Monday, February 27, 2006

A silent spring? Not on my watch...

Some scientists think we are entering the 6th great extinction phase of earths history. And whilst mans brutal treatment of the planet has speeded this process up it is as inevitable as the loss of the dinosaurs. Let them go gracefully they say. link here -->
Others think that every species must be fought for. That however certain defeat looks, we must fight the fight. Go kicking and screaming, and maybe, just maybe, we will get the odd victory that makes it worthwhile. link here -->

Well, OMR is strictly in the second camp. I want a future with frogs. And I believe we can have that. This planet has enough space, water & resources for the human species to double in number, everyone to have enough to eat & still have room for wildlife. And if we used the money, time & brainpower we dedicate to developing new and exciting ways to kill each other to saving this planet, it really isn’t that hard.

Ok. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. But I will get out there tonight and dig a bit more of the pond, rather than sitting in the pub where I’d rather be. And I will vote for the guy who speaks up for the environment, and let him know that’s why he got my vote. And if we all do that, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, our children’s children will still have frogs.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bricks, Ball games, beer and back ache

On Saturday morning I started digging the wildlife pond. About a foot down I hit what I hope is the brick floor of an old pigsty, but I fear may be something more sinister. So progress was somewhat limited. In the afternoon I watched Scottish passion triumph over English complacency in the Calcutta cup. And drunk a lot of beer.

Today I have a combination of diggers back and hangover. I made it briefly from my bed to the couch to watch the Irish thrash the Welsh. But then returned to my pit. I am not a well man.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

feelin' groovy

Out in the yard this morning before work a robin came and ate from the bird feeder whilst I was still filling it. Then, as I was walking into work through the snow a couple of swans flew overhead. That's always a wonderful sight.

feeling pretty good this morning.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Any excuse for a cheap pop at evil lord Merkin

I hear on Radio 4 that two of the innocent youths so cruelly beaten by evil British troops are going to be hunted down by the Iraqi authorities and prosecuted for attempted murder. For throwing homemade handgrenades at British troops shortly before getting thrashed.

So, as predicted by OMR, it turns out that the British army acted responsibly and moderately. Some youths guilty of a serious crime, but probably egged on by peers & caught up in the heat of the moment, got a well deserved kicking & told not to be so stupid. British army have taught the lesson, youths have learnt, no ones lives ruined.

But thanks to the shit stirring tabloid press, & uninformed liberal do-gooders (yes, you Merkin) without the sense to listen to there elders and betters (ie. Me) these boys are now going to be hunted down & face attempted murder charges. And millions of pounds of my tax money will still be wasted in an enquirey into non existent British troop brutality.

An its all your fault Merk!

A Fruitcake & a Fruitcake

On Saturday I came a glorious second in the Crowns fruit cake competition. And there were more than two entries! Despite scoring poorly on presentation it turned out that when you chiseled your way through the crust it tasted pretty good. Better still, Welding Jim was unplaced. So I sat drinking free beer, eating fruitcake & gloating.

I also spoke briefly with crazy beard Pete, part time religious icon and general loon. He was clearly on the wrong side of several beers & wittering on about steering wheel bongo's and how I should blog about them. Well. Steering wheel bongo's. Happy now? You crazy old prophet you.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Give them cable.

Once again Guantanamo bay rears its ugly head. The UN demands its closure. Kofi Annan & Desmond Tutu voiced there concerns. A British judge ruled that it was not behavior you would expect from a civilised country. And as always the US administration said get stuffed. And since they have bigger guns than everyone else, we live with that. Indeed US lackey Tony Blair positively beams and dribbles with joy at their response.
Lets face it, Simple George has got it into his peanut sized brain that long term imprisonment without trial is fair, just and part of the war against terrorism rather than an act of terrorism and nothing is going to change his mind.
Besides, 9/11 is still fresh in everybody's mind and America bears a grudge like no other nation. Decades after the Cuban missile crisis, with Cuba no threat to anyone but specialist cigar manufacturers, the USA still refuses to lift sanctions. Castro wouldn't to kneel and tug his forelock. He aint ever going to be forgiven. Same with the guys in Guantanamo. They look like they might be Islamic Arab terrorists. They aint ever coming out and no damn fair trial is gonna interfere with that.
Ok. So lock them up forever. But why turn the whole world (except Tony of course) against you by treating them like shit. So cut out the beatings, the dogs, the cold showers & the force feeding. Give them Coca Cola. Supersize them on MacD's. Provide Starbucks coffee and Hershey bars eighteen times a day. And If you really want to hurt them, give them endless friends re-runs on cable. Nothing like back to back Will and Grace with laxative adverts every three minutes to break a mans spirit.

