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I do have a joke section on this website. After yesterday, I was reminded of one of them.
A woman takes her dog to the vets.
“I’m sorry,” says the vet. “There’s nothing I can do for him.”
“That’s not good enough,” says the woman. “I want a second opinion.”
So the vet sends for a golden Labrador.
The Labrador prods the dog a couple of times and barks.
“See,” says the vet. “No hope.”
“That’s not good enough,” says the woman. “I want a third opinion.”
So the vet sends for little black cat.
The cat runs it paws over the dog and meows.
“See,” says the vet. “Same response.”
“That’s not good enough,” says the woman. “I want a fourth opinion.”
“I’m sorry,” says the vet. “You’ll have to go somewhere else. But first you’ll have to settle the bill. It’ll be £460.”
“Yes, you’ve had my opinion, a Lab test and a CAT scan.”
While I was looking at what Trump is up to, I noticed he’s trying to take work off Andrex Puppies.
I understand he thinks Labrador puppies come from Labrador and Newfoundland (actually he’s no idea where they’re from,, but he shouldn't want to be stealing their jobs.
A spokesdog for Andrex said "Woof"
Percentages are hard. I know, I try to teach them.
On Monday, Theresa May told MPs “95 percent” of the withdrawal agreement is now complete. She says this as if it's a good thing. For eighteen months now we've been arguing about this and 5% is unresolved. Doesn't she understand that 1% unresolved means no deal?
The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt questioned this saying:
“If it is 90 or 95 percent, if there’s no solution for the Irish border, for our Parliament it’s zero percent that is agreed for the moment.” he then added, cheekily “Britain has always had difficulties with the metric system.”
I say again, percentages are hard.
Oh, and we’re getting a new 50p.
Let me start by saying we weren’t too bad today. Well, at least until 51 minutes.
What is it with the defence that they self-destruct?
I think the problem is that we lack a leader in defence. Tom Lees is good player but he’s not a leader, same for Pudil. The rest of the defence are kids and it’s asking a lot of them at this stage in their careers to take control.
Which brings us back to Westwood.
If he’s fallen out with Jos someone should say so and someone needs to be the better man and apologise or forgive. Westwood is a good shot stopper and always commanded his defence. Whatever else twelve goals in four matches has got to dent Dawson’s confidence.
There were some boos and some “Jos Out” chanting and an unfortunate exchange between owner and fans. Things aren’t looking great.
Sam Hutchinson is injured.
Fashion company Fendi intended for its “Touch of Fur” scarf to resemble female genitalia. Apparently it “recalls my emergence from my mother’s body,” wrote one user.
Some people with dirty minds think this looks rude.
At £1300, it’s obscene.
The male equivalent cost £8.99 from ebay.
Jamal Khashoggi went into his country's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain a marriage document and was never seen again.
After more than two weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia eventually admitted that he had been murdered. The Saudi’s called it a "rogue operation" and vowed to punish "those responsible". Does anyone believe that? Assassinations are an almost daily occurrence in Saudi Arabia and there’s still the death penalty
The internet rumour had it that he was wearing an iWatch and that the Turkish government had a recording of the whole affair.
Jamal was an American resident and worked for the New York Post so what has Trump said about it? Well, nothing really. He’s flip-flopped but done nothing that will endanger a billion dollars worth of arms deals. And after all, wasn’t Jamal an enemy of the people?
Cesar Sayoc, sent 15 bombs to targets including former President Barack Obama, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN and Robert De Niro.
He is a former male stripper (of course he was), pizza delivery driver and disc jockey. He lives in his van (of course he does) which is covered in pro-Trump images and features figures from the left in gunsights.
At the moment he faces five just charges and a maximum penalty of 48 years in prison.
Trump’s response? There are bad hombres on both sides and it’s the fault of the press (enemies of the state). He’s called for all politicians except him to moderate their rhetoric.
Is ay “Lock him up, lock him up.”
When I got into work this morning I realised I’d forgotten about this match. I asked a colleague how they’d got on. He said I didn’t want to know.
By all accounts this was a pretty abject performance, QPR deserved to win by more.
I have to say something about Dawson. Like most fans I think of Dawson as the third-stream goalkeeper. I get that Westwood has thrown his dummy out of the pram and we’re trying to sell him on so why not put him in the shop window? And what about Wildsmith? He’s a better stopper and commands his defence, a thing that Dawson is incapable of.
Has the bubble burst?
The people of Britain want Theresa May to get tough with Europe. The people of want Michel Barnier to get tough with Britain.
