Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Busy?

Busy doing nothing.

Master procrastinator at your service.

Try saying that after a few sherbets!!

Well, I've been busier than the bees that nest in the rotten window frames of my tumbledown house.

I've been fishing, and dog walking, and raising mighty nations. I've been reading, writing, and ringing my bank to do the 'rithmetic. I've watched telly, scoffed chocolate, and generally done sweet eff all, all day.

Of course today is the start of Big Brother. I promise not to blog about Big Brother for a few reasons, none of which need spelling out. If you really want to read about Big Brother, then head on over to digital spy and read it there.... I can't possibly compete with the wealth of misinformation there!!

This shall be my only bit of Big Bro commentary:

1) There's another West Yorkshire girl on this year's show - and she styles herself on Victoria Beckham. Enough said?? Not nearly..... She wants to give Yorkshire a good name..... she should start by effing off out if it then!! (The previous Yorkshire girl was a a girl from Huddersfield who disgraced not only Yorkshire, but the entire British Isles).

2) This year's show is, for the moment, all women!!

3) As I understand it, there will be one man entering the house on Friday night.... poor bugger is all I can say!!

I love Big Brother, but invariably it ends up being a damp squib that breaks my heart. It's a cross that in recent years I have not been proud to bear. I am sure I will come in for all manner of ridicule, just for mentioning my love of it.

And so, as I take a break between catching muskellunge on the Wii, and beating up Seville and Lisbon simultaneously, I manage to write a few words......

Hope you enjoyed them!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ginger.

I am in the bedroom. I am sitting at my desk. I am in the bedroom, sitting at my desk, sifting through emails and generally catching up with whatever the world has in store for me today.

I am eating a ginger preserve sandwich. Lovely brown bread, and lovely spiced ginger preserve.

Some of you may remember my previous encounter with a jar of ginger preserve. Should you wish to recall this story, you can find it here:

Toast.

Well, it's safe to say that my current jar is still in one piece, and it's bloody delicious.

Now, the fact that I am enjoying my preserve is not really a blog worthy topic in itself. I am sure you will agree to that much. As I take the last mouthful of my sticky unctuous snack, I am reminded of something my friend's mum said to me about the original "toast" tale.

I was explaining to Dan's mum about blogging, and about the things I write about. I was trying to convey the fact that blogs are not just diaries, and they aren't just written like:

8:00am got out of bed
9:00am went to work
5:00pm came home

blah blah blah.

Mine would never look like this because of course I don't have a job, but you get the idea.

The concept of online journalling is quite alien to some people. They are entitled to remain in the dark about blogs, but for the most part I think they should dip their toes in the water and experience some of it at least.

I would rather someone read some blogs and then said they were all self gratifying bollocks, than just assuming that we are all self gratifying bollocks writers because some self gratifying bollocks writer had written said comment in a newspaper.

I often forget that some people actually produce good blogs, about real things. There are people living in situations that make for fascinating front line reading. I have to concede that mine is just self gratifying bollocks. They are not all like that/this though.

Anyhoo......

As an example of the things I write about, I quoted the toast example.

Dan's mum looked at me in horror as I explained that I had the brief moment where I wanted to salvage the jar.

She would have salvaged it and couldn't believe I didn't. She went to some lengths to explain how to sift the jam for shards of glass, even suggesting that it might have been an idea to just eat it carefully, checking it as you go along.

It made me laugh as I chomped my sandwich with reckless abandon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Nintenblogs

i am sitting on my sofa pointing a nintendo controller at the telly and individually clicking letters on the screen.

it is a royal ball acher but how many other blogs have you seen written by wii?

worst blog ever.

possibly shortest blog ever.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memories.

Bloody dreams and memories.

Strange dreams, and I have mentioned these before, have escorted me throughout my period of non-smoking.

I bloody woke up this morning with three distinct things on my mind that I wanted to recount in my blog. I also made a mental note that I ought to have some sort of notepad to write things in so I don't forget them.

Alas, of course, during the day's household chores, and some serious Nintendo time, the items of note have long departed.

Let's see if I can dredge them up......