Damn those lucky Cubans, I want an embargo.

Its the taking part

Periodically, they hold a baking contest in the Crown. And tomorrow its fruit cake. Now I can't bake. But there are beer prizes, so I am lured in. The judges still talk about my bread with a kind of fascinated horror. Indeed, I came first and third in the 2003 mince pie contest and have a certificate to prove it. The fact that the only other entrant was relegated to second on a technicality is neither here nor there. I won beer. And it was good.
So last night I knocked up a fruit cake. Unfortunately, I was missing a few ingredients. So I used orange squash instead of lemon juice. And glace cherries instead of walnuts. And dried apricots instead of dates. And I have no idea what polenta is, so I put in an extra egg instead. Its also the first time I have used the decrepit electric cooker that came with chez rich & I discovered that all the markings on the dials have long since worn off. So I turned a dial until a light came on & waited until it went off. That's a preheated oven at 180C, probably.
Now once this would have worried me. Once I would have weighed & measured the ingredients and double checked the oven temperature. But why bother because, and this is key to my baking style, once its in the oven I go into the garden, get distracted & burn the crap out of it. Last night I was potting on fuchias. And I have ended up with something resembling a fire blackened paving slab.
But that doesn't matter because, in true olympic spirit, its the taking part that counts. Last place is better than no place. Besides, I don't have to eat it, the judges do, and there is a certain joy in that. And who knows? Maybe there will be a shortage of entries. Last place may be in amongst the prizes. And free beer is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I mock your crazy gun laws

50% of US citizens have below average intelligence, because thats how averages work. We will call them group 1.
0.01% of group 1 (nearly 14,800 people) are officially classed as Morons. We will call them group 2.
There is a large group of Americans who believe it is an essential democratic right of group 2 to carry guns. We will call them group 3.
Your brightest and your best run the country. We will call them group 4.

Vice President Dick Cheney accidently shot someone whilst hunting quail.

Members of group 4 (Your best minds) cannot tell the difference between a man and a small bird once you put a gun in their hands.
It is a huge mistake to give groups 1 & 2 the right to carry guns.
There is a significant overlap between the members of groups 1 & 2 and group 3.
There is a frightening lack of IQ points seperating members of group 2 and group 4.
Democracy sucks.
The world urgently needs to appoint oldmanrich as world dictator.

You've gotta laugh (unless there's a shotgun pellet in your heart)

I'm really enjoying the USA's latest friendly fire incident. I'm rather feeling for Dick C. at the moment. Whilst on principle I despise anyone who kills animals for fun I have no problem with an open season on lawyers.
The late great Spike Milligan always claimed 'I like to hunt people who hunt'. Seems you not alone Spike.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Remember, back it up...

I aspire to be a writer. To my shame I am a published poet. (one, once, unpaid, in an anthology that was too poor and expensive for anyone including myself to buy. Nevertheless, I'm going to hell). Mainly I write bad science fiction. Which foolish publishers reject on the grounds that its bad. Its meant to be bad, damn you. Its aimed at 14 year old geek boys for light reading between furious masturbation sessions. I was one - I know the audience. Publish me damn you.

Anyway, Obviously my hard disk crash and the subsequent loss of 80 gig of porn has left me traumatized. Only now am I realising that my sci-fi opus was also not backed up. Indeed, most of my work has gone. Probably for the best. However, trawling through unlabelled disks I came across a short story I wrote, well, must be 15 or 20 years ago. Boy is it cheesy. It drips literary cheese. Still, I'm always up for a bit of public humiliation so I have included it in the post below. For those of you with better things to do than actually read it, its about a cat. The cat dies. (I don't really like cats).

