| Saving face
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So, face transplants have become a reality. Which got me thinking earlier about how this all might develop in the future. Our identities being deeply intertwined with our appearance, it's quite a big step to undertake any alterations. The reason most commonly given for seeking facial plastic surgery is to 'appear more normal' [ or younger ]. In the future will it be, 'to appear more like Brad Pitt'? [ Presuming of course Brad is willing to donate his face to a suitable wannabe ]. If facial transplants become a mainstream procedure would it be likely for people to bequeath their faces? Could we see a new phenomeon of posthumous celebrity face auctions on ebay? Would the grateful recipient of Mr Michael Jackson's visage also receive the running repair kit that goes with it?
I thought about whether I would want to have an alternative face to the one I've got, if such a thing were possible. When I was younger I would imagine what it would be like to look like other people - usually those considered to be good looking. These days I'm pretty happy with how I look. Having been fortunate to inherit the eternal youth gene from my beautiful mother, I've been lucky not to suffer too much from the sagging, World of Leather look which seems to have afflicted so many of my contemporaries as they move into the twiglet zone. But, if my face were damaged or disfigured I think I would find it pretty difficult to deal with the social attention that would generate. People can be cruel and, in a world where personal appearance is a muti-billion pound economy, being 'different' can be difficult. A face transplant in those circumstances, like the one pioneered in France, could be life transforming. Would you swap your face for another?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:57 PM
Mrs Gee Walker, whose son, Anthony, was taken from her in what I can only describe as an act of evil; today showed the world why love will always triumph over hatred.
"Why live a life sentence? Hate killed my son, so why should I be a victim too?"
"Unforgiveness makes you a victim and why should I be a victim? Anthony spent his life forgiving. His life stood for peace, love and forgiveness and I brought them up that way.
What a fanstastic person is Mrs Walker.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:56 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I've always been pretty anti-nuclear. [ As befits a left leaning Guardian reading eco aware nutmuncher ]. A while ago I saw an interview with James Lovelock, originator of the GAIA principle. [ In essence this holds that ourselves and the whole of our environment are part of a living supersystem - we have a choice to live with this knowledge or ignore it, at our peril ]. Staggeringly, James Lovelock is now in favour of the use of nuclear power. His view is that global warming is proceeding at such a rate that we do not have time to experiment with so called 'green' energy sources. We must reduce CO2 now. The problem posed by waste from nuclear power will be as nothing compared with the global catastrophe unleashed by global warming.They were only following orders
I have to say that after Lovelock spoke out I began to shift my view. The ideal, of course, would be for humanity to collectively recognise the need to limit CO2 production and take urgent action to halt and reverse the level of output. This seems about as likely as Bush inviting Saddam to marry one of his daughters. Because of our inability to cooperate internationally in limiting CO2 and because of our addiction to 'economic growth', pragmatism seems in order. Using nuclear power could be argued to be the least worst option. Waddya think?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:58 PM
Monday, November 28, 2005
"I know, let's all get naked and fight each other out in a muddy field. I'll wear a surgeons outfit, my assistant will dress as a schoolgirl and I'll pummel the loser into unconsciousness."
Can you imagine your boss suggesting this of a morning?
The closeted world of the Armed Forces is a very strange environment. Sold variously on the basis of, 'Learn a trade, be a man, drive tanks, shoot guns [ no blood in the recruitment ads of course ], see the world, have Prince Harry as your boss' etc etc. It seems that the reality is a bit different and ever so slightly kinky. I suppose if you've been trained to believe that it's your duty to the Queen and your Country to go abroad and shoot who you're told to without question. If you are schooled in that strange military logic that makes you believe you're 'just doing your job' even if that job involves large amounts of carnage. If you truly believe that militarism is the basis of a 'free' society - which I suppose you have to if you're military. Then it's no wonder your brain might go a bit funny and you seek an outlet for your funny brain by dressing as Dr Feelgood and ordering your subordinates to get their kit off and bash hell out of each other. I'm reminded of the WW1 Blackadder when Edmund tries to escape being sent to the front by sticking a pencil up his nose and pretending to be mad. Nice to know my income tax is funding a good old tradition of public school perversion. No wonder Prince Edward left to join the theatre.
