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Monday: Late again today, he'd be in trouble though he'd say he was sorry








Oh yes it is...



Fire and the Fury Part 1



I'll tell you my opinions on the new book once I've actually read it. I went lookingon Amazon for a copy butthere's osmething of a waiting list, but I just wanted to share this:



I looked for the one negative review.  It was this:



The highest number of people who found any of the other reviews helpful was 28.


The Last Jedi

3rd January


I'd heard this film was dreadful so was relieved when I found out it wasn't.


There are a number of problems with the film however.


First is the fact that the writer was lumbered Poe and Finn.  They serve no purpose in this movie at all.  All scenes involving them should have been dropped.  Make them the heroes of the next film.


Humour is too readily used often in places where it completely devalues a scene diffusing necessary tension and detracting from the characters.  The bit where Luke throws away the Light Sabre offered at the end of the last film I'm sure is meant to be funny but comes across as crass.


The big action scenes are too short and unless it was something we'd seen before, poorly realised.  The science and technology don't really work, in particular gravity and vacuum.  I know we have The Force and force fields and artificial gravity, but it's too wrong.  Leis flying through space is laughable and then to add a scene where vacuum is suddenly silent, well...


On the whole the acting is ok, but the script and the dialogue are creaky at best.  Some of the production design is more Flash Gordon than Sith Lord.  And the pacing is wrong.  And it's over long.  And there's so much that is unnecessary.  It just doesn't feel like Star Wars.


Maybe I shouldn't have been relieved after all.



2nd January


This was the worst performance I have seen from a Sheffield Wednesday team for a very long time (I didn't see Saturday's match).


We had nothing. No attack, no defence and no midfield.  Wednesday players were two metres slower to the ball than the Burton players and neshed out of every challenge. Burton's first goal was showed an incomprehensible level of defensive incompetence.  Rhodes was ever present in the box, but nothing came to him.  Wallace and Reach hustled and bustled, Wallace in particular trying to rouse the crowd who were confused into silence.  It took Wildsmith, the only player who showed any quality, to save a penalty and stop it being a complete humiliation


It was Bullen I felt sorry for.  He stood in the pouring rain, arms folded as if like KIng Canute he could force back the torrential rain and as if he he could only make the game better by sheer will power.  Bullen breathes Sheffield Wednesday, he is the only player to play in every position including Goalkeeper.  I wonder what he makes of it, deep down inside.  We need a new manager.  Soon


I've never booed a Wednesday performance, but I came close at this match.


New Years Resolutions

1st January 2018


Every year I have a number of New Year's Resolutions.  Some I keep, some I don't.  These are this years.

After missing Justice League and Thor, I'm going to the cinema every week.  These week it will be the last Jedi.

I am going to "do" Facebook, whatever that means.

On average I will contact one old friend every week.

I will get back on track with taking my medication.

I will restart going to the gym on a Wednesday afternoon to the MacMillan sessions (aiming for half term on this one).

I will decorate the back bedroom and make it a room for my collectibles (hopefully purging some of them)

I will start sending my writing off to publishers

I will buy new carpets

Obviously, I won't do all these things at the same time.



31st December



Oh Dear

30th December


No report of this match has anything good to say about Sheffield Wednesday.


Looking at the marks awarded to each player by the Star, none of them (with exception of Wildsmith) scored higer than a four.  Wildsmith got a seven.   It says something that our goalkeeper was man of the match in a two nil loss.


I have a theory.  I think Carlos knew he was going to Swansea and wanted to be sacked from his job for the payout.  He deliberately wound down the team and chose negative tactics to ensure his sacking.  Swansea eventually could wait no longer and forced Carlos into leaving "by mutual consent" by sacking Paul Clement in December (Clement was another manager no-one could see why he was still in a job).  Remember, this is only a theory.


Whatever the case, we need a new manager quickly.  As much as I love Bullen, he's completely out of his depth.





I got the Lego Batman movie for Christmas and watched it on Christmas Day.  It made me realise that I hadn't reviewed Ninjago.


There have been two Lego films in 2017.   The first, the Lego Batman was spoiled for me by spoilers  (yes, I know), but it didn't have that offbeat quality that the Lego Movie had shown.   Ninjago felt like it was back to form. 


It had the same off beat humour as the first and that feeling that I needed to watch it again to get everything that was in it.  It had the same feel that it lived in the same world as I did.  Meowra is brill, although it did echo Kitten Kong from the Goodies, and the idea that the killer weapon would be a laser pointer was a nice touch.  Neither Bubs nor Dibs chased the laser pointer.  Bubs because she couldn't be bothered and Dibs because she knew there was nothing there.


The film did feel less leggoey.  Some of the backdrops and props were not made out of Lego, but it didn't seem to matter.  It's pretty fast paced with no slow overly sentimental spots.  It's always a guideline with a kids film how many of them got to the toilet.  None of them did.


On a side note, I have missed Thor and Justice league at the cinema.  I need to get my act back together.


Carlos Who?



3-0 nil to the Wednesday boys.


There were four changes, none of the injured players came back.  I was expecting at least Bannon back, but perhaps he's home for Christmas.  Bullen went for it with a 4-3-3, but with Joao more to the left and dropping back to defend. 


Rhodes featured and his penalty took the goalkeeper the wrong way.Two of the goals were absolute crackers.  Reach's volley from outside the box is a Christmas Cracker and Joao's control before neatly slotting it in with his left foot was exquisite.  The defence looked a bit ropey at times but that little bit of extra effort meant we kept a clean sheet.


Bullen is Blue and White through and through, only player to play on every position including Goalie, and has been a little out on the cold since Carlos brought in the Portuguese contingent.  Nice win for him.


So who next for manager?  I'd still like Meggo.


Dr Who



It was announce that Tom Baker has revoiced his role in Shada.  I remember when Pertwee regenerated into Baker. Baker's Doctor was quirky, odd and thoroughly entertaining.


It was fitting that Steven Moffat went out with "Twice Upon a Time".  One review started with the words Doctor Who Adventure and then pointed out it wasn't really an adventure.  I was wordy and over long (I've had to watch it twice, I fell asleep the first time) but it was The Doctor and the affection for the product and the characters shone through.


I never got on with Broadchurch.  The stories were clichéd (no other solution made sense, and the police woman's husband?  Really.), the characters inconsistent and his version of British Law was odd considering he'd been producer of Law and Order which prides itself on his accuracy (they would never have had as admissible that someone else could be put on trial in defence of another or that last minute evidence was admissable in court).  T o be fair, I like the original US Law and Order but had given up on the UK one before Chibnall became producer.


I wanted to like the Arthurian thing he did, but at the end of the day it was badly put together.  Torchwood was already on its way out when Chibnall took control, but nothing he did helped save it.  His contributions to Life on Mars lacked the affection of other writers and his writing for Who was hardly classic (the execrable Snakes on a Plane for instance).


I'm not against a female Doctor but not Jodie Foster.  Hr performances in Broadchurch were straight of drama school and the entire thing stinks of nepotism.  Then Bradley Walsh (from Law and Order) as an assistant...


Oh well.


Farewell Carlos



So it's a final farewell to Carlos Carvalhal.


I wasn't one of those calling for his head but I was one of those calling for him to change something.  I'm sort of surprised he's gone, I thought he'd hang on unti after Christmas, by now we have a new head to go into the January transfer window.


I'd like to thank him for everything he's done for the club.  That first year whe we buit from the back with Joao in attack gave me some of my happiest Wednesday memories. Spanking Arsenal,the play off semis, a day out at Wembley.  He gave us back our pride, it felt good being a Wednesdayite again.


And maybe that was his problem.  He couldn't do any better and he became afraid to lose.  In the last year it's been pretty lean stuff and he didn't seem to have any idea what to change, but ultimately, I'd like to echo DC's comments and say ""I maintain a huge amount of respect for Carlos as a coach and as a person and he will always be welcome at Hillsborough."


Whose next?  I saw Meggo at the Hull match and he wouldn't be a bad choice.  He's built pride and passion wherever he's gone and it feels like it's those that are missing from the club.  And remember he was sacked when Wednesday wefe on the brink of promotion just after smashing the Blunts.


It will be interesting to see how Bullen gets on.


Merry Christmas



I like to publish a funny at Christmas and although it's in poor taste this is my bersion of a cartoon in last weeks Private Eye that made me laugh.


Some topical Christmas Cracker jokes

What do workers at Sports Direct get for Christmas Dinner

About Five Minutes

Why does Donald Trump want to ban ready shredded chedder from the festive cheeseboard?

He wants to make America Grate Again

Why was Theresa May sacked as nativity manager?

Because she couldn’t run a stable government.




After this match Boro', who had just won 2-1, sacked their manager, Gary Monk.


It says it all.


It was one of those matches that I just couldn't see us winning.  In recent weeks the defence has looked vulnerable if they came at us down the middle.  Today we looked vulnerable down the sides as well.  Carlton Palmer said we don't look fit and he's right.  We were always half a foot behind boro and our man to man marking was joke.  We couldn't keep up. Still no Bannon or Westwood who are nursing "knocks".  All credit to Wildsmith for saving a penalty but he tried to catch the shot that went in and failed,  If Carlos goes, how many of the wounded will be in the team for Forest.  People behind me were having a go at the referee, but thought he was fair.  The referee wasn't our problem.


What surprised me was the apathy of the fans.  No-one booed and although there were some calls for "Carlos Out" they were half hearted at least.


I said last week maybe Carlos would be back in Portugal for Christmas.  He may still be.


Alien Probe



What has happened to the alien probe? 


If this was evidence of extra terrestrial intelligence then it's the biggest story there's ever been but seems to have disappeared from the news.  The last I heard, they were going to listen to it to see if was talking to us.  Right.


Scientists (which ones, the news doesn't say) say it's the first extra solar object to enter the system and that it's shape is unusual.  If it's the first one to enter the solar system then how do we know they're not that shape?


Anyway, here's the first chapter of a 9,000 word novella I wrote about a probe entering the solar system.




For the first time since the start of the crisis, he is alone.

He is normally a meticulous man, but for once, papers are scattered all over his desk.  Part of his mind identifies the desk as an 1880 gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes.  It is made from the timbers of the British frigate Resolute and for this reason it is known as the Resolute Desk.  He smiles for he knows he must be resolute.

But he does not know how.

The papers on his desk are a series of reports.  He has read each of them more than once.

They tell him that seventy-two hours ago, NASA’s Near Earth Object Detection Program, Project Sentinel, located a gravitic anomaly approximately one AU beyond the orbit of Jupiter. 

They tell him what a wormhole is in far more detail than a man of even his considerable intellect is capable of grasping.

They tell him that six hours after the appearance of the wormhole, Project Sentinel detected a massive object in the same area of space.

They tell him that closer examination using a hastily repositioned Hubble Telescope showed it not to be a single massive object, but a series of massive objects.  These objects look and move like snakes.  A bulbous head is trailed by a long thin body which squirms in a sinuous, serpentine fashion as the object moves through space and towards the Earth.  To his mind look like intergalactic space sperm on their way to fertilise the world.

They tell him that within two or three hours any Earth based amateur astronomer with a reasonable sized telescope will be able to detect their presence, but will be unlikely to identify what he objects are.  For that he is grateful.

They tell him that signal is coming from the centre of the objects. It is a simple carrier wave radio broadcast, easily converted into sound.  Very soon, anyone with a short wave radio set will be able to hear the signal.  This saddens him.

They tell him the message contains six words in six different languages.  In Russian kapitulyatsiya, in Chinese tóu xiáng, in Japanese, gōbuku in Spanish entrega and curiously in Bulgarian, predavane.  He recognises the Spanish and the Russian words but his much vaunted skill as a linguist is not called upon here, for the word is repeated in English.


He thinks it odd that the word is not transmitted in French, but then again, they’ve probably already surrendered.  On reflex, he chides himself for the casual Francophobia, then permits himself a smile.

He places the documents on his desk in chronological order and tidies the loose pages into one pile.

He pushes his chair away from the Resolute Desk.

In the background, the stereo is playing the Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major.  The Air is familiar and relaxes him but the piece suddenly bursts into the Gavotte and he realises he must take action.

He smiles sadly for he knows he must be resolute.

But he does not know how.




Green Gone



So Damian Green has gone.  Technically, he was asked to resign, but not even the BBC is making that distinction.  They say he was sacked.


Damian Green was looking at porn on his Parliamentary laptop and we have reached the point that no-one other than Green is denying it.


And has he denied it?


Not really.  He said he had not "downloaded and watched" which means he did not consciously download it and it was still images rather than movies.  Doesn't he realise that in law, cache is downloading.  And anyway, weasel words are not going to get him off, he still had porn on his computer.  His first statement said "he hadn't been informed", not that he hadn't been looking at porn.  That turns out to be a lie and that's why he gone.


Apparently there's a police vendetta against him.  That's bollocks.  Why would there be?  Why would the police care about Damian Green.  It's my experience that ex-police officers are very vocal about what they consider to be right. 


The thing that people should notice is the timing.  Mrs May must think she's in a strong position if she thinks she can get away with this.  Or what is it they're trying to hide?


Five Lions



When I was driving into work this morning there were reports of a an explosion in or near Meersbrook Park.  Later reports said anti-terrorist police had raided a house in the same area. 


This is truly life imitating art.


Four Lions is one of my favourite films.  I've always been a Chris Morris fan and the idea of a funny film about comedy terrorists living in Sheffield was audacious at worst.  From the opening scene where Crystal Peaks doubled up as Meadowhall to the ending where they blew up Kebabish on the Whicker which doubled up as Central London, I loved it.


The area where the raid took place is where they were squat jogging n the film.


Just heard on the news they've arrest five.  Five Lions doesn't have the same ring to it.


And Was Jerusalem Builded Here



The hymn Jerusalem has the words  "And Was Jerusalem Builded Here?".  I say words, but I'm fairly sure builded is not a word.


Ignoring the grammatical error and the geographic inaccuracy, can I just say "thankfully  not."


Partition is a great idea.  Someone says "You have this bit and you have this bit" and everyone agrees and we all live happily ever after. got  It never works.  Everyone wants the bits that the others have and  we end up fighting over it.  And when that happens, if you can possibly avoid it, stay out of it.


Now I know there are times when you can't ignore it, but if you can't at least try and be diplomatic.  Unless you're Trump and then it's almost compulsory that you do something absurd crass and downright dangerous.     All this is ironic considering that Priti Patel lost her job stupidly attempting a diplomatic settlement.  And don't forget Israel is a nuclear power.


Who'd have thought the fourth horseman idiocy.





This was the Birthday quiz


The first three questions were

What goes with man, malley the alley cat and klahoma?
What is missing from pool, wurst and function test?
According to Chubby Checker what should we do again like we did last summer?

Which gives us O, Liver, Twist


The token Nazi question was part of Little Dore Hit(ler)


It was a Dickens of a quiz. 


Top Tweets


President Trump Didn't Make It on the List of 2017's Most Retweeted Tweets. But Obama Did.  These are the top ten tweets in terms of re-tweeting.


No. 1:  Chicken Nuggets boy.
No. 2:  Obama's response to Charlottesville
No. 3:  Penn State's Houston hurricane relief.
No. 4:  Ariana Grande's tweet following the Manchester attack.
No. 5:  Obama's thank you.
No. 6:  Linkin Park's tribute to Chester Bennington.
No. 7:  LeBron James calls Trump "u bum"
No. 8:  Obama's goodbye.
No. 9:  Detroit Lions' Sam Martin pledges donated dog food for Houston
No. 10: Suicide Hotline Phone Number


Obama's tweets are consiliatory and classy which is probably why Trump didn't make the chop.  Having said that, the number one tweet was a man who was told he needed 18million re-tweets to get free chicken nuggets for life.


In other news, Trump didn't send the tweet about having to fire Flynn.





I missed this match because it was on the night of my birthday pub crawl and although this match was on TV, I didn't see it.  This was because the pub we were to start in (that used to have Sky TV) was closed down and boarded up.


It sounds like didn't miss much.  We managed to hold on to 1-0 loss by the skin of our teeth and seemed to think of it as a victory.


Like many people, I thought we'd be challenging for automatic promotion this year, not languishing in the second half of the table.  Things haven't been great for the last year, but at the end of last season we were scraping wins with these tactics.  It didn't get us past Huddersfield though, did it?


And it has to come back down to Carlos, it looks like the team are unfit and don't care.  When other Wednesday teams have played like this, we've said the manager has lost the dressing room, but for some reason no one is saying this about Carlos.  Also, there wasn't much "Carlos Out!" at the match and I didn't catch any booing.


My guess is he'll go some time this week so he can be in Portugal for Christmas.


The pub crawl was a success tho.


