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


Lion and Albert

31st August


Talking about tattoos and Blackpool has reminded me of this poem I wrote.  I was re-writing the poems of Marriott-Edgar.  Reading it now it seems a bit negative but it was intended as a sort "State of the Nation" type of thing, certainly non-judgemental.


The Lion and Albert



There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh-air and fun,
And some years ago the Ramsbottoms
Had been there with Albert, their son.


But young Albert’s a dad of his own now

He’s fathered two girls and a boy

There’s Jade and there’s Emily-Chelsie

And a boy that’s called Wayne Brooklyn Troy


Now it happened that Albert and Family

Had not been to coast the for a while

But they had just been up to Manchester

On the telly with Jeremy Kyle


The been for the old lie detector

And DNA tests just in case

But Albert he knew the kids were all his,

Their names were tattooed on his face.


Mr Kyle wouldn’t give them no money

They’d spend it draw and on blow

But while they were there on expenses

They thought up to Blackpool they’d go


They didn’t think much of the pubs there

The drinks were too weak and too small

There were no fights and not many muggings

In fact nothing to laugh at, at all



And so they went looking for weapons

Which should have been so easy but

There’s no stick with the horse’s head handle

Because bloody Woolworths had shut


So they bought BB guns in the market

(It’s surprisingly easy to do)

And after they’d stocked up on cider

They took a horse tram to the zoo


They’d loads of experience with firearms

They had plenty of practice you see

They played Call of Duty for hours

And Outlaw on PlayStation 3


Mr Kyle had bought them the ticket

(They’re cheaper if purchased on line)

They saw Meer cats and penguins and lemurs

But of lions in cages - no sign


They were starting to get proper pigged off

They’d brought BB guns to misuse

So they found a sweat shirted attendant

And hurled at him loads of abuse


Albert shouted out “Weer’s bloody lions

We’ve forked out out a fair bit of dough

This cap that I’ve got’s proper Burberry,

So some bloody respect you should show!”


The man said “We’ve got you to think of

Our lions are big and can bite

It’s a matter of health and of safety

And we’ve got risk assessments to write


“There’s no cages, just lion enclosures

Where our big cats run wild and run free”

But young Wayne didn’t care and he shouted

“It sounds bloody boring to me!”




And so he leapt over the fences

And up to the lions he sped

Straight up to a big ‘un called Wallace

And shot pellets right into his head


So Wallace leapt up and he bit him

And gnawed him right down to the bone

And Jade, who was texting her girl friend

Caught the whole thing on her phone


They became a YouTube sensation

And shoved it on FaceBook as well

And after the hits reached one million

Their tale to the papers they’d sell


They went on the sofa with Eamon

On Loose Woman and Trica also

All these arranged by Max Clifford

And all for five thousand a throw


Then time came to turn their attention

To the man that they’d met at the zoo

‘Cus they’d met a Claims Direct lawyer

Who said they’d a case and could sue


The case meant the end for poor Wallace

A dangerous beast is put down

And Albert made killings on t’compo

Which made him the toast of the town


Mr Kyle had said “Put something on it!”

Albert said “Bloody chuffed that I ‘a’n’t

Cus for raising one kid to feed lions

I’ve made nearly eight hundred grand!”

Incidentally, the Woolworths is now a Poundland and a Wetherspoons called Albert and the Lion.


Stranger on a Train

30th August


I recently came up with the acronym NSS which stands for No Shit Sherlock.  Now i'd like to add TIFN for this isn't fucking news.


There's a picture of Jeremy Corbyn on a train sitting on his cases.  He says he can't get a seat.  Virgin Trains say he can and show pictures of empty seats.  Other passengers say those seats were reserved.  And so and so on. 


My point is TIFN.


We've just come out of Europe and the PM is away on holiday.  If it was a Labour PM, that would be news.  The Tory Party is at war with no one taking any notice.  The Labour Party is in the middle of the most hateful leadership campaign ever and all we can be bothered with is a claim and counter claim about a man on a train.


Incidentally, despite saying he's a lifetime reader of Rail Magazine he's reading a copy of the Private Eye, notoriously not a supporter of the Labour Party.  They must be loving all the free publicity.


Lock Her Up

29th August


I don't know what it is, but I've been thinking about prisons.


I don't know if it's because of the new Porridge or Ripper Street.  Both have representations of modern prisons of their times.  I read somewhere that prison escapes really started in the nineteen fifties.  Until then, you were locked up and nothing short of a tunnel or dynamiting would get you out and few criminals had the resources to do that.  The crimelords accepted their sentences and just got on with running their empires from inside.  It wasn't until Ronnie Biggs that security became an issue. 


Recent reports show concerns about an aging prison population.  The report seems to suggest that this because we've locked up so many historical sex offenders.  The problem with this an old bloke is high maintenance and requires more looking after, the costs are similar to putting your Dad in a home, and we know how much that costs.  Forget the half a million a year on the Yorkshre Ripper, what are Rolf and Stuart Hall costing us?


Maybe it's the fact that Donald Trump keeps getting his audience to chant "Lock Her Up!" every time he mentions Crooked Hilary. 


Or maybe it's the fact Muslim extremists are being segregated from other prisoners to avoid them spreading their evil extremism to good honest decent white prisoners.  That's going to be cheap.


Oh, and I just read this.  Because of decrease in both quality and quantity of inmate food in state prisons packets of cheap noodles are beating tobacco as the most valuable commodity among prisoners in the US.



28th August


What is going on?


If we're going to be going up automatically we need to be beating teams like Burnley.


Last season if we went a goal behind there was nothing to worry about, we'd score three more.  This year we're not doing it.  Much has been said about the fat that we seem to be focussing on bolstering the midfield when the forwards are misfiring and we're looking thin in defence.  But I think the reason is that last season we scored goals from midfeld and the support from midfield made goals for FF an Hooper.


I also think there's disquiet in the dressing room.  I think we're paying some players a lot more than others and those on the lesser wages are wanting more.  Whatever the reason, they don't look like they're playing for each other.  With the transfer deadline looming, let's hope we don't pay millions for someone and increase the unrest.


At least we've got the international break to sort it out.


Pigs With Tattoos

27th August


I was once going to have "Pain is the Only Dishonour" tattooed on my scrotum but then I found out how they did it.  Apparently it's needles and things.  I thought they just licked a piece of paper out of a Bazooka Joe and slapped it on, but no.  They can bollocks to that.  Literally.


I used to know a guy called Spider (he wasn't christened that) who had a web Tattooed on his face.  He was one of the mildest people I've ever met but also one of the most intimidating.


Another acquaintance known as Dave the Snake was a tattoo artist.  To prove  that the process was painless, he had tattooed a snake on his own penis.  When drunk he would regularly show people.  He had a thing about police women and would often show them his body art leading to a rapid arrest.  He's a lorry driver now.


But now those same police women want to be allowed tattoos on their faces.


It was in the news not so long ago that a company can require a woman to wear high heels so surely a police force can require its officers not to have tattoos.  It's a matter of professional expectation and I don't expect to see a police officer with facial tattoos.  I would doubt whether he really a police officer or wonder what the force was coming to.


Having said all that, isn't a tear tattoo a symbol of bad thigs happeneing during incarceration.  THe police surely don't recruit from the ranks of ex-cons?  Or do they?


Tattoo Artists used to practice on garlic sausage or pieces of pork.  Just sayin'.


That Which Survives

26th August


This is one of the cheap feeling episodes that came at the end of the third series but genuinely works.


The woman who can kill with a touch is a scary concept and George Takei genuinely sells the idea that cells in shoulder are disrupted.  When the crew are trying to put themselves between Losira and the crew member she's "for", it's genuinely tense.  The effect of Losira going flat and then turning into a one dimensional shape is years ahead of its time.


I always had a thing for Lee Meriwether.  In Time Tunnel, she was sexy lady scientist who an eight year old boffin like myself could only hope to meet.  In the 1960s Batman she was the sexisest of all the Catwomans  (Catwomen?).  I keep seeing her in Murder She Wrote.  Someone described her as "A classy broad" the other day.  She sure is.


It's also a second outing for Doctor M'Bemba (Quiz question, what's the other?).  I wonder if that makes him a series regular.  There's only Mudd and Riley who have significant roles and appear in more than one episode.


Yorkshire Ripper

25th August


My sister and I, more imprtantly my sister, were for far too young during most of the Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror and so missed the effect it was having on people.  I'm told friends of my mother's were scared to go out and women my age were being forbidden by their father's to have night out.


Although many of the things done by the police were defensible but others were not.  There refusal to use computer systems to reference the investigation now seems bizarre.  It was largely because of this that they interviewed Sutciffe nine times and didn't notice that he was the man they were looking for.  Talking to the same man that many times had to be a clue.