And that's the point. Europe are more than happy to have Britain leave, but their damned if they're going to make it easy for us. And there can be no advantage to leaving or xx will all come with us.
Just one thing.
We have elections whenever we ant and at least one every five years. Theresa May called an election after two years. How long do we have to wait before we call another referendum. And when will be too late?
I was hearing on the radio that Angels are becoming more popular. On a website set up to commemorate the death of a child of the few hundred postings 197 said she had become an angel. Sixteen mentioned a soul.
They're missing the point.
The word angel doesn't have anything to do with harps and wings any more than the word saintly has anything to do with canonisation.
Rammstein have a song called Engel.
It has the line "I'm not an Angel yet" in the chorus. The rest of the lyrics are about him having lived a bad life but trying to reform at it's end. you can't tell whether he means I'm not dead yet or I'm not a good person yet. Angel is nothing to do with the cherubim and seraphim but just some sort of good person.
There are only three angels mentioned in the bible and one is Satan.
Rather than being a sign of people becoming more religious, the use of the word angel is just a sign of how irrelevant religion has become.
700,000 remoaners marched today.
Funny word remoaners, it’s got all kinds of negative connotations. Why aren’t they called Freemainers or simpler protestors.
And how come the leavers have got a cool name like Brexiteers? It sounds all patriotic and squashbuckling. Musketeers were the good guys. Brexiteers get the cool name because they number the press amongst their friends and the press get to do the naming.
And how did the press cover the march yesterday? Not at all. Most of the Sunday papers relegated to somewhere inside and then only used it to ridicule the marchers.
There again it’s 700,000 people who don’t read the right wing press anyway.
In itself, this isn't a bad result, two moments of madness and we lost 2-1.
The thing is the match seemed to be lacking something. It was a poor first half performance by both teams and once we were 2-0 down we never really looked like we were going to equalise let alone win. They did to us what we've done to other teams, let us have a lot of the ball without ever giving up control.
Some Wednesday players worth mentioning.
What went wrong with Lees? Neshed it completely. Joao works better as a substitute and I'm not convinced Fletcher has proved himself worthy of the shirt. And what is it with Dawson? He looks like he's lacking in confidence. We haven't had a clean sheet in ages.
Out of the play offs, but there's a long way to go.
So there it is, some people “will be worse off” when they switch to universal credit, Esther McVey has admitted the day after Theresa May’s pledge to “protect” them.
Watching the debate I realised what the problem is for some of these MPs. They think the system is only for new payments. One civil servant actually said “they’ll have their last month’s pay packet to tide them over”.
And that makes sense. They’ve probably never encountered someone who is long term unemployed and claiming benefits. Everyone they know can survive a month without income or at least they can.
And that’s not forgetting that people on long term benefits are not the best people in the world to manage a personal budget.
Yesterday I went to lobby parliament.
It was a last-minute decision. I thought everyone would want to go but no-one did so I got the chance. Everybody should lobby parliament at least once and I still think it’s fantastic that anyone can turn up at the House and walk right in.
FE is massively underfunded at this moment in time. The government created the apprenticeship levy so that colleges could meet their repayments to the banks. FE is seen as just another training provider and few people realise how many academic qualifications we offer and how many of out students go to university.
We’re not seen as teachers (we won’t be getting the pay increase)
Anyway, at the lobby I got soaking wet, punched an MP and nearly died running for a train.
I've just been listening to a a program on radio four about how everyone is becoming ruder because of our digital assistants.
I've seen things before that have said children are getting ruder as a result of the way they talk to alexa, they're talking to their teacher s in the same way ("Teacher, who won the forst world war?"). A quick poll of my students shows none of them have have a digital assistant so they're not getting their rudness from there.
But this wasn't the tone of the program, it was more along the lines of "You wouldn't be like that with your servants...". No. Because I don't have servants.
I would no more think of saying please and thank you to google as I would to a washing machine.
If it's making us a ruder, then perhaps, just perhaps we should think about having please and thank you as wake words but if it's fear of hurting alexa's feelings then, it's about time we learned some perspective.
We live in a world where we take our lead from the likes of Trump, how can we tell if the world is getting ruder?
I went to another off the shelf fringe event. This one was on riddles. This is what I took
Riddle Me This….
My favourite riddle is by Lewis Carroll. Even when I knew the answer, I found it difficult to work out why. It goes:
Dreaming of apples on the wall,
Dreaming often dear.
I dreamed that if I counted all,
How many would appear?
