Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The official history.
Damon's New Office [we like].
Twenty years of post its.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:48 PM
Monday, February 27, 2006
Has anyone else noticed the uncanny likeness of the recent e-fit, issued by police hunting the Big Robbers, to a spaniel? Seriously, if a policeman looking like this walked up to you wouldn't you suspect that he wasn't a real policeman just a teensy weensy bit?Verruca news
As the days begin to lengthen, thoughts inevitably turn to long lazy summer days and an escape from the winter gloom. Surfing for attractive holiday destinations is a sure sign that either a. I've had enough of the sun going off at 5pm or b. I should really be doing something far more urgent only I can't be arsed. The combination of procrastinational guilt and holidays used to lead only to one destination: A two week Mortification of The Flesh package at Croagh Patrick [ as much gravel as you can eat ]. Happily, with the availability of low cost flights, more exotic locations now come within reach of the collection money. For example, why not 'Visit Jerusalem in Orlando'? There isn't actually a town called Jerusalem in Orlando. No, this is far more sophisticated. Jerusalem has actually been simulated in Orlando. Or rather, ancient Jerusalem has been simulated in fibreglass and MDF and reinvented with on-site shopping facilities n burger bars. The Holy Land Experience is a 'Bible-believing' theme park featuring the garden of gethsemane [as seen on TVs Groundforce], goliath burgers, Prodigal Son figurines and masses of other delusional schlock. [ Halter-tops, short shorts, or bathing suits may not be worn, cash refunds will not be made]. I think I'd rather stay in Bignjuicyville and do a bit of idolatory down at Idol World [ 'worship mammon here - 10% discount on gold sheep Wednesdays ].
Why not make your own cardboard nuclear shelter.
Bansky goes to LaLaLand
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:20 PM
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Can verrucae spontaneously combust?
A couple of months back I discovered a small wart had developed on one of my fingers. I only knew it was a wart because Dr Toothbrush-Tache told me when I was consulting him about my ingrowing personality. He offered to vapourise my wee wart with some liquid nitrogen. He appeared to enjoy vapourising my flesh as I could see a little smile play about his thin lips beneath his toothbrush whilst he prodded me with his frozen cotton bud. Liquid nitrogen vapour rolled menacingly down the side of his thermos flask [£1.99 at Matalan] onto his desk. I was trying to be all manly and nonchalant as the minor burning sensation turned into a searing pain ratcheting down my finger and filling my heart with fear. [OK I'm exaggerrating, but blokes don't do pain - we're sensitive you know]. After the cryotorture had finished, he snapped off his latex gloves with a barely concealed frisson of perviness and washed his hands. I decided to play my trump card and casually mentioned a hideous scaly noggin I'd noticed on my foot. I swear he almost purred as he turned to look at my upturned sole. 'Ah yes, a verucccccaaaaaaa', he breathed. 'I can treat that for you too', as he began to reach for a fresh pair of pervogloves. With my finger still pulsating painfully, I quickly declined the offer of a matching tootsie; visions of days spent painfully hobbling playing out in my mind. 'Isn't there an ointment I could use to remove it?' I asked.
So, some time later, after a single application of the prescription, I lost interest. The instructions were clear: 'apply three times a day for four weeks'. Aside from the prospect of finding somewhere to take my shoes and socks off in the middle of the day when I'm out and about, the sheer tedium of applying caustic chemicals to my flesh for four weeks just didn't engage my sense of joi de vivre. I've been conscious that, like Les Dennis, veruccas can hang about seemingly forever - just being there, occasionally visible from the corner of your eye, an appendage to one's precincts with no particular function other than to remind you of their presence via the occasional twinge of pain or an ironic reprisal of Family Fortunes. It was with great surprise, then, that I noticed yesterday that the little bugger had buggered off. [Les is on Hotel Babylon next week]. I scanned my sole feverishly for the black spot. I prodded my pad which had formerly housed the alien growth - nowt to be seen or felt. It appears, Oh Lord, I am healed. A further miniwart has also come and gone, meanwhile, on my little finger. Could it be that these are phantom fungi? An empathetic encrustation engendered by my natural tendency to pick up on the energies of others? My evil twisted cousin is a warthog of a woman and I'm now wondering if a recent life-sapping encounter with her noxious personage may have fomented my little visitors. Either this or I have some inherent genetic ability to destroy warty things without really trying. [ I know where Michael Portillo lives...donations via Paypal ] If this is so then I am truly talented after all [depite what Mrs Madteacher said in 1973]. I hope you're reading this Dr Pervo Toothbrush-Tache MD - you're never coming near me with that thing again. Go and zap your bumfluff with it.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:29 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2006
When chickens mutateMuscle magic
they grow teeth...