One of them was about Brian.... a contractor I used to work with.

The other two.... what the hell were they??

Dammit, I will never make a writer, and that's exactly the reason why. This morning as I woke, the items I wanted to write about seemed like they would have made a good blog. Instead, you now have to listen to me wittering on about having nothing to write about.

Sunday.... All day....... Different only, in that tomorrow is bank holiday Monday, so the whole country is pretty much on holiday - except for those that have to work of course.

Which brings two things together in a strange way.

Some friends of mine used to have a regular disco thing going in a pub in Huddersfield. The pub was called The Wharf - and it was in Aspley. They used to have a banner outside the pub which read:

"Opun orl dey eksep sundis"

Don't ask me why, but it brings together the Sunday thing and Spice's request that I work in a bit of Yorkshire dialect!!

I've bought myself a Nintendo Wii, and as you can imagine, I am non-stop fishing, cooking, shooting, bowling and generally loving it.

Cooking - can you believe it? I am cooking virtual food with a motion sensitive controller, where you have to slice and dice your ingredients, and crack eggs and all that sort of stuff. It's pretty simplistic, but I am finding humour in it. Check it out - Cooking Mama.

Thanks to Dawn today, my house is totally tidy again. Inspired by my virtual cooking exploits, I made real lunch for us both to celebrate my new found sense of spick and spanness.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Crunch.

Grumpy morning.

Dawn gets out of bed and starts ironing. I have never known anyone who could face a pile of ironing each and every morning.

Five minutes later, I rub my bleary eyes and join Dawn in the kitchen. Coffee and much yawning and rubbing of eyes. It's seven thirty.

Five minutes later, the Kirsty emerges. She's grumpy and not speaking. The television goes on, and a quick unspoken inspection reveals that there is not enough room in the kitchen to fix breakfast. Back to the telly.

Ironing finished, Dawn goes upstairs to get ready, and to get Connor up.

I sit in the lounge reading the newspaper.

The Kirsty goes to make breakfast.

Connor comes down.

The Kirsty goes upstairs to get ready - The marathon has begun. I am sure the Kirsty will not mind me referring to it as a marathon.

I offer to make breakfast for Connor, but he doesn't want it yet. He lies in a heap under his quilt on the sofa, with just enough room to be able to see whatever is on the telly. The programme this morning is about some bloke whose fiance was killed in a bomb blast and has since found love again. I wonder what's going through Connor's head at this point!

I am still embedded in a two day old newspaper.

Dawn comes down and fixes Connor breakfast. She sets up a little TV table and puts the breakfast in front of the heaped duvet, and disappears back upstairs. The quilt doesn't move.

Ten minutes later, I notice that the quilt has not moved. I suggest Connor eats some breakfast. Eventually the quilt moves.

Five minutes later, Dawn is summoned, due to a shortage of milk on said cereal.

Dawn is ready now, and goes to the shop to assemble the missing items for this morning's routine. Bread and milk. Connor's breakfast receives the requisite top-up.

Eventually breakfast is finished and Connor and the quilt go back upstairs. Presumably from Dawn's bemusement, both find their way back onto the bed.

Dawn's in the kitchen, finally fixing her own breakfast. It's about eight thirty now. I take my leave and head off home.

The only thing missing in today's routine was Tom. He stayed at a friend's house last night because he has no school today. Today's routine was quiet. Sleepy, grumpy, and very quiet. What a difference a Tom makes!!!

I reach my garden gate. Step through and....

Crunch.

Snail beneath my trainer is obliterated into broken shell and mush.

The second of realisation, and as my other foot goes down.....

Crunch.

It's a bad morning for snails.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mornings.

What is it with me and mornings?

We have never been the best of friends. In fairness, I am what you might call a bit of a night owl.

Lately, I haven't even had the stamina to stay up all night playing games, which given the chance, is very unusual for me.

This morning, like so many before it, I woke early. Too early. Too early for someone with no job, that's for sure. I think it must have been about six AM.

