Wednesday, 27 February 2013

VANDALS



We were woken by a fire alarm the other day. Well, when I say day, it was 2.45 in the frigging morning.
We live in an apartment building in the city. When fire alarms go off you need to take things seriously. Each apartment has a screaming alarm and at 2.45AM it tends to wake you up immediately. Unfortunately, when woken from sleep this way you tend to be a bit disoriented. Nevertheless we quickly dressed and made our way down the stairs from the 7th floor and assembled outside.
The fire brigade (two engines) were already there which was impressive and assuring.
Looking up at the building we saw two people on the 5th floor standing on the balcony outside their apartment and looking down. "Dicks" we thought.



After a while we were given the all clear and allowed to make our way back upstairs. There was a queue for the lifts with a hundred and fifty plus people all wanting to go up at the same time. We got back to bed about 4AM.

Later we found out that it was a case of 'vandalism' in that some one had deliberately set off an alarm. We immediately thought of the 'dicks' on the balcony.



Why do people do this sort of stupid thing? I can never understand acts of vandalism or wanton destruction. What's the point of smashing up a phone box or kicking in the glass in a bus shelter?

Why can't these morons realise that there is a cost to this and ultimately it all comes out of their pockets as well as the innocent in the form of taxes, levies, rates and mark-ups.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

SUNDAY

Was well named today. After a bit of a grey start to the day (with some welcome early morning rain) we had another glorious sunny day with no wind. Perfect for swimming and pottering about.

Apropos of pottering about I went down the road and played snooker with the old guys this afternoon.



Oops, I defaulted to the wrong photo again. Why do I do that?

I mean these guys.




We played three frames (snooker jargon for games). I was crap but never mind it was good to be out of the heat of the afternoon sun for a couple of hours.


Ealier in the day, before the sun came completely out of the clouds, I did a spot of gardening. That bastard convolvulus has come back again and, with the hot weather interspersed with rain, has been growing like a weed. Well, it is a weed so I guess that's appropriate. I tore as much out as I could, getting right down to find the master root systems.



While I was dragging out some root systems I felt an incredibly sharp pain in my thigh. I had been stung by something - probably a wasp.




No, not that kind although I'd hate to find this bastard under the shrubbery.

I think it was one of these.


Bloody thing. My thigh is sore and swollen. I looked up stings on the web (internet not the other) and it says that the pain and swlling should disappear after 48 hours.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

EVERY MAN JACK

 well, not everyman.

Sometimes Jack Nicholson has been a bit over-the-top in his portrayals of the 'ordinary joker'. He has a habit of hamming it up a bit. Not that I haven't enjoyed even his hammiest moments like in The Shining and The Witches of Eastwick and his superb craftsmanship in Chinatown and Carnal Knowledge but to me, the best films he has been in were these two:

One from his early career Five Easy Pieces by Bob Rafaelson - one of my top 10 ever best films,
and one of his most recent, The Departed by Matin Scorcese which I saw again tonight on TV which is becoming one of the best films I have ever seen.

The Departed just gets better and better on re-watching. Scorcese of course is a great director and chooses strong stories and brilliant writers but the cast in this film is very strong. Damon, DiCaprio, Sheen, Famiglia, Wahlberg,  and of course Nicholson and others gives it depth. Scorcese uses music well and in this film his love of The Rolling Stones is evident in the tracks used along with an inspired use of 'Comfortably Numb' the Pink Floyd track from The Wall - this one with Van Morrison singing. I noted that this was used in one of the later Sopranos episodes which is a sort of homage to Scorcese.



I was in heaven ( or Limbo) while watching this this evening. A perfect ending to a great day.

JUICY



OK, it was controversial but it was and is a sexy song that still sounds good.


you know very well what you areyour my sugar thang my chocolate starI've had a few but not that manybut you're the only one that gives me good and plenty Juicy Fruit---juicy Candy rain coming downtaste in my mindand spread you all aroundhere I am oh this loves for youhey baby swee as morning dewclose my eyes oh what fantasyand yur right here with me Juicy Cherry blossom kissis what you givin'makes my body rockkeeps me sizzlin'do what you willI don't careI'll be your lollipopyou can lick me everywhere Juicy Fruit---your so (juicy) Juicyjuicy fruit---juicy Here I am this loves for youhey baby your sweet as honey dewclose my eyes oh what fantasyand your right here with me Juicy---Juicy Fruit (repeat until end)


Well, you know what that's about but I want to talk about juicing vegetables in this post.