Democrats in Alabama



Doug Jones has won in Alabama.  Not the tall one with the weird mask and high heels from Star Trek (I loved Saru in the first episodes but he seems to have vanished a bit after that), but the slightly unassuming democratic candidate for the senate.


But it was a close thing.


His opponent, Roy Moore has been accused of sexually assaulting teenagers.  He thinks homosexuality should be illegal, refused to remove religious adulatory from his court house, doesn't accept evolution, is aggressively anti a woman's right to chose and is anti Semitic.  Nice.


My favourite quote from him is

"We have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What's going to unite us? What's going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It's going to be God."

It's wrong in so many ways.


I heard a man on a US TV program say "I don't like what he did to those little kiddies but at least he's not a democrat".  The man in question said he couldn't bring himself to vote for either candidate so he was going to write in.  Probably had chosen a local Klansman.


But the best thing about this is Trump put all his authority behind.  But there again Roy is a misogynist, god bothering pussy grabber, so perhaps he recognised a kindred spirit.


Finding Things



This weekend I lost my Wallet.  As usual, I managed to do this at the most inconvenient time.  This was the weekend I had planned to do my Christmas shopping.


I was able to look into my bank account on line and find that nothing had gone from my account.  This wasn't easy.  I'd lost the login and the passwords and it took me over an hour to find the piece of paper I'd written them on and then another half hour to work out the method I'd used to encrypt the note (I wasn't going leave it in plain sight in plain text).  Also I found various letters that I should have answered so that was another hour gone.


Then it took two hours to find my wallet. I keep a toy box for when George or Elijah or Lily come round and it had got tidied away into there.  While I was looking I found

My Referees Whistle behind the sofa

Two pairs of new shoes I'd forgotten I'd bought underthe bed

My multimeter which was behind the living room table

Some Christmas Cards for relatives (e.. to Aunt and Uncle

A PVR I'd bought and was unwanted gift (back bedroom)

3 MP3 players of the type I give to people in hospital in a hat box

I do start to worry if I'm genuinely going senile.  I am 135 you know.


All this was strange, it's usually keys I lose.





Happy Birthday to me

Happy Birthday to me

Happy Birthday dear me

Happy Birthday to me!


Although it doesn't matter any more and you can't ear me anyway, I'm singing this a non-copyright tune that I wrote myself and am playing badly on my Stylophone.


This year has been a bit weird because I still have another 10 days at work.  It's been almost impossible to fit putting the tree up in (there's something wrong with that sentence but it's my Birthday and I don't care. I've still got all my Christmas shopping to do.  I've forgotten to remind peope about the Pub Crawl and I've invited 20 people to Sunday Dinner in a house where they won't fit.  Then there's Christmas.  I've got loads of marking to do and I literally don't have the time to do it.


I don't know if I'm going to make it to Christmas.





It was my Birthday Quiz tonight and I realise I haven't posted the pictures from the last one.


So here they are.



The theme was RAC, the young man in the hat is BaRACk Obama and the lego figure is BS BaRACas, you can work the rest out for yourself.  Before the quiz I told them that one answer didn't fit the theme.  I liked this because when I'm doing the quiz we often get one answer that doesn't really fit the theme.  In this case it was the final question which read:

"Which mooring organisation was founded in 1905?"

It's the AA.


Trump's Teeth



The video below is entitled "WOW!!! Did Donald Trump Have a Stroke or is he a BILLIONAIRE w/ Slippy Dentures?"


They're slippy dentures.


My Grand-parents used to talk like that when their teeth were slipping.  I hope it slipping teeth, I don't think Trump can cope with any more impairment.  It would mean not only is he as mad as a badger, he's as mad as badger who has had a stroke.


Apparently, he will have a medical check in the new year.  What he needs if fixodent.





Is This It?

11th December


I didn't realise this match was on this was on TV.  I was putting up the Christmas Tree and I put the radio on to listen to the match only to find it wasn't on.


This was a soulless performance and although we scored a nice goal, if we're honest,  we were under the cosh from the start.  While nothing was against the run of play, it was two poor teams.  And we shouldn't be one of two poor teams.


And this is the problem.  After two years in the playoffs and being good value for it it's hard to face the fact that we're not a good team.  And although I don't want to say this it seems that Carlos has forgotten how he did it.  Or maybe he hasn't, maybe the things he did before just aren't working.  We've had a lot of draws recently that could easily have been wins but this wsn't one of them.  This felt like a crushing defeat.


I hate to say it, but it looks like another season in the second tier next year.


Booze and Blues



Apparently what we drink can affect our mood.  NSS.


In summary

Red wine may make you more relaxed but is also most likely to make you feel lethargic
Beer makes you relaxed but is also likely to make you aggressive
Spirits can give you energy and confidence and make you feel "sexy" but also make you restless, tearful, and nauseous

When I read this I thought no, I drink these things when I'm in that mood, not the other way round.  When I saw this on the news most of the vox pops said exactly the same thing.  This has the feel of bad science.


I've tried to find out more about the research but it seems to have been a series of questionnaires asking people how they felt when they'd had a few.  I'm guessing that most of the responses were "I love you, you're my best mate", "Are you looking at my bird?" and "Yes officer, I have, but I've only had the one".







It's not been a fantastic couple of days for MI5


An internal report has revealed that chances to thwart the Manchester attack which killed 22 people were missed.  It was also revealed that the leader of the London Bridge assault was under investigation by MI5 so that attack could probably have been stopped as well.


Today they revealed that they had prevented an attack on Theresa May.  Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman allegedly planned to launch a bomb attack on the security gates outside Downing Street before running in to stab Theresa May.


Is it me or is this just stupid?  The words "Credible Threat" doesn't apply to this.  To all the world it looked like a team in need of a win and Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman (crazy name, crazy guy) looks like it was him.


And then, on BBC Breakfast News, the head of MI5 turned up to tell us just that while trying to field questions on the internal report.


Oh, who cares?


What do you get for 1 billion pounds?



What do you get for 1 billion pounds?  That's what Theresa May has paid the DUP to give her failing minority government enough votes to cling onto power.  And now the DUP have scuppered any deal with Europe arguing about the status of Northern Island after Brexit. 


I know the Northern Irish didn't vote for Brexit, but what did those who did think was going to happen.  Most people voted for Brexit because they afraid of migrants and asylum seekers.  On open border in Ireland means free passage for all, not just European citizens.  Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has a land border wit an EU country.  Of course it's going to be different.


In other Brexit news David Davies has admitted there are no Impact Assessments and  that he hasn't got a clue what's going on amd it looks like the divorce bill will be about £40,000,000,000.  Only forty times what we've paid the DUP.  And for what?  So they can veto any deal they feel like.  It's not hard to see who holds the real power in this country.


I didn't catch who said it, but it was one of the old Tories.  He said, "What part of the word 'bung' do they not understand?


Kim Yung Ill



Let me explain.


A nuclear deterrent isn't a deterrent unless  people know you've got it.


There's a thing I remember from my teens when everyone was worried about nuclear war called the  Vela Incident.  The unidentified "double flash" of light detected by an American satellite was believes to be the result of joint South African–Israeli nuclear test.  It was taken as evidence that Israel was a nuclear power.  The never proved nature of the test coupled with the fact that Israel have always denied that they have nukes has always convinced the world that Israel is the seventh nuclear power and they're not to be messed with.


Now the world knows there is an eighth power and I know I'm a lone voice in this, but isn't it just possible that Kim Jung Ill knows that people have to know for it to become a deterent?


All the other countries that have nukes are trusted not to use them.  Is it not possible that now we know North Korea has nukes, that we have to trust them not to use them?  He's said he's got the capability to reach the mainland US, but has he said he's going to?  Only one person seems to be determined to use his nuclear arsenal.  And if he wants to, no-one can stop him.


And I know Kim is bonkers in the nut, but maybe, just maybe he's not the madman  we need to worry about.





Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents; the crime carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and he'll probably serve about six months. He said he was co-operating with the investigation “in the best interests of my family and of our country."


The one thing everyone wants to know is who will he rat on?  Everyone seems to think that Jared Kushner is the one to get it the neck.  As JK holds what seems to be 90% of the jobs in Trumps caninet, that's got to be a big hit to President Satsuma.


Whatever happens I don't think his evidence will implicate Trump, but he seems to be doing a good enough job of that himself.  He said knew what Flinn was up to, that was why he had to fire.  If that's true, then concealing that knowledge and all that has come since is clearly obstruction of justice.


Is Flynn in prison now?  I know it's unlikely, but he should be.  Ironic, since he was the main cheer leader in the “Lock her up!”  brigade.  He also said “if I had done one tenth what she [Hillary Clinton] had done, I'd be in jail.”   There's at least a ten times there.  You've go to admire the barefaced cheek of banging on about e-mails when you're conducting illegal business with you countries greatest enemies.


Mr Flynn lasted  24 days as national-security advisor.





Oh dear.


We lost this game in the last minute.  I was sat level to where their player was (which is more than the lino was) and he was offside when he first got the ball and offside when the rebound came to him, but lets be fair, we didn't deserve to win.


Carlos had promised us attacking football and the inclusion of Mateus seemed to underline that intent.  but Mateus was a chocolate fireguard and was substituted at half timewhich seems to suggest CC doesn't really know what he was doing.  There was far too much fancy-fancy and not enough passion.  Too often, slick moves came to nothing and there was no-one running to reclaim the ball.


As the match progressed, I found myself questioning Carlos' decisions more and although I fell far short of calling for his head,when he disappeared from the touchline before full time to be replaced by Bullen, I genuinely thought there'd be some announcement from the club.


We were sat in front of the boxes in the South Stand.  Just behind us was Gary Megson, recently released from West Brom and while I'm not yet chanting Carlos Out! I'd have Meggo back tomorrow.


Trumpy Tweets



I try not to do two trumps in a row, especially not when I'm constipated.  They smell of cabbage.  I try not to blog twice about Trump either, but really, I have to.


Donald Trump retweeted three Britain First Tweets.  Britain First are white supremacists who were responsible for the murder of a British MP.  Theresa May couldn't avoid commenting on this.  She wanted to, but the press wouldn't let her.   Trump went back on Twitter and slapped her down good and proper.  No holding hands here.


I get it.  Trump is terrified of Muslims, a visceral, uncontrollable terror and he wants everyone else to be scared too.


Theresa May has been in similar trouble before.  She repeated a false claim by the BNP (Britain First are an off-shoot of the BNP) that an asylum seeker had been given leave to remain because his cat would be lonely if he left.  t was the start of the xenophobia that eventually became Brexit.


But she made her comments in a speech, not a tweet.  And that's the point.  The President of the United States should not be issuing his decrees through a privately owned communications company.  He's President, he shouldn't be allowed a personal phone on a public network.  Apart from everything else, every time he tweets it's a free advert for Twitter Inc, a company that had a revenue of £609,000,000 in 2016.  Funnily enough, they've not made a profit yet and so not paid taxes.  Prehaps that's why Trump likes them.  Perhaps he's got shares.


My spell checker still doesn't recognise the word "retweet".


They've Whistled



I have this memory of Europe saying that the Brexit bill would be of the order of $50,000,000,000 Euros.  I remember them saying that this is what we owe and that we would get nothing for it.  I remember Boris Johnson saying they could go whistle.  I remember the condemnation Boris got from Europe because of the crassness of the comment.  I remember the unstinting praise Bulldog Boris got from the British press.


Well Boris, they've whistled and we've rolled over like a good little dog.


This comes at the same time that they've announced that although there is a drop in net migration, it's still running at around 250,000 rather than the 1000s the Brexiteers promised.  Also the people who have stopped coming are the Europeans we need, doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals.


So all you people who voted for Brexit because of the cost of the EU and the bloody immigrants, are you happy now?


About Time



So Harry and Megan are getting married.  Let joy be unbound.


Actually I quite like the immediate Royal Family and love the pomp and ceremony of a Royal Wedding.





Donald Trump has retweeted a number of videos from Britain First


The first is claimed to be a Muslim immigrant beating up a disabled Dutch boy.  Only he wasn't a migrant and no-one knows if he was Muslim.  It was a crime and he went to prison for it.


The second is a picture of a man being thrown to his death from a high building.  Only, this is not some weird example of Sharia law, but part of the uprising Egypt.  It was a crime and the man doing the pushing was hanged for it.


The last one is some nutter smashing a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary.  No crime here apart from the the fact that the statue is a crime against art.  That's not a terrorist, it's not even a vandal, that's an art critic.


But the problem is not the videos, but the fact that the leader of the Free World has given them credence.  The spokeswoman for Britain First has repeatedly said "This has been a good day".  One of Britain First's supporters murdered a female MP.  With a knife.  Is that what you think is right, Donald?


As a sidebar. Britain First retweeted a satirical tweet that claimed Ice Cube was a member of ISIS, using it to claim that he was a ISIS terrorist living in Birmingham and living the good life off benefits.


But none of this matters.  The official Whitehouse statement on this (not for once, a tweet)  is "It doesn't matter if the videos are fake, it matters that the threat is real,". 


I really don't know what to say.





What's happening?


There have been many times that I've reported that I will always remember where I heard the news.  This is one of them.  I was outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken on City Road, stopped at the traffic lights.


I heard on the radio news that Bosnian Slobodan Praljak war criminal had taken out a shot glass of potassium cyanide and swallowed the poison in front of UN judges during his trial in the Hague and died. 




The whole thing was shown live on TV because the trials are televised.  The judge has a that WTF look on his face and the cameraman realises what is going on and cuts the feed, but since then it's been seen a billion


So many questions?  Why did he do it?  How did he get the poison?  How did he get it into court?  Why has the scene been shown so many times?


There will have to be an enquiry.


How the Mighty Are Fallen



This is one of those stories that seems insignificant, but it isn't.  Great Britain is without a judge on the International Court of Justice for first time since 1946. 


It's something to do with our candidate being a bit shit really and the Indian government really wanting the position more than we do but other countries, US, Britain, France, China and Russia, don't seem to have the same problem.


This might seem like a small thing but it shows how far we've fallen.  Some diplomats have attributed Britain's failure to rally support for its candidate to a loss of influence as a result of the vote to leave the European Union.  Whatever the reason, it's a loss of influence.

But the last word come from the Daily Telegraph


"The vote represents a significant failure for British diplomacy. "





Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, by firing four bullets through a closed toilet door in his luxury home in Pretoria.  His defence was that he had mistaken her for a burglar.  He got six years.


Let's think about this.


Where did he think his girlfriend was?  Why was a female burglar breaking into his house.  Why had that burglar locked herself in the bathroom?  Was it OK for him to shoot an unarmed person who had effectively surrendered by locking herself in the toilet?  Why does someone only get six years for murdering someone, even if they were really a burglar?


If you're white, famous and South African "royalty", then it's surprising he did any jail time at all


Anyway, a judge has more than doubled Pistorius’ prison sentence to 13 years and five months.

Too little, too late.


Uber Hack



When Uber were banned from London I said "Good".  Now they have been hacked.


And not just hacked, it was over a year ago. 60 millon customers and employees and their details stolen.  Then they paid the hackers $100,000 (about 0.01p per record, these hackers knew how to make a buck) and trusted the hackers not to use the data.  Stupid and Naive.  Remember, the founders of Uber are techies.


What makes anyone think that someone who wrote an app has the moral fibre to run a multinational corporation that affects millions of peoples lives.  They treat their workers badly, trample all over local governments.  Employees aren't vetted and there are thousands of tales of customers being abused (in the UK 1 sex attack a week attributed to a Uber journey - a truly shocking statistic), they continue to grow unfettered.


It always surprises me that the millennials, the supposed anti capitalists, love their Ubers.  I suppose it's because they get something they want.  Like the dog on a string vegan who smokes rollies knowing that their tobacco is tested on animals.


They're the Ryan Air of personal transport.


Reading the News



Oh dear.  Another clean sheet but only 1 point.


Reports of the match said Sheffield Wednesday held on to a draw.  These were the kind of games we were winning last season.  We had a lot of games that we probably didn't deserve to win, but weathered the storm and then somebody popped up with a goal.


For some godforsaken reason we started with Joao and Fletcher up front, not a combination anyone would have thought of.  The only more unlikely combination was Joao and big Dave.  I loved Joao when he first came, but after he lost teeth in the match against Rotherham he was never the same.  Before the injury, he tried to do too much.  After the injury he just did too little.


Carlos still seems to think we can go up this year.  I hope he's right but I'm beginning to lose faith.


The headline in the star said "Draws are killing us, says Owls star".  Too right.


Driverless Cars



Hot on the news that Uber have been hacked comes the news that the government is legalising the testing of driverless cars.


It's significant that Amazon are putting billions into this development, they'll never have to pay a delivery driver again.


