busker's Blues and a bigger load of codswallop I've not read for many a moon.

    If I were heading back to Blighty, I'd sign up and show 'em how it's done, no mistake.

    Actually, I'm just jealous that all this wasn't around when I was in my minstrel prime (and the same goes for yon trusty Ibanez, still going strongly melodious after 35 years).

    So what's this article all about?

    crowdL ~ For a start, that glum line-up looks a right bunch of losers, and the berk with the cap *must* be a setup shot because he's right on the edge of the platform. One nudge from a tone deaf punter and he'd be onto the electrified rail or under the next train's wheels.

    Either way, the next train whooshing out the tunnel will scatter his props followed by a trampling underfoot by the exiting passengers.

    To boot, he's committed the prime error of not arming hisself wi' decent starter float to entice the customers to give generously.

    singerI don't know if this is meant to be a joke, but the article includes five "How to be a Busker" hints:

    1. Apply yourself - fill out a form, downloadable here or here.
    2. Police Checks - These take 4 - 6 weeks and you need to visit a police station. Admin fee is £10 (I told you it was a load of rubbish)
    3. Audition - You'll be notified of your date.
    4. Get a Licence (By God that stuck in my throat to type) - After 4 wks you'll be told if you've been accepted. If you have, you will have to sign an agreement with 'Transport for London' ('London Transport', in my day) to get your licence
    5. Find a pitch - Ring up and organise your pitch. They're handed out every Tuesday.

    One minute while I regain my composure: After 4 weeks you'll know if you're *ACCEPTED*? Admin fee? Official licence?? Phone to be given a pitch??

    By the nine gods of Clusium! In my day (cue old fart mode), you woke at sparrow fart and shuffled down to the Greasy Spoon for brek and to carve up that morning's best strums. If when you got there some bastard was hogging your pitch, an 'honour' system was meant to prevail whereby the occupant moved on after an hour.

    Yeh right. They never did and in my case I'd find a nearby bench and read my Guardian with a big sulky pout until the local fuzz came along. I'd moan about the interloper and 5 mins later he'd be on his way. There was no fricking red tape about some buffoon telling you where to strum: if some twerp had told me I'd been allocated mid-morning Edgware Road or high noon West Hampstead, or graveyard 2pm St Johns Wood, I'd've told him what he could do with it and toddled off to the movies.

    Sic transit, eh? Very sick.

    Comment post-script: Duude! (as Eric Edge taught me to enuciate), talk about a Bread-on-Waters posting. I vent my rage and frustration on the ludicrous state of al fresco minstrelsy in what today passes for London, and in a drop of a capo the lovely Natalia (aka The Saw Lady) writes to me.

    She sounds talented and absolutely delightful and I want everyone to check out her impressive blog and, when next passing her pitch, pitch large quantities of coins of the realm in her direction (actually, I don't think America does anything as posh as 'realm', in which case just hurl dosh, moolah, drachmas, whatever).

    clooney spoof advert 
    Posted by Picasa

    Peacock Use of Words

    As usual, the shrewd and uncannily read Madame Arcati nails what I've uneasily been unable to articulate about the two writers of whom I'm most in awe, Amis and Hitchens.

    Arcati is commenting on the "Thoughtful review in the Evening Standard by David Sexton of Martin Amis’ The Second Plane: September 11: 2001-2007, a collection of pieces in response to 9/11."

    "Martin Amis: Another Word God booms

    Sexton makes a point about Amis’ writing that’s similar to the one I made about Amis’ friend Christopher Hitchens – the “Word God” who rejects all religion but makes a faith of his own prose style: any deviation in others from the rules of grammar and syntax – or even from the requirement to impress clever writers - must be a sign of moral and intellectual muddle if not primitivism.

    Sexton writes of Amis’ book: “The writing is so preening, so self-important about its own vocabulary and phrase-making that it always draws attention to its own display, not to the matter in hand. None of the formulae – ‘worldflash of a coming future’; ‘horrorism’; ‘hemispherical abjection’ – rings quite true.”

    Virtuosic word-use is intended to establish superiority over the perceived ignorant: the peacock use of words in itself carries a mystical power in the mind of the author to exorcise dumb stupidity – like sacramental holy water flicked over the possessed. Amis and Hitchens should found a Word Church. They’d look marvellous in vestments, with a dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other."

    08 January 2008

    silver surfer 

    Sagging 101

    I have (finally) been persuaded to blog my own age and join the exciting hub of silver surfing, Saga Zone

    My only peeve is that everyone I announce this to asks with earnest expression,

    "How's it pronounced again, Chris? Sag as One??"

    Faugh! And these the same pouting pranksters who seduced me into signing up in the first place.

    Great casting

    Way back in '83, having swum the Rio Grande and holed up with 2-month-old Georgina in a San Antone condo, I was watching a wondrous marvel called MTV.

    I yearned to make song videos and this Brad Paisley number is why and what I admired and wondered if I could do as well.

    Look at the ace casting. No, look first at Brad himself and the way they film his hatchet face in such close up and let the stetson do the talking.

