| So farewell then
Saturday, May 31, 2003
The merry month of May...Change in the weather
My forty first
Baroness Amos to my life
hasbeens who became 'stars'
an increased awareness of nostril hair
and lovely weather
in fact it's all rather lovely
at the moment.
A photography shop assistant has described her horror at photos that allegedly showed Iraqi prisoners of war being mistreated. 'Colonel Bob Stewart, former army officer, said: "If someone has done this then it devalues the British Army which is a great pity.
"That's why the British Army understands that if there's an accusation it must be rigorously pursued and proved either guilty or not guilty.'
Shame these standards don't apply when it comes to the Deepcut investigation - 8 years and still it goes on.
"Everything for primate lovers" - except a brain
This I found pretty disturbing.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:40 PM
Friday, May 30, 2003
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:03 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2003
I'm in need of motivation.
After working my ass off for the last week [ weekend excepted ] I'm now in recoil mode and feeling like doing bugger all. Trouble is I have a few days off and badly need to do all kinds of stuff I won't have time again to do for ages. Canna be bothered tho captain.
Suggestions received thus far:
•'Make a list' [ Too thatcherite ]
•'Do a something, just anything, once you are started you'll carry on' [ Sounds plausible - just can't be bothered to start ]
•'Drink beer while you are doing it' [ Liking the sound of this one but fear I may pass out in this heat ]
•'Force yourself - you'll regret it if you waste your time' [ This one came from a Catholic - surprisingly (not) ]
What am I to do? sigh - this didn't help at all - all that lycra - shudder
"Don't get me wrongo: the Scribe loves Blogger, but they do suck rather badly."
A man notices a sign in a pet shop window, "Talking Dog for Sale........"
Intrigued he enters and asks the shopkeeper if he can see the dog.
"I believe you can talk" says the man. "Yep" replies the dog.
"So tell me about yourself" the man continues.
"Well," says the dog, "I discovered I had this gift pretty young and approached the government. In no time at all I was being flown from place to place to eavesdrop on world leaders. Later I became tired of the travelling and took a job as an undercover security guard at an airport, where I thwarted a hijacking. I was given a huge reward and was able to retire" Amazed by what he's heard the man asks the shopkeeper
"How much for the dog?" "Ten quid" comes the reply.
"But this dog is amazing" says the man "Why so cheap?"
"He's a liar" says the pet shop owner, "He hasn't done any of those things."
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 2:04 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Name that tree
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:32 PM
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
The European LARCH Larix decidua is found in Europe and is naturalised throughout northern north America.
The sub alpine LARCH Larix lyallii is native to north-western US & south western Canada as is the western LARCH Larix occidentalis also.
All are members of the Pinaceae family - commonly known as 'Pine'. This is the largest family of gymnosperms. They have small needle like leaves which are borne singly, or in fascicles on short shoots, spirally arranged on the stem. Pinaceae are generally evergreen and all parts are resinous and aromatic. How different the world of disinfectant would be without the fresh zingy fragrance of pine. Pine resin exudes from cuts in the needles or stem of the tree. We know that this is an ancient family partly because amber is fossilised pine resin pointing a dendrochronological finger at the anticedents of the mighty LARCH.
Pinaceae are Monoecious with small pollen (male) cones and larger seed (female) cones with spirally arranged scales. I love pine cones and own a particularly enormous one I acquired in the Southern Hemisphere [ where there are few native Pinaceae - the majority having been planted by anticedents and unclecedents as a reminder of their northern homelands ].
Surprising facts about The LARCH:
•The European LARCH, a coniferous tree, loses its needles in the autumn in a manner reminiscent of it's deciduous cousins.
•An extract from it's lower trunk has been found to suppress the growth of the Salmonella bacterium. Research is going on to develop a dipping solution to put this effect into use within the meat and poultry industry and also as a sink and worktop cleaner. [ Yum yum ]
•It featured heavily in Monthy Pythons Flying Circus where I was first introduced to it's beauty and I still laugh at the never ending slideshow about: The LARCH.
Say no more
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:03 AM
Friday, May 23, 2003
Many thanks for the birthday wishes yesterday. I'm feeling a little delicate today. Thankfully I'm off for a recovery weekend so won't be posting again until early next week - should give me time to cook up some interesting morsels...a bit of previous
So, if you are in the UK enjoy the bank holiday rain - further afield: enjoy whatever is currently being thrown at you...
See ya soon
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:42 PM
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
760: Halley's Comet makes its 14th recorded perihelion passage
1665: Johann Sebastian Bach, composer, was born.
He remains master of the fiddly bits to this day
1813: Richard Wagner, composer born.
1859: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes born.
1884: Frederic Auguste Bartholdi completes work on the Statue of Liberty.
Saw this for the first time in 2000
1906: The Wright Brothers are granted a patent for their airplane.