Mordorfs Cat (fiction)

On its grave it says "PIRATE - THE GHOST CAT" and the year 1977. The year is the year that the cat died, certainly. And the name, Pirate ? Well, that's what the railway men called it once they realised that it was a genuine living cat. Before that they called it "The ghost cat". I suppose that Pirate was an appropriate enough name, after all the cat was missing an eye and a leg in the best Long John Silver tradition, but to everyone else it was always Mordorfs Cat.
The gravestone is on the railway embankment. The train drivers who bought the gravestone asked British Rail if they could bury the cat on the embankment. British Rail said no, so the drivers buried it there anyway, and put the stone in place. For many years afterwards the drivers would sound their whistles as they passed the grave. The drivers have changed, or forgotten, and the whistles no longer sound, but the grave remains. Recently I heard two young boys climbing the embankment after placing pennies on the rails to be crushed by the next train. One of the boys stumbled over the grave, hidden in the long grass. '"Ere", he called, "there's some old cat buried here. Shall we dig it up ?" and I had to smile as his friend called down from the top of the bank "No way, that's Mordorfs Cats grave, Leave it or it'll 'ave you". Such was the reputation of Mordorfs Cat.
Who Mordorf was, and whether the cat ever belonged to him I don't know. I doubt that Mordorfs Cat ever 'belonged' to anyone. It certainly didn't answer to any name. Still, everybody called it Mordorfs Cat, so Mordorfs Cat it was.
It was an ugly old cat when I first saw it. That was back when I was six. The first thing I noticed was its size, Mordorfs Cat was huge. The funny thing was that after it died it turned out to be cat sized, but while it was alive people always said that it was the biggest cat they knew of, and the ugliest. Although it turned out not to be a big cat, it sure was ugly. Even then it only had one eye. Its face was a mass of scars with this empty socket gaping on one side. Calling it a tabby was far too kind. It was a collection of browns, and a fairly unpleasant and uncat-like collection of browns at that. Its fur was never groomed as a cats should be, but stuck out in all directions. When motionless, Mordorfs Cat appeared to have been stuffed by a rather inexpert taxidermist and attacked by some expert moths.
The first clear recollection I have is of my first encounter with Mordorfs Cat. There are bits before that, vague faces and odd flashes, but my first real memory is of that cat. People tell me that six is rather old for a first memory, but everything up until then had been comfortable, trivial and unmemorable. Mordorfs Cat was none of these. It was autumn. My father was digging and I was watching him dig. Suddenly he noticed a cat sitting peering into the pond. To discourage the local cats from dining on his prized coy my father had become something of a crack shot with a clod of earth. He bent down, picked up a large lump of dirt and hurled it at the cat. The shot was perfect, just missing the cat (for my father was not a cruel man) and showering it with dirt in a fashion that would send most cats racing for the fence. Not this cat though. This cat just turned and stared at my father, its one eye shining. The left side of its face was that eerie dark socket, but its right eye was bright,
fierce and contemptuous. "Oh Christ, Its Mordorfs Cat" cried my father "I'll have no bloody fish left", and grabbing the fork as a lance he charged down the garden. As Mordorfs Cat totally failed to move an inch, or even flinch, my father got slower and slower and finally stopped three yards from the cat, waving the garden fork. Mordorfs Cat eyed my father, as if debating whether he was worth the effort of killing. Finally, after what seemed an age, the cat stood up, strolled into the shrubbery and vanished as cats can.
I had nightmares about that cat for months. As a six year old I was convinced that had my father advanced another inch the cat would have torn him limb from limb. Of course, now I'm twenty six I know better. My father would have been alright. After all, Eddie Gurston only needed eight stitches and my father was twice his size. I never asked him why he stopped his charge that day. I'm sure my father would claim that he didn't want to strike the cat with the fork, or that to avoid running into the fishpond he had to stop. Personally, I think he was just plain scared. I know I was. Hell, there was something scary about Mordorfs Cat.
Eddie Gurston was a year older than me, none too bright and a bully and a thug. He actually tried to tie a tin can to the tail of Mordorfs Cat. He wasn't being brave, he was, as many bullies are, a coward. Eddie thought that he was going to have a bit of fun with a defenceless cat. That he could take Mordorfs Cat for some helpless parlour kitty just shows how stupid Eddie was, for it is not an easy mistake to make. At the hospital they said he was lucky not to lose an eye. At first they wouldn't believe that a simple cat could cause such damage. Mrs Gurston, Eddies mum, ranted and raved and demanded that the cat be put down. Public opinion was against her. Whilst Mordorfs Cat was almost universally disliked it was a local character and respected. Eddie Gurston was simply universally disliked. Most people thought that justice had been done. Mordorfs Cat didn't give a damn about opinion, either public or Mrs Gurstons. At the end of the day no one was prepared to try and corner that cat, let alone take it to the vets. Thus the matter was decided by inaction and Mordorfs Cat survived. I was nine at the time.
I recall that in school they tried to make a lesson out of it. Don't be cruel to animals, you'll come of worse in the end, or some such. It seemed like rubbish to us at the time. Eddies scarring just meant Don't mess with Mordorfs Cat, and we already knew that. We weren't as dumb as Eddie Gurston.
I was a rather pathetic weedy nine year old and had frequently been bullied by Eddie and his friends. I was grateful to Mordorfs Cat for what it did to Eddie, and resolved to follow its example in future. No longer would I be bullied. In fact I followed this course somewhat more fervently than was wise. A boy only had to look at me in an unfriendly, or indeed uninterested manner and I would charge at him, fists flying. Invariably I was beaten to a pulp. This did not seem to matter however, provided I was following the cats example. I think I was partly to blame for the loss of Mordorfs leg because of this rather irrational behaviour.
Whilst I would not claim that I befriended Mordorfs Cat, for I don't believe that cat wanted or needed human friends, I got along with it better than most. Occasionally I would feed the cat. Once I stroked it, and for a second it purred. Then it bit me, but not hard, just enough to draw blood. I suspect that Mordorfs Cat felt vaguely responsible for my absurd rages and the resulting beatings I took.
The day that Mordorfs Cat lost its leg I was lying in the park. Not for relaxation or pleasure but because two boys had called me a poof and I had attacked them. So I was lying on the river bank bleeding a little and crying a lot when up walked Mordolfs Cat. The cat sat and looked at me for a long while but I had taken even more of a pasteing than was usual and would not put a brave face on even for Mordorfs Cat. I can only think that the cat decided to show me that mindlessly attacking things for no reason and regardless of the odds was incredibly stupid. I can find no other plausible reason for Mordorfs Cats next action. Mordorfs Cat stood up, charged down the river bank and attacked a swan.