Now before you get started about faddish diets and bang on about how vegetable juice is not a proper meal replacement. let me explain my interest.

A few weeks ago, when clearing out some cupboards, we discovered the juicing machine that the Old Girl's mother bought for us a few years ago. We thanked her and carefully put it away in a safe place (for about 6 years). I said (in a rash moment) "don't get rid of it, I'll use it" when TOG was threatening to  send it to the 'Sallies'.

I had to prove my intention so bought a selection of fresh fruits and veg and whizzed them up. The result? Bloody marvellous.

Over the last few weeks I have produced a juice at least twice a week which I drink for lunch.

The composition varies depending on what is available or looks good at the fruit 'n' veg places but can have: carrot, cucumber, celery, apple, capsicum, grapes, tomato, peaches and melon.

It is very refreshing and filling. I don't intend it as a meal replacement but find that after drinking it for lunch I don't need a lot else during the day (remember its only a couple of days a week).

I feel better for it and, with this and other healthy eating disciplines have lost weight.

Losing weight can make you more active so with this I've walked (and even jogged) more along with swimming, hill-climbing and kayaking and am now looking a bit more like my old self.








Tuesday, 12 February 2013

GIZ A JOB

I can do that.

We heard today that the pope has resigned.

"KAMERAD, KAMERAD"

Understandably really for someone in his 80's. He should have 'kameraded' years ago.

I was thinking though that I wouldn't mind that job. I'd have to push through some papal decrees about celibacy and speaking Italian and stuff but generally I reckon I could wing it.

The Vatican share price has no doubt hit the floor.

Papal Industriesdown 100% on announcement
I was an altar boy so know that a surplice goes over a cassock and can say things like "In nomine patris et fili et sancti amen" and stuff like that and if pushed can sing a pretty mean Tantum Ergo.

I also know how to play Cardinals:

What’s needed: A pint glass of usually beer.
 The objective: Finish the glass in six tries, and leave no backwash.
The game: Grab the pint glass with your thumb and forefinger and hoist. "Here's to Cardinal Puff for the first time tonight." Consume some. Tap the glass, once on the bar top, then set it down. With the fore finger of each hand, tap the bar top (alternating left/right), tap the underside of the bar top, then the bar bottom (or table, alternating left/right), tap each thigh top, tap each foot, sit up, then down once. Grab the pint, hoist aloft using thumb, index and forefinger and toast "Here's to Cardinal Puff Puff, for the second time tonight." Consume two times, tap the glass twice on the bar top, and use two fingers and repeat the first step (tap, tap, etc...) On the third try, you will say; "Here's to Cardinal Puff, Puff, Puff, for the third and final time tonight." Hoist the glass using thumb, and three fingers and consume all remaining brew in three separate drinks (making sure there is virtually NONE left in the glass). With three fingers, repeat tapping sequence (three times each, obviously). Upon finishing tapping sequence and sitting sequence, you will grab the glass with an inverted grip and proclaim "Once a Cardinal..." you then invert the glass (mouth down) and set it down on a paper towel or napkin so as to monitor any excess liquid not drank during your 6 drinks. Then you will grab the glass again with an inverted grip and proclaim "always a Cardinal" while inverting the glass to where it is once again upright (mouth up).