And that's the point.  Uber has 40,000 drivers in London alone.  There are 300,000 taxi licenses issued in the UK.  There are 90,000 HGV licenses but that doesn't include delivery drivers.  Then there's all the PSV drivers (and I don't mean fans of a football team in Eindhoven), bus and coach drivers.  I reckon that it's about a million jobs in a working population of about 45million.  Around 2%.  Jesus.


Don't get me wrong, I come from science fiction background I love the idea of driverless cars, but at what cost?  The Starship Enterprise had a helmsman.  Maybe the driverless cars should pay taxes.


This is so some pissed up billionaire can get home without paying a driver.


E Ba Gum



There's not been a coup in Zimbawe.  I wonder where they keep their pigeons.


President Mugabe (which backwards is E by gum!) hs "resigned" and been replaced by Museveni, know as the Crocodile.  How can someone called the Crocodile possibly be good for the country?  His first acts have been to charge journalists with treason and promise a strong army.


Hirari being in the news reminsd me of one of the rejected verses from "Three Lions" by Baddiel and Skinner

Three Lions on the shirt

They could be from Hinari

Hope they're not cross eyed

Like that one from Daktari

What else is going on?  TV-AM had blanket coverage of the situation in Zimbabwe, meaning they didn't have to show the disarray their beloved Tory party was in.  The relief was palpable.


Much Ado



Well, that was much ado about nothing.


In a world where the impact of Brexit is going to wreck the economy of this country we have a budget that does the nothing side of very little.


There was a piece on the economy on the radio the other day.  It said that dropping the top rate of income tax and changes to Corporation Tax had released £756 Billion into the economy.  I get the advantages of putting money into the economy, but surely it's better to raise the £756 billion for the national coffers.  The government seems to push its economic policies on the "common sense" (ie naive) concept of resolving the debt but then ignores the common sense idea of making the rich pay their taxes.


And if we've got £756 billion in the economy, how come growth is at 0.3%.  We've gone from one of the strongest economies in the world to one of the weakest.  And we haven't actually come out of Europe yet.


One of the commentators said on Tuesday said that the best the Chancellor could hope for was not making any mistakes.  He looks like they've done that by using the mechanism of doing nothing at all.





I remember when Leon Clarke came to Sheffield Wednesday.  I saw him play in a pre-season friendly.  With me were two ex-pros and they both said the same thing.  "He's never a football player".


I felt the same about Atdhe Nihou when e turned up at Hillsborough.  Big and ungainly, he let himself be bullied off the ball and was six inches shorter when he jumped.  But he always wore his arse on his sleeve, as Ronnie Moore might say.  He was a blessim.  By that I mean that whenever people saw him they said "aw bless 'im".  Not everybody said that of course, many fans were angry at the fact that he missed sitter after sitter.


For some unknown reason we christened him "Dave", a name that he's not that fond of apparently, mainly because a lot of fans don't use it with affection.  Nevertheless you can hear it whispered areound the pitch when he strips off "Oooh, Big Dave's coming on".


He scored yesterday.  First time in ages.


Leon Clarke has scored two hat tricks in three matches.


E Ba Gum



There's not been a coup in Uganda.  I wonder where they keep their pigeons.


President Mugabe (which backwards is E by gum!) hs "resigned" and been replaced by Museveni, know as the Crocodile.  How can someone called the Crocodile possibly be good for the country?  His first acts have been to charge journalists with treason and promise a strong army.


Hirari being in the news reminsd me of one of the rejected verses from "Three Lions" by Baddiel and Skinner


Three Lions on the shirt

They could be from Hinari

Hope they're not cross eyed

Like that one from Daktari


What else is going on?  TV-AM had blanket coverage of the situation in Uganda, meaning they didn't have to show the disarray their beloved Tory party was in.  The relief was palpable.


Driverless Cars



Hot on the news that Uber have been hacked comes the news that the government is legalising the testing of driverless cars.


It's significant that Amazon are putting billions into this development, they'll never have to pay a delivery driver again.


And that's the point.  Uber has 40,000 drivers in London alone.  There are 300,000 taxi licenses issued in the UK.  There are 90,000 HGV licenses but that doesn't include delivery drivers.  Then there's all the PSV drivers (and I don't mean fans of a football team in Eindhoven), bus and coach drivers.  I reckon that it's about a million jobs in a working population of about 45million.  Around 2%.  Jesus.


Don't get me wrong, I come from science fiction background I love the idea of driverless cars, but at what cost?  The Starship Enterprise had a helmsman.  Maybe the driverless cars should pay taxes.


This is so some pissed up billionaire can get home without paying a driver.





There was something fin de ciecle about this match.  It seemed like the end of something.


Maybe it was the end of any realistic chance of automatic promotion.  Maybe it was the feeling that this was no longer a Wednesday team that had reached two play offs in successive years.


I couldn't help thinking that we were missing Fernando Forrestieri.  This was the kind of match that could be changed by on piece of briliance.  On mazey run down the wing, one audacious volley.  Even if he's got sent off for diving, it would have revitalised the team.


We need to win every match 'til Christmas and if we don't, maybe we can look back at today and think "that's when lost it".


Still, clean sheet tho'.


Blade Runner 2043

18th November


This was awful in so many ways. 


It was boring and slow.  It might have worked as a ninety minute movie, but three hours?  What were they thinking?


Ryan Gosling can't act.  There's about as much emotion in his acting as you'd get from a tub of lime jelly.  I've read that he was acting unemotionally because he was a replicant.  Cobblers.  He was acting without emotion because that's the only way he can act.  Harrison Ford is so old nothing about him was convincing as anything other than Harrison Ford.


The long meaningless staring into nowhere and five minute stationary shots are just dull.  They let you see how poor the sets were or how tired were the locations.  It made the whole thing feel cheap.


The sound was often fuzzy and the soundtrack annoying.  It was clearly trying to be 2001 but had missed the point.  The entire soundtrack was like the bit when they visit TMA 1, just before Heywood Floyd reaches out and touches it.  Unlistenable.


This was very nearly the first film I have walked out of in twenty years, but I fell asleep instead.



Radio Sheffield @ 50

17th November


Radio Sheffield is 50 years old.


When I was young I was more a Radio Hallam fan.  Hallam had "Hallam Rocks" with Colin Slade, the wonderfully bizarre Roger Moffat, and The Late Night Bathers Club with Martin Kellner, but I suppose it's inappropriate to to talk about Hallam.


My earliest memories of Radio Sheffield revolve around sport.  Robert Jackson hosted the Saturday afternoon sports program.  He used to play a brass band track to make one of the local teams score.  Statistically it was quite likely that there would be a goal in during the music, but who cared.  It seemed like magic when one of the teams scored.


Bob also created Praise or Grumble.  "It's a praise Bob, for Sheffield Wednesday.  They were brilliant."  or "It's a grumble Bob, for Sheffield Wednesday.  They were shit."  I was originally just going to be called Praise Your Team but after Wednesday got a 5-1 drubbing they had to change the name.


But for me, it's been the last couple of years.  The sport coverage for ALL the local teams is second to none.  And Toby Foster makes me laugh at least once every morning (even if he does wind me up sometimes).


They've done a version of Pulp's Common People and I wanted to embed a copy but I can't find one.



Gregg's Sausage Christ

16th November

There is a huge controversy  surrounding the Gregg's Christmas advert.


Apparently this sacrilegious because Leviticus says:


And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.


Says nothing about sausage rolls, which according to Greggs contain "Facemeat".


My complaint is the quality of the image.  No CGI here.  Just a sausage roll lobbed on a primary school diorama. And couldn't they have found a more photogenic sausage roll?  It looks anaemic at best. 


It would be more impressive if they'd found the face of Jesus in a sausage roll.  The there would be Seventh Day Adventists queuing round the block for a peppered beef slice.






Christmas Ads



Well here it is, the John Lewis




I have to say, it looks cheap.


House of Fraser have moved away from the weird dancy stuff, M&S and Paddington seem a good fit and I quite like the Argos rocket sled, it's techie and it actually advertises the products.


 The ASDA advert is actually quite attractive but doesn't bear more than one watching.  Tesco have gone for a borefest about Turkey and Morrison's ad is another family scene which seems to have sparked some sort of racist row.Kevin the Carrot for Aldi just looks like the BBC sprout from a coupleof years ago and Lidl don't seem to playing the game with a dull family Christmas dinner ad.


One special mention.  The surreally titled "Geoffery the Part Time Reindeer".  Nice story, nice animation.  It' a pity Toys R Us seem to be going bust.


Far Eastern Trump



In 2016, Donald Trump said that "China is raping our country".  Considering his pussy grabbing exploits it is hard to see whether he thought this was good a thing or a bad thing.


But now a that's changed.  Suddenly the Chinese are lovely.  We've gone from "raping our country" to "I give china great credit".  And how have the Chinese work this miracle? By buttering him up like Texan Lactose Fetishist (or should that be New England Turkey, I'm never too sure of my American colloquial similes.  And of course, that's what he likes, ego stroking to Olympic standard.


Kim Yung Un can't work the same magic.   He called Trump a "destroyer" who "begged for nuclear war" as well as repeating the word "dotard," meaning "old".  Trump replied with.

"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"

Which are not the words of an old man.  They're the words of a first grade child. I was actually looking at Twitter when I saw this post appear.





I went to Novacon this weekend.


This was the first convention I had attended in ten years and I don't think things have really changed.  Novacon is a more literacy based con and has been going now for 47 years.  My first one would have been something like Novacon 10.


I had some involvement in this con.  I was chairing a panel entitled "Whatever happened to the narrative" which seemed to go pretty well and there was an open mike poetry event which gave me a chance to read some of my funny poems.  Odd reading football poetry at a Science Fiction con but it seemed to work.  The quiz was too hard as ever it was and I bought too many books at the book auction.


I've avoided cons because most of the people I know are more involved in the running of things.  Thanks go to Alex for joining me on this weekend and keeping me company.


It won't be another ten years.


Porn on Computers



Secretary of State Damian Green had  porn on his computer.  This was ignored at the time because , Sir Paul Stephenson, Chief Constable, said he thought it "wasn't relevant to the criminal inquiry" which they were working on -  Home Office leaks.


Green denied the reports saying  "I can only assume that they are being made now, nine years later, for ulterior motives.". He said there was "Copper with a grievance" backed by other other officers.


Today the current Chief Constable said he was aware of the allegations.


Green's response:

“I reiterate that no allegations about the presence of improper material on my parliamentary computers have ever been put to me or to the parliamentary authorities by the police.


This is not a denial, it is merely a statement that no-one said anything to him.  Surely a copper with a grievance would have pointed it out.


Two questions.  Why would a copper have a grievance against Green?  Why wasn't Green brought up on it at the time?



A Preeti State of Affairs.



So Preeti Patel has resigned.  It's not the last we'll see of her.


There's a play called Oslo about Danish diplomats.  It tells the previously unexplored story behind the peace process that led, in September 1993, to Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat shaking hands in Washington in front of Bill Clinton.  Unknown to the world at large this meeting was brokered by a Norwegian diplomat called Terje Rød-Larsen, who in a series of "unofficial" meetings between Israeli and Palestinian representatives set up the entire thing.


So here's what I think.


Someone in the government has seen the play and tried to do the same thing.  They thought they needed a win and brokering peace on the Western Bank could be it.  But they lacked the finesse or knowledge of the situation between Isreal and Palestine to deal with the situation properly.


Well done.


In other news, Boris is likely to get a woman in Iran killed, but he's not going to be forced to resign.  Inside the tent pissing out, as they say.



The Invisible Man

10th November


Netfilx have canned House of Cards because of the negative effect they thought Kevin would have on both their customer base and their reputation as a company.  In other news, Ridley Scott is editing him out of his latest film and replacing him with Christopher Plummer.  This guarantees that people will go and see it.  I certainly will, to see if I can see the join.


The man making the accusations is the Chief Engineer in  Star Trek Discovery.  It's as if Scotty was being abused by Kaiser Soze.


One of the things I liked about Kevin Spacey was that he was willing to play unsympathetic characters or more accurately that were flawed and potentially unlikeable people.  He seems to have gone over the top this time.


TV channels are still showing his films and Sky are pushing Baby Driver in which he features.  In an insensitive twist, Sony Channel appear to be showing a film featuring him called Consenting Adults.


Top of the Pops 3  Swapshop 2

9th November


The BBC has made two programs that really are blasts from the past.


The first is called Saturday Mash Up.  It is he true heir to Multicoloured Swapshop.  It's got music, a naughty glove puppet, pop stars, worthy middle aged women, loads of gunge and that is threee hours long.  It's got that hint of anarchy and iconoclasm that all the Saturday morning programs had, that hint of naughtiness.  I hope the BBC stick with it.  It's not TISWAS though.


Since the BBC got rid of Top of the Pops it hasn't been a program where Popstars can tout their wares.  It made me wonder where "xx at the BBC" compilations were going to come from and certainly there could be no Top of the Pops 2.  Sounds Like Friday Night looks like TOTP but it's too fussy.  For it to work they need to get rid of the comedy, the celebrity interviews.  And if they let DJs run it and have a chart run down, maybe they'll have something.


Incidentally, the  Swapshop Dinosaur was called Posh Paws which was meant to be Swapshop backwards.  It wasn't.


Twitter takes Trump Off Line



President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account was removed 11 minutes after a Twitter employee purposefully deactivated the account. Twitter later tweeted that it was because of “human error” and that the company was investigating further and added that it had been done “by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”


I wonder why it was this person was leaving the job?  Fired?  Finally fed up with supporting an organisation that lets the Old Man spew his excrement to a waiting web?  Just got the job that he could go out in a blaze of glory?


Actually, I use the masculine pronoun but I have no evidence that it was a male.  It probably takes a a woman working for a tech giant to have the good grace and sense of humour to remove Trump from his 140 character fix.


The internet seems very impressed by whoever has done this.  The suggestion is that he or she should get the Nobel Peace Prize


But maybe that's the point, the Internet and organisations like Twitter are too powerful.  When the President of the Free World can send out his inane thoughts without filter through a website and the uninformed Twittrati cheer him on...well





I've seen four reasons for not wearing a poppy. 

It is disrespectful to the losers in the war

The image of the poppy has been claimed by the far right

People are bullied into wearing one

It was a long time ago

Lets take them one at a time

It's not disrespectful.  It respects all who died in the World Wars regardless of the side they were on.

If it has been claimed by the far right then we need to claim it back

"I was bullied into it" sounds like the excuse of a bully who doesn't want to pay for a poppy

It doesn't matter how long ago it was, we must never forget the horrors of war.

And that's the point.  We've forgotten war means, tihe horror.  Half a million people died at the Battle of the Somme, 60,000 died on the first day.  We can never let it happen again.



6th November


Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates have charged with 12 counts of money laundering, undisclosed foreign lobbying, lying to government investigators, and various other crimes.


Trump is denying any contact with Manafort.  It doesn't sound like a good strategy, Manafort isn't going to be that well disposed towards Trump.  He's not going to be the greatest witness either.  I know it's been everywhere but I have to include this:


Add to this George Papadopoulos - crazy name, crazy guy - has pleaded (pled?) guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with Russian nationals and connected individuals while he was a foreign policy advisor with the Trump campaign.


Is this the beginning of the end?  What was it Churchill said.  This isn't the beginning of the end it beginning of the end of the beginning of the end.


No.  None of this will touch Teflon Trump





Phwoar.  What a goal.


Adam Reach spanks it with in a couple of minutes and we're up and running.  The more commented goal on is of course Jordan Rhodes.  Two games back in the team and two goals.  The defence still looks shaky and it would be nice to have a clean sheet.


A lot of people are tipping Villa for the top but this match shows just how shaky the top teams are.  Villa had John Terry carried off and really didn't get their act together afterwards.  On this showing, they are as vulnerable to Wednesday.


It's the wrong time for the international break, just when we getting a bit of momentum.  We are three points of the play off zone.  If we'd won one rather than lost one, we'd be up there.


Defence Secretary Leaves



So Michael Fallon has gone then.


Can it really be that he's resigned over a saucy comment to Angela Ledson or the fact that he put his hand on a female reporters knee.  Don't get me wrong, I think they're that's bad enough, but resignation issue?  Boris does far worse.  Every day of his life.


To the left is the spreadsheet from the Guido Fawkes website, appropriate considering the date.


It's not as if they've put their penises in a dead pigs mouth is it?  And I'm not seeing anyone going on about the rights of dead pigs.


And just in case you've forgotten, the President of the Free World is a pussy grabber.




Lawyer Dog



I was talking the other day about my IDK joke.  Here's a better example of how poor English can make a difference.


Warren Demesme asked for a lawyer while he was being questioned by the police.  This what he said.

“If y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer, dawg, cause this is not what’s up.”

This how it was written down.

“If y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog cause this is not what’s up.”

