Monday, December 31, 2007

Saints be praised.

I went shopping today with two young lads who had money burning holes in their pockets.

Primarily, I had a few items to buy from Staples.... usual post Christmas stuff.... an SD memory card, some rewritable DVDs and a printer cartridge.

Once this little bundle was out of the way we went looking at console games.

The boys have received an Xbox360 for Christmas and they're mad keen to get some new games to play on it. The shops in question were quite poorly stocked, and those that did carry the relevant titles were actually quite heavily overpriced.... e.g. I am still after a copy of Wii Play, and I found one today in a shop but it was twenty percent higher than its standard recommended retail price!!

Anyhoo......

Eventually the youngest lad, recently aged ten, found a game that he wanted, and it was a knock down price of just nine pounds. A complete bargain.

I am a confirmed and self confessed gamer. I watched video nasties when I was under age. I drank under age. I might even have gotten away with going to see a fifteen certified movie at the cinema when I was just fourteen.

The game "The young 'un" had selected had an 18 certificate. I refused to let him buy it. I felt bad, but there must be a reason why it has an 18 applied to it. I wouldn't bat an eyelid at a ten year old buying something that was rated a year or two higher, but in cinema terms, I wouldn't take him to see the Exorcist, would I?

Unfortunately, it would appear that his dad had allowed him to buy an 18 rated game just the week before and both kids expected that this precedent would sway my decision... it didn't!!

You try, don't you!!

Feeling like I was being a bit of a killjoy, I decided to research the game I had disallowed, and here's what I found to vindicate my actions.

The swearing is completely over-the-top and not necessary in my opinion, but the game keeps you entertained so as not to make this an issue. Word of warning though, it is perhaps the most violent game I’ve played, and as such I really hope the 18 certificate is taken seriously by vendors and parents alike.

As for the one dad encouraged.....

It all looks absolutely amazing, from the animation to the game's over-the-top blood effects.

The squish of flesh being ripped apart by the chainsaw, in particular, is outstanding.

I am still unsure as to whether this fits in with a child who, until recently, was too scared to go upstairs on his own, or indeed last year was having "zombie" night terrors from playing a zombie shooting game!!

You tell me!!

Happy new year ya bunch of bloggers!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tired.

All this bloody jollity and festivity doesn't half knock the stuffing out of you.

Having been out on the town for a couple of nights in succession, I am beginning to feel a little tired.

The rash of third rate televisual entertainment that fits inbetween Christmas and New Year is slowly washing over me and rocking me to sleep.

I am in two minds as to what form of entertainment I ought to be seeking for tomorrow night... the eve of a new year. I can't decide whether to go out drinking in a pub and risk the chaotic taxi shenanigans, or whether to just cook up a few snacks and pull up the drawbridge for a quiet night in with some bottles of cider?

Decisions, decisions!!

It's not easy being a drunk!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Have you....

Have you ever worried about the wrinkles in your "A" zone?

I can't honestly say that my wrinkled "A" has given me cause for concern, but then this is just symptomatic of the depth of knowledge I have about the cosmetics industry and their quasi-scientific claims.

There is now a cream that's called (at the risk of turning this into an advert):

Garnier ultralift Deep Wrinkle A.

Apparently "its precision applicator can help target deep wrinkles in your A zone".

They think of everything don't they!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

I go out.....

... On Friday night, and I come home on Saturday morning.

I'm off out for a post-Christmas drink tonight.

I've had my fill of warmed up turkey.... pie and peas.... sugared almonds..... chocolate liqueurs... selection box components.... and left over ends of pieces of cheese.

A man cannot live by leftovers alone.

I've drunk some fruit wine.... I've drunk some bottled beers.... I've even drunk cans of lager which were shaken up and fizzed all over the place when they were opened.

What I've really missed is a pub, and a decent drink. A fresh pint, selected from a choice of real beers, and a sit down and a good chat.

I've listened to a lot of radio... watched some television... and played too much guitar hero!!

Time to get out and paint the town red.....

Manana bananas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just...

Just a quick update to say how pleased I have been with my Christmas presents this year. The spirit of giving is well and truly alive, and those near and dear that have taken the time to choose something for me from my "boxedup" wishlist, have come up trumps!!

I strongly advise anyone and everyone to find an online wishlist creator like "boxedup" and to create a list. You never know who will buy you something off the list, and it GUARANTEES satisfaction.

A list also makes it much easier for those around you to choose for you.... and makes their lives easier.... it's win win!!!

Big thanks to anyone and everyone who has managed to make this a thoroughly enjoyable festive season.

Tra-la-la-la-laaaaaa la-la-la-laaaaaaa Merry Christmas one and all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

While we are on.....

While we are on the subject of throwing burning coals at passing Christmas carollers.....

The local hoodies and chavs were out in force last evening.

There was a knock at the door. Not just any old rat-a-tat-tat, but the sound of some ham fisted teenage girl with the social skills of a walrus trying to remove the door from its very frame.

I jumped up from my usual position... horizontal on the couch... sending the gamut of assembled remote controls and mobile phones crashing to the floor from whence they were perched upon my belly.

At the top of the stairs, leading down to my ill fitting, draughty front door, I could already hear the foul tongued harpies effing and jeffing, in a manner that might make the most ardent of tap-room attendees blush.

I decided that opening the door, to part with any amount of money, for a single line of any given carol... usually.... "we wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year" followed by them all looking like they are going to throw eggs at my house while supping cans of Heineken... was simply more than I was prepared to endure. Perhaps if they took the time to study a full yuletide song, and the intricacies of harmony, I might be tempted??

I picked up the remote controls and resumed the position.

I wouldn't even waste flaming lumps of coal on the silver tongued angels that came hammering for cash.

Bah humbuggery indeed!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

One week ago....

One week ago today, I was sitting at the laptop, suffering a terrible man-flu relapse, trying to muster the enthusiasm and energy to write another "Sunday Search" article...... When suddenly, out of nowhere, I was bathed in the brightest, whitest light you could never imagine.

I lie, of course.

I boiled the kettle and dosed myself up on decongestant painkilling simulated fruit flavour saccharine cold remedies.

I shivered, and huddled deep beneath a spare quilt on my sofa.

In and out of a restless sleep. Uncontrollable temperature. Day became night, and night might as well have been day. Sleep came when the medicines kicked in and I woke up when I got too hot or too cold, or too thirsty or too hungry.

Since then, I've pretty much shaken off the funk.

I still have a bit of a chesty cough that's annoying and a runny nose, but it's nearly gone.

In the last week.....

I have shopped until I quite literally dropped from the pains in my feet.

I have drunk plenty of liquids... as per the instructions... and sometimes I have managed to drink quite a bit more liquid than one should really consume in a single sitting!!

I've tried to keep warm, and to stay out of draughts.

Thankfully it's been a prime opportunity for some film viewing. A blessing in disguise.

I've wrapped more Christmas presents than is necessary.

I haven't had time to even write or read any blogs..... it's a shocking state of affairs.

Am I the only person, who, at this time of year, would like to lock the door, take the phone off the hook, and shut out the whole world until January, when "sales" aside, everything might well be returning to "normal".

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Perma.

It's like an Arctic Fox's homecoming.

Frost covers the ground. A frost, the likes of which I do not remember. For three consecutive days, I have woken to a glistening white slick of shimmering crystals. Then, when I have taken my Lemsip (boom boom) and look out of the window... everything is frozen over.

The low rise, boot cut sun, which doesn't rise above fifteen degrees over the horizon, does not help the struggling temperatures which don't rise more than a couple of degrees above the cold night's attempts. It does, however, look pretty, filtered through a misty haze, so as to appear as a perfect bright white ball, gently bouncing across the hilltops.

A hard frost. Frost of the roads, the paving, the grass, the trees. Everything covered, in what has not melted for three consecutive days. The start of an ice age. Thank God for the temperate climate control. Winter is such a beautiful time, I would hate to miss it.

My man flu is on the mend, and I have finally joined, rank and file, into the procession of lemming shoppers, queueing up to throw ourselves off the Disney Store rooftop. It's depressing. I get depressed at buying people "things" for things' sake. I get even more depressed at the idea that I might forget to buy someone something for something's sake!! It's catch 22, and the chemists are all sold out of the tablets to counteract it... I noticed whilst stocking up on sore throat remedies.

Seems I am never happy unless I have something to moan about these days.

I like the frost though.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Argh.

It's now officially four days of being sofa ridden and house bound, struck down with a fatal dose of man flu.

Feverish. Uncontrollable temperature, soaring like and eagle and plunging into the icy depths, with all the grace of a three legged penguin.

Yesterday, beer was mentioned, and although I am in no fit state to entertain a lovely frothy pint at this moment, there is the chance that if I make a significant improvement, that I could visit the Drop Inn's winter beer festival (14th to 16th December in Elland). That's definitely something I will be trying to get to.