Saw this in 2001
1907: Laurence Olivier, actor born.
Dear dear Larry
1922: Quinn Martin, TV producer of numerous 'Quinn Martin Productions' was born.
Saw far too many of these
1924: Charles Aznavour, beetle eyed French singer was born.
He may be the face I can't forget
1939: Hitler & Mussolini sign the 'Pact of Steel'.
A lot of good it did them in the end
1946: George Best, footballer, was born.
1947: The first U.S. ballistic missile is fired.
And so began a long tradition that continues to this day
1950: Bernie Taupin, co-writer with Elton John was born.
He's the one without the orange cat on his head
1954: Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) is Bar Mitzvah'ed.
Every good boy deserves a feast
1954: Jerry Dammers, keyboardist, The Specials was born.
Band won't play no more
1959: Morrissey, singer/songwriter, The Smiths was born
and Heaven knows he's miserable now.
1962: drD, blogger, was born.
1962: George Best, footballer, signs for Manchester United.
Football and George's liver would never be the same again
1970: Naomi Campbell, model, was born
complaining no doubt.
1972: President Nixon becomes the first U.S. President to visit Moscow.
1981: Yorkshire Ripper jailed for life.
1992: After nearly 30 years on air, Johnny Carson ends run as host of the 'Tonight' Show.
1998: Voters in Northern and Republic of Ireland approve the Northern Ireland peace accord.
2003: It's true - I'm nicer now than I ever was.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:01 PM
get up early
have a bath
wear my bestest suit
drive to work while listening to the radio
do lots of information shunting, talking and thinking
do more information shunting, talking and thinking
drive home while listening to the radio
drink some champagne
become middle aged
just an ordinary day then...
...but is it?
Here's a little game you can help me play:
Tomorrow is not just going to be an ordinary day.
I want you to suggest things I can do, say or wear.
I will try, if humanly possible to build into my day what you suggest.
Only suggestions that I can realistically achieve will be attempted - so no naked flights to Afghanistan please.
I won't be wearing anything too shocking either [ at least at work anyway ;) ]
Put anything you care to suggest in the box below - if you do I'll let you know on Friday how it goes.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:00 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
On May the 10th I wrote about the Animal Sentience site over at CWF. I was interested to read today of some new research that suggests Gorillas and Chimpanzees should be considered part of the same genus as Homo Sapiens. There is some evidence to suggest that we share 99.4% of our DNA with these apes. If you've ever looked into the eyes of a chimp or gorilla there's no denying that lurch of recognition for a fellow creature obviously capable of complex thoughts and feelings. I wonder how likely it is we will act in time to prevent the extinction of many great apes which is looming perilously? I'm thinking of putting some money, time or both where my mouth is - but where to start?
I seem to have acquired a few readers more who have kindly linked to this site. Many many thanks to:
Graham, Fred, Chy and Cleophas. You've made an old man v.happy. If I've missed someone please do let me know - I'm going to update my links list soon!
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:24 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2003
As thoughts turn to summer holidays you might be forgiven for thinking that the title above indicates that I've been at the brochures - but no, I've just been driving home.Dignity?
How would you like to live in a hot windswept, dry country with water shortages?
Maybe a cold, wet country where it's dark most of the time?
Perhaps a verdant temperate country with beautiful wild flowers and cute native animals?
Or would a more a more civilised urban environment with ancient buildings suit better?
Well why not move to Britain and you can have all of the above?
There are majestic mountains, lakes, beautiful rivers. Funky vibrant cities, ancient architecture and diverse cultures - you can travel 10 miles and the people talk with different accents from those in the place you just came from. By the time you get back there the weather will have changed too.
Back in March the Lonely Planet Guide rated Britain 'one of the most beautiful islands on earth'. It's true, when you live somewhere you don't always appreciate it. In Paris I met people who had never been to the Louvre. In Hong Kong I was given some funny looks for standing and staring at the amazing buildings. In New York it's no big deal to most that they have that statue in the harbour. To hear a place you know described so glowingly and to realise that people pay good money to come here and for many it is actually an ambition to do so does make you think. It does make you start to appreciate what you have around you and that maybe it could be a whole lot worse. Today as I drove home all around I could see that the rolling landscape is a patchwork of colour. Fields of bright yellow oilseed rape in flower. Stately Horse Chestnuts line the roads looking well tarted up with their candle like flower spikes. Everywhere bright, fresh, lush green plants and trees. The sunlight making it all glow. The sky today has been a fantastic slate blue grey with bright patches when the sun breaks through the many rainshowers we've been having. Nature is all pumped up and it's still only May!
And no, I'm not on commission from them
Just realised it's been fifteen years - wow!