In the 60’s TV series Batman, Frank Gorshin, famous at the time as a political impressionist, played the Riddler. Usually, the riddles were old chestnuts, but I remember these two.
There are four men in a boat and no matches, how do they manage to smoke
When is a donkey spelled with a single letter?
The next two are ones I wrote myself. They’re the type you used to get in kid’s puzzle books when there was such a thing as kid’s puzzle books. They’re an easy structure to replicate and might fun for kids to write.
My first is table but never in chair,
My second’s in Yogi but never in bear.
My third’s not in fencing but found in a wall,
My fourth is in smaller but never in tall.
My fifth is in selling but never in buys,
My whole gets wetter the more that it dries.
What am I?
My first is in messy but never in clean,
My second in missing but never in seen.
My third is in length and also in long,
My fourth in the singer but not in the song.
My fifth is in dentures but never in bite,
My sixth is in black but never in white.
My seventh’s in plenty but also in none,
And my whole? When you say me, I’ve already gone.
What am I?
My first if in penny and also in post
My second in butter but never in toast
My third is piglet but not in the sow
My fourth is in never but never in now
My fifth is in stopping and also in stay
My sixth in tomorrow and also today
My whole he has married so many a wife
Yet still he has stayed single for all of his life
What am I?
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces
The United States is pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,. It’s over three decades and was signed with Russia during the Cold War.
Trump says that Russia has "violated" the agreement and have been at it for years. He said that he wouldn’t let them develop the weapons while the US is not allowed to. “We'll have to develop those weapons,” he said.
And that’s the point.
It’s not being tough on Russia as some commentators suggest. It’s letting the Russians go crazy with their building and given an open cheque to weapons builders in the US.
A new nuclear arms race started today.
The world’s gone mad.
Second cast story in two days.
A village in New Zealand is planning to ban all domestic cats. Under the initiative, cat owners will have to neuter, microchip and register their moggies with local authorities. After their pet dies, cat lovers in the community will then not be allowed to get any more.
Apparently (I use that word a lot) the measure is justified because cameras have shown cats preying on birds, insects and reptiles in the area.
The man behind it Dr Peter Marra said
"Cats make wonderful pets - they're spectacular pets! But they shouldn't be allowed to roam outside - it's a really obvious solution. We would never let dogs do that. It's about time we treat cats like dogs."
And he’s a zoologist apparently. Honest
But I can’t help thinking this:
Na na na na na na na na na Cat Ban
The Met have finally caught the Croydon Cat Killer.
Actually they haven’t because he or she didn’t exist.
The Wikipedia entry gives us a clue:
The Croydon Cat Killer is thought to be an individual who killed, dismembered and decapitated more than 400 cats and various other animals across England, beginning in 2014 in Croydon. Reports of cat deaths attributed to the killer were spread across and around London, and as far north as Manchester.
400? As far as Manchester? Is there a borough of Croydon called Manchester?
Also when police issued this artists impression of the killer, we should have known.
So we have a new Doctor. And she’s OK.
First the positives.
I’ve never been a fan of Jodie Whittaker. When I watched Broadchurch (and no, I wasn’t a fan) one of my main bugbears was the quality of the acting in particular Jodie Whittaker who couldn’t maintain an accent and whose anger seemed acted.
But she was fine. A good start with plenty of room to build on. I loved the Sheffield scenery and the whole Sheffield thing felt right.
But it was the only thing that did.
Nobody seemed to sell the SF part of the story (which, incidentally was Predator). Things seemed to happen without any explanation (who were the guys from the garage?) and many of the characters were just labels (young female black cop, white cockney grandad). And a funeral in the first episode? Way to build the vibe guys.
The whole thing feels like ait’s a television programme made about the Doctor and not a window into the Doctor’s world.
Still, it’s only the first episode.
Mental Health Day
Today was Mental Health Day and I participated in a poetry reading.
As I said earlier, I’ve been re-writing the Marriott Edgar poems, but Edgar himself did the same things. He re-wrote Longfellow’s Excelsior as Upards. My version is Bugrit.
