Sunday, 28 February 2010

Billy Casper plays football (Kes)

This was PE when I was a lad ( and it made me the man I am today).

Friday, 26 February 2010

madeira




The TV has been showing a lot of the flooding and the clearing up of Madeira today. It all seems a bit weird, as I was only walking those very streets at the end of October last year, so I can actually relate to it more than other disasters. The bottom picture is what the drainage canals looked like when I was there. Obviously the others are when the floods happened. There's quite a bit of a difference, that's for sure.
Just shows how random life can be, I pity the poor bastards that got swept up in the crappy water and died. What a way to go (and so unexpected).
Might stick to open ground in the future. Mind you, I will probably get struck by lightning, or attacked by a camel or something. Sod it, think I will do the usual. Ignore the danger (unless it is really obvious), and go for it. No point in worrying too much, it gets you nowhere.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

the wild west

The aftermath at Wounded Knee

Robert McGee

Bison Skulls 1870

As I have had a lot of time off dossing (and unable to do anything strenuous because of my neck injury), I have been reading a lot, including a load of stuff about American history. It certainly was a completely different world back then, even though it was not that long ago in the great scheme of things. The photo of the bison skulls is amazing as it is just one pile of skulls. There would have been a lot more around the country. There must have been a lot of fat Indians or settlers by the look of that pile.
As for Robert Mcgee, he was scalped when he was younger, by the Sioux chief Little Turtle, in about 1864. It is one thing to survive the scalping and look like he did, but just try to comprehend the amount of pain he must have gone through, being scalped, and then having to put up with the barbaric surgery and stitches afterwards. I bet it bought tears to his eyes, even though men were men in those days. I assume a lot of hard liquor must have been taken beforehand, so it had it's plus points.
Wounded knee is a long story, but basically, a massacre by the American cavalry. There is a really good book about the whole episode (and many others), called 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown. I am sure there was word that it was being made into a new feature film. I hope so, but with Hollywood, it will either be really maudlin, or just crap.
Thank fuck I was born when I was, no wars to join, no one attacking me (apart from soldiers in the nightclub), lots of available sex, and loads of modern gadgets. Also travelled a lot abroad and have access to TV and music when I want. Magic!
toodle pip

off to the docs





Things are still looking good work - wise, I am still off and do not have to go back to work until Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, I had to drag myself out of the house today to go to the doctors, at 9am in the bloody morning, just to get my grubby little mitts on my sick note. Snow was everywhere, which I wasn't so bothered about, as it made a bit of a change having a walk out in it. I felt like I was in a disaster movie for some of the walk, it was emtiness everywhere around our place (see pictures). Busy by White shops, but no-one about again on the way home (which suited me, as I am a miserable git). My neck was a bit sore by the time I got back at 10.30am, but at least my trainers were clean, as I walked along kicking the virgin snow all the way home.
On return, I chucked all of the clothes I had been wearing into the wash, got my trackies on and settled down to doss about again. Marvellous. Christ, I wish I was loaded. What's the saying? "Only boring people get bored". I may well be boring sometimes, but I certainly do not get bored when off work.
Also been staying up really late, (later than usual), and only having about 4 hours sleep, as there is so much to do, so little time. My head is full of even more crap than usual (if that's possible). Bring it on!
toodle pip

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

'orrible creatures

Vampire moth

Spider crab

Sea spider

Coconut crab

Barreleye see through fish


What a strange old world it is out there. I wouldn't like to meet some of these close up

toodle pip




Tuesday, 23 February 2010

wayne coyne's house








This is amazing looking and it's the kind of thing I really like, kind of 'A Clockwork Orange' look about it. Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips) calls this his home. Makes a change from all the bland shite that is always shown on Cribs, here's a man who knows his own mind, even if that mind may be a little off kilter. That's the kind of stuff I would like in my bathroom, wait until I win the bleeding lottery!
Respect to him and toodle pip

Monday, 22 February 2010

weekend fun

A man comes out of prison after accidentally shooting a policeman, and then starts seeing the policeman's wife, and his old flame
Mystery as a mother comes back from the dead and a husband is killed

I think I may have dropped my trousers at this point


Miserable boy
Another fine weekend has flown by (like the great pumpkin again). On Saturday, Robbo and Kerry turned up unexpectedly, just before the United v Everton game (3-1 to the Scousers). I watched the game with Robbo (after he had gone to Tesco's to get some food), and Kerry and Mandy went to the Farmers Arms for lunch. A fine morning, even though we chatted too much during the game, as we had a lot to catch up with. I think maybe too much piss taking was done after the girls got back, for which I blame alcohol and stress. After they had gone, Mandy went and got a couple of bottles of wine, so that was the evening taken care of. We did watch Volver, which was a bit slow but great. A Spanish film (subtitled) staring Penelope Cruise, it was a murder mystery and also humorous. It's the second film by Pedro Almadovar that we have just seen , the other one being Live Flesh (also subtitled), based on the Ruth Rendall book of the same name. Both of them were well worth the effort so I am currently looking out for more of his to watch, it is years since I saw Tie me up, Tie me down, and I can't remember if I have watched Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, so these are next on the list.
As usual, it was Match of the Day later, then pratting about on the computer until about 3.30am.