The biggest problem was the "I'm Jack" tapes and letters.  The police deliberately withheld information from the press so that the accuracy of any claims and confessions could be tested.  The tapes and letters contained none of this information.  I remember Radio Active (a radio program) interupted their broadcast with the following news flash:


"Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper has escaped from HMP Parkhurst.  Police are looking for a man with a Geordie accent."


The Sun had something to say about that.


Anyway, he's been transferred from Broadmoor to Frankland Prison in Durham saving the British taxpayer the best part of half a million pounds a year.


I also remember people saying that he was insane, that he was claiming to hear the voice of God just to get a lighter sentence.  I disagreed.  Anyone whose mental state means they want to kill again and again is mentally ill.  It's pretty much the definition of a psychopath.



Cost of Medals

24th August



Nobody is happier than I am that we've done well in the Olympics.  People I know who have no interest in sport and can't understand why I do who have been entranced by the Brits performance and are suddenly experts in all things Olympian.  Perhaps they finally get it.


I revelled in it.  I watched a whole hockey match and stayed up to watch men and women on bikes.  I've wasted hours watching coverage because in my current state of mind it's the perfect displacement activity.


Each medal cost around £4.1 million. and was paid for by the national lottery.  The National Lottery is a tax on the poor, but it does give some sort of hope, albeit for millions a false one.  I seem to remember that the lottery ploughed million into Matthew Bourne's all male Swan Lake and I'm sure opera and fine art have befitted to the tune of millions.   I'm sure the lottery playing public would much rather have their two quid going to Nichola Atkins, or Mo Farah or Sophie Hitchen or...


The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity tries hard to raise £250,000 every year for paediatric research.  I'd have given up on bronze medal to fund them for the next twenty years.


That's the problem with bread and circuses.  The masses don't get to choose how much bread and how many circuses they get.  There's few people who playing the lottery who could perhaps do with a bit more bread and a little less circuses.


It's Pleasure

23rd August


I've had a day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, pretending I was eighteen again.


I went on everything apart from The Big One which was closed when I arrived due to adverse weather conditions.  My favourites were The Last Airbender and Infusion both are exhilarating without being nauseating so I had several goes.


The old water ride had gone to be replaced by Valhalla which is mostly in the dark.  I had two goes on this escaping reasonably dry on the first and getting absolutely soaked on the second.  After I'd done, I asked of anyoneone on the queue wanted a free poncho.  No-one did.


The most uncomfortable rides were the Wild Mouse and the Steeplechase, one left me bruised and the other with two fractured vertabrae, or so it felt.  Valhalla gave me trench foot.


The rides I hate most are the ones with freefall, the worst of these is the actually the Grand National which has lots of little unpowered drops.  Iceblast also has a fair bit of this, but the clever/nasty bit of ths ride is the launch.  You sit and ready to go and it lurches about six inches then waits just long enough for your brain to relax before set off for real.  I did my own Wilhelm scream.


A great day out and at twenty quid, great value for money.


Star Trek Exhibition

22nd August


I've had a couple of days in Blackpool.


My main reason for going was to visit the Star Trek exhibition.  It was a bit pricey, but I'd not seen most of the exhibits so it was worth the money.  The costume selection was bit odd (there were no uniforms for instance) but I enjoyed playing spot the episode.  There was an app and free wi-fi as well as a free tub of popcorn and a Bridge and transporter room mock up.  The staff were helpful and took loads of photos for me.  For some reason I couldn't bring myself to show off my trekiness to the staff which is unusual for me.


One highlight for me was the pinball machine.  I've been to the coast several times recently and been in every arcade looking for a pinball machine and not found one.  Fortunately, the newest one was here in the exhibition.  No-one was playing it so the replay score was low and it kept giving me matches.  I played for nearly an hour and still left a couple of credits.



21st August


Another loss.


I listened on the radio but met up with a couple of friends after the match who had been.  Both said the same thing.  If Forestieri had scored the two easy chances at the beginning.  It makes you wonder how much effect this faffing about over contracts has had on him.  Hs he lost that little bit of sharpness, tha little bit of pace.  God, I hope not.  FF is one of thos talismanic players and if he's misfiring then the whole team will.


 The other talismanic character is Bannon and he appears to be misfiring too.  I remember him standing on the pitch during the first playoff game, just overawed by the lights and the crowd.  He's nt really done anything since.  On paper, we have the best strike force in the league.  FF, Big Dave, Hooper and Spencer.  They should be scoring from all angles.  Perhaps all we need is a start.


There's no midweek match this week because it's a League cup week and we're already out.  If we lose to Brentford on Saturday it will be the first time we've lost three on the trot in the league since 2014.  


 Suicide Squad

20th August


I have no idea why this film was so panned by critics.  It's the best superhero film in a long time.  Captain America was a poor Avengers film, Dawn of Justice was a Superman film, X-men ok but nothing new and Deadpool just felt cheap.  I was starting to wonder if we'd seen it all and the genre had seen its day.  But this works.


Comic books are completely driven by narrative.  Characters are developed over time and the best comics maintain character and mythos within that narrative.  This film has a storyline as strong as any, but with an extended cast of heroes and villains, their origins stories and their individual journeys this makes an interesting and involving feature.


The casting is also exceptional.  Margo Robbie carries the film as Harley but Will Smith as Deadshot breathes humanity into the role and Jared Leto as Joker is pure sociopath.  All the other play their part too, including a special call out for Captain Boomerang.  Not only that, the universe in which the film is set feels like a universe in which they could all exist.


One last thing, I enjoyed  the soundtrack.  It sounds like one of my mix tapes.


More Olympics

19th August

We stayed up and watched the cycling the other day. Following the motor bike just looks odd. I'm sure I read somewhere that the motor bike is electric and computer controlled but the problem he was how quick the rider got off the track. What was amazing was that after each restart they rode exactly the same, to within inches.

Elsewhere, if you haven't noticed TV sports presenter Charlie Webster is in a medically induced coma as a result of malaria in a Rio hospital. Charlie is from Sheffield and I remember her meeting her hero, Chris Waddle, on TV at the South African World Cup. She was so star struck. Get well soon.

American swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen claimed they were robbed at gunpoint after their taxi was stopped but it appears they invented the story after they vandalised a petrol station and clashed with staff.  The US press are up in arms about it.  This from the Washington Post says it all.  "There is a special category of obnoxious American 'bro' that Lochte represents, in his T-shirt and jeans and expensive suede footwear, which he showed off on Instagram that night at the party along with the price tag.  Is there anything worse, in any country, than a bunch of entitled young drunks who break the furniture and pee on a wall?"


A British athlete has been genuinely been held up at gunpoint in somethig described as an "incident of theft", (not a robbery, note). Security has been stepped up and competitors warned not to wear colours outside of the compound.


Europe's top Olympic official has been arrested in Rio. Dublin-based Kevin James Mallon has been accused of involvement in illegal ticket reselling at the Olympics. The scam is said has raised millions of dollars. Just how expensive are these tickets?


Don't let all this detract from how well we're doing.  As I type, GB has just won its twenty second gold.  In women's hockey.   That's right.  I'm sat in on a Friday night typing my blog.  In my defence, I do have a bit of squirty bottom syndrome and daren't go far from the toilet.  Also, a very large brandy seems to be helping.

Atkinson Out

18th August


When Big Ron brought Dalian Atkinson to Hillsborough he said he's done it for one reason.  He said when the crowd started to shout "Atkinson out!" he would know who to get rid of.  Dalian was a good strong centre forward with good ball control and big physical presence.


So it came as surprise to find he'd been tasered to death.


Apparently he turned up in an agitated state at his father's house.  His father then called the police who decided to use the taser.  Atkinson had a heart attack and died.  Some papers have him as a manic depressive but the Telegraph says he had a kidney disease which may have affected his behaviour and weakened him to the point that he couldn't withstand the taser.


One thing I've notice in the coverage is the change on the Taser's status.  I'm sure they used to be call "non-lethal" weapons.  Now they're called "less-lethal".  Not in Dalian's case though.


It's a bit like tear gas.  It makes protesters cry a little bit doesn't it?  No.  It cause coughing,  breathing difficulties, blindness, nausea, vomitting and in extreme case death.  Less lethal indeed.


Gone for a Burton

17th August


It looks like FF is sorry.


He has apologised to everyone, the team, his manager and apparently, most important of all, his chairman. 