Who turned off the global warming?
My boiler's steaming it's little gasket off in an effort to maintain a decent interior temperature. Meanwhile cutecat shivers on the patio pining to get inside and there are icicles on my bicycle.
"He is a most enjoyable person to talk to — perhaps partly due to his being younger than me," Charles writes. "He also gives the impression of listening to what one says, which I find astonishing"
Crown Prince Tamponis on Mr Tony
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:58 PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
One of the most useful things I've discovered in a while is how to cure your own stiff neck when you don't have a handy onsite neck unstiffener available owing to a previous engagement. Simply prod around your neck to find a sore point. Then prod a bit more to find the centre of the soreness - ie the bit that hurts the most. [This is not very nice but the end result is worth it, trust me]. Now apply firm, unrelenting pressure to the sore point. [This might hurt like hell but the end result is worth it, trust me]. After a short time you will feel something change in your neck. This is the knotted muscle relaxing. Because the neck is a complex structure you may find that there are a number of sore spots that need this treatment. You may also find corresponding sore spots along the shoulders [in the trapezius muscles]. Although it takes a bit of time and is a bit awkward, the end result is truly marvellous and relieves that locked up feeling you can get after a hard day's blogging. Headaches may disappear and the world somehow seems a better place.Archival rootings
The application of pressure to muscles in spasm, thus forcing them to relax, is a technique practiced by many professional therapists at great profit. Although it's far nicer if you can find someone else to torture you, a little bit of autotherapy can make all the difference and maybe save you some pennies.
[NB: The advice offered here is based on the personal experience of the author and does not constitute official medical advice. IE - if you do try this at home it's at your own risk. Avoid the windpipe and you should be OK.]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:21 PM
Monday, February 20, 2006
The Tate have an archive of online events. This is a remarkable collection of talks from notable artistic figures which can be replayed via real audio. Jacques Herzog, Anthony Minghella, Ken Loach, Alain de Botton, Olafur Eliasson [he of the giant sun], Martin Parr, Anish Kapoor, Jeanette Winterson, Gilbert and George - just a few of the highlights. It's pretty in depth stuff but if you want to get the lowdown on some of the less superficial aspects of contemporary culture then it's an amazing free resource. Appealing for me was the fact that you can pause the recordings and return so if two hours of, Dialogues between 'Art and Anthropology' clashes with Footballers Wives you can always go back later.It's a gas
Talking of Archives, I found a brilliant free PDF of photographs of the Dessau Bauhaus on their website the other day. [ See where Franz Ferdinand nicked their entire image from ]. Lovely atmospheric shots of the modernist masterpiece which has now been largely restored.
Feel a hankering to do a quiz. It's been a while. Any suggestions for topics?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:32 PM
Friday, February 17, 2006
As the first glimmer of Spring has arrived, good old British Gas have announced a 22% price increase on top of the previous mammoth price increases in recent months. It's now necessary to seek clearance from your bank before boiling an egg. The new national identity card will have a built in Gas Use Function [GUF] to facilitate up front clearance to ignite. Don't even think about lighting up a fag from the cooker. A. It's illegal to smoke, or even think about smoking [ "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death" ] and B. It'll affect your credit rating. [ Your home is at risk if you do not pay your gas bill, go directly to jail, do not pass wind, do not swear, you are live on Channel Four ]. Gas is becoming more valuable than gold.
So, radical action is needed. Creative thinking is required. I'm looking for a strong team effort on this one readers. We need to push the envelope, think outside the clingfilm and sneer at the bulldog clip of stultifying fuel tyranny.
How do we cut our gas bills?
Here's my starter for 5:
1. Spend as much time as possible naked to desensitise yourself to the cold = less use of heating required.
2. Brick up all your windows and doors with recycled polystyrene for insulation against draughts = major risk of A. Fire and B. Seasonal Affective Disorder due to lack of light. However, C. facilitates 1 above due to greater privacy.
3. Give up work in November each year, stuff your cheeks with acorns or other high calorie nut type things and take drugs to sleep through the winter thus avoiding exposure to cold.
4. Remove all gas appliances from house and rely solely on driftwood scavenged from nearby beaches as fuel source. Problem 1: only works for coastal dwellers. Solution: Increase CO2 output massively to bring coast nearer. Problem 2: May cause sooty deposits on carefully constructed minimalist interior and nostrils.
5. Increase consumption of potatoes and channel karmic energies to one's extremities to ensure vasodilation and bodily heat dispersal fuelled by high carbohydrate diet.
OK, the last one is a bit flaky but I was struggling. I need your input here - I've been working on this for several kilowatt hours and I've got no clothes on.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:37 AM
"The mega pixels are rising" Sounds worrying - I wonder if it can be treated?