As no lawyer dog was present, he was denied representation.  The court had to rule on whether this was unfair treatment.  This what they ruled.

"In my view, the defendant’s ambiguous and equivocal reference to a “lawyer dog” does not constitute an invocation of counsel that warrants termination of the interview."

In other words, he didn't ask for a lawyer, he asked for a "lawyer dog" and access to a "Lawyer Dog" was not within his rights.


When Warren did eventually get representation, his lawyer said that there was more chance of the Louisiana police finding a dog with a law degree than his client getting fair treatment



2nd November


I booked the tickets for this match and usual I made  pigs ear of it.  I thought I'd booked South Stand ear the kop at the front but I'd booked North Stand, near the Lepp and at the back.  This is the sort of area where the psychopaths sit, well stand.  We stood up for the entire match.  Actually it was quite a good experience the fans turned out be passionate not demented and most of their comments were well informed.


The match itself was OK.  Carlos rang the changes (a total of six if I'm right) and brought Rhodes back onto the pitch.  We looked strong going forward and actively chased the ball.  It was the defence that looked ropey and disorganised.  A better team would have taken us apart and on too many occasions Millwall nearly did.


We need to go on a run.  We started the day nine points off the play offs and 10 of the relegation.  Si points looks acheivable, but I don't think Villa will be as slack in front of goal.





In the Live and Lewd video Steve Coogan (as health and safety rep Ernest Moss) shows a picture of a wildly staring Ken Dodd and says "Don't Do Drugs".  This is pretty much how Donald Trump has "solved" the American Opiod epidemic.


I started typing to say how stupid this is and give good reason as to why it won't work but I can't be bothered.  Anyone with more brain cells than a junior disprin will tell you it's bollox.  And it is.  And anyone who has less brain cells than a junior disprin because the last of those cells has been blown way by opiods will be able to tell them, well, not a lot.


I was also going to mention the funding thing, but it's been everywhere.  The department it has been hand over to has funding of $56,000.  There wee 64,000 deaths from opiods last year.


I could moan about the fact that none of the other invested communities are involved in Trumps master plan (they'd tell him it's bollox) and they're having their funding cut.


What's the point?


Finding Things



I've lost two things.

When D&D first came out I was more a fan of Traveller.  The rules were simpler, the character generation more fun and it was SF not Fantasy.  The rues came in six small books which I can't find.  I'm intending running a campaign at the college but without the books I can't.  To buy new is around £30 a book.


When the Great Storm hit thirty years ago, I was working in the Met Office in Chart Plotters and Line Drawers.  A senior forecaster came and asked fro a nother set of charts so he could draw them up himslef.  After he'd done so, he gave them to me and I kept them.  I can't find them.  By Royal Decree of 1794 all meteorological records become the peopery of the king on the death of the owner.  I was going to donate them before then.

My house is full of crap I've saved, but if I lose the things that matter, what's the point?


I'm going to spend some time at half term looking for them


Seriously, What's the point?





I'd forgotten that this match was a 12.30 kick off.  I'd originally put the afternoon to one side to listen to the match on the radio having decided at the last minute not to go.  I intended to listen to the match in the bath.  Imagine my disappointment when I found we'd only  drawn.


Apparently we made plenty of chances but the defence looks unsure of itself and chances don't win matches, goals do.  Luggy Sturrock was fired after Barnsley match, a game that we drew and the Barnsley keeper was the man of the match.  Admittedly, we had lost 4-0 to Colchester four days earlier.


Something has got to change.


We're currently sixteenth, 11 points off automatic, six off the drop.  We didn't buy any players in the summer because we broke the bank on Rhodes and don't play him.


I don't want to get rid of Carlos but what he does isn't working.  He seems to have his favourites and play them no matter what.  I think he stands by the players who do as they're told.  This makes for boring matches and teams are getting us sussed.


 Like I say, something has got to change.


Party Ship



I used to say I had a solution to the problem of  the disposal of fissionable materials.  I had a group of friends who had tried all sorts of substances to see if they got high.  They'd had tried (among other things) dandelion leaves, tea bags and dried celery.  My suggestion was get the Strontium 90, tell 'em it's drugs and they'll smoke it.


But it looks like someone was taking me seriously.  Nine sailors from a nuclear missile submarine have been dismissed from the Royal Navy after failing drug tests. They had been serving aboard HMS Vigilant, which is a Trident sub.  It explains why Trident is so expensive, it must include the coke bill of the crew.


It's not the first time the Vigilant has been in the news.  Her captain was been relieved of his command after an alleged "inappropriate relationship" with a member of his crew.  Or as the Sex Pistols called it, friggin' in the riggin'


Thank God these people aren't in charge of anything  important like nuclear weapons.  And we thought Trump was a risk with his finger on the button.





There are some posters round work advising students not to submit essays written in text speak.  Obviously this is a thing, but I've not seen it yet.  The poster begins "OMG IDK..."


I have a little joke.  It has never worked.  It goes like this.


ME      :       What does IDK stand for

STOOGE  :       I don't know

ME      :       OK, I'll ask someone else then.

STOOGE  :       Know it means I don't know

ME      :       You don't know?

STOOGE  :       No, I don't know.

ME      :       OK, I'll ask someone else then.


ME      :       Calm down, it's only a joke

STOOGE  :       Not very funny is it?


Apparently not.


Women Drivers




In Saudi Arabia they are allowing women to drive


Not living in Saudi, it's hard to understand what a significant change this is, but the reaction to selfies and other photos like it.  Although some responses were positive many commented that the man had shown unseemly haste and other commented on the shameless way his wife left.


In other Saudi news, this robot has bee granted citizenship.  Who says the Saudis aren't forward looking?




More O'Mara



I didn't think I would be writing about this again, but I am.  Jared O'Mara has not gone away.


I watched TV-AM yesterday.  They had Kenneth Clarke on who was there to defend his parties approach to the Brexit negotiations.  Instead the TV-AM interviewer asked him what he thought of Labour and Jared O'Mara.  Fat Ken (and before you start, he revels in his size, preferring to be referred to as Big Ken) then gave us fifteen minutes on how the Labour Party were a disgrace, claiming to be pro equality when really they were racists, homophobes and women haters, telling us it was more evidence that Labour were in complete disarray and the nation could only trust the Tories.


Thanks for that Jared.


Do I think he should go?  Yes.


Many things people have done in the past that has later disqualified them from public office.  If it wasn't for the fact that we live in a post pussy-grabbing world, he would have gone already.


Of course we can't afford to have a by-election, the Tories will probably win.  The tree protestors and their ilk will organise an anti Labour campaign   Momentum will claim Labour hasn't changed as evidenced by removing their man.  The native Tories will rally (it was a Tory seat untill Clegg took over).  All this will let the Tories in.


My mother asked me if I knew Jared O'Mara.  She clearly has an inflated view of my political connections.  Oddly though, I do know Sophie Evans, the girl he insulted.  She's a barmaid in the pub where I do the quiz.


According to the Sun, a Labour Shadow Cabinet member said the time had come for Mr O’Mara to “f**k off”.  Smooth.





I was watching a documentary segment in the middle of the news on the North Korea.  They had a satellite picture of the North Korean missile facility.  This would have gone completely unnoticed amidst the mass of information - often too much to comprehend - that appears in the average news program.  Unnoticed apart from the fact that there was little bit of text in the bottom corner.  It said copyright google maps.


Hold on, I thought, surely the North Korean missile site aren't on Google maps.  So I tried it.  And yes they are.


This is my favourite.




In the top right corner of the screen is something called The Toilet.  Further investigation showed that this is a five-star rated Pharmacy.  Honestly.


The man pictured is a North Korean general who defected to the west.  He appears to be called In Bum Chum.  Really.  Using Google to find him has been an interesting experience.


Just in case you're wondering.  If you ask for directions from The Missile Control Centre and the nearest Pub/Bar is the HongZhen Beer House which is China.


Copy the link and explore for yourself:,+North+Hamgyong,+North+Korea/@40.8630021,129.6596331,188m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x5fcee8becf3c6451:0x9c533a13ac93ba34!8m2!3d40.8630236!4d129.660401




A Rival For Boris



 A local MP has hit the news recently because of some of his comments are somewhat unsavoury

“I’m a little hung over and a lot horny... now I’m off back to bed... to dream about Girls Aloud and a tub of margarine”.
“pretty young girls want me” and made smutty comments about a woman’s “rack”.
Joked about using “sweeties to entice the kiddies”.
His most bizarre “Any girl that would like to make whopee with me must be passionate about charity and the fight against social injustice.”
“We are forever having “THE NEXT BIG THING” forced down our tracheas in the musical equivalent of an Involuntary Deep Throat Blow Job.”
Said it would be funny if the jazz star Jamie Cullum were “sodomised with his own piano”.
Called Spaniards “dagos” in 2002 and Danes “pig shaggers”

Referred to gay men as fudge packers and riding the marmite highway

Remember, these are the words of a "man" who is representing Sheffield.  All he has done is reinforce the stereotype of the bigotted Yorkshire man.  Thanks for that.


Looks like the Labour Party has it's own Boris.  Pity the Tory press aren't as fond of Jared as they are Boris.


Derby Match



A derby match should be called an Ashbourne because that is where it originates. In the 12th century, 'uppers' and the 'downers'  two teams from opposite side of the river used to play match.  The goals are three miles apart.


I'm telling you this because I really don't want to talk about the match.  We were rubbish.  Last year at this time we were scraping wins.  Our defence was solid and we were scoring enough goals to win by 1-0 or 2-1.  We're not doing this any more.


I don't want Carlos to go but he's got to change something or we're doomed.   Carlos still thinks we're on for automatic promotion.  If he's right we can't lose another match this year.


I wonder if we're missing Carbone - oops I mean Forestieri.


If we lose against Barnsley, I fear for him.




Beer Fest



I used to work behind the bar at the beer festivals when they were run by Jack, then, about 25 years ago, CAMRA made the rule that anyone working behind the bar had to be a CAMRA member.  Some of the old crew didn't have the money for CAMRA membership so shouldn't work behind the bar.  I was a member but in solidarity I didn't work behind the bar either.


After that the beer festivals hit the slide.  Previously they had been held at the two Universities (one was a Poly back then) but they move to working men's clubs.  Attendances dropped off meaning they had a smaller range of beers.  Pity as Sheffield was (is) the real ale capital of the world.   


In recent years the CAMRA festival has moved to Kelham Island which is great venue, but for the last couple of years they've run out of beer before I've got there.  This year I went on Saturday afternoon and although the better beers had sold out there were still plenty to try.  I like pale hoppy beers and because most people prefer strong dark beers I there were plenty of IPAs left.


As I get older cask conditioned beers tend to give me a hangover whereas lagers don't.  This time, fortunately, I did not.


Good beer and no hangover.  Result.





I have often created my own text abbreviations.  NSS stands for No Shit Sherlock and I use when people, especially politicians, state the bleedin' obvious. 


I would like to propose a new TLA.  INN, IT's Not News.  Too often these days stories make it to the news that are not news.  The number of stories I hear that aren't news.  I know it's sad when a child dies but 20 minutes with the parent on local radio is pandering to their grief and every other parent who's relative has died feels that their life has no value.  Someone who has raised £100 pound for charity being lauded on Network TV makes everyone else who is raising money for charity feel less valued.


Tree protestors, freedom riders, daughters being bullied and so on and so on.




Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this.





Getting Names Back



I've just eaten a snickers and it's made me think.  In all the discussions about Brexit I haven't heard anyone saying whether we're getting Marathons back.


And it's not just Marathons I want back.  Opal Fruits became Starburst and Dime Bar was rebranded Daim bar.


There were a couple of victories.  Coco Pops took the name Choco Krispies because it was used in the rest of Europe in 1998.  It changed back to the original brand of Coco Pops in 1999 after sales dropped off.   The Twix went the other way.  It  was known as Raider in most of Europe  and became Twix in 1991.  After sales plummeted. it went back to Raider.

Of course Jif became Cif and Oil of Ulay became Olay, but I've never eaten them.  Actually I should never have eaten that Snickers even if it was only Funsize.

Oh for more innocent times, when that amount of sugar wasn't going to kill me.


Shepherds House on Fire



We always used to say Red Sky at Night, Shepherds House on Fire.


One of the first things we did in the Met Office College was track the source of some mysterious red dust that had appeared on people's cars.  The way of doing this was quite primitive but surprising accurate.  We looked at the wind speed and direct and assumed that the dust had travelled in a straight line for an hour.  We would then look at the wind speed and direction of where it was and hour ago and track it back and repeat until we found a possible source.  We traced it back to to an area in the Sahara which was famous for it's red sand.


Hurricane Ophelia must have stirred it up again leading some people to think it was the end of the world.


Actually, red sky at night means a thin layer of cirrus to the west.  Cirrus is a fair weather cloud and if it's to the west then any fould weather has probably passed.  A shepherds delight indeed.


Dead Troops

18th October


Here's the time line

Troops in die in Niger

Trump says he phones wives.

Troops wives say he didn't

Trump says Obama never did it

Evidence show he always did, with sensitivity and grace

Trump said he would send one wife $25000

He didn't.

Sent it after the new story broke

One wife (backed by congressman) says he was graceless insensitive and crass

Trump said he didn't, thus  keeping it in the media

Trump refuses to make an apology

It make you wonder what he's hiding.

In other Trump news, contraceptives for women, pulling out of the Iranian nukes agreement





By the time I'm writing this, this has become a story.


Disregarding the debate on whether Universal Credit actually provides sufficient credit to live without family support and food banks (it doesn't) people moving onto Universal Credit have tp wait a month to six weeks to receive a payment.


Private landlords and Housing Associations often charge by the week.  There's already stories of  landlords and housing associations evicting families or taking them to court.  Private landlords find more lucrative tenants.


Of course, you can ring the help line, but that costs 55p a minute.  As the average call is twenty minutes, that's £11.00 a claiment doesn't have.  They'll end up in court with the phone company.


MPs claiming housing costs are given a loan to cover them immediately with full payment (in advance) being made within two weeks.  Phone calls to the claims help line aer free as are all calls made from official phones, but many of them still claim for private phones.


It's War



I had one of the Sunday news programs on in the background.  They had a European MP in the background by satellite.  They also had a Tory MP in the studio.


The interviewer asked the European what they could do if Britain didn't pay the bill. 


"Take away the rights of British aircraft to land at European Airports and slap 20% tax on all imports and exports of food," was the reply.


"They'll not do it.  If they don't let planes land they'll have a major diplomatic incident," said the MP.  It was met with a Gallic shrug.


"And if they do add 20% to all food,"  said Tory MP.  "Everyone will have to grow more.  Everyone will have to have an allotment."


I'm sure that I've heard that before.


Didn't realise we were at war.






Oh dear.


I tuned into the the radio and we were one down.

I tuned in again and we were 2-0 down.

I tuned in a third time and we were at 2-1 but it was too late.


I texted a friend of mine who I knew had been to the match to see if he wanted a commiseration drink.  I'd forgotten he was going on holiday and was flying out straight after the match.

"Enjoy" I texted.

"I don't know if I can after watching that shit," he texted back.


Oh dear.


Incidentally, I may have invented a new writing form, dealing with Texting as speech.





This story was on local and national news.  It warranted a full page spread in the Express and Mail.  This is from the Metro.


WiFi and phone signal on a hospital ward was so bad that a woman struggled to contact family in her final days. Terry Garnett said his wife Beverley found the coverage so bad that she had to ‘lay on a hospital bed and not be able contact the outside world’ before she died in February.


 Mum-of-two Beverley, 52, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last August. Mr Garnett said it was her dying wish to see WiFi installed at her ward at Castle Hill hospital in Cottingham, Hull. He said not being able to stay connected with her husband and children during treatment made a terrible situation even worse. Beverley Garnett died in February.


"It should be easier for the hundreds of people who are being treated at the centre to contact friends and family," he said, and is now campaigning on her behalf to bring wi-fi and phone signal to her ward He is raising funds to bring connectivity to the centre, and has so far raised around £10,000 for his wife’s cause.


I don't know what to make of the story.  Couldn't he have been raising money for research into Pancreatic Cancer or equipment ofr a special baby care unit?  Apparently not.


What I do know is it's not news. 


But at least I was spared another two hour breakfast show on the topic of trees.  That's no new either.





Before you start, it's referndums not referenda.  If the word has been adopted by the English Language then it is pluralised by the rules of that language.  The plural of Stadium is Stadiums and and the neologism mouse as a computer peripheral is pluralised as mouses.  My spell checker doesn't acknowledge referendums but it wants me to put a z in pluralise.


There have been three recent referendums.


The Catalan independence referendum. There was one question with a Yes/No answer was "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?". The "Yes" side won, with 2,044,038 (92.01%) voting for and 177,547 (7.99%) voting against, on a turnout of 43.03%.


Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the region's administration to become an independent state?  The result was The result was Yes 2,861,471 (92.73), No 224,464 (7.27) out of valid votes 3,085,935 (93.35)


The results of both referndums have been rejected by their respected governments.


The result of the third referendum has been accepted despite the fact that the win was by 2%.  The leavers have admitted they lied during the campaign (Boris says he did it just to piss Cameron off.  Great) and anyone who knows anything about it knows it will wreck the country,







Three things people have said about the Weinstein scandal.


I missed the beginning of the interview, but it was some director who had worked with him.  He said Weinstein was rich and powerful and all he wanted to be was Famous.  He's famous now.


Emma Thompson said she's lost count of the number of "old men's tongues" she'd had in her mouth when she was trying to break into Hollywood.  Was it just their tongues?  And how much time did her hubby, Ken, spend on his knees?  My guess is not a lot.


Then there's this report of Fox anchor Lauran Sivan


Weinstein then proceeded to expose himself to Sivan and began to masturbate. Sivan said she was deeply shocked by Weinstein’s behavior (sic) and was frozen and didn’t know what to do or say. The incident in the vestibule didn’t last long. Sivan says Weinstein ejaculated quickly into a potted plant that was in the vestibule and then proceeded to zip up his pants and they walked back into the kitchen.


Working for Fox, I would have thought that was the norm.


I don't want to say much about Mr Weinstein.  Casting couch has been a ctaegory of porn fro  long time and it's ong overdue that someone did something about it, but in an industry that on some level is all about selling sex wasn't inevitable that wealthy and powerful crossed the line into rape?  They should be locked up, not in therapy.  No second chance for rapists.


F**king Moron



I was thinking about the West Wing the other day and I  thought of this from the last episode, "Tomorrow".


[C.J. leaves the White House for the last time. A man in the street spots her.]

Man:     Hey, you work there?
C.J.:    Pardon?
Man:     I said, do you work up there? In the White House.

[C.J. smiles sadly]

C.J.:    No. I don't.
Man:     Oh, sorry.
C.J.:    No problem.


Man:     Must be something, huh?
C.J.:    Yeah. Yeah, it must be something.


And it was something, but is it now?  The Chief of Staff has called the President a Moron (actually, a f**king moron), and he's right.  Can you imagine  Jed and Leo getting it on like this?


There's a common sign you used to see in offices saying "You don't have to be made to work here but it helps".  In Trump's White House, you have to be mad.


Must be something.


You Don't Know What You're Doing



When Hillsborough its license to perform weddings some was foolish enough to get married on the pitch at half time.  It might have seemed like a romantic thing to do, especially as both were ardent Wednesday fans, but 28,000 fans chanted "You don't know what you're doin'".


Theresa May has refused to answer a question.  The question was  "Would you still vote remain?"


Why didn't she just say no.  There's no place honesty in the modern post truth political world.  Does she think Trump answers honestly? Or Gove?  Or Boris?  Of course not.  Boris has said he only voted for exit to piss of David Cameron.  Honest.


The Brexit negotiations are going badly.  They're going badly because David Davis doesn't understand the position we're in.  It's not us against Europe, it's us against 28 states each with their own self interest.  They hold all the cards.  Maybe we could get some cards if tried to play one of against the other but t would still be a pair of twos.


And this is the point, they don't know what they're doing.  Running a leadership challenge, the country, the Brexit negoiations, cabinet meetings, being decent human beings, they just don't know how it's done.


And that's not the problem.  The problem is they just won't admit it.





The Tory whips have gone to the press with Grant Shapps idea to over through the blessed leaderine.  It was fantastic watching him squirm today.  He did seem to be able to talk without coughing, though and no-one gave him a P45.


I first encountered Shapps when he was housing minister when he seemed to be talking sense about the housing problem, saying that it was caused by private landlords trying to make fortunes and building projects should be driven by the people who would live in the houses.  Unfortunately he followed this by saying communities should pay for the privilege of building their own homes and that landlords who owned land (usually his mates) should be allowed to continue to charge excessively.


He next appeared on my radar when he made patronising tweets when the chancellor dropped tax on beer and bingo.  After the 2014 busget he said “Bingo. Cutting the Bingo tax and beer duty: To help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.”  He then asked his followers to re-tweet, “to spread the word”.


I next heard of him when he was trying to shut down the BBC unless they said nice things about the Tories.


Grant Shapps's brother, Andre Shapps, is a musician was a member of Big Audio Dynamite (BAD), Mick Jones'  vanity project.  The Clash were notoriously left wing with links to the  Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism.  He played keyboards.


The plotters don't seem to have had an alternative leader in mind, Shapps himself says he's not interested doesn't think he has the skills or experience.  Theresa May certainly doesn't so it shouldn't be a bar to his leadership.


In other Tory news, Boris says if he was sacked from the cabinet, he wouldn't go and that he only voted leave to piss off David Cameron.


Babies Breathing



I'd not heard of baby breathers


Baby Breathers have been banned in the US.  Also called 'nests' or 'anti-roll' products sleep positioners are supposed to keep babies on their back.  In the past they have been said to help babies sleep and been described as an effective way to help prevent SIDS or suffocation.


Now the FDA (the US health watchdog) has said the positioners themselves create a hazard and  least 12 infant deaths have been linked to the things.   All the babies rolled from their sides on to their fronts and then couldn't turn round.  Sleeping in a position apparently is what cuts off their oxygen and the positioner stops them turning around back onto their sides.

12 deaths and the FDA has effectively banned them.


Last year in America approximately 35,000 were killed by guns.




Mike at work has got to have an operation.  He has to sign a form to say they can go ahead and outlines the risks.


I remember the last time I had major surgery and had to sign the same form.  After considerable thought I added my signature and was given tea and biscuits.  I looked across the ward and saw a man sitting on his bed with the table in front of him and a pen in his hand.  I knew exactly what he was going through and wrote this about it.


The Jump

He lays on the bed and closes his eyes.
Suddenly he is nine again.
He is at Sheaf Valley Baths and he is standing on the Top Splash.
There are three diving boards, one at one metre, one at two and a solid platform at three. It is known locally as the Top Splash. He’d come to the baths last week with friends and they’d dared each other to jump. He’d dived off the bottom splash but he’d found the flexibility of the board unsettling. The others had progressed onto the next board, but no level of peer pressure had been able to force him up.
This week he has decided to come alone. He has girded his loins and pulled himself up by the hand rail. He has walked slowly to the end of the board and peered over the edge. He is thinking that maybe he should have tried the lower boards or brought someone else with him.
He imagines what it will be like to be flying through the air. He imagines hitting the water. He imagines being beneath the surface. He imagines forcing himself towards the air. He imagines himself gasping for breath.
But he has to do it.
“Are you alright up there?” shouts the life guard after he blows a whistle.
He nods.
“Well either jump or come back down.”
He looks over the edge of the board and pictures the surface of the water in his mind.
He holds his breath.
He closes his eyes.
And he jumps.

He is back laying on the hospital bed. The form sits on the bedside table and he has a pen in his other hand.
He is twenty nine again.
He has come into the hospital on Tuesday morning. It is two weeks since his last chemotherapy and he has been staying with his parents. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday lunchtime.
First, he has had to talk to the doctors.
He has found out that he isn’t quite as well informed as he thought he was.
He knows that he is relatively young, relatively fit and relatively convinced of his own immortality.
He has been told that there are risks to his kidney and spleen. He has been told he can live without a kidney, many people do. He is still unsure what a spleen is, but again he knows he can live without one.
There is also a chance of sexual dysfunction thrown in for good measure. Also there is a chance of death, but for some reason, it is the sexual dysfunction that lays heavy on his mind.
He imagines being taken into the operating theatre. He imagines a sharp prick in the back of his hand. He imagines the anaesthetic taking effect. He imagines waking up in intensive care. He imagines the tightness of the stitches.
The surgeon returns.
“Are you alright?” asks a friendly nurse after pulling back the curtains.
He nods.
“Don’t worry about it. Take your time. Make sure you’re sure.”
He picks up the form and looks at the pen in his hand.
He stares and fixes the details of the form in his mind.
He holds his breath.
Then he closes his eyes.
And signs.


I read this piece recently at the Ilkley literary festival.


Puerto Rico



What is it with Trump and Puerto Rico?


First there was his poor response to the needs of the people of the island and then tweeted accusing the Mayor of  "poor leadership" and suggesting that the island's residents are not doing enough to help themselves.


Then there's this.



and this




The horror of the two videos is he's loving it.  Look at the look on his fact when he gets a laugh for mispronouncing the countries name.  And the sheer intense pleasure he gets when he's playing quarterback and delivering aid to the poor people of Puerto Rico.




Previously on the West Wing.



Most episodes of the West Wing start with the words "previously on the West Wing".


The West Wing represented American politics at best.  It's politicians were articulate, witty, caring, self depreciating, intelligent and driven, but most of all they appeared to want the most for their fellow citizens.


So maybe it's not surprising that Theresa May chose to nick bits of her speech from President Bartlett


Mrs May
And it is when tested the most that we reach deep within ourselves and find that our capacity to rise to the challenge before us may well be limitless.

Martin Sheen
Every time we think we have a measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.


Or perhaps she stole her speech from a more iconic program.




Speech, Speech.

4th October




Couldn't speak for the cough.

Got given a prank P45 by a comedian.

Amber Rudd had to tell Boris Johnson to stand up

Letters fell off the sign

Took a cough sweet off the chancellor and quipped it was the only time he'd ever given something for nothing


I'm not usually a fan of Lee Nelson, but this time his references to Boris showed a little more imagination.

Boris clearly wasn't going to stand but a knee jerk reaction when Matron shouted at him got him on his feet.  Just look at Amber Rudd's face.

When the letters fell of the sign I would have loved her to lose the letter O, R and Y from country.


What was her speech about?  Who cares?  By all accounts it was a bit rubbish anyway.


Good job we've got a strong competent leader to guide us through Brexit.


What Happens in Vegas



As I was leaving the house I noticed a news item saying a killer had shot at a country and western show.  There ed to were dead and twenty were injured.  Later n the day I visited the BBC website and there were nearly sixty dead and 500 (yes, 500) wounded.


This is no Moslem terrorist, no right wing nutter, no disaffected teen.  This is multi-millionaire God-fearing white accountant with a shed load of legally obtained guns.  I know it's not my country and I don't understand Americans and their guns but in 2015 there was a total of 33,636 deaths  8,124 were murders and there were 372 mass shootings,  Surely if something else was killing 35,000 people, say Monosodium Glutemate, Emojis or Plums, they would be banned.  I know a lot of these are suicides, but surely you don't want thousands of people committing suicide?  When the British get depressed we stick out a stiff upper lip and get over it.  If we could just pick up a gun and shoot ourselves we'd be top of the gun deaths table.


I don't seem to be able to find accurate statistics on shootings in the UK.  The police shit 5 or 6 people a year and it looks like there's around 40 or 50 fatalities a year.  That seems like a lot.  You'd think you'd hear about it more.


The official response from Trump is "Pray for the victims and their families" and "Now is not the time" to be talking about gun control.


59 dead and over 500 injured?  When is the time?






This match was on TV but I didn't see it.


Every year for the last five I've been to the Ilkley Literature Festival on the first Sunday of October and this year was no different.  I switched my phone off during the performances so it was a pleasant surprise when I switched it back on to find we'd won 3-0.


It seems like this was the Wednesday team that we've all been waiting to see.  Aggressive, attacking and skilful.  Also they played for ninety minutes.  As one of the Blades at the office said, if that team had turned up against United there would have been a very different result. 


Our only chance of automatic promotion is to play like this for the rest of the year and go on one of those long unbeaten runs.  Pity it's the international break, we could have done with building up some momentum.


I've only just watched the offside decision against Lee and it's a shocker.  Let's hope goal difference isn't a factor at the end of the season. 


As usual, if Bannon has a good game, Wednesday have a good game.


He needs to have a good game every day for the rest of the season.






Krapwerk are a slightly crap Kraftwerk cover band.


There is good reason for the being slightly Krap and that's because they only play once a year.  They're a married couple and they only gig on their wedding anniversary each year. Ahhh.


They started out pretty nervously, but most of the crowd seemed to have seen them before and were expecting this.  They giggled and blagged their way through the first set but were confident and seemed to be really enjoying the second set. 


I went with my friend Alex who is a massive fan of electronica and the band spent the interval talking to him about obscure bands they'd seen.  Which was nice.


They also performed a couple of truly obscure numbers including this one.







1st October


Last night a friend asked me if I owned a stylophone.  He said his wife had been in a pub to do the quiz.  The quiz had a pub singer round and the quiz master had tried to play a stylophone.  He knew it must be me.


It was.


The theme of the quiz was quizzes.  If you look at the pictures you can see Own Lee Connect.



I'd got the stylophone to play Final Countdown.  Unfortunately, half an hour before the quiz I'd realised that I couldn't play a stylophone and I didn't have the music for the song.  Oh well, it all adds to the fun.



More Bloody Trees



After yesterday's glowing review of Toby Foster at Breakfast, today I saw the other side.  Like I said, most mornings I have a bath listening to Radio Sheffield and because the radio is some distance from the bath and I can't switch it off.  Today I cut the bath short so I could switch him off.


Before I start, can I just say just say that my mother and her neighbours are trying to get the trees on their road cut down.  They've talked to councillors and their MP but apparently Amey are too busy dealing with issues elsewhere.


For some reason Toby had decided to run with the story that that Sheffield council had paid £150,000 tax payers money by not recovering it from the Tree Protestors.


It is not the council's policy of removing old and dangerous trees that has cost the Sheffield rate payer £150,000, it is the protestors that brought the spurious case in the first place.  A case they couldn't hope to win and where they put there personal circumstances ahead of the circumstances of the rest us whose support they are now seeking out.


I'm pleased the council have only taken £1000 off each of the protestors, it shows a commitment to allowing protest and supporting the protestors in the court (They've effectively paid their court bills), but if the protestors hadn't had the full throated support of the likes of Radio Sheffield then it wouldn't have cost the council in the first place.


Rugby AM



I love Toby Foster in a morning he will make me laugh at least twice and what more can you ask?   It's a good job, because most mornings I have a bath listening to Radio Sheffield.  The radio is some distance from the bath and I can't switch it off when I'm in.


Today he was talking about Rugby and the possible head injuries that could be caused by scrums and tackling.  I got quite a serious injury playing rugby.  I fractured my ulna and radius.  I wasn't looking where I was going and I ran into the post.


After the news, Toby asked the sports presenter if he'd played rugby as a child.

"Yes," replied the presenter.

"And did you incur any brain injuries?" asked Tobe.


"I wonder what caused it then?"


Then after an interview with someone from Sheffield Eagles Toby said "That was such-and-such from Sheffield Eagles.  Of course, that's Rugby League and hence not proper rugby."


Ooh.  There'll be ructions.


Oh Dear



1-0 away to Birmingham in September.  It's not a good sign.


By all accounts this was a better performance with a little more vim than Sunday's lacklustre performance.  Apparently we made a few chances and there were a couple of cracking mistakes, but we till lost and that's three points we might need at the end of the season.


I've not been listening to Soccer Heaven since the derby game because I can't bear to hear blade after blade putting Wednesday down but Carlos' bizarre performance in Tuesday's press conference made the main news.  His thing with a twenty pound note in answer to Giddings (it's always Giddings) showed a passion that is currently missing from his team.  It's characteristic of a man in fear of his job. Also his comments after this match seem to suggest a manager under pressure.


Don't get me wrong, I don't want Carlos to go, but we've got to do something or it's going to be a third season under Carlos were we don't make it up.


And I don't think Mr Chansiri is going to pleased with that.





And Dave looked upon Star Trek Discovery and he knew it was good.


A few things really help.  The first is the quality of the production.  It looks fantastic and the scale of the production makes the whole thing feel real.  The tech looks good and feels right.  I particularly like the credit sequence.  When the music went "Bum-da-DA!" from Alexander Courage's original theme, I almost cheered.


Secondly, the characters were nice.  Michael Burnham could easiy have been defined by the fact that Klingons killed her parents but it was written better than that.  Captain Hanbo could have been a the usual martinet that we get when we see a captain that's not Kirk or Picard, but she wasn't.  Obviously, the star of the piece was Doug Jones' Saru who is clearly the Spock or Data of the new series.


Thirdly, the acting was good.    In later series there was often the feel that they were good actors portraying Star Trek characters.  In TOS it felt like these people we were watching were Starfleet personnel.   It's sometimes a difficult thing for an actor to sell, living in the 23rd Century, but on the whole, they pulled it off.  Special call out to James Frain who was channelling Mark Leonard circa Journey to Babel.  He got the thig that Vulcans don't lack emotos, they just choose to hide them.