I've still got a hundred weight of Christmas and birthday shopping to do. My paperwork has all run away from me. My car needs booking on for a service and MOT. I have about two months of photography that needs sorting out!!! My whole life is collapsing around me.

I really could have done without the green lurgy this week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blech!

I'm dying.

... to the power of ten, coupled with a death-rattling bronchial chest infection. It's like coughing out oysters that carry flick-knives!! A sore throat that feels like I've swallowed a tennis ball made of razor wire. Every tendon, muscle, nerve and piece of connective tissue seem to be fused into a big lump, that is of course rolling down a rocky hill and I am feeling every jolt, knock, and scrape.

Yes, it's the annual onset of man flu.

You girls are SO lucky you never have to deal with man flu, I can tell you. You're just fortunate that we lie on the sofa and expect you to run around after us, and that you are immune to this specially mutated extreme winter virus.

I can't even enjoy lounging on my sofa, which has turned into a fire breathing bed of nails, covered with a blanket of Vesuvian lava or a dense sheet of permafrost, depending which way the virus is pedaling at the time.

Joy to the world!!

Bollocks and humbug!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

All quiet...

... on the western front.

Since relinquishing chicken and cat control to my folks, I've been struggling to get my own house back into a working order.

It's one thing to move back to being permanently based in a house, and a completely different thing to make sure there's enough to eat and drink, and another completely separate thing to ensure that all the bills, paperwork and documentation are as up-to-date as possible.

On top of reclaiming my territory comes the task of re-centralising all my media files. It's amazing just how many sights and sounds files you can amass over the course of six weeks, and how completely randomly interspersed across all manner of media they can become. There is data everywhere!!

On the odd occasion where Dawn and I have a mutually "vacant" stretch, we are completely preoccupied with supermarket shopping and Christmas shopping. Today, as an example, saw me spending three hours in a single supermarket!! How can that be??

On top of Christmas, there's the matter of birthdays for Connor, Dawn, and finally Tom, all in the week before Christmas day.

It's hard work. Everyone should just create a "wishlist" and life could be much easier.

I think winter is just around the corner. A completely clear sky and frosty night.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Please wait.....

Searching......

It's the weekly rundown on those lost souls that stumbled into my blog, and what they might have been looking for.

BEST BEDSORE CREAM (Google)
Ouch, my research into the world of bedsores on behalf of this errant Googler have not been pleasant. Some of the images have turned my stomach over!! It would seem that treatment of bedsores with creams is not necessarily the best course of action. There are a range of treatments that must be used in a multidisciplined approach. If you want a cream, then perhaps try: Vasogen or Sudocrem antiseptic healing cream.

shadow stone Fold by Andy Goldsworthy (Google)
Everyone knows I love the Goldsworthy. I have been lucky enough to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2007 exhibition on two occasions this year. The "shadow stone fold" is a sheep fold at the park, with a large "shadow stone" at the heart of it. You are supposed to lie on the stone and create rain shadows, but it's never rained when I have visited.


has anyone used digitalfirst (Google)
Yes, I have. I bought my camera from them after EGears let me down, badly. Digitalfirst were actually very good. They did exactly what they said they would do, they did it when they said they would do it, and it was a lovely experience. I would not hesitate to recommend them.

magical eleves, cadburys (Google)
Now, I am assuming here, that you were actually looking for the magical chocolate making elves that work at Cadburys? Well, I'm disappointed to tell you that the real magical elves that work in a chocolate factory are actually employed by Willy Wonka!!! If you MUST pursue the Cadburys inferior variety, then they're here.

hot water bottle tummy fetish (Google)
I can honestly say, hand on heart, I don't know what the heck you are. What the hell were you looking for, really? This? Or this? I don't know.

megadrive game fox pig (Google)
Interesting one. The only game I can think of for the Megadrive that involves a fox, would be Psycho Fox, but it doesn't seem very "pig" oriented at the other end of the spectrum. The only other thing that I can think of, is a game called Pooyan which involved pigs and a fox and a bow and arrow. A real arcade classic.

Monologue of an arctic fox (Google)
You're reading it, right here!!

do arctic foxes eat people (Google)
Nobody that ever saw one lived to tell the tale. I guess that's a bit like shutting your head in the fridge door to see of the light goes out when you close it?

find me a slut in blackpool (Google)
Find your own slut in Blackpool you lazy bugger!!

wessenden cam (Google)
I don't think there's a Wessenden webcam. There are plenty of pictures of Wessenden though. If you actually meant to type Wessenden Dam, then you're sadly mistaken, because Wessenden is a reservoir. You can see it here.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bloody meme!

So I've been tagged by Grilled Pizza

The rules

1. Link back to the person who tagged you. (Check)

2. Imagine you could send a letter back in time to yourself, when you were 13 years old, what would you write to yourself? (check)

3. Tag 5 people to do this blog (check) - spice-the-cat; maxxo; Toad; Mr Clack; Mr Pudding.

Ok, well let me set the scene. I would have been 13 in the year 1981. The letter I would write would go along these lines:



Dear Wevz,

I am speaking to you from the future... uture.... uture.

Believe it or not, but you have somehow managed to send yourself a letter from the year 2007, and Michael J Fox (who you probably may only know as a bit part actor) has not yet begun his successful time travelling trilogy. Make sure you go and see them at the movies when he does, because they're good fun.

I could pass along any amount of advice to you, which would help you run your life. I could try to help you make things turn out differently, but in all honesty, I think you've turned out alright. I wouldn't want to change your reckless, oftentimes spontaneous attitude towards life. Whatever stupid choices you make along the way haven't landed you in jail or killed you thus far, and you've had some wild experiences that will teach you a lot about life.

The best pieces of advice I can give you are:

Read more books.

Check out the newsagent's daughter where you get your Beano and Dandy!!

Look after your toys and games, especially Chartbuster!!

Never turn down a night out at The Orbit in Morley, contrary to what you believe, it will not be there forever.

Try harder at school you big idiot. Listen to your English teachers and your form teachers, they do actually care what happens to you.

Look after your feet. You only get one pair, and when they're not in good shape, it's very frustrating.

If you MUST smoke, then choose a VERY light brand of cigarette.

Do not lose this letter or tell anyone else about it.

To finish this letter, I can tell you:

In the future there will be something called a lottery. It's like a big raffle.

Make sure, that for the "Euromillions lottery" draw on Friday 30th November 2007, you choose the following numbers:

12 : 19 : 20 : 30 : 38 and the lucky stars are 07 and 09

Lots of love,

The Arctic Fox!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Imagine....

Imagine a world where I've been in limbo. A world where there are no comfortable chairs. Where cats are revered as gods. Where the longest bit of making a meal is waiting for the oven to warm up. A world so devoid of home comforts that I spend more time with a vacuum cleaner in my hand than I do watching films or playing on Pogo.

Limbo... how low can you go.... how low can you go....

Well, I am pleased to announce the return of my folks from their trip to Australia. They arrived back this morning (at about eight thirty AM) in the middle of my hangover. Pints, last evening, at the newly "Atlas Mill Brewery" acquired "Dog and Bull", and the "Rat and Ratchet" (merely as an excuse to purloin some of Lahori Taste's excellent fish pakoras) saw me a bit pissed. Subsequently, I always manage to tip out far too much of their chilli sauce onto my food!! I definitely suffer from chilli coloured beer goggles.

So, my tenure of dual citizenship is relinquished. Finally, and not a week too soon!! I don't think I'd have lasted another week. Thirty nine days done and dusted, and vacced and mopped, and fed and watered, filled and emptied, washed and polished, and laid to rest.

Imagine my horror at finally getting back to "google reader" to find a deficit of six hundred and thirty eight unread items. this bitter pill is only marginally sweetened by the fact that one blog alone accounts for one hundred and eighty five of those articles alone!!!

So, you can imagine, finally liberated, able to come and go as I please, I am glued to my laptop trying to play catch up. No doubt I will be catching up with you all very soon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Finally, finale.

I am not the sort of person that claims that Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Action Movie X, could not possibly have fired eight rounds from the chamber of a Glock 31 in under half a second, because the bullets would jam in the barrel. For the record, that's not even a fact, I just completely made it up to illustrate how untechnical I can be.

I AM the sort of person that wonders, if Linda Lovelace really suffered from that mythical condition in that very rude film, then how the hell did she manage to eat breakfast? Toast, madam? Are you mad, it'd be like sandpapering my... well you get the idea!!

As a long-time sufferer at the hands of the horror genre and all the inevitable plot holes and flaws that go with the territory, it's not uncommon to find myself reassuring those around me that I may have forced to watch a terrible movie, that the reason she doesn't shoot the zombie or run the other way instead, is that there would be no movie if she did.

I'm no stranger to suspension of belief. Sometimes the suspension has to be so enormous that it would put the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge to shame. If the movie or television programme is one that is otherwise enjoyable, then turning a blind eye is not too difficult.