A swan is a big bird. A blow from a swans wing can break a mans arm. The cats claws raked ineffectually at the feather padding of the swans chest and the swan flapped and hissed and struck with its bill. Despite the swans obvious advantage, both in size and in the nature of the ground, which was soft mud and ill suited to paws, Mordorfs Cat held its own. White feathers flew and I'm sure that the swan would have retreated to the river, but the swan had a mate. It glided up on Mordorfs Cats blind side and hissed in its ear. Distracted, the cat turned and received a sharp blow from its opponents wing. The cat was tossed into the air and landed hard on the already broken leg. The leg was twisted through two ninety degree bends an a white shaft of bone protruded through the bloody gash in the cats hip. Mordorfs Cat just lay there looking surprised.
I lay the cat on my coat and carried it as gently as I could to the vets. Mordorfs Cat never made a sound. The vet looked at the cat an told me that it really ought to be put down. I started sobbing. "Do you know who's cat it is ?" asked the vet, and of course I replied "It's Mordorfs Cat". The vets eyes widened a little. "So this is Mordorfs Cat" he said. The vet had of course spent much of his time re-attaching ears and sewing the faces of the local cats that had been foolish enough to tangle with Mordorfs Cat. He gave me a friendly smile and said "well, I suppose we ought to try and save such a notorious cat". So the vet amputated the mangled leg and the cat lived. I like to think that the vet did it out of respect for Mordorfs Cat although cynics have suggested that it was in gratitude for all the work that Mordorfs Cat put his way. Certainly, despite the loss of a limb Mordorfs Cat was still more than a match for the local toms, and provided the vet with many more years of trade. Whatever the vets reasoning, he saved Mordorfs Cat, and he saved him for free. I learnt the lesson and stopped attacking people, and found life much improved as a result.
After that I lost track of Mordorfs Cat. Oh, stories abounded. It was largely blamed for the disembowelling of Mr Jenkings ferret, but there was no evidence to support this theory other than the general feeling that no other creature could possibly have done it. Old Mrs Jones claimed that the cat ate her Sunday roast, but she was daft. Tom Owen said that the cat slept in their shed and Billy MacKenzie claimed to have seen it kill one of Mr Sandersons pigeons, still, sightings were few and I gradually forgot about Mordorfs Cat.
Then, when I was sixteen I met Mordofs Cat once more. I was sitting having a cup of tea with Mrs Evick at the time. I had just cleaned her windows for a quid and was sitting in the kitchen having a cuppa when her son John walked in. John was a train driver, and when he drove through the cutting behind his mums house he used to sound the trains whistle, much to the neighbours annoyance. So we were all sitting making polite conversation when John went as white as a sheet and pointed into the garden, "the ghost cat" muttered John. Mrs Evick looked out and said "That ugly old thing, that's just Mordorfs Cat". Then she added "biggest cat I ever saw though". John regained his normal healthy pink colour and started chuckling, "so
its really alive, a real cat" he chortled, "just wait 'till I tell the lads",
Then he told us about the ghost cat.
It seems that the first time that John had driven on the line he'd hit the cat. The train comes into the cutting at a fair speed and by the time John saw the cat sitting between the rails there was no point in trying to stop. You don't even get a thud when an express train hits something as small and soft as a cat and John assumed the cat had died and carried on. That night he recounted the incident to one of the other drivers. "A big brown cat" said the other driver "ugly as hell and half its head mangled ?". John just nods and the driver laughs. " I've hit that cat a few times myself. That cats dead as hell. Died a long time ago and now its ghost haunts the line".
Now Johns not the superstitious type and he assumed that his friend was pulling his leg, but a week later he runs over the cat again in exactly the same spot. "I kill that cat once or twice a week" John told us. "Its the same with all the drivers, I can't understand how the damn thing survives". So John and I decided to follow Mordorfs Cat. sure enough the cat made for the railway line and sat between the rails. Five minutes later a train hurtled passed. The cat did not move. One moment it was there, the next the train occupied the space. I let out a scream and John swore. "It must be dead" said John and we climbed down the embankment through the nettles and brambles. When we got to the line we were just in time to see Mordorfs Cat climb out of a deep hole between the sleepers and stroll off. The cat must have stood over the hole and dropped in at the last second.
After that Mordorfs Cat became something of a legend on that stretch of railway. The workmen, when they came, left the cats escape route unfilled. Pirates hole they called it. drivers would slow down or speed up when they spotted the cat, depending on their nature. It was the Drivers who clubbed together and bought the tombstone when Mordorfs Cat finally died.
Strangely, it was not a train that finally killed Mordorfs Cat, It was running from a dog. Perhaps the most amazing thing was that the cat could still run. I was twenty when the cat died, and it had been old and haggard when I was six. Nobody new how old Mordorfs cat was, It seemed that it had always been.
Mordorfs Cat was not afraid of dogs. Remember that this was a cat who played chicken with express trains. I have seen an Alsatian run barking and foaming towards Mordorfs Cat. The cat just sat there ignoring the attack until finally, just as the dogs jaws were about to clamp on the cats head, a claw lashed out and swiped the dogs nose. The dog yelped, turned tail and fled, whilst Mordorfs Cat stared after it with its one good eye. Many cats can drive off a dog when cornered but Mordorfs Cat didn't need cornering. There was no hissing and arching of the back, Mordorfs Cat simply swatted the dog as one might swat a fly.
No, Mordorfs Cat was not afraid of dogs. Except Mugsy. Mugsy was an old woolly dog of dubious ancestry. He had chronic arthritis in his back legs and could only stagger a few paces before falling over. Most of his teeth were long gone and his owner, Mr Morris, had to feed him on a sort of gruel. Mugsy was perhaps the least frightening dog imaginable, but Mordorfs Cat seemed terrified of the thing. And not just Mordorfs Cat. Mugsy would just hobble a few paces towards a cat and give a bit of a woof and the cat would take off like a greyhound from a trap, while Mugsy would fall down and wag his tail furiously.
The day in question was a hot, sweaty summers day and Mugsy was lying in the shade of a privet hedge, tongue lolling. Mordorfs Cat walked past the end of the hedge and Mugsy spied it. It was too hot for the dog to go to the effort of standing but he gave a token bark. And Mordorfs Cat fled into the road. It was the sound of a Ford Sierra locking its wheels that made me look up. I swear that if Mordorfs Cat had kept going it would still be alive. But whilst running from Mugsy was acceptable, running from something as pathetic as a car was clearly not. So Mordorfs Cat stopped and gave its one eyed stare at the car, and Died. I was surprised at how small it looked lying there in the road.