IMPORTANT -There should be no liquid from the glass on the bar from the inverted pint (other than glass condensate), however, if there is  -Drink. Repeat the whole process again! If there is none, the ruling Judge shall ask the subject; "Are you a Cardinal?" To which the subject shall reply; " Is the pope a catholic?" -Any other answer is unacceptable and constitutes repeating the whole process again. If, in future times, you are approached and asked "Are you a Cardinal?" The only answer can be; "Is the pope a catholic?" The person asking the question may then challenge the person by saying; "Prove it." The person MUST prove they are by doing the whole process before you. They in turn, can ask the same of you.
To make the game more challenging, and up the anti... The basic level is Cardinal Puff, accomplished by one pint glass. The following is the rules for advancing in the ranks. :)

a. Cardinal - One pint glass
b. Bishop - Two pint glasses, the first glass fully consumed on round one, then parts two and three on glass two.
c. Arch Bishop - Three pint glasses, one for each part of the game.
d. Pope - A jug of beer.. In order to proceed up the ranks, you have to accomplish each step before it at one sitting.
 
I've never actually achieved cardinal status. I wonder if that old Cardinal Puff Puff - Richard has. He's got the advantage of speaking Italian too so if he's going for the job I'd better let the college of cardinals know about his bass bag and the blasphemies he constantly commits.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

TV HOSPITAL PROGRAMMES

What are they all about?

All through television history hospital dramas have featured from Doctor Kildare, General Hospital through to ER on puke US TV and Doctor Finlay's Casebook through Casualty on UK TV.

Apparently people like to view others in crisis. Episodes typically are based on unusual diseases or awful disasters with victims/patients being at death's door while 'loved' ones worry, argue, fight or grieve depending on the situation.



Personally I liked Doctor Finlay's Casebook as it was more about the drama of the goings on of the community and less about unusual diseases. I don't remember a single plane or train crash deemed necessary to drum up interest.



The modern-day medical/hospital dramas rely on all sorts of weird and wonderful scenarios to maintain viewer interest. When rare diseases don't cut it they literally cut it by showing close ups of disgusting surgical operations.

Recently we have been served up 'reality' hospital programmes. These have had high drama with  worrying, arguing, fighting or grieving relatives and close ups of disgusting surgical operations.  The difference in this case is that it smacks of voyeurism.



As I was interested, not in the TV programmes per se as they revolt me, but in the viewership, I did some research.

I found a survey site that exhaustively canvassed viewers of medical dramas over a period of 20 years and sorted their responses demographically and psychographically and then resorted by gender, marital status and sexual orientation. The site is www.medicaldramareview.com and is quite an eyeful as the treatise is about 200 pages long.
To paraphrase I extracted some pertinent information.

  • Viewership, on average across Europe, USA, UK, India, Africa and Asia is 55% of the population
  • Viewers by gender are 75% female
  • Of the 25% male viewers 95% are reported as being homosexual or having no particular sexual orientation.
  • 20% of viewers are reported as being in the upper decile of earning.
  • 0% of viewers are reported as being of IQ above 120.



DIRTY EFFING SCROTES



Our e-mail addresses have been compromised.

Today I discovered that our computer was sending out e-mails to all of the addresses in the folders.
It would have gone unnoticed except for the 'undeliverable' messages that came with the bounce-backs to addresses that have since changed. I can only assume that messages have gone to all of the 'live' accounts in the address books. Under our names.



I was concerned that we had been inviting all and sundry to subscribe to get bigger penis(es), to be erect longer, to marry Russian women or to invest in some African real estate deals.

I did some checking and it seems that we have been offering people the opportunity to work from home. WTF? How did that happen? I checked all the SPAM in case one of us had opened one but no, no home job offers. I checked the search folders in case one of us had trawled for escorts, porn, old friends, money-making schemes etc and er, of course none of that had happened ..... moving on.....I then checked blogs and discovered that TSB's currently inactive blog has, in the latest post a comment from 'Real work from home job'. This must be the culprit.



I upgraded the security on the computer and changed the log-in passwords on the e-mail accounts we have and hope that this scrote doesn't come sniffing around again.

My apologies to anyone that has been bombarded with spam e-mails from us.

This shows the importance of having that annoying word verification check on blog posts.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

LIMBO

I was educated by Catholic nuns, brothers and priests so got indoctrinated taught Christian doctrine under the guise of the cataclysm catechism.
Christian doctrine was a bit like a tamed down version of Grimm's fairy tales with absurd and incongruous stories of (our lord) Jesus Christ ascending into heaven under his own steam and his mother (the virgin) Mary being assumed into heaven (not under her own steam).
For us to grasp this (ha, ha) we had to learn about heaven and hell.