Sunday morning, had a read of the papers (The new look Observer!), then we got picked up by Rook and Deb as we were going to Louise and Dazzer's for Sunday lunch (even with my sore neck!). Dazzer did well, only dropped about 4 parsnips and 24 potatoes, but at least it tasted nice. I accepted his apology for being a grumpy git the week before, the girls got pissed, and we were back home by 6.30pm, so everything was hunky dory. Mandy conked out when we returned home, so I watched the Sunday Supplement, The Simpsons, American Dad, some of Gerry Adams talking about the life of Jesus, Match of the Day 2, then back to the computer until 4am. What a life. No work till Saturday, what bliss (even though United were beaten).
toodle pip

Sunday, 21 February 2010

getting old

Here's a picture that has been on the wall by the rabbits cage for the last few years. It's my old mucker Robbo, and by old mucker I mean exactly that. Time catches up with us all, I don't know what year this was taken, (I would guess at 1992 as he is wearing my hat), but he is 50 this year. Time flies by (like the great pumpkin).
toodle pip

Friday, 19 February 2010

I am legend





So, I have just finished reading 'I am Legend' by Richard Matheson. It was really good, a vampire/science fiction novel originally published in 1954, mainly to do with loneliness and isolation. I had already seen the Will Smith film based on it, plus the Charlton Heston one (although I have not seen the Vincent Price one from 1964 (The Last Man on Earth). I preferred the book to the films but I would have enjoyed the films more if they stuck to the story, instead of throwing in all the Hollywood cliches.
In the book, Neville is by himself until he sees an injured dog out in the daylight. He spends weeks trying to feed it and bring it indoors, trying to build up the dogs trust in him. He eventually gets the dog inside, where it is still terrified of him, until it gets caught up in a blanket and Neville caresses and soothes it for hours. The dog then licks Neville for the first time. A week later, the dog is dead, as Neville could not save him. This brings home how lonely Neville is and his absolute despair at having hope in something, and losing the only companion he has found (Ruth does not appear till near the end, and she does not have a child with her, unlike the Will Smith film).
Also, as the Will Smith film wants to make him out to be a hero, he dies protecting and hiding the girl and child, plus he finds a vaccine which he gives to them to take back to the other live humans, thus saving mankind and becoming the legend of the title.
In the book it is a lot better. Because Neville has been killing the vampires risen from the dead and the live humans who have the infection, when he is caught at the end, he realises people have learnt to live with the disease (drugs and bacteria mutating), and he, because he had been going out and killing them, had become something fearsome to them, rather like the Dracula myth had been. He was the only human left without the infection, but he had become the freak/odd one and they were going to execute him (plus he never found a cure). Therefore he was a legend to them, a terrifying one, not a hero like Will Smith.
Don't get me started on the Charlton Heston movie, that is shit. He even gets captured and nearly burnt at the stake in Dodger stadium at one point. He also saves humanity with a serum and then dies in a Christ like/Crucifixion pose. Bloody Hollywood.
Looking foreward to the Vincent Price one!
toodle pip

happy birthday old trafford

The Gods themselves, Best Law and Charlton
Sir Matt

The Stretford End back in the good old days


Theatre of Dreams
Old Trafford, home of the Gods, is 100 years old today. The first match was against the arch enemy Liverpool, on 19th Feb 1910 (Don't ask the score), and although it has changed a lot over the years with it eventually becoming 'The Theatre of Dreams' (Bobby Charlton called it that), it's still Old Trafford to me.
I have had many a happy day out there, plus some days that were not so rewarding, but there's always another game on the horizon.
It's a shame the Stretford End is no longer what it was like in the picture above, and it is now so expensive to see a game. Football may well implode in on itself at some stage, so make the most of it all now.
toodle pip



Thursday, 18 February 2010

nature photos




I can't remember which newspaper these were from (Telegraph?), but they are all pretty special.
It would be good to be able to take photos as good as these, but what with the equipment, time, effort, practise etc, let's face it, I have no chance of doing so.
Guess I will have to stick to multiple digital ones of holidays and family do's.
Can't go wrong there, always get the odd decent one! (photo, not family do's)
toodle pip

