Thursday, September 30, 2004

Incitement to Violence

We have laws against incitement to violence. In most cases I agree with them. However, there is an exception...

I work for a company that sells IBM large computers (someone has to do it). They come in large metal boxes. One type of these is a "storage subsystem" which is a metal box full of disks to which you connect computers.

This particular system used to be called "FAStT" (the capitalisation is deemed important).

Now someone decided, without any pretence that the product has changed, to change the name. It is now called "DS4000". IBM openly admits it is a name change for name change's sake.

When the young trendy marketing bloke, at the American "working-breakfast" marketing meeting, suggested the name change; rather than replying, someone should have punched him in the face. Hard. Mid-bagel.

I would have.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Was More Proof Needed?

"Excuse me, do you have any rat poison?"

"Yes certainly, what do you want it for?"

"er... poisoning rats"

"Oh, that's ok then, but I have to ask"

My wife had the above conversation. It makes one wonder what would have ensued if she said she was going to poison me.

The rat poison in question is Neosorexa. It comes in pentagon-shaped pellets and I noticed the intriguing message on the top of the tub:

"Same trusted product. Now with a hole"

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Come Take Me Home Again

So Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) is a terrorist.

This is the bloke who wrote "Peace Train" and "Angel of War".

And there's me thinking he was a pacifist.

Obviously a bloody good cover, but the clever yanks sussed him out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Air Rage

It's good to see that someone is looking at road congestion and what to do about it.

Lord knows how these things would actually work and where the fuel is going to come from. Dream on.

Speaking from personal experience, flying a plane can never be "as simple to operate as a car". No sir. For a start, there are three dimensions to deal with instead of two. What are these people on?

Re-employ those NASA bods into developing irrigation and agricultural schemes in Africa. That would be a start.

Flying cars! I'd have one.

Sister Josephine

One more post on my obsession and I'll get back to moaning about my usual stuff.

I know some readers live in the north of the country. In particular, Birdman has been illuminating the northern regional differences.

Well I think that this project is worth supporting (well I would, wouldn't I). Look out for it in your area.

You might even get more than you bargained for.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Jake Remembered

The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington, Devon was the place to be on Saturday night for the annual Jake Thackray memorial concert.

People from all across the country (including me) got together to remember Jake and sing his songs. A nicer bunch of people you couldn't wish to meet. Sheila (Jake's widow) and their son turned up and appreciated our efforts. The place was packed.

To cap it all, another of my heroes, Ralph McTell turned up to watch.

The DVD will be available, but you had to be there.

The next effort is in Edinburgh. Can't wait.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bye Bye Belle

The Belle de Jour has given up her blog.

This is a shame. A friend recommended it to me, but the thought police forbade access. I will never know how good it was.

I was going to tell you how the local garage kidnapped my car when I took it for an MOT and wouldn't let me have it back, but I won't.

If you are in Torrington, Devon tomorrow (Saturday), pop into the Plough Arts Centre and see a bunch of lovely people remembering a chap they would have preferred not to have died quite so soon.

If you're a regular reader, you'll know who he is.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Well Done Hunt Man

Barely a day after Batman's security-busting adventure, Huntman has outdone him. If it weren't for his bloodlust for defenceless animals, I could get to like Huntman. Even Mr Fox had to stand and applaud (rumour has it, it was he who showed them how to get in).

Thank goodness the decent British white male protesting types are a lot cleverer than the thicko mad terrorists who strap explosives to themselves.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Well Done Batman

The Caped Crusader managed to scale Buck House, but on the telly, I'm sure he didn't use an aluminium ladder.

Apart from Robin, he had other superheroes with him. The Invisible Man was there fighting for the same cause. His kids haven't seen him since they were born.

Monday, September 13, 2004

We've All Gone Mad

I read postcards to myself today. It's all too much to cope with.

I have the privilege of working in a shitty industrial estate just north of Bristol. Lunch for most people involves buying something from the visiting "Sandwich Lady" in a Vauxhall Astra and scoffing it at your desk.

Today I decided to have a Granny Smith apple and a banana. The apple had a sticker on it saying it came from Chile.

Granny Smiths from Chile at this time of year? The imbedded carbon must surely be thousands of times higher than a similar apple from Evesham. It didn't even taste nice.

Roll on death.

What Does He Look Like?

I haven't been able to get pictures into my blog. If you were wondering what I look like, there is a really dreadful picture of me on the Minch Folk Club website. Those who know me will verify quite how dreadful it is. At least I am known as the only humourous one.

I spent an enjoyable weekend with some good friends in Laugharne. The very wet and windy beach at Pendine seemed a million miles away from a baking Riberac last weekend.

Pendine has a history of land speed record attempts. Most famously, John Parry-Thomas was killed in an attempt there in 1927. The car (called "Babs") was buried at the sands but in 1969 it was disintered and has since been restored.

Earlier this year, the local council prohibited driving on the beach.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My Work

Yesterday, thanks to my family for sponsoring me and a very good friend for putting me up and taking me, I recorded most of "my work" at a recording studio.

A CD will follow, free to those who show even the slightest interest. My own songs were by far the hardest to record even though, technically and lyrically, they are the simplest.

Though simple, they are at least a mark, a less-than-ephemeral token of my existence. Not much, but an expression of my ego. As is this blog I suppose.

As Jake used to say "it's an odd little thing, see what you think".


I've been away in France for a few days.

I love it that France is physically so close and culturally so far away. Conversely, I hate it that the USA is physically so far away and yet culturally so close.

I love it the way the French love their food (with the curious exception of fresh milk which they seem to not care about).

We visited a small town, Riberac on market day. The availability and display of the food on offer was just jaw-dropping.

My overriding memory is of a typical Frenchman, complete with beret and a fag drooping out of the corner of his mouth, standing by his stall of Cepes (at 12 Euro a kilo) that looked, frankly, a bit like dog turds, but tasted of heaven (I know, I had some).

I love it. Anyone want to buy a house in Gloucestershire?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Falling Over

My mum falls over a lot.

It used to be once in a while, but now it's two or three times a week.

She has been to the doctors and they've checked her over. She's getting on a bit, but that isn't a reason for anything nowadays is it? They can't find anything wrong so they have sent her to a "falling down clinic".

I kid you not. The NHS have a clinic for everything it seems. I wonder what they do there. Do they practice falling over gracefully? Do they give tips on terrain avoidance?

I think I'd rather not know.

But it did bring to mind an anecdote that Jake Thackray used to relate. You can read it here.

Nerdy Nerdy

I'm off to France for a long weekend tomorrow. Nobody will get a postcard. I don't do postcards. They only seem to say "I'm here, having a great time; you're a loser stuck where you are".

It's like those tightly-packed, badly-typed sheets of A4 we get with the Christmas cards from people I've never met, telling us how great their year has been and how great their kids are, being intelligent and good-looking and everything.

I can't be arsed actually. Who's interested? Not me.

Anyway, I'll be in the sun for a few days, so no blogs.

So there.