  • Brad Junior is the perfect little boy left-behind; his mom, every cute hometown-girl.
  • Those dates? The dude with the 'tache? Cads every one. You just *know* what they're after.
  • And the good-guy Dad? Parfait
  • Admire, too, how everyone has a ringer adult version: the Christopher Reeve-like suitor turning into Charlie Sheen elder statesman pa.
  • Hey, and not a bad song either. If the job center's run out of MTV Director openings, I'll take that one down there, 'Pedal Guitar'.
  • Finally, the baby is the star. That scrunched expression. Every time I've played this to lady visitors, they've stayed boot-faced thru the early bits but cave in when le petit appears.
  • Vanity Links

    I've just realised that I *never* use my Links column, preferring to go via Favorites.

    Those arcane addresses are just there to let you lot know how cool and widely-surfed I am and not to mess with me.

    But I'm sticking PostSecrets up at the top because there's something very therapeutic about those confessions - touching, even.

    I don't mind ranking it above even Sedition because that's where I read about PS in the first place.

    Sounds lèse-majesté, I know, and tell it not in Gath because The Man will be terribly hurt, but I don't really read that Seditious column - a bit too diamond in the rough for my sensitive tastes.

    I list El Seditio to goad and impress others and refute accusations of Corfucian poppinjay leanings.

    "Who, me effete? Try pressing on yon Sedition link ... effete me *that*."

    Back to PostSecrets, there's something wonderfully mundane about what people own up to and I want to go vulnerable and join their ranks with something equally humble and telling.

    I wonder how many confessions are there as a subconscious hope they'll be stumbled across by those for whom they were composed.

    06 January 2008


    Elle ne l'aimais pas


    I'm sorry Jane was puppeted into all that erotica surrounding "Je t'aime".

    They look happy enough in the video, it's a lovely song, and that's reason enough to run it.

    Hurricane ~ with lyrics

    Believe it or not, I've never actually known the full lyrics of Dylan's consummate protest song ... and here they are, plus moving pics.

    Over all the years, I never can listen to this without my blood boiling at so many levels.

    And will someone tell me - not Bobby's Boswell, the encyclopedic Wells-sahib - why does the fiddle work so well here?

    04 January 2008

    Cartoons from Oldie Magazine

    'Orrible 1993 murder of Jamey Bulger: Thompson/Venables walk anon

    One of my big disappointments with the Net community was its pathetic inability to trace and nail killers Thompson and Venables after the milksop Law let them walk with new identities.

    Web sleuths should have identified the murderers' fake names within hours and trumpeted them from every pillar and pyramid.

    As it was, no one came up trumps, and nor have I in only now catching up with this piece in the gutter press about Thompson and some homosexualist lover.

    I was touched to read that "when the relationship became serious, he revealed that he was one of the killers of two year-old James".

    Also of interest is that Thompson "had to tell his partner of the murder to meet the strict conditions of his release, which force him to be honest about his past if he forms close relationships."

    This clashes somewhat with the report whereby this loathsome creature had, at 23, "become a dad himself", living "secretly in the North of England using a pseudonym and the tot's mother [having] no idea of his evil past."

    I wish those troglodytes of the 4th Estate would keep their stories consistent - or did the strain of being on the run only later turn this specimen into a shimmering pooftah?

    Either way, it's good to have their names re-surface and the grisly tale given a new airing to a new posse.

    So that's how Hillary lost ...

    Obama Gurl

    Party on "To Parti"

    My liver! How come I never thought to 'YouTuble' my fave evening TV extravaganza, the wonderful 'To Parti'.

    Simple and effective concept:

  • Set up sinuous belly dancing.
  • Under pretence of giving young musicians a showcase, pack the dance floor with the sizzlingest chicks and make sure everyone has tons of appreciative rose petals to chuck around.
  • Feature only the most sensual chanteuses.
  • 03 January 2008

    I wuz robin'd

    I'd been sans booze or cigs since ... can't remember, but at least 3 weeks.

    I got back from a dyspeptic wittering xmas in dankest tuscany and really really felt like hitting the hooch big time and hacking my lungs out on a pack of Karelia.

    OK, i thought, but i'll reconsider if Someone sends me a sign. Wait 2 seconds, right that's it, zilch sign of a sign, that's my pink ticket to allez-y.

    I go into kitchen and gaze at the booze cabinet - what'll it be? Wodka, single malt, campari, gin & It? Vino blanc ou rouge? Ouzo perchance?

    A tiny scrape below my nose from the radiator by the toaster, and there's this little chappie looking up at me:

    Anyone order a sign around here?

    He gave me time to get camera and snap thrice and then just slalomed his way out of the kitchen as if he'd designed the air route hisself.

    Natch, I did not indulge.

    Posted by Picasa

    fuming non-fuming

    a dismal depressing dastardly debut of the new year for my beloved grenouilles qui kick off the year of the rat - ok, not 'til fevrier sept - with one of those bully state smoking curtailments