Like being chewed up by the night, and having given it indigestion, being unceremoniously spat out into the dawn chorus. Wishing it would go away, turning over, trying in vain to reconnect with sleep. Bladder niggling, just enough to keep the sandman at bay.

I got up and pandered to my weak bladder. This would have been the point where I lit a cigarette and chilled for a while on the sofa. Not any more.

Nine weeks and one day ago, I stopped smoking. My grand totals right now are even starting to impress me.

Cigarettes not smoked = 2560
Money saved = 672 GBP (1336 USD; 1447 CAD; 34547 RUB)
Sweets eaten = Any that I could find.
Weight gained = Most definitely.

Well, bladder emptied, jumped back in bed. Managed another two hours of snoozing before the light pried my eyelids with the subtlety of a shiny metal crowbar. Eight AM. I don't know why I have such a love/hate relationship with sleep.

In other news..... Big Brother 8 is just one week away..... count them.... seven days, that's all.... I am so excited. I am sure that I will have lost interest by the second day of it, but you live in hope. Hope that we get people who are less annoying than Danielle Lloyd for instance.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Noodling.

Just noodling.

That's what I am doing.

I wanted to write about the desecration of one of my favourite watering holes, but of course this would be of no importance to anyone. I should have written about the Grey Horse at Birchencliffe in Huddersfield prior to it changing hands and being completely ruined.

Had I written about it previously, perhaps someone reading it might have taken the time and effort to make the trip and find that it was a good place to go for a drink.

As it stands now, the arty comic prints have gone. No more tea-light candles on every table. No magazine and newspaper rack. The great tunes they used to play, and the atmosphere, rudely shattered by some no-hopers, who in a single flick of a light switch have ruined a lovely boozer.

The fact that I had to take my pint of Guinness back because it tasted of vinegar has nothing to do with it. The fact that when my pint was replaced, she deemed to call me "mate" has nothing to do with it.

I'm not their mate, and I certainly won't be back.

Oops, now I have written about it, and I wasn't going to.

Ok, ignore the last bit.

I've been a good lad today and run an errand for my mum, and also managed to take care of certain banking issues that required immediate attention. I am quite solvent now, so ladies, form an orderly queue.... Only joking...... Calm down Dawn.

I think I might watch a movie or two this afternoon. Something that has a little more pace than staring idly out the window, watching the Greenhead Park Veterans crown green bowling team who have come to challenge the home side here in Outlane.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Well.....

It just goes to show, the inequalities of life.

I have been officially missing since nine AM on Thursday, until now. That's three whole days, and nobody has even tried to phone me to see if I was alright, or whether my parents had enjoyed their Tapas!!

In truth, one friend did phone me, but it wasn't to see if I was alright, it was to see if I wanted to go round to his house to play fishing on the Nintendo Wii (pronounced, not like the Geordie hello - why aye!, but like the noise a small child makes when urinating - wee!).

Did I want to play video games? Does Margaret Thatcher have swastikas tattooed on each buttock? But of course!!

I am now suffering from Wii shoulder, which doesn't of course mean one of my shoulders has reduced in size, to the extent that it causes discomfort. Wii shoulder is more akin to tennis elbow, but slightly higher, roughly in the shoulder department as opposed to the elbow department.

I think everyone who has ever touched a Wii, has at some point received some form of injury, no matter how trivial.

My shoulder just feels like I have been shaking my arm wildly about, like trying to swat giant virtual flies, which is of course the control mechanism of said console.

Anyway, the fishing was good.

I have a strange fetish for fishing games. I loves em.

In other news.....

For Toad, today is Sunday, and for me, that means I am hoping it's also a day of sun.

Random commenter - Fishing through backdated blog postings at random and commenting. You make me feel warm all down my legs. I specifically enjoy comments like: "a post without a comment is a lonely thing".

Sir Pudding of Yorkshire - The very second I read your comment, I had a sickly feeling that we'd missed a fantastic opportunity to sell them rubber wristbands on eBay. There don't appear to be any on there, and apparently a green and yellow one would make us more money.

Sunday blogs don't come any cheaper, or less read than right here on blogger.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Smoke.....

.... and mirrors.