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

out at the weekend


Went up to the Boro at the weekend for Louise's 40th birthday do. had to pick up Nora first as she was getting dropped off at Ken and Anne's. Also called in at Darlington to pick up the cake for Dazzer, and dropped that off with Nora in Stockton.
Stayed for a quick drink and chat, then off to Nunthorpe to Kerry and Robbos, for a couple of drinks and a longer chat, before Rook and Deb turned up (who were staying at Robbos and Kerry's with us).
Got a taxi to the restaurant (the Stables in Wynyard) and met everyone else there. Had a pretty good night, even though there was about 20 of us there. Managed to get a menu but it got streaks on it from the laminate cracking, as I had to roll it up to nick it. Damn!
Taxi back to Nunthorpe afterwards, where lots more booze was consumed and everyone (apart from me of course) was dancing till after 3am.
Still pissed the next day when we went to the Cross Keys for lunch. Rook and Deb went home (leaving Nora as far as I know), but we were joined (eventually) by Louise and Dazzer, plus John and Maria. They probably regretted coming as we (OK, mainly me) were a little bit loud and annoying, but hey ho, it's how Keith would behave.
Called in at the Lodge on the way home, which was bloody freezing, so we went to JT's instead, which was pretty full because of the rugby (yawn). Only the one drink and back home for a clean up and bed.
Got up and potted about on Monday, then went to the Wine bar to meet Joe. Unfortunately (or rather, stupidly), I did not have any food before going out (or when I got back). I went to use the loo later on, got out of bed, walked to the loo and then BINGO! lights out. Don't remember anything apart from Mandy trying to get into the loo and waking me up, asking if I was OK. I must have collapsed and banged my head on the toilet or the side of the bath, as I now have a sort neck and back. Luckily, I spoke to my boss at work and I don't have to come in until Saturday - result! It's worth the pain to be off, watching films and listening to music (plus United beating Madrid 3-2 at the San Siro). I have got to remember to eat in the future though, as I could easily have fallen down the stairs and ended up somewhere dodgy, with someone like me taking care of me.
I'll have to stock up on chocolate or something for future occasions.
toodle pip

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Friday, 12 February 2010

3D art


This all looks amazing - 3D art on pavements. Very clever indeed, I may put some more up later
toodle pip

infinity

I have never had a great problem with space being infinite, therefore meaning endless possibilities. Somewhere in space, there will be a planet the same as ours, with everything the same, except it is one second ahead, or two seconds behind, or one small particle is missing. It can all happen if there are an infinite amount of planets and possibilities.
Obviously, some people think I am a raving madman to hold such views, but I have just been reading that Hugh Everett III (look him up) agrees with the theory (called Many Worlds interpretation of Quantum Theory) and thinks there are infinite realities.
I am maybe not so mad after all.
toodle pip

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

two cats


Non-existent smiles. Eyes begging for mercy. Confined to a cage. Scars etched into their fur and souls. They suffer in silence. There's nothing cute about isolation. Depression.
toodle pip

Monday, 8 February 2010

work dragging on

Another day nearly over and a bit closer to the weekend. Really looking foreward to having some time off, work is dragging a bit at the moment. Still, just about to have an early night and whack the ipod on, as I didn't get to sleep till the early hours of this morning and I was then woken up by the phone. Only one more sleepover shift to go (Wednesday) and at least I will have the United v Villa game to watch while I am at work. Then it's the last day for a while. Great stuff, although it will be called upon me to be the life and soul of the party at the weekend, as there is a big birthday (40th) meal for Louise. I had better reserve my energies.
toodle pip

Sunday, 7 February 2010

pissed off

Well, it's Sunday night and I am pissed off. Been at work overnight and more work to come until Thursday afternoon, as I don't finish till 2.30pm on Thursday. Might have to indulge in the Euro lottery this week, don't usually do it but it would certainly be good to win a few million, that's the last they would see of me. At work again tomorrow at 3pm but don't feel like going to bed at the moment. Trouble is, I am just prating about on the computer but not really doing anything or taking stuff in. Just had some bad news confirmed, which didn't help, so I don't feel like sleeping, but finding it difficult to relax. Think I will go downstairs and watch something on TV or cuddle up to the rabbit. Deep joy.
toodle pip

Saturday, 6 February 2010

worried

Another glorious win for United today - or was it? It may well have been a 5-0 win against Portsmouth, but let's face it, they are crap. Portsmouth still nearly managed to score and should have been ahead, plus they conceded three own goals. I know United were all over them and should have scored two more, but David James did not have that many saves to make, mainly long range shots, with most of them flying over the bar. Maybe I am just too much of a pessimist sometimes, remembering the 1970's and 80's when United always used to blow it. Maybe I just don't like to be too happy as I know things can quickly go wrong, but although I am generally cheerful and optimistic, I am worried about the future. Milan is coming up, let's hope things work out.
toodle pip