Hell according to the poorly educated nuns and brothers was  a place of perpetual fiery torment. The nuns and brothers quite literally assumed (not into heaven) that fiery torment meant being forever consumed by flames.



The priests who were better educated at theological colleges and seminaries described hell as a place of perpetual torment at being separated from (our lord god) Jesus Christ.



So what about heaven?
All the religious teachers described heaven as a wonderful place where the good person would be forever in the company of (our lord god) Jesus Christ.

OK

What else?

That was it. Heaven as a wonderful place where the good person would be forever in the company of (our lord god) Jesus Christ.

To me that sounded boring.



Fortunately the deranged delirious determinant creators of the catechism threw in limbo as a third option.
Limbo apparently is a place between hell and heaven. It's a kind of waiting room where you hang around doing normal stuff until your number is called and you can toddle off (up?) to heaven.
Limbo is not as fearsome as hell which is good and you aren't forever in the company of (our lord god) Jesus Christ which to me is also good. I liked the idea of limbo.



Wikipedia says a lot about limbo. Here's a bit to get you going:


The "Limbo of the Patriarchs" or "Limbo of the Fathers" (Latin limbus patrum) is seen as the temporary state of those who, in spite of the personal sins they may have committed, died in the friendship of God, but could not enter Heaven until redemption by Jesus Christ made it possible. The term "Limbo of the Fathers" was a medieval name for the part of the underworld (Hades) where the patriarchs of the Old Testament were believed to be kept until Christ's soul descended into it by his death[1] through crucifixion and freed them (see Harrowing of Hell). The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Christ's descent into "hell" as meaning primarily that "the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead." It adds: "But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there." It does not use the word "Limbo".[2]The Limbo of the Fathers was the abode of people who, before Jesus' Resurrection, had died in the friendship of God, but had to wait for Christ to open heaven's gates. This concept of Limbo affirms that one can get into heaven only through Jesus Christ but does not portray Moses, etc., as being punished eternally in Hell.



Limbo, like heaven and hell is open to interpretation by scholars, poets and painters.
Here's Dominico Beccafumi's take on it which is not too bad.



Heironymous Bosch typically has a scarier view. I think old Bosch hoped that limbo could be a bit like hell so he could depict devils sticking sharp things up people's bums.



I prefer Bryan Ferry's take on limbo:


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

IT'S IN THE DNA

Well, they've dug up old Richard III and given proof to the fact that he had spinal deformation.


They gave the old sod a good hammering by all accounts.

In the past we have referred to Richard (of RBB) as being like Richard III.
Now I think I can see some sort of resemblance:


If you just take away that big fiddle that he uses for a crutch .....



................you end up with this.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

'AVING A LAUGH

I read a post on Second Fiddle's blog here:



He seems to be all excited to see that I've crteated a link to his blog and wonders of I've gained a conscience for some reason. Well, I've always had one of those But I think he wonders if I've decided to subscribe to his archaic and unsubstantiated religious beliefs. The answer is no.

He should notice that I've copied links from his blog to a couple of other blogs he seem to be associated with- here:

And here:




One is disturbing and the other quite sad.

I put the links in so that people can check them out and notice the comparative quality of my own blog.

Also. I'm 'aving a laugh.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

IMPOSSIBLE?

No, but its incredible that a film like The Impossible has been made so soon after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
We can't blame Hollywood for this as it is a Spanish film but the arrogant attitude is the same.

The 2004 event was the 5th worst natural disaster in modern times and the worst Tsunami.
A quarter of a million people died and unknown numbers injured and deprived of homes and income.


The makers of The Impossible chose to tell the story of one family.


These wealthy middle class white people went to Thailand on holiday, got caught up in the tsunami, got separated, looked for each other and found each other.
There are long, long sequences of the various family members traipsing around flood wreckage (and miraculously discovering only one victim survivor - a little white boy), through towns and a hospital with a treacly build up of pathos. The hospital was full of injured people, seemingly all over-privileged white Europeans like this family.

The only indication of the possible real scale of the disaster was one shot of a truckload of dead 'natives' being carted off somewhere.