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:29 PM
The recent scenes from Iraq of mass grave openings have been heart rending. The horrors of the nazi genocide revisited - now with live coverage and in full colour. Every culture reveres it dead and it seems to have been this way from earliest human history. Cultures have ways of dealing with the bodies of the dead as diverse as the many tribes of humanity. The one thing they all do is to show respect and accord the dead dignity. To me the phrase 'laid to rest' means exactly that. Human remains should not be disturbed unless, as in the case of Iraq, it is to right a terrible wrong in some way. To restore some dignity and allow those affected the right to grieve. Five years ago, whilst in Melbourne, I went for a walk one day. Near the city centre not far from the main railway station is a grassy mound. At the foot of the mound is a busy traffic junction. My curiosity was aroused by some brightly coloured wooden poles sticking out of the mound. I recognised what were obviously aboriginal painted items so went across to read the inscription plaque I could see nearby. The mound has been dedicated as a memorial to the 'lost aboriginal tribes of Victoria'. I realised that day that I was looking at a memorial to a genocide - one carried out by the 'mother country' - yes, Britain. The story of the aboriginal Australians is a shocking one. Like many indigenous peoples who have been colonised much much harm has been done. In the two hundred odd years since first contact with white men an ancient and complex civilisation has been decimated. In recent years there has been a growing strength of engagement between indigenous groups and their former masters. One aspect of this has been the increasing number of demands for the return of human remains. Yes, many western 'great scientific institutions' hold large stocks of human remains. The origins of these are questionable to say the least. In view of the harm our ancestors did to these peoples it is deeply insulting to now argue the interests of science as a basis for their retention. It's very disturbing indeed that we seem to think it is alright to dig up human remains and treat them as scientific objects and I think we are diminished by this.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:06 AM
Do not pass the kitchen do not eat that leftover pizza
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Isn't sleep wonderful? I try to spend at least a third of my time doing it. Unfortunately a little man in my brain tells me I might miss something if I do it so I tend to resist doing it until the other little man presses the 'eylids close' button and turns on the megastrength sleep hormone pump. I have been known to fall asleep in front of people at dinner parties before and after the coffee. I am emphatically not a morning person. Oh, how I long to rise at 5am and hit the gym, arrive at work all rosy-cheeked and glowing, power my way through the day grinning confidently like they do in the Gillette ads and then arrive home to my stainless steel pad to have rampant nookie behind the sandblasted glass panel with my hot live in model. [ I could have a career in advertising couldn't I doctor? ]. 'The best part of the day is gone'. 'You're sleeping your life away'. 'It can't be natural - you should see a doctor dr'. 'Try to train yourself to get up early and go to bed early'. I've heard it all - but 'no - it aintevergonnahappen' . 10am - 2am is more my style. Unfortunately this particular biorhythm does not reconcile easily with a job that requires you to be Gillette man and the net result of igniting my two ended candle is that come Friday I'm s*****d. Morpheus awaits me when I walk through the door on a Friday night and, no he's not my live in model - did you never study Greek mythology for gods sake? So here I am 13 hours later (admittedly with a 11.30pm to 2am break for some late night international telephonic communication) - bright eyed and ready-to-party. OK, I've missed the spectacular sunrise, the relentless crescendo of an urban morning and the spectacle of my fat neighbour performing the Saturday morning religious devotion of pumping up his car tyres with that annoying whiny little plastic Argos £4.99 cigarette lighter powered air pump. I don't care, I've slept and slept and slept a bit more and I'm ready to roll. One of the best things about getting older is that you need less sleep!
Right: lunchtime - where's that pizza?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:42 PM
Friday, May 16, 2003
One hundred livesFull Moon - Half Moon - Total Eclipse
Today's Guardian features a special report on the lives and deaths of 100 people killed during the recent war in Iraq. We will remember, we must remember.
The poor are always with you.
Excellent writing this week over at Diamond Geezer's with some thought provoking stuff.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:06 PM
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Q: When is a cake not a cake but really a biscuit?
A: When it's a Jaffa Cake of course. At least that is what the UK government tried to claim.
With the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) to the UK in 1973 a huge controversy was set in train which is still ongoing. A lot is at stake because the future of biscuit kind may be altered if Gordon got his way. One of the more peculiar legacies of the British Empire is that UK law holds biscuits and cakes to be a necessity. This is of course true. Any gentleman or lady will tell you that morning coffee, afternoon tea or in fact any occasion where heated beverages are served is somehow incomplete without the accompaniment of some choice biccies. Many are the tedious meetings I have sat through where the only relief was to be found in a custard cream. Where I would be without fig rolls is nobodys business. [ Well not for a while anyway ] I digress. Her Majesty's Customs & Excise argue that Jaffa Cakes are in fact biscuits and being covered in glorious chocolate are subject to subsection 15.1 of the 'Luxury Chocolate biscuit denial of pleasure act 1851' which now means that said biscuits be taxed at 17.5%. This debate exercised the minds of our politicians so much that it was discussed in the House of Commons in 1997 alongside a consideration of peanuts and whether they were salt roasted or plain. It has been debated too in far flung corners of the world. I am reliably informed that the cunning bakers at McVities convinced the law of Jaffa Cakes true cakehood in 1991 by making a 12" version. [ No sign of it getting into the charts - but if you know where I can get one of these please let me know asap ]
For those yet to know the joy that is a Jaffa Cake here is a cross sectional diagram to illustrate.