The shades of night were falling fast
When through a fading Manor passed
An old man trudging through the snow
Carrying this strange motto
A shaven yob with fag in hand
Exiled to the doorstep stands
And hurls abuse as man goes by
Holding firm this banner high
A copper sentenced to the beat
Stands frozen on the snow clad street
And hides in doors of shut down shops
Where with his sign the old man stops
The copper gives his steely stare
Shouts “Granddad! Oi! You can’t stand there”
The old man simply shakes his sign
And quietly in the snow opines
A hoodie standing by the road
Demands that full respect is showed
The old man wakens from his daze
And trudging on one word he says
While Britain struggles with its wealth
There is no cash for mental health
And so he walks the frozen streets
And says to ASBO laden NEETs
And when the going gets too tough
And tired frame has had enough
Unwatched unmourned, unloved, he dies
With his last breath he gently sighs
The men from Cops and CSI
Move the corpse and wonder why
The old man held aloft a sign
With the single mystic line
The moral to this story’s true
When modern life just gets to you
There’s one thing left for you to do
I was wondering when the bubble was going to burst, look’s like it isn’t, not for now at least.
Some reports of the match say that Bristol were all over us bit a friend who went to the match tells me they had most of the ball but we were never out of control.
Two cracking goals from Joao against a last-minute penalty is a good result. There’s been a few voices raised against Joao, but perhaps supersub is his role. Nine minutes of stoppage time. Nine minutes. They could have got another penalty.
Sixth. We’re up to sixth.
I'm not sure who said it, but I like the golf club analogy to Brexit. They said that if you leave a golf club, you don't get to change the rules.
If you leave a golf club because you don't like all the rules and regulations that is your choice. If you leave before the end of your membership then you have to pay the remainder of your fees and anything you've taken from the club has to go back. Once you've left you don't have the chance to have your say in the running of the club let alone change the rules.
Of course, you can still play, but that costs money every time you hit a ball. Or you could use the local municipal course, but that's nowhere near as good. And if you want to keep in touch with your friends, it's not going to be at the golf club.
I'm stretching this too far but there's two things that the British people just don't get.
Firstly, no-one cares if you leave the golf club.
Secondly, you don't get to play golf.
The theme for national poetry day is "change". Most of my poetry could be said to be about change, there’s often a twist in the tail. But this is the only poem I ever wrote with that title.
An angry grey sow of a sky
Leaches colour from the world
As the concrete terrace
Leaches warmth from my tired toes
Turning them into troll’s teeth
Of frozen hatred.
The sow spits indiscriminate saliva
Onto row upon row
Of hunch fronted dwarves
Their battle cries dimmed
By the ignorant mumbles of
The conscientious objectors
Blue and white becomes
Grey and paler grey
And I wonder
The ball falls to Johnson
On the edge of the box.
He looks up
And he spanks it
The sky becomes a sustaining blanket
The troll’s teeth become a star’s shining dents
Sow’s spittle becomes the tears of purest joy
Dwarves explode into giants
And blue and white become
Diamonds and sapphires
So we have a result. Brett is a supreme court judge. For life.
Looking at it from the outside, this is incomprehensible. Kavanaugh came across as crass He seemed incapable of judging a Butlins Beauty pageant let alone any sort of court case. Or perhaps that’s it. Maybe he should be judging beauty pageants. He likes beer and grabbing the pussy – oh, wait. Trump doesn’t like beer.
But the main problem is that it has politicised the me too movement. No longer is it a something that is cross party, it’s now a Democrat cause, with Republicans decrying their sisters across the floor. All women need to fight for equality.
Apparently it’s the court that is supreme, not the judge.
More Lib Dems
OK, so I was a little dismissive of the Lib Dems. Maybe I shouldn’t be.
What I forgotten about was the Coffin Dodger and Christmas Strictly Contestant Vince Cable.
Cable has done that funky thing of saying he will be leader only until the next election. Experience shows that this is not a good strategy. The dead dog leader isn’t called that without reason and a dead dog isn’t of any use to anyone. Unless you’re a dead dog collector which of course, doesn’t exist. Sorry, I’m getting carried away with the metaphor.
I have no idea why he was trying to say erotic spasm, but he was. The only thing worse than saying erotic spasm is making a mess of it.
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Didn't see this match and I'm sort of glad that I didn’t.
I'd got something on last night and didn't realise that it was on TV. I could have arranged a pub with a telly.
I was getting text updates on the score and couldn't believe we we're two nil up at half time. BY then we were doing the quiz and I couldn't look at my phone. The joy at winning the quiz was diluted by seeing we'd lost two points to two late goals.
Another scorcher from Adam Reach. BBC breakfast are not known for their fondness for the championship, rarely showing the results let alone footage, but Reach's wonder made all the sports bulletins.
Interestingly, I've talked to a couple of people who were at the match and they both said they couldn't work out why we were up at half time.
