Friday, February 25, 2005

Bushisms

Am I the only one who finds it funny that George W can't pronounce the word "nuclear"?

He says Nookilerr.

I chuckle every time I hear it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Big Day

If anyone here present knows of any lawful impediment why this couple should not be joined in matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his piece. (sic)

I bet they'll be bricking it when it comes to this bit.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad

This may seem futile.

And this may seem trite, but I can sit here and write:

"The leader of our country is a wanker".

I don't worry about people coming knocking on my door tonight to take me away for having written this.

It's not like this in many parts of the world.

It's not like this in China.

It's not like this in Iran.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Muddy Woody 6

Yesterday, I competed in the "Muddy Woody 6". As the name almost suggests, this is a six and a half mile run through the Wye Valley countryside, up and down steep mud-covered tracks and through deep streams, all in the freezing cold.

I have never run on anything other than tarmac before. And although I finished 271st out of 290 finishers (350 starters), I was pleased with the result, and only fell over in the mud twice.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Red Ken

Ken Livingstone probably doesn't read my blog.

If he did, I'd say "Stick to your guns Ken".

You can bugger me sideways if what he said was racist. Offensive, yes, but racist, no, and who wants their politicians to never want to offend anyone, least of all journalists?

Not me.

This comment was posted by TC the unoffendable.

Avogadro

When I make a cup of tea and pour in the milk, I often think of Avogadro.

He's famous for a number (it's a huge one, but that's not important). I believe the number would be used to calculate how long it would take for the milk to mix in with the tea if I didn't stir it.

I think the answer is long enough for the tea to go cold.

I may be wrong here. Not in that the tea might go cold, but in that Avogadro's number is involved. Brownian Motion springs to mind. I guess Brown was another bloke who was famous for his motion.

Well it takes all sorts.

I'd like to be remembered for a number. After all, there's lots to go round so everyone could have one. Makes one wonder why Avogadro chose such a large one. He could have had 73 or something like that.

Perhaps I could reserve 879?

China

China is a worry.

It's hard to write this without seeming racist. I mean, I like Chicken Chow Mein as much as the next bloke, but I do have concerns.

The Chinese now pollute the world more than any other nation and they are growing fast. They have not signed the Kyoto protocol (not that that would account for much) as, along with India they are considered a "developing nation".

Their human rights record is terrible. Their abuse of other nations such as Tibet is well documented and they are running up a terrible rich and poor divide in their own country.

The west seems to ignore all this, desperate to get a slice of the fast-growing Chinese economy. The recently announced lifting of the EU arms export ban (against American opposition) is puzzling.

The Chinese however are just as desperate to develop their relationship with western capitalism. They have been given the Olympics in 2008 (against better judgement), and will doubtless use this as a propoganda machine.

We must support the Chinese in their quest for the right to a better life (a right to consume and take their kids to school in 4-wheel-drives), but it can't be at the expense of their neighbours' and their own people's freedom or at the expense of the planet.

A tricky one this.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Self-Indulgent Claptrap

Yesterday I had the day off work. Mainly for my benefit, here a list of some of the things I did:

  • I took the front of my lovely new car to bits to investigate a leak. Discovered a hole in the radiator. Took radiator to radiator-menders
  • Picked up switch I ordered to fix broken vacuum cleaner
  • Got my medicines from Pharmacy in the lovely Painswick. Every time I go there, I think "do people really live here?"
  • Fixed badge on front of my lovely new car to make people think it's a Lotus when it isn't
  • Took my daughter's CV to art shop in Stroud where she would like to do Saturday work
  • Tried to fix vacuum cleaner only to discover switch was wrong one. Took it back again (Electrolux sucks)
  • Took my son to Stroud (again) so he could hang about and no doubt worry the elderly
  • Bought anti-virus software for disease-ridden computer
  • Picked up fixed radiator and fitted it back in my car and tested for leaks
  • Electricity went off in house and wouldn't come back on again. Fault traced to knackered kettle. Not only that, but amazingly the kettle was the cause of massive RF (radio) emissions making it impossible for any radio in the house to receive Radio 5. This has been going on for weeks.
  • Picked up son and mates from Stroud (again, third time) after hanging around
  • Installed anti-virus software on computer which discovered thousands of problems.
  • Had meeting in pub with mates from folk club deciding future of folk club. One of the more pointless discussions being whether we should "allow" people to sing "pop" songs (we do and we should).