And so, with great anticipation, last evening, after twenty two weekly episodes, I sat down to watch the conclusion of Heroes season one. I honestly did not know how it would end, or what to expect. Like so many viewing experiences before, I honestly was prepared to be disappointed, but kept the fire of hope burning (just in case).

And how was it?

Despite the fact that the whole series has toyed with the past, the present, and indeed the future, you would have expected to have seen what was coming, several times, from several different angles already. Well, you hadn't, and I didn't see it coming. It was.....

Simple, sensible, unpredictable, satisfying, elegant, and enjoyable.

Now, if only I could imagine that for just one minute, the second series will not simply turn this great show into just another ongoing money spinning "Lost" or "24" or "Prison Break" -esque shadow of its former self.

Suspension of disbelief can only take you so far before you plunge into the icy water below and wake up back in reality!!

In other news.....

Stop press: My folks are already on their way back to Blighty. They'll be home at some ungodly hour in the morning.

City Link delivery: This morning, in order that I would not miss the delivery, I decided to get up super-early, which for me is eight thirty AM, and feed and water the menagerie, before spending the rest of the day in my house waiting for deliveries. I was home by nine AM and of course the delivery arrived at nine thirty. Amazing, and I am bloody glad I made the effort to get out of bed. Normally I get "last drop" at half past five in the evening, and I've waited in all day. Just waiting for the postman now, before I head back to the Pole.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Chain reaction.

It's not too far off Christmas, and the deliveries are arriving thick and fast from all my internet purchases. I much prefer to buy online and avoid those late Thursday night sessions where each and every shopping mall is like a scene from "Dawn of the Dead" but with the zombies laden down with plastic carrier bags full of junk that will be broken by Boxing Day or will remain unloved in a cupboard until it finds its way onto eBay or Freecycle.

A knock at the door sends me scurrying around the house collecting various pieces of clothing at random, from the random places that they were discarded in the first place. I say "scurrying" in that, as much as a sufferer of plantar fasciitis, wearing one shoe, can actually scurry. It's generally a mix of tackling stairs sideways, and hopping, and hobbling, and generally trying not to overstretch anything in the heel, calf, or foot.

I arrive at the door, unlock it, open it, and find a postman frantically trying to unjam the parcel that he has already tried to jam through my letterbox, with the added difficulty of the fact that the door is now moving away from him. We exchange pleasantries, as if the postman is actually giving me a parcel (I always find that a strange feeling I have when parcels arrive... as if it's from the deliverer themselves... I guess that would by why the saying "Don't shoot the messenger" came about? - Don't kiss the postman for delivering a parcel that you bought and paid for yourself).

We arrange a suitable "secret" location for the postman to leave subsequent packages in, in the event that I might not be around at some point when he tries to deliver them. He's concerned that he will have to carry parcels around and take them back to the Post Office at the end of his round (ironically, this is his job) but it is a real ball-acher to have to go and collect them, so we give the secret handshake and nudge nudge..... third stone on the left......

I've truckled over the cat banishment issue. If mum, on the other side of the world thinks it might not be suitable treatment, although it was originally suggested by her, then far be it from me to argue. Forget the hours that we (Dawn and I) have spent cleaning and dusting and disinfecting and hoovering and making nice the house for their return, or the fact that we could, instead, have spent those precious few hours that we might have had together to do something more pleasant.

I go to sort out the animals. It would appear that I have lost another chicken. To lose one chicken is unfortunate, but to lose three is downright carelessness. The cats have puked all over the Rayburn again and I dash round feeding them and cleaning up their vomit. As fast as I can, I leave them eating their Felix, and head for home.

A "We have a parcel for you" card is shoved through my letter box from those lovely people at City Link. They are possibly the world's worst couriers, and I rarely EVER receive a hassle free delivery from them. I missed them by about the amount of time it takes to clean up a pile of cat vomit (three minutes to be exact).

I am further frustrated by not being able to speak to a real person and to find out if the van driver is still in my vicinity and whether I could meet him to get the parcel.

A robotic voice on the other end of the phone suggests that they may try to deliver it again tomorrow if the wind is blowing in the right direction, but of course, they can't intimate a time.... that would be far too sensible!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chuff a duck.

You sometimes can't win, to the point that you sometimes wonder why you bother.

I am in trouble for locking the cats out.

Despite the fact that this particular act was originally encouraged by my mum, it is, seemingly, now it has been put into action, unacceptable.

For the record, and in my defence, and contrary to the misinformation my mum has received, here are the weather conditions for Huddersfield for the rest of the week:

Tuesday (today) High 12 degrees - Low 12 degrees (cloudy).
Wednesday (tomorrow) High 12 degrees - Low 7 degrees (showers).
Thursday (day after next) High 13 degrees - Low 7 degrees (showers).

After which time, the folks will be back in the country. Admittedly it is set to come a bit cooler on Friday, but still I think you will agree that these temperatures are NOT cold for December, by any stretch of the imagination.

If you can't tell, I'm very annoyed that my mum felt fit to question my judgement and she firmly believes that against all common sense I'd leave the cats out in an arctic blizzard and she'd be returning home to four ice cubes.

All my frustration could have been avoided by a visit here!

If anyone else thinks these temperatures are too cold to leave the cats in a greenhouse then feel free to add to my splendid mood.

Post update update: Vindication came, whilst watching the weather forecast, and it was described as being "exceptionally mild".

Monday, December 03, 2007

Drums please.

Day thirty five. We are in the final week, and to protect our "tidying up" investment, the cats are now banished from the house and consigned to the greenhouses for the rest of the week. Mum can make the decision to reopen the catflap to them when she gets back.

I might actually have a use for the bloody cats at my house.

A trip into the kitchen tonight left me with a churning stomach and the ultimate dilemma. A bloodied and slightly maimed mouse is hobbling about on the floor. There's blood around the upturned mousetrap, and the blood is semi dry. This mouse has been suffering for perhaps an hour or so.

I pick up the dustpan and scoop the blinded broken legged animal into it and take it outside. I put the dustpan down by my garden bench and hop back into the kitchen (I only have one shoe on). I imagine that the mouse will be eaten by something or suffer and die in its own time. It's more than I can take on my conscience.

I put on a walking boot on my left foot (to counterbalance the trainer on my right foot), and grab my stick (I cut and shaped my own big walking stick, which is not dissimilar to a neanderthal club) and head out to where I left the mouse. He is still there, shivering.

I tip the mouse out of the dustpan and bring down the club. I must have winced and closed my eyes, and completely missed!! Second time, I didn't!! His little body arched and twitched and he was gone.

Poor beggar. I feel saddened that I have hurt another animal, but I really don't want them in my house. I also feel sickened at having to finish one of those poor little critters off face-to-face as it were, but I know it was the right thing to do under the circumstance.

With all respect to the mouse and to my sensitive readers, I decided that it was not in good taste to photograph this untidy kill. I did, however, feel it was important for me to share the experience, if only to make someone feel as sick as I did!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Groan.

Sunday, and I have the mother of all hangovers. I think I qualified for a degree in mixology last night by sampling a range of drinks that certainly should not be within three feet of each other. Every high really does have a corresponding low.

I have struggled to bring you a Sunday search engine selection though, and I hope you jolly well appreciate it. Actually it was quite good fun today, and there were some amusing searches to pick from.

so, without further ado, I give to you..... ten of the best......

Marissa Miller (MSN)
Two people came looking for Marissa Miller this week. I don't even know who she is, or why, for that matter a search engine would turn me up as a possible source of this information. Oh, wait, this is MSN search so it's something to do with Microsoft... that would explain this seemingly random correlation. So, it turns out she's a model, and bang tidy at that!! Go see for yourself!!

jonah barrington squash download (Google)
Yes, it was my favourite ZX Spectrum game. I loved it. Not sure where you can download it from or what platform you require, but here's a link that might help (you will need a Spectrum emulator to play the images you can download). It was published by New Generation and cost the princely sum of seven pounds and ninety five pence!! The game also featured the "voice" of Jonah Barrington through your lovely Spectrum.

hairy women huddersfield (Google)
Yoink!! It takes a braver man than me to pass comment on this one!!

Is chocotate fatal to mice (Google)
Yes, especially when it is placed on my "Lucifer" French mousetrap!! You can see the (be warned sensitive readers) results of chocolate induced death here.

Where the name Arctic Fox come from? (Google)
a) It is a fox.
b) It lives in the Arctic region.

geordie slut getting shagged (Google)
Erm..... try Youtube!! Second thoughts try Shufuni (Don't try shufuni if you're under the age of consent and/or yyou are at work - Be warned it is VERY rude!!).

elvis rubik's cube (Google)
Not sure this exists as a product, but look what I DID find while researching this. Come to think of it, there might be a market for an Elvis Rubik's cube!!

arctic platypus (Google)
You're pulling my leg, surely? someone tell me that this is a joke? There's no such thing, surely?? Am I wrong??

biddendens (Google)
I suggest, if you want to remember your evening, that you stay well away from the Biddendens Dry - Which is a very strong cider, and contrary to its popular name, I found it to be more medium than dry... very pleasant, and possibly only to be drunk as the LAST drink of the night!!

devastatin' dave t-shirt (Google)
Don't say I never give you anything. Here, in all their glory, are the Devastatin' Dave products.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Research.