Which of the following sentence endings work best for you when talking about a specific problem in relation to a specific person?
1. "and we would not want you to be disadvantaged."
2. "and we would like to resolve the issue quickly."
I'll explain more later...
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:55 PM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
With appearances on Parkinson and Top of The Pops this weekend + extended interview in The Guardian.
Anyone would think he'd got a new album to promote. Who cares - I'm soaking it all up. Best is yet to come; there's a recorded live concert to be broadcast on Radio 2, 10 December - review here. And a tour is imminent - watch this space. Most moving: his impromptu tribute to daughter Aisha on TOTP - chorus of "Isn't she lovely". How lucky is Aisha? Having Stevie as a Dad, having a classic song written about you at your birth and having him sing it to you on stage when you are nearly thirty. [Lump in throat moment]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:08 PM
Saturday, November 26, 2005
As predicted, Cutecat has become a more frequent caller since the temperature has dropped. His little face appears at the window. He hops in for a little nuzzle and curls up in his favourite chair. This charming scene was today fractured by the realisation that Cutecat had brought some little friends with him. Little friends that decided to suck my blood. Cutecat is now banned again. Even if he did leave me a dead mouse in the garden as a bribe.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:00 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
1. Jimmy's last name.
2. Infamous photographer, divine submersion.
3. Organ of origin - 2 off.
4. Smelly nitric acid base which gentlemen may recall from school.
5. Before inflation this is what it cost.
6. Avoid snow of this colour.
7. .... off = Go .... ?
8. If you were ripping it out, what would you be doing to them?
9. .... up. Involves serving what at the top end?
10. I can't believe I've just published a quiz on this topic, I must be taking the?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:21 PM
Skippy the bush barbecueLet's go round again,
Kanga burger anyone?
While we're on the theme of systematic abuse of indigenous species, I see that Kruger National Park - whose webcam we have loved - is planning to despatch a large number of it's star attractions - elephants. This cannot be right. It's not like there are that many left in the world anyway. What is it with this culling lark.? Bleedin murder by another name.
It's been fifteen years
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:20 PM
Monday, November 21, 2005
Every time there's an outrageous killing, be it a child, police officer, old person, 'hard working family man' or 'devoted wife and mother', the Daily Mail Massive start foaming at the mouth. 'String em up - it's the only language they understand. I truly believe that a large number of people in this country would gladly attend grisly public executions if these were carried out.
I'm reminded of a piece of writing given to me many years ago. A bit of it goes like this,
If a child lives with criticism,
He learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility,
He learns to fight.
The rest is here
The instinctive reaction when someone is hostile is to react with hostility.
Most people do not want to live in an atmosphere of hostility and violence so it follows that a society based on institutionalised violence will never be free of hostility. We have very well developed technologies for locking people up and killing them. We have crap technologies for changing the way that people think and converting them from violence. 'Legally' killing killers is an illusory approach to solving the deeper issue of violence which, like war, represents our collective failure. A failure to build a society where peace and respect for life are actively sought by all. Where people are in some way compelled to take responsibility for their actions from an early age and to behave with decency to each other.
How disturbing that a recent report concluded,
'Almost every child is affected by bullying and is growing up in a society that sees violence as "the norm" '
How ironic that this week is anti bullying week.