Mugsy died that same night. He just lay down, shut his eyes and stopped living. Two days later I met Mr Morris. He looked so old and sad without that dog staggering along behind him that I felt I had to say something, "well, old Mugsy went out on a high" I said. "The dog that did for Mordorfs Cat. I guess there was nothing worth living for after that". Mr Morris just shook his head. "No, Mugsy died of sorrow, remorse for killing his best friend" said Mr Morris. He must have seen my blank expression because he continued, "Old Mugsy, he used to be hell of a cat chaser, it was his life. Oh he never done them any harm, just liked to throw a scare into 'em I guess. Then he lost his teeth and the arthritis set in and the cats just ignored him. I think Mugsy was about ready to give up and die. Then one day Mordorfs Cat notices Mugsy. It looks at him for a long time and then walks over to Mugsys head. I think the old dog was a bit afraid, it was such a big ugly cat, but he gave a little growl and the cat took off like all the demons in hell were after him. Next time Mugsy saw Mordorfs Cat he damn near barked his head off and the cat flew off again. So Mugsy tried it on a few other cats. These cats must have seen Mordorfs Cat run from Mugsy, or heard about it somehow, because now they were terrified of that old dog. Who could blame them, if Mordorfs Cat ran from Mugsy, who were they to try and be brave ? It kept old Mugsy alive, being able to scare cats again. But I'm sure Mordorfs Cat ran out of kindness, just to give Mugsy back his self respect. I reckon old Mugsy new that cat wasn't afraid of him and he loved that cat for what he had done". Mr Morris was smiling now as he remembered Mugsy and Mordorfs Cat. "Scared of Mugsy? I'll tell you, Mordorfs Cat weren't scared of anything" then he added "biggest ugliest damn cat I ever saw".