As part of my "ongoing" gift-wish-list project, I am refining and adding items at a steady rate. The problem I now have, is that each item I add requires so much research.....

Take for instance......

There are a bunch of camera accessories that go neatly with my new camera. Half of them haven't, as of yet, made it anywhere near the shops except in Japan. The ones that I can find on the internet (knowing fully that they won't be stocked in any high street stores for a long time after they appear all over the internet) are so badly listed (i.e. ambiguously, they may or may not be the correct item) and are so bloody overpriced that I feel forced to spend endless hours over-monitoring the situation, so that I may notice when they finally land at a reasonable and affordable price.

And so...... What do I find as some sort of conclusion?

Lens LC55 = £69
Lens LC55 = £29 (If you live in America)

Lens LT55 = £160
Lens LT55 = £83 (if you live in America)

Battery S006a = £45
Battery S006a = £19 (If you live in America)

And so it goes on....... Most frustrating.

What annoys me most about the findings above, is that I am loathed to add these items to my "most wanted" list on the basis that I know that the items could be bought cheaper by someone resident in the US of A than anyone else. I feel like I might be doing any potential benefactors out of pocket somehow. On that basis, I feel I am possibly missing out.

The other piece of research I've been doing concerns my ever painful heel..... Joking apart, we all know it's as well to Google your own illness than it is to hang around in a doctor's waiting room with lots of poorly people and for the GP to Google it on your behalf. I Google.....

It transpires, I think I may well be suffering from plantar fasciitis. It sounds about right, and also sounds pretty bloody annoyingly tricky to deal with. Still not sure whether to go to the doc's armed with this information or not?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another week.....

... another episode of The Mighty Boosh.

... the chickens retire to their dwelling earlier than ever (somewhere around the four o' clock mark).

... The penultimate day of "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!" and I haven't even written about it, although I've watched more of it than I'd care to mention or indeed remember.

Most importantly, I am on the evening of the start of the final week of chicken husbandry. The folks return one week tomorrow!! Hen shit, cat puke, cat food, cat hair, feathers, all begin to fade into the distance. The remaining time spent dealing with the animals and multiple residency is now just a bite size chunk.

Thirty one days and counting down... the end is in sight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mistake.

It's a mistake. I am writing this blog in the Firefox browser, and I know from cold, hard experience, that not all the usual features are present in this browser that I am accustomed to when using Internet Exploder. I know for example before I even begin, that I will not be able to underline the very title at the top of this blog entry!! Go figure!! So, bear with me, I'll be writing it and then subsequently fine tinkering it in Exploder when it will be bothered to load.

So, I'm sitting here, and the embers of the coal fire are trickling through the grate into the fireplace below. I'm drinking Yorkshire Terrier (no jokes please... it's a beer!!) and debating whether to bank the fire back up to keep the warmth going, or to call it a day and head up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire!! It's a quandary, and now I notice that for some reason Firefox is bloody "spell checking" my typing for me, above and beyond the blogger spell checker. Grrrr.

So, I am sitting here.....

So, I am sitting here, drinking the last bit of Yorkshire Terrier, and the fire is made up and is crackling away merrily behind me. I've been working on a new concept... well a concept that's new to me at least, and it's one which is dear to my heart..... Join me, and (I seem to remember Rol at least having trouble with rubbish gifts from relatives) banish the crap gift syndrome...

I now have a Christmas wish-list. You can view it here, and of course, you may buy any of the items on the list for me, and I won't be forced to speak ill of you behind your back on Boxing Day when your ill conceived gift has gone down like a lead balloon.

I urge everyone to choose their own gifts, and subsequently this should cut down the amount of indiscriminately wasted money on Christmas impulsive useless gift purchasing.

The chickens are in bed. The cats are draped over every piece of furniture that I have not actively knocked them down from. Just a week and a bit left before the folks return and I will be free from my life of servitude.

Time to go wipe down the Rayburn and disinfect some sideboards and tuck the washing up away before I settle down to some Kakuro!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Twenty eight days later.

It's been a fairly busy few days. I've not even had chance to write a half decent blog, and that's very unusual for me. I've normally got time to write a VERY half decent blog!!

So here it is.... my half decent blog.

The chickens are happy. They've been enjoying a relatively mild couple of days. Plenty of opportunity to go rotting round the fields, scratching and scraping and pecking at everything. The days are quite short, with the sun setting at around four in the afternoon, and the SON rising at anywhere between nine and eleven in the morning as he sees fit. They are making the most of the time they get outside.

The cats are not so happy. My mum's soppy cat loving regime is now a distant memory for them. The cats now live by MY rules, except for the puking, which I, unfortunately, cannot control.

The folks, in Australia, are having a good time of it. Lots of beaches... Lots of rain.... and LOTS of insect bites. Sounds like my idea of heaven... NOT! I can't imagine why anyone would actively CHOOSE to be there.

I've been to York!! It was nicer than Australia, because you can get there on a train for a fraction of the cost of a long haul flight. You don't need a passport. You don't need traveller's cheques or currency exchange to get by. You can walk all the way around it, even with a knackered heel, and all in the space of a day, and you can still be home in time for tea. I, on the other hand, chose to have tea in York.

The beer is INFINITELY better in York than anywhere in Australia too. York Brewery's Guzzler and Yorkshire Terrier being two very worthy pints.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Searching....

I've been a little busy over the last few days, and will endeavour to tell you about it as the week goes along, but for now..........

I guess this is getting a little long in the tooth now, but for whatever it is worth, here are some more search terms that brought people in.

who do Arctic foxes communicate with (Google)
Anyone that will sit still for five minutes and listen. In fact, you... right now... reading this.... you're being communicated!!

tom pitchforth (Google)
Haw haw, someone Google'd my cousin... I bet it was him, and he was googling himself!! You're so vain.... I bet you think this blog is about you....

llamatron atari (Google)
Possibly the best game I ever played, written by one of the coolest people ever to have lived. Jeff Minter AKA Yak.... I spent so many hours playing Llamatron, it's obscene. You can find the Yak here. You can even download a lot of the games too. Don't ever say I don't give you anything!!

"chewing ecstasy" (Google)
If you're gonna insist on taking it, then I won't tell you not to. I WILL however tell you that: If you don't chew it, then it will take longer to "come on". Me, personally, when I have taken it, I have ALWAYS chewed it, and I always get ulcers and blisters in my mouth and toothache afterwards, but I am not still winging my nuts off when I get home 'cos it's pretty much all kicked in and there are no late night surprises to be had when that last tab floors you on the train home.

"sky+ default pin" (Google)
I've been there, and I've hung on the phone for a couple of hours to get through to some idiot in a call centre. I've locked myself out a few times, and I've even deleted perfectly good recordings when I couldn't access them because a PIN code was required. I can now reveal, and I've said this before, that the "default" PIN code, is the last four digits of your sky viewing card number!! Job done. PS: If you're a small child looking for this information to access your parent's stash of porn on their Sky+ machine and need the PIN to get in, then you ain't seen me, right?

egears.co.uk (Google)
egears (Google)
egears problems (Google)
www.egears.co.uk (Google)
egears.co.uk review (Google)
"egears.co.uk" shopping experience (Google)
egears uk phone number (Google)
egears + problems (Google)
"www.egears.co.uk" (Google)
who are egears (Google)
egears uk problems (Google)
anyone used www.egears.co.uk (Google)
egears feedback (Google)
EGEARS UK (Google)
who is egears (Google)
who are egears.co.uk (Google)
ordering from egears (Google)
egears blog (Google)
Well, what would my Sunday Searches be without the inclusion of an EGears rant? Believe it or not, these are all search terms that people have used to find my blog. I can only say, that if you are thinking of using EGears, then don't bother. If you've already used them then I suggest you contact them and ask for your money back. You can get the same items from any number of other places, and with a lot less hassle.

susie blackpool (Google)
suzie blackpool (Google)
slutsuzie (Yahoo)
slutsuzie (Google)
suzie of blackpool (Google)
slut suzie blackpool (Google)
Another multiple entry (pardon the obvious pun) for our old friend, the Blackpool Slut that used to have a blog. As far as I know, her blog died a long time ago. I've tried on several occasions to find some way of pointing these people in the right direction, but the best I can do is link to an apparent email address.... this may or may not be correct, but it's the best I can find: slutsuzieuk@hotmail.co.uk

house sitting yorkshire (Google)
Yep, that's me. If you've got cat puke that needs cleaning up or chickens you want to lose, or a house that you'd generally like to be abused and/or neglected while you are away on holiday, then leave me a message and we can work out some sort of deal. Thanks for looking.

giant chicken or fox inflatables (Google)
Well, at first I was just going to regurgitate the old link to the rubber fox suit, but it's not something I would take too much pleasure from. Perhaps you could try looking here... they have some bloody mad stuff.... mebbe amongst the madness you will find the inflatable of your dreams.

effects of cold on laptop (Google)
1) Your fingers may feel cold when typing.
2) Your laptop may be shivering.
3) The laptop may collapse.
4) Your laptop may seem irrational (ignore if Microsoft products are installed).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Twenty four.