How sad that we still need to have one.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:59 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Anudder Norman Foster building with triangly bits and silver and glass and - well you know the rest.Suffer little children
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:45 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2005
It's that time if year again when we think of those less fortunate than ourselves. The little ones in need of our help. Yes it's the Childrens Awareness Voluntary Appeal. We all know of a young person in need of assistance. It may be that they are socially challenged; unable to pass a stranger in the street without requesting financial assistance. Or perhaps they are multi lingual with a natural bent towards a charming patois la rue. How we delight when we hear, 'Oi geezer give us yer phone you slag or I'll slice ya you mingin minge'. Many are the spirited youths who sneer in the face of authority. For it is a dry, dusty master and in need of Stephen Fry to give it an ironic modern twist.Handy household hints
So, dear reader, we appeal once again to your generosity. Think of all those youths in need of your wonga. Picture, if you will, a one eyed pussy staring pitifully into middle distance. Hold that image as we now present a heartwrenching interweb presentation experience designed to showcase a thematic charitable donation opportunity. Clicky
[ Please make all cheques payable to 'drD CAVA fund' ].
Other charities are available.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:06 PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
1. Buy vast quantities of cheap cava from Tesco.Crackers
2. Drink vast quantities of cheap cava whilst doing your ironing.
3. Carry your ironing upstairs.
4. Fall over and drop your ironing on the floor.
5. Pick up your ironing and return to the ground floor.
6. Redo your ironing.
7. Repeat step 3 and hang up your ironing.
8. Drink more cava.
9. Watch open university programmes.
10. Fall asleep on the couch, dribble and get a stiff neck.
11. Go to bed. Go directly to bed. Do not pass water, do not collect your teddy from the shelf.
12. Wake up. Feel sick and turn over. Reach for absent teddy and fret.
13. Go to PC and check for reply to catmail.
14. Drink water and go back to bed.
15. Fall asleep and dream about former colleague with enormous hairy bottom who now miaows.
16. Wake up in morning with cat lying on your head.
17. Worry that cat took took advantage of you whilst you slept.
Cutecat sent his first email today.
I was working and he decided to dance on the keyboard whilst poking me in the eye with his tail. His catlike agility and nimble footwork activated the email program.
It was a work of spontaneous expression. Cat and machine in perfect harmony.
I couldn't interrupt as I was occupied with getting cat hairs out of my eye.
After the email had gone I retrieved it for you. Here it is.
Message: cvzzzzzzzzzzzzresta\wel|ew//////df///dfsdf///fdf/////========fsdefre=43r55rrerrffffffffdsf\df'dfdfdffffff fffffffffffffffffffff
If there are an any bilingual cats reading - please translate this in the comments box for me. I'm worried that cutecat may have issued controversial instructions that may compromise my status as a "valued BT customer". [ I've got a sticker you know ].
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:57 PM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Crackdowns on truancy, crackdowns on binge drinking [ Posters featuring artful vomiting - check it out ], crackdowns on shoplifting, crackdowns on bullying, crackdowns on illegal signs, crackdowns on illegal drugs, crackdowns on illegal cars, crackdowns on illegal phones, crackdowns on illegal taxis.Table d'aujourd'hui
What's a boy to do in his spare time?
Stock Aitken and Waterman are coming back. I saw Rick Astley the other day too. This is looking bad.
Tesco are selling sparkly sparkly cheap as chips cava for £2.96 a bottle. It's really rather good. Better than some 'champagnes' I've tasted. Offer ends 29/11. Tell em I sent ya. Hic.
My first ever wart fell off this morning during a busy meeting. You'll be glad to know it was a painless end for the little fella. He was cryogenically zapped a couple of weeks ago and has been slowly curling up and dying ever since. I always thought I was too nice to get warts. Your body has interesting ways of reminding you that you're quite ordinary. My doctor has even more interesting ways of freezing my flesh. I think he quite enjoyed doing it. Bloody hurt like hell.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:53 PM
Monday, November 14, 2005
I don't believe it
I missed the Jonathan Miller series, a brief history of disbelief, which finished tonight on BBC2. Only saw the last fifteen minutes or so and it looked really thought provoking. Wonder if there's a book coming?