My guess is he heard what the others are earning and he wanted his share.  The rumour is Lees and Fletcher earn five figure weekly wages and suddenly FF isn't our most valued player.  His agent then tells a few clubs that FF might be available and Derby take the bait.  When he doesn't travel, Newcastle chip in with a mischievous]# bid.  Everyone knows he isn't going anywhere but it's fun to mess with the competition.  Having a massive disparity in wages can cause unrest that can be the end of a club and we seem to have dealt with this well.


On the pitch it looks like being a repeat of last season.  Not strong enough against weak teams, a bit slow out of the blocks and lacking something with that final ball, a bit of pace perhaps.  We could do with Hooper performing like we know he can Big Dave being a bit luckier


So long as we're that little bit better in the last match of the season



16th August


I'm in Filey for a few days and I've decided to make the most of it.  I've done many seasidey things.


Filey has ten pubs in the centre and we;ve been in them all.  We've sat in deckchairs and drunk from chilled bottle and while I'm not a sun-tanned thingy, I'm no longer Captain Lard.


We put a couple of quids worth of 2ps in the penny pushers.  Barry kept winning with his last 2p and we were there for ages.


I went paddling.  I rolled up my trousers and knotted my shoelaces and put them round my neck This proved mildly painful as there was a line of sharp shells and pebbles under the shallow water and being diabetic I'm supposed to look after me feet, but stuff it, once I was a bit deeper I was fine.  The tide kept splashing me but it was 25 degrees  in the shade so it was refreshing so I started deliberately slashing.  It was brill.


I flew a kite.  I bought one from a local pound shop (Poundland sell two for a pound) and after a bit of fiddling, got it into the air.  A kid came across to see what I was doing so I gave him the kite.  Four hours later, when we were coming out of a pub, the kite was still in the air.  When I was paddling and the kite was still up there the kid came over and thanked Barry again and said it was the best day at the seaside ever. 


And I don't think he was far off.


An Immodest Proposal

15th August


At the time of writing we've got thirty medals and are third in the table.  Third.  So I've chosen to talk about some women in the olympics.


First there's a matter of a proposal.  Olympic diver He Zi was proposed  fellow Chinese diver Qin Kai just after she won a silver medal.

She eventually accepted Qin's proposal and the crowd went wild but I felt sorry for her.  She’d been building up to this moment all her life (the silver medal, not the proposal) and this tittock hogs the limelight. At one point I thought she would have said no, but she didn’t.


Then in the women’s beach volleyball the Egyptian ladies wore a total body concealment device instead of the traditional thong and tassels.  You could still see her feet though.


And finally China's Fu Yuanhui said she was suffering period pains during a relay race in the pool.  It’s nothing something I’ve thought about.  I assumed athletes controlled their periods in some way but clearly they don’t.  I want to make some some of joke about there being a menstrual cycle event the velodrome, but that would be tasteless.


EffEff has Effed Off

14th August.


Norwich are much fancied for automatic promotion this year so a draw was a good point.  Having said that, last season we didn't beat any of the top three so I was hoping we were going to sneak it.  We looked at least as good as them.


I watched this in a pub and was sat neear two Wednesday fans who were sat with a Newcastle fan who had been to several Wednesday matches together.  He clearly wasn't Big Dave's biggest fan and after he came on he constantly challenged the Owls to point out something Big Dave had done well.  They couldn't spot one and to be honest neither could I.  They resorted to the fact that, well, it is big Dave.  Bless him.


Most of the talk was about FF though.  Apparently he refused to travel so was left out.  He didn't travel to Cambridge either.  All Carlos will say is hat it nothing to do with him and everything to do with the player.  One report said there's a contractual dispute.  How we deal with this will identify whether we are capable of becoming a big team once again but the fact is that this match needed FF, one stroke of brilliance from him (like hooking onto a misplaced clearance) would have won the match.



Mark of Gideon

13th August


The original Star Trek The Role Playing Game had the Franz Joseph blueprints. t then had a number of scenarios set on another ship.  This seems to be taken to its logical extreme here and it's a really creative way of making a cheap episode.  It's nearly a bottle episode.  It's often voted as one of the worst episodes because of all the plot holes, the main one being how could a civilisation as described have the room/resources/intelligence to produce a replica Enterprise so good Kirk can't tell the difference.


My main beef is that Odana has to die.  A race capable of producing the duplicate Enterprise surely had to have a better plan for population control.  Even of it came down killing half your population there had to be a better way.


It highlights the a problem I always had with transporter co-ordinates.  I know the co-ordinates are essential to the drama of the episode and it takes forever to read a 12 digit number (an area of about a square metre, but 9 digits limit us to a an area of about a square kilometre.


I think it says a lot about me that I did the above calculation when I was 12 years old.


Borne Again

12th August


Sometimes I look at my friends and am surprised by how old we've become.  Jason Bourne had the same effect on me.  Don't get me wrong, Matt Damon looks good but there are scenes where he looks his age.  And Tommy Lee Jones..?  In a film series that prides itself on not using effects Tommy Lee is either a CGI or a Muppet.  Actually that might be why he seemed in a bad mood.  He'd got Frank Oz's hand up his bum.


I wasn't really a fan of the Bourne films although I quite enjoyed them all (including the slightly pants Jeremy vehicle.)  They seemed to have the scale of a Bond movie, especially when it came to stunts.  The back-story was intriguing and Matt Damon played it well and even if they are a little bit too po-faced they were watchable.  And this one fits in well.  Great locations, eye catching stunts and car chases of mass destruction.  The last one trashes more cars than the Blues Brothers and even ends up with a car in a truck.


The scene in Athens was supposed to be shot during a real riot.  Yeah, right.  I think there's some footage from riots but I don't think the actors were anywhere near.  I don't even think it's Athens.


And the steadicam thing is bloody annoying.  I thought we'd seen the end of it.  I saw this on a massive screen and I had no idea what was going on at times.  My head was twitching.


It seems to be a summer for OK films.  Jason Bourne was OK too.


Oh dear.

11th August


We had a good run in the League Cup last year and I was hoping for the same again.  I was not to be.


I’ve been re-building my website so listening to this match on the radio while I was doing it seemed like a good idea.  I also had Sky Sports News on with the sound down.and kept turning it up.  Every tie I tuned into the TV they were saying it was all Wednesday.


But as time went on all the reports said they were coming more and more into it and by the time they equalised there was only going to be one winner.  Nobody seemed to think it was oing to penalties.


And it didn't.


This game highlights problems we have in some games.  Firstly we don't seem to able to punish weaker opposition.  Last season we lost to all the newly promoted teams when we played them at their place.  Secondly we had many games last season where we completely dominated, especially in the first half.  We wouldn't score or just go ahead by the single goal and then proved incapable of finishing them off.  I hope it's not the same this year.


As a footnote, all of the local teams got knocked out, so no overtime for the Radio Sheffield sports staff.



10th August


Well the Olympics has started and it doesn't seem to be the shambles that everyone seemed to think it would be.  Safety, crime, sewage, terrorism, political instabilty, rioting, the cost of staying in Rio and the Zika virus have all been touted as reasons for a disaster


As it happens, the streets aren't filled with sewage nor are they filled with rioters dissatisfied with the political situation.  I was watching the cycling road race looking for protesters or at least a couple of signs or if there were I didn't see them. 


There's been a few empty seats at some of the venues which I seem to remember was a big thing in London but doesn't seem to be an issue here.  There's 7.5 million tickets available and they've sold about 80%.  The problem seems to be the Brazillians aren't going.  The price of a ticket compared to wages is an issue but one thing I read said "but it’s also a Brazilian self-esteem thing — because it’s being held in Brazil people here thought it was going to be rubbish.”


Apparently we're going to get 48 medals at this Olympics.  The figure is generated by some bloke at Sheffield University and he's been bang on at the last two.  He doesn't predict actual winners just some sort of average.  We win some he expects, lose others but make up for it by winning unexpected ones.  We're currently eighth in the table because of Adam Peaty's gold.  Forty Eight might be good bet.  We do seem to be coming fourth a lot though.


One odd thing though.  Is it just me or does it look like the divig pool is turning green.  Perhaps some of the sewage has seeped in anyway.



Clinton and the Killer’s Dad

9th August


The father of Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Pulse Nightclub, which left 49 people dead, has attended a Hilary Clinton rally, a move that many American commentators say could end her political career.


“I know how many people, family members, loved ones, friends are still grieving,” said Hilary. “We will be with you as you rebuild your lives … because we can’t ever let that kind of hatred and violence break the spirit, break the soul of any place in America.”


As she spoke, Mateen’s father could be seen behind her, which according to Fox news shows what an evil hypocrite she is.


"The rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public” said her spokesman (a white male).  “This individual wasn't invited as a guest and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event."


Mr Mateen he wished his son had joined the Army and fought ISIS and that he believes Hilary would be good for national security and gun control laws.