You will see from Fig 1 that the cake is a tripartite construction consisting of a basal layer of soft yielding golden sponge. To this is added the 'Smashing orangey bit in the middle' topped off by a relatively thick dark chocolate coating.
Jaffa Cakes have been around for about 60 years and I have been a fan from as far back as I can remember. A favourite boyhood habit was to suck all the chocolate off the top and then carefully remove the orangey bit, retaining it for later use. The sponge would then be eaten. Repeating this process several times yielded up a fine collection of Smashing orangey bits which could then be devoured in one go giving the most incredible Smashing orangey bit rush which not only overwhelmed your sense of taste but also glued your tongue to the roof of your mouth. I haven't tried that for quite a while - but now I remember how good it was...
Having established the cakeiness of the snack we turn now to it's promotion to the masses.
As far as I am concerned McVities Jaffa Cakes are the only snack worthy of the name, 'Jaffa Cake'. Having failed to trademark the name, McVities (now part of United Biscuits), add insult to injury by producing a frankly disappointing Jaffa cakes homepage. So there are now numerous pretenders to the throne including some dodgy Australian ones.
In the late seventies Victor Spinetti [ crazy name-crazy guy ] a Welsh actor who famously appeared in the Beatles film, 'Hard Day's Night' acted in a series of memorable ads for Jaffa Cakes wearing a sombrero and being manic. [ This was the era of Monty Python when such behaviour was de rigeur for anything/one aspiring to be cool ] I can still vaguely recall one which featured him leering into the camera and saying the 'Smashing orangey bit..' line in a menacing fashion. I am fairly sure that this was about the time when the 'Smashing orangey bit..' phrase was first used - but I may be mistaken. Maybe someone can fill in the detail on this one for me.
In 1994 Mini Jaffa Cakes and Jaffa Cake Bars were launched "to appeal to the growing lunchbox market". In 1999 no doubt inspired by the phenomenon that was and is Pringles they decided to sell them in tubes and charge more for the privilege. 2002 was the year of the Jaffa Mini Roll launch which I have still to sample. Like other orange things [ Anne Robinson for example ] the ad campaigns have not been without their controversy. My favourite Jaffa Cakes ad of recent times was the "Full Moon - Half Moon - Total Eclipse" one which featured an amazingly cooky female actor playing a teacher using the Jaffa Cakes to illustrate the principles of Lunar Eclipses to her class who sit obviously pained by the fact that she gets to eat them all because, of course, she has to repeat the demo over and over. I've already eaten a whole packet today and I've still got to get up at 4am tomorrow to eat some more or am I thinking of something else?
A Jaffa Cake game for astronomers.
How Jaffa Cakes boosted our World Cup team and the spooky apparition that appeared in guise of chocolate.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:13 AM
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
"COULD YOU PLEASE NOT WALK ON THE NEW PAINTED GRASS - THE QUEEN'S GOING TO BE ALONG HERE SHORTLY!!"
There are moments in every mans life when he has to confront his inner demons. It's never a good idea to shout loudly at strangers and you shouldn't speak to weird looking women round the back of ASDA on a Friday night. These truths we hold to be self evident and we follow the American Way closely and with determination. Lemon and Sultana Muffins from Sainsburys have a very low fat content - it's possible to eat 56 without even realising you've bought them. I only know this because my credit card bill arrived this morning without so much as a buy-your-leaving-present-and-send-me-the-receipt. There was a time when you could get 5 polaroid snapshots and a handbag for the price of a cup of tea and still have enough left over for a tasty meat and potato barmcake from Wilkinsons. Personally, I always thought that that was a mistaken attitude to take. Far better to actually explain to your wife exactly why you needed the rubber sheets. Any woman worth her salt would understand - it's not all plain sailing under a starry sky and Michael Barrymore always was suspicious with that walk of his. So perhaps it's time to pause, reflect and take stock. Maybe this particular lunchbox is empty of all crumbs. I only ever come in here anyway because the beer's good and to eye up the talent. It was last Friday I think; in the town centre - I was only cutting through to get to the newsagents on the corner. Ended up with green paint all over my Nikes - bugger.
It'll bring tears to your eyes. How reassuring it's not tested on animals too.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:16 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
I thought this phrase particularly evocative this morning - well done that journalist:
"Lunar eclipses are an enchanting spectacle of nature, delightfully reminding us of the cycles and rhythms of the cosmos, of which we are only spectators."