My result: "Terrible, just terrible!"
Quite a hard frost this morning - the first major one of the year sigh. At least the sun was shining. I love the golden light and long shadows at this time of year. I really must try to haul my ass out of bed early one morning so I can take some photies before all the leaves fall.
Interesting that Blogger is flagging a two hour 'scheduled outage' today.
I think this is the first time I've ever seen advance warning of the Blogger system being unavailable. Usually it just goes offline. I have to say that I'm pretty surprised that with all the resources of Google behind it, Blogger is still so flaky. I've never known Google to go offline for two hours. I wonder why the Blogger infrastructure isn't more resilient? It has to boil down to cash - so why are Google not spending more on it? Are they finding that there isn't as much revenue in it as they'd orginally envisaged?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:11 PM
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Is it the waning of the year? The general drop in daylight levels? The change in temperature? The worsening weather? Perhaps it's all of those things or perhaps it's just me, the time of life that I'm in, the circumstances of recent years or whatever. I'm feeling like I'm moving into a new phase of my life. Like something is beginning. One of the good things about bignjuicy is that I get to look back at what I've written. It's like a sketch map of my life. Whilst not every detail is recorded, there are enough triggers, enough allusions to events, to prompt a good recall of happenings and feelings. It's a bit like looking through old photos or meeting an old friend. Things you'd forgotten come flooding back. Doing this little blog each day, bit by bit, has built something very valuable to me. There's another lesson there for me too - 'little and often'.Moon n Mars
I had a read through some archives the other day and it was very helpful to pick my way through all the stuff that's gone on these last two years. It's just over a year since I chucked in my 'career'. The ripples of that decision are still visible to me. Not least in my impatience to put something in it's place. However, I keep coming back to the realisation that my life is now my career, not some job that utilises only a few of the things I can do. I've realised I'm still a bit like a child that's been put in control of the world - not knowing quite where to start. I'm a bit conscious of time ticking away and the need to get on with it. Yet, my other big realisation is that the process of getting there is also to be enjoyed. Years of doing jobs that only brought patches of enjoyment has conditioned me to expect that work is not much fun - I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of really good laughs I had in my last employment. Now I'm slowly unlearning that grim 'truth'. I've come a long way in a year and, if I feel a little anxious about the future, that's only to be expected. It took me twenty years to get to my previous 'success' so it's early days yet with this new lark. I realised a while ago that I allowed employment to anaesthetise me. It's a well evolved system which removes individuality under the illusion of 'teamwork' when ultimately it's all about money. Only most employers and employees are either unaware or not honest enough to face that. I wonder what would happen if they did?
You'll see from today's picture that cutecat is back in the house. He did a super cat appeal on the windowsill and I couldn't resist. I'm a sucker when it comes to furry creatures being appealing. I've evolved a system to stop him from getting under the floor [ lock the door ]. I've a feeling that he'll be visiting quite often as the weather gets colder.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:44 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:13 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:00 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Number 2s at number 10My floppy friends
"Occasionally I was summoned into the prime ministerial bathroom, where, as I spoke, he would discharge some ablution."
Life inside John Major's no 10 - fascinating. Be sure to read the insider decoding of Bill Clinton's handshakes at the end of the piece.
"So thank you Richard, for a life that merits a place where you'll find only friendly ferrets."
As last lines go, that has to be one of the best.
The name's d. drD
I've never quite given up my dream of being suave, debonair and devastatingly attractive. I do like the odd gadget and fiendish plots are fun. The nearest I've come to a megalomaniac psycho bent on world domination is a former half boss who was vertically challenged, balding and would never shut the f**k up when you spoke with him. A fluffy pussy on his lap would probably have lacerated his gonads just to stop him rabbiting about how wonderful he was. Anyway, all this by way of revealing to you, dear reader, the truth that I am actually James Bond. Yes I know this because this interweb quiz told me. And Anna done it too and she's William Wallace. So we can all be heroes, just for one day.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:00 PM
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I've got about a thousand floppy disks full of stuff I've collected over the years. Documents I've saved - 'just in case'. Loads of back ups from way back when before CDs allowed me to store the Library of Alexandria on a coffee mat. Freebie programs from when being given a free floppy disk still felt like something quite special.