In other news, Donald Trump has shouted at a baby and his mother and the mum defends him.  Politicians usually kiss babies, not shout at them, so I suppose that’s one solution to the ugly baby dilemma.  He has said titties when he meant to say of cities (yes, he really did that) and finally he’s suggested that gun owners take the law into their own hands and shoot judges and or Hilary Clinton (watch the guy in the red shirt with the white beard, bottom right, he knows what’s just been said).


Any one of those should end a political campaign, but hey ho.  At least no-one with links to a killer is in his audience (yeah, right).




So It Begins...again.

8th August


I watched this game in the pub.  It was a little difficult finding a pub in the centre of town showing the match.  Even the pub we were in was showng the Man U Leicester match on more screens than the Owls.


We looked good  Too many times last season we had a good first half and a poor second.  In those matches we failed to score more than a single goal and lost in the second half.  This time we didn't. 


In the first half we were superb with out scoring.  We had complete control without scoring.  Fletcher looked good before he got hurt.  I have never seen so much blood.  It looked like he had dipped his hands in a pot of red paint.  Apparently he had twelve stitches.


The SKY coverage was a bit rubbish, to listen to "experts", Wednesday were never in it.  There didn't seem to be much in the way of replays and no stats until Villa came back into it.  The only saving grace was the look on Dean Saunders face.


Played 1, won 1.


So it begins.  Norwich is on TV too.


Olympic Torch

7th August


I don't actually think I've got any readers but if I have you may have noticed that I mentioned yesterday that I think I'd missed the refugees because that was when the house was on fire.  It wasn't actually on fire, but due to the amount of smoke it might well have been.


It was another one of those Dave events which is a combination of strange circumstances, some of which are self inflicted.


As I said earlier, I stay up to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies with an Atlas but that's not the only tradition.  For the past couple of years I've made an edible Olympic symbols out of onion rings and this year was no different.  Unfortunately, I'd cleaned out the deep fat fryer earlier and it was still wet so I couldn't use it.  I don't like baked onion rings so the oven was out but I'd put all the used oil in a frying pan and used that.


After I'd laid out four plates of onion rings with different dips (brown sauce, tomato sauce, barbeque source and Mexican chilli) i decided to photograph them but I couldn't find my phone.  I knew it was upstairs somewhere but couldn't find it.  By the time I came back down, the kitchen it was full of smoke.  I quickly took the pan outside and opened all windows and doors, the went upstairs to watch the end of the ceremony and cough uncontrollably.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep so missed the end of the march through.  


The point is this.  OK, if I'd used the fryer, it has thermal cut out and that single random event would have prevented a minor conflagration, but ultimately the rest of it is my fault.  If I hadn't decided to clean the fryer, if I wasn't staying up to watch the Opening Ceremony, if I hadn't decided to make an Olympic symbol out of food, if I'd known where my phone was then my house wouldn't small like a stale barbeque.


And I didn't get a picture either.


And so it begins...

6th August


I'm something of a connoisseur of Opening Ceremonies and although this one wasn't bad, it was a long way from being great.


I suppose the fact that an unknown marathon bronze medalist (ok, I'd never heard of him) lit the flame instead of Pele says it all.  There again, the mighty Pele is a walking advert for erectile disfunction so maybe that's not an image they wanted to support either.


Mainly it felt a bit thin.  There was a lack of precision, lack of scale, lack of that wow factor.  The national anthem was elegant but simple, it didn't scream national pride.  The carnival at the end looked like a soviet era military parade with better legs.  It was low on spectacle but high on morality.  The green message was clumsy and morbid, the slavery devalued and cheap.  The Olympics is a great celebration of human endeavour so thanks for reminding us of how bad things are. 


The tree thing was confusing and largely unimpressive as were the weird pushbikes and the low carbon flame pushed the green credentials past their elastic limit especially after the OTT fireworks.  It looked like the stadium had been nuked.  I did like the rotaty things round the flame though.


The strangely dressed extras lining the track were just unnecessary, but the procession seemed to be very quick.  The Independent Olympic Athletes were a nice touch, but turns out they were all Kuwaiti.  I'm assuming the refugees went past when I'd set the house on fire.


I have to say the video floor thing worked well, especially when the buildings appeared to rise out of it, but too often it was a distraction taking attention away from the performers.  At other times it made the performance look sparse.  It felt like too much had been spent on it while other areas had been let slide.  Also, I wondered how looked from the stadium, it was a live show after all.


The whole thing was big on symbolism but low on celebration and that spirit of celebration should be what the Olympics is about.  Rio is supposed to be carnival city and maybe they would have been better working on that.


Not a classic, but I suppose with Beijing and London we've been spoiled.



5th August


I bought an Atlas today


When I drew graphs for a living the only atlas we had was one that I had got by collecting coupons off Weetabix boxes.  It had the the loveable (?) skinheads that they were using to  promote roughage at that time.  TThe data set we used to draw maps didn't have Anglesey in it so we had to add it.  Because we used the Weetabix Atlas Anglesey ended up twenty miles off the coast of Wales.  Bloody long bridge, that Menai.


I was told that schools don't buy atlases any more.  Apparently the information in then changes too often and the internet is more relaiable.  But isn't that the point?  Halliwell's or the Guinness Book of Records.  You buy one every couple of years because your old one has gone out of date.  Having said that, I can see their point.  I haven't bought a Halliwell's since the advent of he IMDB.


Anyway, the one I've bought is a corker.  A3 in size with nearly 500 pages, full gazetteer, satellite pictures and all the maps you can eat.  The back says £75.00 but I got it from the works for £15.00. 


So why have I done this?


Because tomorrow, I will stay up and watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony with the atlas on my lap saying things like "Burkina Faso produces less than 0.2% world's supply of prunes" or "Molibdinum is a major source of income for Papua New Guinea".  The thing I'll say most often is "So that's where it is!"


The sad thing is only the cat will hear me.


Dishonours List

4th August


The last act of a morally bankrupt premiership.  Give all your mates honours.


One of the first things Cameron did when he became prime minister was to elect dozens of new Tory peers.  The situation was so bad that there weren't enough seats in the chamber (ok, I mean bench space) if they all turned up.  Fortunately, it didn't help him though.  The Lord have rebelled several times during his premiership.  Academies, benefits and trade union reform are three things that spring to mind.


There's not many on the list who aren't cronies and although 51% of the population is female, he's been struggling to find many woman to reward.  He's given his wife's stylist an honour, for instance.  And let's face it she's not exactly done a fantastic job.  Do you have any ideal what Thingy Cameron's style is?  I can't even remember her name.


I've just googled Samantha (apparently) Cameron's style.  Apparently it's no hat at the Royal Wedding and sleeveless dresses in church.  Glad I got that sorted.


Would you want to be given an honour by David Cameron?  It's an exclusive club, but the kind of club that demands you put your cock in a pig's mouth as an initiation ceremony.  And if you haven't got a cock, then you're not getting in.


Putting Away

3rd August


I spent two hours the other day putting away CDs.


It's rare these days for me to listen to a CD, I tend to listen to a collection of tracks I've ripped over the years. 


I'm rubbish at putting CDs in the right box so a couple of years ago I decided I would stop putting things back in random boxes and instead put them on a 100 CD spindle (it originally contained blank CDs) and the empty boxes in a single pile.  The spindle is now full and the pile of empty boxes is about two foot high.  Time to put them all away.


Of course, I had to listen to a few on the way through so I've listened to Aerosmith, Ricky Lee Jones, Chunbawumba and Kevin Bloody Wilson.  There's also been a run on dead people, with a stack of Bowie, Prince and Motorhead all need re-boxing.


In the old days, whenever I put my CDs away I would make a "Putting Away" CD.  The rules were no more than one track by each band and the CD must be full.  I'm going to make my first since 2009. It's also these CDs that make up a folder called TRAKS which conatains about 1000 tracks in 4GB of storage.  It's the music I listen to on my phone.  It's about to get a bit bigger.


I own a 1000+ CDs and putting them away reminded me that I'm never going to listen to most of them again.  Maybe I should rip the ones I want to keep and then get rid of them all.  They should fit on a 1TB hard drive.


There again, they're a memory of a past before downloads and I am an incredible hoarder.


So maybe not.


It Could Happen

2nd August




This is pretty strong stuff.  And Trump's response?  "His wife didn't say much did she?  Bloody Moslems, eh?"


And he's not backing down.  He's not going to let anyone "slur" him without a fight.


In any normal campaign this would be enough to get a candidate dropped by his party but this the point.  Trump has done or said tens, if not hundreds of things that would have got anybody else disqualified but still he keeps doing it.  And he gets a way with it.  Try googling Khzir Kahn and most of what you get is Trump hateful rhetoric. He could still win.