The news is full of the disappearance of a little girl in Portugal, whose parents thought it was more important to fill their bellies, than it was to be a parent.

I am not going to go into the whys and wherefores of it all.... It's already received enough attention. Just remember, next time you're tucking into your patatas bravas..... Where are YOUR children!!

What DOES concern me, is that the inordinate amount of media coverage lavished on this incident is detracting from other stories. Some of these other stories, that are sidelined, and shielded from our view, would under normal circumstances be headlining.

Take for instance the fact that a male nurse from Texas has managed to pocket a cool twenty five thousand pounds (50000 USD; 55000 CAD) by winning the US Rock Paper Scissors final.

How about the fact that a gardener from London has managed to break the furniture land speed record, by travelling at ninety two miles per hour on a sofa!!

Not tickled by either of those nuggets? Then how about taking part in the world's first underwater golf tournament, in a fifty foot deep aquarium in China??

As if that isn't enough.....

Tony Blair has decided he has had enough and picked a great week to announce it.... shhhh Tony, someone might notice!!

Prince Harry isn't going to go to war in Iraq?? Apparently, his very presence there would endanger the lives of the other soldiers in his squadron. Personally I think it's the presence of Iraqis that puts them at risk. Don't tell anyone though.

In other news, it would seem that the government have picked a lovely quiet week to u-turn over the issue of hybrid embryo research. Now, finally, I might get that monkey-man I have always dreamed of training as a butler!! It's ok though, because the embryos would only be 0.1 percent animal, and the rest is all human.

Watch out for a post office closing near you.... yes, of course, that old chestnut..... two and a half thousand post offices will be closed, but if we pick the right week to tell them, then nobody will mind. They're all too busy buying yellow ribbons. Perhaps if they sold those ribbons at post offices then they wouldn't have to close?

Can you tell I am a bit pissed off?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ouch.

I love "shop banter".

It's a term I think I invented, and it relates to those brief over-the-counter encounters we all have with shop staff.

The best types of shop banter are usually to be found in smaller shops, which I imagine are staffed by someone you might consider to be the owner. Perhaps a newsagent or a fishmonger or even a hardware store?

I am desperately racking my tiny brain to remember where I had this poignant piece of shop banter.....

Time passes....

Cogs whirr......

Kettle goes on...... Coffee is made......

Cue cutaway scene of sun rising and setting and moon (all speeded up to signify the passing of weeks) replacing it, repeating over and over again like at the end of Evil Dead Three - Medieval Dead - Army of Darkness.

Bingo.....

Fox brushes the cobwebs from the keyboard and resumes typing......

Janet Green Photographic in Halifax - Obviously not the place to be buying photographic memories, is it now!!!!

I was looking at cameras in the week that I gave up smoking. It all kind of ties in nicely now.... in fact it all ties together so much better than when I actually started writing this blog.

Ok, so I stopped smoking, and I am telling this guy in the camera shop that the money I save is going towards a new camera. He tells me he used to smoke, and that he stopped, and now he always gets a sore throat.

So, how apt, that on my eight week anniversary of not smoking a cigarette, I've developed a sore throat, and was reminded of his comment, but couldn't remember who had told me.

I look in the medicine cupboard for something to ease the discomfort of having a cheese grater rammed sideways down my oesophagus. Strepsils.... Medicine for sore throats, or so they tell me.

I go the whole hog and take two. Not that I am greedy you understand, but all medicines in my experience are better doubled at the start.

Nonchalantly flipping the packet over..... Expires July 2005!!

Bugger.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Conflict.

A war zone stretches in front of me. Burning rubble, scattered debris, and a sense of horror that can only be experienced at first hand.

I begin by trying to reach the sanctuary of the sofa, but am thwarted by the mountain of dismembered crisp bags and sweet wrappers.

Beaten back to the kitchen, I manage to put rearrange the washing up, so it appears that far fewer plates and knives are lying wounded requiring medevac.

Biscuit boxes, cereal packs, and a mountain of unanswered correspondence (and more importantly, unattended bills) festoon my sideboards, providing cover for the coffee spills and crumbs.

