Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sammy the sprout, freebooter & buccaneer.

I kept telling my nephew Mattie that if he didn’t mend his evil ways all he’d get for Christmas would be a brussel sprout. And of course he didn’t, So I put a sprout in a large box, wrapped it up & ensured it was the first present he opened. Ho, Ho, Ho.

Then he opened up his gigantic pirate ship. (some assembly required. Go ask your uncle Rich to help, because after a massive Christmas dinner & too much beer what he really wants to do is lie on the floor with three hyper active children, trying to fathom out some Chinese instructions whilst having his belly used as a trampoline). Finally it was together. But there, in the small print, ‘figures sold separately’. CRISIS. But to the rescue came Sammy the sprout, scourge of the seven seas. Islands were plundered, treasure was buried & the walnut nut men of iglypopo were captured, tortured & forced to walk the plank.

By the end of boxing day Sammy was turning a little yellow, despite sharing the shower with assorted children, and he was wearing a pair of Barbies pink sunglasses for reasons too complex to explain. But even though some pirates had been acquired, and a probably terminal visit to the guinea pigs had been threatened, he was still holding his own. Much to the annoyance of the poor abused nut men.

So basically, we spent two days at christmas playing with a brussel sprout. Remind me again why we spend money on toys.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Best wishes to you and yours

My last blog before the great festival of the sprout. The hell that is present shopping is done, the bird feeders are stocked and the smell of reindeer poop is in the air. In just a few hours I shall be popping to the crown for a swift one before returning to chez rich to cavort naked in my frost encrusted garden to celebrate the lengthening days and the coming of spring. And early tomorrow I head home to the welcoming embrace of Essex, where I shall doubtless eat and drink more than is wise, give and receive assorted tat and argue with loved ones. And you can't ask for much better than that.
May you all be safe and warm and loved this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Slow day at tall blue

The boss has finished for christmat already, so...

I am going to die at 69. When are you? Click here to find out!

I am 79% loser. What about you? Click here to find out! User Test: The Booze Test.

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

gone to the dogs

On Saturday evening I accompanied a bunch of reprobates from the Crown to Monmore Green to watch the greyhounds race, consume bad beer & eat dodgy burgers. And, of course, invest in the outcome of this noble sport. No, its not gambling, it’s a test of skill, judgement and knowledge. Suffice to say I bet on the dogs with the best comedy names and, remarkably, ended the night about 20p in credit.
Now, just before we left the pub we were provided with a ‘hot tip’. Knowing that this was probably just an attempt to adjust the odds I sensibly backed a different dog. Of course, all the other fools backed the tip. Which came in at 4-1. Damn. Its not losing that I object to, but the others winning

Friday, December 15, 2006

ashes to ashes, fun to funk

Apparently, if you’re a bloke, being circumcised reduces your chances of HIV infection by 50%. So possibly the Jews are Gods chosen people after all. Since my chances of being infected with HIV are pretty minimal, as I am not getting any at present & I really don’t think that losing the old ‘skin will help with a dodgy blood transfusion, mine is staying.

Ok, all you people who have upgraded blogwise. Your comments section says I can still log on with my blogger password. This appears to be a lie. Just so you know that the lack of comments from OMR does not mean a lack of love.

For Jessica & her finger paints, and any other American teachers out there -. dont limit yourself.

Tonguefish like to hang out around pools of molten sulphur from undersea volcanoes and can survive temperatures of 180C. Amazing. And better still, they are called tonguefish and do indeed look a bit like tongues.

The Yangtze river dolphin is officially extinct. Which is kind of sad. But possibly not as sad as still being alive in the filthy polluted waters of the Yangtze river.

The UK government chose yesterday to close post offices, officially sanction corporate bribery, and for honest Tony to pop along to his local police station for a chat about a silly rumour that his selection of honours nominations was in some way influenced by the candidates multimillion pound donations to the Labour party.

Research shows that vegetarians are brighter than carnivores by, on average, 5 IQ points. But give me stupidity & bacon sarnies any day.

See, there is plenty of stuff out there that matters more than cricket – honest

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I want to be a gonozooid when I grow up

So today, dear readers, I will fascinate you with some further information on the potentially world saving Salps, as provided by google search. This article is just fantastic. If only because it features the word oozoid. What a great word. Oozoid. So next time you meet someone who is just a barrel shaped eating machine with no balls, you know what to call them. See, learning is great.