He has refused to endorse House Speaker Paul D. Ryan or Sen. John McCain, two of the GOP’s highest-ranking elected officials.  This is unheard of.  Having said that, both Ryan and McCain.  The republicans are more stuffed than the Labour Party.  Or UKIP.


No-one thought Brexit could become a reality, but here we are.


Oh, hold on.  Just looked it up.  Hilary is 10 points ahead in the poll.  And that's a Fox poll, and you know what they are to the GOP.



1st August


The preseason seems to have passed me by.


I usually get to the pre-season matches including the away ones.  It being during the holiday I often make a day of it.  I can have a couple of pints at lunch and still e clear to drive home after the match.  Unfortunately, when I went round to Barry's to see if he fancied Chesterfield and Benfica, we'd already missed Chesterfield and Benfica were playing that night.


There was also a weird thing when we bought tickets on the turnstyle. Although Barry followed me in, our seats were at opposite ends of the ground.  We had to wait until the match started   and find two seats together and hope they'd not been sold.


And the match?  We looked good. We passed it around beautifully and we looked like we were playing with teamwork and passion.  If I have any complaints, the defence seemed a bit and we lacked desire in front of goal, but all that could change against Villa.


Many of the pundts are predicting a top six finish for Wednesday and we're 7/2 to win promotion.  7/2.


Bring it on.


No Nukes is Good Nukes?

31st July


So Theresa has bottled it on Hinkley C.  Don't think they're going to go for it in a couple of months time, they're not.  TM's legacy is going to be bad enough without having saddled future generations with an £18 billion bill.


I was never too sure about it.  I've always been a supporter of Nuclear Power.  It's clean and it's cheap and in terms of risk there are fewer deaths as a result of the nuclear energy industry than there any other form of energy production.  What concerns me is the way we were going to pay for it.  Fixing the price of the electricity up to and past the singularity doesn't seem to make sense.  There again, if Osborne thought it was the only way to get a deal, he'd have gone for it.


Having said that, it will be the biggest construction site in Europe, providing 25,000 construction jobs. It will employ 900 people making the UK one of the world leaders in nuclear engineers. It will generate low carbon energy, provide power for six million homes, and supply seven per cent of the UK's electricity.


And we're already well down the path.  This is a massive ball and it's gathering momentum.  It will not be easy to stop it or find another ball to take its place.  That's why it's being called "bonkers" by the GMB union and "chaos" by Labour.  And what it does to our relationship with China I don't know.  And remember, they're ment to be our saviours after the disaster that is Brexit.


Whatever happens, it is predicted by early 2017 we will not have the energy production capacity to meet demand and whether it was the right deal or not, it was the only plan we had to get out of this mess (even if we still have to have couple of years of brown outs and buying expensive energy from abroad).


Apparently Greenpeace says we can meet our energy commitments by building a couple of hundred thousand windmills.


Yeah, right.


Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

30th July


I've been having a bit of a trekkie day.


This is a legendary episode.


I sometimes think this episode is called Let This Be Your Last Battlefield, in fact I was surprised by the credit card.  No Idea why.


Some people think it represents Star Trek at its worst but I quite like it.  The main complaint is the heavy handedness of the message but I don't care what anyone says no-one spotted the difference between Bele and Lokai on the first viewing (until it was pointed out to them).   And remember, this was 1969.  Most of America didn't believe there was a race problem, it was straight forward, anyone who wasn't white was clearly a lesser member of the species.  for those people the concept of inequality was a concept so far above their heads, it was stratospheric.  A blunt instrument was the only way of getting the idea across.


The original idea was to have an Angel chasing a Devil and have the angel turn out to be an evil racist.  Yeah, right.  That was going to happen.  They originally wanted rid of Mr Spock because the pointy ears made him look "too satanic".


It also has the first showing of the self destruct sequence.  Watching it now, I think the the Wrath of Kahn version is word-for-word the same.


Frank Gorshin was perfect casting.  Both manic and menacing he carries that sort of TV SS Officer vibe which considering the nature of the story is fitting.  He started out s an impressionist, but of you watch him on YouTube, he's a bit rubbish.  He was, of course, perfect as the Riddler.


Who Ya Gonna Call?

29th July


Another entertaining couple of hours.


The script is snappy and the film fast paced.  There's lots of nods to the original.  There's no crossing of the beams but the way they kill the Boss Monster is completely in keeping with the film and made me laugh.  I think I got all the cameos (no Rick Moranis though) although I had to wait for Sigourney Weaver and I was depressed by how old Bill Murray looked.


The main weak point for me is Kate McKinnon.  She's funny enough and likeable enough (and she gets through some very complicated lines) but it's very clear she's Kate McKinnon pretending to be a manic scientist and that takes me out of the movie every time she's on screen.  It's far too "acted", even when she's not the focus of the action.


Much has been made of the fact that the Ghostbusters are all women, but to be honest, I can't say I noticed.  Once the film was underway they were just a group of characters chasing ghosts.



28th July


I said the other day I expected England to win the 2010 World Cup.  Here's to pieces I wrote about it.




He lies in bed.

It is the cold dark of another anonymous night.

In a year that has cost him a job and a father as well as an arm and a love, his body has finally betrayed him.  His only respite is in the toxins that have deprived him of his health and sanity.

The seventy square feet of the chamber have become a cell and as the poison courses through his veins, he hopes for a sentence of life.

And while both hands lie on the right hand side of the clock, he stares into the void.

Over in the corner of the room is magic window shows him a world that is in reality further from his reach than the miles that intervene.

And what a world it is.

There, in manicured fields of green, in 1250 square feet is escape from the prison of his unkempt bed.

And this is what he sees.

Left back only in name he has never been left anywhere and he is everywhere to reclaim with ease a ball that was always his to possess.

Once Captain Courageous has weathered the storm.  Though captain no more he has honour to prove and on the pitch assay finds him true.

Now Captain Courageous, he has put his battling past behind him and when he is needed he leads from the front.

The man-boy with King Edward’s face has it all.  The skill, the drive, the strength.  He wants everything and everything is his.

And what he sees gives him hope.

In four months time it is a time of champions.

In four months time the poisons will be part of his body’s memory. 

In four months time he will swap the bars of his cell for simple bars.

In four months time he will be in a different place.

For what he has seen in his monk’s cell has given him hope.

Hope of health and sanity restored, the hope of a new position, the hope of another love.

And somewhere, on a foreign field, there is the hope of victory.

And he will be there to see it, new and whole.

For what he has seen on those anonymous nights has given him hope.

It’s coming home.


Hope Denied


He sits in the pub.

From his extensive wardrobe, he has chosen the 1996 shirt.  He had hoped it was not tempting fate, but the fates had another agenda on this day and the game was never within a parsec of penalties.

In front of him are three glasses, one for each lion.  One warm, another warming, one cold and new.  His newly rebuilt body seems permanently two beers behind the pace.

Recently rediscovered friends, all in white, gather around him.

The Cleric rants and rages using words disapproved of by his faith, but safe in the knowledge he can confess them later.

The Teutonophile tells him they were the better team and they’ll be there or thereabouts.  There’s no shame in losing to the eventual winners

The Intellectual looks for reasons and finds them in a poor choice of team and tactics.  There’s too many foreigners in the Premiership he says.

The woman asks him questions.

Was it the spud faced boy, who showed nothing of his skill, his speed, his pride or his passion?  A failed God who tried to hide his feet of clay by remonstrating with the faithful for their cries and jeers?

Would a leader on the pitch, strong and whole, rather than damaged and home, have led us to victory?

Was an aging Italian the right choice to rule the pride of lions, the best of the nation of St. George?

Did a player green in name and nature drop a ball and change the name and nature of the team?

If a goal that never was had been a goal to the good, would the outcome have been the same?

But he doesn’t answer.

His body sits in its clean white shirt, but his mind travels in time

He remembers that day in the Day Room, watching the draw.  It should have been so EASY (England, Algeria, Slovenia and the Yanks).  Unbowed, qualifying in style, progression assured.

Laying in his late night unkempt bed, untroubled by sleep, a bright glass in the corner showed him reflections of warriors, gladiators all, unbeaten and unbeatable.

And there, in the dark of his darkest hour, he began to believe.  At a time when he needed hope, he found hope.

This time, more than any other time, we can do it.  This time, he believes.  This time, it’s coming home.

His mind returns to the pub and his distant dreams dissolve into the three glasses in front of him

On the screen, he sees them bowed and fallen and he knows.

He knows have failed.

But more than that, they have failed him

The cleric bangs the table and the three beer glasses jump.

Beer splashes from the warmest of the three and lands on the badge of his white shirt.