I really need to get rid of these disks because they're just taking up space - both physical and mental, I'll probably never use them again. The fact that I've not used them for several years gives me confidence that they could exit my life real soon with no ill effects. The only problem is that I don't really know what is stored on many of them. It could be my innermost musings on my life plans when I was contemplating retraining as a Yak warden. More worrying those photos I vowed would never see the light of day may be lurking somewhere in the pile.
You see disk labelling was never my strong point. I had my own filing systems which were based on colours, position in storage box and mental maps of where everything is. Unfortunately, a while back all of the disks ended up in a big pile on the floor. I was 'reorganising' - only I got interrupted for about three weeks and then I had to watch Neighbours, a cat was under my floor and - well you know.
So now I don't have a clue what is on these disks and I really can't be arsed to sit here for about 4 days going through them all. I need to get one of those large electromagnets that Oddjob used in Goldfinger to pick up James Bond's crushed car and drop it in the back of his pick up before returning to Goldfinger's evil ranch. [ Can a ranch be evil ? ]. Such a powerful magnet would instantly scramble the contents of the disks and render them suitable for donation to that company that recycles them into Hugo Boss shoes and Prada thongs, then sells them to unwitting celebrities on Santa Monica Boulevard in Canvey Island.
All those incisive memos and planning sheets I spent hours of my life agonising over would be zapped into ferric oblivion and I would be free. Please someone out there - send me Oddjob's phone number.
How 'I Claudius' got made.
Must remember to watch this later.
Have you got a problem?
Do the quiz.
Apparently I'm one of the 73% classified as 'normal'.
God help the 'abnormal' that's all I can say.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:22 PM
Monday, November 07, 2005
Poor Sindi, after pushing Toadie down the stairs, Stu gently helped her face the truth. She admitted that she had been responsible for all the “accidents” and was carted off to a
[ Note to self: stop watching Neighbours and get a life ]
Your telephone answering system is truly truly truly [ did I say truly? ] crapola.
In a wholly pile of of shite stylee. So excremental is it that I would rather 'listen again', on endless repeat, to Rod Stewart being tortured with a heated egg whisk [ and simultaneously have my gonads constricted with an industrial strength bulldog clip ] than attempt to 'navigate' through the 200 plus options and submenus of your 'system'.
Please consider employing more cheerful ladies and gentlemen to pick up the phone within three rings and deal mercilessly well with each and all enquiries.
Come the revolution
...all will be beautiful. And Canadian. Linkage has been bestowed, honoured am I. Ta muchly Andre.
[Purrs with pleasure]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:01 PM
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Seems like only yesterday when I was installing the winter floral provisions but it's been over a year and they were badly in need of overhaul. A visit to the planet Wyevale at dusk and I am in possession of some glowing green conifers and a large number of pansies. [ Camp? Moi? ]. Anyway, they're one of few sources of colour in the grey gloom of winter; for gawds sake John Major was wheeled out this morning on telly. There's grey and there's Major Grey. Plantation ensued earlier and all is looking lovely. It cheers my heart to look out the window and see those little babies fluttering in the breeze, looking all fresh and perky whilst I prepare to get out there and freeze my brazils off. Meanwhile, cutecat pays a visit whilst I am in the garden and slips in through the back door to install himself in a warm spot inside. I monitor cutecat at all times now since he shot from underneath the bed one night where he had been hiding for six hours, having sneaked in when I wasn't looking. Having a large furry animal bolt from under your bed as you prepare to go to sleep is slightly alarming, believe me. Tonight cutecat could not be traced once I went back inside. I had not seen him leave but he's so slinky he could have slipped out without being noticed. I assume he has, lock up and go about my business.Yawn
Two hours later there is a rustling under the floorboards and a dusty cutecat squeezes his head from a tiny gap under a step like some evil entity emerging from the underworld. Q: What was he doing under the floor for two hours? Q: Will I find out in a few days when it begins to decompose? Cutecat is now banned.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:02 PM
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Local amateur firework detonations, all bloody week at all bloody hours.