I decide it's a safer bet to dig in, and wait until it's all over.

I grab the laptop, and trip over the discarded pile of clothing and towels outside the bathroom, steady myself, and head back to the kitchen.

Where to start?

Paperwork..... I am gradually shredding it all. I have devised a system. It's quite simple really. First pass, flick through the box of papers, separating keepers from shredders. Second pass, through the pile of keepers...... Do I really need it?? More shredders. Third pass, close your eyes and shred the keepers pile AND the shredding pile, denying all knowledge.... I never had to sign for any of it, therefore I never saw it... Did someone say Enron?

Washing up.... Put away the stuff that was washed up a few days ago, and is now dry. Everything else needs to soak!! Bowl of water, leave for three days, or until you need something in the bowl.

Find something else to do.... Hence the laptop and the blog!!

Makes a change from "wind in the willows" eh Toad?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Toad in the hole!!

I wasn't going to make a blog posting today.

I haven't been up to much. Got up late.... Played some Nintendo (of course)...... Went out for some lunch..... Visited the folks..... Came home, and the two pint lunch caught up with me.... Snoozed on the sofa to the dulcet tones of Alan Titchmarsh explaining something about an ice age??

It's all there in a nutshell, not that my blog is merely a boring "woke up, had some toast, got dressed" kind of journal you understand.

I've been goaded (or is that toaded?) into making a posting though.

I know I've been ranting about lurkers recently.

I know I encourage everyone to leave their pawprint in the sand, as they walk across my mind.

So, what is it that's wound me up?

See yesterday?? Well of course you can't actually see yesterday as such, but you can see the post I made yesterday clear enough. It's down there underneath this one (unless this one happens to be the last one on the page and yesterday's post has fallen off the stack into the archives - It's true that yesterday's blog is today's virtual chip paper!).

Well..... If you look at yesterday, you will clearly see, that at the top of the posting it carries a date stamp. It was obviously Friday, hence the title of the blog entry. The whole blog entry is about it being Friday.

Someone called Toad has been and commented on yesterday's blog (today), that it is in fact Saturday.

The irony of this comment is tearing me apart.

I know today is Saturday. I know I shouldn't be bothered by this comment. It's either a cleverly crafted mindfrik, or an incredibly silly reader. I can't decide, and it's making my head explode.

Coupled with the fact that Toad left no clue as to who they might be, or their reciprocal blog address....... I'm scuppered.

I fully anticipate a flood of comments telling me the day now, but believe me, once it's been pulled, my leg's not going to fall for that one again. Pull the other one, it's got bells on, as they say in Yorkshire!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday.

Is it really Friday?

In my previous incarnation, the one where I used to be employed, Fridays were a magical part of the week.

Everyone always looked forward to Friday.

Fridays signify the end of the week, the start of the weekend. Perhaps a dress down day? Lunchtime in the pub, maybe sink a lunchtime pint? Early finish.... Making a bolt for the door, and jumping in the car to roar home.

That would be the start of my time.... home time..... relaxing time.

These days, since I opted out of work, the Friday has lost its meaning. It's no longer a special isolated day. It's become part of s homogeneous string of timeless sleeping and waking moments.

The only thing that seems to govern any aspect of my life now, is that the sun rises and the sun sets. I rarely have appointments or dates of significance to work towards, and to be fair, it suits me very well.

You can't beat an afternoon nap on the sofa.

I spent last evening in the extremely pleasant company of my old friend Dan, his mother, and his cousin too. We visited the comedy cellar in Huddersfield and went for a few drinks. It's always good to catch up with Dan, and when I do, I can never understand why we always end up drifting so far apart for so long.

My rat trap is still getting its pockets picked regularly. I am now starting to think that I am going to have to resort to some poison after all. So that was fifteen quid well spent, wasn't it??

Does anyone know of a Sega Megadrive game called Wani-Wani World??

Hope Dan's mum made it to work this morning, and that she has a wicked time on her fortnight long Greek holiday.

Oh, and a quick reminder, or in case you didn't know, there are at least a couple of hundred photos on my flickr album now. Go see!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Early morning.