The three lions look unchanged by their shower, the droplets hardly showing, but as he looks down at these symbols of our pride, he sees something else.

He sees tears.



Iron Man

27th July


I am Iron Man.


By that I mean I've been ironing.  I've ironed 22 shirts. 


I usually watch Columbo while ironing and I've still got the second half of series ten shrink wrapped. This time I was going to watch something different. I'd been saving Living and the Dead to watch while I was doing this but instead I watched what I thought were the last three episodes of Sleepy Hollow.  It was pretty much the same as the rest of the three series, characters and acting were fine but the story was often confusing and lacked a real hook.  Turns out its not the last series anyway.


This is the first major set of ironing since I started on the metformin.  The result is my living room  smell of steam and farts.  Surprisingly, it's not that unpleasant but for the first time in my life I feel an urge to by air freshener.


Independence Day Resurgence

26th July


I remember seeing the original ID.  We were on holiday in Cornwall and we'd just spent most of the day looking for a vegan restaurant that turned out to sell meat.  The two Chrisses I was with were disappointed but I enjoyed it.  It was watchable nonsense.


Resurgence is better and still as watchable.  This is an out and out Sci Fi movie.  Fighter spaceships, a base on the moon and cold fusion bombs.  Some of the ideas are far from original -  the hive queen (the borg), telepathic aliens (scientology), mining the the earths core (dr who invasion earth 2150), - but it came across better than a computer virus.  It was nice to see Brent Spiner getting some work and President Bill Pullman back in the White House.  It's also nicely paced, my


The size of the spaceship is a bit annoying - 3,500 kilometres across.  It looks that big when you see it from space covering most of the northern hemisphere but in other shots, when it's under attack or when the queen takes off, it seems a lot smaller.


Roland Emmerich said in an interview with Empire magazine that a third film would be made contingent on the box-office success of this sequel and the last line of the film seems to suggest what they've got in mind.  Unfortunately it's been panned by the critics and still not made a profit.


Lock Her Up

25th July


Donald Trump is closing the gap on Hilary Clinton. 




There's two reasons for this

The Bernie Saunders supporters hate Hilary so much they're going to vote for Trump.  This is as insane as anyone with an IQ of 1 or more voting for Brexit.  Actually, it's closer to Jeremy Corbin's supporters losing the leadership vote and his supporters transferring to Michael Gove.


The Republican convention was a torrent of hatred aimed at Hilary Clinton with the entire convention chanting Lock Her Up whenever her name was mentioned.  I guess they're referring to the e-mail scandal which a court has ruled there is no charge to answer.  There is no reason to lock her up (there's more reasons to imprison Trump) but it's the fundamental principle of the big lie.  Say it loud enough and often enough and people will believe.

Incidentally, on the e-mail front, Michael Gove was found guilty of using his wife's e-mail account to avoid freedom of information requests but got away with it.


So It's Big Sam

24th July


Many years ago, Brian Clough was touted as the England manager and there was a time when he could have done it, but those days are long gone.  Clough would make new players literally kiss his boots and in the sixties this kind of psychology built a teams that would run through walls for him.  Unfortunately by the time he bought Trevor Francis, the first million pound player that kind of nonsense wasn't going to work.  When you've got a team of millionnaires, you have to do something different.


Two world cups ago, I was very ill.  As a result I spent a lot of time watching football.  Sky re-screened the premiership matches and I watched them all.  There were players (I can still name them John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch and Rio Ferdinand) who week in and week out performed for their managers.  I actually thought they could win.


But the fact was, they didn't perform for Capello.  And although it's a different team, when push came to shove the new bunch didn't perform for Hodgson.


Is Big Sam a manager they will perform for?  I don't know, but I will say one thing, if we don't (and by we I mean the fans and the press) don't get behind him.  He hasn't got a chance.


Jogging Airman and German Axeman

23rd July


I see these things on my TV.

Police are looking for two men after a “botched abduction attempt”.  They describe the two men as “Middle Eastern” in appearance.  allegedly attacked an RAF serviceman with a knife outside his barracks. Police they say may have been motivated by terrorism.


Three people in a group from Hong Kong were seriously hurt and one slightly injured in the attack in Wuerzburg after a teenage Afghan refugee armed with an axe went mad on a train.  Another 14 were treated for shock.  He had a hand drawn ISIL flag in his flat.

And I wonder if they're news and what value there is in reporting these incidents.


Then I see this.

David Ali Sonboly, 18, a German-Iranian student who had just finished Middle Schoola, killed nine people and then shot himself dead at Munich's Olympia shopping centre.  As yet we don’t know if there’s any connection with radical Islam.

And I just think "Arse".



22nd July


I remember going to the London to see the first showing of ST-TMP.  On the way back I read a review in Heavy Metal magazine which summarised exactly what I thought about the film.  They said that it was enjoyable enough but that it wasn't quite Star Trek, but that it was like having old friends come to visit.  They'd changed and in the intervening time your relationship with them had changed but at the end of the day it was nice to see them again.  Wrath of Kahn was like meeting up with old friends and nothing has changed.


I saw Beyond as part of  an IMAX triple bill.  Star Trek has that old-friends-changed feel to it.  STID just isn't Trek at all.  It's a good  sci-fi film but the characters are wrong and the universe is wrong and the sentimentalities are wrong.  But Beyond feels like Star Trek.  The old friends have come to visit and although there's some changes, it's still them.  And that's just brill.


And I think it comes down to a number of things.

Kirk was simply the best commander in Starfleet.  Not immature, not cocky or arrogant, simply the best, seasoned and effective.  In this film he is.

The Spock-McCoy relationship is right (despite Spock laughing) with Urban and Quinto nailing it.

The Enterprise feels like part of something bigger.  The human race has evolved into something better.  There's hope.  And that's always been part of Trek

There's humour, genuine humour.  "You gave her radioactive jewellery?" and "Your theory, as you put it, is horseshit! " both made me laugh out loud as did the role "Sabotage" plays.

Oh, and some of the effects are dazzling.

I loved this and will look forward to seeing it again.


25 Squids

21st July


Today was the last day you could pay £25 and get a vote in the leadership election.


There's been many complains about the £25 and when I first heard this I was hopeful that there was some understanding of the plight of their supporters, but no.  The complaints were on the grounds of how fair was vote when your could buy enfranchisement for as little of £25.


It shows where the established Labour Party are.  For the people that they are supposed to represent £25 pounds is a lot of money.  I know of at least one young family where £25 is their weekly food budget.  How can you expect a family using food banks to find £25 to express their political beliefs. The £3 required for a vote in the last election was more realistic.  When I was young and politically aware, I couldn't afford £25 for something as abstract as a vote.


But apparently nearly 200,000 people have paid their £25.  That's 200,000 people willing to put their money where their mouth is and their voting Corbin.  Add to that the support that can't afford a ticket and whose to say Corbin can't win an election.  One thing's for sure, he can't while the parliamentary party is against him.  Maybe it's time for the established party to admit it's time for a change, stop playing politics by the press' rules and start representing the working classes.


Incidentally, has anyone thought of how much this pointless little fiasco has made for the Labour Party? That's five million smackers.  A much needed financial boost.  Just saying.


Kids in Cafes

20th July


Kim Christofi, owner of the South Kiosk in Felixstowe has said she will speak to children having a tantrum if "parents are too scared to discipline their children".


You wouldn't believe the amount of approbation she's received.


I first heard of this on Radio Sheffield where the coverage she was given the sort of treatment a Rotherham Taxi Driver might be given.   Way to go with the impartiality there Tobes.


And what discipline is she going to dish out?  She obviously posted after having a specific incident in her caff and she says that left me with no option but to have a quiet word".


A quiet word eh?


I know I've not had children (and you don't know how much that saddens me) so I don't know what it's like to be stuck in a room with a screaming child, but I think I would appreciate some help, especially if I wasn't having to be the bad guy.


The problem comes of course with disabled children, kids with learning difficulties or autism.  But isn't five minutes and a quiet word reasonable adjustment?  If I'm in Felixstowe, I know where I'll go for a coffee.


And don't get me started about kids in pubs.




19th July


A couple of years ago I had decided to go to Tunisia.  There were some cheap holidays, everyone I talked to had said how good it was and it was somewhere different.  I had told everyone I was going to pick up a last minute deal.  Then student Seifeddine Rezgui, arrived on a Tunisian the beach by jet pulled a Kalashnikov from a parasol and began shooting wildly.  Thirty-eight people were killed, thirty of whom were British.  The foreign office told us not to go so I didn't.


Last year we had redundancies at work and what with one thing and another I didn't go anywhere.