Ok, so in style it's a prequel to Kelvin Timeline Trek, but it's unreasonable to think that in modern SF, the crew ae going to be wearing T-shirts.  In fact the costumes seemed to fit nicely between ST: ENT and Star Trek 2009.


The main thing is for me, it feels like Star Trek.  One of my favourite scenes in Wrath of Kahn when Kirk walk on to the bridge and barks out orders to everyone who just gets on with it.  There's a scene in the first episode where they're rescuing Michael that's the same.  I detect Nick Meyer's influence.


Two slight quibbles.  The first couple of episodes are  bit po-faced.  Trek worked well when it laughed a little, but as he next major storyline features Harcourt Fenton Mudd, then maybe they've thought of that.


And secondly, bloody lens flares.


On One Knee



We've just become immune to it.  If any other politician in the history of the world had brought sport into politics and openly dissed the sports stars who are heroes to millions, it would have the end of their career. 


But this is Trump.


Trump is just playing to his supporters.  His recent agreements with the democrats on the budget and specifically his willingness to suspend work on the wall has hit him hard in his in his spiritual homelands.  His rantings about millionaire black sports men not respecting the flag (isn't kneeling before it not not respecting it?) play well to his supporters poor white states. 


But has he made a mistake this time?  His tweets and public performances make him look like the drunk bloke at the end of the bar that many of his constituents are are used to dealing with and used to disagreeing with and used to hating.  It's also kept the issue of prejudicial by some American police forces on the front page of the news.  It's also turned several of his billionaire backers against him and for some in the Republican party it's underlined what a loose cannon he is.

It's not as if there's anything else going on.


Dire Derby Day



My mother keeps telling me that United were 33-1 to win and that my nephew had a pound on it and won thirty three.  After United scored in the first five minutes, I tried to put a bet on United to win 4-0 and the on-line odds were 20-1.  For 4-0.


WE watched the match in a pub that was full of Unitedites so were treated treated to 90ins of chanting "We hate Wednesday Scum".  I suppose most Wednesday fans were at the match and I'm sure we'll be the same when it's at the Lane and to be fair I was only only threatened with violence once and personally called a wanker twice.


In the pub where I watched it, one man had a bet on 2-1 to United at half time and 4-2 to Wednesday at the end.  The way we started the second half, you thought he might have chance.  Even the Unitedites in the pub were getting a little worried.  But then they scored their third and we gave up.  It was similar in the paly off game against Huddersfield.


This match highlighted the concern I have about our strike force.  They don't chase anything.  It's hard to tell whether it's because they can't be bothered or whether they're just following Carlos' instructions to the letter.  Whatever happens, they are scoring.  Two goals would have been enough to win most matches.


I said that this would be a game of passion against skill and on the day passion won out.





Trump has made a speech in front the UN.

On the whole, it was a competent speech and refers to historical events that Trump has clearly never heard of.  He then goes on to say the United States will look after itself and no longer be the moral guardians of the rest of the world. He then goes on to tell us how he will inflict his will on the world, particularly, Iran, Syria and Venezuela.

The speech was well scripted, if you like that kind of thing and Trump delivered carefully with the appearance of mild confusion.

Then we got to North Korea.

"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."

Oh good.

North Korea has retaliated by calling Trump a "Mentally deranged dotard". Good word, Dotard.

This was John Kelly, Trump's Chief of Staff reaction to the Rocket Man comment. Leo McGarry must be spinning in his fictional grave.

Let's just hope the war of words doesn't change into a war of something else

Fashion Week



Who pays for fashion shows?

There's almost literally emperor's new clothes thing about it  Who pays $100k for leotard made out of marmite and a pair of stilettos made out of a panda?

How much of this nonsense makes it off the catwalks and into wardrobes?

Donald Trump is doing his bit for ill fitting suits and over long ties.  He apparently said on The Apprentice in reference to his low hanging tie "Hey, you've got let them know where the party is." To be fair I can find no proof of this, but it sounds creepy enough to be Trump.  Whatever, I've started wearing my tie short.

Look at this picture to the left.  Does his trousers match his jacket?  I think not.  Fashion statement or doddery old fool who can't match his trousers and jacket?  You decide. 

Whichever it is, he's president of the United States.



Just Like Eddy



I've been to see Ed Tudor Pole.  He was supporting The Sex Pistols Experience at the Plug. 


I haven't been to the Plug for ages.  The last time was probably Eighties Matchbox Bee-Line Disaster when lead singer Guy something or other launched himself into the crowd to go crowd surfing.  The crowd refused to catch him and he plummeted to the floor injuring his back and meaning the rest of the tour had to be cancelled.  Hello Sheffield.


Mr Pole (his real name) did a solo  acoustic set before joining the sex pistols experience for Swords of a Thousand men.  He was on fine form.  There's something about performers from this era who are still doing the rounds.  There's and enthusiasm, almost a positive glee, about doing what they're doing and it can't help but transmit itself to the audience.  It's also a chance for people my age to pretend their young again.  You don't usually see so many people dancing.


The Sex Pistols Experience were good.  They made an effort to look like the originals and were more than equal to the tas musically, but I was surprised how little the real Pistols had actually done.


But Ed was the star of the night and I would definitely go and see him again.





I'm writing this well in advance of the match, but am unlikely to post it until after.


I don't like derby matches.  The atmosphere is all wrongI lived out of Sheffield for a while so had forgotten the level of animosity between fans of the city's two clubs.  .  I remember one match, like Sunday, the first derby for some time where both teams' fans chanted "You're the shit of Sheffield" for 45 minutes.  Instead of watching the match they spent ninety minutes hating their opponents followers.


The other problem is, it just means too much.  I find the anguish when we've lost and the approbation of the Blades, many of who only remember I'm football fan when they've beaten us, to hard to bear.


And I think we might lose.


And not just lose, get spanked.  There's something missing.  St the moment we seem to have one of the finest team of professionals I've seen in blue and white but they don't seem to have the passion.  United have passion in droves and in a derby, that gives them the advantage.


Of course, professionalism might be enough, it's got us to two play-offs, but a derby is different.


Hope I'm wrong.



20th August


So the Barnsley and Doncaster have put an end to the Sheffield City Region deal.  Well done.  The £30 million we would have got would have come in handy.  Between us we will have to find £21 million in cuts. Can't they understand that in a couple of years time when we've spent the £30 million politics will have moved on and they can negotiate a new deal with whoever is government then?


The main sticking point seems to be the name.  One person on Radio Sheffield (yes, it's called Radio Sheffield) commented that he hated Sheffield.  They thought they were clever.  Another said that he was sick of bloody Sheffield, that they get everything.  And the problem is that this has been the level of debate between the local labour parties.  Grow up.  It's £30 million we're talking about.


Just a note, at the last census Sheffield had a problem of around 600K Barnsley and Doncaster about 450K between them.  Rotherham has more people than Barnsley.


Do here's my solution.  We'll call it the Doncaster and Barnsley City region.  We'll let you have the name so long as we get our fair share of the money. 


Or maybe it should be Barnsley and Doncaster City Region.  My guess is they'll not be able to agree on that.



19th August


I went out before the end of this game.  When I left the house the match was over and we had won 1-0.  When I got to the pub when we'd drawn.  I wasn't surprised.  I didn't think we'd done enough to win.


Of course it was Warnock.  For once, Warnock took the line that Wednesday threw it away in a typically gleeful interview after the match.  Usually, it's the referee's fault or the other team were cheating or everybody hates his team, but now was a great time to stick the knife into Carlos and he took full advantage.


Having said that, maybe he had a point, I'm slightly worried about the team choices.  Wallace came on as a late substitute and Lee and Bannon, arguably our best players were swopped for Nuhiu and Butterworth.  These may have been defensive substitutions, but if Bannon, Lee and Wallace are misfiring then things don't bode wel for Sunday.


We drop to ninth.


Neil Warnock is a an anagram of Colin Wanker.


Space is Big

18th August


This meme has been doing the rounds.




And it's right to mock someone who thinks that they can stop a storm by shooting at it.  A slightly more informed but equally stupid commentator has suggested exploding nuclear bombs in the path of the hurricane.


And this is the problem with a lot of the "science" involved in with the climate.  Most nuclear bombs are around 1015 Joules and a hurricane as calculated by NOAA is around around 1022.  This is 100,000 times the power of the bomb.  The article I read to find the energy in a hurricane described the figure as "incomprehensible" and it is.  You can't hope to understand numbers this big and when you can't you have to rely on the maths.  Sorry, the math.  A single medium sized cumulus contains 100,000,000 tonnes of water.  The British isles uses 30,000,000 tonnes of petrol a year.


Let me be clear, I am not saying that there is no global warming or that it is not being cause by human activity.  What I'm saying is that we shouldn't listen to anyone who's only argument is "It stand to reason..."


They're just shooting at clouds.





I know this is probably going to get me on some sort of watch list, but I can build a bomb.  Not a particularly dangerous one, but one that would be a darn sight more dangerous than the one that went off in a tube train in Green


 This is a small group of confused idiots who have their faith and nothing else (apart from a bucket and a Lidl carrier bag).  A group of hardened terrorists, a jihadist sleeper cell, they're not.  The media coverage and the response of the c=government seems only there to keep us afraid.


The whole thing has a Three Lions feel to it.




And possibly this.




Donnie has stuck his nose in again and told the world our secrets.  Did he not notice we weren't happy the last time he did it?





I've finally got round to watching the first episode of Seth MacFarlane's Orville.


It looks incredibly pretty.  The effects are good and the sets spacious.  Open sets in SF are usually a result of not having enough cash to fill them.  That doesn't seem to be the case here.


We ere promised Frat-boy humour.  And while there is some of this, most of the humour was reasonable mature.  The other thing is that this is definitely a drama with a few funny lines  ("We need no longer fear the humble banana").


In the old days, you didn't spend any time explaining the premise, you just got stuck in.  This was because in re-run, stations just bought the episodes they wanted and there was a limited number of times they would show a pilot.  Orville introduces us to all the characters but tlets the background take care of its


There's an attempt to do proper science fiction.  It's the type where the SF background sets up the conflict and it's resolved by a SF McGuffin that's been on view all the time.


I think I'm going to enjoy this.





I've finally got round to watching Broadchurch and whatever else I say, I stuck with it to the end.


I started watching the first series when it aired because of the Doctor Who connection but found it a bit annoying.  It was a nineteen seventies cop show with a bit of scandi-noir bolted on.  If it was going to be a fair ending sticking to the tropes of the genre, only one person could have done it.  I intended to tune in to the last episode and see if I was right, but forgot.  As the series progressed this time, I wondered if I was right, because the writing was so clumsy, I thought it was going to be an AEL ending.  Anyone could have done it and the writer would just pick one.


Series 2 was swamped by the court case.  I'm sure if this had been real the judge would have kept reminding the defending barrister that they were trying the defendant and no-one else.


Series 3 was run of the mill and for me possibly the most watchable of the three.  Bit short of ideas and a weird view of victim support, but the actors had grown into their characters.  Like I say, watchable, but not unmissable.


One thing that annoyed me in the first episode first time round was accents.  David Tennant can't do anything other than Scottish (he can't even tone it down( so it's not surprising that it reminded me of the early Taggart.  One actor attempted a west country when calm, RP when emoting and Posh Totty when "acting" and I found it incredibly confusing. 


She's going to be the new Doctor Who.


Unwell Dressing



After my comments the other day, I just had to show you this picture.

When Diana died I always referred to her as "OurLordBabyJesusPrincessDiana".  This was after a news bulletin involving a fast talking Liverpuddlian who repeatedly referred to the serial adulterer as this.

Well Dressing is a great tradition in Derbyshire.  Flower petals are pressed into clay.  They originally represented passages from the Bible.  They were always a bit rubbish.  Jesus looked like Ron Jeremy and God looked like Lurch out of the Addams family.

But no-one complained.  They were an expression of devotion, maybe a little naive, but undoubtedly honest.

People accepted it, a similar approach to OurLordBabyJesusPrincessDiana and it's front-page news.

Thank you Internet





Not a match I know much about.  I made the fatal arror of laying on the be reading and trying to listen to the match.


The Star report made much of a "mistake" by Westwood.  Ok, it was a crap shot, but it's exactly the kind of thing that catches a goalkeeper out.  It's good to know that Westwood is is back between the posts.  Wildsmith is a good short term replacement but only that.


It was nice to see Ross Wallace on the score sheet.  Wallace for me is one of Wednesday's unsung heroes.  He puts in a shift every match and and some of his balls into the box are inch perfect.  He also chip in with some cracking goals.  He takes a good corner too.  I remember one match when one of the opposition came on to the pitch clutching written instructions and Wallace snook up behind him and snatched it out of his hand.  The referee didn't know what to do.  The player was clearly aggrieved but what rule had been broken?  The he realised that players on both sides were laughing and let it go.


Still, up to fifth in the league.  Blades third and Leeds top.





There are several hurricanes in currently affecting the Atlantic ocean.  This is a terrible thing and my heart goes out to all those affected.


I watch a lot of American satire programs and these experts in meteorology seem to think this is proof of Global Warming and are using this as a tool to mock Trump.


This is  non-sequiteur


Let me be clear, I'm not saying that there is no global warming or that it has no effect on tropical storms, but it is by no means obvious that we've had the worst storms in a couple of years is a result of global warming.  These are the worst storms since the 1970s.  Does that mean global warming was worse then?  Also, loads of things have happened over the last few years.  Is Brexit a result of global warming?  Is Trump's presidency?  That would be ironic, because Trump doesn't believe it exists.


Oddly, none of the storms seem to have affected Donald Trump's properties.  If there is a God, he's backing Donnie.





It's Barry and Carol's Golden Anniversary.  I asked Barry about it a couple of months ago and he confirmed it was their anniversary in September. 

"It's a big one isn't it? I asked.

"I don't know," he said.  "Is 50 a big one?"



It's also the anniversary of Princess Diana's death.  I didn't like Diana, she always seemed to eager to please.  Se died in her lover's car, a thousand miles from her kids who she hadn't seen for days.  I remember Frankie Boyle's comment on the memorial pop concert:
"Princess Diana never had much to do with pop music. They should have done something to celebrate what was really great about her life. And stage a gangbang in a minefield".

It's also the anniversary of the Twin Towers (the terror attack not the Lord of the Rings film).  It's surprising the Americans aren't making more of it.  Perhaps they're scared enough of Korea to need Islam as a bad guy.





I seem to have been thinking a lot about my Dad of late and my Dad would have loved this match.


Plenty of opportunities and many of them missed.  One-one at half time and it not feeling like enough.  In the end both of our strikers on target.  Eight corners and we didn't score from one of them ("we never score from corners").  Then two easy goals in the second half and we're flying.  Also there were no noticeable refereeing decisions to detract from the enjoyment.  Wallace had a stormer.


An interesting substitution was Fletcher for Boyd.  Despite the fact that that we had a £10 million striker on the bench we decided to bring on new signing Boyd.  Boyd could be the worst player I've seen in a Wednesday shirt for some time.  Can't pass, can't dribble, can't tackle and can't keep a ball. He took a throw in and threw it straight to a Forest player.  Perhaps he needs to settle in.


Also I'd like to thank Winnall for his service.  Whenever he played he looked handy and the kind of player who could run at the ball.  Good luck at Derby (but not against us).


Poo Stories

8th September


So, a woman goes on a first date then goes back to the guys's flat to watch a movie. She goes to the bog for a number two won't flush so she panics throws the faeces out of the window.  Unfortunately it doesn't get out of the window and gets stuck between two panes of glass.  Being an amateur gymnast she tries to retrieve it and gets stuck between the double glazing.  The fire brigade have to be called to rescue her.


When I first read this story, I didn't believe it but there's plenty of photographic evidence.  There was another story from my past, that I didn't quite believe.  Two friends from separate places met up without knowing both knew me.  The first time she went round to his parents house, she found herself in a similar predicament poo-wise and took a similar course of action.  This time the poo went through the window.  She went back downstairs and followed the family into the conservatory to eat.


When she realised the poo had landed on the conservatory's roof.


This story has some wonderfully modern elements.  The two met through Tinder, their first date was a Nando's and their using crowd funding to pay for the repair of the window.


They've already been on a second date.


Rees Mogg

7th September


I don't usually swear on this blog, but Jacob Rees Mogg is a twat.


His first tweet was in latin, he called his sixth child Sixtus, he can't understand the Scottish accent and commands them to talk properly, he has an unnatural attachment to his nanny, he has inherited billions from his family's banking empire and is current fore-runner fro the next Tory leader.