I must write something, I know that I oughta,
But these past few days I've just been treading water.
The words won't come because there have been no actions,
No highs and no lows, nor between them no fractions.

Watch The Mighty Boosh.... It's good for your soul.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Short and sweet.

Day twenty three came and went in an unremarkable fashion.

Cats.

Chickens.

A film.

Some television.

Cats

Chickens.

Shopping.

Cooking spicy chickpea and potatoes.

Eating.

Television.

Bath.

Bed.

It's all right there..... I never know which house I will wake up in, but I am usually unsurprised to find it is the same one I went to sleep in!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guilty.

Of course, I am guilty as charged. I'm a brat, an ingrate, a miserable, moaning, grumpy, son of a mum.

I knew that my blog yesterday would rain fire upon my own head. I knew that there would not be a single person who would share my frustration. I knew everyone would, in fact, side squarely with my mum over my conduct and lack of enthusiasm at connecting across the water, but this is my blog, and of course, you're going to get my view. It was more important to get the rant "off my chest" than to actually "diss" my mum as the Pudding of Yorkshire would have us believe.

Straws and camels backs make for easy blogging.

Take for instance, the chav with a two bit pimped up ride that insists on waiting for me to get in my car so he can steal my parking space. He rubs salt into the wounds by parking across two spaces, so there is neither space in front, nor behind for another vehicle. I wish painful illness upon him. I feel better for just writing it down!!

Of course I love my mum..... what self respecting Yorkshire born skinhead wouldn't? We've been through a lot together... endless spit washes.... mutually reciprocal hospital visits (is that an oxymoron, or am I just a moron?)... Grazed knees... And unlimited sick buckets of both illness and self inflicted poisoning varieties... And of course, in return, my mum has done quite a bit for me too..... I jest of course!!

As a friend of mine once said... "When I get home I am going to rip my mother's knickers off...." and I can only imagine the stunned silence echoing around my blog is not dissimilar to that which fell upon the scene at that time. I think someone screamed before he continued... "This elastic's killing me!!".

I will leave you with that thought on day twenty two.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Twenty one today.

I think I mentioned previously that you should NEVER piss off a blogger...... This advice holds just as true for Egears.co.uk (who you should never ever use) as it does for my own family.

....

Phone rings.... and rings....

I half open my eyes, pick up the phone, notice it's my mother calling....

I hold onto the phone for a split second hoping it will ring off and I can go back to sleep, until my conscience pricks me enough that I have to answer it anyway.

My throat is still closed, and so are my eyes.

Hello....

"Hello, did you know it was me?" asks my mother.

"For christ's sake, my mobile phone, just like anyone else's tells me who is calling... it is no longer a surprise to discover who has broken my slumber." I think to myself.

"Yes" I reply.

"Blah blah blah"

"I'm tired" I respond.

"Are you ill?" my mother asks.

"No I'm tired, I have just woken up" and I am becoming increasingly frustrated and angered at being woken up to make small talk.

"It's eleven o' clock" my mother usefully point out..... "Is it eleven at night?"

"No it's morning, but I was asleep" I reiterate.

"Have you read about our trip to Sydney on the blog?" my mother asks.

At this point, having just about managed to adjust my eyes to daylight, and wondering whether my legs are still attached to my body, I feel like a prisoner under interrogation. Of course if I had read the blog, then there would have been a subsequently pointed and no doubt sarcastic, caustic or rude comment from me, I think.

"No I've not read the blog." I answer, desperately trying to not let myself think out loud.

"Oh."

"I've just woken up." I reiterate.

"Yes I know you've just woken up, you keep telling me." retorts my increasingly angry mother.

"And you don't think that in me protesting about coming under question and pressure to make small talk within 15 seconds of waking up is a signal to leave me alone?" I think to myself.

Several more exchanges increasingly anger me where my mother talks over the top of a slight voice delay and my answers to questions so that I end up repeating myself over and over.... I am in no mood for this.

"How is the snow?" She asks.

"Gone."

"I read about it on your blog, and someone at work told Rob about it." she usefully informs me.

"Oh."

"Did it just snow there or everywhere else?"

"I haven't been EVERYWHERE else!!!!!!" I protest.

"Why don't you let XXXX look after things for a few days. you have her number, and she'd love to do it" asks my mother.

At this point I am no longer even in the conversation - XXXX looked after things before and the Rayburn burned itself out. My girlfriend at the time spent days cleaning up cat shit where a disinterested friend had been in to feed the cats but had not noticed the smell of burning or seemingly of the room next door being full of cat shit. This must by mum's definition of "love to".

Eventually, I can hear mum's voice begin to crack as she realises that no matter how hard she tries, there will be no sense in poking a bear that you've just brought out of hibernation. My day has been well and truly ruined, and I'm not even out of bed.

Phone call behind me, I get up, fuming. Arrive in the kitchen with cat puke to clean up. The weather is so bad, but on the basis that the chickens have not been out in two days, I decide to give them an option. I wish I didn't. The garden is strewn with pieces of a dilapidated compost bin. Watering cans, bits of metal, plastic, and compost are all over the place.

I tie everything back together, shovel up, sweep up, disinfect the kitchen again..... offer the chickens a chance of freedom and they huddle in a corner. I shut the door and leave them to it.

A great start to the day....

I "LOVE TO" do this!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snowy Sunday.

It's Sunday, I have shaved all my hair off and the weather takes a nose dive. My core temperature has gone with it. Damn, it's cold. So cold is it, that today we received our first bout of snow! Not much to write home about, but definitely snow, and a cold fog, and lots of slushy rain too.

There are six points on a snowflake, and each snowflake is completely unique. The magic of fractals.

Here are the Sunday searches. I am celebrating day twenty, and the fact that I have now officially passed the half way mark. The cats are all alive and there are still some chickens left. I'm working on it though... whilst trying to keep warm!!!!

the sims ruined my computer (Google)
Lucky you.... My computer's fine, but my life's in shreds. Thank your lucky stars and move on to the next level.

is the arctic fox born alive or in a egg (Google)
You're kidding me, right? Apart from the obvious, that would be "an egg" not "a egg"...... you've got to be kidding me!! Ok, just to clear this up.... For mammals, ONLY the platypus and the long-beaked and short-beaked echidnas lay eggs..... The arctic fox is born alive!!

"i gave her a black eye" (Google)
You bloody cad!! Email in your address so we can forward it on to the relevant department.

anyone used http://www.egears.co.uk/ (Google)
Yeah, me, and I suggest you don't!

i have not smoked for 20 years are my lungs ok (Google)
Here is a timetable of what happens when you stop smoking. Well done for managing twenty years.... I reckon you have nothing to worry about in terms of excess risk. I reckon you should know your own body better than any text book though... if they feel ok, then I am sure they are fine... if they don't feel too good, then google it on the web before going to see your GP who will just do the same thing anyway.

huddersfield pearl festival of light (Google)
That's an easy one... I was there, and it was great. The Plasticiens Volants website is here.Here's someone else's video clip on youtube. Here's what the Huddersfield Examiner made of it.

2 huddersfield swingers" (Google)
Erm.... are you looking for two swingers or are you two swingers looking for something? Have you tried doggersweb? How about adultfriendfinder too??

pics of baby arctic foxes (Google)
Oh, that old chestnut... try google images!!

inventions for finding goods on shelves in supermarkets made easy(Google)
This one is a no-brainer.... try using your eyes!! The perfect tool for the job. Also, if you really can't see something you want, they hang those signs over the aisles to tell you which aisle has cereals in, and which is alcohol..... If you're REALLY stuck, try asking a member of staff!! For that reason, googler, I'm out!!


toad (Google)
toad (AOL)
Bloody Toad even gets his own search results now!! Grrrrr!! Bad Toad!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

N...n...n...n...

Nineteen!!

I'm almost at the halfway mark of the thirty nine day stretch.

Last night we went into Huddersfield to witness the Festival of Light. There was a French troupe, known as Plasticiens Volants, and they were performing a play called Pearl..... Well, let's just say.... lights.... inflatables.... fireworks..... blue whale.... fish..... crabs..... lobster...... giant eel.... You wouldn't believe the spectacle, it was like town had been invaded by aliens!!

I think for the full story, you should go here.

Anyhoo, I'm tidying up my house a bit today. I've tidied up a bit at mum's house.... fed the cats and the chickens. I locked the cats out for the remainder of the day while I tidy my own house so that when I return this evening to attend to their second feeding and the ceremonial locking up of the chicken coop, accompanied by a twenty one egg salute, then I can be sure I won't have to start hoovering cat hairs or disinfecting sideboards or cleaning puke off the Rayburn..... you get the idea!!