Diamond geezers, lies, damned lies and sleepwalking. It's the poll of polls.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:36 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Imagine being able to rid yourself of troublesome individuals at the flick of a switch. Now, there are hidden advantages to going a bit mutton as you sink into decrepitude. Apparently, once you reach the age of 25 you're unable to hear certain frequencies of sound. [ Suddenly, acid house is making sense at last ] Cunning boffins have exploited this fact in developing a kind of electronic wall mounted teenage repellant device which works a bit like those blue light things in chip shops only it's illegal to lure teenagers to certain electrocution [ unless.. no I won't go there ] - so this thing drives them away from your locale by making them 'feel uncomfortable' [ would it not be simpler to move amongst them offering free samples of George Formby MP3s and signing them up for wholesome activities at the local Scouts and Guides? ]. Anyway, I think this is a very clever device which should be available in key ring size for use by all sorts of people that sometimes might tire of the company of charming young people. Imagine how quickly I could get served on Saturday nights down at the Bignjuicy Arms. Dogs, you'll be glad to know, are unaffected. So many pop idols, so few recording contracts [think Grills Aloud].
Another ruthlessly efficient idea emerges from the teeming brain of Lord Birt of Liverpool. [Once memorably described by Dennis Potter as a 'croak voiced Dalek'. People used to run scared when he entered the building]. Having done exceedingly detailed investigations some time back. The Lord advised TB to supply heroin, crack and other hard drugs to addicts via the NHS. Estimated savings from crime reduction: £14 billion. I wonder why it didn't become government policy?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:32 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
SacksSo what do you do?
It's been go go go all day. A ratatatat first thing this morning on my knocker. I open the door and there is a 60 foot truck outside with the engine running. The driver offers me his clipboard to sign. Then the onslaught. Sack after sack is deposited on my doorstep and I begin to fear I'll never be able to accommodate them all. By lunchtime I've managed to open every last one. So this year it's a record 850000 valentine cards for yours truly. What with these and the naked models cluttering up the drive I'm at a loss to explain it all. Call it animal magnetism if you must. Embarrassing really.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:48 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2006
A few days ago I was thinking about social behaviours which increase one's chances of success in any area of life.
Having belatedly realised the value of smalltalk and recognising my relative lack of skill with it, I thought it would be interesting to see what makes the wheels turn for other readers.
Here are the top tips received so far:
Let others be themselves.
Take up an interesting hobby.
[ See here > for the kind contributors - please add more tips should you be so inclined ].
To these I think I'd add, 'Smile' and also maybe, 'Be generous'.
I'm drawing inspiration here from the socially challenged woman that I've been doing some work for.
You may remember her, the one who has difficulty in saying 'thankyou'.
I find that a lot of British people, especially, seem to have great inhibition when it comes to praise. Being able to say, "that's really good" or, "I enjoyed what you did" or, sometimes just, "thanks". This seems to cause discomfort for some. I find sometimes that when I say these things to people they look at me suspiciously - as though I've broken some social code or that I'm trying to gain some advantage. Understatement seems to be the order of the day. I blame the queen. And all her antecedents. And her hangers on. And her descendants. And all those that cling to 'class' in all it's manifestations. It's the centuries of anally retentive reserve. The immobile upper lip. [ Who needs botox when you've got a mother that shakes your hand instead of hugging you? ]. My half baked theory is that fear of self revelation arises from a childhood conditioning of silence and understatement. Not saying anything or saying something with little meaning is seen as socially preferable because it leaves the individual protected. Those who reveal their true feelings can then be treated as inferiors. Gawd, I'm sounding like Princess Di.
Anyway, the main point of my post today was to talk about the weather. Lovely day we're having eh?
P.S I think you're all wonderful - please come back again.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:01 PM
Friday, February 10, 2006
Strange but true
Abu Hamza used to be a bouncer.
He once had a council house worth more than £half a mil.
His son is called Mustafa Kamel.
His file photo has to be one of the scariest in history.
Whatever happened to Eddie the Eagle? Crappest ski jumper in the history of the world [ at least until I start doing it ] and still, I believe, the British ski jump record holder. There is apparently no end to the demand to hear interesting tales of underperformance.
3 years on
Interestingly, the blogosphere is estimated to have grown by 60 times since I started doing this.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:59 PM
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:36 PM
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
SexlessThe secret of your success
Apparently I'm being banned in some workplaces for being a sex site. Given this I think I need to charge a bit more. Could you please enter your credit card number and email address in the slot below. I promise to charge you for sending you dodgy emails too. It's the noo thing to do.