Monday, February 13, 2006

I want one

They have developed a genuine air guitar. Apparently you just don orange gloves and leap around thrashing your invisible instrument to your hearts content. And software on your PC bangs out the music. And apparently people with no musical talent can knock out some pretty fine rock a la spinal tap.
I am that fat, crusty, talentless old rocker. I want one.

you reap, reap, reap, just what you sow...

A British combat unit came under attack from a group of youths throwing rocks, bottles and HOME MADE HANDGRENADES. Rather than opening fire, as almost any other army would have done, they captured four of the perpetrators. And rather than having them imprisoned for years they gave the trouble makers a good thrashing and sent them on their way. It happened two years ago. And none of the lads made a formal complaint, mainly I suspect, because they felt they had got off pretty lightly.
But now there is a video & we're supposed to be outraged?
pah and foo-ey.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My geraniums are up

The lack of a heated greenhouse this winter and a couple of -9C nights means that I have lost most of my geraniums and fuchias. such is life. but its a chance to start again. And all sorts of unidentified shrubs are starting to bud and bulbs I was unaware of are sending up shoots. The long nights of winter give way to spring and life is good. Greenhouse one is ready to for action, and its seed time. I love planting seeds & having them grow. Little miracles every day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A nasty case of crabs

we have crabs. Chinese mitten crabs. Imported by accident in ships ballast water they are now found in many of the UK's estuaries & are heading inland. They are likely to disrupt salmon breeding & wipe out some native crayfish. Environmentalists say we need to take action. So its fairly certain that we won't.

Congratulations to Canada for agreeing to create the great bear rainforest reserve on Canada's pacific coast. 25000 square miles of rainforest to be protected and environmentally managed. Fantastic, be proud Canada.

And finally in the Foja mountains in the Indonesian part of New Guinea scientists have discovered what they describe as an untouched eden, including 20 new species of frogs and five new species of palm. No beetle count yet but you bet its a big number. Its always great to know these untouched places exist. The problem is that once we know about them they tend not to remain untouched. Hark, is that the rumble of logging companies and tourist operators I hear?