When I sort myself out and get some pictures sorted there'll be enough for a month of pure picture blogging.... no words required..... I laughingly say "when"!!

Toodle-oo-the-noo

Friday, November 16, 2007

Let me tell you....

.... about argon. No, I'll leave you in the dark a bit longer.

Last Sunday, at a loss of where to treat my good ladyfriend to some lunch, I managed to coerce her into a trip to Marsden, and to the Riverhead. It doesn't take a genius to know that I worship at the altar of Riverhead's very own beers, and you are not alone in suspecting that my motives were not entirely "lunch" oriented... Honestly, if some beer happened to fall into my mouth whilst eating lunch, then far be it from me to object.....

Anyways.....

I decided to drive, which would of course negate the possibility of me not making it up the flight of stairs into the dining room, and from pulling up a chair at the bar instead. We got there, and decided to get a drink to take upstairs with us......

Everyone who knows me or has looked at any of my photos or knows where I MOST love to walk, will know I am mad about Cupwith Reservoir and Marsden Moor. The Riverhead brewery name their beers after local reservoirs.... I've drunk Deer Hill Porter.... Butterley Bitter..... Sparth Mild....... Black Moss Stout....... and NOW..... (insert drumroll).... Cupwith Special...... Well, if the Cupwith Special isn't one of the nicest beers I have ever drunk. I think I have died and gone to beer heaven.

Anyways......

I gets my pint of Cupwith Special, and we heads on up to the dining room. Neither of us has eaten at the Riverhead before, so it's always a gamble trying something new, but if their beer is anything to go by..... Well, my good lady chose the Sunday lunch option of the beef variety, and I chose fish and chips.

It was excellent!! I can't recommend it highly enough.... small details, like carrots flavoured (and coloured) with black treacle and courgettes with fennel seeds made it a great experience. Service excellent. Food exceptional. Beer heavenly. Price reasonable. You should go there!!

Incidentally for anyone visiting the "Festival of Light" in Huddersfield tonight.... look out for me!! I will be there somewhere. Perhaps you can spot me on this webcam? After it's all over, then head down to the Rat and Ratchet, where their guest beer is (currently) .... Cupwith Special!!! After your beer, pop next door to Lahori Taste and get yourself a fish pakora... delightful.... tell them I sent you!!

Ok, here it is then.... Argon is atomic number 18 (coinciding with day 18 of my chicken related experience) and it's also the gas that is used in your common or garden lightbulbs.... the Festival of Light..... so..... well, you can see how much thought I put into these things can't you. It's oh so deep.... and yesterday I used a "Sound of Music " reference to "Sixteen going on Seventeen" to signify the seventeenth day of penance. Watch this space for more cryptic links. It's a bit shit when you have to explain your own ideas... it's a bit like laughing at your own jokes.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The hills are alive....

... with the sound of.... well, nothing really.

A very quiet and peaceful day in Pole Moor. The kind of day where birds don't bother to flap their wings. A windless, bright, November, frosty start, which soon melted under the gentle warmth of a lowrise winter sun. The end of the day, punctuated by a ruby sunset and rising waxing crescent moon. Mellow birds indeed!!

Just the thing for a hangover!!

Had a night on the tiles with the Turtle again!! It's becoming a bit of a habit. The Rat and Ratchet's coffers are certainly benefiting from our patronage. The surprise beer of the night was, of course, another damn eight percent cider!! Biddendens Dry, which knocked our collective socks well and truly off. I hear that Biddendens also make a Sweet, and I will certainly be looking out for that little beauty.

It is, of course, day seventeen in the chicken coop. I seem to be getting the hang of it now, because there was no cat puke today, and I haven't lost any chickens for a while. Now, if the bloody internet connection would catch up, and the computer would behave.... I think I might even bring my knackered old laptop up here.

Tonight I am requested by way of a return favour, to photograph a bath. The cast iron antique bath is destined for Ebay, and is being sold by a technophobic neighbour, whose sister is going to list the item, but requires the pictures.

I lead such an exciting life, don't I?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sweet sixteen.

A film by the magnificent Ken (Kes) Loach.

I went to the UK film premiere during the Leeds Film Festival. There were three important things to note:

1) Ken Loach was actually there and gave a little speech before the film started.

2) The film features subtitles for the first five minutes to break you into the Scottish accent (Glaswegian? I forget), after which time they disappear and you're on your own.

3) The young star of the movie was not old enough to actually sit and watch the film with us (thanks to the British Board of Film Classification and their fear of any four letter words that begin with the letter C).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fifteen.

It is a brief update for today. I'm not wearing any!!

I jest of course....

Fifteen is a fascinating number and commonly refers to those little sliding puzzle things..... you know...... Like this one!

I've got a lot of pain in my right hand wrist, and my right leg heel. I am starting to think that there is some element of nerve damage going on, but I know a trip to the doctor will yield nothing more than a cursory examination followed by a prescription for which I could buy the same product over the counter at a much more reasonable price. I am simply going to rest them both for a few days and see if there is any change...... What a pain!! Literally. It does of course mean, I get to sit on my arse all day watching films with no real guilty conscience.

Cats: Well behaved today.
Chickens: No further losses to report.
I'm a celebrity: Really dreadfu.... BANG!....... uhhhhh.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A square pyramidal number.....

.... that lies somewhere between thirteen and fifteen.

I am two weeks into this cruel experiment. I can only imagine you are JUST as bored with it as I am!! A grand total of twenty five days remain. Even the puking cats of Pole Moor have now apparently joined me in protest and gone on hunger strike, flatly refusing to eat their churned up fish flavoured repast.

Gardening and car washing have been the order of the day. It's been a gloriously unseasonal sunny November day, which actually started with the first hard frost of the season - I guess the frost and the sunny weather today are simply symptoms of the clear skies that abound.

I can not tell you the last time I washed my car.... it's quite disturbing when you eventually look closely at the chipped paintwork, the tar-flecked panels, the moss covered crevices, and the insect plastered bumpers, of which my preferred mode of transport comprise.

Wash, rinse, wash, rinse, wash, rinse, dry, wash, dry, buff, spot the bits you missed and start again.... what a pain in the arse. I NOW remember why I never bothered washing my car before!! Still, it's strange the effect that a couple of weeks of puking cats and escaping chickens can have one you.

I'm fairly sure by the end of the week I'll be regaling you with tales of how exciting the new series of "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!" is!! If I do, will someone please shoot me?

Thanks.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Unlucky for some.

Day thirteen of the house shuffling exercise, and indeed it's been very unlucky for some... well, one actually..... namely, me!! How can four cats in the space of twelve hours produce seven piles of vomit? It's really starting to piss me off to some major extent now. The cleaning of the Rayburn cooker with baked on cat vomit has long since lost its fascination.

So, here it is.... Sunday searching (again).... enjoy.

not feeling too cracky (Google)
I am not sure why you would type this into Google, or what you might be expecting to find. I can only imagine this was searched for by some G.P. sat behind a desk with a patient in front of them describing their symptoms.

"krypton egg"+blogspot+http (Google)
Oh, how we loved the Krypton Egg. It was an Atari ST classic. Written by a guy called Alexandre Kral circa 1990. I did manage to download a version for a Nokia phone at one point which was written by Xavier Kral - Alexandre's brother. After a brief exchange of emails, I can confirm that they are as cool as you might imagine. Download a copy for the Atari ST from somewhere if you can.....Perhaps the Little Green Desktop is as good a place as any to begin?

"Blog is closed" site:blogspot.com -theokara.blogspot.com (Google)
Not really sure why anyone would be searching for a website by typing its address into Google. Surely, you'd just type theokara.blogspot.com into the address bar of your chosen browser and wait for the page to load? By an by, it looks like the blog in question IS closed, but it was a portal for downloading movies from. An interesting random surf for me.

how long is the Aritic Fox? (Google)
The "Aritic" fox is actually the same size as an "Arctic" Fox.... unless you make the pedantic observation that in truetype fonts, an "i" is narrower than a "c", in which case the answer would be: Just a little bit shorter than an Arctic Fox, actually. Thank you for calling, come again.

arctic fox hunting photos (Google)
I never tire of clicking the "images" button in Google for people who haven't quite worked it out yet.

draw your brakes lyrics scotty (Google)
Thanks to spice for this, I am the ONLY person on the whole world wide web that has these lyrics on their website. See them here!!