[ Wonder if I should create a parallel domain in the interests of greater workplace accessibility to my ramblings - eg TerriblyProperAndPure.com, NoTitsHere.com, DullAndInoffensive.net, SpiffinglyWholesome.com, NoSexAtLunchtime etc etc ? ]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:08 PM
Monday, February 06, 2006
A few things have gone wrong recently. And it wasn't for the lack of preparation or effort. They just went wrong. 'Circumstances beyond our control', I think they call it.The bank that likes to say,
Well, I thought it might be useful to assemble a small distillation of ideas that increase one's chances of success in any area of life.
I have, in recent years, finally understood the value of smalltalk. I'm still pretty crap at it but I'm getting better. Some people seem to have a 'brain mode' that allows them to talk small for extended periods. My problem, I think, is that I try too hard to think of original and or witty things to say - this is not what smalltalk is about. The most successful smalltalkers seem to be those that can engage you on some inoffensive topic that has just the right degree of interest. Not too boring and not too interesting or controversial. Traffic is too boring but Traffic with a bit if an anecdote involving the police / weird drivers / unusual traffic related event [ eg escaped elephant jogging down the hard shoulder ] - yes this might do the trick. However, should there be more than one exotic animal involved then credulity may be elasticated and smalltalk turns into porkietalk - possibly. [ Pigs flying? - quite ] That's my tip, then. Smalltalk with a twist. Helps the social wheels to turn, makes people feel at ease. Now, what is the secret of your success?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:12 PM
"Freeze or we shoot dude"
Saturday, February 04, 2006
I was pretty startled to read the story of the student who'd been arrested by a SWAT team when he went to the bank to get some cash to pay his rent. From what I could tell, it was due to a slight overreaction by a highly trained bank clerk when computer said, 'no' to his new bank card. The poor bloke was wrestled to the ground, carted off to the cop shop, DNA tested, probed for seven hours and had his home and his landlady's home searched. All because he was mistaken for a mysterious 'Mr B'.No thankyou
Barclays have since paid up four grand in compensation. This seems only fair given the trauma they put this bloke through. It was interesting that their initial offer was only £1k and he had to argue to get more. Publicity such as this will have done them no good at all. Leagues of scared students will now have yet another reason to approach their banks with fear and loathing. I wonder if this case has had any bearing on Barclays deciding that this is the week that they are going to change their public image.
Taking a leaf out of the Richard Branson manual of hipNtrendy financial practices, it's seen as time to shake off such stuffy institutions as 'Reception' - now to become, 'I’d love to Help?'. 'Withdraw cash' changes to 'Money out'. Non bondage freebie pens with printed slogans such as, 'Take me. I’m yours' and 'Borrowed from my bank' will replace their chained up predecessors. "A free pen is a small gesture to show customers we value their custom" says Mr B. [ There's no such thing as a free pen - 27.9% APR anyone? or how about sneaky payment date tactics? ] From now on Barclays customers won' t be using ATMs. Instead they'll be extracting the green stuff from the 'hole in the wall'. [ Clever move, naming your machines after outlaws - bit edgy eh? ] This is the future then. They've even published a handy before and after guide to clarify the changes for their crustier customers. Sadly, this does not cover all areas of banking practice and so I have attempted to develop this further below. Perhaps you'd like to add to the list.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:06 PM
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I've been doing some work recently for a woman who brought me in to take care of some work she's unable to do herself; 'pressures of time' she says. It's pretty demanding stuff, but nothing I can't handle and certainly nothing I've not done before. In fact it's at the lower end of the scale when it comes to stuff I've done in the past. My approach to the work has been highly professional. Plenty of discussion of requirements. Constant ongoing checking throughout. Plenty of feedback to keep her in the picture. All fine n dandy. The results of what I've been doing have been fine. Comparable with her own efforts and surpassing them in several aspects. Once or twice she's picked fault over what I considered to be minor matters - I listened patiently then put right what she complained about, following her instructions to the letter and checking that all was well. I've noticed that whenever I ask her a question she often turns the question around in such a way as to make my enquiry appear an indication of my own failure to understand something obvious and self evident. [ The enquiries are usually about something she hasn't told me]. This week I've been pulling together a number of strands into a final product which I completed a couple of days ago. The final result, in my humble [ and somewhat expert ] opinion is excellent. I left this for her and haven't seen her since, until today. I was expecting her to remark on what I'd done; nothing. After several hours I casually asked, "was that stuff I left for you the other day OK?" "Yeah great", came the reply before the subject was quickly changed. After spending many many hours and going beyond the call of duty I'd at least expected a 'Thankyou'. My theory is that she is massively insecure and cannot bring herself to acknowledge what I've done. I'm tempted to play this game a little more but I wondered if, from my description, you can tell whether I've read the rules correctly? How should I play it to get maximum payback?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:42 PM