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:42 AM
Monday, May 12, 2003
The art of the insult has a long history. Most of us are too polite to actually insult people to their faces. We usually wait until they are out of earshot - preferably in another town, so that there is no risk of them thinking badly of us or indeed challenging the insult. One of the worst insults I think is to be ignored - especially in a pointed way. Nothing gets to me more than being made to wait for attention from someone who is being paid to attend to me but is otherwise engaged in a trivial personal conversation or task. Unfortunately, perhaps, I often read this as contemptuous and if I have an alternative source of help I will simply walk away. I confess to being a bit intolerant of crap service all round but you sometimes have to suffer don't you? And I suppose there are more important things going on in the world than my having to wait 5 mins while the barmaid fills her mate in on the boyfriend troubles.
On the way home today I was listening to the radio coverage of Clare's departure. This brought to mind political speeches from the past as well as some of the veiled and blatant insults they contain. Politicians know how to stick the kife in good and proper. One of my favourites was Anne sticking the knife into Mikey babes, "there is something of the night about him". She spiked his leadership bid with one sentence. Another favourite was Chancellor Dennis Healey's demolition of Tory Geoffrey Howe, "Being attacked by him is like being savaged by a dead sheep". This perfectly suited Howe's mild mannered and slightly bumbling demeanour and his appearance; an open, almost trusting face with small eyes behind thick spectacles was perfectly satirised by Healey's barb.
So I have done a little hunting around and present here, for your delectation, a selection of choice insults.
Don't use them all at once.
•He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot. Groucho Marx
•"The only genius with an IQ of 60." Gore Vidal talking about Andy Warhol
•Don't let you mind wander - it's far too small to be let out on its own. Anon
•I don't know what makes you so dumb but it really works. Anon
•She loves 'NATURE' - In spite of what it did to her. Anon
•Madam, I may be drunk but in the morning I will be sober. While you will still be ugly. Winston Churchill
•She not only kept her lovely figure, she's added so much to it. Bob Fosse
•"Bambi with testosterone." Owen Gleiberman on The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
•"Boy George is all England needs - another queen who can't dress." Joan Rivers
•"She is closer to organized prostitution than anything else." Former singer with the Smiths, Morrissey talking about Madonna
•"A triumph of the embalmers art" Gore Vidal on Ronald Reagan
•"Attila the Hen" Clement Freud on Margaret Thatcher
•Are your parents siblings?
•Did your parents ever ask you to run away from home?
•Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?
•Do you want people to accept you as you are or do you want them to like you?
•I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
•Pardon me, but you've obviously mistaken me for someone who gives a damn.
•The Immaculate Misconception Norman St John-Stevas on Margaret Thatcher
•He immatures with age. Harold Wilson on Tony Benn
•Here lies my wife: here let her lie ! Now she's at rest and so am I John Dryden (1631-1700) on his wife
•"Your father was a baboon's rump and your mother spent most of her life up against walls with sailors?" Rimmer - Red Dwarf
•Do you think that I'll lose my looks when I get older? With luck, yes
You want more?
This is totally dedicated to the art of the insult.
Instant Shakespearean insults.
Finally, a Gaelic curse you may care to try out tomorrow on a despised male:
"Go gcreime na míolta crúbacha do bhall fearga"
[ Phonetic: guh GREH-muh nuh MEE-uhl-tuh KROO-buh-khuh duh WAHL FA-ruh-guh ]
[Translation: May the crab lice gnaw at your manly part]
I think I'm in love with a Cabinet Minister
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:53 AM
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Cheap gratuitous knob gags
Oh come all ye Googlers
Here's a little something I wrapped up for you earlier.
The iceman cometh not anymore.
Thank goodness he wasn't drinking this.
Hard work but someone had to to do it.
All in the worst possible taste - only £199.99 + p&p.
Not a knob gag
- don't know why I thought of this one...
Q: Whatever happened to Kate Bush?
I've been wondering about this for ages but never bothered to make the effort to find out.