"more tea, vicar" fart (Google)
I don't know many people who...
a) find farting quite as funny as I do....
b) repeat the phrase "more tea, vicar?" when anyone farts.
I am pleased to know that someone else was interested in this quality statement though. I think it was Worcester Dan that first brought the statement up on my blog, but I am now pleased to know that this will forever more be immortalised in Google by my reiteration.... more tea, vicar?

christmas lights in newton stewart dumfries scotland (AOL)
Have you been to Newton Stewart in Dumfries (or stupid chips as my cousins would call it) in Scotland? It's small.... and cold, and last time I was there, there were boy racers in the Somerfields car park!! I can not tell you when the lights will be switched on there, but I can say that they were switched on last year on the 1st of December - The Friday night. Perhaps the Stupid-Chips and Galloway Tourist Board may help with your enquiry? I did enjoy this article about last year's event though.... very dramatic.

eek noodle mouses (Google)
I never thought that many people would be interested in my "noodle doodle" song, and I wasn't far wrong. There have been a select few that have found my page though, and I am glad to have shared the song with the world. You can go back and read it here.

egears.co.uk problems (Google)
NEVER piss a blogger off!! That's the moral of the story. This week, it's still my second highest search criteria, and I am guessing that lots of people are also having worries or troubles about dealing with Egears. Well you want my advice? Don't bother. don't trust them. Don't waste your time and money on them.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bloody hell.

I just came on to write my day eleven chicken maintenance diary, and to expand upon the seven deadly sins concept....

Yesterday's posting has completely disappeared!!

I wrote about Philadelphia cheese spread and some other such nonsense.... The post was successful, and yet, today, it's gone.... this has never happened to me before and I can only put it down to the fact that the computer at my mum's house just simply defies all rhyme or reason.

The growing list of things that I can't do here at Chicken Towers is growing in number and vexatious by the minute.

I refuse to play along. I am packing up my bat and ball, and going to sit in the sulky corner!!

Post update update......... I found the post that went missing.... for some wacky reason the date stamp had gone awry, and of course the blog entry wasn't in the place where it was supposed to be..... it is now, and that's yesterday.... read all about Philadelphia if you like.
Dual ten-nancy.

Ok, so I am now hopping between the two houses with alarming frequency. As an example, I think I have visited both houses today no less than three times each. I don't know whether I am coming or going, and I am uncertain as to where my slippers and pipe are.

Too blustery and wet today to even contemplate letting the chickens out. I can only hope that they are not plotting some escape plan, whilst literally being cooped up all day!!

Cats are in good shape, and even received a little bit of affection and attention, courtesy of Veronica, my good friend Turtle's Czechoslovakian lady friend. I think they quite enjoyed someone noticing them for a change, and promptly shed enough fur to make a suitably nineteen-eighties style Harris Tweed jacket!! Apart from calling them all Rupert, I think Veronica liked them.

Ah, now where was I with my not so deadly sins?

Gluttony.....

I cast my mind back to the days when I was knee high to a grasshopper. A rugrat, an anklebiter, and no mistake. I used to love Philadelphia cream cheese, especially in sandwiches. I am guessing I would be about six or seven years old, and was overjoyed to find a tub of said spreadable comestible in our fridge. Times were hard in those days, and it was a rare treat.

I decided, liking the cool white cheese as I did, that a sandwich of pure and utter indulgence would be in order. I spread the whole frikking tub into one enormous Scooby Doo style butty. It must have been an inch thick between two slices of Mother's Pride sliced white. Heaven.

I took a bite, and the senses were positively jarred.... Could this be? Had I actually discovered at a very early age, that just because you like something, it doesn't automatically follow suit that the more of it there is, the better it will be? It was frikking horrible.

I opened the window, and hoyed the sandwich out. It lay there beating, like the telltale heart. When Mama discovered the chunky white slab with visible teeth marks cut into the corner, well it didn't take a forensic expert to piece it all together......

She never forgave me for wasting this precious and rare commodity. I was sent to a boarding school, and only allowed home on every ninth Sunday. I learned my lesson, and prefer Marmite now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Nine down...

Thirty to go....

That's just about a month of chicken maintenance left to run.

Three down.....

Four to go.......

That's nearly half way through the seven deadly sins!!

Which sin fits the bill today? Can I do sloth again?? Unfortunately, I think not.

Lust? My spate of visiting lapdancing clubs? The Nana Plaza in Bangkok?

Perhaps the "gentleman's cheese and wine party" at the Greyhound, for the "Wattle Fettlers club" (which uncannily fits in with my chicken theme too) whom I graciously printed tickets for and received a complimentary invitation for my troubles.

It consisted of some pretty dirty strippers, who were in fact offering slightly more than your usual striptease..... I grimaced as some old man tried in vain to conjure an erection whilst two girls shoved bananas where monkeys shove bad nuts.

At this point, I slipped out of the back of the bar, rolled a spliff, and sat and chatted with the girls that still had their clothes on. They were nice enough, but I still never understood what made them tick....

I can only guess it was all about money..... Lust for money!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I h8 them!

As part of my seven deadly sins, I bring to you "envy".

Those smartarses at Kew Gardens not only upstage my "bowling cam" bu they do it with so much style and pizzazz, that I veritably covet their webcam!!

You can look at it here if you MUST!!

As for everything else, well.....

Done a bit of walking (seven or eight miles on Sunday, and to the pub last night!!)

Went to a bonfire and fireworks display (Despite being neither catholic nor protestant, I still feel aggrieved that one of Yorkshire's crazy folk should be repeatedly burned atop a fire each year with such revelry.... Especially in Yorkshire!!)

Lost another chicken (Current total is now 17)

Been out for lunch.

Watched a bit of TV

Finished a book (Ben Elton - Stark - An excellent read.)

Cleaned up "baked on" cat puke from the Rayburn in the kitchen!!

Usual stuff then.....

(Note: This is a first draft of the blog entry for today. The finished article never made it to press. We all know that blogger has a lovely "autosave" feature, and the ability to save a document at any time you wish as you type it, but nobody has contended with this paranoid android of a computer that I am writing it with..... "SecurityToken: Your request could not be processed. Please try again." is all it tells me, and the final edit falls out of the printer port onto the floor, to be swept up with all the cat hairs.
Seven deadly sins.

Sloth.......

End of message!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday search for six.

Day six Pole Moor diaries.

No introduction necessary by now. You all should know what my Sunday Search terms are all about, and if you don't then look back at the last few Sunday postings to get the idea.

what would happen if the arctic fox died (Google)
The first thing you would probably notice would be a severe lack of blog entries. I'm touched that you're already planning how best to cope without me, but it's a little premature!!

Jenni Falconer porn (Google)
Hahaha, one minute it's Jenni's anti-smoking campaign. No sooner have I scratched that itch for you, than you want what?? Seriously, I'm not sure there's any Jenni Falconer porn out there, she is far too busy presenting televisual gold, like the lottery and Cirque du Celebrite to need any extra exposure!! You're just not going to find it, and don't just take that from me, here's someone who has spent more time than I ever would researching it.

pinch and a punch first day of the month cut off (Google)
In my twisted little world, the rules of "pinch and a punch for the first of the month" are as follows:

a) You may pinch and punch anyone until midday of the first day of the month.

b) Once you have been pinched and punched yourself, you may not pinch and punch any further until the next month.

c) You may not pinch and punch anyone who pinched and punched you first.

d) You must declare "pinch and punch for the first of the month" as you pinch and punch your victims.

The rules above are completely made up and I accept no responsibility for anything that happens to anyone, ever!

egears (and any other derivatives) (Any search engine)
So many people have found my site searching for egears that it's now the second highest commonly searched for item that leads people here. I still maintain that you should not touch them with a barge pole. Find someone who will give you some customer service and satisfaction instead.

adopt a arctic fox (Google)
I am open to offers... highest bid wins!!

fox halloween porn (Google)
What the?? I can only reiterate, perhaps you should try here?
(pictures seem to broken to me, but mebbe that's just this freaking computer?)

rodney allen greenblatt (Google)
Try "Rodney alan Greenblat".... or go here instead!! I once almost persuaded Rodney to allow me to create a website for him.... almost!! Father of Parappa the Rapper of course!

HEBDEN BRIDGE BONFIRE 2007 ENTRANCE FEE PRICE (Google)
If you gotta pay to see a bonfire then you're barking up the wrong tree... i.e. a tree that's on fire!! For Hebden Bridge, you'd surely be better visiting the Hobbit's massive bonfire extravaganza.... in fact it's probably a bit late for that now... never mind.... but seriously DON'T pay to see a bonfire!!

gave up smoking indigestion (Google)
The nicotine lozenges that I started taking to get me off the cancer sticks did indeed give me (amongst other symptoms) indigestion. Persevere... buy Zantac, Gaviscon, Chewable Rennies, Tums, anything... all of them.... it's still cheaper and better for you than smoking... Good luck!!

knock knock jokes porcine (Google)
I'm such a fan of this search, it's untrue. Porcine knock knock jokes, it's deliciously correct. I like it so much, I give to you....
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Pig
Pig who?
Pig up your feet or you'll Twip!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Just take five.

I am feeling relaxed today. Despite waking up with a banging headache and no internet connection.... some things are going my way.