Thursday, 4 February 2010

understanding comics and once an addict



I finished both of these books today, as I am still ploughing through the ones in the house that I have not read yet (and I am still buying more!). I got Understanding Comics for Christmas and it was really interesting, talking about what comics are and the history of the art form. It mentioned some stuff that I was not aware of, which means I have even more stuff to buy, check out, and store in the house (somewhere).
As for the Addict book, I picked it up in a second hand shop a couple of weeks ago, as I thought it may be interesting and it was cheap. It was OK for a while, interesting but not that great, until lo and behold, on page 105, he senses God for the first time. To cut a long story short, he eventually gives up the drugs and becomes a Minister with the Evangelical Church.
This is after a few false leads by God and more spells in prison, but he gets there in the end.
The thing I hate is God is never questioned, there is always an explanation for why things didn't work out when he was following God's signs etc. Also, the way the evangelical (or other religions as well), start to use crappy sayings " The Bible is an instruction book and stands for "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". This sort of crap really annoys me. I am a thicko about a lot of stuff, but I do know the word 'Bible' comes from the Greek 'Biblia', which represents a collection of books, which the Bible is. Some gospels were put in, some left out. Some contradict each other. A lot of the Old Testament can be kicked into touch once the New Testament starts. A lot of it has been proven to be false. If you date the timeline from the beginning of the Bible (As Bishop Usher did), the Earth is only just over 6,000 years old. No one in their right mind thinks this now. It is a collection of stories, some based on historical events, some based on earlier epics, some just made up. If you want to believe in it, go ahead, but leave me alone. We would be so much better off without religion. The asylums are full of people who think they are God, Jesus, on a mission from a higher power or whatever.
When I die, I will happily take my chances. I don't think ants or termites have souls, I don't see why we should have them. We are no better off for Jesus supposedly dying for our sins, as we still have to embrace God or go to Hell.
Pah! Bring it on - let's find out!
Rant over - toodle pip

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

visit to pauls


Well, we eventually got to Leeds to visit Paul, Carol and Kimberly.
The FPO was too knackered to go, so I took Linda and the kids (plus Matt). Paul was on fine form, pretty pissed when we got there and then more pissed by the time we left. You can see their reaction to one of Paul's tales in the photo above. The visit was meant to be at Christmas/New Year time, but because of the weather and work commitments (plus only having one car at the moment), we had not been able to go until yesterday.
Had to put up with the kids ipod playing on the way down, as I thought I would be generous and let them listen to what they want. Soon changed my mind about that, after an hour of non stop rock music that they like (Minor Self Indulgence, Blink 182 etc). They had their chance and blew it, so it was back to my ipod for the journey home (The Beta Band). They will learn in time, the poor misguided fools. I remember what I was like at that age, I loved rock music, but also listened to stuff like Dean Martin and Johnny Cash, plus lots of pop stuff. Their tastes just seem so narrow. Bloody kids today. When I was a lad.......
toodle pip

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

rip torn


The US actor Rip Torn (Larry Sanders, Men in Black) has just been arrested for going into a bank in Connecticut with a loaded gun while very (very) drunk. He apparently was so drunk, he thought he was at home and even left his boots and hat in the doorway. He has been done before for drink related offences (drink driving etc) but this offence really tops them all. How drunk must he have been to even imagine in his wildest dreams that a bank is his home. He might be rich, but come on! That is drunker than I have ever been, and Lord knows, I have been drunk in my time. he must be mental.
He is also 78.
toodle pip

Monday, 1 February 2010

best and hancock




A couple of days ago I received a copy of "Goal" magazine (from 1971) that I bought on eBay (yes, I know the Internet is magnificent). This had a rather large feature on George Best (which is why I bought it), asking if he was too big for his boots and whether he was losing it or not (he was). At the time, George was only 24 years old, had been European footballer of the year 3 years before, and still had the world at his feet.
Sadly, we all know how it went from then on.
I was also watching some Tony Hancock earlier on. Another guy who had the world (well, the UK) at his feet, but decided to get rid of everyone around him, and lost his touch, until his suicide in 1968. I much preferred his radio shows with Sid James, Bill Kerr and Hattie Jacques. They made you use your imagination a lot and of course, they were brilliantly written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who Hancock also got rid off (the idiot). They just carried on the format and had more success with Steptoe and Son, while Hancock got less and less funny as time went by.
Some people just don't realise when they have it so good, and can't help destroying it all.
toodle pip