Well today I did and it looks like we might be hearing from her again sometime before too much longer.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:01 AM
Saturday, May 10, 2003
After my 'Star Trek' post on Thursday I noticed this BBC news item today which lead me to look at the Compassion in World Farming Animal Sentience Site here. The notion of animal sentience isn't something I'd ever consciously thought about ;) Instinctively I do feel a strong empathy with all animals and something inside me goes numb when I see or hear about animals mistreated. I don't really know why but I have always felt this way. I remember once bursting into tears and sobbing when I saw TV footage of a Canadian seal cull. This was a bit embarrassing but it really switched something inside and I couldn't help myself. I think of global ecology partly as a bit like one of those huge books I sometimes buy - they have thousands of pages of densely printed text. To completely understand the book and learn it's entire wisdom would probably take more than one lifetime. There are so many layers to penetrate. First I have to actually make the time to read the whole book. As I do I will probably need to make some notes to summarise what I've learnt. I may need to consult additional information to deepen my knowledge of aspects of the book I don't know enough about. As I progress through the book the patterns begin to emerge. I start to see things differently as the mental constructs of the author begin to affect my own. If I break off from reading for a period I will lose track of the intracacies and have to backtrack and revisit earlier chapters and my notes. I find that my perceptions change over time. There are some books like this that strike me completely differently the second time I read them. There is no end to a process of understanding such as this. Even when the book is 'finished' I continue to think about the ideas and new insights emerge. This is my ecological analogy: We can't possibly know all there is to know about animals and what they might know and feel. We have only 'read the first few pages' and some of us haven't taken the book off the shelf yet. In the face of such ignorance and with the limited knowledge we have of our own makeup and its relationship to the ecology do we not behave like spoilt children allowed to run amock on our beautiful, unique and irreplaceable planet? I think one day people will look back at our ways with animals and deride us in the same way we now deride the inhuman treatment meted out to the disabled in times past.
Well, May is living up to it's usual loveliness. You get moments where you feel it's all finally 'coming together'. You feel good about yourself - kind of at-one as it were. Other people are positive around you. People you secretly despise actually show you respect in some cases. All your projects seem to go according to plan and everyone actively cooperates instead of whingeing. You buy a particularly nice batch of coffee which seems to taste nicer with every brew. You avoid sitting in traffic jams by cleverly exploiting your insider knowledge of local traffic movements. There's a succession of great tracks on the radio. The noisy neighbours go away on holiday for a month. The object of your long-time lust invites you out and seduces you. Ahh yes...
OK, I lied about the last one
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 5:03 PM
Friday, May 09, 2003
What is the point of nasal hair?
Does it serve some kind of sociological purpose?
Do men with bushy nasal outgrowths pull more chicks attracted by the prospect of sheltering underneath their manly sprouts?
Are there cultures where men proudly cultivate their nostril love tufts and waggle them seductively when they encounter a hot prospect?
We need to know - and soon.
Ladees - envious of nose turf? Now at last an answer.
An unfeasibly large number of big things including:
A Big Apple and a banana.
A rather large Barramundi.
A Mammoth Bull.
A grand scale Captain Cook.
A huge Guitar.
A very scary upscaled Koala.
Supra Macadamia Nut.
2 Big Oranges (not curious).
Worryingly, The Big Peanut.
The daddy of all Winches.
Some Big Woolbales.
A giant Cod.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:34 PM
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
We are orbiting an inner planet in the alpha quadrant.
The surface is rich in biodiversity and there are several dominant and many more subordinate species that have colonised various regions of the surface.
The most numerous of these is a hominid which lives in large groups. It's primary food source is derived from the subordinate species which are subjugated using a combination of physical coercion, chemical and genetic manipulation. These creatures are kept and grown in restricted conditions across large areas of the planet before being destroyed in dedicated processing units designed to extract the key nutrients required by the hominid. A sophisticated culture exists surrounding the processing and ingestion of the subordinate species material and groups of hominids gather constantly across the planet surface to carry out a variety of rituals which appear to be celebratory in nature when the ingestion takes place. The material from the subordinate species is pushed into the individuals facial opening using metallic tools. It is then broken down through mechanical crushing and disolved using biochemical processes before being absorbed into the body of the creature. Waste products from this process are expelled from the body in secretive locations hidden from other individuals and transported through elaborate systems of tunnels and pipes to large processing plants.
Certain of the hominids appear to value individual subordinate creatures above the others and reserve them for special treatment. These creatures are permitted to live out their natural term and are protected from the ingestion process almost as if they are somehow 'honorary hominids'. However not all hominids behave in this way and there are large groups that do ingest the 'special' species and actively reprocess the waste products from these species into products such as:
.A blanket made out of four golden retrievers
.Individual cat skins complete with eye-holes, paws and tails
.A full-length coat made out of up to 42 Alsatian puppies
The 'British' hominids, as they style themselves, react with apparent distress when the 'special species' are reprocessed in this way.
They do not appear to appreciate the irony of ingesting:
There is some evidence to suggest that ingestion of the latter of these items may be connected in some way with the dual perception of species significance that the 'British' hominids exhibit.
Typographical correction: The date above is incorrect and should be adjusted backwards by 150 years
Source and inspiration
"Cry. But under no circumstances should you keep quiet. There's plenty of time for that when you're dead." Thought provoking stuff today from Jodi
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:04 PM
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
The bignjuicy photomat is slowly taking shape as I get to grips with the world of digital photography.How may I help you Sir?
It aint as easy as it looks. Being used to a manual film camera with so much direct control it's a bit weird trying to work out all of the options on this gizmo.