Dead and injured Europeans get transported by helpful and smiling 'natives' with a truck to them selves.

Dead natives' get dump-stacked in a truck and who knows what happens to them after that.

The real 'star' of the film is the tsunami and there are two good sequences that are well filmed showing the power of the water but these are relegated to almost a cameo appearance. Most of the film is about the family traipsing around flood wreckage ...........

I can understand the artistic device of using a real people story  surrounded by a major event but this could have been covered in a 15 minute short film.
I find it insulting with a seemingly callous disregard of the death, suffering and injury of hundreds of thousands of people for whom the memory is still raw as it was only 8 years ago.

We are expected to get emotionally connected to the family who fly in and, with the assistance of their insurance company fly out again to cleaner and safer climes after having got lost for a bit.

Give me a break.

SEVENS

I was watching the Rugby Sevens tonight and will watch again tomorrow.

I don't always watch this event but given that it's held in New Zealand this time I feel I should.

This 'sporting' event is more about flash and exposure than the game of rugby. Sure it's exciting and is a training ground for budding international rugby stars like Jonah Lomu, but most of the fun and activity is off the field with an extremely high amount of spectator involvement.

Normally rugby games have  a lot of dour, diehard spectators wrapped in duffel coats and scarves (unless they are the corporate invitees to the weather-proofed boxes at the top) who hunker down and surreptitiously drink and consume meat pies and give the odd cheer. They are normally men and, if there are any women present you wouldn't notice because they are dressed in duffel coats and scarves and hunker down and surreptitiously drink and consume meat pies.

The Sevens is different. The spectators dress up in team costumes that have very little to do with the  competing teams on the field. The themes are generally topical and feature political and social happenings over the last 12 months hence the Arab terrorist themes, the USA gun madmen, the USA presidential elections etc.
Women however tend to use themes like  naughty nuns, naughty schoolteachers, naughty policewomen, naughty nurses etc. The connecting idea is 'naughty'. What's that about?


Obviously it inflames the desires of all the young (and not so young) men who flock to the Sevens  even Second Fiddle's old associate Bas. See:



The thing that I've observed (closely I might add) is that in nearly all of the teams (and not the brand sponsored ones like the Speights naughty policewomen above) there are one or two real lookers who want to flash their,  show off their , get noticed. They usually have coerced friends or workmates to make up the numbers who normally look a bit uncomfortable.


I assume that the young woman second from the left wasn't the instigator of this team outfit.



Ditto for the one second from the right.



And I assume that the one on the left didn't come up with the idea of dressing as Warbirds in tight skirts.


This is not confined to the women though as there are many teams of men that the inspiration has been driven by some dude who has been working out at the gym and wants to show off his bod. He cajoles his mates to join in which is often hilarious, particularly at the after-event venues.


Now I might be wrong but I bet that the jokers 4th and 5th from the left feel like dicks (not to mention the one on the extreme right who keeps his shirt on).


Oh the Sevens. Fun, frivolity and lots of piss but not without some things that should be of concern to us:

The Weird.





The Creepy.



And the downright Disturbing.


Friday, 1 February 2013

I DIDN'T LIKE PAUL HOLMES

Sorry, but I'm not going to start babbling out fond anecdotes just because he died.
I'm sorry that he has died. Don't get me wrong, I regret any fairly decent joker dying. I've had enough deaths of friends and family to last my lifetime already but it annoys me when a celebrity goes, whether  a loved one or a controversial one, that the people who depend on having their own reputations in the public glare always mumble all sorts of platitudes.

The TV One 'eulogist' tonight had the gall to say "half of us loved him and the other half tried not to". What utter crap. I didn't like him and his politics, his flippancy, his smart-arse irreverence and his cheap tabloid-style of jounalism. I certainly never 'tried not to love him'. Jeez!

It intrigued me to see politicians, media figures and 'A' listers who have been at contratemps with Holmes suddenly saying 'what a great loss etc". Hypocrites.



NEW POST - THE NEW DIFFERENT TIME ZONE BILL

Bill just got back from travelling and published a new post      HERE   It's good that he's busy but I'm starting to ...