This year I was thinking of going to Turkey, again another last minute booking.  I had been before and loved it.  I didn't tell anyone about it for fear of putting the kibosh on things.  In the last week of term I started to say I was going to Turkey.  Me and my big mouth.


Now, I don't want you to think that I'm really that shallow, but couldn't they have held off on the coup until after I'd been on holiday?  I really don't know the situation in Turkey but I'm sure the turmoil has a religious base with a sprinkling of xenophobia and a close proximity to the unrest in North Africa.


On a different note, I've just realised the kibosh is a real word and not one my Dad made up.



18th July


Two days without ranting about the news was as long as I and the world could manage.


ISIS have got t sussed.


I have no doubt that this was an ISIS related act if not an act orchestrated or organised by them.  For the last few months they've been pushing for Lone Wolf attacks, attacks without planning, attacks by individuals, attacks that use whatever is to hand.  And this is hard to prevent.  The incident in Nice required no training, no purchase of explosives or weapons, no contact with extremist organisations.  To all intents and purposes this attack could have been committed by anyone.  It's Tramlines this weekend.  I remember a couple of years ago Division Street literally full of people for its entire length.  How many would have died if someone had driven a truck through that.


And what can we do about it?  Watch everyone?  That kind of police state would be worse than the risk of terrorism.  That's why I say ISIS have got it sussed.  I say again, what can we do.?


If someone has a bad day at work, has been dealt with callously by pubic services  and then is abused by his neighbours it's a small step to picking up a bread knife or stealing a lorry and then taken out his (yes, his) frustrations on the infidels in praise of Allah and for the glory of God.


And how can you stop them?


Whom Gods Destroy

17th July


My second post in a row that is not a rant on politics.


Another episode "banned" by the BBC because it deals "most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease".  It is more likely that the Beeb weren't buying every episode and chose to drop this one because it's a bit rubbish.  It was one of Nimoy's least favourite episodes, he hated the inconsistencies in the episode and thought it devalued the Star Trek concept.


Star Trek had a strange approach to mental health.  It seems that there is still some need for "Federation Funny Farms" in the 23rd century.  By this time we seem to have cures for most things (except Vegan Choroimeningitis) so why haven't we cracked the brain?  Perhaps it makes fro better drama.  Garth of Izar is moe fun if he's mad, bad and dangerous to know.


The end was re-written several times but is still unsatisfying.  Spock would have stunned both and sorted it out later.  The original ending, based around more questions can be found in James Blish's adaptation.


Some of the remastering is quite well done with the Enterprise being seen from different angles with different tracking.  It's also nice to see Tellrites, Andorians and Orions again.  But all in one episode?  They look like they were added just for the sake of it.  We get to see the space suits too.



16th July


I first saw this film plugged n the comedy channel and was overcome by the cuteness of the cat.  I've been looking for the UK release and nearly missed it, so when I saw it was on I leapt into my car and went to see it.   I'd never heard of Key and Peele but they seemed amiable enough and they sold me on a feline-based parody of John Wick (while denying any connection).


The film is at its best when it's an amiable comedy.  When it tries to have some sort of urban cred it falls far short of the mark.  And it may be my liberal morals but constant repetition of the N-word makes me uncomfortable.


But the star has to be the kitten, he steals every scene he's in.  I have the picture of him as a Gangsta Pet as my desktop background.  The scene where he frees Key from the ropes is unbearably cute.  CGI augmented talking cats never really worked for me (I think it's something to do with the teeth) but not even that is enough to dent Keanu's cuteness.


And the film is worth seeing just because of that.


Ha, Ha....Oh.

15th July


Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.



Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.




Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.



Oh......... Bugger.



Why, FFS?

14th July


I heard a woman on the radio saying that the working class northerners were becoming disillusioned with the Labour Party.   Damn Right I thought.  Then she added "Because of Jeremy Corbin".  I was so angry I thought of ringing the radio station but I assumed she would think non sequitur was something to do with not pruning rose bushes so I didn't bother.


She is right about the disillusionment though, but the reason is people like her.  People as disillusioned with the whole of the political classes.


And which party has a leader that isn't part of that elite?  Who is in charge of a party that is not part of the elite?  Who has got people joining that party in their thousands?  The logical would be to back him, show people that the Labour Party is different, not run by a Westminster elite that doesn't give a toss about common folk.


Labour should be riding high in the poles but they're petty Westminster squabbles are preventing this.  I get it, I really do.  The people who have had influence and power don't want to lose that, especially if they've paid good money for that influence.  Look for party donors starting to slam Corbin in the next few weeks.  But for FFS they need need to listen to the party member and think more of the party and the country than themselves.


MArketed right and with good support from social media Corbin can carry people with him as an alternative to the traditional politics with which the general has lost faith.


For me it's like the times when Sheffield Wednesday are a bit crap.  You don't want to put the team down but it's really hard to defend them.


Thank God that UKIP are in such disarray.


Stitch Up

13th July


Who doesn't think this was a stitch up?


What's her name (I've already forgotten who she is) was put up against May with no intention of ever going through with it.  May becomes premiere without anyone in the party at large ever getting a vote.  Cynical bastards.  I talked to one of the few Tories I know and he's livid.  He says he would probably have voted for May, but at least wanted the chance.


It's odd that she's been put In charge because of fears about immigration an area where she has been singularly unsuccessful controlling it.  Under her watch, immigration rose to 330,000.  She did make a speech on immigration last year which the Daily Telegraph called "awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible" and summarised it thus:

"Immigrants are stealing your job, making you poorer and ruining your country. Never mind the facts, just feel angry at foreigners. And make me Conservative leader."

The last sentence is surprisingly prescient.


Whatever, Britain's next Prime Minister is Theresa May.




The Hills Aren't Alive

12th July


I I play the bass.  Badly.  I play it badly because I could never be bothered to put the effort in to learn it properly.  It was too hard and as Homer Simpson says, if a thing is hard then it's not worth doing.  But I know plenty of people who did make that effort and they've been rewarded by a life time of true enjoyment.


I saw today that kids aren't taking Music at school anymore.  NSS.  There two reasons for this


Firstly, it's no longer important to schools.  They're judged by the number of students achieving the eBacc.  If you don't know, The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure for schools, awarded when students secure a grade C or above at GCSE level across a core of five academic subjects – english, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language.  No sign of Music there.  For the last few years schools have been laying off staff who teach art, PE, technology and oh, music.  For some reason Drama teachers seem to be immune.


Which brings me to the second reason.  Kids don't want to study music, its hard.  In the modern world of reality TV the successful ones, the ones with that x-factor, the Britons with Talent are the ones who can belt out a song for a couple of minutes in front of Simon Cowell.  Anyone with real musical talent putting in real effort must be sucker.  The one's who make it are, ell, the ones who make it so why actually learn about music when ten minutes on the mike at that karaoke is far better training?  That's probably why drama survives.  Twenty minutes beating up the religious kid and you get bonus marks for improvising a piece on bullying.


Which brings me to Brexit.


When you're constantly telling people they shouldn't listen to experts, that they know far better than anyone who has put some effort into finding out, then what are we going to get from them?



11th July


I went to a Mushira in Bradford today.  I thought I would be reading just the one poem so only took one with me.  It turned out I needed more.  I found another poem or two on the web but it made me realise how little of my content is there.  There's no reason for it not being so I'm going to start putting more of it on.  I'll start with the prose poem I took today.


It's based on this picture.  Lord Kurzon presided over the Great Famine of 1899.  Almost four million people starved and Kurzon literally had the power of life and death over these people.  He did however love his wife and gave her the finest dress in the world.  He was the leader of the Anti -suffrage Movement and obsessed with denying women the vote.


This my story about him



A Death in Three Parts


Part I


She misses everything.

She misses her home, her mother and her sisters. 

She misses the green Derbyshire countryside, the blue of the lake and the grey of a cloudy sky. 

She misses the deer that run from her carriage and the wrens that light on her window sill.

And she misses the rain.  What she would give too walk in the chill September rain.

She misses the food.  Bombay Duck (it’s a fish in the name of God, not a duck) is no substitute for Cook’s Herrings in Pastry. 

But then she thinks of the Peacock Dress and maybe, just maybe, it all seems worth it.

Stitched of gold and embroidered with the feathers of peacocks, the beetle wing eyes could be emeralds.  There is no equal. 

And it is hers.

She cocks her head and smiles for the camera. 

It clicks.


Part II


This a man’s country.

A man could die here.

The stark landscape, the deadly beasts, the heat.  It is a place where a man can pit himself against nature.

On the voyage over here it could not see this place as home, now he can see nowhere else.

His home is a palace.  A genuine palace with gold and tapestries and servants. It is nothing less than he deserves.