Still haven't quite go to grips with what to do when something moves too fast. Anyway this noble swan obliged by posing for me on Sunday and keeping still long enough too.
Once I get the hang of the camera I'll post some more - meantime, enjoy my feathered friend.
Wonder if they know how beautiful they are?
There's a larger image if you click (51k)
Jezza sends this allegedly true tale of an American checking-in to the Dorchester Hotel in London.
The receptionist said that she would ask the porter to take the visitor's bags up to his room in the lift.
"Lift? Do you mean elevator?"
"Yes, sir, but in England we call them Lifts"
"We call them elevators and WE invented the goddamn things!"
"Yes, sir, but WE invented the language."
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:04 PM
Work is afoot at Sainsburys to transform the culture of customer service as we know it.
How do I know this? During a brief 20 minute shopping trip this evening I was assailed by a succession of unbearably helpful assistants grinning enthusiastically and addressing me loudly as 'SIR'. An overcaffeinated greeter thrusts a basket at me as I blunder semi-conscious through the entrance. Highly charged up stealth assistants roam the aisles seeking out unwary shoppers who show the slightest sign of not knowing where they are going or what they are looking for. drD heads purposefully down the feminine hygiene aisle by mistake only to be cut off at aisle 'c' by an undercover restocker who steers me towards the washing powder, "BIO OR NON-BIO SIR?"
Thank God I wasn't looking for condoms.
Previously on supermarket sloth
Slug like teenager sits slumped at scanner, barely alive, as I struggle to pack my extensive collection of big and juicy items all the while fighting the high speed rubber conveyor relentlessly propelling my mangoes at passing happy shoppers.
Tonight: Showtime at the supermarket
"GOOD EVENING SIR - WOULD YOU LIKE SOME HELP PACKING???!!!! OH I SEE YOU HAVE SOME OF YOUR OWN BAGS - CAN I HELP YOU WITH THOSE SIR? Then a 'team captain' approaches - she is wearing a baseball cap and 'Steps' style microphone; "GOOD EVENING SIR WOULD YOU LIKE SOME HELP WITH PACKING - EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT FOR YOU SIR?"
I'm beginning to feel threathened by their helpfulness
It was never like this at mogadonmart.
Shock news - humans do work at Blogger
I've had my first ever 'reply' from someone at Blogger.
He is called Steve and he had this to say:
"Hi drD. There was a temporary server outage, but the problem has been fixed. If this problem recurs, please let us know. Sorry for any inconvenience."
This is striking me as a grade 'A' response that would not shame a candidate for the the GCSE in Bleedin Obviousness.
I used the new 'Blogger Control' thingy to politely ask what the **** was going on with all these outages etc given the lack of info on their status page.
This was the best they could do by way of explanation.
Put Anne Robinson in charge - she's orange enough for the job and she'll whup their asses into shape pronto.
I'm a Mod. Yeah baby
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:01 AM
Monday, May 05, 2003
To any child of the sixties:
How cool is this?
I bought my first 'Benny' when I was 25 from a hip n happening emporium in Covent Garden I think.
This was during the time when Spandex and Spandau Ballet were big. I was slightly out-of-line with mainstream fashion at this particular period (wasnew?)
Somehow the touselled mullet was never a look that worked for me. It may have been the shortage of tartan satin jackets with shoulderpads in my wardrobe or perhaps the lack of an ocean going yacht and smoke machine but 80s fashions made small impact on my sartorial tendencies. [ OK, OK...I confess I'm still holding on to that dark turquoise and black checked suit with the extra-dynasty-shoulderpad implants - I'm sure it'll come back into vogue sometime before 2050 ] Now, when I look back at the photos I see a me that is strangely timeless - clothing that I could probably get away with today [ At least if I was attending a 'how to be timeless' convention ] Anyway, The Shirt; my very first one, was hugely expensive - at least so it seemed at the time. More expensive than any I'd bought previously that is. But when you've been brought up on the Marks and Spencer guide to sensible-middle-aged-dressing-for-the-young anything sans St Michael is a big step into the unknown. I remember unpacking it when I got home [ This is beginning to sound like a Werthers Original ad ] It's always been a weird pleasure for me, unpacking shirts. I love the intricacy of the cellophane, folding, pinning, plastic inserts, cardboard inserts, swing tags etc. I like to painstakingly unpick the shirt. Forensically removing a pin here, gently sliding a collar insert out there - I'm beginning to realise I may need professional help... So I slip the shirt on and well...it's dogs bollocks time ;)
Now I've added about 20 more since then to The Collection - each one is a friend. Some are a bit frayed round the edges but sadly I can't give em away. Whilst lesser shirts wing their way to Oxfam every now and again the Bennys remain.