Monday, February 06, 2006

More arooga

So, in work for 7.30.
And by 9.45 I've hit the great wall of apathy. still, I banged out two test strategies for review. And though I say it myself, they are masterpieces of non informative verbage, complete with sufficient typo's to prevent the reviewers having time to question the technical content. Or indeed find it. And now I have just launched a 'I need...who's responsibility is it to provide..' email to assorted managers who I'm fairly sure won't know that: I already have... no one else knows.. and its certainly not documented who is responsible for providing....
So that will do the rounds for an hour or so, and then I take on the responsibility & solve the problem to much management applause.

Meanwhile I am enjoying these.

I also see a lot of blogs are expressing assorted views on the apparently offensive cartoons of the prophet. Well, I wouldn't have ever noticed them if the Muslim (in the loosest sense) extremists had not gone to such lengths to advertise them. Nice one boys. I can't work up a lot of enthusiasm. Denmark is in the free world. Newspapers can publish this stuff if they want. Why they want to is a bit of a mystery, as they are neither well drawn or funny. More of a mystery to me is that people who think its ok to strap a bomb to yourself & go & kill people can get so cross over a mediocre cartoon.
Still, I did enjoy the fact that a group apparently attacked the Norweigan embassy in Syria. Presumably because Norway sounds a bit like Denmark. Nice one lads. If the almighty hands out awards for stupidity your place in heaven is assured.

So lets talk about something important. Beer and rugby. And what a damn good weekend of beer and rugby it was. A fine performance from Italy wobbled a mediocre Ireland. And had O'Driscol been justly carded for stamping, retaliating and generally behaving like a big girls blouse, Italy might have won. Then there was a nice pint or two of Hobsons Best. The English pack was magnificent & the back line was good enough to totally stuff a depleted Welsh side. And On sunday Scotland played out of their skins to beat (and nearly trounce) a much fancied and very disapointing France. And there was more Hobsons. Rather a lot more.
Yet despite the huge responsibility of being a rugby fan and a drunk during the glory that is the six nations, I found time to knock out a birdbox. And it wasn't quick. It took me two and a half hours just to find the chuck key for my drill. Damn those chuck key fairies. Still, despite my inability to use a jigsaw in a straight line it went well, if you like your bird boxes ugly and industrial strength. Aint it a beaut...


The car alarm went off at 3am. I just got downstairs when it stopped. I just got back to bed when it started again. we played this game for half an hour or so. Eventually it just kept going. So its 3.30 am, and I'm in walking boots and a rather small towel. And I am attempting to fix my car alarm. Which mainly involves kicking the car and using technical phrases such as 'shut up you piece of shit'. But every time I locked the car the alarm went off again. So I left the doors open and went back to bed. And just lay there for a couple of hours trying to sleep but expecting the car alarm to go off, even though I knew it wouldn't. And now its nearly six. and for reasons unknown my alarm clock has just stopped. And if I go to sleep now I will be late for work. And today I cannot be late for work. So I sit and blog.

You see, on thursday I got drunk. really really good and drunk. It was the Monkeys fault. He emailed me to suggest a post work beer. But not, we agreed, a session. Three pints at most and home by 7. So, full of good intent I leave work at five, stroll into oakengates, visit the butchers and arive promptly in the Crown at 4.30. Hmm. 4.30? It takes a bit of figuring. Was there, as I have often suspected, some sort of minor time warp just by the co-op? No. On Thursday they gave me a new PC and the clock was an hour wrong. So I left at four and not one bugger said anything. Not a problem though. I can make up the hour on friday. Only now I have a pint whilst waiting for the Monkey. So then I have three with the Monkey as planned. Only that makes four. Four is bad. After three I still have some will power, a last vestige of control. After three I can leave the pub. But not four. we had another several. Maybe more. It was not pretty or clever.
On friday I crawl into work at 9.30. Not much chance of making up the hour. Worse. I feel so bad I have to go home again at midday and go to bed. So now its monday And I need to do two days work today. And Ive been loosing a battle of wits with the car alarm half the night. I fear its going to be a bad day.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm back...almost.

Well, they have given me a new PC at work.
So I can blog again.
Unfortunately, they have also given me some work.
So I still can't blog much.