First: Spice, yes your suggestion of "Chicken Rhythm" was duly noted and fulfilled. You know what? I like it!! Let's not think this means I am now playing requests though!! You've all got your own bloody blogs to fill with nonsense!! Hope everyone enjoys the new tune and spares a thought for me while I am "mucking out" this week!!

Second: Part of the reason behind today's headache was a few pints at the Barge and Barrel in Elland last evening. I think the "Bargee" was not quite up to scratch and may account for the thick head. What I did taste there, however, was something that launched me into beery heaven. Black Bee - A honey porter. I have recently discovered that (as a life long devotee of Chestnut Mild) I like mild and I like Guinness.... imagine my surprise to find a drink that falls inbetween the two.... and then to find a very nice honey brewed version of said drink..... paradise!!

Third: I am taking Dawn out tonight for a meal. She has been working really hard lately, and we don't always get the time together that she deserves... especially since I am confined to the chicken coop m0st nights..... It's not so much that I can't go out, as much as how bad I would feel if anything happened when I WAS out. We are going for noodles to Leeds... to Fuji Hiro.... one of our all time favourites.

Fourth: The bowling club at the back of my house has finally erected a smoking shelter!!!! It has been a constant source of disgruntlement to me, but amusing to webcam viewers, that the smokers congregate outside the door of the club, just outside my bedroom window. It gets quite noisy with the window open at night. Well, if you've been glued to "bowling cam" today, you'd have seen them putting up a smoking shelter at the other side of the club. Hooray!! It also means that anyone wishing to go to the club, will now (hopefully) no longer have to walk through a group of smokers blowing their wares in your face! I sound like a sanctimonious ex-smoker already!!

Fifth: It's a beeee-yooo-teeeee-ful day!! I've been "twitching" in the garden at Pole Moor. Not as a side effect of copious amounts of real-ale, and subsequent lack of it..... but in the fashion of bird-watching. There's some lovely birds out there. A similar bunch to the ones I get at home, but with a few differences...... Out there: Regular visits by pairs of blackbirds. The kestrel is never far away and is a delightful sight hovering over the fields. Thrushes.... I've seen quite a few of them, and it's not uncommon to see two or three chasing each other round the vegetable patches - Not sure if they are song or mistle. Wren, the little wren, my favourite bird.

Five and a halfth: I know this was supposed to be a Saturday Sample blog, but I forgot!! I thought it was Friday!! I've been Pole Moored!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Channel 4.

Channel 4 is twenty five years old. Carol Vorderman looks a darn sight better now than she did on that first ever countdown show. She's a vixen.... thinking man's crumpet!!

Spent the day reading books, and practicing with my new camera.... Obviously I would like to show you the results of my efforts, but this computer doesn't allow me to upload anything.

Of course I could make the short trip home.... I could make the short trip home to check my post.... I could make the short trip home to check my email when the internet doesn't work here (there was 12 hours yesterday without internet again!!).... I could make the short trip home to read the blogs.... I could make the short trip home to write a blog..... I could make the short trip home to take a shower..... I could make the short trip home to cook food because the Aga here takes a couple of hours to reach cooking temperature...... I could make the short trip home to offload my photography and upload some samples.... I could make the short trip home to upload the items I have been scanning in, which are all from a box of memories, that I was going to upload and write about each day that I am house sitting.... I could make the short trip home to watch TV..... I could make the short trip home any time and as many times a day as necessary.....

That's not the point.....

Living in two houses is hard work. I am trying to minimise the disruption and to at least call one of the houses my "base". It would therefore make sense, that, having been trusted to look after my mum's house, and the fact that there are at least two feeding times and a chucking out and a locking up time, the "base" ought to be here at Pole Moor. It also makes sense because I have neighbours to watch over MY house, but there are none at Pole Moor.

I know I moan about it, I know I get angry when nothing works here. It just takes a little time to settle down to living in a house that isn't your own house, and I am sure the same would apply whether it were one hundred miles or one hundred yards away.

I am settling into the pace....

I am ready for some beer this weekend, that's for sure!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Three....

And that's the magic number.

I am starting to relax into the Pole Moor pace of life.

I managed to get my USB Freeview adapter working last night, and it found a fair few channels. so long as I watch television on the computer, I don't have to miss too much now. Heroes was the evening's viewing highlight for me. A real treat.

Today, having let the chickens out into a wind tunnel filled with sideways-rain, and cleaned a veritable mountain of cat puke up, I went back to my house. I read the blogs, had a shower, collected a few more clothes, and tidied up a bit. My house is starting to feel a bit cold and unlived in now. I put the heating on for an hour and played a bit of Pogo.

Blip - Another internet disconnection......

Undeterred, I type on.

Settled into Pole Moor this afternoon - That is, up until the point where I decided it might be nice to watch a video!! Remember videos?? Well, the setup here, like the weather, is wild and unpredictable. After thirty minutes "rewiring" of the TV, the video recorder and the DVD writer, I was watching Whisky Galore (one of my all-time-favourites) and within thirty more minutes, of course I was fast asleep.

I am sure I have broken my heel. It's very painful, and I thought it was an achilles heel injury. When I cast my mind back to what I might have done to cause so much pain and damage, I was reminded of a time in a changing room somewhere, when I pulled on some trousers and caught the back of my heel on the wooden seat in the cubicle. I hit it quite hard, and it did bleed. I had forgotten all about it. I am thinking that recent walking expeditions have aggravated this injury. I really can't live with the concept that I might not be able to walk more than a few miles, or indeed be able to ride my bike. I don't know how long I should wait for it to mend itself before I visit a Google searching doctor about it.

Internet still down..... 11 minutes later and I am back again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Adopt a Geordie accent now.

Day two in the Big Mother's house. Fox is trying to photograph birds in the garden. Unfortunately, it's not his garden, and the birds are none too pleased at being pursued by a peeping tom, and in due course call the police. It's the price you pay for being a novice photographer.... A well known member of the paparazzi may well have requested a payment in the region of three-hundred-thousand simoleans for the effort!!

I am thinking of buying a "freeview" box for my mum's house. The choice of five channels is such an alarming, disarming contrast with my hundred and odd usual choices, that I don't think I will make it through the week without a little more choice. Hell, I don't even think I will make it through the night knowing that I am missing next week's episode of "Heroes" on BBC3.

The folks finally made it to Australia... their final destination. Mum called at around midday today, which of course, is eleven at night, tonight, in their time in Sydney. How strange is that? They had quite a rough journey, but then a whole day on an aeroplane is not many peoples' idea of fun, is it?

I seem to have mislaid (pardon the pun) a chicken already. I am reliably informed there should be nineteen, but I have only managed to find eighteen of them. At this rate, I'll be out of a job within a week.

Grey.... That's what we have today.... a cloak of greyness. Grey skies, grey clouds, grey light. Flat and very uninviting. I am disappointed that the weather has not been conducive to getting out and about with my new camera..... not that there is any software to do anything with the sodding photos when I've taken them. I am thinking of bringing my old laptop up here, just so I can touch some familiar software......

Note: You can not touch software!! The old rule of computing thumb is.... If you can kick it, it's hardware. If you can't kick it, it's software, unless of course it's firmware, which is software you can kick!! Got that?? Good!

And now.... I have been trying to find a positive out of house-sitting here at Pole Moor, and you know what?? I think I may have found it. As you may know, it's halloween tonight. I won't be celebrating. The nearest neighbour here is a good few hundred metres away, and the likelihood of half-hearted adolescents in hoodies knocking on my door for sweets, in breach of their ASBOs, is negligible. That's my positive.

Oh, bugger, you've probably just realised that while I am sitting here at my mum's house in peace and quiet, there is a ninety percent chance that the ingredients for Yorkshire pudding are being plastered across the front of my own house because I wasn't there to fire my air rifle at the delinquents of Outlane!! Negative!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thirty nine steps.

Anyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time will know, without even having to think about it, that whenever I have to look after my mum's house at Pole Moor.....

I get extremely pissed off!!

Today is the start of thirty nine days of house sitting, of chicken husbandry, of cat caring, of shattered internet connections, and limited televisual experiences.

Eighteen chickens.

Four cats.

No internet. Well internet that is so temperamental that I have been trying to create a blog entry for nigh on six hours now.

Browsers that don't perform as they should - A combination of Opera, Firefox, and Internet Exploder will not (between them) allow me to publish a single photograph to my blog. A combination of windows internal firewall and the browsers' individual security settings are all arguing with each other.

Unfamiliar, unresponsive and frankly frustrating collection of photo editing software. I scanned a bunch of photographs earlier (for the purpose of my blog) and had to crop them.... It took me bloody hours for what should have been a ten minute exercise. The irony of this wasted time, is of course that the fourteen images I now have won't post.

A paranoid over zealous installation of Zonelabs Zonealarm (additional firewall), that won't let me fart without sticking a cork where monkeys shove bad nuts.

I've been house sitting for approximately twelve hours of the thirty nine days, and I am already tearing my hair out. Stay tuned for a complete and utter breakdown, which I predict will happen sometime around Thursday.