And the servants here show him respect, not the fake tugging on a cap while laughing behind his back.

This place is his destiny.

He looks down at the corpse of the noble beast.  It is his trophy, his kill, his pride.

Hands on pockets he strikes a pose and smiles for the camera.

It clicks.


Part III


He sees the small dark shape approach.

Although he is not hungry, he has eaten of this meat before and it is an easy kill, so he lumbers forward.

He does not see the others and their nets, nor their leader with his club.

When he awakes, he finds himself tied.  His head hurts and he has a thirst like no other. 

His awakening strikes the small prey into action. 

One pokes him with a stick and he tries to raise a paw.  Sadly the pain, the rope and the thirst have deprived him of his will.

A paler prey with different plumage approaches with what looks like a large heavy stick. 

Instinctively, he knows there is danger and he does what it is his nature to do. 

He tries to leap but they have been careful with their bonds and he falls to the floor.

The pale man lifts his stick and points it towards him.

It clicks.



10th July


It feels like a flashback to the seventies so often these days.  It's nice to have a flashback to the noughties.


In the Noughties political gaffes became media sensations.  You had to be careful of everything you said, especially if you were in the public eye and especially if you were a politician.  One slip on Question Time and it could be the end of your career and God Forbid you tried to eat something on camera or do anything normal.


So it was nice to see Leadsom make the kind of mistake people used to make.  And the media get onto her back.  We live in a world where a mayoral candidate can call another a terrorist and a presidential candidate can say he wants to shag his daughter with utter impugnity (although the mayoral candidate did not get elected).


One thing, Leadsom has no chance of becoming PM.  The media hs declared what side it's on and that side always wins.  And it's not Leadsom.


Oh, and I've been singing this:





Open Up, It's the Pigs

9th July


It's all kicking off in America.  The police are beating up black people and black people are killing the police.

In Baton Rouge Alton Sterling is selling CDs when he is fatally shot by police officers after an anonymous tip.

In Minnesota woman films a white police officer shooting her black boyfriend during a routine traffic stop.

In Dallas a sniper kills five policemen and seriously wounds seven more.

On a Tennessee highway a man shoots indiscriminately at passing cars and police saying he was angry about police against African-Americans.

As well as being obscene crimes of violence, all these events have been caught on video.


But do we really need to see them over and over again.  There have been 623 people killed by police this year in America, not all of them black and not all of them police officers.  And this is the point.  Not all black people are criminals and not policemen are racists bastards.  It's the media agenda and it's an agenda of fear.


But then again, in a world where our leading politicians can say all Moslems are terrorists, all migrants are scroungers and all Mexican are drug dealers and rapists, is it any surprise that there's death on the streets?




Sulu is Gay

8th July


George Takei is gay.  So, it turns out, is Mr Sulu.  Mr Takei isn't happy about it.  He say's Gene Rodenberry wouldn't have liked it.


Sorry, George.  He would have loved it.


The Great Bird of the Galaxy (one of Sulu's lines) was always tweaking the tiger's tail.  He tried to put a woman, Number One, in charge, a black woman on the bridge and have a white man kiss her.  He had a Satanic alien as second in command but a gay man in 1960s TV?  One step too far.


But it was always a possibility in later series and it would have strengthened any of them (especially Voyager) but any attempts were half hearted.  Denise Crosby's character in Next Gen was supposed to be gay but when the censors or the networks or the sponsors wouldn't allow it she slipped into the background doing little more than keeping hailing frequencies open.  Jadzia Dax was an attempt to sneak a


So does it have to be Sulu?  The writers saw it as a fitting tribute to Takei who has worked tirelessly for the cause of gay rights and any other character in the film being gay would stink of tokenism.


So on this occasion George, you're wrong.


And I wonder, is it because you're no longer the only gay in the village?



7th June


I liked Tony Blair.


He made the Labour Party electable in a way Kinnock, Calaghan, Foot, Brown and Milliband never could.  And while he didn't turn turn the UK into a socialist paradise, things did indeed get better.  And he wasn't the Tory Party, especially graceless bastards we've got in today.


The Gulf War wasn't a war on terror or anything to do with oil. It was Dubya's revenge.  A Mitch Benn song of the time went "He was mean to my Daddy, he made my Daddy cry.  He was mean to my Daddy, and that's why Saddam had to die." and I think he got it right.


The press and the political establishment hated him from the start, remember the scary eyes ad?  When Thatcher took us to war she was a hero (heroine?), when Blair did it, he was a criminal.  You knew they were going to get him one day.


And it's a shame he made it easy for them.


Not Big Enough

6th June


I Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns, he describes Batman and Roosevelt before him as "Big".



I need my politicians to big, to be strong enough to make the big decisions that I know I could never make and Blair wasn't big enough to stand up to Bush over Iran.


And Cameron wasn't big enough to stand up to his back benchers over Europe.



5th June


I did the quiz again last week and here are the pictures


They're all ears. 


I tried to camouflage it a little, I had Forearmed and Firearms in there and the Pub Singer was "Teddy Bears Picnic".  The answer to the anagram is Richard the Lionheart.


The Secret Lives of Pets

4th June


Another OK film.


The whole thing is vaguely old fashioned.  Most modern cartoons have something for the knowing adults.  They have to.  A film just for children isn't going to make enough profit to validate its making.  The basic story is anachronistic, two dogs escape from a home and are caught by the dog catcher and threatened by the feral animals that live in the sewer before bonding and returning to their doting owner. 


There is some morality and mortality in this.  Duke has lost his owner and there's even a hawk that has to keep being told that it shouldn't eat its friends.


I think I sort of expected a Toy Story with animals instead of toys and that's not what I got.  It feels more like the Aristocats. The Minions have made Illumination A-list animators,  there is a Minion short with the film and a weird sausage scene which is just tall thin Minions but this isn't enough.  This doesn't have that this-is-a-classic feel, as enjoyable as it is.


The problem is that the animals are not that cute and on the whole don't particularly behave like real animals.  It would be a lot easier to like if they were and they did.


Elaan of Troyus.

3rd June


For me one of the better episodes of series 3.


John Meredith Lucas both wrote and directed (I don't think happened any other time).  There's a lot of narrative in this and it works.  The guest stars do a good job, Frances Nuyen as the spoilt Elaan and Jay Robinson as the obsequious Petri are particularly effective.  Nuyen and Shatner had worked together before and reportedly did not get on.


Incidentally, Frances Nuyen had more costume changes than any other Trek character and all were designed to flaunt the "Belly Button" laws that controlled which bits of flesh you could show on the screen by sticking closely to them.  Some of them make Nuyen look particularly exotic leading to accusations of sexism from modern audiences.


The original had one of the most complicated set of effects (it was the first episode filmed to use the Drell 7 model), but the remastering does it justice, keeping the feel of the original but injecting a feeling of scale tat sometimes the earlier fx lack.


McCoys line "Are you out of your Vulcan mind?" crops up in Trek 2009. 


Last Week

2nd June


It's just over a week since we voted to get out of Europe so it seems fitting to show this.




Like the man says.  No do overs.


To be fair, most of the comments seem very anti Oliver and anti-millennial (?) but looking at the comments that come with the vid shows us how the rest of the world sees us and how we present ourselves.

Kriste Isopahkala

UK, you done f**ked up. I feel sorry for the majority of people there, the simple minded were mislead, the intelligent were outnumbered. Good bye and good night.


ONE DAY that's got to be a world record for a politician backing out on a promise

And from token Brits


Lefties got f**king served.  The UK did the right thing

William Porter

I still have no clue as to what the f**k is going on

It's called Great Britain.  It's there in the name.  Great.  Britain.  Yeah, right.


No Boris

1st June


OK, so it's not Boris.


I think Boris is genuinely upset by the approbation he's receiving.  He likes to think of himself as a cuddly little scamp and having people boo him everywhere he goes, hurts.


Clearly he's cleverer than I thought.  Being the next Premier is something of a poisoned chalice.  Whoever it is is going to go down in history as the Prime Minister who took us out of Europe.  They will have to haggle and no matter how how successful they are there will always that certain knowledge that things would have been better if we'd stayed in.  I never thought Boris would have the smarts to spot this.


Which brings me to Gove.


In the last five years of blogging I have used the word Gove 1027 times so it's not hard to see what I think of him.  TWA Coffee? No, he's definitely TWA Tea.  His clumsy backstabbing would be comical if he weren't such a nasty piece of work.  Two current internet memes are Gove Clapping and Gove Drinking water.  He doesn't seem to be able to do either.  Good leadership material then.


Everyone says Theresa May is good at doing things.  What things?  It's been her responsibility to sort out immigration and the fact that she hasn't is why we're currently not in Europe.




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