All this on a lovely sunny day. It was bliss.

Today is cold, wet and miserable.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Feeling Sorry for Myself

Don't feel like blogging. I went for a run, a five-miler, on Sunday morning. When I set off, it was sunny and bright, if cold and windy. On the home stretch, the skies suddenly blackened and snow tipped from them.

I completed the circuit (wearing next to nothing) into the teeth of a freezing gale.

I don't think I've warmed up since and spent all yesterday evening in bed.

My daughter arrived back from Barcelona this morning at 3:15am. My wife went to fetch her, so they're both knackered today too.

I'm supposed to be competing in a six-mile cross-country run across the hills and dales of the Wye Valley on Sunday.

At the moment, there's no chance of that.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Only News Item Today

He loved her. He always loved her. He should have married her in the first place. He shouldn't have listened to all the so called advisers telling him what was good for him. He was weak.

He is still weak.

I'd rather him not be King. I'd rather there not be a monarchy, but while there is one, it's better that we have a weak man as monarch.

Music Meme

Anna passed this to me. Despite not knowing what a "meme" is, I pass this on to The Author.

1. Number of music files on my computer: 100ish and growing fast (I've just bought an MP3 player)

2. The last CD I bought was: Ring Some Changes by Brooks Williams and Jim Henry (acoustic guitar instrumental duets)

3. The last song I listened to before reading this message: Belfast To Boston by James Taylor

4. Five songs that I often listen to or mean a lot to me (no particular order):

- You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor)
- Summer Lightning (Ralph McTell)
- Abide With Me
- The Bull - Jake Thackray
- The Water Is Wide (traditional)

I'd rather not go into why I chose these.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Birdy Has Flown

For the second time in recent memory, Birdman has gone. There's a campaign on Big'n'Juicy to get him back.

I'd support that.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Power of a Lie

Should we tell our children lies?

To this question, most would answer "no".

What about Father Christmas then?

Most people (including me) think that this lie isn't just harmless, it actually does good.

Well maybe.

Maybe it just turns us all into incurable romantics with mush for brains, because I think that adolescent boys who really believed in Father Christmas are less likely to mug old ladies in the street.

These thoughts came about because I sang "Mrs Adlam's Angels" last night. A hopelessly soppy song about a kindly old lady who taught children about Guardian Angels at Sunday School.

My son bought me a Guardian Angel for Christmas. It's a small 3D etching in a glass block (created by some modern process no doubt involving lasers).

It's with me always and I cherish it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

More Chip and Pinnery

I went to the garage this morning for a few more kilograms of carbon to throw into the atmosphere.

I've pinned there before, and the thrill of it still hasn't worn off (pathetic I know). She demanded a signature.

"No pin then" says I.

"No, not in the mornings" came the reply.

...

It was a Shell Station. They have just announced, give or take a few million, ten billion quid profit last year.

That's a lot of carbon in the atmosphere.

I never understand why, when the oil price goes up, so does the FTSE index.

...

Last night I attended the board meeting of the charity I help run. I'm very confused about global warming and climate change.

Either there is a cock-up or scientific conspiracy of gigantic proportions, or we are all doomed, and fairly soon too.

Like everyone, I would prefer to believe the former, but can't bring myself to.

...

On top of it all, the IRA seem to have thrown their toys out of the pram (or rather their weapons back into it). The threat of lasting peace has been jeopardised by the government (Tony Blair) saying they were responsible for a bank robbery without offering any evidence.

He's effectively saying "Trust me, I'm a politician".

Isn't this the same bloke that said they had to kill all those Iraqis because they had WMD?

And all because we want to throw more carbon into the atmosphere.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Ivan Noble

I've been reading about Ivan's fight for a year or so.

Sadly, he didn't make it.

He made a difference to lots of people.

Rest in peace.