Reconstructions of what might have happened if Guy Fawkes had managed to light the fuse.
Child beggars 1 - Trick or Treat - this is not America - sod off.
Child beggars 2 - Penny for the Guy - you can have only 1p, I'm not financing your underage cider binge or amateur firework detonations - didn't you read the above entry?
Bird Flu hysteria.
Bird Flu hysteria read by Huw Edwards.
Being trapped in a supermarket surrounded by Xmas promotions whilst Huw Edwards reads Bird Flu hysteria on the in-house telly system.
As a long time Firefox user I've often wanted to have the facility to rearrange my open tabs in an adhoc stylee. Alas, this is not built in. However a marvellous extension miniT does the business. I have a few other useful extensions to meet my demanding needs - I recommend a good rummage around in the extension listings - you're bound to find something exciting.
Imposing architectural phallus on the metropolitan skyline.
No, you Londonistas it's not el gherkin. This is the Torre Agbar in Barcelona. Being a relatively low rise city, the tower - [ which definitely has not been copied from His Worship Sir Lord Norman Foster's erection, no most certainly not ] - stands out very very prominently indeed against the city skyline. It's multi-layered outer skin shimmers in bronze and blue giving it an almost living visual quality. I wonder where the architect Jean Nouvel got the idea from? The official website is rather lovely and has some stunning photography of in and around the tower.
Blogger banjaxed earlier. Just like old times. Inexplicable publication failures, outages and assorted weirdness.
Good to know that even the mighty Google cannot prevent piss poor performance.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:40 PM
Friday, November 04, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:36 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Big n spooky
How was I to know that the Mitchell Bruvvers would be simultaneously nutted by their respective concubines mere hours after I wrote the title of yesterday's post?
Do you think I'm becoming psychic? [ no not Psychotic ]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:38 PM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Political backstabbing, bawdy behaviour, casual brutality, semi public sex.
No, Dublin was last week - we're talking about the much anticipated Rome. The first episode of which I watched earlier. I'd hoped for a latter day I Claudius. Alas it was not to be. Rome is fast paced and superficial by comparison. It plays like the American 'Blockbuster' it is. Lavish production values provide spectacular visuals but there is no sense of the subtle layering and carefully constructed cadences which made it's revered antecedent such a joy. Sadly, like much US produced TV drama, Rome spells out it's plot in a full on display of lavish uniformity. Here a blood and guts battle scene, there a supposed moment of pathos. Glowing side lit photography and superb sets come straight out of the Blockbuster Handbook - Chapter 2: Quality Visuals. But we are never allowed to pause and to dwell on what is happening. The camera does not linger in Rome but is already off somewhere else to grab the next spectacle before the audience gets bored and flips over to the Simpsons. A look at the cast list shows the formidable acting talent; much of it British. But the English accents seem employed to furnish it the necessary gravitas and provide the US audience with obvious 'European' clues. It was, granted, only the first episode. I probably need to judge it on it's own terms. I can't help feeling disappointed though. The characters of Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, through which much of the plot appears mediated, are the Roman Mitchell Brothers. At least Grant and Phil make me laugh. Rome, thus far just made me want to cry for the missed opportunity that so much money could be spent on something so predictable and mediocre.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:21 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I was inspired by a recent referral to investigate the origins of Phil Spector's impressive do. My imaginary travels through the American midwest yielded the answer.
Fascinating Wikipedia article about Phil.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:21 PM