I jumped into my Porsche Carrera GT, and drove it down through Gray Point.

All the money I have spent on the car recently was feeling like money well spent. The car has reached a new level of responsiveness, and I couldn't wait to reach Rockport to really find out what it was capable of.

Driving through Point Camden. Taking the corners on the wrong side of the road, feeling the racing line. Trying not to draw TOO much attention.

Then, before you could blink, Downtown Rockport was in front of me. The widest, fastest, most open roads this side of Rosewood. It was still early, the roads were quiet enough.

The phone rings. It's my old enemy, Razor. He still bears a grudge. By the end of the phone call he is sitting in his car alongside me. One of us would have to make the first move. Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp. High noon on wheels.

I stepped on the accelerator. Wheels spun, rubber burned, the front end of the car snaked left, then right, and I fought with the steering to bring it back under control. Eventually, I was in front..... A hundred miles an hour was the last thing I remember.

What happened? Razor flew past me, and I glanced at the speedometer. One hundred and eighty miles an hour, and he'd overtaken me. I was out of my depth.

I dropped the joystick to the floor, and switched over the television to watch a fishing programme instead.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chalk it down.....

I know it means absolutely nothing to anyone who might read this, but it means something to me, and it's my blog!!!

Officially, today, it's my 2000th cigarette anniversary!!

Since I quit smoking, exactly fifty days ago, I have not smoked 2000 cigs.... would you Adam and Eve it? The total monetary saving thus far, amounts to the grand sum of five hundred and twenty five pounds (1050 USD; 1160 CAD).

I fall over trying to pat myself on the back.

I find it quite useful to be able to write these figures down in my blog. I think, if I hadn't started recording my progress here, that by now I wouldn't even know when I stopped smoking.

Another milestone, is that I have now been completely nicotine free for a whole week. It's just over a week, in fact, since I stopped taking the lozenges.

Hooray for me.

Anyone else thinking about stopping smoking? Want to know something?? It doesn't hurt one bit!! The fear of trying to stop, and possibly failing, is far worse than actually stopping.

Going back to my webstats.... I know I shouldn't...... An average day for me is usually thirty to forty visitors. Yesterday, I received one hundred visitors. Unprecedented, and wholly inexplicable.

Rol: You wanted to know if you could track your visitors.... well, yes of course you can...... I use something called sitemeter - you can sign up for some free webstats like mine at sitemeter - You can view my stats..... by clicking the little Sitemeter button, which is lurking somewhere down the right hand side of my page, near the bottom of those navigational elements over there >>>

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What the.....

.... bloody hell is going on?

I haven't updated my blog for a couple of days, and my web stats have, in my absence, reached new highs, of which I have never seen the likes.

I decided to look into where these extra readers are coming from and what they are trying to find.

Firstly, I am pleased to say that the majority of people are finding my blog whilst looking for "arctic fox" in some incarnation...... There don't seem to be many of my nemeses "artic fox" searches getting through to me. It seems my persistence in educating the masses about ensuring they use a "C" in the word "arCtic", is finally paying dividends.

Secondly, I have noticed some quite disturbing search criteria that are finding me. I know I should not publish these search terms, because it will just perpetuate their association with my blog..... bugger it...... here they are anyways:

1) deceased mothers day poems
2) lambs gambling on the lawn
3) cottaging huddersfield
4) vanessa phelps wife swap
5) all no limit arctic
6) giana sisters jar
7) japanese proverb bloom sake sun tipsy
8) oven bottom muffins
9) tighty whitey wrestling

Quite a haul, I am sure you'll agree.

I am most interested to know if anyone can shed any light on the Japanese proverb one!!

I do not want to know about cottaging in Huddersfield.

Rat update: Today, all the bait was gone, the trap was sprung..... the cage was empty!!!

Went out walking in the pouring rain today. It was quite harsh and bleak in parts, but it DOES make you feel alive. It was nice to see Duncs today, and to share the walk with him. It was also very nice of the lovely Dawn, to visit my house in my absence and tidy it up..... she's a rare treasure!!