The class Thaliacea contains about 70 species of small barrel shaped animals that spend their lives swimming slowly through the warmer seas of the world. They swim as they feed, or visa versa because like all the Urochordates they are filter feeders and they have their inhalant and exhalent siphons at opposite ends of their bodies. The class is divided into 3 orders; the Pyrosomida which are colonial living and the Salpida and Doliolida which are not colonial. Like the Tunicates they feed by drawing a current of water in through their inhalant siphon and out through the exhalent siphon. Between the two siphons the water passes through the many pore or slats of the enlarged pharynx which occupies most of the body cavity. The water current is driven by beating cilia. Small particles of plankton are collected on a film of mucous which continuously passes across the pharynx. This mucous is secreted by special cells and is kept moving by the beating of numerous small cilia until it is swept into the digestive tract.
The Salps range in size from 1.5 to 19 centimetres long and are often quite common in warmer waters. They are normally colourless and live most of their lives as asexual ozooid form. This form naturally has no gonads, but they have a central stolon along which numerous buds appear, these buds will eventually grow into the sexual gonozooids. Apart from the possession or absence of gonads the two forms are basically the same. The developing gonozooids move along the stolon and are eventually released from its free end, however they remain linked to each other and long chains may develop before they break off from the parent oozoid. These chains may be up to 2.5 metres long. The individual gonozooids are hermaphroditic and again they produce only a single egg which when fertilised and released grows into a new oozoid. The oozoid develops and hatches inside its parent gonozoid meaning that slaps are effectively viviporous (animals which give birth to live young) in their sexual generation

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lets bugger about with the ocean

A scientist proposes to increase the salp population & fix global warming. These little gems basically munch on CO2 rich plankton & crap out the CO2 fixed in their dropping which drop to the bottom of the sea, & goodby greenhouse gas. So, more plankton should mean more salps which should mean less CO2. And to get more plankton you need more nutrients. So use a wave pump(which uses no power, its just a long tube with a one way valve that bobs up and down in the sea & brings water from the deeps to the shallows) to bring up cooler nutrient rich water & you have more nutrients, more plankton, more salps, less CO2. As a side effect you cool the surface of the ocean a little, which reduces hurricains and, with a little luck, stops coral bleaching caused by sea warming. Hmmm.

Now, on the whole, buggering about with things you don't really understand is a bad idea. When its things that basically keep our planet livable, like, say, oceans for instance, its a really, really bad idea. I mean, you know its going to go horribly wrong. Its Australian cane toads on a global scale.


I really love this idea. Their called Salps. I mean, how fun is that. Salps. You've gotta want more salps. Haven't you?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fat Balls.

I wish. No I have just been into the festering hell that is Telford town center to do some Christmas shopping. And today, Richard, you acquired ‘0’ gifts on your list. Bad luck, do try again tomorrow. On the plus side I did refrain from killing anyone. Just.
Thanks to the old lady who picked up my dropped change when my hands were full, and good on the pregnant girl who smiled and said thanks when I held the door for her. To everyone else in Telford town centre this lunchtime – you are rude, ignorant, selfish b****. A pox on you and all your houses.
Still, I did get fat balls. For the bird feeder, silly.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

We're floating in the air.

Today at the retail park I saw a giant inflatable snowman caught in a gust of wind. It promptly lurched across the pavement and barged a man in a wheerlchair off the kirb and into the side of a parked car.

I know, I know. Not funny. Seriously, NOT funny.
Lets face it I'm gonna burn in hell for all time. but jeez it was funny.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Who ate all the pies?

Due to my ongoing laundry crisis I have been sleeping in the fairy princess room of late. It has sheets & pillow cases & other similar luxury items currently missing from my bedroom. And since my bathroom has been a work in progress since the summer, the bathroom scales have been in my bedroom. And unused. But last night I was dancing round the house naked to kylie (as is my want after an ale or three) and I happened across said scales. And in a moment of weakness I climbed on. After adjusting my belly so that I could actually read the scales (not a good sign) I was suitably horrified. I wont go into the numbers but on my little chart I have strayed well into fat bastard territory.

And Christmas looms. When I will doubtless celebrate the birth of a Jewish radical in a stable manger in Bethlehem 2000+ years ago by consuming my entire body weight in sprouts and eating more quality street than you can shake a stick at. Yup, in four glorious days of gluttony I will pile on another stone. Which given this years starting position will make me – wait for it – Morbidly obese. Well there’s a whole new territory where I really don’t want to go.

Now last year, in an effort to lose some weight I actually stopped drinking for a month in January. And boy was I a miserable bastard. But the terrible alternative appears to be exercise. Oh god, why didn’t you take me whilst I was still young and pretty. (Ok, I‘m still very pretty and very glad you have spared me, but oh for the metabolism of my youth).

So I fear I must dig the old weight machine out of the garage. And use it for something other than hanging shirts on. Welcome to OMR hell.

Turbine update

Swifts domestic turbine is due early next year. It looks like being a little more expensive than the windsave product, but silent and it will heat your water if your not using the output for anything else. Be interesting to get the numbers, because the more I read, the less attractive domestic turbines become.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Whelks are carnivorous sea snails. They are usually harvested by putting the left overs from a used cow into a large barrel with lots of holes & submerging it at a suitable site. When it is hauled up a week later there is a lot less cow and a lot of whelks.
The can be eaten straight from the shell (I have never done this) but are usually boiled. You often find them pickled, when they are something of a specialist taste. They have the consistency of a squash ball, and are about as edible. They also taste rather like a bad locker room smells, but with more vinegar.

But fresh, mm. Its a different story. Slightly chewier than an oyster, and with a slightly stronger taste. How to describe it? The texture is soft, yet firm. There is a subtle hint of the sea. A delicate freshness, its almost like the first taste of spring after a long winter. A sweetness, yet muskiness. To be blunt, basically, good welks taste like good pussy. Mmmm.