I suppose the Tories have seen Trump and thought "That's what we want.  An aging whiter than white, phallocentric but not necessarily masculine, xenophobic bigotted billionaire bastard.  A cartoon clown, pro Brexit but not tainted by the lies (although he's told a few), an untainted Boris who is more Boris than Boris". Oh Good.


And this week on GMTV he has shown himself to be more than that.  He's a religious bigot as well.


On GMTV this week he expressed his deep love of Catholicism which in his eyes means anti  gay marriage, homophobic and misogynist.


The irony of this is he was only on GMB because he's everywhere at the moment.  TV, radio, print press, just like a future leader should be.  And he sad thing is, he's being given a platform and once you've given someone a platform, then there people who will listen.  And agree.


All this came after GMB gave air time to a man who says he can cure people of being gay


Slow News Day



This was the head line:


Jockey gets four-day ban for punching horse Kings Dolly at Tramore.


This was the video




The punch is surprisingly shocking, but is it news?  The story is taken from a YouTube video which when I visited it had just 3062 hits.  Does it warrant a headline banner on the BBC website?  Like I was saying yesterday, it feels like something is going on and they're trying to keep us from it. New royal baby and George's first day a school are the kind of stories that are usually used to distract us.  If they're trying to distract us from from Brexit it's going to take more than a man punching a horse


And beside, what we're thinking is this:




Incidentally, YouTube has changed it Embed dialogue.



Royal Baby



So there's to be another royal baby. 


It's made me think a bit about the royals.  Like many people, I'm happy with us having a royal family but that consists of the queen and her kids.  Those kids can look after their kids and when one of those kids becomes king, we're responsible for them.  And as much as I despise the old boy (and girl) network, I've no objections to them using their name.


It's also made me think about the Queen.  The Queen has been my monarch for the entire of my life (and I'm 135) and her entire reign has been characterised by one word.  Duty.  She just gets on with things, doing what she believes to be right.  This has not always made her popular but she has accepted that.  And she has crowed when things were going well or wept when things were going badly, she has just got on with it.  And on the whole, things have turned out OK.  There a re lot of politicians and other public figures who could learn a lot from this.


We only usually get this type  during times of crisis to distract us from our woes.  Brexit and the Korean Missile Threat must be more serious than I thought.  .Actually, economic doom or nuclear doom are just to big for me to think about so anything can be a distraction. 


Oooh look, there's a bird.


Cooked and Bombed

4th September


Another day, another Korean Bomb Test.


Is it just me or isn't letting people know you've got nuclear weapons pretty much the point of a nuclear deterrent?  Russia, China and Pakistan have had them for years and not used them, but there's been enough tests to make sure everyone knows retaliation  will be earth shattering.  Literally.  Mutually Assured Destruction isn't called MAD for nothing.


One thing that surprised me about Sunday's launch over Japan was the fact that Japan had used it's public warning system.  There are state controlled sirens in every city and every town.  It made me wonder if we had something similar in this country.  We don't.  The original plan was to send us all a text or give us a ring, but the network isn't up to it.  The thinking is that it's not going to happen out of the blue, that people will have had time in the build up to war to properly prepare.  The government will notify people through TV and Radio with people in isolated areas still receiving a phone call. People seeing or hearing the broadcast will pass on the bad news.


I'm willing to bet a few people will try and make phone call at that point, but they shouldn't bother, the network's not up to it.


Nut Job 2

3rd September


This was nice film if a little but old fashioned.


I'm currently watching the A team re-runs.  Part of the A Team's success (as well as the 1960's Greenway Productions Batman) worked for adults and children.  Kids took it at face value and adults revelled in the often camp silliness of it all.  Most modern kids films, especially the animations follow this trope and are primarily for kids but have something knowing for the grown ups as well.  The thinking was if adults enjoyed it they wouldn't mind bringing the kids again and again.


Then came Frozen.  Frozen was unashamedly anachronistic, an old style Disney film with beautiful princesses, evil princes and honest woodsmen, cute snowmen and insipid songs.  There was nothing for adults but nostalgia.  And that it turns out, is enough.


Nut Job is in that category.  Years ago it would have been direct to video but now it gets a run in theatres.  Good furry animals and evil fat people.  A bit of an attempt at green message and the dangers of over consumption and racially stereotyped mice.


Like I say nice film if a little but old fashioned.



2nd September



These are the pictures from my recent quiz. 


The first three answers were y, Wye and Why, the next three being Deal or no dealy, High and Lah.  From the pictures you can see I had Hits Snot followed by Cruel and Unusual Punishment. The penultimate picture is part of Yew Cannes Keep Your (Derek) Hatton.


Lean and Crap Mockery is an anagram of Keep Calm and Carry On.



1st September


The PREVENT agenda is in the news again.  A local organisation has said that it targets Muslims.  NSS.


Statistics show that 70% of referral to CHANNEL are related to Muslim fundamentalism.  This is despite the fact that Muslims represent no more than 3% of the general population.  I know the spread of Muslim fundamentalism is a great risk and a clearly identified  one, but isn't it it just possible that 97% of the population are just as likely to taking on far more abhorrent ideas with a greater risk to the country and the entire world?


We live in a post truth world where the President of the free world can call Mexicans murderers and rapists  then use a horrific natural disaster to identify, imprison and deport illegals.  A world where he can call London's Mayor a terrorist sympathiser and ban trans people from the armed forces. A world where Boris Johnson is foreign secretary and can make claims on the side of a bus and Michael Gove can claim 500,000 migrants will flood in from Turkey.   Why do we need to say we're not just focussing on Muslim Extremists when clearly we are?


If PREVENT is a policy to prevent the spread of Muslim fundamentalism then just call it that and let them it get on with it.


Bake Off



A couple of years ago I realised everybody I knew was watching either Strictly, X Factor or Bake Off.  There had to be some reason for this so I thought I'd give them another try.  Strictly was ok to have on in the background as was Bake Off but the clumsy construction of X-Factor made it unwatchable.  Bake off was on Wednesday night before I went out quizzing and I soon found myself taping the end to see who'd won.  It became something of a ritual.  But I never sat and watched it, it was just there.


And this is why I have a problem with the new Bake Off.  It seemed to be lacking something, but was this because I did sit and watch it, full critical engaged?  Would the original Bake Off have survived such rigourous scrutiny?  Also, does it being on a Tuesday make a difference?


Anyway, the show still works, it's not another Top Gear.  Pru Leith does a good Mary Berry impression and Sandi Toksvig (never a favourite) actually works quite well.  Noel Fielding was a little disappointing and seemed over restrained.  Perhaps he'll relax into it.


The adverts were surprisingly distracting.  I'm used to some adverts in programs, but I watched this live and got up to do things in each break.  Thebreaks were long and I often missed the restart and found it difficult to get back into it.  I usually record and fast forward through ads.


Will I watch it again?  Yes.  Will I stick with it?  Who knows.


Cute Name, Cute Storm

30th August


So Melenia's wearing heels.  Normally, I'd say who cares.  The internet is alive with people claiming she shouldn't be flaunting her wealth and affluent life style to people who have nothing and I sorta agree, but I was told years ago that the way you gain respect is by convincing people you can do something about their problems.  A man in a suit and woman in heels don't give that impression.


It would be appropriate for her to wear working clothes, but for her she is.  Working = wearing heels.


Donnie hasn't made the fool of himself everyone thought he would, but he hasn't covered himself in glory either.  His comments about Harvey being a a cute name for a storm devalues what's happening.  He's not met with victims of the flood or people on the ground who are actually doing something.  He's not met the people who voted for him let alone those who haven't.


Just because he hasn't been completely hopeless doesn't mean he's suddenly great.


Despicable Me 3



I remember buying the ZZ Top album Recycler.  Afterburner and Eliminator were great albums and in fact, so is Recycler.  But it feels like they've got it sussed, that making albums is a solved game and this is just another album.


Despicable Me 3 feels like that.  It's a good film, nearly a great one but it just seems like Illumination have got it solved.


There's just enough and not too much of the Minions.  This time they're supplemented by cute pigs (pigs are cute, why haven't other animations noticed this?)  The baddie is suitably bad and plays to a soundtrack of Eighties music.  The animation is stylised and attractive.  The dialogue is both funny and affectionate.


The film is plot heavy but all the strands are resolved without it feeling rushed.


If it wasn't for the feeling that it's a bit by-the-numbers, a bit too slick, this would be a great movie.


First Pardon



President Trump has made his first Presidential Pardon.  Of course, he's not followed the rules on this and before you say it, I know he's not the first but that doesn't make it right.


And then there's his choice of pardon Joe Arpaio.  Joe and his officers pulled you over if you looked slightly foreign.  You were then imprisoned in a jail described as "a circus of cruelty".  You were then handed over to feds who would refuse to take you so set you free for it happen all over again.  There ere court orders to stop this that were always ignored.  He was aggressively outspoken in his support of the far right.  "Vigilante who flaunts the rule of law".  This is the man that Trump has pardoned.


The terrifying thing is the message Trump is sending to the American people.  If you're on the Alt Right, I've got your back.  If you're not, you have no rights at all.


It has been said that Trump has asked if he can pardon himslef and has been told there is nothing that says he can't so obviously he believes he can.


In other Trump news he has doubled down on the transgender ban





Five game, one win, six points.  Bugger.


It looks like we were fine after the first five minutes but failed to capitalise on our superior fire power.  When I saw we were 1-0 up after a slow first half I thought we get a sackful.  We should be so lucky.


Why can't we play during the transfer window?  For the last two years we've been crap in August and January.  For some reason he was a 74th minute substitute..  There's something not right between him and Carlos.  I still think Fletcher plays too deep so why he is pcked ahead of £10 million striker Rhodes?


Forestieri hasn't appeared in the last three fixtures following a training ground spat Sam Winnall.  Fulham have bid £12 million for him.  I'd take it, he's not doing anything for us at the moment and we might be able to spend a few quid on a decent centre back.


Just to put a final gloss on it Westwood got carried off.  Wildsmith is ok as a substitute but he's not a long term replacement.


Ho hum.  Thank goodness for the international break and the closing of the transfer window.


Schizo Trump 



There appears to be two Donald Trumps.


One is a good boy who reads the teleprompter.  The other a madman who rages against the media, Hilary, congress and anyone who he perceives to be not 100% behind him.


He made a speech on Afghanistan, much lauded for its restraint but derided for its content. Trump told us no more Americans would die in foreign wars.  There have been around four thousand allied deaths in Afghanistan, at least four fifths of which were Americans.  But his generals want a war and he's willing to listen to them.  Even the though the MOAB had little effect on the Taliban or ISIS, he still sees it as a victory.


In his other speech he went on a rant about the media, fake news, the Wall, Muslems, HIs love of the ALt Right and Hillary Clinton (Who in her new book calls him a creep and says he made her skin crawl).  The interesting thing is that people started walking out.  They've heard it all before and while perhaps they still believe it, they're getting bored with the greatest hits.  He's going to need some new material.


In other Trump new he says he will "shut down government" is they don't agree to the wall.  I thought Mexico were paying for that.





There's been a total eclipse in America and the US news networks have a story more attractive to advertisers than Donald Trump.


There was supposed to be a partial eclipse in this country around sundown, but it was too cloudy to see.  The last time there was a partial eclipse in the UK I headed south to see it better but the further away I got the cloudier it got so I came home to find the cloud cover was perfect, just the right thickness to see the sun unaided.


I'd love to see an eclipse but when there was a total eclipse in Cornwall, I was on Holiday in Spain.  I was at a market when we got a partial eclipse and got a crowd of about a hundred watching me use a pinhole to project the event onto a white washed toilet wall.


Trump still managed to find his way into the story.  Despite constant warnings in the media and from his family, he still looked directly into the sun.





Oh dear, out of the League Cup.


I was sort of listening to this on the radio but it took sometime to register that we were 3-0 down.  It took even longer to realise that we'd clawed two back thanks to ten million pounds Jordan Rhodes.  Be cause it took me so long to realise I was deprived of the delusion that we were going to draw level, with a Rhodes hat trick perhaps.  Even is he didn't get three, that's got to be a massive boost to his confidence.


Nobody seems to know how this went so wrong.  We seemed to be playing pretty well.  This was one of those matches that we started brightly and weren't three nil up at half time.  We never win that type of match.


I'm holiday at the moment so I don't usually listen to Football Heaven.  I eat later so tend to listen to the Archers (Caroline is dead).  I'm guessing  I'm better off with the Archers.


Oh well, at least we can concentrate on the League.


Captain Underpants



I actually saw this before the emoji move and loved it.  WARNING SPOILERS.


It's fast paced with plenty of things for adults.  When they were happy there were bird singing round their heads and a dancing cat and dog.   When they realised they had tp go into school the birds stopped singing, the cat leapt up and ate one and the dog grabbed the cat by the throat.  It's one of those film with a lot going on in the background.  I'll buy this on DVD just to read the signs, for instance when they were in the Mall one of the shops was called "We Sell Everything Apart From Fabric Conditioner".  There were loads of creative conceits.  As well as the comic book sequences there was sock puppet sequence and a flip book scene.  Usually this kind of thing distracts me but this worked.


The kids in the cinema loved it to.  They laughed hysterically every time they said the bad guy's name - it's Professor Poopypants.  When they said his full name was Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants I thought the kids on the row in front were going to have a seizure.


I said that I'd seen lots of good movies but no gret ones.  Until now.


Emoji Movie



I like bad films and often look forward to seeing them.  Sometimes, the bad reviews are just a reaction to the hype (I loved Suicide Squad for instance).  Many truly awful films redeem themselves by being quite funny in their awfulness.  Others revel in their badness and often knowing it's a bad film lowers your expectations.  This film was not one of them.


It happens occasionally that a film is do bad it's good.  This film has transcended that.  It had gone through bad to be good and then through good to be completely excreble.


There is too much wrong with this film for me to list it all so here's a few things. 


I hated the voice of the lead character.  It was clipped English accent and the lines were read without intonation or emotion.  It was like an inner city head teacher reading the assembly in her telephone voice.  I had trouble working out who it was, but the end credits told me it was James Corden.  He's going to have up his game if he's going to get more voice work.  Worst performance since Robbie Williams as Dougal.


The main character was a "Meh".  Meh is Yiddish and means so what?  The writers seemed to think it meant clinically depressed.  The other Mehs stayed miserable while delivering emotionally charged lines.  Incomprehensible.  Apart from Smiley all the other emojis could express any emotion.  Confusing.  Product placement for certain apps was obtrusive.  Animation was actually poor in places.


This was a poor man's and I didn't like that Inside Out and that was dreadful.


I thought too much about this film but in the end, its paucity just made me angry.  Ill conceived and pathetic.





I've only labelled this blog Bannon because I wanted to do two with the same name on two days.


This was our first three points of the season.  More important than that it was a first clean sheet.  With the fire power we've got it shouldn't matter, we should be winning by scoring more than them but we're not.


We've apparently got a centre back, Frederico Venancio: from Vitoria in Portugal on a season-long loan.  It;s certainly what we need, but he didn't play on Saturday.  We've also got another attacking winger.  Not sure why.


This was a typical Carlos Wednesday match.  Sit back and absorb it for the first half and go for it in the second.  Lets hope we go on another run and don't lose until Christmas.


No-one likes this slow first half technique, everyone wants us to go for it for the full match but I've got to say, that's when we lose.  If we're not 2-0 up by the end of the first half "going for it" And you've got to say it's got us to the playoffs two years on the trot.


But is it enough to get us into the Premiership and will it work when we're there?


Probably not.





At Hillsborough we sing "We've got Bannon", Donnie T can no longer say this.  Steve Bannon has "resigned".


Steve Bannon was Donald Trumps strategic advisor


So why did he go?  It would have been oh so simple to say it was part of John Kelly's to moderate the White House.  They could have gained kudos by saying following Charlottesville the White House had no place for Alt-Right Nazis and their , putting it mildly, distasteful ideas.  But no.  Trump said he wasn't a racist and and Bannon said he would continue to fight for Trump.


The general thinking is that it's in fighting between Trumps's allies and his family but I think it's simpler than that.  Too many people are calling Bannon the power behind the thrown and that he has come up with many of Trumps wacky ideas.  Trump won't allow that.  To Trump there is no power the throne, Trump is the only power.  And nobody comes up with Trump's ideas, he comes up with his own and everyone else's.


I suppose he'll have more time to spend trying to suck his own cock.






There's been another terror attack, this time in Barcelona.  13 dead and 100 injured.  I cannot start to believe the pain their families feel.  It's why it's called terrorism.


Again a a hired van.  Why do they hire these vans?  Why don't they nick them or borrow them off a mate?  Why don't the use something bigger?  In Nice where they used a stolen artic and killed 82 people.  It's as if they don't properly plan.  In a second attack further down the coast they attempted to crash a car into people but were all shot before they got a chance.