I leave you with one of my favourite quotes of the moment:

"I was born a cynical bastard..... I'll die a cynical bastard" - Rab C Nesbitt

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Me noggin's.....

... took a floggin'!

Went out and got a bit pissed last night. A standard Huddersfield drinking session, which was quite enjoyable. Good company always helps, so those around me can't fail to have a good time!!

I am paying the price today.

It's actually the first night that I have managed to be able to stick it out in pubs and bars without even thinking about having a cig. I'm quite pleased with myself in this respect, but disappointed in my headache.

Yesterday I saw the rat. I saw the rat eating bird food in my garden. I went out to examine the trap, and of course, as predicted, the bait from the trap has all been eaten and the trap remains empty.

Gary Ford's voice is echoing in my ears, "Buy cheap, buy twice". Bollocks.

It's about this point, where I start lurker-bashing. Having looked at my webstats, it seems that, out of the last 100 visitors, nobody has left me a comment - I could be talking bollocks of course, but I am amazed that so many people don't leave an imprint. I don't bite..... often.

Oh well, it's time for some soluble painkillers....... Must..... reduce..... brain...... swelling.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Personal development.

A short while ago, the mighty Yorkshire Pudding made a comment, comparing me to Simon Armitage, and refusing to state whether this was a good thing or bad, and inviting me to make up my own mind. Rightly or wrongly, I took this to mean it was an insult!!

Rol came along, and stated that he felt it was a compliment of the highest order.

I am an ignorant bugger sometimes, and indeed, I often tend to form opinions about things I know feck all about. It's a nasty quality that I possess. I seem to remember reading some of Simon's work in "The Examiner" - Our local Huddersfield based rag. That was all I knew, and I hadn't much cared for it.

Anyhoo.....

Cutting to the chase..... Whilst house-sitting at mum's a week or two ago, I spotted the book "All Points North" and in order to broaden my horizons, began to read.

Well, I've finished the book now, and although there are several more books I should be reading before forming my opinion, I have already decided.......

1) I've enjoyed reading it.
2) I don't think that referring to yourself in the third person (if that's the right term) really makes someone a literary genius.
3) Omitting the words "the" and "and" and "a" does not turn a piece of writing into a poem (in my humble opinion).
4) I felt in parts that the author was trying to sell me a script, namely the Jerusalem thing.... I just didn't think it fitted into the book at all.
5) Some of it was very funny.

One thing I noticed whilst reading the book, and something which troubles me..... The experiences and stories of being in and around Huddersfield come as no great surprise to me. The beliefs and values that are being written about, are generally those of everyone in Colne Valley, and are well observed. I am frustrated by the simplicity of it all.

Imagine my mother and me, walking round the Tate Gallery.... Upon seeing a pile of bricks, the conversation would go something like......

"Look at that, that's not art. I bet you like it don't you?"
"Mum, it's art. It is no more or less valid than a bloody Van Gogh."
"So you like it?"
"I have no feelings about it either way, other than the fact that it is stirring some emotion in you and provoking conversation between us, and therefore it MUST be art."
"Well, I could have done that."
"Yes mum, of course you could have done it, more importantly you didn't do it and someone else did."
"Well it's rubbish"

End of conversation.

In the Simon Armitage context, I am very much in my mother's role.... but I CAN see that I have no position from which to criticise, as indeed, someone else did it, and I didn't.

If a publisher ever described my book like this "The specifications for the books are high -beautifully produced, they all have flaps and are sewn and printed in Italy" - I think I'd be looking for a new publisher!!

You look across the table at the nicotine lozenge that's been lying there for three days now. It wouldn't hurt to eat it, but you've done so well, and decide to have a smint instead. In twenty years you've never done a day without nicotine, and now you've done three.

You read back through your blog entry, and wish you'd sent it to a publisher instead of letting every man and his dog read it already.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

They saw me coming.

Gripped, as I am, with snooker fever, during the 2007 world championship, and constantly on the search for a suitable console equivalent of the omnipotent PC based Virtual Pool series of games, I plumped for a copy of International Snooker Championship for the PS2.