End of Austerity
Mrs May danced onto stage and announce, apparently, austerity is over.
Why she danced on I don’t know. If she was trying to own her spasmodic dancing the it didn’t work, if she wanted people to like her who didn’t like her before, well.. complete disaster. And if she was trying to distract us from her shambles of a party, then that didn’t work either.
But that’s why we had austerity over. To distract us from the disorganisation and disloyalty of her own party.
The government is more in debt than when we started so ten years of suffering for nothing.
But in God’s own name, how can anyone make a statement like that when Brexit is unresolved.
Boris and More
This is Boris taking the piss out of Mrs May, his leader. How childish is that? And what’s he wearing?
The only other possibility for Tory Leader did this
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First there was the calendar issue. Apparently he couldn’t have assaulted that woman because it wasn’t on his calendar. Apparently there was no entry saying “Rape woman: 7.30pm”.
Then there’s the yearbook where he brags about abusing a girl from another school.
His performance in front of the Senate Committee has been nothing short of bizarre. Answering questions with questions like a kindergarten kid talking about when he lost his virginity, losing his temper, swearing to God and on his families lives and the weird bit about farting. And apparently, he likes beer.
I for one have no doubt that he assaulted this woman, but that’s not the reason he shouldn’t be on the supreme court. He’s such an unpleasant little rodent he shouldn’t be judging anyone.
I’m going to the Ilkley Mushira today. This si what I intend to read. Monologues are an old English Musichall Tradition and were the pop music of poetry. Also, in his own way, Marriott Edgar was writing state-of-the-country poems.
The Lion and Albert
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh-air and fun,
And some years ago the Ramsbottoms
Had been there with Albert, their son.
But young Albert’s a dad of his own now
He’s fathered two girls and a boy
There’s Jade and there’s Emily-Chelsie
And a boy that’s called Wayne Brooklyn Troy
Now it happened that Albert and Family
Had not been to coast the for a while
But they had just been up to Manchester
On the telly with Jeremy Kyle
The been for the old lie detector
And DNA tests just in case
But Albert he knew the kids were all his,
Their names were tattooed on his face.
Mr Kyle wouldn’t give them no money
They’d spend it draw and on blow
But while they were there on expenses
They thought up to Blackpool they’d go
They didn’t think much of the pubs there
The drinks were too weak and too small
There were no fights and not many muggings
In fact nothing to laugh at, at all
And so they went looking for weapons
Which should have been so easy but
There’s no stick with the horse’s head handle
Because bloody Woolworths had shut
So they bought BB guns in the market
(It’s surprisingly easy to do)
And after they’d stocked up on cider
They took a horse tram to the zoo
They’d loads of experience with firearms
They had plenty of practice you see
They played Call of Duty for hours
And Outlaw on PlayStation 3
Mr Kyle had bought them the ticket
(They’re cheaper if purchased on line)
They saw Meer cats and penguins and lemurs
But of lions in cages - no sign
They were starting to get proper pigged off
They’d brought BB guns to misuse
So they found a sweat shirted attendant
And hurled at him loads of abuse
Albert shouted out “Weer’s bloody lions
We’ve forked out out a fair bit of dough
This cap that I’ve got’s proper Burberry,
So some bloody respect you should show!”
The man said “We’ve got you to think of
Our lions are big and can bite
It’s a matter of health and of safety
And we’ve got risk assessments to write
“There’s no cages, just lion enclosures
Where our big cats run wild and run free”
But young Wayne didn’t care and he shouted
“It sounds bloody boring to me!”
And so he leapt over the fences
And up to the lions he sped
Straight up to a big ‘un called Wallace
And shot pellets right into his head
So Wallace leapt up and he bit him
And gnawed him right down to the bone
And Jade, who was texting her girl friend
Caught the whole thing on her phone
They became a YouTube sensation
And shoved it on FaceBook as well
And after the hits reached one million
Their tale to the papers they’d sell
They went on the sofa with Eamon
On Loose Woman and Trica also
All these arranged by Max Clifford
And all for five thousand a throw
Then time came to turn their attention
To the man that they’d met at the zoo
‘Cus they’d met a Claims Direct lawyer
Who said they’d a case and could sue
The case meant the end for poor Wallace
A dangerous beast is put down
And Albert made killings on t’compo
Which made him the toast of the town
Mr Kyle had said “Put something on it!”
Albert said “Bloody chuffed that I ‘a’n’t
Cus for raising one kid to feed lions
I’ve made nearly eight hundred grand!”