So I've packed my bucket and spade. I may well be back with goods - boxfresh ;)
"I also like the "Look at Me Now!" episodes, in which former geeks get to strut their "stuff" (which usually involves implants) in front of guys who spurned them in high school or girls who bullied them."
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:08 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2003
I've been cloned.What might have been
What kind of weird shite is this?
Seems to be linking to some kind of dodgy Japanese sex site.
I knew I should never have signed up for that karaoke futon worship fetish site.
I'll have to speak to my agent about this.
Pass the bucket - I'm feeling ill.
If you fancy reading a classic for nowt then Amazon are giving away seven downloadable e-books on their site. Aint that nice?
The titles available:
The Thirty-Nine Steps
Pride and Prejudice
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Sea Wolf
The Last Days of Pompeii
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:48 AM
Saturday, May 03, 2003
I didn't really watch the The Edwardian Country House series when it aired on Channel 4 last year.
Recreating the upstairs downstairs shenanigans and class divisions in early 20th Century England. Stumbled across the US version of the website today - the series is being shown on PBS. Interesting that it has been renamed 'Manor House' for our Yankee cousins who presumably require a more intense titular definition of British social division than we native victims who are finely attuned to it's nuances. Anyway part of the site/s feature a 'snob quiz'. It's interesting to compare the US and UK versions - I came out less of a snob in the US one despite choosing the same options or their equivalents both times. My governess always told me I was too good for this country.
More interesting, though, was the the You in 1905 section which attempts to give an indication of what people might have been doing if they had lived at this time. Based on some scholarly analysis of life-chance determinants it gives an eye-opening picture of how being born into a set of social circumstances meant your lot in life was pretty fixed from the outset. There are still aspects of this at work today. My travels abroad have really opened my eyes to the fact that we are one of the most class-ridden societies in the world. However social mobility has markedly improved in the last one-hundred years. I was heartened to learn that given my own background, my life would have been very different indeed had I lived then. Rather than the tortured pseudo-intellectual I have become it seems I would have been little more than a Baldrick back then.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:29 PM
Friday, May 02, 2003
1. I have a dog.
and his name is Dill - he lives just on the left there ;)
2. I am currently outside the UK.
3. I have no hair on my head.
Currently about an inch and a half - come July it's coming off - this one will then be true
4. I own 10 telephones.
not far off - 7 at last count and yes it is a fetish birdy
5. I used to live in Dublin.
Not - but it's fair city and they make fine things there.
6. I am Australian by birth.
Not - but I know a man - g'day mate - ( and several women ) who is (are) - plus two kiwis and a grapefruit (juicy of course)
7. I occasionally appear on television.
Depends on what you mean by 'occasionally' - have been seen 4 times in 7 years - you're alright Zed - you are more famous than me
8. One of my middle names is Finbarr.
No - but I do have a long one (fnarr fnarr) - set of middle names that is, so I may add this to my other 3
9. I can speak three languages.
Non Nein Niet
10. I play the trumpet.
Very badly.....ok, not at all then
This poem was generated from http://www.bignjuicy.co.uk.
Big n trendy
feel. I leave home. Master Of life This might
seem to me. on through
the sun is
pumped out of Joel
is there?all dead?
asked the war against colorectal cancer.
The nineteenth century would not to improve
get yours here - thanks to Jodi for the link
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:00 PM
Thursday, May 01, 2003
Well it's May 1st and I always start to get the teensiest bit excited when May comes around. From the time when I was a wee nipper 'May' implanted itself in my brain as being associated with nice things. I seem to remember singing some sort of song about May in primary school and I really used to love singing it and it all used to get swirled around in my mind with the associations of niceness and happiness and I'm sure if I heard it now I'd probably go into some kind of pleasure paroxysm like a cat on catnip.
Anyway May is also a ladies name but you don't hear it so much among the Daniellas and Tonis and Lucys that are in vogue. I know several people that have or used to have an 'Aunty May' and doesn't that have a nice uphill and downdale feel to it? - "Aunty May" - the perfect Aunty name. Interestingly 'Edith' seems to be making a bit of a comeback. It's funny how what you think of as old-lady-names when given to some young slip of a girl who grows into a trendy young babe - the name takes on a new hip n trendy feel. I think 'Albert' might be a good male candidate for this treatment - although he probably doesn't know it yet.
I'm rambling now aren't I?
So May is good. It's good because nice things always happen. Apart from last year when nothing especially nice happened and I got depressed and well, let's not go into that eh? 1998 was pretty crap too but that was due to supernatural forces which occurred in April, the effects of which carried over into May and still haven't quite resolved themselves yet. Apart from that I can honestly say that May since as long as I can remember has been lovely.
It tends to get ever more lovely as the month goes on and gets especially catnip lovely on the 22nd day of May and then it tails off gradually with afterglow persisting long into June July and August.
So 21 days to go.....aaah.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 2:42 PM