Excitedly, I tore myself away from watching the snooker on the TV and plugged in the PS2 and loaded the game.

Arctic Fox wins the toss and decides to break.

It's a good break. The cue ball travels down the table, and makes contact with the pack of reds. A couple of red balls move marginally, and the cue ball travels round the angles and returns to the balk line. Not perfect, but you'd settle for it.

Up steps Johnny "Elvis" Cage, my computer opponent......

117 points later, and with just the black ball left on the table, Johnny finally misses, and rubs salt into my wounds.

I say, to nobody in particular "What kind of a fekking game is this?". I switch it off and put the TV back on.

On reflection, I guess only a fool would take a computer on at any sport..... Just like it would take an extra special sort of dick to play at an online casino..... But that's another story!!

Rol: Thanks for pointing out my broken link - Seems sometimes when I tag the target="_blank" on the end of the link, it sometimes screws it up..... the tag launches the link in a new window so you don't end up navigating away from my blog. It's fixed now.

For those that missed it, and wanted it.... My Flickr Album

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Buy cheap....

..... Buy twice.

I know I always advocate the Gary Ford shopping mantra of "buy cheap, buy twice", and usually observe this advice well. Today is an exception.

Dawn's not well.

I dropped Tom at school, took Connor to his school, and dropped The Kirsty at work.

With Dawn in her pyjamas underneath some hastily assembled clothing, and Stevie the wonder dog in the back of the car, I headed off to B&Q for some animal trap action.

It's always a bloody pain parking at B&Q for some reason, and I always try to get near the door, and of course there are never any spaces, and by the time you've reached the door and not found a space then it's far too late to be doubling back. I parked in Comet's car park and walked back.

Poorly Dawn and a hot dog waited in the car. I wouldn't be long..... would I?

As I enter the store, I have to fight my way through crowds of people...... the tills are down, and they are manually writing out item sheets, and then scanning the items at the tills with some sort of hand held device which tells them the price. It looks like slow going.

B&Q is completely the other side of town to my house, and there was no way I was going to come here and leave without my trap.

Eventually I find a member of staff who is not busy writing out little sales slips, and we establish the location of humane rat traps. Aisle 50, the last one of course!! I get there, and there's one rat trap left. The traps I have seen online are going to be about forty quid, and this one (cheaper because there's no postage of course) is much cheaper at fifteen quid. I take it.

I get in a queue for someone to write me a little slip out. I get my little slip written out and I get in another queue for a till. The usual chaos ensues, whereby there seem to be two queues leading to my till, and of course it's the other queue that's doing all the moving.

Puffing and blowing I reach the till, only to be told that the tills are now working, and someone comes and collects my little slip, and I go through the till in a normal fashion. All told, approximately one hour and fifteen quid lighter.

I get home and open the trap, to find that it's about as much use as a chocolate teapot. None of the pieces are manufactured correctly, and I have to start bending little pieces of metal rods to make any of it function.

I have now set the trap, baited it with cheese (a nice piece of Irish Carberry), and to be fair, I think the rat is as safe as he was before I spent the time and money!!

Watch this space!!

In other news, I stuck a few more photos in my Flickr album today - you can see the full moon from last night and some from a bluebell wood today..... what more could you ask for?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I am....

... waiting for the moon.

Wasn't that a Lou Reed song?

It's a gorgeous spring day, blue sky, a few wispy clouds, and deliciously warm.

It's also my six week marker. I haven't smoked a cigarette for forty two days now, and I am seriously pleased with myself. They say the first three months are the hardest, and I am half way through it. To be fair, it's been a bloody doddle.

It's also the first of May.

On top of all this, we are blessed this evening with a full moon. I aim to take some nice photos of it. Last night the moon came out early, and looked stunning in the blue sky. It's always easier to photograph the moon in the day because of the contrast issues..... Tonight could be my night.

All these things happening together...... the sheer syszygy of it all.... It's got to mean something.

I even cut my lawn today, and that's not something that happens very often. Now, if only I could get round to trimming my hoboesque beard and barnett, I'd be laughing.