The terrorists were wearing fake suicide vests made out of aerosol cans.  What a load of aerosols.


I know ISIS have claimed responsibility, but have they really had anything to with it?  is there really any organisation.  If a bunch of kids wake up one day and decide today's the day they're going to paradise and think all they need to do is hire a van, then how are we ever going to stop them?


Donnie T's response has been fantastic.  He's reminded people of his plan with to soak bullets in pigs blood, round up 50 Muslims and shoot 49 of them.  What


I Resign



Labour MP and member of the shadow cabinet Sara Campion has resigned after saying in the Sun ‘Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping white girls’.


Let me just say I don't think she should have resigned.  In a world where POTUS can back far right fascist and Nazi groups, no-one should resign for an error of judgement, but I think she was wrong to say it.


She was a Corbinite apperatchik.  She must have known what how any comments along these lines were going to down with her comrades.


She was  Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities and still is MP for Rotherham.  Coming from her these comments give provenance to every bigot who has ever said all Muslims are paedos.  It must be true.   The Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said it and she loves 'em.  And she's from Rotherham, she knows what they're like.


And finally, she said it to the Sun.  What in God's own name did she think they were going to print?





I don't know much about this match, I was away on holiday.  I know we drew 1-1 but that's about it, so I'll just give you some new season thoughts.


First Forestieri.  He's undoubtedly a great player but his commitment to the team is questionable.  This is the second start to a season he's been in dispute with the club at the start of the season.  I know he's a striker, but he plays his best just behind a front two and running on.


We are at our best when Bannon is at his best, but when he's not he can be a liability.  We need to keep him on his toes and not be scared to look for and choose other options.


We've paid £10million for Rhodes and we're not giving him the service he needs.  Fletcher gets the service and throws away chance after chance but he's still getting goals.  He's got a crisis of confidence at the moment but all he needs is to score a few.


We've got too many forwards.  As well as Forestieri, Whitall, Rhodes and Fletcher we've got Big Dave, Jaoa and George Hirst. we can't keep them all happy.  We need a central defender and backup for Bannon and Hutch and this should hae been sorted in the close season.


King Carlos clearly has problems with young players, look at the situation with Jaoa and Hirst.  We need to get them tied down with long contracts and give them a run out.


But the overwhelming thing is this.   After sixth and then fourth, only second will do this year, and a loss and two draws is the not the form of an automatic promotion team.





I'm reporting this because no-one else seems to be.


There are muslides in Sierra Leone.  More than 300 people are known to have died with some 700 people still thought to be missing. Some people say the death toll could be as high as 1000.  About 3,000 people are homeless. And all this before we even think of deaths caused by illness and poor sanitation. This is a humanitarian crisis.


At any other time, this would be front page news, the first item on any bulletin.  But it hardly gets a mention.


Today's news was Trump and Brexit.  Specifically "Locked and loaded" and the "Invisible Border".  THey don't even know what they mean by invisible border, let alone how it's going to work.  And of couse the Brexiters will all tell you we put too much into foreign aid.  Bog Off Brussels and Sod Off Sierra Leone.


Oh, and they're switching Big Ben off.


Big Ben



When I'm holiday I buy a newspaper every day.  Today's front page story in the Daily Telegraph was that Big Ben wasn't going to bong for four years. 


Listeners to PM on radio four  (of which I'm one) have known that this would be the case for ages.  It starts with the bongs live from the Houses of Parliament and they've been discussing what they're going to do when there are no bongs to listen to.  They're going to use a recording, in fact I think they've been doing so for the last few days.  It's always been a surprise to me that Big Ben isn't always on time, a fact that has caught a number of newsreaders and continuity announcers out.


Anyway, I thought who cares?


Me apparently.


It's the four years that gets me.  I could understand it if it was for a few days, but four years?  Surely they can do something about it.  Can't the workers use headsets?  These could be noise cancelling and have mics so the workers can communicate?  Another solution would be to have recorded bongs.  A local church lost its bells and used a recording and a sound system broadcast its peels.  We would still have the bongs but individual bongs could be omitted when workers are actually working o the tower.  This would mean it could bong throughout the night without having to mount and remount the bells.


And one more thing.  Do the MPs know that they're going to take down the face of the old lady?  My guess is not.



14th August


This the America we all feared.


There's plenty of dystopian science fiction that predicts an Isolationist America run by the giant corporations backed by a not so secret police subjugating the populace and letting the fascist bully boys run wild.  Events like yesterday in Charlottesville suggest that we might just be heading that way.


There can be nothing right about groups of young white (no women) men marching  through the streets of any town, carrying torches and wearing swastikas changing anti-Semitic slogans.  Few news outlets have carried pictures of the swastikas, that's how distasteful the image is.  Any right thinking person would be protesting that. 


And then, in an act of domestic terrorism, James Fields drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of peaceful protestors killing 32-year old Helen Heyer.


And the President's response?  There was violence on "both sides".  It wasn't just that he said the violence was on both sides, he repeated it and stressed it so the pig-ignorant alt-right would know that he was siding with them.  No-one should be backing Nazis.


How long before Trump will set up the Trump youth and start rounding up Jews?



It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

13th August


It's been a crazy week for Donnie T.


This is how the world works.  North Korea rattles it's sabres.  We take the high ground or maybe mock them a little.  There's some discussion between parties, diplomacy if you will.  We increase sanctions.  Everybody shuts up for a bit.


Not this time, not for Donnie T.


Tuesday: "North Korea, best not make any more threats to the United States," Mr Trump tells reporters. "They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen"
Wednesday: Mr Trump boasts that the US nuclear arsenal is "more powerful than ever"
Thursday: He says that his "fire and fury" warning maybe "wasn't tough enough". Asked what would be tougher than fire and fury, he replies, "you'll see"
Friday: The US president warns that military solutions are "locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely".


The thing is Kim has no way out.  He now has proof that American are aggressors ready to slap his country down at the drop of a hat and the only way they can protect themselves is a nuclear arsenal.


Two things.  Trump is saying these things off the top of his head.  He doesn't talk to his generals, he doesn't know if we're locked and loaded or not.  And let's just say his generals are not happy with this.


Secondly, Donald Trump is on holiday.


The Leftovers.



So farewell to the Leftovers.


The premise was that after a rapture like event when 2% of the worlds population have vanished, what happens to the people left behind? 


The first series was very well done.  Well written and well played it's strength was that it didn't attempt to explain what had gone on to create he world that lived in.  There was the event, the weird cult (the Guilty Remnant), the silence and the smoking.  None of this needed explaining the story was in how people reacted to this world and that kept you interested.


The second series took us further into that world and although not as strong (the storylines seemed stretched and in places improbable), you were still invested in the characters.  These characters were allowed to be flawed.


The third series was a mess.  Clearly it was intended to go on for longer and the ending was appalling.


In one twenty minute monologue given by Nora we learned what was going to happen in the next three series.  Apparently the Taken were in a parallel universe and Nora was going to pass over and see her family, have loads of adventures and come back.


I loved Fred Pohl's Gateway.  The strongest thing was that no one understood the Heechee or what their technology did.  Then, in Beyond the Blue  Event Horizon, he explained it all and spoiled two books.  The last episode of Leftovers was like that. 


It should have just stopped.


Call it What It Is

11th August


It is a sex crime.  It was committed a a group of men in the North East.  They are, incidentally Muslims.oing to happen


This may be true but it doesn't need to be said.


The other big abuse news story involves a group of men in the midlands who have been holding 18 men as slaves and been charged with human trafficking.  The story  on the news wasn't "12 Christian white men involved in trafficking".  I'm assuming they're white Christian, if they'd been anything else, we'd know.


A woman on Radio 5's Vox Pop started a debate along the lines of "The paedophile Catholic priests were identified as Catholics".  Yes they were.  The difference is the the Catholic priests were abusing the powers given them by the church and status that afforded them.  The Muslim men aren't abusing their position as Muslims.  And the Islamic faith has not hidden the perpetrators or "Forgiven" them.


Ad the constant reference to the faith of perpetrators can only continue to divide us.



10th August


Can I just say it pissed it down all day yesterday and by the time I got to the match I was less actually damp and more actually a human being in aqueous suspension


This was my first match of the season and this was a different game to Saturdays.  We played attacking football and were rarely out of their half.  There were loads of balls into box and loads of opportunities.  Them problem was we didn't always take them.  Hooper and Fletcher missed half a dozen sitters. I'm still not sure about Fletcher.  He sits too far back and is too often absent from the box.  I'm sure that if Rhodes had had the same sort of service on Saturday, we'd be top of the league.


That's why I looked worried when they got a dodgy penalty (I've watched the incident on TV and still can' see who handballed it).  I could see it being 1-1 after extra time and and ignanimous exit on penalties.


I've always said Wednesday play well when Bannon plays well and in this game he had a stormer.  His goal was a remarkable solo effort described by channel five as the goal of the round.  He ran things from midfield like no-one has since Sheridan.


Maybe there's hope.



9th August


I'm detecting a theme amongst the films I'm seeing this summer.  They're alright.


And this is another one.


Tom Holland makes an amiable Spiderman, the story is typical MCU fare but the dialogue is very light and they don't over indulge in the teenage angst that blights Spidey in both comics and the films.  The Iron Man input is well done but by now Robert Downey Jr can just dial it in.


Two things tho.


One of the things I hated about the earlier movies was the use of the virtual stuntman.  The CGI never seemed to link properly with the footage of the actors.  In this film they have got it worked out.  The problem is you can them see hw poor the CGI stuntman is and it brings you out of the film.


The other is on the credits is saw a KIrk Thatcher listed as Punk On Street.  In voyage home there's a Punk On Bus who is nerve pinched by Mr Spock.  I've checked IMDB and they are the same person.  It looks like a deliberate Easter Egg.



8th August


I'm on my holidays.


I keep telling myself I'll go into work for a couple of hours every day but somehow I've never got round to it.  Actually, not never.  On average I've been in a couple of times a week and I've been doing bits at home, but it's not every day.  I've done a bit of planning to justify my claim that I'm on a working holiday.


But I'm damned sure I've done a lot more work than Trump has done on his hols.  Trump once said If you need to take a holiday you're not doing the right job, he lambasted Obama for playing golf and constantly tells people he is the hardest working President ever.  There again, hypocrisy is not something Trump understands.  He thinks it's a good thing.


In this country, the press will go for a Prime Minister for taking holidays, look at Brown, Blair, Cameron and May.  Oh hold on.  I haven'y heard any condemnation of May being on holiday.  It's not as if the clock's running on Brexit, is it?


Maybe Trump thinks he's deserved it and it's not as if they've convened a grand jury or his country is heading towards nuclear war with anyone, is it?


And Donald, sending a few tweets isn't working.  Just thought you'd like to know.


The Great Gay Badges Scandal.

7th August


Somewhere no-one cares about, somebody has been asked to wear a badge they don't like so they've been told they can do a job somewhere else if they want because they're volunteers and they don't have to do anything they don't like.


This is the front page of one of Britain's leading newspapers, the Daily Mail.


Elsewhere their government is in turmoil, they have no idea how they're going to manage the Brexit they have engineered - although TM has said she's willing to pay 40 billion Euros and has admitted that Brexit will not reduce net migration while Britons abroad will suffer.  Well done Daily Mail.  It also seems to be running a campaign against Philip Hammond who has aenough financial nous to know what a disaster this is going to be.  Perhaps the Mail thinks Mrs  should call another election.


But the point is the style of the reporting.  It's 25 years since homosexuality was decriminalised and still the Daily Mail in a display of barely suppressed homophobic terror is outraged that that some volunteers at the National Trust have been asked to wear Rainbow coloured badges.  The next thing you know they'll be making them all wear hijabs.


Oh, the humanity.


So It Begins

6th August


So the football season is upon us and by all accounts it was an uninspiring start for the mighty Owls.


I listened to this match on the radio.  The first half sounded like it was pretty poor fair, but we're used to that.  Mess about for the first half and then take it to them in the second.


But we didn't.


The second half sounded worse than the first.  I don't recall us having  real chance and Preston were pressing.  I've still not seen the foul that led to the penalty but there seems o be no dispute, in fact most of the match reporting suggested that we were entrenched and using the kind of last ditch defending that gives away penalties.


Of course my view of the match wasn't helped  by Brian Laws "expert" commentary.  I don't think I've heard a match where he didn't think we were second best.  He always constantly questions any management decisions as he obviously knows better.  An expert commentator hould at least like the club he's commenting on.


Anyway, cue the chants of Carlos Out on Tuesday.


Pigs Might Fly (Sorry)

5th August


So the Perv Police have been found not guilty.  I came very close to typing "have got away with it", but I know better. 


In case you don't know, the crew of the Sheffield Police Helicopter have been on trial for taking photographs while over flying nudist colonies and filming swingers "at it" in their garden.  I find it hard to believe that only one person was guilty abusing the position of trust but that's the way it's panned out.


I have my own story about the police helicopter.  The Police Helicopter was launched on a bank holiday Monday and n that day I and others spent the day drinking in the pubs around Intake.  I remember it was a gorgeous summer's day and we were standing outside the back of the Foxwood.  As we saw the police helicopter go past, we waved.


Ten minutes later a small flotilla of police cars turned up.  There had been trouble in the Berwood and Shirley and they thought it had moved up the road and they thought we were signalling for help.  Oh how we laughed.


Anyway, Sheffield no longer has a police helicopter.


Probably a good thing.


Women's Football

4th August


It's the first time an England senior team have been favourites to win a tournament and we blew it.


And we blew it big time.  A 3-0 thrashing by the hosts.  The bits of the match I saw made it look like we were never in it.  Notice the pronnoun there.  I was involved in some way.


But not the way football usually grabs me.  I'm not good at watching football on the TV, it lacks immediacy, but this tournament has lacked something else.  Maybe there's a lack of pace, maybe it's different kind of skill, maybe there's a lack of physicality.  Or maybe it's just lack of interest.


Neymar will have kicked a football every day of his young life.  He will have been raised and buttered up every second.  And not just Neymar.  No matter what anyone says or tries, girls do not have the same experiences and until they do, the women's game will not be the same as the men's.


Channel 4 have tried to raise the profile by covering the tournament, but the English/Dutch match was the first match to sell out and that was a mere 30,000 fans.  That shows although we're making headway, it's still a minority sport.


What will make the difference is when women players are paid the same amount as male players, get the same support and earn the same prestige.  Anything else is lip service.


In other news Parisians pay £200 million for a man, Wednesday pay £10 million and a banker gets £400 million in bonuses.



3rd August


This one of those films where it never stopped being a film but you had to admire the sheer technical expertise.


First off, this film is beautiful to look at.  The amount of detail is amazing.    The best example is the underwater scenes.  As well as all the tech and the transformers and the digital humans, every shot has CGI fish and is lit up by luminous CGI jellyfish.  I saw it in 2D but maybe I should have gone for 3D or IMAX.  The amount of stuff happening in the background  is dazzling and would beare a second viewing.


If you'd seen the trailers you could be mistaken for thinking that this was a time travel story.  Footage of the Arthurian and Second World War segments dominate.  Fortunately the stuff in the trailer is all there is in the film and is there as to try and explain the plot.


And that's where you can't get away from the fact that it's a film.  They blow up the moon.  Two planets collide but all the damage is undone buy triggering a mystical artefact.  Optimus is a good guy then a bad guy and then a good guy.  The world knows about Transformers then it sort of doesn't and how the Decepticons fit in is never really explained.


To be honest, none of it makes much sense, but it's amiable nonsense and good to look at.



2nd August


Donald Trump, the leader of the free world, only knows thee adjectives, bad, great and sad and none of them mean what he thinks they do, so I thought maybe it’s time to get the writing group to write something sad. lists the following as the ten saddest words or phrases and I used it as a starting point.

Back to school



If only

It might have been





What party?

I also found a picture of a sad kitten.



The writing group came up with some  genuinely sad stuff, but I'm concerned I opened some cans that would better have stayed closed.  Also, it dismays me how often I feel like a sad kitten.


Will you do the Fandango

1st August


I watch and enjoy the President show.  This week a new actor  joined the cast, Mario Canone. Mario is a competent comedian and immersionist who has been out of work for a while so a regular spot on a primetime satirical show.


He was playing Anthony Scaramuchi.


Oh well.


I got in from my trip to the Isle of Man just in time for John Oliver.  The Mooch segment was recorded on Sunday (see below, especially the stuff on news readers inability to say "suck his own cock").  After watching it, I turned over to catch the days news, only to find he'd gone.


Maybe this is a good thing.  Maybe the White House has realised that they can't just appoint any nutter who butters up Trump.  And let's face it he deserves firing.  The question is why was he hired in the first place?


Trump has said nothing about it.  According to his tweet, it was a "great day at the White House".


Crisis, what crisis?  





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